“In the tactical mindset there are good guys and there are bad guys, and they are always perfectly easy to tell apart. Who are the good guys? The semiotics of tactical websites make it pretty plain. Eagles and American flags. Invocations of 9/11. The pictures featured on the Northwest Suburban Tactical Training Center website include a self-assured business-man. And women: a teacher, a mom, and an apparent college student. All the females are blond. The proverbial good guys with guns, said to be the only thing that can defeat a bad guy with a gun. The bad guy is represented on the NRA’s ‘Don’t Be a Victim’ site as a black silhouette looming at the corner of the screen. I always want to ask these tactical instructors: how do you know you’re not training him?” – Rick Pearlstein in Ronald Reagan pointlessly packing heat as president only makes sense in gun nut fantasyland [at rawstory.com]

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82 Responses to Quote of the Day: The Semiotics of Tactical Training

    • Sometimes anti-semitism is a begged condition.

      How do you know the government, that you’re disarming the populace to protect, isn’t going to throw you in an oven?

      Why do you have windows in your car, or your house? WHAT FOLLY to leave yourself so laid open like that.

      How do you know that a-hole approaching in the opposing lane will honor the double yellow line?

      • i don’t have windows in my house. but my car rolls. and if i pull up to a drive through liquor store in new orleans i don’t want to have to open my door.

        • An opening for you to use is an opening for an enemy to use. The more info online for you to prepare yourself with, the more info your enemy has access to. The only way to keep yourself completely safe is to be completely devoid of freedom. People of the Gun acknowledge that risk and accept it, for freedom is it’s own reward and is always worth the risk.

        • You strike at the Empire, the Empire Strikes Back. (ya, I went there, Wookie-up)

          My only attempted point was assume everyone is a potential adversary (but you don’t have to take my word for it).

          “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” – James Mattis, USMC Retired / Commander USCENTCOM

          Our Gunny, when we landed in Kuwait (before going into Iraq) said “Everybody here want’s to kill you [he even meant the ‘good guys’ ] and don’t worry about me being wrong about that, because if I am, I will kill you.”
          Hoorah, one-team. : )

        • WedelJ says “The only way to keep yourself completely safe is to be completely devoid of freedom.”

          Those two are not polar opposites. One can be completely devoid of freedom and still not be safe. The more freedom one has, the more options available to remain safe.

          Ben Franklin is credited with saying, “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”

          Other than that, I agree with your comments.

    • You don’t is exactly right.

      We trained and equipped so many guerrilla paramilitary forces around the world it’s silly. Those groups went on to form strong man governments which weren’t any better than the previous ones or went on to become terrorist organizations. Were we wrong to do that? Only armchair quarterbacking can answer that because the people that made the decisions to train those groups certainly couldn’t predict how things would turn out but they sure saw a need to do those things at the time.

      In warfare, government, international politics and life in general you take the steps you need to take today, now and right here based on the information you have and you deal with the unforeseen repercussions as they come. Since you can’t predict the future you just do the best you can with what you have when you have it.

      Hoplophobes think people are psychic and immortal by virtue of being “protected” by their government. Certain evidence that they’re completely unaware of the purpose of government.

      • Or maybe we should stop messing around in the internal politics of other countries. We are not too good or to successful at it (and the list of our failures is long). External threats to our allies are a different matter. But we cannot bring democracy to the world; each people must find its own path.

    • I know! We should require that you pass a NICS check BEFORE you get any sort of tactical gun training. Why not, they seem to work so well in stopping “Bad Guys” from getting guns for mass shootings. Oh wait…

    • Ambassador Chris Stevens unavailable for comment…he would have had use for a firearm while surrounded by baddies.

      • Not to mention I highly doubt that Mr. Pearlstein has ever been shot by a lunatic trying to impress Jodie Foster. If he had he might understand.

  1. Well sir, if you could kindly point me to any story, study, anecdote, article, report, or other communication that shows even one instance of a ‘bad guy’ getting formal training from one of these establishments, I would love to hear it. Since the article doesn’t mention one, and since I am 1000% sure that would have been the happiest moment of your life to include it, I can reasonably assume that it hasn’t happened. Here’s a hint: bad guys don’t spend money to train.

