When offered the chance to attend three days of self-defense and handgun training at the world-famous Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona, I said “Yes!” enthusiastically, and not just because it sounded like a cool experience. While I’ve hunted with rifles and shotguns for many years, and have had some formal rifle training, my time using handguns has been relatively minimal. In fact, like a lot of gun owners, I’d never had any actual handgun or self-defense training before this event.
So I accepted the invitation to spend three days at Gunsite, attend the training, and get a good deal of hands-on time with Remington’s newest and smallest handgun, the RM380, a semiautomatic “micro” pistol chambered in .380 Auto that I recently reviewed.
The Truth About Attacks
The 10 of us sitting in that Gunsite classroom on the first day were all thinking the same thing: When were we going to get our hands on that new pistol and learn how to defend ourselves with it?
“Not so fast,” was the message from our two Gunsite instructors, Chris Weare and John Hutchison. Both are retired police officers and long-time firearms and self-defense teachers. First, they explained, we had to learn foundation skills, starting with our footwork.
“This class is about self-defense,” said Hutchison. “That means you are being attacked or an attack is imminent. An attacker’s coming at you—now! What do you do?”
“Pull out my handgun?” said one of my classmates.
“Probably not,” said Hutchison. “Not unless your attacker is coming at you from 40 or 50 yards. Here’s the reality.”