[btnplay icon=”fa fa-play” text=”” style=”circle” el_class=””]The three dangers hidden inside the most common Shooting Tests and Evaluation Shooting Standards – part 2


Here We Go…
The three dangers hidden inside the most common Shooting Tests and Evaluation Shooting Standards.

The Example
At the end of all this I want to give you an example to help you better understand a very complex subject.
The example is given by the case of Commander and Pilot Chesley Burnett Sullenberger and of US Airways flight 1549, which was forced to land in the Hudson river.
From the moment of the bird strike to the moment of ditching in the Hudson River, approx. 208 seconds are passed, in which Commander “Sally” and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles had to make immediate decisions based on parameters never before addressed in any training projection performed or planned.
During the investigations, projections and simulations were carried out by other pilots to try to establish whether the commander “Sally” had actually operated correctly and there was no other possibility. Initially all the pilots and simulations showed that it would be possible to return to the airport of
LaGuardia or at Teterboro Airport, and therefore Commander Sally had in fact made the wrong decision.
This, however, happened because the pilots had been provided with all the parameters, including the total time available, so they had no variables to deal with and were not operating under conditions of high stress due to the real danger and consequent responsibility for the life of 155 passengers.
It was Sally himself who asked to evaluate two fundamental aspects, the fact that they did not have pre-known parameters such as the pilots of the simulations and the fact that they had to make irreversible decisions under strong psychophysical stress, which the pilots of the simulations did not have.
The overall reaction time available to the pilots during the simulations was therefore cut and the result was that none of them managed to complete a single landing in one of the two airports, confirming the absolute effectiveness and extraordinary ability demonstrated by Commander Sally in having analyzed, rationalized an enormous quantity of information, in an absolutely compressed time (a few seconds) and having taken irreversible decisions that actually saved the lives of 155 people.



At the end of my analysis of the current firearms shooting assessment tests, I want to make you reflect on what has been said because there could be a big discrepancy between the test result and what could instead be your actual reactive ability during a critical event.
Don’t get me wrong though, because this does not mean that the Shooting Evaluation Tests are not useful for those who daily carry a firearm in the real context.
Indeed they offer us important guidelines and references regarding our mechanical capacity, but at the same time , if properly used, they can also increase our shooting skills, especially our firearm manipulation.

What is absolutely important to understand and what we must consider are two main aspects:
1) The results of these tests do not represent our overall Reactive Capacity, because we are measuring and evaluating only the Mechanical Capacity which is 25% of the Reactive Capacity.

2) The Mechanical Reaction is always and only subordinated to the Cognitive Capacity and to a decision-making process

These two fundamental points and in particular the second, represent the strategic fulcrum of the whole process of analysis that we have carried out up to now, substantially through these two points the greatest danger emerges, namely that of Reactive Dissonance.
The Reactive Dissonance is a dynamic that is absolutely common, which foresees a consistent gap between one reactive ability and the other and can have a dominance in one or in the other.

When we talk about Mechanical Dominance, since firearms training with cognitive-based still very little widespread, we are therefore talking about the most common condition.
In other words, we are talking about that condition which foresees a mechanical reactive capacity developed through perhaps years of specific training and a “primitive” cognitive reactive capacity because never been developed or enhanced through specific training.
The problem related to this type of dominance is given by the fact that the Mechanical Capacity is subordinate to the cognitive one, but if the cognitive one has not been developed, during a possible LTS it will almost certainly be destined for what I define a “cognitive overload”, that is the collapse (even partial) of the cognitive system, due to the enormous amount of information / interactions required during the event, the extremely compressed time of the decision-making process and obviously the “neuro-psychophysical” alteration due to stress.
More simply, if the cognitive system overloads, there will never be any Mechanical Reaction, because no one will ever send those orders to activate those biomechanical sequences and the weapon will remain inside the holster.
For the same reason, it will be useless to bring a mechanical reaction ( 5-7 yds from the target ) under a second, if it then takes you 10 seconds to complete a simple cognitive process with two associations (the lowest and most basic level of cognitive reaction ) before you can press the trigger or before being able to discriminate the target.

When we talk about Cognitive Dominance, we are talking about a much rarer condition and it is usually based mainly on the natural individual abilities of a subject, and his aptitude for a more developed and faster cognitive reaction than the general average.
This is always because structured cognitive training is very little widespread, therefore having a subject who has a dominance in Cognitive Reactivity is rare and very often there is a dissonance because there is a technical deficit on the mechanical level due to an absence of training with the firearm .
In this case the problem is easier to solve, because it is objectively easier to construct the mechanical plane than the cognitive one, but in any case if there was a marked Dissonance and a substantial deficit on the mechanical and therefore technical level, the Reactive Capacity could in any case be compromised or ineffective.
More simply, if you have been extremely quick to carry out your cognitive process that led you to identify and evaluate the threat, then to the subsequent immediate decision-making process, but then you are slow and clumsy in drawing your firearm or ineffective in your shooting, the result will be the same as in the other condition. In any case, you will no longer have to worry about this, because it will no longer be your problem, it will in fact be the Coroner who will explain to your family where you went wrong.
I would like to conclude my writing by inviting you to reflect very carefully on what is the state of affairs today, everyone loves to write “the mind is the weapon and the firearm is only a tool”, but then when they go to the shooting range evidently they forget about it and train only the finger and not the mind. This happens because it is easier to train the finger and does not require having to deal with one’s conscience in terms of ability and preparation.
I want to greet you by mentioning two concepts that I find fantastic and that come from two other Trainers of which I have a deep esteem:

Thinkers before shooters – Travis Haley
Don’t be a “Gunfighther”… Be a fighter with a Gun – Todd Fossey


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