Firearms Training Is Not Cultural Appropriation
There is a troubling and belligerently fascist pattern that seems to continually repeat on social media, on Twitter in specific, that is aimed at shutting down discussion of personal-defense issues, tactics, and lessons to be gleaned from real-world events. Unlike the prevalent and many leftist examples, this articulation of cancel culture for supposed cultural appropriation is perpetuated by some supposedly-not-leftist veterans of our armed forces and law-enforcement.
I’ve seen this pattern repeat many times and I'm sure it happens to others too, but more lately as there are now a handful of trolls who monitor my account looking for opportunities to remove context from and criticize my posts, and demean me personally, of course—which is fine, but it’s still despicable and sad. It’s the kind of thing badly raised children do. If we were talking about avowed leftists, images of these trolls stationed at the computer in mom’s basement come to mind, but vets and former LEOs tend to lead somewhat more-responsible lives than that. Most of them are not avowed leftists (though some clearly are). The result, however, is identical; trolls exist to knee-jerk criticize anyone that offends their delicate psyches, to gather compatriot trolls to help them “win” the tweet argument (that has nothing to do with the facts or substance of the posts they attack), and otherwise to darken other peoples’ days. That’s who these folk are.
Don’t You Dare Appropriate My Culture!
The prevailing theme I’ve encountered lately, coming from veterans and ex-law-enforcement folk is:
It’s cute that you’ve trained for practical defense with firearms and unarmed disciplines for many years, but you’ll never have any relevant skill or understanding, so shut up.
I’ve encountered this idiocy more mildly before, but a prime example of how some who claim not to be leftists are adopting cancel culture by decrying cultural appropriation (a leftist behavior) happened to me a couple months ago. I no longer have the posts (my tweets are set to self-destruct after 24 hours), but the particulars of the encounter are specific and illustrative.
Because someone took one of my Twitter posts out of context, the straw man the troll invented was getting roundly abused. The trollfest got one person to ask if I was a veteran. I assured him I was not; that I’m just an ordinary citizen who trains with firearms, and have for years, several days a week. That person then told me that I should stop practical firearms training and “leave that to the professionals” (a direct quote). I don’t recall my specific response, but I likely and rightly told him something close to, Like hell, fuck off with that bullshit. I then pointed out, accurately, that the belief that only current and former military members should be allowed to train to be competent with firearms is a leftist argument, indicative of one’s leftist morality. A fact. It’s the argument they’ve long used to justify their ideal of a disarmed populace. It is particular to leftists, and I said so.
That didn’t go over so well. I was immediately told by other now-apoplectic folk that the person I’d told to fuck off was special… a current or former SF operator or Teams guy or similar. All of which is wholly irrelevant. But when you’re dealing with emotional snowflakes invested in your supposed violation of cultural appropriation, and you’ve called out their Twitter Hero on something clear and obvious, facts and logic do not matter.
I didn’t know who the guy was (still don’t) and don’t care. It was immaterial to the substance of the discussion. But when derangement syndrome sets in, and hungry trolls are the ones involved, nothing appropriate can be said that matters. Especially in the context of a medium as abrupt and inarticulate as Twitter.
More Cultural Appropriation
Another recent example of this destructive and childish behavior is telling. One of the accounts I follow posted this RT with an astute comment (I’ve hidden the author, not wishing to involve him/her in the inane trollfest that ensued…and likely now will again). I retweeted the post.
The video in question can be seen here: https://twitter.com/realjuliasong/status/1302275614439809027 and I believe this version details only the end of what was a pretty long stalk by the knife-wielding perpetrator in the video.
Someone then responded to me, saying that they questioned the ammo the cop was using (implying that it was not effective enough). I responded with, “The ammo doesn’t matter. Shot placement does.” I went on to critique the “negligent and hysterical” behavior (my words) of the badge-cam cop there. In keeping with the constraints and idiom of Twitter, my comments were terse and less-than-fully explicit, but they were, in context, entirely accurate. The fact is that the cop made some needless and costly mistakes (as others have long ago discussed and widely concluded). That’s not opinion, that’s plain fact. However…
Another childish trollfest ensued, and I was asked by a few veteran/ex-LEO folk on Twitter just how many people I’ve shot and stopped – and – if I’m a vet or former cop. My answer was, of course, none, and no. At which point I was told by several of them that until I’ve killed/stopped some folk with well-placed rounds, I mustn’t comment on advisable, effective shot placement –and—until I’ve been a cop for a while, I mustn’t comment on a cop’s mistakes during events like the one in question. It was all more childish and nastier than I’ve explained here, but the arguments were the same.
It’s the cultural-appropriation accusation/argument all over again.
It’s also 100% bullshit.
One doesn’t have to be a cop to understand the mistakes. The mistakes made in the course of the incident are clear, obvious to many, and require no membership in some special culture to understand or point out. It may be worth noting, however, that the specific video in reference was just the final portions of the event. There’s more to consider and that video did not evince that fact.
In any event, leftists are the ones who continually endeavor to shut people down, to silence people’s voices, to cancel people’s influence. Moral Americans don’t pursue those evil and childish ends and it concerns me that folk who are supposedly and, in most instances, actually are paragons of moral-American patriotic virtue are stooping to leftist tactics to confront those they disagree with…and for mere emotional reasons—another leftist idiom. These leftist-vet trolls are wrong and they’re doing more damage than they know.
