There are two extremes in the self-defense gun world: paper punchers and tactical operators. Paper punchers are newbies with no real interest in learning the art of armed self-defense. If they face a lethal threat they’ll aim the gun at the bad guy and, if needs be, pull the trigger. To prepare for that eventuality they visit the range every once in a while—to make sure the gun works and they can hit what they’re aiming at. Maybe. I’m OK with that. Why wouldn’t I be? The majority of [non-hunting] gun owners are paper punchers; the more of them there are, the safer our gun rights. Tactical types, on the other hand . . .
are also OK with me. Why wouldn’t they be? It’s a [mostly] free country. If Americans want to invest large amounts of time and money to wear military spec gear and learn the silent but deadly skills of Special Operations-types, gopher it! That said, all that molle gear looks a bit silly, pseudo-military exercises scare the gun rights fence sitters and it’s unnecessary—right until it isn’t.
Yes, there is that. If the S really does H the F the high-speed, low-drag (HS/LD) types might come in handy. Anyway, I’m sensing a move away from both square range paper punching and tactical gymnastics. A move towards something . . . real. As in really useful for armed self-defense.
Having surveyed some of the firearms training in the Austin area, having done so behind enemy lines in the gun-averse Northeast, I’m seeing a hunger for something more than standing still and shooting at paper but less than full-on anti-terrorist training. When a operator like the walrus-style guy at Phoenix Tactical Solutions says a drop-leg holster is a bit much for non-military personnel, you know it’s a trend.
Force-on-force training is gaining popularity, as are “advanced” pistol courses that teach skills a shooter might actually need in a defensive gun use. Skills like shooting from behind cover and concealment. Or shooting from the ground. Courses where students are encouraged to wear their normal clothes, use their everyday carry gun and figure out a way to Deny, Disrupt, Dissuade and Defend (as tdiinva reminds us in our Quote of the Day).
There will always be a market for the “good enough” shooter. And I don’t think James Yeager and the rest of the drop-leg holster crowd are going away any time soon. But there’s a coming together of the two worlds that will leave Americans better prepared to defend themselves and their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
What are you seeing out there in terms of training trends?