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Sick Shootings: Pinging An Alternative To Violence

April 2nd, 2014 · Tags:Cities · Sports · Wi-Fi

 

 

It’s happened again. The unthinkable — a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.

 

Undeniably, senseless violence is happening more and more and more … whether it is Islamic extremists, bullied teens, shell-shocked servicemen. Unfortunately, it is going to continue.

 

What do we do? What do we do?

 

 

Obviously there is also a movement in this country that will use events such as the shooting in Texas to promote an unprotected citizenry, as un-American as that might be. Regardless of politics, can anything be more illogical?

 

The root of the problem is misguided doctrine, illness and social failure. Guns do not cause these problems and taking guns away from responsible people will have zero effect on the problem.

 

If every handgun were thrown into the ocean tomorrow (as Lynyrd Skynyrd lamented) it wouldn’t matter. If some fruit loop wanted to take out 10 or 12 people, they could do it easier with a Prius than with a Glock. Think about that. Here’s an example. Although it appeared to be a drunken, horrible accident, the car vs. concert goers horror down in Austin a month ago at the SouthBySouthwest Festival illustrated that point all too well.

 

This violent epidemic is spreading and it is time for more responsible people to prepare themselves because they or someone they know will be in harms way.

 

 

Editor’s Note:

Ironically, I had just completed a gun training course hours before the nightmare at Fort Hood sequel. My heart pours out to victims, their loved ones, the authorities, the first responders, the caregivers and yes even the perpetrator. No disrespect is intended toward any of them by the timing of this blog post … This piece was already in the works before the April 2 shooting. If anything like the insanity of the military base shooting ever happens around any of my loved ones — anywhere — I pray that someone has taken measures to prepare and equip themselves to neutralize the situation.

 

End of sermon …

 

 

In this PingWi-Fi blog, as the name suggests, we explore just about any place that may have Wi-Fi. When we heard about a shooting range in Frisco, Texas that has branded itself as a country club for sports shooters, we were intrigued. If a shooting range uses plush leather couches, gourmet chefs and private membership perks … surely they have thought of wireless Internet as a value-added proposition for their members and visitors.

 

Yes please. The Frisco Gun Club assured me they offer Wi-Fi … so there was little choice. I had to check it out. And, wouldn’t it make sense to not only ping the Wi-Fi hotspot but also to experience the club on a deeper level?

So, I signed up for my first gun training … If you don’t count the years of instruction from my father and my brothers way back when on the family farm.

 

So … about the Frisco Gun Club … It is north … about as far north as you can go in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex … out where Frisco meets farmland. Ha .. there are wheatfields along the road at that part of the North Dallas Tollway and the cross street Eldorado.

 

FRISCO Target

 

And of course, the 50-mile trip from Fort Worth to Frisco was a great opportunity to put some more miles on the Triumph T-Bird. “On a steel horse I ride …” So the saddlebags were packed and packin so to speak, for two visits to the club — first for the classroom training and test, and then for the qualification shooting on the range.

 

The first visit, it was a cold, cold ride — a day for leather head to toe — windy and in the forties. Ha … it was pretty humbling to go up to a building, shivering — knowing that it was filled with gun enthusiasts who thought I was crazy. Prolly …

 

Yes. Thank goodness for leathers. Nice to see North Dallas aggression gets up early and is alive and well on the tollway, as coupe after coupe had to prove they could take curves as fast as a motorcycle, only to get smoked on the straightaways … I might add.

 

FRISCO Guns

 

On both visits, I arrived early. On the first visit, I used the extra time for for a much needed coffee at QuickTrip. When I returned to the club, it was still locked. Rebuilding my faith in my fellow man after the death threats on the tollway, I accepted a neighborly invitation from a fellow shooting enthusiast. I took Wayne up on a warm seat in the cab of his pickup. Interesting guy … a retired IT professional who – with his wife – had once owned a boat repair shop in the Virgin Islands, among other adventures here and there. He too was very concerned with the changes in society around us.

