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 Appleseed participant draws a bead (courtesy

“For an hour, instructor Dan Boyle, K-Dan for short, walks the [Project Appleseed] group through a fractured history of the American Revolutionary War. The group discusses the Minutemen, and Paul Revere, as well as the Boston Massacre (‘How do we know a British soldier fired the first shot? Because he missed!’),” reports. “The group talks about self-reliance and the evolution of guns and rifles over the past two hundred years and Dan explains the component parts of a model .22 rifle that he holds in his hands.” So far, so good, right? Aside from the unnecessary slam against our British overlords. But then K-Dan is off and running in an entirely different direction . . .

“The first step is to be honest about what a gun is,” says Dan. “When people say, ‘it’s just a tool.’ That’s a bit disingenuous, in my opinion.”

People who use the word disingenuous are a bit disingenuous, IMHO. They’re telling people that someone’s pulling the wool over their eyes while pulling the wool over their eyes. Like this . . .

One student, the wife of another attendee, explains that while she is terrified of the power of guns, her husband wants to buy one and she wants to learn more before they make the purchase. She is exactly, Dan points out, the kind of person that Apple Seeds is trying to reach.

What Appleseed says that they are about, beyond the history lesson and target practice, is “personal responsibility.”

For Dan, the choice of that responsibility lays with gun owners. It’s how, rifle in hand, he can point to a box of Zombie target posters in the basement and reduce the targets to the ugly truth that are, without betraying the ideals that brought him here to teach in the first place. That, the zombie posters are often referred to as stand-ins for “liberals” within the community of extreme second amendment supporters.

“I find the whole ‘Zombie’ thing in poor taste,” said Dan. “It impersonalizes the other side. It’s absolutely threatening to people who don’t agree with you, when these Pro-Second Amendment guys who stand around talking about how ‘Liberalism is a disease,’ and then in the next breath talk about zombies. It’s not difficult to make the connection. I mean, what are we talking about? We’re talking about killing our neighbors. I find it embarrassing.”

So people shooting at Zombie targets are actually shooting at liberals? Who knew? I thought the undead’s main appeal in the target department lies in the idea that they’re beyond politics or, for that matter, morality. Being dead and all. More to the point, does “K-Dan” actually exist? If not, the antis would have to invent him.

“Liberty taken to the extreme is not a good thing,” Dan said to the class, laying out what might be Project Appleseed’s most important lesson of all. “We are not ‘armed,’ the 2nd amendment not withstanding, against our government with weapons. What we are armed with is information and the vote,” adding before he dismisses class, “if you ignore your rights they’ll go away.”

Liberty taken to the extreme? Not armed against our government? Who is this guy and WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY APPLESEED INSTRUCTOR? Note: there’s not a single pic of “K-Dan” in the photo gallery. Hmmmm. [h/t b0bb33z3r]

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    • Yeah a zombie target is just a zombie target unless its a gun control lobbyist target.

      All kidding aside, true liberalism is not a disease. This twisted neo-progressive quasi socialist agenda being pushed by the big wigs in the Democratic party is.

      Real “liberals” AKA Libertarians (where the word liberal comes from) are some of the staunchest pro gun or at least pro leave guns the hell alone voices out there.

      • If you mean be Libertarian Hayek and von Mises then I would agree. However, the current crop are nothing more than market oriented radical syndicalists. People with whom Georges Sorel would have no complaint with them. While these ne0-Liberatrians babble on about Constitutional government they typically reject those powers given to the Federal government in the Constitution.

        • We can always count on you to provide us with a nonsensical rant about libertarianism that makes schizophrenic street preachers’ twaddle seem coherent by comparison.

          “They’re not all socially conservative like me, so they’re trying to destroy the very fabric of society itself!”

        • Perhaps you should actually read traditional and modern Libertarian writings before you open your mouth and show how poorly read you are.

          Modern Libertarians reject the legitimacy of the actual powers granted to the Federal Government in the Constitution. They would have voted against ratification with or without the Bill of Rights. My rejection of modern libertarianism has nothing to do with social conservatism.

        • I’ve read several of your criticisms of “neo-Libertarianism” over the past year or so and I’ve noticed some common themes:

          1. Conflating libertinism and libertarianism.

          2. Conflating libertarianism with anarchism.

          3. Referring to libertarians, who are not that numerous and not influential on the national stage, as essentially stooges of progressives and fellow travelers.

          The only “libertarians” who have any say in anything and that matter vote for small government Republicans.

          As for your point about some “neo-libertarians” and them not voting for ratification of the Constitution had they lived centuries ago and been part of that discussion process: so?

          I think it’s a waste of time engaging in such hypotheticals, but I’ll indulge you just this once.

