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 Not entirely hypothetical question 
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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:41 pm 
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plblark wrote:
Joel has posted a carefully slanted hypothetical and called this man names. He's posted as evidence a link to a MCPPA instructors only section so the people commenting, aside from those with access to that section have only* a slanted introduction and damnation to go on.
Bullshit. I also posted a link to the entire thread, preserved elsewhere -- as it's stood for more than a month, scraping out only the name and identifying info of my source: anybody who wants to know what was said there has all of what was said there to go on. They don't have to take my word about the wussy protestations and silence from instructors there -- hell, the strongest caution came from Dean, and while I understand that somebody who isn't an instructor would want to tread lightly in the instructors section, I'm afraid I do understand the weak protestations and silence from some others, and I don't much admire them.

Just to be clear, and fair, in summary: even Andy "Pinnacle" Shapero posted a suggestion that fraud wasn't okay. It was weasel-wordedly wimpy, but at least he did it. As did several others. Many sat on their hands rathe than point out that one of the ACORN guys, err, MGT guys was casually suggesting the very real possibility of doing something pretty bad.

Again, let's loop back to the ACORN scandal, and a real hypothetical, not your phony hypothetical, Paul: let's assume that one of the ACORN folks overheard other ACORN folks seriously discussing the hows and whys of helping a hooker and a pimp take out a government loan to open a brothel to house and work a bunch of underage illegal aliens . . . would "Hey, that's not really a great thing to do" and then getting back to bullshitting with each other be a strong enough protestation?

Fuck, no.

Now, to be fair, Scott D. Olson was talking about deliberately leaving a certificate date blank for a cert issued to an underaged girl, not having her turning tricks. Having her turn tricks is, of course, much, much worse -- but isn't there some sense of right and wrong here?

If you're going to reassure yourself that, well, nothing bad was done because, as it turns out, the girl just supposedly wanted the certification for her Maine permit, and the cert when finally issued did, supposedly, have a date on it, you might want to mute your objection to that whole ACORN Hooker Support scandal, because, after all, those immigant underaged girls to be put to "work" in a hookshop were fictional, after all.

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*Emphasis added to Paul's gross and flagrant inaccuracy, which he either did or should have known was utterly inaccurate. JR

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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:53 pm 
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The fact remains Joel, you posted something that was meant to be kept private, where an instructor was seeking the counsel of his peers, You violated that persons right to privacy when you posted it.



What possible good does this do to the carry movement? Smart people deal with dirty laundry behind closed doors and present a solid and clean facade to the public.


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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:03 pm 
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MostlyHarmless wrote:
Speaking as myself, while I agree that the BCA's oversight in this area is lax, I note that they have limited statutory authority and no budget for this sort of work. If I were to prepare a list of things that I should like the BCA to change, this particular line item would be unlikely to appear on the first page.
Actually, the BCA has a very large budget, consisting of their legally-mandated rakeoff from permit applications,; we do have laws against fraud; and the BCA can refer investigations to other police agencies, if and when the poor dears are overwhelmed. They do have some serious statutory authority with regard to instructor organizations, as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:05 pm 
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Blued Steel wrote:
Smart people deal with dirty laundry behind closed doors and present a solid and clean facade to the public.
Sorry; I'm not going to cover for those sorts of folks. If you think that's unwise, well, we're both just going to have to live with that.

That said, I certainly have tried, behind many closed doors, to persuade some folks to clean themselves up, in many respects, and will continue to do so, and not talk about such persuasions in public, by and large.

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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:11 pm 
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but you still brought to open forum that which was private, that is airing dirty laundry.


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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:56 pm 
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I agree with Mark, Duane, Jerimiah and Chunk.

The instructor junk is a real liability. When the law was changed to let everyoe certify themselves, I spoke against it, and even Joel didn't like my comments. But somehow, we've got some potential problems if instructors are willing to game the system. If we've got instructors whom the legislature has agreed to rely on acting like this, the law will get changed by a unanimous vote.

It's fraud to make a material change in a document which somebody is going to rely on. It's fraud to help facilitate such a scheme. I think this is basic, and any instructor should know that. Any citizen should know that.

