The Angle of the Dangle

The Angle of the Dangle

There is nothing more…. er… “unsatisfying” then a limp gun.

Ok… phallic metaphors aside, a improperly held firearm is indicative of two things: 1) Lack of training, 2)Lack of discipline.

Both are unbelievably annoying.

I remember a number of years ago being at a wedding an being seated at the reception dinner at the same table as a young woman who was a friend of the bride.  She was from New York and had traveled out to California for the ceremony.  She seemed intelligent, and polite and was easy to talk to.

Then the food came.

Her use of silverware was sporadic at best, and when she chose to actually employ utensils her manipulations of her knife and fork were so ham fisted that it was literally painful to watch.  I guarantee that she had watched, literally for the bulk of her life, people properly use silverware, but to actually go through the process properly herself was either too burdensome, or in her mind unnecessary.

This seemingly minuscule part of her behavior, spoke volumes to me.

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There is literally no difference when it comes to firearms.

In our last CCW class we had an individual that seemed incapable of keeping his firearm oriented towards the target.  This was not a safety issue per se.  The gun never swept his classmates, or pointed towards us instructors.  Rather, after every shooting string his shoulders would slump and he would drop his hands to his sides.  Almost displaying a the appearance of disgust with his performance.

That was probably a miss read.  His performance was just fine.  He just didn’t want to stand there with both hands on his gun in a ready position.


Mastery of Skill at Arms is not something that is cavalier or taken as an after thought.  We treat our weapons with respect….ALWAYS.  There may very well be only four cardinal rules of gun safety, but there is an unwritten fifth:  Exemplify Professionalism.

People who strive to be Masters of Skill at Arms… and this should apply to anyone that owns a firearm and absolutely to someone who is licensed to carry a firearm… need to understand that the discipline necessary to achieve that mastery is not transient.  It does not “go away” while reloading or putting your gun away in the range bag.

It actually is not limited to the weapon itself.

Mastery at Skill at Arms is an emotional and an intellectual mindset.  It is the fundamental understanding that each action with a weapon, each manipulation with a gun, each scan of the horizon, each repositioning on a city street is done with purposeful intent, and an elegance and ease that comes from practice.

There is also the knowledge that others are watching.

That audience is made up of many eyes.  From the new shooter that is searching to mimic the “professional” to the citizen that has not exactly made up her mind as to how she feels about other citizens carrying guns.

They are watching…. and they are judging you.

The temperament that is shown when a firearm is cavalierly handled is not beneficial to either the shooter nor the audience.

Remember… each manipulation of our firearm is done with one purpose in mind:  The strengthening of the neural pathways that go into muscle memory.  If you allow yourself to be casual, you are reinforcing casual behavior.

There is simply too much at stake to tolerate this.

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