 

Soon the doors were opened and we filed into the classroom with far more enthusiasm than I remember from other school experiences. And there was a lot to learn. Repeatedly the instructor emphasized option one — if you are ever in a situation with the potential for things to escalate and where you or someone else probably will get hurt, look for a peaceful resolution or an exit. If there is no resolution or exit, and the threat continues … well, then you go to plan B.

 

About plan B — “stopping the aggressive behavior” … there were lots of safety tips, philosophical judgement calls and rules/regulations discussed.

 

(By the way, in the news the night before my class, a “civilian” woman in Dallas, who was licensed to legally carry a concealed fire arm, stopped a robbery on a transit bus.)

 

The class was a pretty wide demographic mix of young/old, men and women and all types of professions — with a common interest in a safer society. And if you know me, you know I loved that the instructor was equally experienced, informative and so very dry — mixing in some humor to make the learning go down easier. He knows his stuff and I am pretty sure he lives it 24/7. Do not break into his home …

 

A few highlights: The instructor told about the endless hypothetical questions students ask … “If aliens crash land in my backyard, can I …”; stories about people loading bullets backwards into clips and claiming the weapon just jammed … things like that. The take home there … the gun alone will not protect you. Education and training might.

 

Did you know it is still legal in Texas to have a gun rack in the back window of your truck? People don’t do it as often these days because the criminals steal their guns.

 

Very important, we learned the places (in Texas) a licensed person cannot carry a gun … not ever — a polling place, school premises, a courthouse or a building used by the courts, racetracks and the secured portion of the airport. There are other places where you may see guns are prohibited by posted signs. Take the class — really interesting.

 

Frisco Gun Club

 

Lastly, a civilian licensed to carry a gun has no legal responsibility to jump into a situation.

 

I passed the test, missing one question that the entire group missed. My compliments to the state employee and their wording on that one question. Everyone knew the material … understood the concept … but we just couldn’t decode the interesting wording of the question. To the writer: If you had been an intern during my 20 years in communications, I would have been embarrassed for your school. If you had been an employee, I would have fired you.

 

I digress …

 

For the shooting qualification, again, I was packing heat in the Triumph saddlebags for a nice ride to Dallas, and was there bright and shiny. I was fortunate to have another good instructor, one who stressed my favorite topic before entering and once in the enclosed range – safety.

 

Qualification shooting went pretty quickly and was lots of fun. After my first two or three shots the instructor asked about what I called a “farm boy” way of gripping my pistol. Later he said that after watching me a while, he saw I knew a little somethin somethin and he just let it be. To qualify, a shooter had to score at least 175, in shooting targets at varying distances. Oh, I pinged the target alright — 244 for the farm boy.

 

 

During the visits, yes … I used the Wi-Fi and was happy to learn there are actually three hotspots scattered out among the indoor rifle range, the upscale restaurant (with a chef trained by Wolfgang Ping … er I mean Puck) the retail counters and the gourmet coffee shop. And yes, the restaurant does offer wild game on the menu. The Frisco Gun club is said to be the only shooting facility in the country with an upscale restaurant. I wonder how many offer Wi-Fi – 6 pings.

 

Back in the back, the indoor rifle range is really cool. My guide and I donned ear protection as we walked a long corridor to the entrance for rifle persons. Man! Some guy was shooting a rifle that was Chris Kyl-esque. Even with ear protection, quite a boom … and quite a rush when the moving air hits you in the chest. Wow.

 

For the rides back home, I did a back road (380 … like the gun, sorta) from Frisco to Denton and then 35 to Fort Worth on the first visit … a nice ride with less traffic, although the few cars on the road will attempt to take your life for no apparent reason. I hit a nice Schotsky’s — which I love love — in Denton and fired off a few tweets with their Wi-Fi, of course. After my second trip to Frisco, I said hello to the George W. Bush and/or Sam Rayburn tollways. Nice rides as well .. cloud covered, no rain, and warm as Spring is in the air.

 

Know what I sayin?