Civilian, Law Enforcement and Military Personnel; although each are restricted by either law, regulations and standards or funding and most times in combinations of each other. Each entity or organization has taken it upon his or herself; the responsibility of being depended on to use a firearm in deadly force to the degree to either, save his or her own life, or in the defense of others within the legal justification of the law or military code of conduct.
Moving on to the main topic at hand, within those restrictions lie absolute disdain for the job and its operating procedures or acceptance and just “dealing with it”. The flora and fauna of job provided standard and usually lowest bidding equipment. Where there is disdain, there is also a deep want for something better….and better, and before it is realized you are performing in the endless waltz, the ever-changing tactical fashion hording game. By our attempt to find the best possible gear and weapons setup, we overlook practicality and functionality.
Although there is nothing wrong with having an array of gear, equipment, weapons and accessories (Which was the overall idea when the M4A1 service rifle was given an overhaul and the M4A1 Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was developed to give the user various options while applying the weapon system), having options can give off the feeling of needing to purchase multiple accessories. Varies internet memes with pictures of depicting a rifle with a plethora of accessories giving no way to functionally use the weapon system fail to drive home the fact that sometimes its just too much, losing the truth in humor.
Harsh criticism produces the same result. There are also other fads that are on the horizon that produce a similar result. Stepping off the runway and into the gun community, this high-class group refer to the weapon manufacturing industry as #GUCCI. Where only the high dollar amount, “name brand” or well-known person approved items are sought after. Both have one thing in common, they take away from the main purpose of gear, equipment, weapons and accessories.
The Master Swordsman of Japan, Musashi Miyamoto wrote in his notes known as the Book of Five Rings, “The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means. Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy’s sword, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able to actually cut him.” Although Musashi’s words are old, they are not outdated and hold true after hundreds of years today.
PURPOSE OF GEAR, EQUIPMENT, WEAPONS AND ACCESSORIES
Gear, equipment, weapons and accessories all do 2 things. (1) Sustain and (2) maintain the user’s ability to fight. Where the gear and equipment; stop holes, sustain the ability to fight, and assist in camouflage index, the weapon system and the arrangement of its accessories; gives holes, maintains the ability to fight, and assist in low light/no light operations. An example of maintaining your ability to fight, is simply having a weapon system that can keep the user fighting no matter the time, place or weather conditions. This coincides with low light, no light applications, where having night vision goggles (NVG’s or NVD’s) are above the “norm”, having a handheld or weapon mounted flashlight achieves a similar result. All weapon systems (pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc.) should have this capability at the same time to be effective. An example of sustaining the ability to fight can be simply carrying a tourniquet/designated First Aid Kit (IFAK), or the strategic arrangement of where pouches are placed on kit.
CONCLUSION/ BE NOT DISMAYED OR PERSUADED
I remember a little back before stippling a Glock was beginning to be popular among gun owners. Some shunned the act of modifying a weapon which thought to bring its resale value down or in some way interfere with the regular action and operation of the gun. I for one was one of those individuals and thought that by modifying these weapons were more of an art form and had no real use for stippling a guns frame when skateboard tape (Talon grips) until after a hardcore class once taken on a very hot summer day and after sweating and running the weapon harder than I have ever shot before, made the tape peel and fray. Leaving a sticky residue on spots the tape came undone. I shot a friends Glock in the military whom he entrusted to another stipple. My prejudices were corrected once I realized the application and practicality of such modifications are relevant. Where experiences may vary, try not to be influenced by so many outside sources. You must know what you want first in your weapon system along with its primary function, how you can manipulate it in any given time or environment. With that being your foundation, build upon your experiences. It could be at your first shooting course where you are jotting down notes about what an instructor said, or gear that you seen another student wearing. The main deciding factor is going outside to a local range and developing these things on your own; an action developed strategically is the mother of functionality and practicality.