Last week we felt compelled to post an article on both how to select a firearms instructor, and when to leave a class when you realize that an instructor cadre is unsafe. This article was called When to Run Like Hell From A Firearms Training Class.
We once again called out by name Voda Consulting of Fayetteville, NC and their fake-named owner “Lucian Black.” His “training” is so dangerous that he was stripped of NRA certifications and his North Carolina Concealed Carry Instructor credentials issued by the NC Department of Justice late last year, and yet he still continues to “teach.” That’s the danger of there being no barrier to entry to call yourself a “firearms instructor.” Amusingly, “Black” responded to the article by claiming that the rest of the industry is racist, and asserts that other unsafe instructors are not called out because they’re white.
Of course, each and every instance he cites has been called out and hammered relentlessly by the firearms training community for these safety violations. “Black” would have known that, if he was a real firearms instructor and was part of the training community.
But he isn’t a real firearms instructor, isn’t part of the community, and wallows in his ignorance instead.
In that same article, we gave a specific example of an incredibly dangerous series of situations during a movement drill as an example of when you should bail from a training class entirely.
In that incident there are three instructors (left, center, and right) and what appears to be 15 or more students. The movement drill involves students walking forward as they engage their targets.
Almost immediately the wheels come off this training exercise, or rather, they don’t start. The filthy range is in a horrible condition, and a shooter near the left center of the line is in a wheelchair. He can’t roll his chair forward through the debris of shotgun shells and brass casings on the range.
It appears that two of three instructors immediately fixate on him, ignoring their other students.
You’ll note in the photo above that the instructor from the left side of the line abandoned his students and begins walking towards the man in the wheelchair in the center, even though the man in the blue shirt and tan pants is yards ahead of what should be a dressed firing line. The girl in the burgundy top is at least two steps behind the rest of the line. There are yards of vertical separation between the two of them, creating a very unsafe situation.
Let me pause here to note that a responsible instructor cadre will make every effort to keep their students in a horizontal line as they move forward to prevent this sort of situation for happening.
If a student gets to far ahead of the line (blue shirt/tan pants) or behind the line (burgundy shirt), then the risk greatly increases that they could muzzle other students if they stumble (a real concern on this poorly-maintained range), or if they have to clear a malfunction and they cant or turn the gun as they run a standard tap-rack-bang clearance. It’s not uncommon for a less-experienced right-handed shooter to skew his muzzle left doing a tap-rack-bang, or for them to do the same while reloading.
The lower-level classes I’ve attended have split students into two relays for this drill. One student shoots, while the student he is paired with has the job of watching the other shooters in the line and keeping his student in line. The second student has his hand on the rear of the shooters’s belt to keep them from going too fast ( such as blue shirt/tan pants above) and verbally urges them forward when they lag (burgundy shirt above). It’s the safest way to do a movement drill with new shooters.
I would have called a ceasefire at the point shown in the photo above. This is patently unsafe. I would have told the instructor cadre why I called the ceasefire, and more than likely would have have left the class at this point, whether or not they gave my money back.
But they weren’t done exhibiting incredibly poor judgement.
The instructors then insisted on trying to push the student in the wheelchair forward from many yards behind the firing line, and instructed him to fire on the move as the chair bounced through the trash. His muzzle swung wildly to the right and left and up and down, and in the screen capture above, his shot broke so far left that he missed his target entirely. It impacts in a spray of Tennessee red clay just to the right of the head of the man in the dark blue tee shirt with the white lettering.
There’s simply no way to claim that this was remotely safe. This short video shows a combination of neglect and extremely poor judgement on the part of the training cadre that put numerous lives at risk, and which conclusively shows they are not in control of the training environment.
It was apparently only a year after this 2015 training fiasco that the man in the blue tee shirt who was mere feet from becoming a casualty had someone watch the video with him and point out the bullet impact in the screen capture above. He posted this video to Facebook several weeks ago, and it went viral in the training community as an example of a recipe containing all the elements for a training disaster.
Amazingly, the man to the right of the man in the wheelchair (black tee shirt, tan pants) is attempting to justify what we all just watched in a video he posted today.
I don’t know what the narrator of VSO Gun Channel trying to prove in this video, as he walks back and forth in a scripted performance with a higher level shooter as he argues for “big boy rules” that have nothing at all to do with the situation at hand. I frankly get the impression that he doesn’t have enough training from competent instructors to know the difference between good training and bad training, and can’t grasp that a simple movement drill in a lower level handgun class has suddenly become a downrange drill thanks to instructor cadre incompetence.
He’s attempting to rationalize and normalize an incredibly dangerous situation, apparently because he’s a fanboy of the shooting school responsible for this disaster. This was another dangerous training failure of Tactical Response, which have been responsible for other incredibly stupid actions by instructors in the past which has put student an instructor lives at risk.
Instead of vindicating this poorly-run fiasco, all VSO Gun Channel has managed to prove is that just as anyone can call themselves a firearms instructor, anyone can provide firearms-related infotainment if they have a video camera and free time.