    Oh and personally I think the best quote from the story was the one at the bottom:
    “So there it was: the absolute disintegration of any distinction between trained state police and every last palooka with a bazooka. But remember: Ronald Reagan got there first. ”

    BTW Robert, your link is bad. Here you go:

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/ronald-reagan-pointlessly-packing-heat-as-president-only-makes-sense-in-gun-nut-fantasyland/

    • The United States Secret Service is among the most highly trained and tactically sophisticated police agencies on the planet.

      Ya The last couple years certainly illustrates their performance standards.

      • You really think the cream of the Secret Service crop stuck around for the last seven+ years prepared to “take a bullet” for Obama? That seems unlikely. Reports I have seen on the Internet (FWIW) claim SS morale is at an all time low.

      • It would seem they perform well–in bars, brothels and hotel rooms. Just depends on your definition of performance.

      • ‘One of these establishments’ means a tactical and/or defensive shooting school, not a pilot school. since more bad guys have gotten formal training as pilots compared to gunman his argument would be perfect for shutting down the private licensing of pilots. That isn’t his argument though, and it has absolutely no bearing on the content at hand.

      • When I qualified for my (unconstitutional) Nevada carry permission slip we used green silhouettes. When I choose my own targets I generally use white silhouettes with a black X ring. What’s his point? (/sarc)

        Ideally we should all be shooting at medium brown silhouettes with thick black beards or non-specific silhouettes wearing dark hoodies.

  2. So…..ya mad bro?

    I get that you hate me and can’t deal with the facts I have freedom to exercise my rights to keep and bear arms. See a psychologist and deal with your issues.

    Me, I try to live and let live. If that is unacceptable to you, in pace requiescat.

    • For those not familiar with popular Latin sayings, it means “Rest in Peace.” Or it can be translated, in certain context, as “Your funeral.”

      I’m guessing it was meant as the latter.

    • I find most elitist are an inch wide and a mile deep, which they, unfortunately, think translates to a mile wide and a mile deep…

      As though, somehow, a degree in a specific field makes you fluent in others.

      • Reminds me of Hillary Clinton and her bathroom server scandal in that light. No emails marked “classified,” just as she said, when they were really CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP. Even when she’s not lying, she’s lying. Typical lib behavior, right?

        • The weinie in that whole scandal is that as the Sec of State she had to sign a Nondisclosure Agreement, so basically, everything she did as Sec of State was classified by its very nature, whether marked, or otherwise.

          And when ordered, via the Freedome of Info Act, by a court to handover documents, some of which where so classified they had to be redactied completely, she failed to fully so…

          All of which, she has been pleading ignorance to, but as that old saying goes, ignorance of the law is no excuse… unless you’re a Clinton.

      • I hold a clearance, I know full well how it works. The worst part is this scum can abrogate those responsibilities and get away with it (so far). If I did even a fraction of that I’d be pounding big rocks into little ones for months by now. That’s what happens when you think you’re TOO special.

  3. Here we have another statist, wrapping up his argument wondering why a man holding such a powerful position may want to take it upon himself to ensure his own safety. He can’t fathom why you wouldn’t trade a responsibility for a dependency, even a seemingly solid-proof one when you could just as well have them both.

    I know regardless of my position in anything, I don’t want to put myself into a situation where I am left at the end of a bad result knowing I could have done something to prevent it, but didn’t. Even if that prevention doesn’t end up working, had it been there, at least I know I did what I could.

  4. This guy is a typical liberal extremist, he’s got plenty of anti-republican propaganda bs out there. He’s basically the exact thing that’s wrong with our country – the types that are self-hating Americans, and can’t wait to apoligize for things that dont require an apology.

    • There’s a term for that: Coward.
      Someone who is so submissive and cowardly that their impulse to capitulate kicks in before there is even a confrontation to capitulate in.

      The thinking goes like this:
      “Well, if I do what the bad man says and don’t resist, there is no chance he’d ever hurt me.
      In fact, I should make it clear to everyone in advance that I will do anything they say and would never resist. That way I will be safe from everyone and everything.”