          Hindsight clouds their judgment because they currently see how totalitarian progressives (redundant, I know) have perverted the Constitution beyond repair and essentially destroyed any meaningful limitations it imposed on the federal government.

          With that in mind, of course they’d vote against it in favor of a constitution with stronger, more explicit limitations on federal power.

          But like constitutionalists who worship the document like a golden calf, it’s a fool’s errand because a citizenry that isn’t willing to hold the government accountable for skirting around the constitution render the constitution toothless and pointless anyway.

          People have made the mistake of trusting the government to limit and punish itself. That clearly hasn’t worked.

        • I am a conservative Libertarian, sir, and neither I nor any other Libertarian I know even slightly resembles the description you just posted. I am not certain why you find it necessary to rant against Libertarians every chance you get, but I believe that the word does not mean what you think it means.

      • I’ve never heard of the zombie = liberal idea.

        Maybe it’s a generational but I think the consumers driving the zombie sales are younger shooters/newer shooters and not really thinking about politics.

        I’m so glad that as a little kid I never had to reflect over some other guys political feelings while learning to shoot.

        • I know around here a lot of the LEO’s call the typical Number 1 male suspects “Zombies” “Trolls” or some other code word so they can say what they want to say without anyone getting offended. It really must be a generational thing.

  1. Yikes, what state was this shoot in? Out of the half dozen I’ve been too we really never touch on the Boston Massacre, history is normally isolated on the battles of Lexington and Concord and learning marksmanship.

    • New York State – the one discussed in the Metro.US article took place at the Westside Pistol Range on 20th Street in Manhattan, but the one depicted in the photo(s) took place up at Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill…
      IIRC, both of those Appleseed experiences mentioned the Boston Massacre.

  2. I guess I can see not wanting that at appleseed but the general point seems entirely fair. It’s important not to let the sort of people who print Trayvon Martin or Obama targets out be the loudest voice or speak for gun owners generally. As much as I love guns, there are plenty of gun owners I would not associate with, mainly those who spend much time talking about “liberals”

    • Obama targets? You’re engaging in the same hyperbole as the instructor. There is no connection between Zombie targets and Politics, except for the one this guy made up. If that is what people see when they think of gun owners then they are brain washed.

      • Sadly that’s not true. While I don’t particularly agree that zombie targets are a stand in, there certainly are people who view them that way and there are most certainly hordes of Obama targets etc.

    • When I was in Basic Training the pop up targets at the range were painted to look like Russian (Soviet) troops. I have frequently seen targets printed to look like generic bad guys, punks in hoodies, Osama bin Laden, Sadam Hussein, and hosts of others, including 10 year old boys pointing a 1911 and a many other questionable choices. So if someone views POTUS or Congress or Liberal Progressives in general as a valid threat or even a frustration who is in charge of censoring their First Amendment right to take a few shots at pictures of them? If someone (first I’ve heard of it except for the targets painting specific gun control advocates as zombies) wants to consider zombie targets as stand-ins for low-information useful idiot liberals, that’s their right. If some idiot liberal thinks they are a stand-in for hated right-wing extremists they’re fools, but who am I to tell them no?

      While I would never recommend that anyone shoot at a recognizable target of a sitting POTUS, for obvious tactical reasons, I think what picture you shoot at is entirely your own business whether or not it offends anyone else’s sensibilities.

      • I saw right through the comments about zombie targets=liberals. In their minds, people who exercise their 2nd Amendment rights are just training for the day when they can finally murder their neighbors. The anti-2nd Amendment mindset views their neighbors as sociopathic would-be murderers. Since they live in such unfounded fear, they love to spread it to those around them so they are not alone in paranoia land.
        Targets with pictured generic thugs of all sorts are good training tools. There are also ones with pictures of lady carrying groceries, teen with a cell phone, child with an orange toy gun, etc. On a pop-up target, these make more realistic “no shoot” targets. Some of the training is of the mind to recognize threats and decide to shoot or not.

    • cmon you might be missing the point…that what this person kdan *might* have said…assuming the reporter even quoted him accurately does NOT apply to all gun owners. Rather it is you that is building the same lame strawman argument that if one said it must be true of all to support your own point. Lets not form the circular firing squad here…

  3. Wow, what the crap! That guy has no idea what he is talking about, and I am proud to say that, with 100% certainty, that that guy should not be an Appleseed instructor.

  4. Yikes is right. If this guy thinks zombie targets are stand-ins for liberals, thank God he doesn’t shoot at things like fruit or bowling balls, who knows what he’d think those are!

    • Shooting at fruits is an obvious sign of latent homophobia and shooting at bowling bowls only shows that you have very little understanding of the physics of ricochet. (Unless you have a .50 cal.)

