Training Stumbling Block One: Ego.

Good afternoon folks,and welcome aboard Range Safety Officer Airways. The first destination today in our multi-part travels through the airpsace of Handgun Performance Stumbling Blocks is Ego.

Conveniently located next to the river Denial, Ego is a regrettably popular destination for many gun owners.

I should know, as for too many months I was a resident of Ego. Every time I hit the range I’d fire two mags at the 7 yard line, hit mostly center, and felt like a rockstar.

Then I took this drill called Dot Torture. How hard could it be? Heck, i’ve shot 25 yards before and hit the paper! Offhand! Tiny dots at 5 yards?! Pffft. I got this.

This video ably sums up what I felt like shooting Dot Torture for the first time.

My first Dot Torture target looked like someone blasted it with a shotgun.I’d built this massive Ego building of lies and self deception , and it took an objective test to demolish it. I went from being this 116 meter tall Tower of Gun Awesome to the Ground Level of Suck before i’d even made it ten rounds into the drill. I actually quit when the paper directed Left Hand Only shots, as i’d never fired a gun left handed prior to that day.

Ego is one of the largest, most visible stumbling blocks any of us will face on the line.

It makes us feel nice when we suck. Ego says you don’t need to be any good with your offhand. Ego says occasional malfunctions with your $1000+ gun are OK, because you’re not deploying to Crapsackistan. Ego says its the gun’s fault why you can’t get centered groups at 5 yards.
Ego says you’ve been shooting for years and know what you’re doing. Ego says you were ex military, so you don’t need additional instruction. Ego says your gun is the best and everyone else’s choices are inferior.

Ego builds up this huge building of lies, stacked on top of each other like floors. One lie built on top of another , until one day Reality brings it down explosively. On an individual level this can be painful. On an institutional level, ego-based policies put lives in danger.

Until we individually acknowledge that no true skill can be built without both professional instruction and hard work, all that happens is more layers get added to the Building of Ego. Take it from me, the higher it goes the harder it goes down. Until the existing structure of lies and self-deception is levelled, no true progress building skill with a firearm can be made.