Got a question about shooting? Looking for a suggestion on a new gun? Looking for advice on how to respond in a particular situation? Who do you ask? Well, it depends. I’ve been involved in several Facebook groups that are firearms and shooting centered. There are a lot of great people out there who are happy to help and provide sound advice. There are also a multitude of, presumably well intended, people who are keyboard warriors with lots of opinions based on, well, I can’t tell what. It can be challenging, as an instructor, not to comment on every post, jump on each thread. It is frustrating to read potentially dangerous advice being spread with a very authoritarian tone.
There is no shortage of opinions and recommendations. How do you sort through the uninformed but vocal and the trained, informed opinion? It isn’t easy. One clue is if the person is advocating their position as the only solution, odds are they are not someone to listen to. People who have been at this awhile generally agree that shooting is not a one size fits all activity. As an example, the pistol that fits me best, may not be right for you. I like 9mm, you might prefer 40. I have a defensive mindset, you might be a plinker. There are so many variables that there truly is no one best answer. Sure, we can ask for ideas, what worked or didn’t, to help narrow our focus. There are some easy “not for anyone” answers, but no “great for all” answers.
It is ultimately up to you, the individual, to find the right answer for you. Pick through advice and suggestions if you want, it can save you time and money, narrowing your options. But choose the solution that is the best for you. Remember, the most insistent voice may not be the wisest voice. Everyone has different experiences and different needs.
If you are on the giving end of the advice, stay within your knowledge and remember that what works for you might not be the perfect solution for anyone else. If you on the receiving end, like any free advice, be smart, take advice with a grain of salt and remember that opinions are just that, opinions.
Be smart and be safe.