A theme that keeps popping up in discussion with my like minded friends revolves around the issue of firearms training and it’s sometimes over-emphasized place in (some) peoples lives.
While “overtraining” in weapon skills is obviously NOT a problem in comparison to all of the people who are undertrained, and constant practice IS important; it’s also important to realize that there are MANY other skills that are as or even more important than being able to doubletap a target while on the move.
The author of Vuurwapen Blog has recently posted an interesting piece about this, he says:
However, pistol and carbine training courses – and shotgun courses, and precision rifle courses etc. – are all essentially based on, or grew from the concept of, providing law enforcement and military personnel with a greater ability to use their issued weapons. What we see now in the firearms community are essentially the same courses marketed to civilian shooters, perhaps with some limitations or restrictions. This is all well and good, but there is a major disconnect between the skills of a civilian shooter who has attended many carbine and pistol training courses and the skills of a Marine infantryman who has never attended training outside that which is provided by the military.
It is almost a foregone conclusion that the civilian shooter would be more proficient with the rifle/carbine and the pistol, at least within 50 to 100 yards. However, the Marine possesses skills that would make him much more valuable to an infantry unit, and, I daresay, more valuable in a firefight. Unfortunately, the skills that make him so valuable are not cool enough to draw dozens of paying clients.
Some – certainly not all – civilian training centers draw students by telling them how after only a few days of training, they will become as good a shooter as “a SWAT cop or a Navy SEAL.” Yes, Front Sight, I’m looking at you. Even when this is not stated outright, it is implied – most often not by the instructors, but by the students. For some people who have never been in the military, and are seeking a little excitement, putting on all the gear and getting on line to practice shooting drills is a really fun way to spend a weekend. I certainly don’t wish to put down what they have chosen to do too much, for as I said above, anyone who wants to own an AR-15 should know how to use it. However, while there is a massive jump in skills and proficiency after the first few training courses, the 5th, 10th, or 15th course is of relatively little value.
He’s saying exactly what I always say in reply to the “many cops are crappy shooters” cannard that pops up in many shooting related discussions. Yes, some (perhaps even too many) are, but do you know what skill they should spend even more time working on? Driving. And after that? Unarmed defensive tactics.
Sure you may be a better shot than a Marine , but can you land nav to an ambush site and lay an ambush? Can you call in artillery? Do you know combat first aid and tactical radio communications? Nobody is saying that shooting isn’t of vital importance, but once you have that skill checked off and you have a maintainance plan to preserve what you have learned, don’t stay in a rut.
PS- The same goes for YOU, my martial arts class taking “warriors” out there. One or Two classes a week at the local dojo does not a “warrior” make. How many $200-$300 seminars do you REALLY need to take?
If you are doing it as a hobby or simply because you enjoy it (so go @!$% yourself Tgace) that 100% A-OK with me. But make your decisions in full awareness.