Buying a gun is not the same as pulling the proverbial sword from the stone; it invokes nothing more than what it is; a device of varied quality and ease of use that uses a mechanical function to ignite a chemical reaction to propel a projectile. The control of that projectile and any that may follow it is not inherited, it isn’t learned through osmosis, nor can you borrow it from another. That control, often referred to as skill, is personally owned and maintained.
Despite what the internet or your close circle of friends may tell you, your gear doesn’t mean a thing without proper software and no amount of shared Sheepdog memes and quotes from heroes past that you have memorized is going to change that. You may have memorized the Cooper color codes, or know OODA by memory, but perhaps your understanding of mindset is as day one as sitting facing the door.
Outside your circle, the close collar of like-minded individuals you use as a safety blanket, the professionals that told you that you were wrong and showed you why are teaching, practicing, dissecting lessons, and learning. You may have showed one of them up with a clever comment about your (insert substandard gear/incorrect belief here) but, while you celebrated your hollow victory of emotional ignorance, he likely spoke from the collective experience and résumé that you will never have. Why won’t you have it? Partially because not everyone needs to kick doors and tune up bad guys, shoot competition for place or set world records, but the other part is the fact that you stumbled blindly into the little skill you may possess and you are far too afraid to go a step further. A $1500.00 1911 is a wise purchase in your book, but you can’t be bothered to scuff out $400 for a class that will teach you to run the guns you tell yourself you know how to run.
All opinions are not created equal, and yours isn’t even close to being on the same level of the names constantly on your tongue when you talk down about those who are always working to reach perfection. With a Chris Kyle shirt on your back and a Punisher back plate on your Glock, you have the moral ineptitude to assume your experience qualifies you to churn out a diatribe about how gun fighting really goes and that (insert instructor here) doesn’t know shit.
It’s you who doesn’t know shit, and you will go from ignorant, to stupid at the drop of a hat to drive that point home. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy; a manifest destiny of Dunning-Kruger excellence, you are everything that is wrong with the shooting community and anyone who doesn’t make an attempt to at least show you that is wrong also.
We try to bring everyone along, but stubborn and stupid are often neighbors and they traded house keys long ago. If your résumé doesn’t compare, you can’t create like experience out of thin air to prove how your Condor plate carrier is just as good, or you are more than ready for the real thing because your shot timer has a 1 on it. Experience matters, metrics matter, repeatability in real life matters. Your IG video probably doesn’t.
You are everything that is wrong with self-defense shooting; this isn’t a popularity contest, it’s actually pretty serious business where information shared can lead to at least a stupid belief and worse, a death. Your nonsense, out of your lane behavior could get someone killed.
So sure you got the likes, you got the gear, you bought the same gear that SEAL had to play hate on terrorists, hell, you got your ISIS hunting permit and subscribed to a YouTube channel or two, but are you putting in the work?
If you read this and got pissed, then you aren’t. If anything written here upset your snowflake mentality, or made you conjure up thoughts of how you know better, then you don’t. You really, really don’t. You are the addressee; you are the intended reader. If you read it and nodded along knowing it’s not you but you know who, pass it along. It’s time for tough love because we are all supposed to be on the same team; we can’t have anyone thinking they get to just walk on.