3 weeks, 4 days ago
So in this post I discussed teaching by humiliation using the example of Pat Rogers, who apparently used patches to reward shooters who failed to properly seat their magazines.
This started the comments as if on queue about how I had it all wrong, was disrespecting dearly beloved and dearly departed Pat, and so on and so forth. You can go read the comments for yourself, I won’t delete them. But I have banned the commenters for a number of reasons that are too numerous and involved to outline here. For one thing, I don’t write for low information, non-thinking readers. I write for thinking men and women.
But if you start at the beginning and read the post before the comments, and then start at the beginning of the comment thread, you’ll see several things. First of all, the article was intended to refer to beginner shooters, or beginner competitors, not those who were well versed and highly experienced as shooters.
I didn’t know Pat and don’t need to. But the intent of the article was clear. Giving patches out to beginners to demarcate their failure is bad pedagogical strategy. One commenter said this.
I’ve been drilled and grilled by Pat, Steve Fisher, Jeff Gonzales, cops in classes, and students that were friends. I’m no gunfighter, but I know I never will be if they don’t take the time to drill in to me what I need to know. I’d rather have that than some gentle “hey buddy, do you need a hug? How can I help you get better, little guy?” bullshit.
When I go in to classes, I know that I better put on my big boy pants and toughen up for the shit storm that’s gonna hit me if I fuck up. This isn’t tennis. People fucking die if they get this shit wrong.
Well aren’t you big shit? This is stated from the perspective of an experienced shooter, and if he wants to be big shit and get grilled by someone, consider my son when he was a Marine preparing his boots for deployment after he received them from SOI into the fleet.
He didn’t use patches. No, with the entire chain of command watching, up through Lt. Col., he practiced his boots at the range until they scored “expert” on the range (iron sights, 500 yards). When they failed, he would take the butt of his gun, slam it into the back of the Marine who failed (still prone), and then tell them to do it again. If you want punitive encouragement, I doubt you could do much better than that (although there are other times I can’t tell you about). This process was repeated until every one of the boots under his responsible charge scored expert.
There are no snow flakes in the U.S. Marine Corps. This is clearly NOT what I am talking about in the linked article. I’m sure of it. I was discussing being an evangelist for shooting, and it was clear enough that commenters Fred, Blake and Archer clearly understood what I was saying. On to be sure, we ridicule all sort of folks around here, most especially cops who have negligent discharges. I even confess to errors from time to time. Recently I confessed to sending 200-300 rounds down range, poorly, only to figure out that my EOTech was loose. I had failed to check my dope before I started – perhaps I’ll use green Loctite before I start next time.
What we were CLEARLY discussing isn’t bravado like “shitstorm” and people “fucking dying if they get this stuff wrong.” What we were CLEARLY discussing was new shooters and the encouragement and instruction they need. I’ll tell you what. You go to public ranges and start throwing your crap around about people dying and “shit storms” if people screw up, and watch (a) all those women take back their pink and purple pistols to the gun store and ask for their money back, and (b) those same women walk into the voting booth and vote to make your guns illegal.
Now to be sure, the fact that my guns suddenly become illegal doesn’t mean that I lose them. It just means that the bloody civil war we are all trying to avoid is that much closer and maybe even upon us. The shooting sports are growing, and people who never would have purchased and learned to use a gun (e.g., women) are doing so in huge numbers.
You’ll learn to speak their language, you’ll learn good pedagogical techniques, you’ll figure out how to encourage them, or you’ll lose them because you are stupid. You act like monkeys and think like idiots, when you need to be thinking men. To be sure, if you’re taking a class on fire and maneuver and small unit warfare tactics, handgun presentation, rapid target acquisition, and so on, you need to be disciplined. Patches don’t do it. And to be sure, we all need to make sure that the issues about gun safety are taught with the utmost diligence and without sugar coating anything.
But that’s a world apart from failing to seat a mag in the mag well for a brand new shooter who is scared even to be out on the range with you or me. Besides, if you are experienced shooters you shouldn’t need that anyway. And if you’re cops, you have no business as militarized SWAT teams. Put on a uniform and act like a peace officer. Or if you want to play warrior, join up go across the pond and do it for real. I have no patience for tacticool cops.
In the mean time, I make no apologies for telling my readers they need to consider encouraging instructional methods for new shooters. This is how we win friends and converts, and if it’s possible to win the political battle before us, this is how we avoid a bloody civil war. You want hell on earth? Go without power for two years after the electrical grid has been destroyed. Watch as the entire city of New York goes without water for a month after the Catskill Aqueduct has been destroyed. None of us wants that, and I specifically advocate against that. It’s much cleaner to win the political battle.
For all of the new commenters here from Facebook (God, I hate Facebook), think before you write. And take a course in literature. Perhaps if English wasn’t a second language to you it would have been clear that the article was about evangelizing new shooters. Because … that’s what I said in the article.