A quick note on video games and mass shootings

fixing a charging handle impingement

If you’re anti-gun, the only gun you’ve ever “interacted with” was probably in a video game. And you might think, lacking any training, that what you learned in that video game was sufficient to shoot a gun effectively in real life. In fact, looking at some of the more modern shooting games, you might even think that this is good training for actually shooting a gun.

Let me show you why this is such a stupid stupid idea.

Meet Sergeant Major Kyle Lamb (ret) from Viking Tactics. Sergeant Major Lamb spent 15 years in Army Special Forces and served in Somalia and Iraq. He teaches shooting now. This drill right here is known as “Three Little Kittens”:

These can all happen even to well-maintained weapons. Three Little Kittens requires fixing a charging handle impingement, a double feed and a bolt-over-base malfunction. These are not rare weapon malfunctions.

Look how long it takes the operator to fix each one. This is not some random gun nut jackoff – this video is a trained professional working through this drill, and it still takes a serious amount of time and fiddling. These are also heavy, working tools loaded down with sights, lights, rail covers and accessories, loaded with springs under significant pressure, sometimes with stuck ammunition requiring significant force to dislodge. Most people who have never touched a gun in their lives are surprised by how heavy guns are and how difficult it is to work the action. Making a gun run is like differential equations to the untrained: a complete puzzle.

In a majority of active shooter events inside the US, the shooter had to deal with an empty or malfunctioning weapon. (See, for instance, the short list at http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/weapon-malfunctions-in-an-active-shooter-event). In every single case, the shooter discarded their malfunctioning weapon; in most cases with an empty weapon, the shooter simply discarded the empty weapon rather than reloading. Moreover, mass shooters seem to most commonly choose cheap weapons to go on rampages with; we’ve heard about multiple attacks accomplished using cheap Bushmaster rifles, for instance, but no top-line brand like a Noveske or a Knights Armament or a Larue Tactical rifle has never, to my knowledge, been used in a mass shooting. Cheap rifles made with out-of-spec or poorly finished components will malfunction more.

There is nothing, in any video game ever made in all of history, that has a player deal with a real malfunction. Nothing in a video game will teach you how to cope with recoil, how to manipulate the trigger break to shoot fast, how to acquire the front sight fast under stress – nothing, in other words, about real gunfighting technique.

Worrying about children becoming “trained” by video games to kill is like worrying about adults “trained” by porn movies to have sex; it might seem and even look right, but actually trying any of the techniques you’ve seen will probably result in something hilarious and wrong.

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