Ordinary Citizens vs. Cancel Culture
The emerging fascist culture in America is not relegated merely to D.C. and the racist and black-clad commie thugs who are burning down businesses and assaulting and murdering citizens in the street. The clear, moral lines of division are not just dividing evil from good, it seems. The fact that they’re forming is obviously making Americans—lots of Americans—more comfortable with the idea of divisiveness. Us vs. Them is being more widely adopted as an ideal and is apparently getting more granular in definition, which is a leftist’s wet dream!
One of the effects of this apparent trend is that more vets (right now, just the childish trolls among them) are seemingly investing in the idea that ordinary folk have no business responsibly forging their own defense and skill at arms. The expressed sentiments and verbatim statements I’ve encountered lately include:
- It’s fine that you run your pathetic drills on the flat range, but in a real fight you’d just curl up into a fetal position and cry.
- You're just tring to be one of us, but you don't have the balls to take an oath.
- Just stop the firearms practice. Leave that to the pros.
- If you’re not a (LEO/vet) you have no idea what is technically proper.
- If you’ve never killed anyone, shut up about what is and is not an effective target on the human body.
- It’s stupid for someone to share videos of practical shooting drills if they’ve never had to fight in combat.
- If you’re not a vet, you can’t respond with anything other than deference when a vet insults you or maligns your character.
- You shouldn’t even have an account.
- If you follow the account of someone who continually trains with firearms but is not a vet, you’re a mouth-breathing larper.
And there are others, but these capture the primary theme: Cancel Culture.™
It’s all rather dismaying and confusing and demagogic, because there’s an entire industry that is well populated with former LEOs and former special operators built on the idea that ordinary citizens should spend vast sums of their incomes on classes with these “experts” and utilize the training to guide them in their ongoing responsible practice in order to gain growing competence with firearms and practical defensive skill. But, oddly, I’m continually told by ex-LEOs and vets that to actually develop that skill and competence is pathetic; something worthy of derision; fake; …best left “to the pros.”
That evil idea is anti-liberty, anti-responsibility, and anti-American. And that is why this emerging fascist culture among the more idiotic of American veterans and former LEOs is so disturbing and dangerous.
I have no beef with LEOs or vets. I know and train with former LEOs and veterans every week. I practice side-by-side with them. I take classes from them and often assist them in the training. These guys are nothing like the childish vet trolls that accost me in my Twitter timeline. Rather, they continually share their insights and regularly tap me for my opinions and expertise.
I’ve spent 30+ years training nearly every day to better maim and kill men who are stronger and faster than me, both unarmed and with a variety of weapons—yet I’ve never killed a man, and that’s a good thing. I’ve long studied human anatomy, neural responses, tissue adaptation, kinesiology, and psychology like a grad student. I’ve choked men out. I’ve knocked men out. I’ve been choked out and knocked out myself. I’ve taken quite a few licks of my own in training and competition over the years and, not surprisingly, I have plenty to show for it. But I am and always will be a student. This lifelong ongoing study has instilled within me a far greater respect for life than I expect I could ever have understood otherwise.
No, I’ve never been in combat and I’ve never worn a badge. Unlike those who have and who do, my responsibility is to avoid situations where I might have to maim or kill someone—something that these trolls’ fascist derision finds fault with. I’m damn good at it and that’s not a liability, and it’s not something worthy of derision. While in their careers, most vets and cops trained (very little) because they had to engage in violence, I’ve trained (a lot) so that I might never have to. I make no moral distinction; I merely point out the facts.
Yes, some of them have trained more than others, but the vast majority are laughably, negligently undertrained. This is widely known and widely (and rightly) ridiculed. Yet I and others like me who responsibly, continually train are supposed to shut up and just publicly kowtow.
Ordinary citizens need to be secure in the fact that it is responsible (not ridiculous) to develop defensive skill and firearms competence.
Ordinary citizens need to be secure in the fact that it is not cultural appropriation to learn from military or law-enforcement encounters; to study, point out, or criticize the mistakes made—or to delve into, examine, and praise the good tactics or strategies employed—and to share those efforts with others. It’s what smart, wise, and helpful people do.
Ordinary citizens need to be secure in the fact that courage and resolve under duress are not exclusive to military members and LEOs. Those qualities have to be forged, but responsible folk make a point to do so.
And ordinary citizens need to be secure in the fact that vets and active-military members who hold with the ridiculous idea that ordinary folk should not train with firearms is a very dangerous thing and an implied threat to our lives, our liberty, and to our Republic. It’s just one of the reasons our Founders recognized and consecrated our rights in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, and why we all really must responsibly train.
Finally, while I know what this destructive and evil behavior is going to continue, it sure would be nice to see some of the more American, more responsible, more mature vets call out these childish fuktards on their awful behavior. Surely it is visible and noticed. One wonders why they remain unconcerned.
In any event, I’ll continue to train and continue to share insights whenever I choose to. And I’m happy to discuss and even debate the substance of those insights. And when I do, it’s not cultural appropriation. It’s responsible American citizenship.