I think John Johnston summed it up well the second day, and while not the exact wording, "Average Joe good guy imagines he will calmly save hundreds by shooting 3 Al-Qaida terrorists with his handy pocket 380, where in reality it will likely be one or more common criminals, making a brash rapid attack, that will leave poor Joe wondering what just happened?
The course was the brainchild of Melody Lauer, mother of 3, who took a straight forward approach to figuring out how she would defend herself in a lethal encounter. Then working with Johnston put together a course for others. It fills a niche I have not seen in training, what do you do if your kids or grand kids are with you when you are forced to defend yourself? Perhaps you could get similar training and insight in an expensive Executive Protection course, but even they are not going to show you what to do with a 6 month old or toddler.
To the course itself, the first day was pretty basic on day one, a power point giving the type of attacks, the difference when the adult is the target and the child is present, and those where the child is the target. The subject matter is alarming and both of the instructors are blunt to say the least. After lunch the course moved to the range, and a series of basic accuracy drills were shot, with an emphasis on accuracy. Why? Well for some it can be a challenge to hit a full size target, let alone a target that has just scooped up your kid! Plus keep in mind just shooting people with a handgun, does not often stop them. Day one finished up with shooting the FBI qualification. Which was an eye opener for several students.
Day 2 began with a ballistic demonstration, using gelatin and 4 layers of denim and shooting various self defense rounds to see wound cavities, and perhaps prove putting someone behind you is not as protective as you might think. Then the "babies" came out, pretty simple set up using a child's back pack filled with corn. Now it may not seem like much, but holding 10 lbs of corn in one arm, clearing your cover garment one handed and engaging the target in a timely manner can be a bit of an effort. It is easier with a front opening garment, than a pull over, but still. They also covered methods to safely "drop" the child so you could respond to the threat using both hands. We progressed to bigger children, and even methods to move unarmed adults off the line of fire. The class was divided into 2 squads, while half shot the other half role played the "child" There was also a Force on Force session dealing with someone snatching the child and dealing with stopping them, and for many it was an eye opener.
Overall thoughts on the course, Melody & John did not simply focus on "Hey this how you do it", but also this is why you do it, which is something I have preached for years, to the instructors I have trained, Just because they know how to do something, the student is unlikely to embrace the training unless the they also understand the why..
The course was good, and in time it will evolve into great, this was only the 2nd presentation of new material, one student who attended both did make the point that it was much improved, and by the next offering it will improve even more, I think that both instructors are driven to produce a quality sound training program. They are not just going through the motions, they both have a passion for what they are teaching. In context a course is much like raising a child, it grows and becomes more polished the more you present it.
Even if you have had professional training beyond CCW, and have children in your life it would be good to consider this course, for you sake, and the children in your life,
Below is a course description and web link
Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian course.
Skills, Tactics, and Legalities for Armed Parents/Guardians
A fast-paced course designed around the thought, “What if my children are with me when I get into a shooting?”
Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian discusses with students the hard/soft skills necessary to solve the commonly observed shooting problems associated with fighting with our children present. Are some of the most commonly held best practices for if we are attacked when we are alone actually going to put our loved ones at risk when they are present? Students will be shown WHY the context we find ourselves in as a parent can change our tactics. This skill-intensive two-day course covers application of practical handgun skills in a family environment.
Topics include, but are not limited to;
· Types of attacks
· Avoidance skills
· Handgun terminal ballistics and the importance of accuracy
· One-handed access/shooting skills
· Shooting past/around no-shoots
· Clearing family members from lines of fire
· Best practices for dealing with a close-range assault while loading/unloading children from the vehicle
· Malfunction clearances and more
The Goal Of this course is to Teach the Students the Skills and Attitude that will make them capable of delivering fast, accurate, fight-ending fire on demand.
· Quality handgun
· 3 magazines for double-stack handgun (minimum), 5 magazines or speed loaders for single-stack firearms and/or revolvers
· Quality belt-mounted, open-mouth holster for that firearm (no SERPA)
· At least one (preferably two) magazine pouches
· Eye and Ear Protection
· 700 rounds of ammunition
· Concealment garment
· Pre-school sized backpack that can be weighted and dropped
· Range appropriate clothing
We will be shooting rain or shine, please bring appropriate clothing.
About your Instructors:
Melody Lauer is a Rangemaster and NRA Certified handgun instructor since 2007. As the owner and operator of Central Iowa Defensive Training she has dedicated herself to quality, reliable self-defense information and training. She continues to seek new opportunities to learn and share information relating to self-defense and the safe, effectual use of firearms for self-defense.
Melody is a mother of three, Emergency Medical Technician and writer dedicated to learning and sharing the most effective skills in preserving innocent life.
John Johnston is the host of Ballistic Radio, a RangeMaster certified Advanced Handgun Instructor, and has logged over 1,000 hours of private instruction with many of the top instructors in the industry. In addition to hosting Ballistic Radio, John helps test and develop firearms related products.