I saw that both The Truth About Guns and Western Rifle Shooters Association decided to weigh in on an article about an Appleseed event up in New York, reported at Metro.us. While the reporter seemed refreshed and relatively impressed with what she saw (no easy feat just outside the heart of deep-blue New York City), both sites took issue with some of the comments made by Appleseed instructor Dan Boyle, AKA, K-Dan. I’ve never met Dan in person, but his reputation among some of the most senior instructors I know in the program is a very good one.
For whatever reason (maybe a slow content day?), TTAG’s Farago got pissy over Dan’s comments about zombie targets.
For Dan, the choice of that responsibility lays with gun owners. It’s how, rifle in hand, he can point to a box of Zombie target posters in the basement and reduce the targets to the ugly truth that are, without betraying the ideals that brought him here to teach in the first place. That, the zombie posters are often referred to as stand-ins for “liberals” within the community of extreme second amendment supporters.
“I find the whole ‘Zombie’ thing in poor taste,” said Dan. “It impersonalizes the other side. It’s absolutely threatening to people who don’t agree with you, when these Pro-Second Amendment guys who stand around talking about how ‘Liberalism is a disease,’ and then in the next breath talk about zombies. It’s not difficult to make the connection. I mean, what are we talking about? We’re talking about killing our neighbors. I find it embarrassing.”
So people shooting at Zombie targets are actually shooting at liberals? Who knew?
If it weren’t obvious enough which liberal zombie these target makers were singling out, two of the three images have “Obama” in the file title, and the idiots at DuraTarget even name their “President Obama.” And yes, there are other quite obviously liberal zombie targets (including gun control activists), and references to liberal zombies on shooting forums is not uncommon. Yes, quite a few center-right shooters do refer to liberals as zombies, and as the owner/editor of a shooting site, I suspect Farago is intentionally feigning ignorance of an ugly truth to feign outrage as an excuse to link-whore.
Farago and readers at WRSA then pitched a fit over the last paragraph in the article.
“Liberty taken to the extreme is not a good thing,” Dan said to the class, laying out what might be Project Appleseed’s most important lesson of all. “We are not ‘armed,’ the 2nd amendment not withstanding, against our government with weapons. What we are armed with is information and the vote,” adding before he dismisses class, “if you ignore your rights they’ll go away.”
Perhaps you’ve never been to an Appleseed event, but the marksmanship clinic we provide is, well…
The deep, dark, and dirty secret about Appleseed is this: the marksmanship training we provide is great, but it is used to sucker people in so that we can subject them to one of the disgusting things in American public life. Yes, we encourage people to learn their past and embrace their heritage, in order to better function as active participants in the civic process.
Why, that’s damn near un-American!
Doesn’t that make you want to run screaming for the trees?
Perhaps Dan’s words were taken slightly out of context or maybe even slightly misquoted, but it isn’t off much and anyone who’s been to an Appleseed (and paid attention) would get that. We want people to become aware of their civic duty, and use the soap box (free speech) and the ballot box (voting), so that we don’t have to resort to the cartridge box (a civil war). Appleseed is not a militia; we are not armed against the government with anything other than education and civic awareness. We are convinced that an aware and active citizenry is the best defense against tyranny, bar none, and we teach some good rifle shooting fundamentals, too.
Either Farago slept through Appleseed instead of listening, or he simply listened without understanding.
As for WRSA, I lurk there often because the articles linked are extremely informative and show me a lot about the tactical applications of shooting I haven’t yet had a chance to learn, but the simply fact of the matter is that they’re outlook is largely fatalistic. While they may very well be right that this country is on a downward slide that may be past a point of return, I’m not willing to give up just yet, and neither is Dan, nor is Appleseed as a program. Some at WRSA sneer at Appleseeders that our training isn’t realistic or useful… and they are right, if they are talking about tactical shooting.
But Appleseed isn’t about shooting, moving, and communicating on a battlefield. It’s about using shooting to communicate to hopefully get people moving into a more active role to prevent America from turning into a battlefield.
I don’t get the self-destructive, damn-near-emo in their drama, my-way-or-the-highway approach that some adopt in the shooting community where they have to make high drama about every little thing that isn’t 100% in line with what they personally believe.
Perhaps Ace’s thoughts on nummification doesn’t just apply to politics.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an Appleseed to prepare for.