I’m concerned about the average American gun owner’s diet. And I don’t mean the amount of carbs, fats or sugars we’re devouring. I’m not referring to calorie intake, either. What I mean is that many gun owners nowadays are consuming too much junk food, such as YouTube videos, TikToks, Instagram reels and the like, rather than getting good training. You know … the kind of firearms training that takes commitment … the more cognitively challenging and physically unpleasant stuff. I guess you could consider good training the whole grains and the vegetables of the firearms training world! And while I’m looking around at gun owners today, I’m just not so sure we’re getting enough of those vitamins and nutrients.

Do y’all remember the food pyramid? This classic representation of healthy eating was created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the early 1990s to help guide Americans toward more balanced and appropriate eating habits. While it has undergone many changes, upgrades and adaptations over the decades, the idea of dividing food groups into separate categories at different tiers helps people visualize what food options are the most sensible and beneficial to comprise most of our diets.

The Gun Training Pyramid

I’m seriously wondering if we need a food pyramid for the gun world. Maybe we should create a gun-training pyramid in which different tasks and activities are divided into sections and levels to help guide American gun owners toward more balanced and appropriate training habits? For instance, maybe the top of this gun-training pyramid includes TikToks and Instagram reels, so people understand that those should only be sprinkled in on occasion. Underneath that, we could have a smattering of YouTube videos, since there is some deeper and richer content available on that platform. But on the levels that make up the bulk of the pyramid on the bottom two tiers, we should have books, articles and commentaries, with the largest part made up of actual firearms training and classes.

Firearms Training Fun in Moderation

I get it. It’s enjoyable to just zone out with a bunch of entertainment and mindless fun. But if that’s all we’re doing—just filling our heads with nonsense, incorrect habits or unsafe techniques, then how are we ever going to improve ourselves? We have to be disciplined. We have to be willing to do the work. And just as much as we sometimes put aside that slice of cheesecake or that handful of French fires because we know we’re already past our limit on empty calories, sometimes we have to set aside that mind-numbing video or that blooper reel and do some dry-fire drills instead. Or maybe we read an article or a book that causes our brains to activate and seriously consider or think about something for a change.

I guess you could say I’m a little fed up (pun intended). It’s time that gun owners take firearms training and the responsibility of firearms ownership seriously. Go ahead and throw in an ice cream sundae now and then, but don’t substitute it for that grilled chicken and roasted summer squash. While it’s totally fine to mix in the frivolous with the serious now and then, moderation is an important principle of life. As we are reminded by the ancient Greeks, “μηδὲν ἄγαν,” which translates to “nothing in excess.” An overdose or an overload of one thing can be destructive. But life in moderation can be a real benefit. Keep that in mind the next time you go for a sugary soda … or swipe through a tacti-cool post. Remember to think about some options that are the most sensible and beneficial to comprise most of our diets. In other words: Don’t forget to look for things with nutritional (AKA training) value!