I’ve heard this particular criticism in more than a few quarters, and not just in regards to Appleseed:
The arrogance of thinking that any program that does not teach the way you do is “out of line” is just so bizarre, it is hard to fathom. Especially when we have such a high rate of success and happiness with the program.
I might poke fun at the people who are saying that Appleseed is a black helicopter program and is painfull,.. ouch!, or that we are fanatical and scary…or that we are not doing it right because we are not using their methods, but;
I would never diss another program for getting new shooters on the line, telling them about the history of their country and letting them know they are needed to help spread the 2A rights message.
How is this wrong by any stretch of the imagination? One or two guys maybe not completely thrilled, out of forty , with the rest really happy about their new rifle skills and willing to join in and defend the 2Amendment. This is a bad thing?
It’s not that there’s only one, true way to teach.Â In fact, the vibe I initially got from Appleseed was quite a lot of the “one true way.”Â That’s not what I’m saying at all.Â But I am saying that it takes more than good intentions.Â My original criticism centered around my initial belief that Appleseed was for newbie shooters.Â A lot of people came on to tell me that I was wrong in this impression, and that it was intended for people who’ve already had exposure to firearms and the gun culture.Â Fair enough.Â But then I see people saying stuff like this:
For the host to say this is not for beginners is sadly laughable. Â After half a day of instruction, my nephew is shooting in sitting position and scoring all shots on the 300 yard prone target, when he accidentally shot the wrong one.
I have no doubt that many will benefit from learning marksmanship.Â But is it for newbie shooters, or for novice shooters that already have exposure to guns?Â That’s a pretty key question.Â If it’s for the latter, then a strenuous program I think is fine, but if it’s for the former, then I return to many of my original criticisms. I am not criticizing just for the sake of criticizing, or because I want to trivialize people’s hard work.Â The ideas behind Appleseed; getting people into shooting, teaching marksmanship, and teaching history, are all worthwhile endeavors.Â I don’t question the intention or the value of what’s behind it.Â But I think results are more important than intentions.Â I’m open to the idea that Appleseed is delivering those, but I don’t think that’s above question, nor above criticism. Does Appleseed hand out surveys to participants to gauge how they felt about the various aspects of the program, along with asking for suggestions on how it might possibly be improved?Â If I were running a program, whether for newbie, novice, or expert shooters, I would certainly want this kind of feedback.Â If that’s not being done, what would be the objection to doing it?
Getting new people into the community is vitally important.Â Arguably the most important thing we can do.Â I don’t blame anyone for wanting to get involved in something like that, and applaud them for doing so.Â But I think it’s so important that those doing so be open to criticism and suggestion from the broader community, because ultimately this issue is about a lot more than just Appleseed, and it’s certainly about a lot more than “Fred”.Â If we’re failing in a key aspect of outreach, we all suffer for that.Â It’s important, critically important, to get it right.