'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

05 October 2010

Firearms Training

Front Sight has a question up about whether or not to hire a certain instructor. Click on this link and go watch the demonstration videos. Please let Front Sight know what you think. I dropped them this comment:
Not only no but hell no. Skills are one thing but common sense is something else and every bit as important. I'm an FBI and NRA trained police firearms instructor now retired after 24 years as a police officer with 9 years as a soldier. I've never seen anything as reckless and stupid in my 33 years of duty. If I ever see this guy at any training I attend I'll run, not walk, in the opposite direction. I can't say it strongly enough. This man has no business on a firing range unless he's taking a forearms safety course. And even then he'd be handling a red gun if I was the instructor.

I sincerely hope it's tongue in cheek and that they have no intention of offering him an instructor position. Piazza simply cannot be serious about hiring this fool.

It highlights an important issue though. There are firearms trainers and schools galore out there. How do you avoid getting ripped off? Or dead? Do your research before you sign on and fork over your hard earned money for a training class. Instructors like this are all over the place and poor instruction notwithstanding, you can get seriously hurt or even dead should you choose poorly. Be leery of those who tout themselves as the be all end all of firearms training. Tam talked about the term Big Boy Rules and I echo her thoughts. Watch for the buzz words; Special Forces, Combat Training, Spetznaz, Israeli, SEAL, etc. I took a carbine class from Jeff Gonzalez and he never once mentioned what he used to do for a living. The training was intense, grueling, informative and SAFE. Ask questions and research the company and primary instructors. Send them an e-mail and read their response carefully. If it makes the voice in the back of your head start gibbering it's probably best to avoid them. There's loads of information out there and a lot of people to ask.

My absolute favorite instructor of all time, the man I most admire and wish I was just like is Louis Awerbuck. Awerbuck, in spite of his education and experience, would be the first to tell you that no one, including he himself, knows everything there is to know about guns and tactics. He advocates for de-escalation and avoidance where possible and common sense tactics when the fight is upon you. I'd give him my money any time because I know I'd learn something, have a good time and go home at the end of the class. He tolerates no nonsense on the range and everyone follows the Four Rules without exception. If it's good enough for him it's good enough for me.

I freely admit that there's an entire world of gunny things out there I am ignorant of. There's whole schools of handling and tactics I'm either ignorant of or have just touched upon. I'm open to new tactics and ways of doing things, but when the training turns from the ridiculous to the criminally stupid it's time to call a halt. Crappy instructors are a dime a dozen but the insane ones can get you killed and make no mistake, there are plenty of morons out there trying to pass themselves off as something they're not. Frankly, with a load of education and experience, I consider myself no more than marginally qualified to teach anything beyond firearms basics. I wouldn't dream of trying to pass myself off as a high speed low drag Operator and I guarantee you I've got way more of a background than most of these people. Take that for what it's worth but please apply the same standard to any training you're interested in. Call it the Six rule. If your potential instructor isn't way more qualified than me consider someone else who is. I do.

It's a buyers market when it comes to firearms training. There's a ton of schools but only a handful that are really any good. The good ones deserve to be rewarded with our patronage and the bad ones need to be weeded out with a ruthless resolve. Take the time to make sure the school and instructors you're trusting are deserving. No one wants to be disappointed with the class they just paid a lot of money to attend but even more importantly, your life may literally be on the line.

Don't feed the bad people.


h/t to Miguel


Ed Rasimus said...

YGBSM! I wonder how good a friend that "victim" is.

innominatus said...

I only watched the first video. My late father would rise from the dead and beat the crap out of me if he ever saw me try a stunt like that.

Six said...

Exactly Ed. I hope he got paid realy well. Frankly I don't like anyone well enough to let them do that to me.

The first video said it all Inno. Your Dad sounds like a great guy who knew what he was doing.

Rourke said...

I suspect that this will end up being some kind of marketing ploy to get veiwers email addresses to market to later on.

If Front Sight is serious - I wouldn't step foot in that place.


Six said...

I hope not Rourke but I note that I got a flyer from them right after I posted my comment.

Sarge said...

I'm setting here in front of my computer with my mouth open. When we went through our firearmes training in the Army (63) then in police training in (77) we got our butts chewed royally if we even pointed our finger down range with anyone in front of us. This has got to be a joke. I know it goes against everything I was ever trained to do. Then Front Sight has the guts to call it Combat Mind Set. Combat Mind Set my ass and that's what I told them in my remarks.
Life is tough but it's even tougher when your stupid. You just can't fix stupid. John Wayne would still be kicking this idiots ass all over the range.

The DO said...

What was the first rule of shooting, the one that I learned at the age of 6 and still remember?

Don't point a gun at it unless you want to kill it. Be it a dog, a dummy, or a person.

To do otherwise is an arrogant and stupid showoff move that proves he is more dangerous then he is skilled.

Six said...

Wow. We just had our first spambot. I deleted the mook but I guess we've finally arrived.