Crime is an unfortunate reality of society. From home invasions to robberies to burglaries, how would you react if you were caught in a situation where you had to defend life and limb? Thanks to the work of a retired Evansville Police officer, there is unique, intense and authentic training you can only find in the Tri-State. And teachers believe it could save your life.
A recent poll found gun ownership is at an all-time high. Whether it's for protection or recreation, there is a difference between owning and gun and knowing how to use it when your life depends on it. But thanks to the work of a retired Evansville Police officer, training that was once reserved for law enforcement is now available for civilians.
This is as real as it gets. This is where intensity meets authenticity. Regardless of circumstances, you don't often find people shooting at one another and laughing while they do it.
Smiles aside, this is where force meets force.
"How many of you have been in a gun fight before? None of us," said retired Evansville Police officer Guy Minnis. "When you go through this you get to experience what it's like to be in a gunfight. This is as close as you can get to the real thing."
As close as you can get is even closer for people in the Tri-State. The training has it's roots nestled in the woods of the FOP camp in Vanderburgh county. Thanks in large part Minnis, owner of Hard Target Firearms Training in Evansville.
"We were one of the first -- I think we might have been the first -- civilian firearms trainers in the country to use simunition," said
Minnis. "They kind of used us as a pilot program."
As decorated as he is colorful, Minnis used his connections to bring 'Simunition' training to the Tri-State. The one-of-a-kind training features weapons and ammunition which look, feel and sound like the real thing. From carjackings to robberies to home invasions, the simunition provides a sense of authenticity to the experience.
"It's worked very well but there are some people who are intimidated by it because of the pain issue," said Minnis. "They think, I don't want to get shot. But as you saw today we had a female here."
Minnis describes Simunition as essentially paintball on seriods. Despite the threat of pain, Bren Roeder of Evansville was an eager student.
"We are actually in scenarios that teach us how to react to difference circumstances and I wanted the first hand experience to get shot and to shoot back," said Roeder. " It's a reminder of the things that I knew but it was great seeing them first hand which makes it stick in my head a little more."
"When they go to the range, that's really important stuff," said Minnis. "But they are learning how to shoot on a static, card board target that doesn't move. That doesn't shoot back, that doesn't talk. That doesn't distract them. When they come here, they are put in a situation against a real life human being who is armed and who is trying to get over on them."
Behind the mask and staring down the sights of a loaded gun, preparation can determine fight, fright or flight. And it's preparation that can be provided by training as real as it gets.
No one was hurt as a result of the training. The program costs less than $100.
Click here for a link to Hard Target Firearms Training.