Training the begins...


April 25, 2007, 09:46 PM
A year or so ago, I vowed I'd do this after the then latest example of reporters reporting what they didn't understand. I finally got a chance and did it. I built a lesson plan/PPT presentation, lots of data. After I ran it past some folks at work, I got a member of the Security Department, our training officer who's a former Immigration and customs officer and another co-worker involved in the class, THR's very own Amish Bill.

There were three of us to teach and 6 news room staffers showed up. Two were directors, 4 Chief editors. We covered some really good points but have more to go so I expect to run some more classes on this stuff. It looks like they want us to give the class for the anchors, more staff and for staff up at the DC and NY offices. We didn't get through all the content, but the class was able to ask lots of questions and we bounced around all over the slide/presentation. Perhaps I'll have to break it up into a more organized class AND the initial intro class. We're also looking at the FATS system that we apparently have at work for the reporters to give more of an idea what happens when you're in a Shoot/NoShoot decision loop. And after that, some range time.

One of the questions we had was for a GOOD source for information on the internet about firearms. I was at a loss for info on the technology, a single clearing house. Finally, it seemed like THR would be good, Bill agreed. So, we might have some reporters coming here for good hard info. This is the High Road, so I know you guys will treat em right. ;)

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April 25, 2007, 09:54 PM
I give you a standing ovation for your efforts. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to march down to the offices of the Washington Post and ask them where the heck they get their "gun experts".

April 25, 2007, 09:55 PM
Oh, we also handed around our cards and names for contacts to help field questions the next time the come up with a question.

April 25, 2007, 10:10 PM
Be sure to ask them to identify themselves as journalists referred here by you and A_B. There's no guarantee they'll be treated well, but they're guarnteed to be treated badly if they're not up-front about why they're here.

April 26, 2007, 12:30 PM
NICE job! It often amazes me with the amount of ignorance about firearms is actually out there. Then I remember where I came from and how long it took me to acknowledge and learn the firearms terminology. Still, you'd expect Reporters to know better.

April 26, 2007, 12:53 PM
Thank you and attaboy+! I have been telling myself I should be doing the same thing around here. The NRA classes, while fine for what they are designed to do, are not really designed to cover that kind of an education. Would you be willing to share what you have put together? I'm sure that I could twist the arms of a few of our local certified instructors and offer the same sort of thing to our local journalists.

April 26, 2007, 12:56 PM
So can you post a link to the PP file?

Steve N
April 26, 2007, 01:07 PM
RMGill, Where do you work? Do you work for a media outlet? If not, how did you get the

April 26, 2007, 02:14 PM

I want to do some more work on the PPT. It's got some un-attributed image too so I don't want to distribute it in anything but my own personal use unless I can get some credits included for the image sources. I'll probably get Oleg and Bill to get me some better images over time, but cross sections of cartridges and bullets was really useful. The simple fact of what part of the "bullet" comes out of the gun is surprisingly dark for a lot of reporters. They really just don't have any experience with firearms at all.

Steve, not to be concealed about which company, but there's the whole public image thing I have to be wary of. I'm not a PR guy and it's not my job to teach the News Room, but I managed to get their time and buy in so I'm happy. Dispelling the myths that Hollywood and other sources have created is the primary goal. Still, you can look at my location and draw your own conclusions. ;)

HSO, in the next class it looks like I'll be doing Anchors as well as newsroom staff. The first class is just the tip of the iceberg I think. I'll be certain to stress treating the High Road as a continuing resource and NOT a disposable resource.

I could use some help for my presentation. One thing that came up is I need some really good animations and cutaway drawings of firearm's actions. Trying to describe in abstract terms how a system functions was just damn hard. I understood it, but I doubt half of them really got what we were talking about when it came to a disconnector. This was because with types of firearms semi- vs fully automatic and the issues of what makes one different from another in terms of ease of conversion. This required an in depth discussion on just what happens when a gun goes into battery and why it's so important that it not fire before that. Which gets into pressure and we come full circle to ammunition components again which is where we started with, basic ammo components.

April 26, 2007, 02:17 PM
As far as cutaways are concerned, you might look at:


I am sure the authors of these would be happy to give you permission if it were for a good cause.

April 26, 2007, 02:18 PM
I'd really like to see the PPT, and will keep it confidential.

BA in public relations
Ran presentation shop for a Fortune 100 company for 15 years
Formerly had a secret clearance in the army
Will probably steal some ideas from it, but it won't be identifiable
May add some stuff to it

April 26, 2007, 02:19 PM

And if we can get the thing vanillaized (sigh - been a rough coupla days), it'd be nice to have it distributable to other media outlets.

April 26, 2007, 03:18 PM
Its actually quite vanilla now. There's not any company logos or anything added. Though it very well could get that attached. I did have to sanitize some comments about the NFA/ATF in it for legal purposes even though it's just internal.

Steve N
April 26, 2007, 03:39 PM
RMGill, Based on your location I figured that was the company, and understand your need to keep things quite. Good job. Hope some of your teaching rubs off and they actually do begin fair reporting. BTW Robin is a hottie, but too plastic looking some mornings.

beaucoup ammo
April 26, 2007, 03:55 PM
On the right track RMGill! Truely a worthy effort. I spent over 30 years with (and helped start) a large communications company (see my location!) and can appreciate the value of your efforts.

I hope you'll continue to share, and not hesitate to ask if any of us can help.

Outlaw Man
April 26, 2007, 04:02 PM
Awesome! Every little bit helps, and it looks like you can potentially reach a LOT more people. Best of luck!

April 26, 2007, 06:12 PM

In addition to THR, I would also steer reporters to for information about the firearms laws as they are written; to for background info about the legal use of deadly force; and to for information about concealed-carry laws in each of the various states.

In addition to the Glock & 1911 animations Raven linked, has a Beretta 92 and has an S&W DA revolver.

Good luck with it -- and thanks for doing it.


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