One of the great things about attending high quality seminars on firearms training is that we learn a lot of pithy sayings that have application both in firearms and self defense training, but also in everyday life.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I attended the Rangemaster Tactical Conference as a presenter. When I wasn't presenting, I was free to attend the other presentations of my choice. One instructor - fellow attorney Manny Kapelsohn, speaking on "Lessons Learned from Use-of-Force Cases," discussed ways to reduce the chance of a negligent discharge. One of his sayings immediately stuck with me:
"Train on drawing and then NOT shooting."
In other words, train on drawing your weapon without actually having to pull the trigger.
It may seem self evident that this is good advice. The problem is that most instructors don't cover this needed skill, since they are spending time a) helping the student learn to draw safely and b) getting accurate hits on target as quickly as possible. The whole "train on drawing and then not shooting" doesn't get covered except in the better firearms training programs.
The more I've thought about this over the last few days, the more I've realized this advice applies to a lot of things in life, with some modifications:
Train on gaining knowledge and then NOT starting an argument.
Train on physical fitness and then NOT injuring yourself by overdoing it.
Train on developing your faith of choice and then NOT being overbearing when sharing it with others.
Train on first aid skills and then NOT treating every patient as if they are dying.
Train on preparedness skills and then NOT presuming the worst case scenario will happen.
My point is this: while training for the worst case scenario or running full speed at something can help develop us, not everything requires us to pull the trigger, argue with a friend or colleague, push ourselves beyond what is safe or pontificate to others.
Make no mistake: this is a problem within the preparedness community. Many within the movement like to argue, to be bellicose, or to pontificate. The media does us no favors, regularly portraying us a "doomsday preppers," readying ourselves for some apocalyptic scenario, rather than the more likely ones which can kill us just as easily.
And we often take the bait, happily telling people we're ready for the next riot/financial crisis/terrorist attack, often failing to prepare ourselves for a medical emergency, a kitchen fire, or a short term power outage. In other words, we draw and we shoot: we prepare for and default to our worst case scenario plan when the situation may not call for it.
Train on drawing and then NOT shooting. Train for the possibility that you may not need the most extreme measure or solution to solve a problem. Train for the possibility that a less robust response may be all that is needed from you.
We need to be demonstrating this to others, especially those in the preparedness community. So many new to preparedness think it's always about preparing for the mother of all emergencies. And when that happens, it's often hard for them to process how best to prepare for those scenarios. By demonstrating to others that the worst case scenario may not always call for a full on response but rather for a more nuanced approach, we will greatly increase the likelihood the newer prepper sees the value in learning the basic readiness skills all Americans should have.
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