A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Travis Tomasie

To answer the questions on why Travis did not make Idiots With Guns:

You will note that on each of the IWG pics, at least two rules are being violated. All of them have a finger on the trigger. Most show gun handling that is so ignorant that it makes the educated gun handler wonder if they took the time to check the chamber. In some, it is obvious that the chamber is loaded.

Another consideration of the IWG series is whether the pictures have any redeeming value beyond "Hey look at me being Billy Bad Ass with a gun". That is a universal theme in Idiots With Guns. Oleg Volk often takes photos of people with fingers on triggers, some with guns pointed at the camera. I do not consider these IWG material because of their redeeming value for advancing the RKBA cause. My Space photos with your thug boyfriend's gun do not have the same redeeming value. Indeed, if I were to shoot this same video of myself demonstrating my mediocre reloading talents, I would show the world what an idiot I was. There would be no redeeming value to my video other than to show even a putz like me can jam a magazine into a pistol given enough time.

Travis does not have his finger on the trigger. He is obviously adept at gun handling. He is one of the top IPSC Shooters in the world and was a member of the US Army Marksmanship Unit. The top shooters of the world watch Travis reload and say "Damn!" All this tends to make me believe he checked the chamber not once, but probably several times before shooting this video. There is also the redeeming value of showing just how quickly a mag change can be done. Something to aspire to.

Thus, Travis failed to make the IWG cut.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is this not an 'idiot with guns'?

i really am confused... i see guns pointed at cameras all the time in training videos and demonstrations... someone does it and posts a pic, and they get the 'idiot with guns' moniker.

maybe they have non-functioning guns (no firing pin, no mag that accepts ammo, etc.)... are all movies with guns full of idiot actors and directors?

or am i taking 'idiots with guns' too seriously?

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No double standards. The first camera angle qualifies this guy as an IWAG! ;-}

10:02 PM  
Blogger Tyler said...

He does not have his finger on the trigger.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rule #2 is violated. What a fucking idiot. Someone take a gun away from this poseur before he hurts himself.

Why would you trust this guy to be smart enough to make sure his gun is not loaded, and assume that other "idiots" are probably too stupid because they don't wear "tactical" gear? Is it because HE'S THE ONLY ONE PROFESSIONAL ENOUGH TO HANDLE A GUN?

9:53 AM  
Blogger Alpineman, RN said...

IWG aside ...

... holy smoke, that's a fast reload!

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, I'm starting to lose respect for you when you justify such nonsense. All the rules are important, but the most important rule is to treat all firearms as loaded at all times. No exceptions. Never. I know several experienced shooters that at one time or another have failed to heed the golden rule and have nearly paid the ultimate price for the momentary slip. Many of these guys are professional shooters that are well know in the sport. Never assume a firearm is empty! Ever! Or your the idiot with the gun. You wouldn't want anyone to sweep you with a gun, regardless of their experience. You don't get to decide to toss out a rule just because the guys a "pro". I've seen multiple violations in training videos put out by the "experts". One example is a video put out by Wilson Combat where Wilson and another gentleman are showing off a variety of firearms on a table and fail to check any of the firearms before picking them up and pulling a trigger to display function. a Pro should be held to a higher standard, not given a free pass on the rules. Assumptions will get you killed.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got to add my two cents here...

There are times when having a photo made
front he front can greatly influence training and
body positioning.

Almost all olympic shooters will have frontal
pictures made while holding a rifle to learn where
their center of balance, etc lies.

Mr. Tomasie's video is much the same! From the
front and the side you can really make out the gross
mechanics of a slick mag-change...

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OTOH, I know many people who have made videos and even though the chamber is empty (checked multiple times), they're anal enough and paraniod enough to use a mirror or two when filming/photographing a muzzle pointed at the camera (really at the mirror).

If you're not involved in the photography, you'd NEVER know the difference.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

You make good points.
I believe there is redeeming value in this video. Either you do not, or you are so dogmatic in your adherence to the 4 rules that you think redeeming value does not matter. That is fine, I would be happy to go shooting with someone such as yourself. Whether you would shoot with me is the question, but I can live with that too.