  5. Zombies = liberals seems like a big leap, but I can see what he’s saying. While discussion here on TTAG is generally pretty civil, how many times have you seen on pro-2A sites/forums comments from our fellow gun owners about “executing all traitors” or other veiled threats against anti-2A people? Threats that involve using our firearms to “cure the disease of liberalism”?

    Whether commentators are just joking or not (hey, it’s the internet, right?) some non-gun folks are going to perceive an implication that we have no problem using our guns against our fellow Americans simply because we disagree with their politics.

    Is that a fair perception? Probably not… but the gun community has a lot to learn about projecting a better image and winning a PR war of “hearts and minds”. We’re our own worst enemy.

    Starbucks, anyone?

    • We will never win the PR message nor the hearts and minds.

      No matter what good think a gun owner or gun owner organization may do, the other side will twist it or ignore it.

      Once again, the arguments are “emotional” Boo hoo, they called me Zombie, I want my political leader and I want it stopped now because it hurt my feelings.

      Nope, they will not allow perception to change because then they loose the argument. This is why we now have “assault shotguns” being used. It is ALL about the message.

      Our only hope is that more people use their brains, reason and logic over emotions, but we have a whole generation that has been taught that feelings are more important that reality of a situation.

      You wait as we get closer to December 14th, the Civilian Disarmament Complex will be pumping the blooding shirts and exploiting the dead once again to call for more gun control. They have been planning all year long. Because….emotions + Christmas time + children should be enough to take away your rights.

      I assure you, no matter what we would do, they will spin it as a negative. Just look at how they run campaigns. After the CO recall, despite the fact they outspent everyone 6:1, they still claim it was the NRA’s fault they lost. Part of the progressive party line is to always find someone to blame and anything the opponent has done well is considered “weak”, “useless”, “laughable” — Watch Donna Brazil on TV sometime, a Republican could run into a fire, save a child and she would say “big deal, he was lucky” You never give your opponent credit

      As far as the fence sitters we try to impress? They are fence sitters because at any time they will jump to whatever side they feel like and sometime multiple times in the same conversation.

      There is no perception to win, although I do not disagree we should try, just do not fool yourself that you will win because the moral high-ground will loose to the “emotional high ground”

    • I get what you are saying, but there really is nothing we can do about it. As it is, what percentage of the posts that are extreme enough to be considered threats are from real pro 2A people? I can almost promise that if 2A people stopped posting that kind of thing, plenty of grabber internet trolls (either amateur or paid) would step up right away to fill in the gap.

  6. The story lowers my otherwise positive regard for Appleseed. But it is the leftist mainstream media so will write it up as drug addled BS.

    I guess I was confused. Thought “zombie” was a surrogate for a) a queer US hating blue hat wearing UN thug or b) innercity ghetto gangbanger POS thug.

  7. If true, sounds like a crappy instructor and he should be yanked from teaching any further classes. Since these things get twisted by the left leaning anti-gun types I have no idea.

    • ….and bowling pins are white. Oh noes, bowling is about ‘blacks’ wiping out ‘whites’!!!1111oneoneeleven


  8. Wow. All this time I thought I was just pretending to shoot zombies, when really I was shooting myself on that target…me being a liberal and all.

    If you break things down issue by issue, I’ll wind up on the center/liberal side of things — except for a couple of big things, one of them being guns. But that’s not really a liberal/conservative thing, it’s a constitutional rights and personal liberty thing.

    I’d call myself more of a liberty-conscious independent, but it’s not nearly as much fun to shoot those.

  9. The Kid,
    “I know I supposed to wear these safety shooting glasses, but can I wear them on my knee instead so they aren’t in the way so much.”

  10. I took an Appleseed with Dan last year. Great experience. Very thorough in terms of safety, he also helped us improve our shooting, not easy given the legal and physical confines of that particular range. When covering the origins of the Revolutionary War, he was equally thorough and engaging.
    I took another up at Blue Mountain Range in Peekskill (I’m pretty sure the Metro.US photo used depicts an Appleseed at Blue Mountain) a few months ago, and felt very little dissonance between Dan’s material and what that set of instructors taught us.
    Dan never said anything like what the article claimed he did. In my opinion Appleseed walks a difficult line – on one hand, drawing upon the oldest of American rifle traditions that grew out of an armed revolt and attempting to re-instill them, while also telling us that community and political engagement are the way to go, and of course preferable to reaching for the cartridge box.
    Dan and some other Appleseeders were at the Feb 28th rally in Albany, and I also ran into him at an Oathkeepers Meetup down at Frances Tavern a few months later.
    I guess I have an instinct for taking instruction from controversial people. First, Cope Reynolds (who turned out to be great, despite the internet slams he received from both sides) and now Dan.
    I think it’s telling that I’d definitely allocate my scarce travel time and money to take instruction from either of them.

