I enjoy the brief “American Gunfighter” videos. I have seen them all, regarding some as better than others, but Episode 7 really resonated with me. For those of you who are not familiar with these brief videos or perhaps missed this one:
I think it is only natural, after viewing a video like this, to stop and take stock of one’s situation, make some honest assessments, and consider what it is we are doing.
In viewing the video, the reference that John Ellison makes about imagining fighting his evil twin was the first thing that jumped out at me. Why? Before diving headfirst into gun ownership and then training, my primary hobby was much different: I built military models, mostly armor from the Second World War. Eventually the amount of research required to make my models as realistic as possible wore me out, but I digress. One tidbit I recall, however, is that the Germans built the frontal armor of their tanks strong enough to be able to stop the main gun of that same vehicle. So the frontal armor of the Panzerkampfwagen III could stop the main gun of the Panzerkampfwagen III, while the frontal armor of the Tiger I could stop the main gun of the Tiger I.
Ellison’s comment reminded me of that, as he and the other members of his unit could never assume that the people they might fight would be lesser equipped, trained, or determined than him. If the bad guys happened to be “easy”, then the level/amount of training Ellison had done would not do him any harm, but if the bad guys were “hard”, Ellison would be very happy he had trained so hard.
I have a friend who often works abroad at the pointy end of the spear. Around the time I finished my first year and a half of training–probably around 2 years ago–he asked me what was driving me to train. He was not being critical, merely curious. After all, I am a teacher who very deliberately stays out of harms-way (well, aside from working in the hellhole of a city where I work). My answer then and now is that I just don’t know how big, strong, determined, or even trained a future adversary of mine might be (or how many there might be!). I don’t train and practice the way/as much as the guys in this video do or did, but I have tried to make training and practice an integral part of my life these last few years. As a reader of our blog, I hope you feel the same way and have taken or are taking similar steps.
Though it is not without good reason that I have given up on the training offered by Suarez International, I am happy to give them credit when deserved. I recall that they used to have a saying after completing a class, something like: “Can the person you are after completing this course kill the person who first enrolled in this course”, or words to that effect. And I think that is the point. To date I have taken over 200 hours of firearms and firearms-related training, plus medical and edged-weapons courses. I think it is safe to say that, even as I have aged, the Robert of today could kick the ass/kill the Robert from four years ago.
All of this, in turn, brings me back to this blog. We continue to try to stay “in our lane” and be a valuable resource for the newer gun owners and practitioners of concealed carry. As John and I continue our personal study, training classes, etc, we are rapidly getting better at spotting foolishness in the gear and training industries or, at the very least, identifying and then dismissing things that have no applicability to our lives (and we try to live in the real world, not fantasyland). If you are a “regular” person, like us, then chances are you will be a beneficiary.
We hope our blog is informative, but we also hope that it spurs you on to your own path of discovery. Nothing makes me sadder than spending some time in the r/ccw subreddit on Reddit and reading how many people pass their concealed carry course and then buy a Taurus and an Alien Gear holster and think they are all set! If you fit into that category, ask yourself if you really are all set, if you could really beat the person you were yesterday, or someone with as much training as me, or someone like Mr. Ellison. If not, get to work!