Theoretical Training vs. Real World Understanding
It’s the same tiring conversation, “Would you rather have the knowledge, or take the position?” This is what most ask themselves when stepping into a new arena. Shooting theorists are no different, however, they pick the later rather than putting in the blood, sweat, and yes tears, to understand their trade. Trade, now there is an interesting word, as in trade-craft. Theorists are not a tradesman, they are amateurs on vacation in a self-preserved paradise they’ve created through manipulation of those that would trust them. They jump into this arena having no conceptual knowledge about the trade itself. That conceptual knowledge is built on years of experience in “real time” scenarios, not being drawn up on a chalkboard in a back room presenting that you know when in fact you do not. It is built over time through strife, and with a little luck, you survive. The only thing the theorist survives is his rush hour commute. You cannot put a price on what we as tradesman do compared to those who have no real-world training. What we as tradesman teach is priceless, mainly because we are talking about the preservation of our own lives. We, as tradesman have gone into the valleys and stared death in the face, only to survive and come out the other side victorious. A theorist has no clue what lies in the valley, nor do they know how to truly combat it.
Non-Military NRA instructors are just that: NON-MILITARY NRA instructors. They know nothing of combat. They know nothing of actual substance when it comes to a real gunfight. What they know, and this is literally insane, is how to do a three-day class that nets them the title NRA Instructor. Once again, position before knowledge. Is this really the person you want teaching you how to survive in a potentially deadly situation, seriously? I’m not even joking-the class to be a certified NRA Instructor for CCW/CHL is three days long. I spent years honing my skills as a marksmanship instructor, eleven of them, not three days. It’s insane, truly, that anyone would invest their hard-earned money and moreover put the lives of their wives, husbands, children, or family members into their hands. And that is exactly what you are doing should you invest in someone who has not seen and been party to a real gunfight. Security is paramount, the security of your family. Who should you invest in to make certain you have the tactical advantage when push comes to shove: an amateur masquerading as an expert, or an actual expert with time behind the gun when it counts? Make your decision wisely, as your family and those you care for will be counting on you.
So, in short, when it comes to concealed carry or tactical classes, chose your instructors wisely. What you should be looking at is qualifications, something that amounts to more than a certificate from the NRA. The NRA serves its purpose, however, that purpose isn’t necessarily to churn out well-developed firearms instructors. Its primary purpose is to put money in the bank to protect its and “our” interests. When looking at qualifications you should be looking for instructors or groups of instructors with a wide array of knowledge. Background matters here, like a professor teaching at the university, a good instructor has a tremendous amount of time behind the gun when it counts, not just on the range. A solid instructor is going to be well-rounded, in multiple areas and arenas. He or she will have spent time instructing before at some level, whether that is in the military, in a police academy S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons And Tactics) type role, or at the federal level (DEA, FBI, ATF, etc.). Don’t just pick anyone because the price point is the best. That would be like buying a squirt gun for protection-sure it’s cheaper, but it isn’t going to get the job done. Find and hire a tactical marksman, not just a marksman; after all, we are talking about the potential to guard one’s life or that of another.
Theorists have theories-it’s the “what if” train rolling through. I’ve got lots of ideas and lots of theoretical plans for fixing them. Oh…, really…, I bet you can guess how this goes. Don’t put your life in the hands of someone with theories, put it in the hands of those who have “been there, done that.” Keep a sharp eye out for my next piece on “Tactics.” We haven’t even begun to explain the differences between us and “them.”