The Washington Post’s  Christopher Ingraham has just delivered the sort of brilliant insight that should lead to a Pulitzer, or maybe a Nobel Prize:

As it turns out, knowing when and how to apply lethal force in a potentially life-or-death situation is really difficult.

Really? The most stressful possible event a person’s life, where they are literally making a series of life-or-death decisions, split-second by split-second, in real-time, is “really difficult?”

I never would have guessed.

The study was commissioned by the National Gun Victims Action Council, an advocacy group devoted to enacting “sensible gun laws” that “find common ground between legal gun owners and non-gun owners that minimizes gun violence in our culture.” The study found that proper training and education are key to successfully using a firearm in self-defense: “carrying a gun in public does not provide self-defense unless the carrier is properly trained and maintains their skill level,” the authors wrote in a statement.


Based upon this new insight that “people who don’t get proper education and training tend to stink at things,” there will be some major changes taking place around the world in many different disciplines.

  • sports teams will now incorporate “practices” and “pre-seasons.”
  • neurosurgeons will now be required to go to medical school.
  • Students will now go to class and do homework before taking final exams.
  • musicians will learn instruments.
  • zookeepers will stop putting gazelles in the lion enclosure, and then wonder why they keep disappearing.

Heck, they might even have writers attempt to put letters in some sort of a sequence in order to convey coherent thoughts, instead of hrwffslkglheg ewhglehgleg…

They recruited 77 volunteers with varying levels of firearm experience and training, and had each of them participate in simulations of three different scenarios using the firearms training simulator at the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland. The first scenario involved a carjacking, the second an armed robbery in a convenience store, and the third a case of suspected larceny.

They found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, people without firearms training performed poorly in the scenarios.

Is there is a single field of human endeavor, where there is even a moderate level of complexity, where we expect adequate performance without training and education?

Of course not. That’s just common sense… unless, apparently, you’re a mainstream media journalist, who seems to think that an average person is going to perform well in the most stressful kind of human interaction possible should be a given.

People who prepare and train for events do better than those who are completely untrained and unaware.

This is “news?”