This entry crossposted at the Gun Nuts Radio Blog under Appleseed Rifle.
Last night’s show on Project Appleseed went very well – we had good callers and good discussion, and the chat room was pretty lively. The chat peaked at about 40 people, and we had a grand total of 143 live listeners, of whom I’m sure everyone was there to hear The Breda anyway. Thanks also to Chris Byrne for calling in, sorry that the BTR panel decided to dump your call, I lost two or three other callers as well that night. Click the flash player below to listen to the show in its entirety, or you can download the .mp3 file here.
To kind of sum up what was said on the show, no one was “down” on Appleseed per se, in fact I came away from the show with a much better opinion of the program than I had going into last night, because after listening to Breda and Chris talk about their Appleseed experience, I was able to better frame the program in my mind and understand the niche into which it falls. In fact, after last night’s show I’d be interested in attending an Appleseed just to see “what’s up”.
However, after the show, I was chatting with Breda and she directed me to the Appleseed forums, where apparently their perception of the show was about 180 degrees off of what I perceived it to be. I tried to register so I could respond to some of their claims, but my registration still hasn’t gone through, so I guess I’ll just have to address their grievances here. If you’d like to read the thread at the Appleseed forums, you can do so here.
The first few things I want to address are from Fred Himself, who I believe is the progenitor of Appleseed. He had a couple of specific beefs about the show:
Another consensus (on the show): Appleseed is not for newbies, even if it was a “basic” program. (There was definitely a hint of “false advertising” hanging in the air.)
No one said “false advertising” but you, Fred. My concern with the program is that from reading the Appleseed website, it seems that program is designed as an outreach for people new to the shooting sports, which I think is awesome. But then I talk to people who have been there, and they say that it doesn’t seem like it would be a good fit for newbies. To me, that creates a mixed message issue which should be addressed at a certain level.
Summing up, III: They made the common mistake of not putting the program in context – or even understanding the context – and then taking too limited a view of the program, which was pretty obvious. Whereas most instructors think the history is more important than the marksmanship, AS was evaluated solely as a marksmanship program.
Earlier in the post he had noted that we went the duration of the show without mentioning the word “history” or the Revolutionary War one time. He’s correct, and that was an intentional move on my part. I wanted to look at Appleseed specifically for it’s value as a marksmanship program, and not as a history course; the reason being that it’s extremely difficult to put quantitative value on “connecting shooters with their heritage”. The reason for that is some people aren’t going to care about the history, some people are going to dig it, etc. The shooting on the other hand is easy to assign value to – because you can ask any attendee who has been to an Appleseed a few simple questions to assess the value of the training they received. So yes, Appleseed was assessed solely as a marksmanship program.
To the poster hawkhavn, I apologize if your point you made in the chat went unnoticed. The chat is a very freeform mode of discussion, even on quiet nights a lot goes on in there that doesn’t get address on the air.
The last thing I want to address are the criticisms by the forum member Scout, who says the following:
These people sound like yuppies just chatting, nothing about them says anything to me about them having any credentials for having a radio talk show other than they just happen to have one. And where is their work on any kind of 2A program? Geeze, I have never seen more “If it didn’t originate here, it is no good” than these guys on blogs/talks
Well Scout, I am a yuppie. And my only credentials for having a radio show are that I have the drive and initiative to start one. That’s the great thing about the modern age, because if you wanted to start a show about how much I suck, you have everything at your disposal to do so, and are more than welcome to.
After reading over the thread at the Appleseed forum, I was a little disappointed in their reaction – we treated the show fairly on its merits as a marksmanship program. Plus the emails I’m now getting after the show, I get the impression that a lot of the Appleseed guys are digging real hard into my statements to try and find the negatives in them, instead of looking for value.
My bottom line on Appleseed, after the show is that I’d still be interested in attending one. Despite some of the antics of their forum members, I do actually believe that the program has value as a marksmanship program, because that’s the only part I can judge the quantitative merits of fairly. I’ve got a pretty solid rep for fairness, and I’m not going to jeopardize that now – so I’ll make a promise to the Appleseed guys that after the IDPA State Championship, I’ll go to an Appleseed shoot. I’ve got a 10/22 and plenty of bullets for it, and I’m a pretty handy shot already, so I’ll give it a try.