Reflections on 2013 National Rifle Association Annual Meeting (6 of 10): Free Seminars

Although some events at the NRA annual meeting require paid tickets, there are a number of seminars and workshops that do not. These include NRA sponsored programs like a 3-day NRA pistol instructor training course for women, an NRA-ILA workshop on grassroots activism, and the 4-hour “Refuse to Be a Victim” seminar. Several targeted the hunters among the NRA membership, including: a hunter’s guide to owning or leasing property, wild game cooking, advanced sausage processing, and gun dog & retriever training: basic obedience for future field dogs. Action sports shooters could attend “practical tactical: competition shooting tips, tricks, gear and more.” Finally, those interested in firearms for personal protection could choose from seminars on methods of concealed carry, firearm retention, home defense concepts, and defensive shooting skills development.

Pincus on TableI attended the defensive shooting skills development seminar on the first day of the meetings, Friday at 11am. The presenter was Rob Pincus, one of America’s best known gun trainers. The room was set up to accommodate 500 people and it was around 80% full – so 400 people turned out to hear Pincus.

Photo courtesy of Rob Pincus
Photo courtesy of Rob Pincus

Defensive Shooting Skills Development by Rob Pincus

Like many trainers, Pincus notes that “there is evil in the world and you should be able to defend yourself against that,” which is the point of the seminar. He observes that defensive shooting is a form of shooting distinct from other types of shooting, such as target, trap, and hunting. And in comparison to these other types of shooting, defensive shooting is a relatively young art and science.

Pincus Combat Focus ShootingPincus’s approach is what he calls “combat focused shooting,” which he characterizes as a form of “intuitive” (not instinctive) shooting. The basis for this approach is the finding (from a database of defensive shooting incidents compiled by Tom Givens of Rangemaster in Memphis, TN) that 86% of personal defense shooting takes place between 9 and 15 feet. Pincus also notes that most defensive pistol “stops” are psychological, rather than based on physically disabling an attacker. So combat focused shooting is based on “defensive accuracy.” If stop the threat, even without a hit, you have defensive accuracy. Taken together, this suggests the need for a good balance of speed and precision in a close-quarters situation.

To develop this intuitive shooting ability requires frequent and realistic training – which again distinguishes defensive shooting from other types of shooting. By doing this, one develops the power of recognition to respond more efficiently during a “dynamic critical incident.” Pincus calls this his “warrior expert theory,” and if you Google it you will find articles and videos aplenty on it.

Pincus’s presentation went over the one hour allotted, and when I left at 12:15p he was still answering questions. Because there was no hands on component, I wouldn’t have paid a lot of money to attend this seminar, but getting to hear an expert like Rob Pincus talk and answer questions for free is a definite value-added to the NRA annual meeting.


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