I'm not making a judgment about violating the trust of some guys who have a private section on the internet, I'm more concerned that we may have a bunch of self certified instructors who are willing to entertain such ideas, on the internet no less. I'm sorry people impulsively take their football and go home because of side issues.

Whether this is technically "right" or "wrong" is hardly important. I'm not an instructor, but if I was, I'd be really pissed off by colleagues like this. That's obviously Joel's motivation. Maybe this effort was not is not as effective as his usual efforts, but come on. Joel is not advocating fraud, or sitting by watching it. All good instructors should be concerned about fraud, and not get sidetracked about how it was exposed.


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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:09 pm 
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Dick Unger wrote:
I agree with Mark, Duane, Jerimiah and Chunk.

The instructor junk is a real liability.
And he's not the only one, as I've implied, repeatedly, by saying explicitly.
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When the law was changed to let everyoe certify themselves, I spoke against it, and even Joel didn't like my comments.
Sure. And I'm perfectly willing to revisit that discussion -- just for the record, I advocated as strongly as I could, in 2005, for not messing with a working system, which required sheriffs to accept all certificates from NRA- and AACFI-certified instructors; that worked to the benefit of all instructors, even those without NRA or AACFI certification.
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But somehow, we've got some potential problems if instructors are willing to game the system. If we've got instructors whom the legislature has agreed to rely on acting like this, the law will get changed by a unanimous vote.
That's my fear.
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It's fraud to make a material change in a document which somebody is going to rely on. It's fraud to help facilitate such a scheme. I think this is basic, and any instructor should know that. Any citizen should know that.
Yup. And I'm pretty disgusted by the bogus "hypothetical" defense.
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I'm not making a judgment about violating the trust of some guys who have a private section on the internet, I'm more concerned that we may have a bunch of self certified instructors who are willing to entertain such ideas, on the internet no less. I'm sorry people impulsively take their football and go home because of side issues.
I've decided, as a matter of personal policy, that I'm not going to let my own sorrow over that affect my actions.
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Whether this is technically "right" or "wrong" is hardly important. I'm not an instructor, but if I was, I'd be really pissed off by colleagues like this.
I don't consider the scumbag instructors as "colleagues." Other than that: sure. I've been briefly involved in voter registration, from time to time; I don't think of the modern-day ACORN as colleagues, either.
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That's obviously Joel's motivation. Maybe this effort was not is not as effective as his usual efforts, but come on. Joel is not advocating fraud, or sitting by watching it. All good instructors should be concerned about fraud, and not get sidetracked about how it was exposed.
And all instructors should be clear on this: this may not be the only dirty laundry of the scumbuckets that I will be airing.

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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Blued Steel wrote:
but you still brought to open forum that which was private, that is airing dirty laundry.

You bet it is. And the folks who exposed ACORN were airing dirty laundry, too. Do remember that their first video was not the only dirty laundry that they had to show, please.

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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:22 pm 
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I would like to throw out the opinion that, compared to a periodic public pillorying of instructors who, how shall we say, may not be the brightest stars in the constellation, it would do far more for the overall quality of firearms instruction for some of the most renowned instructors to publish, on an open-content, royalty-free basis, the curriculum and supporting materials they believe contribute to a high-quality class. Doing so would be a lasting contribution to the carry community in Minnesota on par with contributing to the legislative achievements we have made, and would provide a valuable resource to those instructors who choose to self-certify or who are part of one of the smaller and more informal certification organizations.

I would also like to point out that, in the not so recent past, there was a thread on this very web site where a number of instructors were suggesting that they sign each other off for renewals without actually taking a class. While Joel rightly pointed out the foolishness of such an approach, he was the lone voice. To consider the mn gun talk site a lesser forum than tcc for an absence of hue and cry over an essentially similar incident misses the mark.

I do agree with Joel that some instructors fail to exemplify due regard for either the gravity of what they are doing or the extent to which they hold a position of public trust. I believe that the answer to this is to empower instructors and support them in their work. Where is the premier instructor certification organization trumpeting from the highest hilltops the message of quality instruction, earnest compliance, respect for students, and honest marketing? Where are the people working to empower others to teach as well as they can (or better)? The best of the instructors in Minnesota -- and there are many good ones -- are not visibly working to help other instructors reach or exceed their own level of performance. Rather, we have a bunch of one-man bands approved by certifying organizations which are either run like social clubs or compete based on making the paperwork easy or providing lots of leads.

