I’m sure this will rub some folks raw but that’s a gunwriter’s job, right? Um, maybe not. I guess it depends on who you write for and how long you plan to keep getting published.

No, I don’t think my job is to rub readers raw. (I actually don’t have a job; I just shoot guns, hunt and play on the computer. Just ask my mother in law.) I grew up with guns, spent time in the military as an armor and firearms instructor and wore a badge for 13 years while teaching cops to shoot. I got a tactical side to me but I got a practical side too.

Thumbing through a gun rag I noticed a tactics based handgun article about personal protection. The supporting photos showed the writer clad in tactical clothing with every tactical type of accessory he could attach to himself. I got no problem with the way anyone dresses, as long as their crack ant showing and their clothing does not display crude images or words. Still, give me a break! Does anyone outside of the military or SWAT dress like that? Is that the way this guy goes to Wal-Mart?

I guess it looks cool in photos and enhances the magazine’s cutting edge appeal. That’s OK. After all gun magazines are kinda just picture books for big boys. But what happened to being in touch with reality? I’m not trying to pull a Zumbo here, (I’ll stand behind you if you want to carry a Desert Eagle concealed, hunt with a .50 BMG and have your nose pierced.) I’m just being realistic.

I carry a handgun almost everywhere I go. Most times my wife, family and friends never know. I also have cool toys like Rambo knives, shooting gloves, knee and elbow pads, hydration packs and even boots designed for sliding down ropes and kicking in doors. I just don’t wear any of that stuff to the mall. (I’m sorry, I don’t own one of those tactical scarves in digital camo that I tie around my neck to look cool.) I believe if we are going to write about the practical application of firearms for sport shooting, hunting or self defense then we should do so from a practical standpoint. (My gunwriting mentor never mentioned anything about having to dress a certain way to impress readers.)

Like it or not, there is a broad gap between hunters and those that consider themselves tacticians. The truth is, both can learn from the other. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive descriptions. I know because I’m as much one as the other. We are all gun owners. Why don’t we cut the tactical crap, learn to share skills and information with each other and dress like common folk. At least until we ship off to war, join an HRT team or the country side is overrun with werewolves.

On the other hand, it’s almost Halloween so if you want to play dress up, have at it. I think I’ll be Josey Wales. (Hard to get any cooler than that!) Maybe I’m over reacting. After all this is America and right now we can still do stuff like that even while we are shooting for fun or in fright.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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11 Responses to TACTICAL CRAP

  1. mchl13 says:

    I bought a can of flat black spray paint now ALL my gear is tactical.

  2. Aaron Spuler says:

    AMEN! Well written, Richard.

  3. RG says:

    right own!!

  4. Mike Barham says:

    Well said, Richard! Around Galco, we often say that one of the reasons men can carry big guns on their persons is because they are willing to dress like schlubs. (Women are not, and very often revert to purse carry.) The “tactical” dress works great when you’re at a place like Gunsite, where you don’t need to be discreet, and having 37 pockets is useful. But when you’re out in the real world, this looks more like a costume than “regular guy” clothing. Look at me, I’m an FBI agent wanna-be!

    I was in a diner in Flagstaff last week eating breakfast. A guy came in with his cute family of four kids and wife. Two of the little boys were wearing cowboy hats and one of them actually had an NRA belt buckle! The dad was either an off-duty cop or owned stock in 5.11. Polo shirt, 5.11 pants, low-top combat boots, Wilderness belt, folding knife poking out of one pocket and Surefire clipped to the other, high-and-tight haircut, and of course the shoot-me-first vest. I looked at my friend across the table and said, “Jeez, I wonder what’s under that vest!” We should have started a pool on whether it was an HK or a Glock.

    I am occasionally amused when guys like John Farnam (who I respect a great deal) talk about being the “gray man,” but dress in the standard uniform described above, therefore sticking out like sore thumbs. Me? I just wear jeans or cargo shorts and loose t-shirts without gun-oriented logos.

  5. Pingback: Teddy Tactical « Gun Nuts Media

  6. Claude says:

    Hear hear!

    The last thing I want is for someone to realize I am armed. So like most guys above, I prefer to dress down. The only threatening thing about me is my natural scowl, but I can’t help it, I look they way I do.

  7. Tam says:

    Hooray for another schism!

  8. 18echo says:

    “The last thing I want is for someone to realize I am armed. ” Exactly. I tell folks, that all you are doing when you wear the obvious tacti-cool, 5.11 or NRA logo stuff is putting on a sign that says “Shoot me first please”

    Ok.. I confess that I sometimes wear my Larue Tactical hat and carry their tactical beverage entry Armadillo, but they were “free” with my order darn it and nothing says “Envy my tactical coolness” like opening a beer at the gun club with my Armadillo.

  9. Pingback: SayUncle » Tactical Crap

  10. Mike Barham says:

    @Tam – I don’t know that it’s a schism. “They” is very often “us.” I think the gun-guy costume looks silly, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk to the 5.11 guy at the range, offer to let him take a few shots with my gun, or have a beer with him after we’re done shooting. And of course I’ll be happy if he buys my company’s holster (even if we have only a few Kydex models and none work with suppressors).

  11. Pingback: Top Posts for 2010 | EMPTY CASES

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