159 – More the Knowledge, Lesser the Ego

Daniel and Varg Discuss the importance of prioritizing knowledge over dogma

We have lots of new, green gun owners taking responsibility for their own personal and family protection turning to forums and social media to gain knowledge and information. Often in the firearms industry, we see a certain kind of person who feels empowered and has a serious ego attachment to certain ideas and using the correct terminology. In this podcast, we dissect the self-proclaimed experts and terminology police, and talk about what our real priorities should be.  

Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw

Co-Host: Varg Freeborn

Transcriptionist and Producer: Leah Ramsden



Ego in the Firearms Community 

A Closer Look

1:35  DS explains, On one hand we say we need to get more new gun owners fighting for our Second Amendment…Then when they come along we get really mean to them when they call a magazine a clip. Where does this originate from? VF replies,    

“People craft this ability to only talk about things that they’ve learned the standard set of information about. You’ll notice that you won’t hear these people talk outside a few topics. The reason they do that is because they don’t know everything and they don’t want to be called out in the ways they call other people out.

They create this world where they live in just a few topics and they’re willing to spend this unhealthy amount of time talking about these things when they could be learning about these other topics that they avoid. They could actually become proficient in the other topics, but they’d rather spend time calling other people out like they’re the terminology police of the gun community.”

Batman Slaps Robin Magazine Clip

Don’t be a know-it-all by using terminology to cut others down. Instead, work on continuously improving your range of skills and transfer that knowledge.   

Prioritize the Right Information

5:30 I’ve had people come up to me at the end of class and say “Hey that new guy who’s never really shot a gun before and he came to your handgun class, he called this thing a clip – all day, and you didn’t say anything to him,” DS responds, 

“Well why would I? I’ve got a brand-new shooter; he just got a gun, he’s showing up, he’s getting a concealed carry permit, he wants to learn how to defend his family, I’ve got 2 days that are 8-9 hours each with hi to teach him how to fight, how to defend himself, how to think – I’ve got so much information I’m trying to get across to this guy. I’m trying to change his mindset… I have 0 time to stop and tell him what something is called. When I know he’s talking about a magazine, you know he’s talking about a magazine. Who cares? I’m just glad you’re here. Let’s get some important information out there and not take time talking about the stupid stuff.”

7:40 “As a coach or instructor, you understand that a person has a limited amount of information that they can absorb at a time, and a good instructor prioritizes that information individually, based on the rate their moving at in their progression, their development, how they’re absorbing information. You learn these things over a couple of hours… If I start throwing terminology into this, about things that aren’t going to affect his performance right now, whether he calls it a magazine, a clip, or a black banana, I don’t give a shit what he calls it, but if he’s putting it into the gun properly, right now that’s what I need to focus on.”

“Find ways of actually prioritizing self growth and as you get that, help bring others up.” – Daniel Shaw   

Daniel Shaw instructing handgun Fundamentals

Daniel Shaw on the range during a Handgun Fundamentals course.

Broaden Your Knowledge Base    

DS says “I hate when someone on the internet posts – oh well MY instructor teaches this. First of all, you lost me in that conversation because you said “my instructor.” That means you have one bank of knowledge you’re gaining from and one person is not going to have it all figured out. They’re going to have their own priorities, Varg’s gonna have his priorities, I’m going to have mine… and if you only had one instructor, you’re probably going to be missing a few things, I don’t care who that instructor is.”

13:40 How would somebody out there new to the gun world that just listened to a podcast for the first time ever, how would they identify the right person to associate and listen to? VR replies, 

“How negative are they?

…I use a rule; if you look at someone’s social media and do a quick scan of their last week of output. Do a quick estimate of how much they say is negative and how much is positive. And that’s probably the first indicator. For example; if I find 75% of what comes out of them is negative or smack talk, or attacking someone- boom you’re done.”

“What you do online is your brand. Even if you don’t have a company, you are your brand, you are your own advertisement and how you present yourself is who you are… If your output is mostly negative, no one is going to think you’re [a] good person.”  

See live video discussions, join in chats, or ask questions during future conversations by following Daniel on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/danielshaw0369

More information, background, and learning opportunities: https://vargfreeborn.com/.

Support the show! Use the free Twitch Prime subscription that comes with Amazon prime to subscribe on Twitch. Hit that donation button if you’d like, but remember: the best way to support the show is always to share it with your friends.  

Next up: Off-Body Carry… It depends


Gunmag Warehouse’s own Director of Marketing, Daniel Shaw is a retired US Marine Infantry Unit Leader with multiple combat tours and instructor titles.  Since retirement from the Marine Corps, Daniel teaches Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers weapons, tactics and use of force.

Daniel takes his life of training and combat experience and develops as well as presents curriculum and creates digital media content to help Law Enforcement, US Military and Responsible Armed Citizens prepare for a deadly force encounter.  When he isn’t directing marketing for Gunmag Warehouse, Daniel travels the US teaching and training under his company, Shaw Strategies, and discusses all things hoplological and self-defense related on The MagLife Podcast.

  • Ben Willard

    The ego thing is huge in the gun world. I sensed it the minute I started to inquire about firearms a few years ago. Everyone I spoke to really wanted to be helpful, but they all came off like wanna be Rambos. I have had many interested throughout my life and can honestly say it occurrs in all of them. It’s a form of bragging I guess but I think it stems from the desire to help and teach.
    We all like to share our interests with others, but there is definitely a gift that some have over others that makes them good teachers and mentors.

  • bob smith

    I’d rather someone let me know there was a difference between a clip and a magazine. You just don’t have to do it in a condescending way. I think nomenclature is kind of important for all instruction.

  • GA Hoffmann

    Online gun forums can be brutal to newbies. This is especially true if there is a clique of forum veterans who will jump on the new guy with his first post. I’ve seen it many times. The newbie joins a forum to learn about his new firearm, but is immediately beat about the head and shoulders for asking a simply question or wording it incorrectly, or stating an unpopular opinion.

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