What's Your Training Doing For You?
Posted on October 28 2020
“A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.”
While gun sales typically increase in an election year, the buyers are typically those who already own. 2020, however, is showing something completely different. Amidst the pandemic, the divisive political environment and civil unrest, all fires stoked by media companies, millions of Americans are buying for the first time. An NRA spokesperson suggests that the new surge is because “Americans know their safety is ultimately in their own hands.” Based on recent events in major cities where law enforcement has been forced to stand-down, and the further exodus of many law enforcement officers who no longer desire to serve under significant population scrutiny and generalizations, the NRA seems to have a point. We, as Americans, are ultimately responsible for the safety of ourselves and our loved ones.
For my veteran friends who have served in the past as range instructors, they are now making good money training new gun-owners how to handle their weapons. While this is encouraging, as I believe all gun owners should receive a high-level of weapons handling training, the stories they tell are frightening. I am certainly curious how many negligent discharges have occurred in 2020 and how many have been hurt. What is not encouraging, however, is that many seem to believe that buying a gun and training on its use is the complete answer to personal protection. What is worse, is that those already skilled in weapons handling believe the same. It is not.
With the pandemic, gyms across the nation have been shut down and among our own military, combat readiness tests have been canceled partially because of gym closures, preventing our troops from training, and partially due to safety. The Army’s new Combat Readiness Test is even further delayed because it is now being reviewed as potentially discriminating towards women and may affect soldiers’ promotions due to its difficulty. Many are happy to accept that physical training has been stymied. While gun sales are booming due to a desire for individual protection, somehow, we are happy to dismiss physical readiness. Here we are: our police afraid to pull a weapon, our civilians don’t know how to handle them and yet we are content to accept a lack of physical readiness or an inability to train. If American’s feel that safety comes down to the individual, should this not also apply to physical readiness? It’s time to change the narrative behind your training.
The majority of American’s view the gym as a place to lose weight or enhance their appearance. A lesser number view the gym as a place to become more functional. They desire to move better, be stronger for the sake of being stronger, or rehab old injuries. Very few see the gym as a place to become more dangerous. I might argue that it is more important than ever to now see it in this way.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” -Romans 12:18
Recently I posted a photo on Instagram of a law enforcement officer that had been beaten by a crowd, simply for wearing the uniform, representing a system that they view as discriminatory and totalitarian. While I don’t know the specifics of this event, such as whether or not the officer was able to pull a weapon or had chosen not to due to the scrutiny such an action might inspire, the fact of the matter is that he was physically assaulted and left bloodied. What should be made clear from this incident among others, is that if conflict comes to us, we must be physically ready and capable to dole out violence as necessary to protect ourselves and others. The gym needs to be more than a place to train for aesthetics. It needs to be a place to become dangerous. Good, but dangerous.
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