LFI-I Harrisburg. PA June 2008Late June is vacation season and this year, like last year and hopefully next year too, Massad Ayoob came to the Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers Assoc. to conduct his entry level class: Judicious Use of Deadly Force. Jack Brady was the local coordinator and host. He did a great job with logistics and support. Mas has a loyal following, some may say a cult, (I wouldn’t try to kidnap and deprogram any of us!) who come out to help with the classes. This year Ken Kelly came up from Virginia to share his experience and help out. He’s a true Modern Warrior. (www.mwarrior.com) Dr. Tony Semone is a Neuro-Forensic-Psychologist who’s lectures are enlightening and inspiring. He went from a Marine to a Ph.d, so you know he must be special. Speaking of special, Gail Pepin came with Mas and helped out. Without her you wouldn’t be reading this. Gail really encouraged me to start a blog and get a podcast going. She can shoot too, as I’ll explain later. Myself I have 22+ years of military and corrections experience. I took my first LFI class in 1997 and thought it was, and is, essential training for any responsible citizen who chooses to exercise his/her Right to go about armed.Qualification
Almost 30 individuals recognized their responsibility to themselves, their loved ones, and society in general to learn about managing the use of force and the necessary skills to make them safe, competent shooters. Maybe even more important, they were shown the legalities involved and the aftermath of deadly force encounters. This, I think, is the real eye opener for folks. LFI-I is mostly lecture and video presentation. You will shoot some everyday , but most folks will not expend all of the 500 rounds they bring with them. This particular group was older on average than previous classes I’ve helped with. Only one woman too. The mix of weapons was interesting. Many baby Glocks and a mix of XD’s, Sigs, 1911’s of various makes and sizes and a couple of revolvers. One problem with older folks is a lifetime of sometimes bad habits that can unconsciously develop. We noticed a lot of fingers getting on triggers before they should be. There is no compromising on safety and all the range officers cajoled, whispered, yelled and may have even threatened removal of offending digits as necessary. By day two everyone was self-conscious of there fingers and muzzles and bad habits were replaced with safe conscious competence when handling the weapons.
Staff shooting the qualification
The staff shot the qualification course first to demonstrate the course of fire. Mas used a Colt Detective Special 2″ fixed sighted revolver. I used my S&W 686+ 3″ with adjustable sights. Gail shot a Glock Practical/tactical and Jack and Ken had a Glock and HK respectively. We were using IPSC targets. It was my lucky day because Mas threw a round about an eighth of an inch out of the “A” zone and scored a mere 299 out 300 on the 60 round qual. I managed a 300 and earned an autographed $5. Gail managed a 300 too and her group was 2 centimeters smaller than mine, so she gets top honors and bragging rights (til next year!) To be fair to Mas he was using a 2″ revolver with fixed sights. Had we used B-27 targets, we’d all have cleaned the course and Mas’s group would have easily have been the smallest. Out of the class the high score was 299 shot with a Springfield Armory LDA commander length .45 auto. Everyone qualified and passed the dreaded written exam. Four 10 hour days plus homework readings and dryfire practice. Folks were worn out. One reason I help with these classes is to meet so many fine people. They come from all over. They have a desire to learn. They have made a decision to take an active interest and control over their personal security. Anyone who chooses to use a firearm for protection has a responsibility to learn safe gun handling and shooting techniques. Maybe even more important is the legal and moral issues of when you may or may not use that weapon. You owe it yourself and your family to get this type of training. It may empower you. It may dissuade you from carrying a gun. It will educate you and then you can decide for yourself what is best. Hope to see some returns next year. Mas says there may be enough interest to do LFI-II.