A few days ago Oleg Volk a post titled, "The misdirected fetish of marksmanship."
Oleg made a series of statements that I fully agree with. But he left one thing out.
If you can't shoot, you aren't a (direct) threat. If you aren't a direct threat, you aren't effective at grasping the very basis of all politics, violence is power. Freedom comes from the barrel of a gun is a political sentiment, the truth is that VIOLENCE comes from the barrel of a gun. At the end of the day all politics boils down to who has the violence and the will to use it to get what they want.
In every revolution, every insurgency, the "Powers That Be" always kill more of the "freedom fighters" than the freedom fighters kill of the professionally trained, government armed and supplied, killing war machine. This is leaving aside the "military coup" so common in various circles.
Winning an insurgency, a revolution, is about staying in the fight. Eventually the "Powers That Be" will decide to take their ball and go home. It happened in Cuba, Vietnam, China, Russia, America, France (a couple of times before it stuck), Algiers, Zimbabwe, and even India and Malaysia (the Brits were smart enough to see the writing on the wall and got out before the cost was too dear). In a Civil War it is about staying in the fight and wearing the other side down, such as in America or Ireland (or Britain back in the days of Cromwell). Marksmanship has a role to play in any political fight that big.
Marksmanship is not a misdirected fetish unless it becomes separated from the rest of the necessities of political freedom. Oleg is completely correct that marksmanship alone can become a fetish, but it is not worthless when taken part and parcel of a larger set of activities.
Joe Huffman asks quite often, "Why are Liberals so violent?" and the answer is that the power of the state is always naked violence. Liberals are quite honest about how they would rule given no limits. Conservatives are actually quite prudish, often going as far back as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas in trying to apply morality to violence. Liberals are not handicapped by this veneer of morality, they are the unthinking barbarians of our political world, the Huns, Visigoths, or Vikings who pay no respect to their victims and lay no excuses for their actions.
It reminds me of the series "Rome" where an exchange between Marc Antony and a politician... pardon the paraphrase.
"We have the Senate, and all the men of quality on our side" The politician says.
Marc Antony replies, "And I have an angry mob that will dance in the ashes of the senate."
Marksmanship is the pursuit of a disciplined warrior. The calm mind seeks small groups. The pause between breaths when the universe stands still and the trigger clicks in slow motion. Marksmanship can become a fetish, like the sword of a Mameluke or Samurai, but it can also be the distinguishing factor of a consummate warrior.
But never forget in the pursuit of marksmanship excellence, that it is truly the pursuit of more effective violence. Marksmanship is not a totem to ward off evil, no object or ritual wards off evil, only the violent actions of those fighting against it.