True Detective Stories

Getting old sucks. Or blows. Or whatever. When it comes to departmental training, few things are better than pistol requalification. You’re out of the office, you don’t have to deal with humans, and you’re shooting in the fresh air.

For the past 26-plus years, I have been a decent shot. Not terrific – I think I scored five or six perfect scores – but I’m always scoring in the high 90’s. I’d never make the SWAT team, but I’m also in my 50’s. With only seven other officers shooting with me, I felt confident I would do well.

Holy crap, was I wrong.

When we went out on the line, the first thing the instructor told me was my grip was wrong. It’s the grip I was taught in 1994, and the grip I have been using for 26 years. I’m left-handed, so my right thumb was always atop my left thumb while shooting. Now, as I’m about to shoot, the instructor wanted me to undo everything I have been doing – fairly well – for nearly three decades.

(They did the same with our stance a year or two ago. “Sure, you guys have been using the Weaver Stance for two decades, but now we want you to use the Isosceles Stance.” And… go!)

Continue reading “True Detective Stories”

Guns, Lots Of Guns

It’s possible I’ll be scarce – well, more scarce – today because I will be at my yearly pistol qualification. There are two benefits to yearly qualification: 1. it gets me out of the division and away from people like Diego, and 2. it gets me to the range when I can fire round after round at targets.

Of course, I would never picture someone’s face in said target, because that would be wrong.

My only concern is my shoulder. It doesn’t hurt as much as before I caught Covid, but it does hurt occasionally. I was drawing my pistol from the holster the other day, and so far, it feels like I’ll be able to shoot with no problems. Which brings me to the next issue…

After nearly three months of stress, I saw my primary doctor and told him about the shoulder surgeon and the practice’s refusal to return my calls. My primary said the insurance will not approve the surgery unless I go to physical therapy beforehand. The labrum is still torn, as is the bicep, but I’ll go through the motions so I can finally get this fixed.

The primary also said he would recommend another surgeon when the time comes, because while I liked the surgeon I had, the lack of communication was infuriating. So, at this point, I expect to do at least two months of physical therapy, and look to have the surgery in the fall.

Aww, Shoot!

I have started the night shift – thank Vishnu, no 5:30am wake up calls for two weeks – and I have been assigned for my annual training. Municipal Police Officer (MPO) Training is mandated for everyone once a year. It usually involves classroom training and the pistol range.

This year has been trying, thanks to the Chinese Wuhan Virus, and the department has to train 5,000+ officers before December 31st. No training was given during the lockdown, the city refuses to provide online training, and the state will not give the departments a pass. You’d think a “deadly pandemic” would be enough for the state, but my state blows.

Anyway, I spent last night in a “Professionalism” class, and spent every moment trying to stop myself from yelling, “You know what isn’t professional? Releasing hundreds of people who were arrested for cause during the riots!”

I kept my mouth closed, ignored most of the session, and passed the test with ease.

Tonight is the pistol range. The temperature is supposed to reach a chilly 88 degrees when I’m on the firing line, but at least I’ll be out of the office. My only real worry is the department may take my gun.

You see, a few years ago, the city gave us the option to turn in our 9mm pistols for either a .40-caliber or a .45. I chose the .40 and I absolutely love it. Now, the city wants to move everyone back to the 9mm, because bosses are more concerned with everyone having the same pistol than, you know, prosecuting BLM rioters.

I expect to do well at the range, unless they switch my pistol at the last minute. Guys in my squad said they were given a brand new pistol, were never allowed to put rounds through it, and – obviously – did poorly on their qualifications. We’ll see.

Sick Burn

Last night I was saddled with my annual departmental pistol re-qualification. Now many of you would probably exclaim, “Getting paid to shoot for eight hours? Beam me up!”

Well yes, getting paid to shoot .40-caliber rounds at a TQ-21 target is pretty orgasmic, but the afterglow is diminished by the dry biscuit training videos, the instruction on items detectives never use – tasers, OC spray, etc – and the lack of competent shooters on your line. At least the weather was nice’ cloudy, but cool, and it only started raining as the class ended.

Any hoo, I am shooting a string of six shots from the 7-yard line, and after the first shot I feel a burning on the back of my neck. I figure it’s either a tick, the really cute blonde range babe breathing on my neck, or a spent shell casing.

It was the shell casing.

Somehow, the casing ejected skyward, bounced off my baseball cap, and lodged between my vest and my skin. It was rather… unpleasant. I wanted to reach behind me and yank the casing out, but we were in the middle of a live fire exercise. I needed to suck it up, finish the string, and wait until the line was clear because I could address the searing shell.

The string ended, the instructors gave the all clear, and like a lunatic, I reached into my vest yanked out the casing, and threw it to the ground with a definitive “DAMMIT!” The blonde range babe behind me laughed and asked, “Casing?” Yeah, what was your first clue, honey; the flailing arms of the wet pants?

Thankfully, the rest of the evening went swimmingly. I ended up with a score of 97, after throwing two rounds from the 25-yard line. Lousy aging eyes!

Oh, and afterward we had to take a few turns on the FATS machine, which is like an interactive video game which records where your shots land on the movie screen. It’s very lifelike and fairly stressful. I was involved in two scenarios, and fired a round in each – both killing shots.

Heh, I still got it.