Photo Credit: Alex Morgan Imaging
Preacher, Shooter, Shepherd, Guy: An interview with Baret Fawbush
Many moons ago, I was hanging out at my parents house one day, when my dad called me over. He had just gotten an Instagram account, and had started following gun pages. My dad wanted me to see a video of some guy singing a Taylor Swift song on a gun range. "Another comedy internet video," I figured. Thanks dad. But then a shot timer buzzed and the guy in the video spun around, drew his Glock from concealment, and fired one round at a steel target. Impressive, sure, but then he showed the shot timer- a sub-second shot!
So, in the spirit of trying to watch (and learn) from people better than myself, I followed @TruExodus on Instagram. Over the next months I started to get a glimpse into the life, skills, and passions of Baret Fawbush. And with video after video, Baret began to establish a reputation for himself- a fast and accurate shooter, with a knack for creative videos, who used social media as a platform to spread the Gospel. A pastor from the small town of Poseyville, Indiana, it was fascinating to watch a "regular guy," with no military or law enforcement credentials, shatter conventional firearm standards. What made the TruExodus videos so fascinating was that everything was done from concealment. Instead of competition shooters ringing plates with open-class guns and holsters, Baret shot from concealment. In what may be one of the fastest draws from concealment ever, he has put three rounds on target in 9/10ths of a second. From concealment. Three rounds. .90 of a second. Let that sink in for a bit.
You see, Baret has always been a thinker, someone learning and challenging ideas everywhere he goes. In 1983, Sergeant Dennis Tueller of the Salt Lake City police determined that a bad guy with a knife could cover 21 feet of distance in 1.5 seconds, faster than most people can draw and fire their gun. And for most people, that rings true- 1.5 seconds is the gold standard of defensive shooting times. Baret asked the question, "Why not faster?" And it started with one round in under a second, then two rounds, then three. Last I checked, Baret had shot four rounds in 1.03 seconds. Whether you love him or hate him, one thing cannot be denied- the guy is fast, skilled, and one of the last people I’d want to have a wild-west showdown with.
I first talked with Baret when I messaged him on Instagram, seeing if he might be interested in trying a new product a small company I used to work for had developed. To my surprise, he personally called me a day later. And over the phone, I began to get to know the genuine, humble, and skilled individual that Baret is. A few months later, he flew out to my hometown of Yakima, WA, where I assisted him at his Conceal Carry Fundamentals class. Over that weekend, he stayed at my house, we had way too many McDonalds fries, argued about whether to drink RedBull or not, and I grew to consider him a friend. So when I asked him if he would be willing to answer a few questions for this article, he didn’t hesitate. So without further narration from yours truly, here is our interview with Baret Fawbush.
Photo Credit: Donato Dell'Api
Judah Torres: What was your motivation to begin shooting?
Baret Fawbush: When I was in Bible college, there was a couple from our campus who had been held up at gunpoint and robbed. She was taken to drain the money out of their ATM accounts, and then she was raped. From that moment, my best friend encouraged me to take a Class for our Utah Permit CCW license. So I needed a gun. I went to a pawn shop and bought a brand new Sig P226 for $500 and the rest is history. It was there that I was introduced to the fundamentals and over the course of the past eight years, I’ve taken from dozens of instructors everything from fundamentals to advanced level sources.
JT: So how long have you been shooting?
BF: I’ve been shooting all of my life – but primarily self defense shooting ever since I was 21.
JT: When did you begin to train for speed?
BF: I began training for speed in May of 2013. For Fathers Day, my wife bought me a shot timer. And it made sense, right? The faster I can get the gun out of the holster and the faster I can deliver accurate shots on target, the better. So I started setting up drills myself and exploring other standard speed drills and started pushing my limits. Going slow at first- I’ve always had a healthy respect for the firearm- and then as the process was developed more and more – the speed came.
JT: Some people say speed shooting from concealment isn’t practical or applicable- why do you train for speed?
BF: Well I’d first say that those people are impractical and irrelevant. I train for speed because half of all deadly force encounters happen between 1-5 feet away from the shooter. 90% of all deadly force encounters take place between 1-9 feet from the shooter. So the shooter’s survivability directly correlates with their ability to get to their gun and put shots on target accurately and consistently (if the gun needs to be presented).
