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See no Evil, Shoot no Evil! - by Cope Reynolds

My latest entry addresses a subject that I became concerned about probably 5 or 6 years ago due to some circumstances that arose in my world and I've been thinking lately, “Why haven't I shared this with you?”. Hopefully, you will find this useful…

Many of us regularly go to church and/or various other types of meetings that may open and close with a prayer. Generally, it is considered customary to close one's eyes during that time but consider this... 

Many of us carry a handgun for personal defense regularly, including to church, with the notion that we may actually be able to save lives in the event of an active shooter/terrorist attack. The feasibility of this demonstrated recently at a church in Texas. Throughout the course of a 1 to 3-hour church session or meeting and related classes/activities, we may find ourselves with our eyes closed at least twice and maybe as many as 5 or 6 times for varying periods of time. If I were a shooter/terrorist, I would have probably already checked out the routine here and would plan my attack around what I learned during my initial recon. In my mind, that would mean a successful attack should probably be conducted during one of those occasions when everyone's eyes are supposed to be closed. Myself, I always try to sit in a position of advantage, hopefully where I can see each exit clearly.  I don't mean to be disrespectful here but I do not close my eyes during this time.  I try to discreetly scan the room while everyone else's heads are bowed and yes, I can still pretty well focus on what is being said while watching for that telltale indicator that may help me to get a handle on a developing situation.

You say if something happens, you can instantly pop your eyes open and be 100% prepared to take on the beast? No, I'm sorry but you can't. After your eyes have been closed much longer than a routine blink, it takes a little time, maybe .01 of a second, maybe 2 or 3 seconds for 3 things to happen. One, your eyes must become adjusted to the ambient light again. The length of time required for that to happen will depend on how long they were closed and how bright the light is. Two, your eyes will need to find the threat and refocus to that distance. The third thing is you have to get your mind in the game. If your eyes were closed and you were trying to listen and concentrate on what was being said, it will take even the most tuned-up warrior a brief instant to evaluate what is going on and which direction the threat is coming from. That is NOT going to happen instantly!

Recruit a helper and try this... 

Take a chair with you to your favorite safe shooting spot (an organized range may not allow you to do this). Place a humanoid shaped target on a portable target stand and go sit down in your chair. You will need to do this from concealment. Close your eyes completely. Have your shooting companion QUIETLY place the target at random distances between 3 and 10 yards from your position and at different angles as safety allows. When he or she is safely behind you again, they are to loudly shout "Allahu Akbar!" (or maybe just "Fire!" will suffice) but either way, that is your signal to stand quickly, present your weapon from concealment and make a clean head shot on the target. Using a hostage target will add some challenge. A shot timer may be very revealing as well. Do that a few times then do it with your eyes open the whole time. You may be surprised!




Cope has been a defensive firearms instructor since 1995. He is also a gunsmith and lifetime shooter, hunter and reloader and hosts an internet radio show called The Shooting Bench. He currently lives in northern Arizona and is running Apache County Sheriff.

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