I admit it, I was a huge fan of the TV show “24” (at least the first four seasons). I even made my own parody video which you can still watch on YouTube. The national fear of another terrorist strike left many people feeling defenseless against terrorists, and we wanted a hero who would do whatever it takes to defend the public at large.
Upon doing some Google searches, I found that there are a number of schools around the country that teach “counter terrorism.” I had to check it out.
The school I chose is CRItraining.com in Las Vegas is led by a guy who had been in the Israeli Defense Force. I took a four day course early on in his business, and it has been thriving ever since. You MUST check out the course videos he has on his web page. Set to heavy metal music, they illustrate the awesome stuff you do in each course.
They have a wide variety of “open” courses to the public. Other courses are restricted to military, law enforcement, and security personnel.
Before you go thinking, “They’re teaching the next school/workplace shooting kook!” Wrong. Everyone must pay for a background check, and have a letter from your local law enforcement that you are a citizen in good standing. Having a concealed carry permit, which means you’re not a criminal and a responsible gun owner, helps move the admission process along.
The course started out in an empty building that had been a car dealership. The first day was all about moving through buildings in pursuit of bad guys, or defending yourself if you’re cornered in a building. We used Airsoft pistols with plastic BB’s. We wore face shields and it was like playing “super-tag”. We all shot at each other, and the adrenalin rush was fantastic.
The next day we went out into the desert 20 miles or so north of Las Vegas. We set up targets and did live pistol training. Then we moved on to using assault rifles, commonly known as AR-15s, which are NOT full auto; only one shot per trigger pull. Okay, I’ve done that kind of stuff before. But it was still good stuff.
The next two days we did stuff with pop-down targets, which is a body shaped, heavy-gauge plastic that, when hit by a bullet, pops down to let you know you had hit it. We THEN got into a pickup truck and the driver would do wide circles and approach the pop-down targets, and we (as the passenger) had to hit the target when driving by at 30mph. Yes, like people shooting out car windows of moving vehicles in movies. Really hard, but do-able.
As a side note, the proprietor agreed to have a local journalist for the Las Vegas newspaper take the course with us. He was a scrapy young guy, probably fresh out of journalism school. At one point, during a break, he asked to go out beyond the targets to see if any wildlife had been harmed. Ah-hemmm. ‘Nuf said.
So, it’s time for the journalist dude to do the pick-up truck drive-by. The rest of the students stood by the gear tables, and here he comes. “Oh, shit…” We all instinctively took several steps back. He did his shooting, probably hit some rabbit, then came back to the gear tables afterwards.
“Oh, you guys were so funny! I saw you all dodge. That was hilarious!”
No, it wasn’t. Whew!
The final day was very cool. They got some heap of a car from the scrap yard that barely ran. We each had to get inside, with appropriate protective gear, and shoot out the windshield. The front windshield is treated with a substance to keep it from shattering and harming passengers in everyday driving. So, we’d shoot, but it wouldn’t shatter, just leave several dozen holes by the time the last student finished. Then we shot out the back and side windows which all shattered. Firing a pistol inside a car is really, really loud.
The last thing we did was inside a Suburban. What do you do when you’re fired upon while driving or parked? What does it sound like?
Well, you get out, shoot from behind the wheels, engine, or back end at the (now totally shot up) heap.
You may think, “Holy crap! This all sounds absolutely crazy!”
The reality then, and even more so now, is that there are thousands and thousands of terrorists who have vowed to kill us and the ones we love. The government admits that there are many terrorist cells all across the country. Their terrorist acts are in the news every year, and we think it only happens to someone else, until they behead someone in our country – oh wait, they already did that!