JT: What is the most valuable skill a shooter should focus on learning?
BF: The fundamentals. Period. Grip, sight picture, and trigger pull. A person should commit themselves to several classes where only the fundamentals are primarily focused on. The reason I say this is because, as people, we tend to want to grow in our skill as fast as we can. And we think that by doing high stress drills or tacticool online training stuff, yada yada – and we think that by doing these things that we become more advanced, but the reality is that without the fundamentals and a mastery of them – we really do ourselves a disservice when it comes to practical pistol shooting.
JT: What gun do you carry and why?
BF: I carry a Salient Arms Glock 19. I carry the Glock 19 because I believe it to be the best pistol for me to carry. I started with a Sig 226, then a Sig 229, and then I sold those for an HK USP .40, and then I bought a Glock 23 and shortly after converted it to a 19. I still have that “19” and it has had about 40k rounds through it, and all original stock parts.
JT: What are the items of your every day carry (EDC)?
BF: A Surefire light- either the Fury or the E1D. Glock 19, spare mag. Salient Arms BLK knife. Kershaw Shuffle Knife. Lake County Knife and Tool BeerRambit (impact knuck device and bottle opener), and the T-Rex Arms (@trexarmskydex) Sidecar holster.
JT: What gun skillset are you currently working on the most, and what is your current shooting goal?
BF: I’m currently developing my open hand skills and applying my theories of close retention shooting in multiple simulation deadly force scenarios.
JT: You have an established social media identity and presence. What is something you wish all of your social media followers knew about you?
BF: I wish everyone knew that I’m not trying to be the next Instructor Zero, or top level name shooter or whatever. All I’m trying to do is to advance the Kingdom of God through shooting. Simultaneously, Im trying to show people that you don’t have to have a military or LEO background in order to be a confident and proficient shooter.
JT: As a pastor, what do you think about Christians taking a life in the act of self defense? Is it possible to be pro-life and pro-gun at the same time?
BF: I think that it’ absolutely justifiable and the Scriptures agree – as well as Jesus. Jesus was pro-life as a Jewish Rabbi, the preservation of human life (according to Judaism) is of the highest importance. The reality is, that you can’t be "pro life" and not be "pro gun," (in my opinion) and here’s why: You are commanded to love your neighbor and to provide for your family. You cannot fulfill the commandment to love your neighbor (or your family) if you are willing to allow someone to rape and kill them. At some point in time, you have to come to the conclusion "Would God rather me protect the innocent? Or the evil?" And then match that up with the scriptures that reveal God’s own personality to us in the Old Testament. God hates evil. He hates people who oppress and take advantage and do evil unto others. He wants us to live and to be on the right side of justice.
JT: What is one non-gun-related skill you have, that we don’t know about?
BF: I apparently have the ability to communicate well as an orator and teacher. But aside from that, I’m skilled at inadvertently stepping on toes in the gun industry.
If you currently follow @Truexodus on Instagram, you are one of over 156,000 people who watch Baret shoot, encourage, goof off, and yes, step on the toes of many in the gun industry. Skill speaks volumes, and sometimes you make "haters" along the way. But despite the star-factor and publicity, Baret is a real, down-to-earth guy. It’s hard not to like the guy after spending time with him in person. He’s called me just to encourage and pray with me during difficult times of transition in my life. I recall when I was telling how I first heard of him- I figured he was "just some guy on Instagram." And there couldn’t be more truth to it. He may be one of the world’s fastest self-defense shooters, a learned and skilled communicator, a preacher, but in person, he’s just "some guy on Instagram."
A preacher, using social media and firearms to spread the Gospel and encourage people. A shooter, pushing the envelope of speed and accuracy. A shepherd, ready to defend those around him, while at the same time being there for a personal phone call or text when guidance is needed. And just a guy, a real human being who loves his family and will share a beer with friends- a man who stands for what he believes.
Preacher. Shooter. Shepherd. Guy.
Photo Credit: Donato Dell'Api
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