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