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Are you a sheep or a sheep dog?

The quote “Chance favors a prepared mind” was brought home for me today, as I listened to the instructors talk, and attempted to perform some of the different drills and tasks that were presented.  I attended the Advanced Concealed Weapons permit class that was held by the B.E.L.T. instructors.

It is very evident to me that each instructor, and volunteer at B.E.L.T. are deadly serious, and passionate, about equipping people to survive a violent encounter in the real world.  Our morning was spent in the classroom where  J.T. Judy went over a lot of information.  We were reminded of S.C. statutes that speak to the use of deadly force.  We were also reminded of how important to have the mind set to be “In it to win it”.  There are no second prizes in a violent encounter and there is no such thing as a fair fight.

We were encouraged to get serious about our equipment.  The handgun you choose, and the holster you use, can make a significant difference towards the outcome of a violent encounter.  Several of us learned today that there is a distinct difference between having a comfortable concealment holster, vs. having a holster that is combat ready.  We also learned that it is important that we become intimately familiar with our hand gun of choice and to adapt our training to that weapon system.  We learned that the more complicated the weapon is, the harder it is to get the fundamentals down.

We learned the importance of carrying a dual purpose flashlight that can be used to engage a threat and the different aspects of carrying other types of non-lethal weapons.

Today we were shown several reloading methods including the V method, L method and New York method.  Each method has its own pro’s and con’s.  We were encouraged to figure out what works for us best.  We learned the difference between tactical reloading, combat reloading, and why it is important to know how to do it.  We learned how important it is to use concealment and cover and to keep moving during a violent encounter.  We learned how to identify what concealment is and is not.  We were encouraged to always be in a code yellow state of awareness, and not to allow ourselves to be oblivious of our surroundings.

We were shown that while our group was diverse in age, size and physical abilities, most of us can cover 21 ft of ground in less than 3 seconds.  That is how long you have, to clear your weapon from concealment, and get rounds on target.   We also saw how important it is to take this training and practice, practice and practice some more.  The more you practice the more competent that you become.  On several occasions today I realized just how dead I could be, unless I choose to get serious about my equipment and honing basic weapons handling skills.  Yes, being able to plink at a piece of large paper at an indoor range is a start.  You can get familiar with your weapon and how it puts rounds down range into a target.

Today I was reminded of the fact that I can either be a sheep, or a sheep dog. When I decided to be an armed citizen, and carry a concealed weapon, I decided that I was no longer going to be a victim.  I decided I did not want to see my family and friends be victims either.

What did I come away with from this training?  I came away from this training with the understanding, that I must be diligent to use the right equipment, have the right mindset, and to practice these skills on a regular basis.  I came away from this training with the desire to prepare myself mentally, physically and psychologically to be a better sheep dog.

If you find yourself reading this, and are in agreement then I would highly encourage you to register with B.E.L.T. and make yourself available to get trained right the first time.  I promise that you will be much better prepared to avoid or survive a violent encounter in the future.



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