3 Aug 17
“When you are not prepared to confront your own death (with a grim smile) and chose to fight courageously, and die when that is the final outcome, for values and beliefs that are more important to you than life itself, then you are, in truth, unprepared and should never consider yourself ‘well trained.’”
Beware of agenda-driven “studies” that purport to “prove” the value (or lack of value) of a particular piece of equipment or technique, particularly when the report gets conclusions, assumptions, and suppositions mixed-in with each other, right from the beginning.
We need to keep in mind that studies and research projects into the Art of defensive shooting merely tell us what we did. They don’t tell us what we should have done!
The real issue in researching “actual gunfights” is foolishly succumbing to sweeping conclusions drawn from an invariably minuscule number of samples. In addition, much of the “data” from such research is extracted from second-hand observers. Even first-hand observers are influenced by prejudice, agendas, and misperceptions. “Confirmation bias” routinely rears its ugly head.
Truly “non-biased research” is thus a rare commodity!
Accordingly, I’m automatically skeptical when a researcher claims he has “proved” something, particularly when he actively advocated for his conclusion(s), long before his “research” ever started!
Gun manufacturers, in their promotional material, often cite dubious “studies” (often funded by the manufacturer) that claim to “prove” the superiority of their product. What a coincidence! Do you suppose their marketing departments are guilty of “confirmation bias?”
When a researcher claims that a technique is “invalid,” because it is not observed being used, that doesn’t necessarily mean it would not have been beneficial had it been used. It just means people aren’t doing it, for whatever reason.
This issue comes up frequently with the topic of the use of pistol sights. Some claim that pistol sights are useless, because in “actual gunfights” nobody ever really sees/uses them.
That may be at least partiality true, but the logical conclusion is not that the use of pistol sights could therefore never have been beneficial in any of those incidents, nor that many shooters actually do make use of sights, but just don’t remember those kinds of details well.
The fact that something isn’t observed being done, or isn’t done well, doesn’t necessarily mean it shouldn’t/can’t be done, nor does it necessarily mean training to do it would not be beneficial.
Years ago, we were told that holding a pistol in two hands is just a “range technique,” because “… in actual gunfights, everyone shoots with only one hand.”
The truth is, “in actual gunfights” our students will do what they’ve been trained to do. When their training is poor, poor results should not be surprising!
“Fighting isn’t all there is to the Art of War. Men who think that way, and are satisfied to have food to eat and a place to sleep, are mere vagabonds. A serious student is much more concerned with training his mind and disciplining his spirit than with merely developing his martial skills.”