The Cornered Cat
What I Do

So lately I’ve been thinking about Things I Do and (more important) about Things I Don’t Do. That second column is important, because nobody can be everything to everyone.

Things I Do

Things I Don’t Do

  • Focus on self-defense skills
  • Focus on competition shooting skills
  • Teach and learn for a living
  • Sell stuff for a living
  • Function as a bridge between the new shooter and the serious training world
  • Badmouth other instructors
  • Help beginning instructors improve their teaching and shooting skills
  • Encourage complacency
  • Problem solve – help ccw people find their specific ways to carry, and help businesspeople design or refine products for the ccw market
  • Badmouth small businesses or small business owners
  • Tell the truth with as much kindness and discretion as I can
  • Lie or hide the truth
  • Focus on principles of gear selection
  • Focus on individual product reviews
  • Tell others about the work of good people who are doing good things
  • Live by advertising income 1
  • Share information about good products I’ve found that solve some specific problem
  • Live by sponsorships 2
  • Write how-to’s and tutorials that teach people how to choose good gear,  or how to use the gear they already own
  • Write articles  telling people they need to buy more stuff
  • Tell people when they really do need to make an investment in their equipment
  • Pretend bad gear is as good as good gear
  • Provide realistic but optimistic information about tough subjects
  • Deny or sugarcoat unpleasant truths
  • Honest homework, honest research
  • Plagiarize or take shortcuts
  • Focus on what the student needs, and on what the shooting community needs
  • Focus on my own tiny little world, and miss the bigger picture
  • Keep the pie growing
  • Fight over slivers

Do you have a similar list? Please share it with me — either in the comments below, or by linking from your own blog. Thanks!


  1. I’m a capitalist. There’s nothing wrong with making money! My objection to ads and sponsorships is that so often they translate into, “I won’t tell anyone about this cool thing I found, unless someone pays me to do it.” Since my goal is to maximize good information getting to the hands of good people, I can’t go there.
  2. See previous note.

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