ARCHIVE - ISSUE THREE - AUG 2013 COVER - FEATURED PICTORIAL - LIFESTYLE - REVIEWS ARCHIVE - ISSUE THREE - AUG 2013
How Big a Role Does Gender Play in Learning to Shoot? [continued from cover story]
Personally we believe that if you intend on carrying it then you should also train with it regularly, but that is another article in itself. Once you get the gun that fits, you are one step closer to your goal. (Note: Stephen Pineau wrote a great article addressing the selection process on Military.com, if you’re interested. Read the article, read the comments, but do NOT make any decisions which could take a life or ruin your own just based on something you read. (http://kitup.military.com/2013/02/factors-selecting-handgun.html)
Oh, and don’t just learn from one instructor. There’s a word for that. It’s called inbred and that’s how you wind up with retarded 3-eyed sumbitches who try to polish their desert boots with bootblack.
So let’s say Richard (Swingin’ Dick Kilgore) happened to be a woman and Slim (Jake Call) is his instructor. (Richard would say this should be the other way around, but we’ll let it ride for the time being.) Richardina (or Rachel or whatever you want to call him/her now) has the gun that fits and finds out the Slim is the best firearms instructor money can buy. (FYI, he really thinks that sometimes so we are feeding his ego a little here.)
Slim says, “Let’s do this and teach you how to shoot!” Slim goes over the basics of sight alignment, sight picture, sights and targets, stance, blah blah blah. He ASSUMES that Richardina understands what he just taught—which in fact he (well, she) probably didn’t.
If you don’t know what happens when you ASSUME, it makes an ASS of of U and ME. Slim ran through the period of instructing, being the awesome instructionally instructive instructor he is, and in this case forgot to actually, physically SHOW Richardina how all that actually works while teaching. If this happens to you, then the instructor SUCKS. Find a new one. This is where the question of gender typically arises.
Women who are learning are almost universally more literal than men. This makes them better learners. (This just adds to the other things appealing about women—they smell good, they look good, they have boobs, etc.) Note that this tendency has been proven in academics as well.
Male students are frequently so gung-ho tough guy, or unwilling to admit uncertainty, that even if they don’t know they’ll act as though they do understand and so wind up not getting the help or guidance needed. Sometimes they’ll flat out refuse help because they are too stubborn or self-conscious. Women tend to do exactly as instructed (on the range, if not the kitchen…*sigh*). If you tell them to align the sights and pull the trigger, that just what they do. Guys for the most part go out there and try to man handle the weapon while they are learning.
Let us be clear, not all men and women are like this but the majority are. There are a few out there who are either born naturals or just plain great students right out of the chute. (Get it? Chute? Shoot?)
Saying and showing are two different things, and both should be used when instructing. All of it should be a combination of lecture and practical application. The instructor you use should know this. We have instructed many males over the years, and at times find it can be a struggle when we try to demonstrate how to do what is being taught. Conversely, when we instruct women, we frequently find it is less of a struggle. That goes back to women overall being more open to being taught (or at least being willing to admit they need some help).
The next time you look for a class, do some background on the instructor. Find a place about which you can locate feedback and hear what others thought of the instruction. Beware any cults of personality or claims that someone’s background will guarantee skill instruction. Some great operators who have shot lots of insurgents in the face aren’t so good at teaching. Some guys who haven’t smoke-checked anyone are great instructors—but again, that’s an article for another issue.
So does gender play a role in learning to shoot? The short answer is yes, but not in the way most folks would think. It plays in favor of women.
Wit, wisdom & doorkicking insight of 2 HSLD little operators.The Mad Duo enjoys celebrity status in the action figure world and among those sheepdogs perspicacious enough to follow them. Iconic trigger-pulling pundits whose wit and witticisms have been described as the literary equivalent of a .308 boat-tail to the head , they offer commentary on everything from current events to the relative merits of tactical gear, TTPs and weaponry.