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  1. --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    The Wandering Monk Plays With Fire

    This installment of “The Wandering Monk” is a little slow in being released. While typically my fare is as light-hearted and fluffy as the downy coat of a newborn chick, your friend in our collective martial arts journey is a little reticent about this chapter. The truth is, there is much good to be extolled about the subject of this article. It is a venue where people can go to train, learn, and teach about a highly effective martial art. It is a place where practice is conducted in as alive a manner as prudence will allow, and the individuals who operate this establishment are active participants in the style.

    The style? The style has many names. Colloquially it is often referred to as “RBSD,” “shooting,” and sometimes, “gun fu.” Of, course this is the most efficient way to defend yourself. It is far superior to virtually any form of unarmed combat. Guns kill people. To truly understand modern self-defense, you must at least understand the firearm. Even if you are a gun-hater who feels these harbingers of the apocalypse should be outlawed, you MUST when you find yourself in trouble, understand guns to achieve that oft-vaunted, and much-misunderstood “situation awareness.”

    What is so bad about that? Lots of people shoot all the time, right? Why so reticent? Well, your humble sojourner attended a machine gun shoot at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, in Westfield Massachusetts. Those of you alert readers who get the news know that at this particular event, an nine-year-old boy was killed when a firearms instructor and his father allowed the child to shoot a fully automatic micro Uzi. The child could not handle the recoil and muzzle rise of the 21-rounds-per-second firing rate (go figure), and succeeded in putting a 9mm round through his head in front of his Dad and some much-traumatized bystanders.

    You can check the forums of Bullshido.net for the relevant thread on the subject for discussion purposes; but the Wandering Monk will say only this in judgment:
    The event was extremely well staffed. The firing line was clearly demarcated, and safety procedures were efficient, enforced, and redundant. The only mistake that was made was the error in judgment by the instructor directly involved with the accident. If you do not know why an nine-year-old should not be shooting a 1250-rpm sub-machine pistol the size of a medium-frame handgun, then you need to stay away from the firing line until you do. While I did not personally observe small children with machine guns while I was there, there are reports that several other children were using these weapons as well. If the Wandering Monk has any criticism to dish out about the club and this event, then that would be it: nobody should have to be told that small-frame sub-machine pistols are not a good fit for small children. If you can’t figure that one out on your own, get a different hobby.

    Poor judgment normally corrects itself; but when guns are involved, people get killed. This is not acceptable.

    With preaching obligations fulfilled, the Wandering Monk can now report that he was otherwise extremely happy with the event. As my current training consists almost entirely of weightlifting and firearms, this outing was both illuminating and educational. Your humble chronicler-of-all-things-martial learned many valuable things. I learned that firing 50BMG from a Barrett M82A1 hurts your shoulder no more than a 12-gauge shotgun; thanks to a well-built gas-operated design. To give you some perspective, the actual percussion of the round was sufficient to blow the baseball cap off a handler standing 6 feet behind the shooter. I also learned that trying to hit a pumpkin at 75-100 yards with iron sights is tricky as hell; especially when you are nearly crapping yourself every time you squeeze the trigger. Dr. The Mrs Monk learned that those guys at Barrett did NOT design the weapon for dainty little girls with soft hands and tiny bodies. She was a trooper though, and now insists that I purchase her one of these fine rifles. Curse my vow of poverty...

    I learned that a Dillon Minigun doesn’t sound like a gun at all. It sounds like a GIANT dirt bike. The rounds discharge in such rapid succession that they are indistinguishable as individual reports. I also learned that it was $115.00 for about 2.5 seconds worth of ammo. No, thank you!

    Some of my favorite weapons were the old, Browning M2 50-cal WWII machine guns. You really don’t respect them until you see them in action. There is something positively terrifying about 8 rounds per second of the giant 50BMG bullet hurtling downrange to destroy all in its path. To watch the various refrigerators, microwaves, propane tanks (BOOM!), boats and trailers get absolutely SHREDDED by these venerable guns was just tremendous.