Finally, I think that even the best instructors are failing to impress upon their students the public relations consequences of their actions. Ill-advised OCing is the greatest risk to the liberal law we now have in place. Sure, it will get your name in the paper, and some instructors have engaged in exactly such publicity stunts. Sure, it's lawful. For now. How many of you who teach are pointing this out in your classes? Are you tiptoeing around the issue so you don't offend your rabid-2A-supporting, OCing friends? Do you remind your students how quickly the law changed in Florida?


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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:32 pm 
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MostlyHarmless wrote:
I would like to throw out the opinion that, compared to a periodic public pillorying of instructors who, how shall we say, may not be the brightest stars in the constellation, it would do far more for the overall quality of firearms instruction for some of the most renowned instructors to publish, on an open-content, royalty-free basis, the curriculum and supporting materials they believe contribute to a high-quality class.
Others are free to do so; I won't, as I don't think it would do what you think it would do. I think it would merely aid in the false commoditization of classes, and I won't be helpful in that.
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Doing so would be a lasting contribution to the carry community in Minnesota on par with contributing to the legislative achievements we have made, and would provide a valuable resource to those instructors who choose to self-certify or who are part of one of the smaller and more informal certification organizations.

I would also like to point out that, in the not so recent past, there was a thread on this very web site where a number of instructors were suggesting that they sign each other off for renewals without actually taking a class. While Joel rightly pointed out the foolishness of such an approach, he was the lone voice.
Where? Link, please.
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To consider the mn gun talk site a lesser forum than tcc for an absence of hue and cry over an essentially similar incident misses the mark.

I do agree with Joel that some instructors fail to exemplify due regard for either the gravity of what they are doing or the extent to which they hold a position of public trust. I believe that the answer to this is to empower instructors and support them in their work. Where is the premier instructor certification organization trumpeting from the highest hilltops the message of quality instruction, earnest compliance, respect for students, and honest marketing?
I think that no instructor organizations have trumpeted the message of honest marketing -- even those who clearly believe in it. At least arguably, they've got their own instructors to manage, and not attempt to preach to the shortcut artists who won't listen anyway.

And then there's those what don't -- those who practice dishonest marketing. Watch a space similar to this for more than one example, forthcoming. I'm sure that we'll hear that the particular marketing campaign wasn't "really" dishonest, since the class was canceled -- after money was collected. I will call that bullshit in advance, and explain why when I post on the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:59 pm 
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One of the premiere instructor organization in the state -- which empowers instructors and supports them in their work, with the message of quality instruction, earnest compliance and respect for students -- publishes for its members, on an open-content, royalty-free basis, the curriculum and supporting materials they believe contribute to a high-quality class.*

The organization is MADFI, and the cost of being a member is $75 once, then $25 a year.

We have had a few shortcut-takers leave MADFI when it was clear that we wouldn't tolerate such shortcuts (like using a laser simulator for the "actual shooting qualification exercise"). This has turned out to be not much of a loss to MADFI at all. Good instructors tend to gravitate toward good organizations, and vice-versa.

I think that it is quite naive (or disingenuous) to suppose that the only reason that there are instructors doing shitty jobs is because no one has handed them, for free, a way to do it better.
-----------------
* They aren't required to use the model curriculum, but many do, at least in part, as it has the virtue of already having been written and tested. Others, with previous teaching experience, have their own curricula, and that's fine, too, provided they teach to the standards we set.

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* NRA, UT, MADFI certified Minnesota Permit to Carry instructor, and one of 66,513 law-abiding permit holders. Read my blog.


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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:02 pm 
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joelr wrote:
MostlyHarmless wrote:
I would like to throw out the opinion that, compared to a periodic public pillorying of instructors who, how shall we say, may not be the brightest stars in the constellation, it would do far more for the overall quality of firearms instruction for some of the most renowned instructors to publish, on an open-content, royalty-free basis, the curriculum and supporting materials they believe contribute to a high-quality class.
Others are free to do so; I won't, as I don't think it would do what you think it would do. I think it would merely aid in the false commoditization of classes, and I won't be helpful in that.


