I know the economy sucks and people have less disposable income to do things like attending a good school to improve their shooting skills. But that slump in economy should be an opportunity on itself for the half-business-smart instructor. Where am I going with this? Instructors, you’ll get more clients if you stop scaring them.
If you go through the many articles and ads in the trade magazines, you will see that almost every school offers itself as the ultimate bang-bang-I-will-get-you-ready-for-the-sandbox training. The boldest them of all promise you intense physically-involved demanding training “because your life depends on it” well, maybe so because after making me run a mile with a shitload of gear in the middle of the summer, you better have air rescue on tow because I will probably fall down with a heart attack. I am pretty sure that 90% of the people wanting to get some advanced firearms training balk at the idea of being the guy who collapsed in a class of cool-looking-muscle-ripping operators and decide it will be best to stay home and stain the deck. And yes, I am one of them. Plus, I would consider a waste of time and money to train on Tactical Responses to Caravan Ambushes in Somalia when my biggest threat would be a band of marauding critters coming to plunder my neighborhood after a hurricane. And I really have no desire to know about the 10 clues to detect VBIEDs on the road to Basra or Kabul when what I need is the 5 points on how to detect and avoid being carjacked on my way to WalMart. To summarize: Average Joe does not need to be trained as a contractor going overseas, he needs training on the specific threats he or she will find on everyday America.
So why not do the smart thing and train people on what they need instead of what is fashionable? Speaking of fashion, Can we put hold on the Tactical Gucciflage apparel and accessories? If you are a Contractor, SWAT member or Operator, OK go crazy and train with as many gadgets and accesories you think you may beed. But if you are Joe Schmoe, I doubt pretty much you will be at home watching Dancing with the Stars while wearing a full Combat Armored Vest with trauma plate and 23 MOLLE-attached pouches with everything from a GPS to locate the mines of King Solomon to a inflatable Emergency operating room with anesthesia included. We need simple gear oriented to the home owner or the urban dweller (Country folks, sorry but Cabelas’ catalog has you covered and then some) and in other colors than olive dram, marpat, army digital and coyote tan.
So Instructors, to summarize: Make a simple class for your average overweight, back damaged, beer bellied urban guy. Pistol, Rifle & shotgun. From basic firearm operations to hardening & defending the home and surviving vehicle attacks. If somebody can come up with some basic evacuation preparations and drill, it would be a gift for the ages.