Firearms…. Religion?

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Firearms…. Religion?

The longer I am in and around firearms and the firearms industry the more questions I

have. Like most small children growing up my question is always why? Some of these

questions are explained or explainable, some are just wrong, and some are simply

theory. Sound Familiar? See where I am going? As most of us grow up we are taught

several things that in almost all cases are taught so we are better and will excel. This is

the first similarity to religion. Once again as children we are taught how to walk, talk

and act. I feel as firearms enthusiasts and professionals we are taught how to stand,

grip, and press a trigger. Now here arises the first conflict. Similar to religion there are

different lessons we learn but in most cases the results are very much the same. We

may stand a little different, hold or grip different, and even pull or press the trigger

different, but if the result from our lessons produce the same result . I think most

firearms people are both intelligent and inquisitive, if we were not, firearms would not

interest us. Once again I believe the same is true with religious or people of faith.

Most of us seek knowledge so we can become a better person and more proficient.

We inquire and learn to stimulate ourselves. We do not seek knowledge to impact

anyone in a negative manner. This again is a parallel with people of faith. I really

believe if we approached our colleagues in the firearms industry like most of the

mainstream religions approach each other, we could learn and grow. I believe we can

always absorb positive messages or skills when we are willing to listen and be open to

different styles. This is not to say I expect us to completely change, but accepting other

ideas as viable options is definitely advantageous.

Now with religion there are some radicals, and some spin off cults. Here we go again

,in the firearms industry we seem to have this too. There seems to be plenty of radical

views and interpretations of tried and true methods and styles. This group of people

differ in our industry just as they differ in people of faith. Mainstream theories that we

can all understand do not apply. Safety, reliability, common sense seem not to exist.

No matter how we explain or demonstrate that these tactics and theories are not

effective there is no feasible way to change their thought processes. Close minded

people do not continue to educate themselves, and generally will be left behind in the

long run. We all just hope that they do not reach impressionable minds who will follow

them.

In conclusion to my spin! People of faith generally accept the views of other religious

people. There are and will always be some heated disagreements when it comes to our

passions. We need to be open minded, try to understand things we may not

immediately understand and continue to educate ourselves. As we accept our

neighbors religious views, we should try to accept our colleagues methods and views on

our industry. I have learned many things over the years from people with different

views, and in some cases people with much less experience than myself. Thank you to

all that have formed me into the person I am presently, and to the instructors I have not

met yet thank you in advance. To those who flatter me by reading my words, my hope

for you is that you analyze any and all information that is presented to you. I hope that

you continue to learn and excel in safe effective firearms handling, and disregard

information that you consider cult like. I feel we all need to treat our friends in our

industry with the same respect we would extend to our neighbors religious beliefs. If at

anytime we feel someone will be hurt as a result of what our friends are doing , then and

only then is when we as passionate intelligent firearms enthusiasts should intervene.

Continue to learn, always respect the education and training of our colleagues in and

around our industry. Slow down and analyze styles and information, and form yourself

as a growing, learning firearms enthusiast.

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John Donnellon is a retired police officer from Southern California. He started his LE career in 1983, in a small town in New Jersey before moving west. John was also a Firefighter / Engineer on his home town Volunteer Fire Department. John moved to Southern California in 1987 where he continued his law enforcement career working as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, DUI Enforcement Officer, SWAT Team Member, and Motorcycle Traffic Officer. In addition to his regular duties John was a member of the firearms training unit for most of his career. John is a certified law enforcement firearms instructor, armorer and SWAT Officer. John has remained employed by his agency as a part time member of the Firearms Training Unit. He also enjoys hunting, and has traveled to several western states to hunt various game animals. Motorcycling and Off-Roading are two activities he is very passionate about and he spends most of his free time with his family enjoying his motorcycles and Polaris RZR’s in the Southern California Desert. John, along with his son Kevin, runs a successful small business. JD Built, Inc. is a large format digital printing business serving large and small businesses with their print and marketing needs.