When it comes to breaking Firearm Safety Rules I get asked the following question all the time: “Why do you break established Firearm Safety Rules?” Rhetorically, I have the urge to ask “Why do most people who follow Firearm Safety Rules still get shot?” But depending upon who I’m speaking to the answer will actually vary. The reason why there is a variation in the answers I provide is because many people do not have the mental maturity (or emotional maturity) to mentally digest the some answers that I will give them.
Another reason why my answers vary is because some people only will ask you the question to bait me into an unfruitful argument. What I find is, when they do that they get SHUT DOWN UNAPOLOGETICALLY. When this occurs it only pisses them off even more. In other cases, the person asking me the question: “Why do you break Firearm Safety Rules?” is their way of attempting to verbally to chastise or humiliate me in an attempt to gain favor amongst his or her peers. However, their are the people that asked me these questions in good faith. In doing so that they are able to actually able to learn something from my position. Those are the types of people in which I favor.
When I break Firearm Safety Rules I do so so that we are able to facilitate a certain role in the Growth and Development of the Client at hand. As a Professional I am looking to create situations in which it allows the Client to engage in critical thinking, exploration, and gain a certain level of understanding so that they are able to make the sound JUDGEMENTS in conjunction with the LAW.
Many people also state (because they view me as being unsafe based upon people who have never seen me before) that they would never shoot with me or take a “class”. First, I don’t give “classes” I provide Sessions and secondly I’m quite honestly OK with them never shooting or take a Session with me. Yep, I'm cool with that. The reason for that is because for one to be a VODA Client there again takes a certain level of maturity to be taught and to shoot along side me. And since this is the case it locks many people out of the VODA experience. And yes, it truly is an experience.
For most “instructors” around this country in order to get into their “class” all you need is cash, check, C.O.D., and in some cases even Food Stamps LOL! Yes I have seen instructors take Food Stamps. But what makes me unique as a Firearm Educator is that the knowledge and insight that I have cannot be bought. It must be imparted in a specific way so that the Shooter can absorb what is being articulated.
I hear it all the time: "Your unsafe and I would never shoot with you". I would say well what about the NRA instructors and POLICE that have actually either shot themselves and or killed students and are still teaching? How safe are they? But in any case often times when I reply I say: "Good, I wouldn’t want you to shoot with me neither, as you do not have what it takes to be a VODA Client." For me it's not about how good you shoot. It's more concerned about your level of cognition. That's what matters the most. I like to work with people who are as free from cognition biases as possible or people that are able to identify their cognitive biases and set them to the side. This is seen when people respectfully agree to disagree but are able to come together for a greater cause.
Moreover, Firearm Safety Rules often impede training or simply get in the way of training. That's right! Often times instructors are so hell bent on being safe that their classes lack the realism needed for the Learner to effectively apply what is possibly being conveyed into a more applicable role. Meaning: there is a difference between THEORY and the REAL WORLD. For instance, in the real world the Firearm Safety Rule of:
"Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. "
Is one that gets broken time after time again. The reason I say this because all too often we hear about people who say:
"Just drawing the gun out of the holster is often enough to stop the Bad Guy."
But the question still remains: “Will the Good Guy actually be willing to destroy a life to protect his own or was the Good Guy just hoping that if he showed his gun the Bad Guy would stop?” Only the Good Guy would ever know. Truth be told most people don’t want to shoot anyone. In many cases they flat out are not. And the reason for this is because for many people the firearm is a security blanket.
I scientifically break Firearm Safety Rules through Science (my baby!). And by scientifically breaking Firearm Safety Rules I can elicit, build, create and facilitate the following:
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO TRAIN FOR REALITY BUT TO TRAIN AS CLOSE TO REALITY AS POSSIBLE. All of these points and more are important to the Client in that these pillars of VODA Consultations. As taken from my website:
"Biochemical – When facing the "business end" of any weapon system the body will produce a response: “Fight or Flight”. It is then and only then that we obtain the opportunity to truly explore the variable that matter most – "willingness to fight". Biochemically the body will change its composition [cortisol (stress) levels, dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (brain, body, action)]. By working in this manner, we at VODA seek to effectively take small steps to help rewire the clients neurotransmitters thus, increasing the likelihood of survival."
"Repetition & Muscle Memory – Good luck cycling a slide on a "Blue Gun" or nearly any training pistol worth anything for that matter. At VODA we are big on building efficiency through continuous repetition and muscle memory. Whether cycling the slide or loading the cylinder, pressing the trigger, or aligning sights on a real human subject, there is no training pistol that will give you that. Why? Because training pistols simply do not have the same physical attributes of an actual firearm; what they lack are the character, feel, and authenticity of an actual firearm. Like Coke-A-Cola: “There’s Nothing Like The Real Thing”."
"Realism – Why train different that you fight? Even more important, why train different than you fight then expect to perform at optimum levels when it really counts? Even though you are training with a “Blue Gun” or training pistol and you may simulate that with all your heart following the “Safety Rules” (which are meant to be broken to a degree) your brain knows it’s not a real gun thus, it will act accordingly for purposes of efficiency. It should be noted that our Force-on-Force work is truly one of a kind."
"Lack of Control – We do not promote recklessness. You must be able to control yourself and not get “caught up” in the moment. VODA provides consultation for this."
See after going through a session with me, the VODA Client knows that there's a vast difference between Gun-Fighting an actual Marksmanship as it pertains to their everyday lives. This is to include the eye-opening experience that Law Enforcement and Military personnel have to go through as they transition from those rolls into the CIVILIAN sector. How you handle a firearm in the Military or as a POLICE OFFICER does not necessarily transfer over into how you should be handling a firearm while being a CIVILIAN. This is because it requires a different kind of mindset and or outlook. This is why I coined the term Civilian Operator™.
Often times for the Civilian Operator™ there is no Quick Reaction Force, there is no backup or a partner that they're going to be necessary in contact with that is going to help them effectively deal with Bad Guys as they come about. So what the Civilian Operator™ needs is for his training to facilitate the real life conditions that he or she may most likely encounter on a day to day basis.
Remember, I am a trained Professional in this realm of firearm training. Never attempt what you see with out my guidance.