The NAAGA: National African American Gun Association

Crazy like a fox.
Crazy like a fox.

I don’t know if my problem is with the NRA or its leadership.

They are the undisputed big dogs when it comes to insuring that we continue to have the right to keep and bear arms, and they are vicious. They are so rabid about our rights to keep and bear arms that they have begun t0 push for rights that I am not entirely sure are necessary.

But the leadership… Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and newly elected President Jim Porter come off as paranoid people and they say crazy things. Witness this post with Think Progress entitled the Nine Most Insane Quotes from the NRA’s New Apocalyptic Op-ed. Reading it gave me the impression that we are about three weeks away from a living like Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.

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The NRA wants us to go through life at Defcon 9.5, hyper vigilant about the coming and inevitable collapse. Self defense is good. Paranoia isn’t.

Not to mention race. LaPierre painted a picture where there were threats around every corner ready to kidnap, rape or loot. And most of them, be they the looters of South Brooklyn, Mexican drug gangs, Al Queda or the President, were people of color. No mention of white power groups or pumpkin rioters. Go figure.

Notice, I didn’t say that they were crazy. You don’t maintain one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country by being crazy. The NRA pushes self reliance and security. Not easy, when  according to the FBI, crime is at an all time low?

What some people call nutty is probably shrewd, calculated organizing. Some lobbies boast a sensible membership. The NRA cultivates passion. Few people are driven to write letters to their congressmen in fits of sensibility. Passion = power, and the NRA is powerful.

Their formula works perfectly. I just don’t know if I’m comfortable with it.

Sam shot me a link to the National African American Gun Association. Below is their mission statement.

THE GOAL OF THE NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN GUN ASSOCIATION IS TO HAVE EVERY AFRICAN AMERICAN INTRODUCED TO FIREARM USE FOR HOME PROTECTION,  COMPETITIVE SHOOTING, AND OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. WE ARE A CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON SELF PRESERVATION OF OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH ARMED PROTECTION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING.

Makes sense to me.

This weekend I will be going to a meet and greet at a local gun range. I’ll keep you posted.

Maryland 10th Calvary Gun Club. Photo from NPR
The NAAGA is a new shooting organization for African American shooters. Pictured are the Maryland 10th Calvary Gun Club. Photo from NPR

pistol-training.com » Blog Archive » Drill of the Week: The Wall Drill

The Wall Drill from pistol-training.com.

I’ve talked over and over about it. I’ve even practiced it a few hundred times in the privacy of my empty garage. The Wall Drill. 

It puts your trigger finger and grip under an unforgiving microscope. Read on to find out how. 

 

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Over the past few weeks we’ve worked on getting smoother and faster. Invariably, when shooters focus on their speed they start to lose a certain degree of precision. This week, we will address that with a great dry-fire drill called The Wall Drill.

The Wall Drill was developed by George Harris and is one of the most effective ways to perfect your marksmanship fundamentals.

Like any dry-fire drill, it is critically important that you follow proper precautions. First, you must always obey the Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety even during dry-fire practice. Also, all weapons must be completely unloaded and double-checked before the start of this drill.

Once you have cleared your weapon and verified both visually and physically that it is empty (twice), remove all ammunition from your training area and find a wall that can serve as a proper backstop in case of an accident. The wall should be blank, with no visual distractions and most importantly nothing to “aim” at during the drill.

(pistol-training.com also recommends that you use a snap-cap, such as the A-Zoom Action Proving Dummy sold by Lyman pictured on the right, to protect the internal parts of your handgun from excessive and unnecessary wear)

Holding your unloaded pistol in a normal shooting grip and stance, press the muzzle to the wall until it just barely makes contact, then back off about an inch. Because you are using a blank wall as your backstop, you effectively have no target. There is nothing for you to focus on except your front sight.

From this position, practice your trigger manipulation. The goal is to press the trigger straight back with consistent pressure until the “shot” breaks without disturbing your sight alignment throughout the process. Remember, that is the key to accuracy — a proper trigger press that doesn’t mess up your sight picture.

If your front sight moves around or “hops” as the trigger breaks, slow down and pay more attention to your grip and finger movement. Are you putting pressure on the grip with your other fingers as you press the trigger? Are you pressing the trigger too fast or too hard, causing it to move at the last moment? Just work on keeping everything still except your trigger finger, and move your finger in a slow, smooth, relaxed trigger press.

Work on this for about ten minutes. If you are using a Traditional Double Action gun with both double- and single-action trigger pulls, give equal time to each. Work on this drill three to four times per week for a month. You are guaranteed to see significant improvement in your accuracy.

Also, if you find yourself getting a little too wild at the range during normal practice, and your shots just won’t seem to come together into as tight a group as you want, clear your weapon and work on this drill using a target backer or blank spot on a large target as your “Wall.” Never waste ammo by sending shots downrange in random directions. Whenever your accuracy suffers, spend a little time on the Wall.

This is a dry-fire drill; all weapons must be completely unloaded and double-checked before the start of this drill.

via pistol-training.com » Blog Archive » Drill of the Week: The Wall Drill.

Training Day Part I: The Target Doesn’t Lie

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The bullets landed in one neat hole about the size of the lid of a small cup of coffee. The target doesn’t lie. Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group in Atlanta

He’s taping sheets of copier paper to the cardboard backing of the range. I’m pushing cheap 9mm bullets into a stiff magazine.

The booth at the range is small. My notebook is open but I’m afraid that if I write, I will knock something onto the other side of the booth. The side where the bullets are flying.
He asked, “How familiar are you with firearms?”

When I was 10 years old my father took us all shooting behind my friend’s house in Traveler’s Rest South Carolina.

They called it The Baseball Diamond, because the amateur negro leagues used to play there. The leagues collapsed years ago, and the space was taken over by brier patches and wild muscadine.

My father had a modest gun collection, including a mini-14, a derringer and a stainless steel 357 Colt Trooper. He told us, always assume it’s loaded. Never point it at anyone and keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Then we set up some bottles and cans in the distance, took careful aim and mostly missed. Maybe there was a small mark in the red clay bank beyond the bottles, but for the most part we had no idea where the bullets ended up and had no way to correct our shots.

My father had told us that he was going to show us how to shoot. The curriculum promised only that we would learn how to load the gun and pull the trigger without Killing ourselves or others. Nailed it.

Since then I’ve been to the range fewer times than I can count on both hands. I’d buy over priced targets with pictures of zombies on them, and shoot at them.

I’d know if I was getting better if I hit them where I aimed them. And if I managed to make all of the bullets land on the cartoon zombie, I would look around to see if anyone was there to witness how bad-ass I was

“I’m not afraid of them,” I said. I know people who are. It took about a half hour to convince my wife to pick up the gun, even though she knew it wasn’t loaded.

“Let me see how you shoot.”

He moved the target a short distance away from. I stood in weaver stance, tried to breath deeply (I was nervous) and pulled the trigger five times. The bullets landed randomly. Most of them hit the sheet. One was below it.

Each hole told a different story on why I suck at shooting. This one over there on the left, for example, suggested that my supporting hand wasn’t placed properly.

For comparison he loaded five bullets into his Glock magazine quickly shot them downrange. The bullets landed rapid fire in one neat hole, about the size of a quarter.

The target doesn’t lie.

The target doesn't lie. It gives immediate feedback.
The target doesn’t lie. It gives immediate feedback.

Over the next few posts I will talk about some of the ways he helped me become a more competent shooter. The target suggested that my grip wasn’t ideal. It also gave him a clue as to how I was using the sights, or misusing them.

More on that later…