Tactical Ted is my favorite hypothetical person. Despite his complete and utter lack of any formal training, he considers himself to be an “operator” and, unlike me, he knows every answer to every question in the defensive shooting world. Sometimes Ted shoots only occasionally and sometimes he shoots every week. Sometimes he shoots competitively and sometimes just for fun. In spite of all of his shooting experience (or lack thereof), Ted is all knowing.
The problem that Ted often runs into is that most of his “knowledge” comes from unreliable or inaccurate sources. He tends to believe the popular gun blogs that he reads and takes them at face value without stopping to consider the source or motives behind the article.
When I ask Ted about a method or tactic for a particular situation, he is confident in his response. He always knows exactly what he would do in that situation. He knows because he read about it somewhere on the internet and a buddy confirmed the information after reading the same article.
My problem with Ted, of course, is that he talks what sounds to many as a good game but has nothing to back it up. He may have had some minimal training, perhaps a state mandated course to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but has never taken it past that very basic level. Even though that’s all the training he has had, he still knows what to expect in a fight. He knows because he has watched a lot of action movies.
That sounds silly doesn’t it? After all, we all know that movies rarely mirror real life…
Or do we? You’d be amazed at how often I hear people paint their planned response to an attack as if it were in a Die Hard script.
I see Ted all over Facebook and other social media spouting how he would have responded in the recent shooting everyone is talking about. He goes on to say that if he had been in the theater, there would be one dead bad guy and everyone else would have survived to post their videos of his heroic victory on YouTube. His situational awareness can never be broken. He sleeps with one eye open and all that stuff.
He comments on a post about what he would do if ever faced with someone holding a hostage at gun point. He knows he would be able to take the only possible shot to the head of the hostage taker and that the shot would be perfectly aimed and timed. He knows this because he can place a one inch group into the head of a B-27 target that isn’t moving and doesn’t have a hostage while he isn’t under the stress involved in a real life threatening encounter.
He talks about how he always uses his sights because one should never shoot unless they have taken a proper sight picture. He knows this because he shoots competitively and knows where each target is beforehand and can take the necessary time to acquire a sight picture.
He may even discuss his reason for choosing to carry a gun. For him, it’s so he doesn’t have to run. Or so he doesn’t have to fight. Or some other equally mind-numbing tired old argument.
He never carries with a round in the chamber because he’s just that fast. He only open carries and the second amendment is his carry permit. Smith & Wesson is his security system. He carries a .45 so he only has to shoot once.
I sure am glad that Tactical Ted is merely a hypothetical person and that none of us know any real person like that.
So what’s my point?
Tactical Ted’s are all over the internet. They have an extremely small amount of good, useful knowledge and a whole lot of bad, useless and inaccurate information in their heads. They talk a lot but, when it comes to obtaining more good information, their inaction speaks volumes. They would rather remain ignorant of reality than humble themselves by taking a more challenging defensive shooting course.
Don’t be a Tactical Ted. Talk less, learn more.