A little while ago, I found out that a friend of a friend was a pistol instructor*, and he offered to give me the handbook he uses in class to see if I’d like to train with him some time. I read through it, and, well, I wasn’t impressed. Nothing in it professed anything I considered dangerous, but there were several things that either made me scratch my head (ex: only use ball ammo), or was severely out of date (ex: .45ACP has far superior “stopping power” than 9mm or .40S&W).
I politely passed, but did sign up for his newsletter, and there was more of the same. Some of the info was good, some of it was out dated, and some of it made me scratch my head.
Of course, then he posted some stuff that made me actually email him and tell him “no, this is wrong because x, y, and z.” (in this case it was the old “violent video games and movies cause violence” BS)
His response? “I don’t necessarily agree with what is in my handbook or newsletters.”
The handbook and newsletters that *he* wrote, and he’s the only one that controls. And no, there weren’t any comment along the lines of “I’m not sure I agree, but so-and-so says…”
I responded telling him that I have issue with him presenting things as fact and telling people to act on this information. Especially if he “doesn’t necessarily agree” with that information.
He then responded with a rather lengthy email stating that he believes that his students are smart enough to figure out what’s truth and what’s not, blah blah blah.
Here’s the thing. If you’re going to act in a position of authority (such as firearms instructor), you should do your best to spread good info. Are you going to always be right? No. We’re human, and sometimes *we’re* given bad information, but do your best.
This also means defending your statements/actions. Of course, I would prefered for him to say “oh, I hadn’t thought of that/done the research. You’re right, I’m wrong,” but I would have accepted “nope, I believe I’m right on this one, because…” I would still think he was wrong, but at least he would be defending his position. The “I don’t necessarily believe what I write” pretty much tells me that your training, everything you write, and everything you say is useless.
If you don’t consider yourself to be a trustworthy source of information, why should I?
*He’s a small time local guy. No reason to publish his name here. If you’re local to me, and are concerned that you may be looking at taking his class, contact me privately and I’ll tell you.