  11. What’s the difference between a zombie and a modern liberal? One is a mindless, flesh-eating ghoul and the other is a Democrat. So, no difference.

    • ^This. Why can’t he just teach a bit of history, a bit more of safety and marksmanship, and leave the current politics out of it?

  12. Why don’t they just get it over with and print a series of childrens’ books in which an ogre that looks like wayne lapierre comes in the middle of the night to eat little boys and girls in their beds.

  13. While K-Dan’s arguments are interesting (to say the least), how about the arguments spouted by liberty “extremists.” The argument that registration leads to disarmament and ultimately to gulags and genocide of political opponents has proven demonstrably false in Canada, Australia, UK, and Europe. Surely, we should be truthful in our attempts to sway the great unwashed in regards to our 2nd Amendment freedoms without resorting to fear mongering. Otherwise, aren’t we all little K-Boyles?

      • Robert, you are comparing 3rd world countries (most of the ones you mentioned are tribalistic or Islamic in nature) and 1st world, civilized countries.

        • You mean like Detroit, Camden, St. Louis, Oakland, Memphis, Atlanta, Baltimore, Stockton, Cleveland, Buffalo, Newark, and DC in the United States of America?

    • And the UK has become the most monitored country on earth, with high and increasing violent crime and decreasing civil liberties. If you want to live in a nanny state (more so anyway), then there’s your spot. Never forget, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • Registration can obviously lead to disarmament and enslavement…. there may be countries where it hasn’t happened yet but it is always a possibility. By refusing to register there is at least one big step before they can easily enslave us… I choose to be EXTRA safe because you can always give up your freedom but you may not ever be able to regain it

    • The fact that it does not happen immediately, everywhere, does not mean that it does not or will not happen. You conveniently ignore all the historical examples that prove the point. Feudal Japan; Germany under the Third Reich. most of Europe under Nazi occupation; Stalinist Russia; Mao’s China. A more thoroughly read historian than me could probably go on for pages.

      In addition, the countries you do mention have paid lip service to democracy while moving more and more toward socialism and the end game of socialism is always authoritarian control and that will eventually result in the violent suppression of dissidents and reactionaries when the populace finally realizes that socialism doesn’t work. Ask our neighbors, the Cubans.

      • Cliff H., So, you went to 1930’s Nazi Germany for the win and you somehow managed to neglect to mention modern day Israel? Israel has a disarmed populace. Is Israel murdering her people? I must not be catching the same news you are. When did Canada have a pogrom against disarmed hockey fans? If anybody deserves it, it’s them. (That’s a joke, people) I wonder why RF’s and Tama Paine’s geographical examples targeted black people. I would love to hear more on that. Are they saying they are the problem? So much for TTAG supporting the idea of giving shotguns to poor inner city people to protect themselves.

        • My point was that these results do not happen overnight, as a rule. And yes, Third Reich Germany is pretty much THE example of where this sort of extremism can go, or Cambodia, or any totalitarian communist regime. I do not spend a lot of time on the internal politics of Israel, so you have the advantage on me there (RF, any thoughts?), and as far as Canada and Australia and modern Europe my point was that without arms with which to challenge them these governments inevitably move towards socialism and then totalitarianism. Elapsed time is not the point, only final outcome.

          I’m pretty sure RF picked low hanging fruit for his examples, not chose third world nations with black populations. I do not recall reading ANYTHING on this site that would give even the slightest indication that RF or any of the regular contributors to this blog are racists.

        • Have you ever been to Israel? They do not ha e a disarm policy, almost everyone is armed. Kindergarten teachers walking their kids at the zoo have a full auto M16 slung muzzle down on their backs. Maybe you are right, maybe disarming the populace would not lead to gulags. But every nation that has had the power to subjugate their citizens, have ended up doing so. Do you want to roll the dice? Once the citizenry is disarmed, they have no say in the matter.

  14. I think there was a lot of editorial liberty taken in the source story. I have no evidence of that, just how I feel.

    On a related note, I think I’m going to attend an Appleseed next weekend, my first one. See if I can get better at shooting things.

      • I bought a crapload in late October of last year when Palmetto State Armory had it on sale. It seems prescient now given what happened shortly thereafter, but I assure you it was nothing more than dumb luck on my part.

