Oh how I love the internet and it’s mass of subject matter experts who’s likes, visits and views represent true knowledge. It is always good to be humbled by these industry leaders.
Oh wait…what the hell am I talking about?
Evolve or die
It is entertaining to see these “experts” come out of the woodwork with their hard earned expertise and provide their view point. According to some on the internet I don’t know what I’m talking about and had I any experience on the subject I would clearly see the error in my ways. Tool… Let’s see, I first saw a red dot optic on a “combat” firearm back in the early 90’s and I’m sure they were around well before then. It has been amazing to see them evolve from the boat anchor I mounted on my MP5 (yah, that far back). Flash forward to about 07-08 when I get a request from members of my community to research and things change.
No stone unturned
It was during this phase of my “observations” I started to work closely with the various manufactures. Everything from procurement, testing and product review. Because my teammates were looking for a specific solution to one of our mission requirements I wasn’t about to leave a stone unturned. I developed both an appreciation and understanding for their capabilities and happy to see them employed operationally. This phase eventually resulted in me considering their use in a broader scope. I was again pretty fortunate to have penned a great article run in SWAT magazine (October 2013) on the subject. It was an honest and lengthy assessment of their capabilities as well as how they fared in our testing. But, nah…I don’t know what I’m talking about.
The big picture
I love how blogs produce the opportunity to have meaningful discussions. By meaningful I mean, “I’m almost a super, duper, really cool, grand master poo-bah shooter” and their grasp of the big picture. Yes, you may have “seen” a red dot sight used in competition, but let’s take a closer look at the evolution within competition. In my research, I spoke with those whom I trusted to get their feedback. One of the biggest pieces of feedback was the difficulty in tracking the dot when mounted to the slide. Hmm…interesting. What has changed since then? We no longer see red dots mounted on slides at the highest level of competition. They are mounted to the frame to allow for better sight tracking during shooting. Hmm…very interesting.
Holding you to task
Then there are those who have nothing but contempt for my “observations”. So, by observations allow me to elaborate to mean our observations of students during various graded evolutions. Or in other words versus standards, maybe you have heard of them. It matters not if you have heard of me, what matters is our aggressive manner at which we hold our students accountable to standards. Ask around, do some research because while I have been called many things during a graded evolution the constant complaint is our unapologetic defense of the standards. I don’t care who you are, I honestly don’t and make no mistake if I will fail one of my teammates for failing to meet the standard I will fail anyone.
Read between the lines
The beautiful thing about standards is if done correctly they are incredibly telling. What did they tell us, the told us under time constraints or high stress evolutions we saw many failures and not just at close range. The other interesting point is the accusation of our Concealed Carry Tactics class being a “basic” class. We have it programmed at the intermediate level, but never mind that little detail. I love how this accusation is slung out without having attended and only screams to the poor story telling we see these days. The interesting point about this accusation is how false it is, how we do see some folks who could use more marksmanship training, but the large majority of students are at the intermediate or advanced level. Of course, if you knew what you were talking about and spoke with our students you would realize our basic is more like an intermediate or so I’m told.
Hold the line
All this to say one thing, my original “observations” haven’t changed. While there may be some who can do well, in fact in our last class the only graduate was running a pistol with a MRDS, it does not discount the reality we have observed. To clarify we had 5 students in total running them and only 1 who passed. Yes, you may not like my observations, but they are based off this silly concept called performance. If you understand performance, standards and stress it might mean something to you as well. I don’t mind if you don’t like what I have to say, but it doesn’t mean it is not true.
The old adage of not arguing with idiots still stands true, but I would add how we as an industry don’t have time for this. There are those of us who are too busy actually teaching, educating and preparing folks.