Last Friday was better than just about any Friday in recent memory.
The reason that Friday was so special is that I finally saw light at the end of my "firearms-instructor-week-from-hell" tunnel. Seriously... you know I love my job, but this week has just been too much. For the past two weeks, we have been conducting a post-academy class for 21 agents and officers. During this class, each agent has to, among other things, qualify with their service weapons, which isn't a terribly onerous task, since everyone will have qualified at least once before getting to this stage in their training.
What happens here is that on the third and fourth training day, all of the trainees get a four hour block of instruction before being required to qualify on day 5. On day 5, they have to fire a prescribed course of fire, at distances of 1.5, 3, 7, 15, & 25 yards. Each sequence of the course of fire is timed. The course consists of a total of 50 rounds fired and has a maximum potential score of 250 points, with 200 points (80%) being the minimum score for qualification.
During the first week of training... just before qualification day, we knew that two shooters might not qualify with their weapons, which is about par for the course in a class that size. Our expectations were met. The two that we expected to fail, did exactly that. One of them not only failed, but failed spectacularly, falling 75 points short of qualifying. While disturbing, all was not lost because your friend and faithful correspondent, Gunfighter, was assigned to conduct their remedial training. This is a good thing for poor shooters... do you know why? Because your pal Gunfighter can teach like a MOFO!
So Last Monday (which should have been a day off for me), at 0600 (6 A.M. if you don't habla), I started their training... as you might surmise, I wasn't terribly easy on them. You see, I have a training philosophy that says that gunfighting isn't for the soft, the weak, or the faint of heart. I am not in the business of career training. I teach warriors how to fight. How to kill. If you aren't able to steel your heart to that task, you should admit it to yourself, and find a different life path.
So. We trained. They listened, they learned, they did the things that I asked them to do, and they dug deep. Our first session was encouraging, and they went on with the rest of the training day, buoyed by their progress.
What really sucked for me, was the fact that on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I had to go straight from training them, to conducting regularly quarterly qualification for regular, journeyman-level, officers and agents who are in normal service. This consists of teaching a class, giving a safety briefing, and giving a lecture on the quarterly advanced training exercise that we do after qualification. We do this three days a week, at 0800 and 1300. Anyway, my section was really short-handed for those two weeks with men at training, one on vacation, and one out sick. It wasn't pretty. It was a long and dangerous week, one that I was pleased to be closing in on the end of.
On Thursday, the last day of remedial training, we did a practice round on the qualification course of fire, and both of my shooters fired qualifying scores! I wanted to hug them both, but I remained my calm, cool, aloof, self and told them to look forward to qualification the next day, and sent them on their way.
Friday... a dark morning. When my shooters arrived at the range, their ammunition was ready, their targets were set up, and we immediately got them briefed before beginning the next 45 minutes that would determine the course of their careers. I would like to brag, at this point, about how great an instructor that I am, and tell you that both of my shooters were able to qualify, but I can't. After two consecutive attempts to qualify, one of my shooters failed to come within 24 points of qualification. She had failed, and I am the one that had to tell her that she wasn't going to make it. There were excuses, displays of really bad attitude, and all of that stuff, but the bottom line is that ultimately, she isn't suited to the work, and has to go.
I wish her success elsewhere.
Oh, did you think that I was done? Oh heck no.
I had to teach my regular remedial shooters as soon as I was done... and when I was done with them, I had to take my turn as the receptionist for the training center because our receptionist was reassigned before we hired another, and then there was an ammunition delivery.
By Friday afternoon, I was well and truly beat. Beat, I say!
It was an ugly, but productive week... and I am REALLY glad that it is over!
Because of the fact that I work in gun world, I frequently get odd email from some of my colleaegues who have... what I like to call "an unhealthy relationship with firearms". I have shared some of the email that gets passed around with you before... I thought that I would share another one with you today.
The Top Ten Reasons Men Prefer Guns Over Women:
#10. You can trade an old 44 for a new 22.
#9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you're on the road.
#8. If you admire a friend's gun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times.
#7. Your primary gun doesn't mind if you keep another gun for a backup.
#6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.
#5. A gun doesn't take up a lot of closet space.
#4. Guns function normally every day of the month.
#3. A gun doesn't ask , "Do these new grips make me look fat?"
#2. A gun doesn't mind if you go to sleep after you use it.
And the number one reason a gun is favored over a woman....
As I mentioned a few days ago, I have a new service pistol. What I didn't tell you, is that I have the tendency to give my guns names. Since I don't give a new gun the same name as a retired gun, I have to have a name for the new one.
This is where you come in.
I am looking for suggestions for my new pistol's name. I will entertain suggestions through Monday, July 21st, after which I will make a selection.
Entries may be sent via post comment or by email to gunfighter1173 at gmail.com
If I pick your entry (multiple entries are not only allowed, they are encouraged!), I will send you a personalized target, shot by me with the pistol that you have named.
So get to it, friends, Daddy's pistol needs a new name!
A recent blog discovery of mine is a fellow lawman, who blogs under the name "One Man's Opinion". I recommend that you give him a read when you get a chance... he is a much better writer than I am , and speaks cogently on many different issues.
Today's post has something to do with a recent post of his, wherein he discusses some of the things that some of the dummies on his department have done to get themselves fired. I thought that I would spread that around, because I have seen some real doozies in my career.
From the Government Fraud Department, we have the fellow that used his U.S. Government issued credit card (for use on government travel only) to purchase.... drum roll, please.... a brand new motorcycle. Yup, he bought himself one of those Japanese made crotch-rockets where the driver (rider?) practically has to lie down to drive. Oh yeah, he was a smart guy.... he never would have gotten busted for it if he hadn't stopped making the monthly payments on the card. What an idiot.
Continuing tin the fraud department, we have this sterling fellow, who used the fuel credit card that we are all issued for our official vehicles to buy gas for his girlfriend's car (and his girlfriend's friends as well). Nobody mourned for this guy... he is the same idiot that neglected the maintenance on his service pistol to the point where it was rusted shut.,, I had to take a hammer to his pistol to get it disassembled. It was beyond repair. A brand new gun. Less than two years old at the time. Idiot... I shudder to think what might have happened if he had to actually use that thing in such a rusty condition. Anyway, he had to reimburse Uncle Sam for the price of the gun he destroyed.
How about this clown, from the can't-have-a-normal-relationship-with-a-woman category? This fellow has anger management issues... apparently only where women are involved. He was a nice young guy... always respectful of his seniors... he always called the old codgers like me "sir". This young man was on the "rubber gun" squad for a while because he had a very nasty argument with his girlfriend, who called the local cops and accused him threatening her with violence. This kind of thing is taken very seriously, and after a lengthy investigation, it turned out to be unproven. He got his gun and badge back. Not 4 months later, while we were on vacation in Disney World, my cel phone rings, while we are souvenir shopping in Disney's Polynesian Resort. It's my buddy K, who informs me that our man has been arrested again, for SHOOTING HIS OWN CAR WITH UNCLE SAM'S GUN during an argument with yet another girlfriend.
Once again, nobody mourned.
Hmm... what else have some of my colleagues done?
Oh, their is the guy who, while on government travel, had a drink or two with his dinner, and had a minor fender-bender with a car that belonged to Uncle Sam. Almost no damage to the government vehicle, or the other car. No problem, right? Well, no... unless you count the part where he left the scene of the accident, failed to report it.
These are but a few examples of some of the stupid things that I have seem people do to wreck their own careers. I haven't even gotten to the official corruption stuff, yet. That'll kill ya.