GTI-Legion out in Barnwell SC invited South Carolina Carry to be a featured vendor during their Southeastern Gunfighter’s Congress featuring Jared Reston. GTI or Government Training Industries is located on the site of a decommissioned nuclear power plant. This training facility is equal to none in SC. GTI hosts training for police depts and swat teams from all over the U.S. GTI-Legion is their newly formed civilian training program which will bring a unique opportunity for civilians to experienced advanced gun fighting and markmanship skills.
This weekend’s event consists of two days of advanced gunfighter training being taught by Jared Reston and his group. At the end of the day on Saturday we were able to eat dinner with the participants and then we attended the key note message by Jared Reston himself. Jared is the Sherrif Deputy in Jacksonville Florida who wound up in a force on force incident with an 18 year old shoplifter who fled on foot away from a mall where him and one of his friends decided to steal something from Belks. Jared and his partner were working an off duty gig that evening. Jared wound up having to chase the 18 year old shoplifter for a quarter mile where the fight ensued in a retention pond. The force on force incident included the suspect pulling a Glock 22 handgun and shooting Jared point blank in the face and 7 other times on different parts of his body. Jared stayed in the fight despite the hits he took and wound up killing the suspect.
While the training was geared towards law enforcement professionals there are several things that we can learn from his experience.
- physical fitness is very important
- having the mindset to win the fight
- when your advesary decides to harm you, you have to be willing to use violence against them
- force on force incidents happen fast and your subconscious mind takes over. You resort to the level of training you have acquired when you respond.
- this is not Hollywood. When you shoot someone they do not always fall down dead like in the movies
- regular training is vital to your winning the fight
- range time is vital to your winning the fight
- Survival is not an option but winning the fight is
My list of take away points are a paraphrased list of points that I heard during the keynote speech. The important thing to take away from this is that there is no glamor when it comes to a force on force incident. As civilians we are not going to (or should not) be chasing down criminals to apprehend them. That is what the police sign up for when they put on the badge and gun every time they go on shift. As a civilian you are going to be focused on keeping yourself and your family safe when you are at home or out in public. Keeping your head on a swivel and practicing situational awareness will go a long way towards keeping you and your family safe.
If you find yourself in a force on force incident where you have to go hands on with an assailant it will not be a pleasant experience. Your goal is to WIN the fight and you will need to be willing to engage in the fight and return violence with violence. You need to be mentally prepared to do this. Your winning the fight is going to depend on your physical fitness and your level of training. Training includes going to the range on a regular basis to sharpen your marksmenship skills. It also includes force on force training that will be provided by companies such as GTI and other groups in South Carolina. I do not care where you live, find the training you need. Your life very well could depend on this.