Oh yes, there will be blood

That is a bite from a Remington 870 pump shotgun as you would expect from my inexperienced hands. Lots of pistol and rifle classes, but this was my first shotgun. This happened on day 1 of the Polite Society Tactical Conference in Tulsa Oklahoma. So I’m sitting in my hotel room that night trying to figure out what to do. This is my support hand ring finger (or weak hand for most gun people, but other strong hand if you’re a Sayoc man). I have several hundred handgun rounds to shoot tomorrow. If it tears open while I’m shooting it will not only be a bloody mess, but will likely render that finger at least useless. If I pop it now, will it just become a mess anyway? Oh decisions, decisions… this is some of the advice my Facebook friends offered:

Brenna: ooooo pretty

Steve: Put some duct tape over it and carry on.

Andy: Do a moleskin doughnut, that’s the way to go. (ed note: I have no idea what that is)

Jim: Lance it with the tip of your Ka-Bar and then seal it off with superglue!

Jason: bite it open- lick the wound and carry on!

Randy: i say cut it open pour some gunpowder in it and light it.. just me….

Jennifer: If you weren’t shooting tomorrow, I’d say to leave it alone. Since you are, burst it and bandage it. I’m no nurse, but I am Emergency Response Team for my accounting department. So take that as you will.

Don: Slice it, squeeze it, cover it.
Then suck it up and get back out to the range.
Keep black electrical tape in your range bag, it helps cover wounds and it looks cool.

So none of these people have serious medical training, but most want me to pop the thing, so who am I to disappoint? I have several nurses as friends on FB, but apparently only one had the time to weigh in on my delima. Unfortunately she is a hospice nurse so she could only, “offer up all kinds of advice on how to stay comfortable and peaceful while you die.” Pretty sure I won’t die, so I decided to go with the majority decision. I didn’t have a ka-bar knife, so I went with my Kershaw tanto blade folder instead.

So here is my hotel surgery kit: Knife, gauze pad, band-aid, tape, and alcohol based hand sanitizer. I rubbed the alcohol on the knife and on my finger. After I cut it open and gushed out the blood, I rubbed alcohol over it two more times. Surprisingly, cutting it didn’t hurt at all. The alcohol however caused mild discomfort. And by mild discomfort I mean that some wallpaper in the hotel was melted off.

I didn’t post the bloody picture on FaceBook. One of my students bucking for a belt promotion, Jami, said, ” I’m for seeing the pics of the blood! Only a black belt from PMA Edmond would think of pouring alcohol on an open, bloody wound :-)”

My end of life counselor though had this comment, “I’m questioning a black belt from PMA worrying about a little tiny blood blister on his non-shooting hand to begin with. But, it sounds to me like you poured the alcohol in the wrong spot!”

I’d just like to say, (A) that thing was freakin’ huge! (B) Yes, I definitely needed some Rum to go with my operation, but alas was all out; when traveling alone, leave the alcohol at home. (C) What non-shooters don’t realize is that during a handgun class your shooting hand, the one you hold the gun with, doesn’t actually do much besides hold the grip and pull the trigger. It is the non-shooting hand, the weak hand, the other strong hand, whatever you want to call it that does almost all of the manipulation of the gun, magazines, and ammo. With a class to go to it was of some importance.

So how did the shooting go the next day? I wouldn’t know. When I woke up my shoulder and neck were so jacked up I never would have been able to draw my gun properly during class. Note to self: Go to force-on-force “Weapon Access in the Clinch” class co-taught by Guro Brandon Bennett of Relentless Training Concepts at the end of the weekend, never the start. That was a fun class though. The final drill called for fighting off two attackers and getting to your weapon. I stayed on my feet and busted my knuckles open on the face mask of one of the attackers. So yeah, it was really cool!

Seriously I learned a ton of stuff from Will Andrews, Guro Brandon, and many other professionals that were there. You don’t always have to shoot stuff to get something great out of a tactical class. Next year you should go too!

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