I did not know how true the saying about handguns being the savior of a warrior was until I had my own experience with my assault rifle. I have always been a survivor when it came to paintball. They call me the Hard to Kill. That would have changed if my handgun had not come to my rescue. I guess I am still the Hard to Kill.
It was in one of those paintball competitions I usually played with some bunch of friends from work, and acquaintances. I was the leader of my team like always, and the game was going well in our favor. We had made the enemies play by the way we wanted them to, not outrightly, but they had kept to their side so far and gave us the advantage to show our prowess with long-range shots. I got two of my men stationed at the church building, another two at the top of the hotel taking a good view of the movement of the enemies, while the rest of us took the assault from the ground.
We have been shooting for some time non-stop. Even though they had played to our plan, it was also their plan too. So far, they seem not to realize the full capacity of their might; for us, we did and understood that it would not be easy to move on them without paying attention to the damage their numbers and the automatic weapons most of them carried could do. Patience and tactical movement were the keys from here. Every shot we had taken towards them had been replied with a large number of shots towards our side of the battleground.
The enemies occupied the wooded side of the ground, so they had a lot of shelter for themselves. Perhaps they were too confident about the shelter that the woods and the logs and falling concretes gave them because they seem to lose a guard, at least some of them, giving us an opening to take them at the range.
Like in every battlefield, communication was the key to a successful operation. We tried as much as possible to always capitalize on every move they made that could be used against them. The nearest person to a kill might not be the one to spot the movement but someone from somewhere far away. He would pass the message across to the other person at that point who would make the kill.
If things continued the way it was going, we could have taken the whole lot of them without making much movement or running, but I guess at some point they must have realized our battle plan and the fact that staying at their side of the battleground was not going well for them. They realized that and decided to bring the fight down to us. I had known from the beginning that if they decided to bring the fight to us, we wouldn’t have much of a chance, because they had the numbers and the guns. But if they did not advance wisely, they might just expose themselves for an easy kill.
The shooting increased now. More of them were shooting at once as they advanced, but as I had predicted, it exposed them, and we dropped some of them before the rest of them got a good cover. They were very close on us now. I told every unit leader in my team to fall back discreetly, and they did without leaving much notice. The plan was to reorganize, move in on them ourselves and keep the battle a close one.
I checked my assault rifle as we reconvened and gave them the move plan as succinctly as blinking.
“If we allow them to come all the way to us, they will have an equal advantage of shelter as we do, a loss to us definitely,” I told them
Just as I was rounding up, I saw two of the enemies moving towards us, and I took them down as quickly as they showed their heads.
‘‘They must have breached our defenses,” one of my men said.
I quickly sent them off to go back to fighting.
Two enemies approached from the left wing of the battleground; they were moving closer to where I was without noticing me. I tried to take a shot, my finger on the trigger. I pressed, heard only the click sounds, no loud bullet release sound. I pressed again. Again and again, no sound other than the click of the trigger. I checked to see if there was anyone close. I was a lone man, and just when I needed my rifle, it jammed. ‘Shit’ I swore under my breath; a bad time for my gun to jam.
Just then as I was struggling with the rifle, the two enemies made me and were raising their guns. I knew it was a futile effort that might render me helpless and killed to continue to struggle with the gun. I quickly dropped the jammed assault rifle, withdrew my handgun and shot them simultaneously before either of them could raise their guns to the position of taking a shot at me. I was so happy with my movement at that moment; it was like in those old western cowboy movies.
“My gun has jammed,” I screamed to my teammates. I needed them to cover for me if the enemies came in numbers. I was left only with my handgun, and it had saved me just now. But I had to start shooting only out of necessity, so I didn’t exhaust the few magazines I had left before the battle ended. It was then that I realized how true the saying was about a soldier and his handgun. A savior in disguise of a burden.
After that experience, whenever I gave a speech or tutorial on paintball, I would advise combatants to go to every battle with two handguns, one at each side of the hip to complement the main assault rifle. Nothing made a warrior more secure.