Today's Random Rant is more about mindset and dedication to the craft of defending yourself and others. Today I want to rant about personal accountability and how we can take an honest assessment of ourselves as shooters.
First and foremost- this is a "big boy" exercise. You can't have weak feelings and give yourself an honest kick in the ass when you need it. Grow up. We need to be clear with ourselves about where we have deficiencies and learn how to train up in those areas. We need to be able to quantify/measure our performance and progress in order to track our improvements, and we need to be clear that we are responsible for our own training progress. Below, I'll give myself a review of this year of training for me.
I'll break down this rant into a few different points of potential failure, and I'll judge myself on each one. I would encourage you to do the same...
Training / Course Work
"If you're not training up, you're training down." "Failing to plan is planning to fail." "If you don't use it, you lose it."
I don't care which of these little sayings you use to get yourself motivated, but hear me on this- I am a big believer in training with other qualified instructors to obtain different views on any given topic. I take advanced courses with qualified instructors to push me in areas that I need to work on. I take basic courses with instructors to learn how they successfully convey topics and explanations to their students. I legitimately try to take the best from everything I can learn and apply it to my courses so that the people who learn from me are getting the best of what I have to offer. As many of you who have trained repeatedly with us know, our courses are constantly evolving... New equipment/resources, new explanations, new theories, new drills, new curriculum... I seek out better training so that I can offer better training.
On June 15, I was interviewed by Frank Mullis who runs the Podcast Grappling With Theology. The description of the interview is below:
On this episode of #GWT, we interview Richard Whirley of ShootingStrategies.com. Richard Discussed his background in Martial Arts and his MMA and Self-Defense theories. We discuss the Dos and Dont’s of with Firearms training. We also discuss what one needs to carry on them and in the car when traveling. We also talk about Force Multipliers and their use in an active shooter situation. We spend time discussing how churches are vulnerable to active shooters. We look at statistics of what happens when there is an active shooter with and without the presence of someone with a weapon present. When then discuss yesterday’s Active Shooter situations in Virginia and California. Questions from the DOJO discusses the upcoming Fight between Mayweather and McGregor and concealed weapons in NYC.
This past weekend, at the NRA show, the National Rifle Association heavily touted their new "Carry Guard" insurance for those of us that rely on a firearm as a means of personal protection. While I'm glad to see that the NRA is going to offer something like this to the membership- it seems to me that they are a "day late and a dollar short" in terms of insurance coverage for concealed carry and home defense.
I am an instructor of both NRA and USCCA content, and I really appreciate both organizations. But when it comes to insurance regarding my personal protection strategies, I'm not going to be changing away from the USCCA. Below is a chart of differences between the USCCA Insurance and the NRA's new Carry Guard insurance. I would urge you to pay close attention to the third question from the top regarding "When is the payout method?" That's where I stopped reading...
Recently, I had a guy call me and ask me about which light he should put on his rifle. After telling me that he had done plenty of research, he concluded that "everyone is suggesting Surefire, but I would never spend $300 on a light!" Then he asked what I recommended.
I recommend spending whatever is necessary on a high quality light...
Let's be clear about this... You've already told me that this is a rifle that you would potentially use to fight with to protect yourself and your family. You've already told me that this may be the last line of defense between the wolves at the door and your infant... And now you're telling me that $300 is outrageous for a light?!?
It gets dark every day. Violence happens regularly in low-light enviornments. Light = data... It provides us the ability to use vision in order to process information about the threat being presented. Darkness removes that luxury. A light bridges the gap between low-light environments and the ability to process information. It needs to be reliable. It needs to be available. It needs to bright as hell. How bright? I want the sun on the end of my rifle if it's possible.
Furthermore, the ability to process information about the person you're potentially about to shoot becomes absolutely critical when determining if this person is a threat or not. There are far too many examples of someone shooting a loved one because they didn't properly illuminate and identify their target prior to engaging it. I say it all the time when I teach low-light courses: "Their problem is not that they didn't know how to shoot. Their problem is that they didn't know how to fight." Part of fighting is knowing who and when to fight. Having the capability to visually identify that target is absolutely vital. Let me phrase it differently, while holding pressure on a bullet wound that you just caused in your spouse, would you pay $300 to be able to take it back? Would it be worth $300 to have had the capability to turn a dark environment into a light environment and know without a doubt that this is or is not someone that you should shoot? I don't care how much your gear costs: buy what works and train your ass off with it. Said differently, get the thought out of your head that a few bucks is worth more than the ability to fight in the dark.