Emotion is soft and cuddly. It is comfortable. Emotion is reassuring. Emotion makes bad decisions. Emotion does not have a place with your decision on guns, gear, and/or training. Effective options are the ones that help win the fight. People’s sentimental attachments to antiquated options that do not perform as well as modern options just get in the way of good info flow. It seems there is a lot of irrational output circulating that doesn’t need to be there. This is all from people who are emotionally attached to poor options in guns/gear/training.
There are Facebook gun groups and internet forums that are essentially fan clubs full of non-type A personalities who latch onto what they think is a type A. They follow a cult of personality which is boisterous and loud but has no substance. They trade a fantasy for results within reality. There is a lot of training out there that is just LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) that seems to cater to this type of crowd. They are victims of their own limited reference. The concept of the Kruger & Dunning effect is quite rampant.
“People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.”
— Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1999, Vol 77 No.6, 1121-1134, Kruger & Dunning
How do you determine if you are a victim of this concept? On any analysis, take a step back and look at the issue objectively. What is the object in question providing better than other options? For training, does that training challenge you and take you out of your comfort zone? Is it expanding your understandings and concepts? Are there scientific facts or proven results you can replicate or verify? Unless you are being pushed outside your comfort zone and train to a more difficult level you will not improve. If the solution you are considering or defending is not providing the desired results, it might be time to move on from that option.
There are many training options available, and many instructors have a following for various reasons. Many training companies have a following due to providing current and pertinent info. They are providing real world results. Other training companies provide outdated cookie cutter instruction and the students don’t know better. Worse are those instructors that have incest and inbreeding with their concepts because they do not seek out the new and better methods of doing things outside of their organizations (yes Law Enforcement, I am looking at you). Because the students don’t know better, they praise the bad company. Some companies have that cult like following because they provide an experience (LARPing) instead of learning objectives and providing results. Reading after action reports (AARs) will be some of your best resources to figure out what training fits your needs best. AAR’s also can provide first hand info on guns and gear options.
When considering the authors or people you talk with about gun, gear, and/or training, how do you figure out whom to listen to?
-Background – does this person have a background in the subject matter they are discussing?
-Networking – do people you respect within your network respect them?
-Logic – does the information provided make sense?
-Conflict – has the source’s information conflicted with itself?
-Signal to noise ratio – is there sufficient information on the topic you are studying or is there more off topic shenanigans?
-Their works – if you read/listen/watch the person’s output – is it correct? Is it truthful? Is it consistent with other sources of information you are familiar?
When reading those AAR’s it important to remain objective. Finding multiple sources that provide similar angles of information is helpful because it provides consistency. Information that provides outlying angles needs further scrutinizing. That outlying info will either be telling about the author’s bias or an issue with the training itself being ignored by fan boys.
Keep in mind a military or law enforcement background does not mean they automatically can teach or they are knowledgeable with guns or gear. Popular options are not always the best option. Large populations in forums or Facebook groups do not mean they provide good info.
All of these factors alone are not enough. Fact checking and verifying is always a good idea no matter the source. It takes real effort to find good sources of info. Guns, gear, and training are serious matters that require real consideration and not random fan boy praise.