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Shooting is an excellent way to get those endorphins flowing. It’s a hoot. In some cases, it’s also a holler. The problem with whooping it up: you need to train yourself to take shooting seriously. Whether you’re shooting Taliban, targets or (maybe someday hopefully not) violent perps, you need to get into the zone and stay there until you’ve stopped shooting or the threat is over. In terms of practice, pausing to savor your friends’ war whoops or redneck yell, or to generate one yourself, is harmless fun and excellent bonding. But the old “train as you mean to fight dictum” kicks in. Or should. Either that or I’m an anal retentive killjoy without a sense of humor, real-world experience or perspective. As if.

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  1. You are in fact, an anal retentive killjoy without a sense of humor.

    Not all shooting is “training”. It’s perfectly fine to go to a range to have fun.

    You don’t have to picture taking out a gang of rampaging terrorists every time you shoot your AK.

  2. i would say for the situation in the video, that kind of shouting is a good way to alleviate the stress of having your life threatened. the same thing goes for similar videos i’ve seen of guys directing airstrikes, or ac130 gunfire unto targets, i think there is a video of that on the same website this video is from. seeing giant ****ing explosions firsthand, i’d get pretty hyped up too.

    getting this excited shooting at the range? , not so much. it would seem this is a “you would have to be there to understand” type of thing,” if i saw people shouting and yelling like this shooting at stationary targets in front of dirt berms, i would probably laugh.

    they get hyped up like this on bomb patrol Afghanistan in g4 too, (EOD guys are crazy brave btw)

  3. I confess, I once shot a Quarter at 15 yards with a Glock 9mm.
    While I did not whoop, I confess that silently put the gun down and raised my hands in triumph.
    Plan to try this with a Blackhawk .45

  4. I vote kill joy without perspective.

    There’s a problem with whooping? These are not policemen, they are killers. Whatever it takes to keep them in a killing mood is all right with me. I don’t see how it can detract from their performance.

    Also when they hear each other making commentary like that, it reassures them that the men on their flanks are okay. What you are critical of is actually a benefit in so many ways. They were not out of control, and they need not maintain silence since the gun is much louder than they are.

    I’m not even sure what grounds you have to object.

    • Agreed. If you’ve never sent belt fed freedom down range you wouldn’t know that hollering actually helps calm you down, get you in the right mindset. It’s like when football players get all pumped up before a game. Or when bill dance kisses a beautiful bass. IMO

  5. Fargo may need to go back and look at his military history regarding the joyful noise. History is full of examples of the tactical importance of the yell. The cathartic release is important, and the stonefaced hero role that has been drilled into your head by some tactical trainer with a hard-on for John Wayne movies isn’t training for real life, it’s training for a movie role.

  6. Also when they hear each other making commentary like that, it reassures them that the men on their flanks are okay. What you are critical of is actually a benefit in so many ways.

    Bears repeating.

  7. The main things I found interesting in the video were:

    1) changing the ammo can on the .50 in that turret looks like a pain in the ass, if they were moving would have been even more difficult.
    2) turret doesn’t appear to have taken spent casings and links accumulation in mind in its design.
    3) Turret needs a spot for spray bottle of CLP.

    • Funny that you said that. I’m a fan of things that are well-designed and “just work,” so I most definitely picked up on the first two things you listed.

      I’m the guy that sits in the back of the room and asks, “But what about the spent casings?” “We haven’t figured that out yet, but it will take another ten grand in design costs…” “So? Stumbling over spent casings is stupid and dangerous. Fix it.”

      Clearly they need me on the design team.

    • And, with the Taliban, don’t leave anything on the batttlefield that they might find useful (like handy 50 cal ammunition cans). Far too useful for storing stuff, reasonably watertight and robust.

      Keep your stuff in the vehicle people. Including spent casings. Leave NOTHING that they can melt down and reuse, convert into a booby trap or whatever unless it will cost lives to do so.

      Ask any Nam vet about that.

  8. I sleep soundly because these gentlemen are out there doing their job. If they wanted to sing Whitney Houston’s greatest hits while sending rounds down range, then that’s fine with me.