    The AR-15s with the double-hung drum magazines were impressive as well. While certainly heavy, the thought of having a hundred rounds at your disposal, completely unencumbered by the inconvenience of reloading was enough to make the most pacifistic individual tilt his head and say, “I could really use one of those…”

    Gun-lust notwithstanding, firearms are part of our world, and certainly relevant to the self-defense and martial arts culture. If realism, effectiveness, and efficiency are the hallmarks of quality self-defense systems, then you cannot disregard firearms training. Westfield has numerous instructors and experts on hand for any level of firearms training. They have three ranges for rifle work, and two for pistols. They also accommodate archery, if you are a more traditional guy. The wandering monk was obscenely jealous of the facilities available to club members. This is a well-staffed, well-equipped, and well-run club for the modern sportsman and firearm enthusiast. There has been a lot of fervor over the accident at this event, and the Club’s webpage is currently down. The Wandering Monk would hate to see these kind of events get canceled, but methinks perhaps a little more caution with regard to age limits is in order.

    The Wandering Monk would love to give this club a perfect 10; and if the facilities and amenities were all they were being judged on they would have it. But the Wandering Monk evaluates ALL aspects of a club and its programs, and fatal judgment errors cannot be ignored. The Wandering Monk gives the Westfield Sportsman’s Club a 7 out of 10.
    Last edited by Scrapper; 12/03/2008 4:46pm at .

  2. Scrapper is offline
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    Fear and bullets.

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    Posted On:
    12/04/2008 8:37am

    staff
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Anyone else who was at the event feel free to chime in...
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
  3. Scrapper is offline
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    Fear and bullets.

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    Posted On:
    12/04/2008 8:39am

    staff
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
  4. PointyShinyBurn is online now
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    Gnarly King of Half-Guard

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    Posted On:
    12/08/2008 10:59am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The range instructors getting a kid's brain pan emptied only drops them to a seven out of ten? What would score a five, genocide?
  5. Scrapper is offline
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    Fear and bullets.

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    Posted On:
    12/08/2008 3:42pm

    staff
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I am evaluating the whole club. One accident in 60 years shouldn't tank the score. Stupid? Yes. Indicative of overall quality? No.
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
  6. GoldenJonas is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/09/2008 12:22am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Having graduated from Westfield State College back in '95 I can say that for Massachusetts standards, Westfield is about as "back-woods" as you can get in my home state state of MA. Point being, the occasions were many when listening to a townie spew NRA-Zealotry at one of the many local watering holes. The lapse in that instructors judgment was monumental, cataclysmic, and shows a complete lack of anything approaching common sense...yet sadly, not surprising.

    That is a fucking horrific accident. I really feel for that family.
  7. Sam Browning is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/09/2008 12:26am

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What's really scary is that the company which owned the machineguns is owned by a small town police chief from Connecticut who allegedly let an underage instructor supervise that particular customer.
  8. Scrapper is offline
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    Fear and bullets.

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    Posted On:
    12/09/2008 7:59am

    staff
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja Claus
    What's really scary is that the company which owned the machineguns is owned by a small town police chief from Connecticut who allegedly let an underage instructor supervise that particular customer.
    Yeah. People fail to realize that this event was hosted by Westfield sportsman's club, but run by an outside company. The club itself is still a REALLY nice place. Jonas is right about the right-wing NRA zealotry, though. I figured that's par for the course at a gun club however. I can't speak for the nature of the town itself.
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
  9. vaquero de las nalgas is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/09/2008 2:13pm


     Style: Taijutsu, Hsing I

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good post. The point about learning how to operate firearms safely even if you never plan to own one, cannot be stressed enough. This point applies to having to use them in an emergency i.e. Hurricane Katrina, terrorist attacks. It also applies if you or your loved ones are being threatened with one.
  10. madmonkey is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/11/2008 4:55am


     Style: Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Children and guns- doesn't take a genius to figure out that its a stupid idea to mix the two. Any child under the age of 12 should not be allowed near a gun let alone allowed to shoot it. And even at that age is should come down to whether the child is sensible enough.

    I agree if you want to learn to defend yourself against a weapon you do need to have experience of its use, shame about guns is that if attempt something you are more likely to get shot in the process.

    As to the 7 out 10 I agree with Pointyshinyburn, and yes one accident in a sixty year record generally should not affect the score YET this refers to an adult shooting themselves, the scale of the stupidity and tragedy of this blunder should drop the score to 0
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