Just to be Contrary

October 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm 1 comment

There have been a number of posts (Robb Allen and Tam) about some nameless firearms instructor that sent a series of videos to Frontsight as a job application.  The guy has an assistant standing downrange during live fire demonstrations, acting as a living “no shoot” target.  Needless to say, the commenters have torn this guy apart.

In response to Tam’s post, I left this comment:

Is what this guy did nearly as dangerous as climbing Mt Everest?
How about skydiving? Or riding a motorcycle in Indy rush hour traffic without a helmet?

Folks do risky stunts every minute of every day. I’d bet many of these commenters do as well. But add a gun to the mix and we go into hysterics.

Is the guy an idiot? Quite possibly, but don’t you think just maybe you’re overreacting a bit?

In the not too distant past, exhibition shooters regularly shot cigarettes out of their assistants’ mouths. Hell, Annie Oakley did that trick with the ole Arch-duke.

Personally, I’d rather act as a living “no shoot” target while Brigid’s pulling the trigger than jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

Each of us have our own hot button topics.  As gun-loving Americans, firearms safety usually enjoys the place in front and center of every related discussion.  Generally this is a good thing, but we must be on guard that it not become dogma.  The automatic response the gun community has to violations of THE FOUR RULES is often out of proportion to the specific risk involved.  I suspect that the magnified risk is due to the perceived risk to gun rights as a whole due to every negligent discharge and “accidental” shooting.  We over react because we fear that every violation takes us one step closer to losing our rights.  People engage in risky behaviors on a regular basis.  Extreme sports are by definition high risk.  Yet seldom do these voluntary behaviors result in the sort of outcry that unsafe gun handling provokes.

A related experience I had occurred about 15 years ago.  A news story swept the country about a young woman that was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign.  The police officer found an infant lying in the front seat next to the mother and an unrestrained toddler in the back seat.  The officer arrested the mother and contacted Child Protective Services to pick up the kids.  The controversy surrounded whether the children should be permanently removed from the home.  Two of my coworkers were quite vocal in support of permanently removing the children from their mother and expressed their desire that the woman be sterilized for being such a bad parent.  I pointed out that my parents and theirs had never owned a car seat.  As an infant, I always road in my mother’s arms.  As a young child, I enjoyed riding stretched out on the shelf under the rear window.  Apparently, all parents prior to the 1980’s were unfit.  Who knew?

My point is:  stop and take a breath.

We manage risk every day, usually without a second’s thought.

A few months ago there were major disagreements on the value of open carry.  Some folks pointed out that if you don’t exercise your rights, you don’t have any.  Others were against it because it “scared the white folks.” I see similarities between that discussion and this one.

Sorry for the rambling.  It’s been a busy summer and I haven’t posted for awhile.  Hopefully I’ll be better about it as the weather cools.



Entry filed under: Firearms.

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1 Comment

  • 1. Tam  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Two words, Mycroft: Buck. Shot.

    I don’t have any problem with trick shooting and volunteer assistants, but that man was writing checks that one slightly deformed pellet is going to be unable to cash.

    And you want him to teach defensive shooting or bodyguard work, which focuses on good judgment and risk assessment?

    good shot != good instructor


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