Senator Cruz,

I am a member of the US Army Reserve Marksmanship Program and have been a competitive shooter since my teens, currently holding Distinguished ratings in rifle and pistol and a Master classification in multiple disciplines from three different national level organizations. In fact, I am writing you from Fort Benning competing in the 2013 All Army Small Arms Championships, an event I have previously taken a first place finish on several occasions.

From 2003 to 2010 I was mobilized to active duty as a small arms instructor. Having worked with some 30,000 deploying personnel I can attest that organized competitive shooting in the civilian and military sectors is the best driving force in improving skill and safety for everyone that owns and bears firearms. Military and law enforcement do NOT have the firearms and marksmanship expertise the public wrongly assumes. I can introduce you to teenage boys and girls on Junior teams at the National Matches at Camp Perry that would put the marksmanship skills of snipers, SWAT and special operations to shame. Not because military and police are poorly trained but because competitive shooters are even better.

As with any technology, development happens best when unrestricted by bureaucracy. If you’d like to learn how top operators will be shooting five years from now, go to an organized competition today. Gun control works to undermine this valuable resource.

On a personal note, a fellow USAR teammate was attacked in his home. SFC Paul Garner was awakened by shattering glass when, police said, an intruder with a prior burglary conviction attempted to break in through a window. Garner grabbed his .45-caliber, semi-automatic handgun and, when the burglar lifted the window blinds, he fired three rounds. The intruder died at the scene. The incident was at least the fifth time since April that a San Antonio property owner shot an intruder.,-san-antonio,.aspx?s=%22San+Antonio%22&st=&ps=

Incidentally, I know him personally. He hit with all three fired shots and confirmed to us he used his sights, as honed in competition. I’m glad he had the ability and means to defend himself.

John Buol

PAO, USAR Marksmanship Program
NCOIC, USAR Service Pistol Team