On Training

As a natural born coward, in Junior High School I got the major heebie-jeebies when I saw a couple of older-classmen (boys) dukeing it out with a serous frenzy.  One occurance was at the Senior’s (9th Grade) lunch area, and then there were a couple fights out back at the bike-racks.  One guy pulled a cake-cutter from his afro and was banging holes in the other guy, who was whaling back with a 2×4 he pulled off a bench. It was pretty raw and in-your-face – and at that age the kids had enough sinew and muscle and bone to make serious dents in each other, before even resorting to metal implements.  Another time I walked up to my locker and encountered a kid who was standing there and had opened it – to which I inquired, “What the f@%*#ng hell are you doing, that’s MY locker?”  Such an affront caused to make him angry and he prepare to do fisticuffs – but he was smaller so I just shoved him down the hall, and lashing-back he threatened me with retaliation in the form of larger friends and a later encounter.  Jeeze, of all the nerve the slimy little bastard had.
So I started to go to a night-time class in Kung-Fu, held at the “Y” conducted by a learned teacher.  It was great!  It was also a kind of discipline I heretofore lacked. I think the original idea actually originated with my friend on the water-polo team, a slight lad (at the time) but one with tremendous sprinting ability (in the water – and he did pretty well later in life too as a Triathlete winning some/several major-major races, repeatedly).  And so we rode our bikes together down to the Y at night, and we learned together, and we eventually did some light sparring that broke things in his mom’s apartment.  No more sparring.  More importantly it gave me an important tool to stand-up to my bigger and older brother and stop being his whimsical punching-bag – we evened-out that score about a year later when I had a few more pounds on my frame.
Anyhow as I think to my firearms training it has mainly been in the Hospitable and Pleasant Art of Rifle Shooting, where we lay around in the grass and shoot at distant (200-yards) pieces of paper that have black spots, and peer through expensive optical devices to see the actual teeny holes made by iron-sights.  Leisurly and fun shooting, with old and famous weapons of yore; the M1 Garand, the Krag, the Swiss-thing I sold to buy another gun…
And then I took THE handgun class. Another learned teacher. Two words: Louis Awerbuck.
The training mantra I learned/was taught is SAFETY.
I’m dinged-up already at the moment so I try to avoid walking-into the Pain-Thing – it’s like walking into an open cabinet-door in the middle of the night – or standing up quickly beaneath one. Sharp. Pain. You could put an eye out. Also I’m getting too old for jumping-around doing Ninja stuff in a clown-suit – besides just not being dignified.  I train for being an old, semi-invalid dork with a bum elbow and a (still) bad foot who is mainly capable of heart-arresting amounts of fear and panic, dumped into the bloodstream in great gouts from over-sized safety-glands – and to shoot attackers from the security of a bar-stool, like Han Solo.
I train to drop $40 magazines on the deck and try to not slip-n-slide on them, and especially not to bend-over and pick ‘em up in the middle of shooting.  After dropping a tied-up bundle of big green Simoleons on the class I’d better be ready to drop that shiny money-magazine on the floor too, because whole hand-fulls of silver dollars go steaming out the loud-end when my booger-hook is working the bang-switch.  It’s amazing how fast you can empty a gun into a 4-inch region – and it may not be enough, so you better do it twice.
My hat’s off to those who leap over benches and crawl under them, whether to shoot at steel or to hit waving wands – and getting sweaty and dirty can be a good day’s fun, especially when there’s a cool drink and a swimming pool at the end of the day with scantily clad ladies bringing the Ibuprofen.
At this stage in my solar turn-around I’m becoming more and more leery of the amount of time physical recovery takes – this pooch on my elbow is still ballooned-up and my foot still sends me messages about the ladder incident last year.  I used to be nearly bulletproof but that doesn’t seem to be the return-message I’ve been gettin’ lately. So now I’m just gonna be mean.  Meanness has a training advantage too, and takes it at every turn – like Han Solo.
I hope I learn to be mean enough at just the right time – but telling *¿what is?* the right time seems to be the hard part.  You go off half-cocked and you wind up in a crazy world of $200/hour lawyers, and a legal system that is so bent and has so many broken functions it acts as its own torture-machine.  Meanwhile the operators of said machinery stand-by in suits and ties adding oil and lubing the joints of equipment that just hammers walnuts into paste, while extracting piles of green Simoleans that they stuff in their pockets and some they hand-over to friendly Politicians who write up a new work-order for additional pieces of machinery that simply embellish the Dreadful Device, and make it’s operation more capricious and lethal.
So get your training while you’re young and can do it with a speedy recovery time because there’s no time like the present, and watch out for The Machine.
(update: Thanks Editor…)(further edits for clarity)

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FactCheck Lies Paid-for by the Annenberg Foundation

In Comments Brigid notes: Just last year, FactCheck’s primary funding source, the Annenberg Foundation, also gave $50,000 to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence for “efforts to reduce gun violence by educating the public and by enacting and enforcing regulations governing the gun industry.” Annenberg made a similar grant for $100,000 in 2005. I wonder if any of the Annenberg Foundation money made it to the phony, lying, astroturf, “American Hunters and Shooters Association” who purport to support shooting but don’t.