Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Professionalism in shooting (and some football lingo)

There’s a few different types of folks out there carrying guns frequently. I try to keep an
internal log of their behaviors and their numbers. Below, I’ll give you my observations.
not to scale

The first group is people that get paid to use a gun frequently that should and do practice
their craft regularly (Green). We like to think of our mighty military as being these guys.
I wish they were. If I had a genie in a bottle, this is one of those things I’d task him with.
However, even with the most powerful military force in the history of the universe, it’s rare
to find a truly impressive shooter working for the DOD. I know you are out there reading
this and said “SOCOM Motherfucker!” And I will absolutely agree that those cats, in
general, far exceed the rest of the Military. Having shot with some guys with funny hats
and a few vanilla frogs I’m still not sold on the overall abilities of that “branch” taking their
job as shooters seriously enough. Too large of a portion of these guys, and the vast bulk
of the rest of the Military machine fall into the second group.

This group is paid to use it infrequently yet often do not, and in large numbers, practice that
craft. (Blue). These people are not professional, nor are the professionals. We see this in
Law Enforcement with alarming regularity. People who, by job description, are much more
likely to use a gun to defend themselves yet treat it as an occupational obligation.
Something they are forced to carry but do not value having the skills to use it to even a
portion of its potential effectiveness.

Some people do not get paid to ever carry a gun, yet they hone their craft much more than
the second group sometimes more than the first group (Orange). These people are the
practice squad in the NFL. They prepare as though they are going to play the Superbowl
with zero expectation of ever putting any of their skills to any measurable test. This
exemplifies professional behavior. These are the people we should admire. That Green
group meets our expectations, that Blue group miserably fails them, but that third group,
the Orange. They do more than is likely needed, certainly more than is ever asked, and
they relish the opportunity to push further.

Most people in that second group, carrying a gun is their job and they treat it like any of the
unpleasant parts of a typical job. They do as much as they have to to keep their job. The
first group, those are the all-stars, they are in the big game, they know when and where
they are playing and they prepare accordingly. I often wonder how many continue putting in
the work once they become members of the third group. Or do they fall into the fourth
group? (Pink). The people who own a gun and therefore they are prepared for everything.
Reliving the days long past, do they become the Al Bundy's of the world, talking about that
time their number was called back in the day, from the comfort of the couch?

I’m going to have to say that the mindset that is to be most favorably viewed is that
third (Orange) group. The ones who train like tomorrow is their Superbowl, knowing that the
chances of being in the big game are as likely as riding their unicorn to the lotto office to cash
the winning powerball ticket while they get struck by lightning. That’s the dedication and
professionalism that I like to celebrate since it’s so often overlooked.
I’m not knocking my word-champ, OBL-slaying Teamguy here, I’m just recognizing those
10 guys who didn't make the 53-man cut. They have a dedication that is difficult to replicate.
They are the ones I put on a pedestal, and rightfully so.