Nobody should be given a free pass on the 4 rules. I've stated my reasons and criteria for my Idiots With Guns series as clearly as possible. If someone fails to make the cut based on my criteria, then that is the way it is. If you disagree, then I suggest you start your own series.

If I have lost your respect over a disagreement, I never really had your respect to begin with.

Kindest regards,

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd happily go shooting with you, for I don't feel you'd violate any rules of the lane...not just the four. What "set me off" so to speak was that you were basically saying that violating only one rule didn't qualify someone as an IWAG (I think I'll start calling these folks IWAGs at the range among the knowing). I just don't want anyone coming to your site thinking that violating one rule is OK. It's not. From personal experience, I've seen one violation turn to near tragedy. The second thing that troubled me was your assumption that a “expert” has some leniency with the rules. They don’t. In fact they should be held to a higher standard since others look up to them and aspire to be like them. The video was irrelevant to my concerns. I would prefer the gentleman had not used the first angle as the second angle is both safer and conveys the same information, But this was not the reason behind my earlier post.
With regards,

9:12 AM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

Before your readers foam at the mouth, maybe they should think about what they're seeing here.

I posted this video on my blogsite a few weeks ago, after I had watched it ten or twenty times (and said "Wow! What a great reload!" every time.)

I had to go back and look at it again to figure out what the fuss was all about. My guess is that the concern is that the film shows the gun pointing dead-center at the camera.

People assume that there was someone standing behind the camera.

Not so.

The camera is set up to point directly at the subject. Turn the camera on, and ... thanks to the miracle of modern electronics ... walk away, BEFORE the gun comes up.

There was nobody behind the camera.

Besides this, consider the obvious fact that there was no ammunition in the magazines, and the slide was not racked to load the pistol.

Reload drills are a daily (or nightly) practice regimen for the serious IPSC competitor. And Travis Tomasie can certainly be considered as such. He knows that reload practice is conducted in a place where an accidental discharge will not cause damage, that the gun is triple-checked before starting the practice session, and that ammunition is not allowed anywhere in the room during the practice.

Travis knows these rules, and practices them. He is not only a professional, he is a competent competitor and gun-handler.

Last weekend (June 16-18, 2006), Travis won the Area 1 Championship.

He has consistently finished in the top group in every match he has attended, since I first met him in 1997.

I shot my first IPSC match in 1983, and I am an IPSC Certified Chief Range Officer. I have some qualifications to judge a man's ability to safely handle a gun. In 2002 I (along with ten other experienced IPSC competitors) PAID Mr. Tomasie to instruct us in a one-day training session. I'm 35 years older than he is, and at the time I had been competing for at least twice as long; but I so respect his expertise and talent that I was happy for the opportunity to learn from him. The things I learned that day about IPSC competition were well worth the money.

I'm not saying "He's a professional, trust him." I'm not even saying "Kids, don't try this at home." Certainly I'm not saying he is incapable of making a mistake.

What I AM saying is that Mr. Tomasie would never point a gun at anything or anybody unless he had no fear that an accidental discharge would do more damage than break a camera, or he intended to shoot that thing or that person.

Your basic "Idiot pointing a gun at his head" photo, or "Idiot pointing his gun at the camera" photo, lacks several of the elements evident in this sequence.

In the first place, the "Perfect Reload" sequence is obviously filmed at an indoor pistol range. Any accidental discharge would go ... nowhere but the bullet trap.

In the second place, the professional quality of the film should be a hint that this isn't just a couple of stoners sitting around the apartment smoking dope, when someone says "Hey, get your gun and I'll take a picture of you looking fierce!"

BTW, did you notice that after every reload the gun returned precisely centered on the lens of the camera? This is the image of a man who knows exactly where the gun is pointing at all times.

The comments suggesting that Mr. Tomasie is an idiot with no understanding of the rules of gun safety nor skill and experience in gun handling are insulting. I'm glad, Xavier, that you made the point that this is NOT a picture of an IWG.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not for nothing but how do you know he didn't shoot this video himself? The camera isn't moving at all. It's definitely on a tripod. There's nothing wrong with pointing a gun at a camera if there is no one at the other end.

1:01 PM  

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