      He literally cannot fathom the reality that when you submit to a wild dog, he doesn’t lick your face, he tears your throat out.

  5. And how do we know that a student in a journalism class isn’t there to learn how to write effective disinformation and propaganda?

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. How do we know our teachers aren’t training…this guy? Or maybe somebody who will be the second incarnation of Joseph Goebbels?

  6. Spoken like somebody who has never taken any “Tactical Training” or done any research on the topic. It is this blissful ignorance which makes it possible for him to write the article.

    “. . . I always want to ask these tactical instructors: how do you know you’re not training him?” There it is. Proof undeniable that nobody should be trained because one day the wrong person may be trained. No more nuclear physicists, no more pilots, no more child educators. The risk is simply too high that we might loose even ONE life . . . idiot.

    • Ah yes, the upside-down beta-male logic that hurting one person because of something you DID is a million times worse than hurting millions of people because of something you DIDN’T DO, or prevented from being done.

      No thanks. I’ll keep my guns and *you* can capitulate to the criminal thug and bet your life on a coin toss that he won’t kill you anyways.

  7. What is the point here, that we are supposed to be able to magically determine before the fact, that someone is a criminal?

    Who is this genius, one of Dr. Who’s companions? Does he not know that the real world it doesn’t work that way? Wasn’t there something about ‘innocent until proven guilty’?

    Why, it’s almost like these people will do anything, stoop to any level, to take guns away from the law abiding citizen. That should give all thinking people pause.

    Anyway, who’s to say this guy isn’t a potential murderer? I mean all he has to do is go onto the internet and get a fully automatic M16 delivered to his door in just the time it takes to ship it. Perhaps he should be locked up.

  8. So, Rumpelstiltskin over here thinks the common criminal is going to purchase guns, gear, and ammo, schedule a firearm class (everyone I’ve attended requires your personal info, at least, and some even require a license to carry for admission), throw down $500 + toward tuition for said class, pay for the gas, food, lodging, or whatever other logistical necessities are required, all to spend hours, if not days, training to use to a firearm for the purpose of robbery or murder in an evironment which is likely to have LEOs present…

    I’m sorry, Rummpy, but the comic book idea of the “evil genius” plotting high jackings and bank robberies is totally fantasy. The two most common factors that can relate to criminality are 1) IQ and 2) a fatherless childhood.

    Historically, low IQ people without a father figure present have not held higher learning and education in high regard – your notion that some dastardly BG would seek tactical training for nefarious purposes is true farce here.

  9. 9\11 hijackers had plane training. Plane control anyone?

    Also how do we know mosqes aren’t being used to recruit jihadists? Maybe we should give those rights up too.

    • You mean like Alan Gura?

      Oh, wait. You meant like McCarthy, Malloy, Biden, O’Malley, Pelosi, Cuomo . . . you know, those America-hating Christians.

      • No. Not Democrats. There’s some diversify among Democrats.
        I meant Jews as a people. Not the Jewish faith.
        Christianity and Judaism teach Conservative values so who knows why some favor government over God.
        But it seems obvious that a disproportionate number of Jewish descendents living in America speak out against individual liberty.

      • Most Jews vote Democrat, and you know it. No need to cherry pick.

        Why is the Jewish community so hell bent on recreating the conditions of the 1930s all over again?

        Why is the subject off the table?

        Oh yeah and most the politicians you mention are Catholics. Same thing seems to apply to them since the takeover of the Catholic Church by Euro socialists.

  10. Since violence literally never happens, preparing for it is stupid, therefore getting professional training is a sign that you are paranoid and shouldn’t have a gun. Also, see my next article about why people without training shouldn’t have guns.

    • But you should always trust your wise physician. Medical errors only kill 300,000 per year in this country alone, they know what’s best…

    • This guy’s assertions also go hand in hand with “people who train with guns are in fantasy land because nothing bad is ever going to happen;” followed by, “the world is so dangerous that you need to give up your guns for my safety!”

      Cognitive dissonance is the tent pole of the progressive faith.

    • “Since violence literally never happens,…”

      Like Fort Hood in 2009? Would you like a detailed list of incidents where a whacko decides to commit mass murder with a firearm?

