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Becoming A Victim Of Our Frame of Reference

 

“Never say always, never say never.”

When we give advice as instructors, teachers, “that gun guy,” etc. we must be very careful that we do not become a victim of our frame of reference. What does this mean?

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LE, MIL, CCW and Hunters each will give advice based on their perspective. Many times they will stray from their lane and give advice that they have ZERO knowledge to give that advice on. Other times, they will give advice based on one event/experience and believe that it must fit with all situations. An example would be of the Elmer Fudd who takes a CCW class with John Doe where based on a single course of fire, they only needed a 5 shot revolver. Now Mr. Fudd takes to the internet to tell all that based on his “superior knowledge and experience” all they need is a 5 shot revolver in .44 magnum since you only need 5 shots.

This same frame of reference is seen by many when they ask a LEO (my frame of reference to clarify) what they carry as a duty gun, and then pick that as their choice. For example, someone asks me what gun/ammo I carry on duty and they will get: Glock 22 with Trijicon Night Sights and Speer Gold Dot. Elmer Fudd then decides to carry what I carry on duty as his CCW gun. The problem is, what I carry is not my choice, it’s a result of my employment and the restrictions I have placed on me. The only thing of that that I had a say in, was the ammo type, as the Gun, Sights and Caliber were all picked out before I had any opportunity to provide input. Also, what works great for an open carried duty gun for an LE, may not fit the needs of Mr. Fudd, CCW.

Many times in LE, a officer will win a gunfight, even if it was not because of any skill or work on their part, but luck as they didn’t take it serious. Many times these people will become the default go to person to ask for gun, shooting or tactics advice without people realizing they don’t know what they don’t know.
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How do we avoid this? By constantly seeking information and being a perpetual student. This is very important as an instructor. Always a student, sometimes an instructor. Don’t just know what the right answer is, but be able to explain how it is the right answer and what other options people will bring up and how to debunk them as options.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know” when asked a question you don’t know the answer to. Follow it up with a “I’ll find someone who does, though” and you will gain respect from those who are truly worthy of your time. Those who don’t care that you are being honest, weren’t worth the time of your answers in the first place and need mentoring.

To summarize, stay in your lane, but don’t be afraid to find info that challenges info that is from outside your lane or contradicts what is in your lane.

Matt Levi
Contributor at Primary & Secondary
Over 7 years in Law Enforcement. Matt Has a background in firearms and firearms training, and has been trying to learn from those with more knowledge and experience than he. This has involved recognizing that he needs to attend outside training and has led him to take training with Vickers Tactical, DARC, LMS Defense and others.

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