  15. There is an important message here: you cannot complain that your opposition is reducing you to “gun-nuts” and “conspiracy-theorists” who “care more about their guns than children’s lives” if you turn around and dehumanize liberals by saying things like “liberalism is a disease”. The PR battle can only be fought by level heads, so leave the hyperbole at home. One comment above said we can never win the “hearts and minds”. We don’t have to. If someone doesn’t like guns, that’s their prerogative as an American; it’s a free country. The only goal is to prevent people who believe that from taking away our rights. We don’t need to win, we just need to not lose, and running your mouth won’t help. Listen to your mom’s advice, “You can’t help what comes out of other people’s mouths, but you can fix what comes out of yours.”

    • “PR” battles are not won with logic and level headiness, they are won on emotion and crafting the way someone feels about something. Don’t believe me? Go watch a few Axe body spray commercials then go and stand next to some kid wearing it. How else could they sell that stuff? You know what else is sold that same way? Elections. And if we have learned nothing else since 2008 it’s that elections matter.

      • If you need emotion on your side, calling liberalism a disease and ranting about how the 2A gives us a means to overthrow the government do not evoke the emotions you need from your audience. It only reinforces the emotional message that the media constantly harps on, which is that gun people are dangerous nuts.

        One of the big reasons why we didn’t get completely squashed after Newtown, despite the huge mass-media push against gun owners, was that we were able to harness the same outrage that drove the gun prohibition lobby and turn it back on them. We could turn and say, if your rules worked, they would have prevented this; why make more of the same rules that already don’t work? What is wrong with a society that won’t defend children? Why was there no help for those kids when a certified lunatic was right there shooting at them? So you really want schools and everyone in them to be completely helpless?

        And it worked, because there’s a huge well of righteous anger (and yes, fear) to be tapped when it comes to people protecting their families. And thanks to the internet, the national media can’t lock us out of the debate anymore. Back up the *right* emotional triggers with actual evidence — which we have, and the antis don’t — and then you start to win.

    • We don’t need emotion on our side. We use logic. Emotional arguments are part and parcel of the politicians who seek the support of low-information voters.

      The original quote, coined by Michael Savage, if I am not mistaken, is “Liberalism is a mental disorder.” Perverting and constantly repeating the comment as “Liberalism is a disease” is exactly the kind of resort to emotionalism in the debate that seems to be being argued against.

      And further, perverting the intent of the right to keep and bear arms as wanting to overthrow the government! What sort of non-sense hyperbole is this? The Declaration of Independence states:

      […]”That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”[…]

      And the Second Amendment was enacted by the people exactly so they would always have the means to take care of business according to the concepts leading to our initial revolution against the British. We cannot deny this truth, but we certainly cannot claim that the only intent is to overthrow the government when the fact is that it is only to maintain the ABILITY to overthrow the government, should that government itself make it necessary.

  16. At least kDan is getting out and teaching people how to shoot. What have the rest of you people done to help further the 2nd Amendment? OK keyboard commandos – flame away.

    • The situation appears to be this – sometimes the Individual writing the coverage does well, sometimes they don’t and sometimes things come across wrong.

      What I’d encourage those of us who can still get the ‘webs cleaned out of our skulls to do is this – remember that second almost-never-quoted-line :

      “…divided We fall”

      Don’t let one possibly mis-quoted / attributed article Divide those of us who believe in Liberty.

      Yes I’m an Instructor with Appleseed.

      But in a much easier state than NY

  17. “Liberty taken to the extreme is not a good thing,”

    Yeah, just ask Patrick Henry:
    “It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

    Or Sam Adams:
    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    No wonder a Defense Department training manual used by thousands of troops characterizes the Founding Fathers as ‘extremists’ (Mail Online)

    • Wow. When I read quotes by some of our Founders, I get chills. The good kind. Patrick Henry is one of my favorites. Thanks for that.

      • Why is it, that when this country was just being formed with so few men to choose from, some of the greatest in history were available to form this Grand Experiment. Yet today, with so many to choose from, we can find nary a one?

      • I’m always amazed at just how flawed the founding fathers were. And in spite of their flaws they created something that has never been equalled. They prove that you don’t have to be able to walk on water to do good things.

        • The just applied Ordinary Courage. Oblique reference to the memoir of Joseph Plumb Martin. I recommend it to all to so we might understand what it takes to make and support real change.

  18. On the other hand, considering there is an anthology of short stories called attack of the zombie hippies, (courtesy of the outstanding website I could see the confusion. Zombies have always struck me as an easy way out: a way to enjoy the bread and circuses the typical media blood orgy provides while sidestepping the ethical implications of the use of deadly force. But that being said, it also is a good way to provide common ground with the uninitiated and as a way to get them to start asking the important questions such as, “if society started collapsing what would I be willing to do in the defense of self and others? ” from there its a short leap to listing the infinite number of ways that has actually happened over the years.

  19. Having been quoted by media numerous time I have found this to be true;

    What they say you said has more to do with their agenda(s) & what they wanted you to say than what you really said. I find they can leave out a bit and change the meaning a lot.