      How does someone like you get paid employment to write with such a profound ignorance of the definition of common words?

      Literal – adjective – 1. taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.

      Since according to you violence “never happens”, how do explain thousands upon thousands of dead people every year with gunshot wounds?

      You’re an idiot, Rick. Return to whatever university educated you and demand a refund…

  11. The same beta male who has likely uttered the words that we as non-police don’t have the proper training to carry a gun in public then writes how we should not train anyone in the proper use of a gun. Which is it and who exactly did Ronnie Raygun hurt by carrying? Why do these people feel the need to berate others for having the courage to do something they are so obviously afraid to do? I think we all know this little twerp would wet himself at the thought of having to take the responsibility to defend himself or his family from criminals, it’s just much easier to call the cops and cower in fear. Stop projecting your fear and lack of mental fortitude on others, we won’t require you to take responsibility for yourself, if you know you are too weak-minded to fight for yourself and your family if the time comes, so be it, but you can’t ask us to do the same.

  12. Epic logic fail.

    Reagan carries a revolver, in the 80’s which no one knows he posses, becomes birth of tacti-cool training 25 years later. Leading to the statement that a god guy with a gun becomes a bad guy.

    Lazy bastard.

  13. Something rubs me wrong about a clearly jewish man who is advocating that the government should be the ones solely responsible for our safety and well being.

  14. “. . . I always want to ask these tactical instructors: how do you know you’re not training him?”
    Or her? Clearly he is a as much a sexist as he is a statist, unable to conceive that a woman theoretically just as much potential to be a trained threat as any man.
    To me, it’s like hearing someone denigrate fire safety training because you might be training an arsonist.

    • I submit that it is much more likely that they have been trained by ISIS/ISIL or some other radical Islamic group and smuggled into America as a refugee by our president or walked in over our unprotected southern border.

      As pointed out several times above it is highly unlikely that your run of the mill Bad Guy without a jihadist agenda is going to go through all the trouble and expense of tactical training in the midst of patriots and often LEOs. Hell, most of them can’t be bothered with finishing high school even though their relatives all claim they were enrolling in Community Colleges “next semester”.

  15. The bad guys don’t need to go to tactical school, the local branch of ISIS is more than willing to provide their training.

  16. I would define a bad guy as some one who presents an imminent threat of serious bodily harm, or death, to myself or others.

  17. my (jewish) wifey says this guy is a good example of why worldwide jewish population growth essentially rounds down to zero.

  18. We weapons trainers know that we are not training the bad guy because it’s too much work. They usually do something easier like “journalism”

  19. “The proverbial good guys with guns, said to be the only thing that can defeat a bad guy with a gun.”

    “Ronald Reagan pointlessly packing heat”

    Ronald Reagan didn’t carry pointlessly because he did defeat a bad guy with the use of his gun. In 1933 in saved a 22 year old nursing student, Melba King, from a mugger by pointing a .45 at the mugger. “Leave her alone or I’ll shoot you right between the shoulders”, he yelled from his second story window.

    http://www.kcci.com/Reagan-Was-Hero-To-Iowa-Woman/7308028

  20. Perlstein’s bigotry toward non-Jewish whites aside, if the govt did its job and didn’t let in anyone it couldn’t vet — most of the world — there wouldn’t be a need for TSA pat-downs, NSA spying, or people buying lots of guns. We’d have a stable population, safety and prosperity again. It’s only when you open the doors for cheap labor and hostile electorate takeover that people get scared and go to the gun range.

  21. So what if a bad guy gets tactical training? For every bad guy, precious few I’m sure, there are thousands of good guys getting the training. There is a quality to quantity.

  22. How does Pearlstein know that the person being trained won’t end up killing the next terrorist or gangster intent on mass murdering whites or Jews? Jewish liberals seem to forget that the Beltway Snipers, Navy Yard shooter, subway slashers/stabbers, etc., murder white people indiscriminately. They don’t ask if you’re Jewish and how liberal your politics are and then let you go. If your skin is white, they think they have the right to assault or murder you. Several of the recent DC anti-white killing victims have been Jews.

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