AAR: Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian

Here is my AAR for the class

After Action Review
Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian
Cost $450
700 rounds of handgun ammunition
Instructors John Johnston and Melody Lauer

Just a little bit about me to help who ever reads this to have some perspective on my past training and experience. I have about 10 years of experience in Federal Law Enforcement doing a variety of different roles. I am a Firearms Instructor and Defensive Tactics Instructor for my agency. I also seek out training on my own and attend a variety of classes regularly.

The class was held at Crossroads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa.
A very nice facility.

The class was pretty close to being half and half with men and women with a variety of shooters at different skill levels. Myself and one other person were the only people that had a back ground in Law Enforcement. I was the only person that didn’t have children in the class. Everyone in the class ran appendix carry holsters.

Training Day One
The morning lecture session was spent in the class room going over videos, talking points, and some solid discussion about situations that occur when children are present. I was impressed with the quality of the videos that were presented. John and Melody didn’t just get any video off the internet and say let’s talk about it. You can tell it took some time to find these videos, as they were perfect talking points and plenty of examples that involved violence around children.

The second part of the day was spent on the range. Most of the day was spent on fundamentals. One interesting thing was that everyone was carry appendix. It was pretty great to see that carrying appendix is starting to make a little headway. I shot around 300 rounds of ammo during the afternoon session. It was refreshing because every round had a purpose and there wasn’t any shooting to just be shooting. The 300 rounds were spread out between both hand shooting, strong hand only, and weak hand only. A pretty good warm up for just about anyone. Draw strokes, re-holstering, grip work and other fundamentals were also discussed and taught. At the end of the day everyone was ran through the FBI qual. The qualification isn’t anything new but it established a good baseline for everyone that participated if they every choose to shoot the qualification again. One thing really stood out at the end of the day. John and Melody scored the targets and recorded our scores, and they will be keeping them forever. This idea isn’t foreign to me, I have seen it in only a few other classes. It’s the same type of idea that Law Enforcement agencies use. They have a baseline that you need to pass and the scores are recorded and kept. The idea behind this is it can be used at a later time as evidence in court to help defend you. I think it’s pretty great to see Instructors go to that much effort to help their students down the road if need be.

Training Day Two
Day two started off with a talk about anatomy and why specific zones are targeted for shooting. Followed by a ballistics demonstration. The ballistic demonstration was nice to see and proved some points that are discussed. The rest of the day was spent discussing and learning different techniques in relation to when children are present. I am not going to go in much depth about these techniques because they can be taken out of context very easily if not explained in depth like they are in the class. It is also important to explain that these aren’t cookie cutter techniques where if this happens, you need to do this. This class was set up to give you options and make you think about situations. I am also not able to demonstrate them like they were in the class. They aren’t secret moves or anything like, but to truly learn the technique you need to be able to see them and have everything explained properly. To conclude the class, we shot the TAP/G qualification, which is based off of the FBI qualification, but incorporates the techniques covered on training day two. I want to say that everyone improved from the previous day even with a few other things thrown into the qualification.

A few things I want to point out. There were a lot of things covered that I didn’t dive into much detail on, but I was happy to have attended the class. The class is geared towards armed citizens, but I learned a ton in the class. I don’t hold myself on a pedestal and think that my training is better than anyone else’s because I am in Law Enforcement. The training is different because its geared towards citizens. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything. I learned a ton and it helped broaden my mind on things I hadn’t previously given any thought to.

The effort that John and Melody went through to put this class together was pretty evident at the end of the two days. They also did a great job at making sure that the priority was safety before anything else in the class. The class had a variety of different levels of shooters. This can sometimes cause problems with instructors moving along to fast in their curriculums and the less experienced shooter can get left behind. This wasn’t the case for this class and everyone improved by the end of day two. The lesson plans were put together very well, along with the delivery of the instruction. The class didn’t run long or short and nothing was rushed. John and Melody did a great job at explaining the why behind what they had to teach and were able to put the information into context for everyone. One thing that I thought was very important. John and Melody gave Attribution to other instructors if they used any information from that instructor. That’s pretty rare now a-days, since most techniques or tactics have to come from someone.

In Conclusion, if you carry a gun you should really look into this class. If you have children or you are around children (which is most people) you need to go take this class. It’s well worth your time.

The class isn’t a once a year type of thing. They schedule classes pretty regularly and travel to different location all over the U.S. They have a couple classes coming up.
April 28-29, 2018: Culpeper, VA
May 5-6, 2018: Watkinsville, GA
May 19-20, 2018: Brookville, OH