    Therefore folks I tend to believe what I know to be true and very little of what is reported on by our so called media unless I have verified it independently.

    Maybe Robert since you decided to post this why not talk to the horse’s mouth & get both sides of the story?

    • I agree. I didn’t understand Robert’s point at all, other than to stir the pot.

      This seemed a confused and pointless TTAG entry.

      Admittedly, I don’t even know why people bother with Appleseed at all or why they get so gaga about it.

      If you want to learn to shoot, find a mentor, go out and shoot with them. If you haven’t yet built those relationships, then do it. It’s not hard, since law-abiding RKBA people tend to be solid, socially competent, and stoically tolerant.

      Why be dependent on organizations that hand out badges and patches and head-pats and whose instructors and backers are from god alone knows where?

      As for proof of competence, why isn’t the skill in itself enough?

      I’ve always sensed a whiff of intelligence op around Appleseed–governmental, marketing, I don’t know. Why would someone want to collect the names, addresses, financial information, and longarms skill assessments of millions of Americans? Of what use could that data possibly be, and to whom?

      But then again I never understood why some men need an entire football stadium full of other men, in a state of emotional hysteria, in order to Keep their Promises.

  20. I’ve been in forums where “zombie” is the keyword for people that aren’t white. The leap from zombies, i.e. not people, to people that you don’t like for whatever reason isn’t that big a leap. They look like people, but aren’t. The last time a group of people thought this was reasonable, they made lampshades out of other people. Fortunately, because of the internet no one can tell that I’m a dog.

    • why don’t we just stick to “zombie” Sophia? because:

      a. Zombies aren’t real
      b. nobody cares if imaginary things get shot full of holes
      c. there are always going to be people on both sides that say really really stupid things.

    • And I have been in forums where people take the actions of a few bigots/nutcases and try to assign those attitudes to millions of people who do not share that bigotry. It is the same mindset that uses mass shootings by mentally ill people or Islamic terrorists to call for the demonization of all American gun owners.

      All the while reminding us that we should not judge all mentally ill people or Muslims based on the actions of a few members of those groups.

    • I’ve run into a lot of racist scumbags online over the years and I have never seen them refer to nonwhites as zombies.

      There’s a whole encyclopedia of epithets for the various races they’ve come up with but that isn’t one of them.

      I think you’re trolling.

      And by the way, zombies have been popular in TV, media, etc. for the past decade because of 28 Days Later, the Dawn of the Dead remake, comic books and video games featuring them.

  21. I find the whole ‘Zombie’ thing in poor taste.

    so, with the current zombie craze going on, using zombie targets for practice is “extreme”? Oh for the love of God (this is not an invention for you to talk to me about religion, Grise).

    I suppose we’ll have to switch the targets over to vampires or something, but then the nitwits would accuse us of targeting Democrats….

  22. Past the initial reaction, it is an interesting question – is taking liberty to an extreme ever a bad thing? So I went to and looked up “liberty”. Third definition, second phase says, “power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.” So I experience liberty when I can choose what I do, think, say, etc. I agree with that.

    I am reminded of an incident many years ago at an informal shooting site where a stranger joined our group to shoot. When asked to watch his muzzle after he flashed all of us with a loaded 1911, he said, “I can do whatever I want because my gun is loaded and yours is not.” Things ended ok, but it was a tense moment.

    So liberty can mean I chose to take whatever action I want. So at an extreme this can lead to very negative outcomes – you can steal my stuff if you so choose. Liberty is not and will never be boundless, unless you perhaps live as a hermit in Alaska. That is why there are laws; they define boundaries and consequences to personal actions that harm others. Personally, I think this is liberty. It is freedom. If someone wants to live the thug life, that is their choice and they then have to deal with the consequences of it. If someone urinates in the communal well, they have to pay a price defined by the rest of us.

    What I think may fundamentally separate many of us from those who call for gun control, or thought control, or (insert noun here) control is this: I fundamentally believe each of us has the right to do whatever we wish, whenever, wherever, and to whomever. What keeps this from being anarchy are laws and personal rights to keep ourselves from harm. So free to act, but also free to suffer the consequences of harming others.

    I think often that the control people want to prevent action in order to avoid a consequence rather than to punish an actor after an event. Eliminate guns to prevent crime VS. let most everyone own firearms and only punish them if the owners then commit some harmful act with them. Certainly trying to control in advance leads to less liberty. The reality is that freedom and liberty can lead to very harmful consequences, yet the other choices are far worse. Ok, I say, Liberty to an extreme can be harmful. But then Freedom is messy, but is also the most desirable and necessary of all things. Or so it seems to me.

    • “I can do whatever I want because my gun is loaded and yours is not.”

