Following the Maryland legislature's passage of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, Beretta U.S. A. Corp. announces it will now move all manufacturing from Maryland to a new facility under construction in Gallatin, Tennessee. "The Maryland legislature's passage of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, would have prevented Beretta from being able to manufacture, store or even move into the state products sold to customers sold throughout the United States and around the world," said General Manager Jeff Cooper. The transition is set for 2015 and be managed "so as to not disrupt deliveries to Beretta customers." Manufacturing of the M9 9mm pistol will continue at the existing Accokeek, Maryland facility until current orders from the U.S. Armed Forces have been filled.
It was a Matter of Time
-- NYPD apparently tried to take a resisting suspect into custody. It appears an officer got an arm around the suspect's neck and they went to the ground. The suspect died in custody. Everyone predictably screamed about "choke holds." You know, like the ones your young nieces and nephews do regularly in judo classes, like competitors do in MMA. Same thing. The suspect appears to be obese, he and others in the photos appear to be dressed for warm, even hot, weather. He's heard to say he can't breathe -- meaning he can. Surprisingly, CBS turned to the National Law Enforcement Training Center, my alma mater, and sought out the truth. What follows is the fairest discussion of Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint I've seen in media. Want to read it? See CBS News
-- In Wednesday's stack of news, we had a pair of NDs from cops. One was a reserve officer at the end of a chase planting a round in the door of the suspect's vehicle. No injuries. Then there was an officer who was attacked by a dog. In the process of stopping the dog attack he apparently "accidentally shot himself." The condition of the dog wasn't reported though the officer had injuries described as "non-life threatening." Finally, a citizen who -- it appears -- pocketed a handgun without benefit of a pocket holster shot himself when he hitched his shorts up. Guns in pockets after
going into a pocket holster.
Depending on time, distance, and the environment it may be necessary to fight from a position other than standing. When possible, you stay on your feet for mobility. But the cover that provides protection may require you to lower your profile in order to use it. You may need additional stability, achieved by lowering your center of gravity and/or creating more contact points between your body and something solid, for increased accuracy.
The thing to keep in mind is the difference between shooting positions and fighting positions. Sitting is a great shooting position, especially if you're firing downhill, but it's rarely used in fights because it's slow to get in and out of. For fighting the variations of kneeling are usually best. For example there's the "speed" kneel, which is simply dropping down to your strong side knee. This is quick to assume and easy to get back onto your feet to move. "Double" kneeling, dropping down onto both knees is another good position, especially for working around to the left or right side of cover. Squatting, or "rice-paddy prone," is one of those positions that either works well for you or one you avoid. (For squatting to have stability you need to be able to keep both heels flat on the ground.) If a position doesn't create a stable platform you can't shoot accurately. Learning about fighting positions is about figuring out what works, but also discovering what doesn't work for you as an individual. It's much better to figure these things in advance on the range as opposed to making a mistake during a fight.
The positions listed above are example of what I call "reactive" positions. These are positions that are quick to get into, but equally important quick to get out of. Fights are normally dynamic with everyone moving; it may be necessary to get on your feet to move or relocate quickly.
"Premeditated" positions, like prone, take more time to get into and out of. Theses positions are generally reserved for specific applications, such as rollover prone, which is used to shoot underneath an object. Then there are all kind of variations of the different positions, such bracing or resting against something solid like a corner or window to create additional stability.
These days it seems like most shooters have gotten away from anything other than some of the kneeling positions. For example we'll put shooters into prone, which should be the most stable position of all - your center of gravity is as low as possible and there are numerous contact points between your body and the ground - but their group size on the target increases in size.
The next time you go to the range, instead of firing from a bench or rest start working on the various fighting and firing positions. Remember, you never know what may be required to solve the problem you face. Your task is to determine what is necessary to ensure when you press the trigger you're getting proper placement of the shot, or you have the ability to take advantage of cover and the protection it provides. Learning the different positions and their variations is an important part of your training and practice.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns," writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, "Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html