Jul 21, 2010

True Words

Love him or hate him (and his policies and legacies), Ronald Reagan was an eloquent speaker.

"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth."


Tam has a post up about single-source training: "Beware the man with one trainer, as he has probably been successfully marketed to."

Truer words are rarely spoken. I'd say that any training is good training, but that's not 100% true. There's plenty of people out there willing to take your money and give you bad information in return. Many of them have sat through some type of "train the trainer" on the way to hanging out their own shingle. Anyone can sign up for and take an NRA Instructor class on any number of topics. It's not quite a diploma-mill, but not far from it, either. Get some reviews or comments before you buy the whole hog, and apply some critical thinking skills.

You want to train? Good! Take a class at FrontSight, or Thunder Ranch, or perhaps GunSite or Yavapai Firearms. Find your local IDPA club and start shooting with them. Don't game the game, though. A slicked-up 1911 or 625PC that only comes out twice a month for the matches isn't training, it's gaming. Take your carry gun, and your carry reload, and shoot against the clock, not the other shooters. That time monkey is a beast.

Combat pistol/tactical rifle not your thing? You'd rather do High Power? Not quite so much in the way of formal training out there, but if you start attending local matches you'll get plenty of tips from the folks who have been doing it for decades.


Thinking about training got me thinking about The Appleseed Project. I went to my first Appleseed in 2008. I enjoyed it, went to a couple more, and started doing the instruction thing for them. I instructed at several shoots through 2009 and found my frustration/irritation level rapidly increasing as I saw more and more of the Big Picture and was exposed to more of the internal workings.

I enjoy getting down in the dirt and sharing my knowledge with other shooters. I quickly found that I didn't enjoy doing it The Appleseed Way. I still think an Appleseed shoot is a hell of a good deal for learning to run your rifle. $70 for two days of pretty good instruction and getting to meet some like-minded folks is well worth it. I expect I will still go to a shoot or two each year - as a shooter, not an instructor.

Let me be clear: go to a shoot, learn, have fun. The shooting is a deal, and the history is important. If you're up for it, then definitely look into the instructor path. The instructors I've worked with have, on the whole, been some of the hardest-working, most dedicated, and incredibly generous people that I've had the pleasure of knowing. They're good people to be around, even if the KoolAid isn't quite your flavor.

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