      My first thought, which may not be the correct course of action, was to tell him, “OK then, I’m going to have one of my friends keep you covered with his rifle for the duration of your visit here. If at any time he feels you are threatening my life, he will take action to end the threat. How’s that suit you?”

      As I said, perhaps not the best course of action, but it amuses me to imagine how it would have played out from that point.

      • That’s not far off what my two buddies and I did. Kept at least one weapon off the shooting line and loaded. One more careless move on his part and we called it a day. The week after we heard about a string of murders and robberies at outside-of-town shooting sites in the deep South. Seems some thugs had decided to steal guns from people shooting out in the country. This was many years ago, but to this day, if I’m shooting out in the country I always make sure that I’ve got at least one weapon fully loaded and in arms reach at all times. Plus, I really liked the movie Silverado and never want to hear the phrase “You’re all out, mister” coming out of the mouth of a man with a lariat and ill intent.

        • +1 for Silverado. Great movie!

          And yeah, I’m paranoid like that, too; when I’m out shooting, with several guns sitting on the tailgate, I always have one loaded on my person just in case. If some thug happens to roll up while I’m downrange checking my targets, I can’t count on Mal Johnson showing up to set things right.

    • “So liberty can mean I chose to take whatever action I want. So at an extreme this can lead to very negative outcomes – you can steal my stuff if you so choose.”

      You are equating liberty with “license”. Liberty represents an individual right which does not infringe on the rights of others. Unfortunately, we now have a whole segment of the population that talks about the “right to feel safe”, which (they think) allows them to infringe on the liberty of others. Add the “right to not be offended” and you have a wonderful prescription for tyranny. The fallacy of claiming both of those “rights” is that they will always infringe on other rights – freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to keep and bear arms, etc.

      • I am not defining liberty thus, rather am using a dictionary definition of it. Using that definition, it is very easy to posit that liberty “to an extreme” can in fact lead to a negative outcome, namely a crime.

        • You’re using liberty correctly. Liberty is freedom of action and some people do bad things, which is why Thomas Jefferson distinguished between liberty and “rightful liberty.”

          “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

        • “…it is very easy to posit that liberty “to an extreme” can in fact lead to a negative outcome.”

          YES, Like someone else taking the liberty to shoot you dead.

  23. Eh, I’d not call him a “bad apple” rather he’s just thinking too much about all of this. It depends on what he meant by liberty taken to the extreme, if that means no laws at all then that is a reasonable statement, if that means we should limit things like free speech and privacy and the right to defend ourselves, then he’s nuts.


  24. I have been a NY Appleseed Instructor for 5 years. Project Appleseed is one of the best programs for all the Amendments. kDan has done more for the Amendments then most working class people. End of Story. I know him and I vouch for his character.

  25. kDan exists. He’s me and I am him.

    I didn’t use the word “liberal” in that context, but I do think those targets are stupid and make us look blood-thirsty, which is important to me because I’m trying to convince New Yorkers that we’re not. The implication of humanoid targets is obvious. How many of you saw those pregnant lady targets that were all over the web a few months ago?

    I did not say too much liberty is a bad thing either. That’s ridiculous. I have a part in my spiel when I say that “Individual Liberty, the way the founders meant it was not what we think today where it’s a free country and I can do what I want. Their Liberty was a liberty for a community of people to govern themselves.” Or something to that effect.

    In defense of the journalist. He was listening attentively and taking notes occasionally. He got some words mixed up. Words that don’t mean the same to him as they do to us. He’s allright.

    If the purpose of the piece is to get the word out to New Yorkers that they can shoot rifles and not be scared to death, then the piece is a success. It’s purpose was to reach out, not to preach to the choir. We have enough of that.

  26. If anything zombies would represent conservatives. Zombie moves are more popular with an R in the Whitehouse. Vampires take their place when there is a D (at least this was the case from the 50’s to 2008… I think Twilight ruined vampires and killed the cycle)

    Think about it, most Americans have a natural distrust of power. Dems view Republicans as conformists, status quo types. Squashing individualism. Whereas Republicans view Dems as a moral threat, destructive. Especially with sexual issues.

    Or so the argument goes. But at least it is an argument. Even if a stretch.

    Sure some Dems have been represented zombified. But that is not the same as Dems=zombies.

  27. Zombie Hunting Permit…
    Zombie Ammo…
    Zombie Bug Out Bag – I’ve seen these for sale.

    No hesitation targets are humanoid and again the implication is obvious. Some people need to train on humanoid targets and some people choose to and that’s fine. You can shoot zombie targets. I don’t care. They’re expensive. A journalist listened to me talk for eight hours and picked that to write about.

