TACTICAL GUNFIGHTING IITranslation: You're going to spend the weekend getting guns pointed at you by any IT guy who could swing the entry fee, all while under the casual supervision of an instructor who spent three years repairing trucks in the Air National Guard and had two years experience as a reserve deputy before discovering that some training DVDs plus an NRA Instructor certificate equals a lucrative side income.
Course Description: In this class, you will learn Spetznaz-developed techniques to hone your gunfighting warrior combat mindset. Prepare to open your mind as you leave the square range behind and enter the Real World. Big Boy Rules apply.
Next thing you know, there's video on YouTube showing some MOLLE-encrusted chiropodist from the 'burbs pointing his picatinny-festooned AK clone at God and everybody as he puffs his way through some drill or another, and when someone points out that, you know, maybe he shouldn't be doing that, the owner/operator of our soi-disant gunfighting academy puffs up and spouts off with all kinds of stuff about warrior mindset and the illusoriness of safety bubbles and Big Boy Rules. Perversely, this winds up attracting as many customers as it repels.
I mean, hey, real warriors train by shooting past each other, and we shot past each other, ergo we're real warriors!
If you start competing in any of the action pistol sports, you will see stuff that will make you pucker if all you're used to is the sterile environment of your local range. For instance, you will see people running around with loaded guns in their hands. If you go to pretty much any tactical training course, there will be people behind you with loaded guns; if it's an "intermediate" or "advanced" course, those guns may be in their hands at some point, such as doing team drills. And everybody wants to be "advanced". This places a tremendous burden on the instructor, both to judge a student's abilities, and to monitor them constantly during the course. You'd better trust that instructor.
Many phrases have been repeated so often in the shooting world that their intended meaning has been lost or distorted: "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast," and "Another tool in the toolbox" both spring to mind. It looks like "Big Boy Rules" is about ready to be added to that list. Originally intended to convey that everybody there was supposed to be a "big boy" and capable of handling their firearm safely (with the unspoken corollary that, should you get called on a particularly egregious safety violation and bounced off the range, you should be a "big boy" about that, too,) it has instead come to be used by some as a blow-off phrase to excuse the lax and nonchalant handling of weapons that can and will kill you if you screw up.
After all, if high-speed low-drag operators use the phrase "Big Boy Rules", and we use the phrase, too, then we must be pretty high-speed ourselves, right?
This is compounded by another piece of jargon that falls off the tongue oh so casually: "Muzzle". On the range, we yell "Muzzle!" because it has a lot fewer syllables than "Stop pointing your %$^&ing gun at me, dammit!" but constantly using it as a substitute in conversation has robbed it of its original meaning. Don't let that meaning fade away: Every time you read "Joe Bob muzzled me at the range last weekend," your mind should translate it as "Joe Bob pointed his %$^&ing gun at me at the range last weekend, dammit!"
Lady Luck has been unbelievably good to the training industry thus far, but in a world where an ever-larger number of people who have access to a berm and a shirt with epaulets are hanging out their Flat Dark Earth shingles to cater to an ever-growing crowd anxious for the ninja operator experience, that's not going to last forever. It is incumbent on you to be an informed consumer and make sure you aren't on the range where it happens.