There seems to be the general consensus that I absolutely need to try an Appleseed before I knock it, and until then, I am simply unqualified to question or comment.Â Let me call bullshit on that.Â Many thousands of years ago, human beings developed this thing called language, where we learned to relay and communicate experiences to others, so that they may benefit from knowledge without the need to have to experience things first hand.
PDB has made some solid, and I think well founded criticisms of the program.Â I questioned whether the packaging was really conducive to keeping shooters interested and getting them to want to come back to shooting.Â People have provided antecdotal evidence that it’s a wonderful program, and everyone has a great time and folks come back again and again to get themselves out of the kitchen, so to speak.Â I have no doubt that many people enjoy it, because shooting is pretty fun, after all.Â But does everyone?Â What about the people that walk away thinking this isn’t for them?Â Would they have enjoyed themselves in a better, more carefully crafted training program?Â I also question where all the money is going.Â Pulling their form 990s, they are spending almost a quarter of their 80k a year budget on travel.Â That’s not necessarily wrong, but it does raise some questions in my mind about what a 23k a year travel budget is accomplishing for the organization.Â Most of their budget, about half, is going into the bank.Â That’s not unusual for a non-proifit just starting out, but what projects or purpose are they saving nearly half the yearly budget for?
I know they’re doing it wrong and I haven’t been there.Â How do I know?Â Because I’m interested in bettering my rifle skills, have spent thousands on rifle training (much of that was actually for the travel and ammo), and looked at Appleseed material online and thought I’d rather not go there.
It’s an unconcious phenomenon you see all the time in martial arts schools.Â They pick a fairly unusual and specific technique: in this case, the sling, now abandoned by the world’s best military.Â Then they say that anyone who does not know this technique is not a real maritial artist: in this case, is a ‘cook’ not a ‘rifleman’.Â This enables them to feel exclusive and vastly superior to everyone else, and requires of them only a relatively small investment in practice.Â It’s a psychological trap.Â I predict getting others involved will become more and more a cover for an unconcious goal of demonstrating their superiority to the cooks.
Note that this criticism is totally unconnected to whether the sling is a good and valuable technique.Â I bet it is.Â I’d certainly like to learn it.Â It is connected to whether the sling is an essential requirement.Â Modern militaries clearly demonstrate that it is not.Â Appleseed says what do they know?Â They’re all cooks!
Also a fair criticism.
UPDATE: I should probably point out that I’m not at all criticizing the idea that it’s a great good to bring new shooters into the sport.Â Or that it’s a great idea to teach people rifle marksmanship.Â I’m not even going to heavily criticize teaching use of a sling.Â But I will take issue with selling it as the one true path to being a rifleman in the tradition of the revolutionary war soldier, whatever that means.