I'll just offer up your own earlier comment on this matter:

joelr wrote:
. . . I've been thinking about doing an instructors-only refresher class, both so folks who want to could get signed off on, and to go over in some detail not just what I do -- and don't do -- in TCCarry, but why I do and don't do it, and why stuff appears where it appears in the presentation. [...]

I'm not sure about the pricing, but there would be pricing; taking a day off to do this is a day that I can't do other stuff, including teaching a carry class, and while I think, on balance, that if it improves the quality of instruction that's a good thing, part of me is of the opinion that there's some costs to improving my competitors' instruction. [...]


You ultimately can't have it both ways. If you want to refrain from improving your competitors' instruction because you believe it would cost you revenue in the future, that's your choice, and it's a choice that means that the quality of other instructors will suffer. In an indirect sort of way, it means you've had a hand in shaping the environment that produced Penaz and SAM and whoever you're going to pillory here next, because through your choices you've contributed to the scarcity of high quality instructors in the interest of keeping fees high.

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Where? Link, please.


OK, here and here.


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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:04 pm 
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Andrew Rothman wrote:
One of the premiere instructor organization in the state -- which empowers instructors and supports them in their work, with the message of quality instruction, earnest compliance and respect for students -- publishes for its members, on an open-content, royalty-free basis, the curriculum and supporting materials they believe contribute to a high-quality class.*

The organization is MADFI, and the cost of being a member is $75 once, then $25 a year.

We have had a few shortcut-takers leave MADFI when it was clear that we wouldn't tolerate such shortcuts (like using a laser simulator for the "actual shooting qualification exercise"). This has turned out to be not much of a loss to MADFI at all. Good instructors tend to gravitate toward good organizations, and vice-versa.

-----------------
* They aren't required to use the model curriculum, but many do, at least in part, as it has the virtue of already having been written and tested.


Open content would mean that anyone who had the curriculum could modify and republish it, much as is the case with Wikipedia or, say, Linux. Is that the case, or is its distribution restricted to MADFI instructors? (If it's not so restricted, I'd like to review a copy, just because I care about things like that and open content is a big deal to me.)


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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:13 pm 
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MostlyHarmless wrote:
I would also like to point out that, in the not so recent past, there was a thread on this very web site where a number of instructors were suggesting that they sign each other off for renewals without actually taking a class.

joelr wrote:
Where? Link, please.


MostlyHarmless wrote:
OK, here and here.


Except that that is NOT what was discussed. What was discussed in those two threads was a) an instructor signing off on himself, which many people suggested might be legal but sure sounded shady, and b) having an all-instructor class/seminar/renewal, which WOULD BE A CLASS and which WOULD MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW.

Nowhere in either thread was there anyone "...suggesting that they sign each other off for renewals without actually taking a class."

I think you need to retract your false assertion.

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 Post subject: Re: Not entirely hypothetical question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:18 pm 
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joelr wrote:
plblark wrote:
Joel has posted a carefully slanted hypothetical and called this man names. He's posted as evidence a link to a MCPPA instructors only section so the people commenting, aside from those with access to that section have only* a slanted introduction and damnation to go on.
Bullshit. I also posted a link to the entire thread, preserved elsewhere -- as it's stood for more than a month, scraping out only the name and identifying info of my source: anybody who wants to know what was said there has all of what was said there to go on. They don't have to take my word about the wussy protestations and silence from instructors there -- hell, the strongest caution came from Dean, and while I understand that somebody who isn't an instructor would want to tread lightly in the instructors section, I'm afraid I do understand the weak protestations and silence from some others, and I don't much admire them.


I read through the entire thread you've preserved and encourage others to do so as well. I fail to see how the unified, firm, and polite suggestion, by five posters within 24 hours of the original post, that signing an undated certificate is inappropriate, constitutes "wussy protestations and silence." Would you have preferred to see some tearing down of SAM's character and intellect? Or perhaps some colorful anatomical metaphors? Have you considered that there were perhaps more strongly worded private messages or emails that you were not privy to? I don't know, I hardly ever post there and am not in the club, but I've always been a fan of sending that sort of criticism privately.


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