    It’s a good point that anything to get people shooting is good, and if kids want to shoot zombies that’s fine too.

    I have sensed the conversation to be duplicitious. Perhaps I’m wrong.

  28. Why is Robert being so quick to put such a negative spin about a great program and instructor based on a biased story when he himself has said “he hates the zombie thing?” As well as not disagreed in the past when others wrote (and he responded) that Zombie was a euphemism. See here:

    We all know that Zombie is a euphemism for the so-called “marauding hordes” that the doomsday prepper types are just a little too eager to mow down. Some of those people almost seem to look forward to it. We get this crap pumping through the boob tube every night. So I understand Dan 100% when he expresses his distaste for it.

    As Dan stated, he spent 8 hours with this writer and the guy chooses to focus on a few (misquoted) lines of personal opinion when Dan let his guard down. You try spending 8 hours with a writer who’s trying to get you to say something “controversial” and an editor who’s probably even more eager to make you look bad and see how well you fare.

    Dan has a tough row to hoe being in NYC, but he goes out there and puts his time and effort in many days/year to educate complete strangers about marksmanship and the spirit of the American Revolution. And he does it voluntarily. Perhaps the only “bad apple” here is Robert for putting this inflammatory and divisive spin of a factually questionable article on TTAG. It doesn’t help the cause. If he wanted to know if K-Dan was a real person, he could have found out in 5 minutes and could have had direct communication with him before putting up this hatchet job.

  29. Up in CT over the past few years, one right wing radio host has consistently used the audio from a Bob Hope movie from the 40’s, where one character describes what a zombie is. Bob replies “just like a democrat”,
    Sorry, in some circles liberals are considered mindless zombies.

  30. I have been an Appleseed instructor since the beginning and have taught over one hundred events and met thousands of great folks. KDan is one of them. I met Dan way back when I first started going up to do Appleseeds in Central NY. If this guy spent eight hours with Dan at an Appleseed (regular Appleseeds are two day events) and all he got out of it were some twisted misquoted I feel bad for him.

    I have known KDan for quite a while now and speak with him on a regular basis and I can assure you he does not have any screws loose. The Appleseed Project does not cookie cut our instructors either though. We have a very strenuous instructor training program and all of the instructors get very heavily vetted before they get their hats, but they are all individuals, and all men and women who have the best interests of the nation in their hearts, as well as a love for the documents that founded it.

    We seldom speak about any politics that are less than 200 years old, and at times some instructors setting up the story of April 19th, 1775 will use events such as The Boston Massacre to illustrate how previous events lead up to the beginning of our American Revolution.

    As with anything else, I always tell folks if they want to figure something out, go see it, read it, do it themselves and then make a decision. Appleseed and the things Appleseed teaches, do not belong to any political party. However, I would caution any liberals reading this to do some homework and see what happens when a government does become tyrannical and oppressive. The first thing they have always done, round up and imprison and execute….liberals. School teachers, artists, homosexuals, every liberal they could get their hands on got prison, gas chambers, plastic bags over their heads.

    Go to an Appleseed, set your self a goal of improving your rifle marksmanship, and learn how to shoot better than 99.9% of your fellow Americans, usually in just one weekend. Listen to some great history told by passionate story tellers and shake hands with your neighbors, fellow Americans who are attending the event. Then come back and write about it yourself.

    • Thank you Scout for your service and thank you Robert for getting the word out. I’m going to go to the next one and see if I can hack what it takes to help spread the word. For sure it wont happen in the MSM and btw you sure arent going to get the modicum of respect for varying backgrounds or points of view that you DO get here at TTAG when you go to places like HuffPo or the comments section at WAPO or NYT.

  31. read this blog and the article. ive been to 2 appleseed weekends. met some good folks who shared a good message. encouraged many to go to local appleseeds. my best guess- this Dan has lots of new york city thinking happening in his head. he isnt anything like the appleseed instructors i met.

  32. After attending a Rifleman event with a friend who went on to become an instructor, I personally believe the story is a fabrication with an intent to discredit not only the program but the 2md Amendment.

    The program’s intent is to promote two objectives, and they work hard and are intent on keeping politics out of it. Had any of the program’s instructor’s said what this author claims, he (instructor) would have been banished from the program. The targets used are all military style targets. Having said that, in a weekend you’ll recieve incredible instruction on how to properly shoot a rifle in the 4 stand positions. You are continuously scored and given additional instruction where needed. The breaks are filled with lectures about the American Revolutionary War. The instructors are required to memorize the scripts word for word, they are graded and have to be nearly perfect prior to being cleared to give these presentations.

    This is a fine program, you will learn to shoot properly, learn gun safety & handling and learn some very interesting history.

    I personally believe that this authors report is a paid smear campaign.


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