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The Marksman’s Trinity: Balance for New and Old Gun Owners

I am not usually one to follow trends in the industry. For example, my battle belt is decidedly old school by today’s standards even though it continues to work very well. Another trendy thing to do, especially in the first couple of months into COVID lockdowns was start producing articles and videos about “You bought a gun…now what.”

I held off on doing anything like that myself. At least until now. I don’t want to repeat the same advice several others have given.

Everyone has a different perspective, and each of these videos is coming from the right place: it starts with safety. But then what? Where should you put your priorities after that? I can easily say something like “go practice,” but given the huge ammunition shortages we’re facing right now, it’s not a very likely proposition.

So where do we start? Well, I come back to the idea of balance. 

The Marksman’s Trinity

The theme of the month is all about balance, so here’s another one to think about. I thought about the elements that should go into decision making regarding everything we do, and I categorized everything into these three:

  • Safety
  • Capability
  • Security

By safety, I’m talking about how we store and handle our weapons. This is the basics, and the videos above did a great job talking about it.

With capability, I’m referring to what can do with a weapon based upon our knowledge, skills, and equipment.

Security refers to our level of personal and legal protection as well as weapon retention in difficult scenarios.

I also want to mention that if you imagine a triangle with each of these on a point, I believe mindset rests in the middle of it all and is something that should constantly be evaluating everything. 

Finding the Balance

The point of this thinking is that Safety, Capability, and Security are things that grow and develop over time. With new gun owners, they will all be relatively small spheres. Experienced gun owners and competitors will have a much broader range of safety practices (i.e. the 180 rule or live fire training experience). 

The point is that each of these elements should grow in proportion to the others. If you find yourself investing time and money into one area at the expense of the others, then you are becoming imbalanced.


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Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He's a former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He's a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.

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mark p
mark p

here is the vid of the FBI “dancer”

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