  9. There is a reason why we want young, strapping lads in our military front line rather than the old, fat, white guys that compose the general membership at TTAG.

    The video vs. the editorial opinion of it is a perfect illustration as to why. If we didn’t have soldiers with an overly aggressive desire to extinguish the enemy – we wouldn’t be the great country that we are today.

  10. The human brain is perfectly capable, and in fact specifically designed, to tell the difference between “hey, this is fun” and “kill, kill, kill or die”.

    Shooting for practice and sport is fun, especially when machine guns are involved. The mind and body are well aware when shooting is not fun, and one’s mind and body will automatically adjust in that context. I see no reason to subdue the “fun” sort out of fear it’ll bleed into the “un-fun” sort. It won’t.

  11. As one who has “gotten some joy” behind a M2 I can tell you that not screaming like a fool is probably the most difficult thing to do with one.

    While they may be bad for PR, battle cries have many important benefits. Not the least of which is getting the men around you pumped up for the incoming sh!tstorm. It’s not much different than what the coach or the QB does in the huddle.

  12. How intimidating do you think it would be to suddenly realize the person you’re in a fire fight with is thoroughly enjoying themselves?

  13. I don’t understand the criticism here, what is “the problem with whoopin it up”? You allude to a problem and than state the need to “stay in the zone”, but my question is can you yell, scream and holler and still be in the zone? Is there an intrinsic tactical disadvantage to making noise in any firefight, not just a military engagement? In a DGU is there a disadvantage to you hootin and hollerin that does not also apply to a group of US soldiers? I am really curious as to why you think this is an activity that needs critiquing, and your reasoning to back up your remarks.

    • The problem with whoopin’ it up is that it betrays the fact that you’re not taking the life-and-death decisions involved in your actions seriously. This kind of behavior is more associated with drunken revelry rather than rational and responsible gun handling.

  14. I agree with the comments about the value and rationale for the battle cries. I say it’s similar to the “gallows humor” that exists in emergency rooms and operating rooms. It’s actually a necessary psychological compensation for a very stressful situation (life and death).

    I was lucky enough to fire a deck-mounted M2 in full-auto (off the fantail of the USS Independence). It IS a thrill. Fortunately, I was not engaged in battle.

  15. Is there any actual point to this video, other than seeing our tax dollars go up in smoke for no apparent reason?

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad everyone in the video is having “fun”. I just think it stinks that I have to pay for it.

    USA! USA! USA! etc., etc.

    • He’s actively trying to kill some people. They are in a fire fight from what I can tell.

      He seems to be going through the ammo pretty quickly, but that’s what machine guns do.

      • And I’m not going to second guess his fire discipline from my seat in my house. He has plenty of people around to tell him if he’s not doing it right. We can’t see his targets and what they’re up to.

        The enemy in Afghanistan rarely has a weapon with the range of the M-2, so it’s not so crazy for the others to be walking about without taking cover. Again, I’m not going to second guess what they were doing.

    • That’s one of the few contexts I’m happy to watch my tax dollars go up in smoke.

      Now if only the government would stop burning several bajillion times as much on things that are much less useful to me than .50 cal being sent towards bad guys.

      • right James, the entire convoy is shooting into the distance for no apparent reason. why don’t you go and pick up brass on some random afghani road yourself if you are so concerned about how much 50cal ammo guys are using to cover their behinds.

      • Which “bad guys”? The ones we armed and supported through the ’80s? Or the ones defending their country from an illegal occupation?

        • The ones that, despite our helping them overthrow a violent and oppressive Soviet occupation, then turned around and hosted a terrorist organization that melted our sky scrapers and punched a hole in the Pentagon and then rather than turn them over to us decided to fight against us.

          • 15 of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, not Afghani.

            According to the official story, which you apparently subscribe to without question, all of them were killed in the attacks. What was there for the average Afghani to turn over?

            • The organization that attacked us was unquestionably operating in Afghanistan.

              I can’t believe that sane people can’t even agree with that much.

  16. Mr. Farago you need to lighten up, that poor gunner was hit in the neck by shrapnel during that engagement, so let him whoop all he wants while he gets payback.

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