What do you do?
This was one of the many scenarios I encountered recently in a visit to Lakeshore Defense, a new business on Perry Street operated by CEO Chuck Caskey, president Brad Huntley and vice president David Lang.
Caskey is a federal law enforcement officer with more than 30 years experience, while Huntley and Lang are certified NRA instructors. Their company, Lakeshore Defense, offers a National Rifle Association basic pistol course, as well as Ohio Concealed Carry Weapon certification. They teach personal protection of the home and advanced personal protection.
• WHERE: 912 Perry St., Sandusky
• PHONE: 419-602-4305
• ONLINE: lakeshoredefense.com
The long and the short of it: These men want to make sure that if you own a gun, you know how to use it properly, safely and within the bounds of the law. And quite often, that means knowing when not to pull the trigger.
Lakeshore Defense has a cool simulation machine for these shooting drills. It’s the same system used by the Ohio Attorney General’s office to help train law enforcement officers.
While police can use the Lakeshore Defense system for training, so too can regular folks who own guns for personal protection.
In my visit for an On the Job segment, I was a triedand-true gunslinger, if only for a short time.
You use real firearms in these exercises, but the weapons are essentially outfitted with computer chips instead of bullets. A projector casts a video onto a screen in front of you, with recorded scenarios featuring shooting exercises involving moving objects, or simulations featuring actual attackers and innocent civilians.
A corresponding computer system then tracks your muzzle movements and shots fired, which can be reviewed and analyzed after the scenario is complete. The guns are also outfitted with CO2 systems, which mimic the recoil of a firearm.
In the scenario mentioned earlier, the person standing above the injured woman ran out of the room. A second person — the real threat — then popped up from behind a desk in an ambush.
In real life, I would have been dead on the spot.
I’ve shot handguns at indoor ranges, and let me tell you this: I can shoot the heck out of a stationary paper target.
I always wondered, though, if I’d be able to pull a gun and defend myself if someone broke into my home.
The simulation goes a long way in training for such a thing. It’s a great tool with realistic scenarios — people screaming at you, attacking, you name it.
With a few clicks of a mouse, the guys at Lakeshore Defense can have any one of 150 scenarios up and running.
I learned I’m sort of trigger-happy, at all the right times.
In one exercise, I pulled the trigger as a man pulled a gun after he broke into my home while I was inside.
In another, I pulled the trigger as I walked up unexpectedly on a break-in and a man came outside yelling with gun in hand.
And again, I pulled the trigger when a man came out of the back seat of my vehicle and pulled his gun.
What is invaluable, however, is the review of the data after each scenario. You can watch where your gun was pointed, how you tracked the person, and whether you fired. If you fired, it shows where the shot went and if you hit the suspect. It also tells you if it would be a “kill shot.”
In the end, I hit some of the bad guys with a few kill shots.
But I can also tell you I also missed shots, a lot. I would have died many times over.
“But you got better with each scenario,” Huntley said.
There’s a new business in town.