Instructor Vetting, Part II
Oh my, oh my. So much going on in our little corner of the free (at least for now) world. We appear to have a cold blooded killer loose in our normally tranquil rural community. As a result, many people who are not used to handling firearms are desperate for the sense of security that they provide. Unfortunately this has led to accidents among the panicked populous and, to add to the chaos, some “Firearms Instructors” on the interwebz have been passing erroneous legal information. Now is a good time to vet your Firearms Instructor.
Wait, didn’t we do this already? Why yes. Yes we did. Unfortunately this is a continual problem.
From infamous internet legends like Voda Consulting; guys who should know better like James Yeager; to the weird antics of Russians dancing on the range or shooting each other in the chest plate… the amount of bad information out there is staggering.
I liken this situation to the market or Souk in Bahrain where I used to live. There were plenty of options in watches both real and fake. I bought a (fake) Rolex Submariner (my all-time favorite watch) because it was a very good copy… at least it was for a few months. Then the shine on the metal dulled as it tarnished, the watch needed to be set to the correct time twice a day, and after a few more months it stopped working altogether. But for $20 it was worth it to me to have a “Submariner” on my wrist for a few months. But that was just a trinket… when we talk about firearms we are talking about life support equipment. It can save a life or end one. They must be taken with the utmost seriousness and the training for them must be just as serious.
I spent years training and supervising Marksmanship Instructors and Range Safety Officers for the Marine Corps and other services. I have written orders and policy for range use and training for all Marine Corps Ranges in Japan, Korea, and across the Pacific. I have directly influenced the orders and policies of the entire Marine Corps in regards to Combat Marksmanship. I have developed programs of instruction to train thousands of service men in Close Quarters Combat and Scout Sniper Operations as they prepared for deployments to combat zones. I have trained people at every level from absolute beginner to Special Operations Forces from US and foreign militaries. I still continue to train, compete, and improve myself so that I can pass these techniques on to my students.
I charge my students a premium commensurate with the years and experience I am giving them. There are many instructors who charge less, and there are a few who charge more. Some instructors have military or law enforcement experience to various degrees, some have little more than an NRA class or less. It might be difficult to find the balance between an instructor’s experience and the price they are charging.
Before you put your life and the lives of your loved ones on the line, be sure the instruction you are getting is coming from the best instructors you can afford. After all, what is your life worth?