[Opinion/Video] TheYankeeMarshal’s “Why I Do Not Promote Training” Is Misguided


The Yankee Marshal is probably one of the most down-to-earth, sensible YouTubers out there when it comes to common sense hip-pocket gun philosophy.  But a recent video highlighting the rationale for why he does not promote gun training for both open and concealed carriers is a bit misguided.  Here’s why:

“If you watch my gun channel, you probably watch other gun channels.”

Not necessarily.  As one of the top gun channels on YouTube, you can never assume that your audience is comprised of seasoned gun experts.  It would be nice – but it’s simply not a reality.

Heck, at Concealed Nation, we have readers that are below the age of 21 – not legally old enough to carry a concealed firearm in most states.  Why on earth would we want to steer them into the assumption that they have all the knowledge they need to safely operate a firearm without any knowledge of their prior experiences?  That would be foolhardy.

“I don’t think you need it [training]”

Because, in the Yankee Marshal’s viewpoint, general common sense matched with an average intelligence should inevitably lead to knowing how to safely operate a firearm.  Wow!  I wish we lived in that world.  It would be awesome.  Match that with a sense of morality and ethics and the majority of all human suffering would be greatly reduced, don’t you think?

The Fallacy Of Family Support For Firearms Training

And when in doubt, “they can learn from themselves, their family, or their father.”

Let’s take that last phrase apart for a moment.  Themselves, their family, or their father.

What happens if you don’t have a father that’s familiar with firearms (or is adverse to them)?  How about a family that’s not very well educated on how firearms work or how to employ them?  Those are all recipes for disaster towards developing the basic fundamentals necessary to operating a firearm effectively.  We’re not all perfect and we certainly don’t all have supportive family members that are proficient with firearms.

Mistaking Lack Of Evidence For Supporting Evidence

Obviously, Yankee Marshall proves his law enforcement background (that was a friendly jab).  He goes on to assert that the vast majority of people are not killing themselves with firearms.  This is a true statement.  The vast majority of the estimated 11+ million concealed carriers are not killing themselves or others with their firearm.  Can’t argue with that bit of logic until we look at the incidences where that’s not true.

And for that, we need look no further than the CDC to infer that even though the vast majority do just fine – there’s plenty who don’t.


Worth mentioning – more people die due to motor vehicle accidents and poisoning.  So he is technically correct in that the majority of people with firearms are not killing themselves or others.  But that still leaves many each year who injure or kill themselves or others due to negligence.  We assert that most of that negligence stems from a lack of training.

At least in the case of motor vehicles – most states mandate some form of driver’s education prior to a person getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.  Many states have no such requirement to carry a concealed firearm.

Having Prior Training And Advising Others They Don’t Need It?

The Yankee Marshal has prior law enforcement experience.  While I don’t know if he was a marshal as the title infers, in previous videos he discusses his experiences as a law enforcement officer.

So he already has training – formal training – under his belt.  He obviously knows how to handle a firearm.  And for those with prior military, athletic, or law enforcement training – a similar level of aptitude would be expected.

For someone with NONE of those things going for him, training is absolutely essential.  Those skills are not hard-wired.  At the very basic level, any certified instructor will teach the following:

  • Firearm Safety
  • Marksmanship
  • How To Properly Load/Unload A Firearm

From those very basic points, we can infer with an average intelligence that safely storing firearms is also important.  Those four basic pieces are necessary.  And if you don’t have them – you need to be trained how to have them.

Conclusion – Training Is ALWAYS Necessary

The Yankee Marshall is possibly one of my favorite channels on YouTube.  I like him because he has a great sense of humor and tries to bring the world of firearms to as many people as possible.  Having a concealed firearm is important!  And if you do not have a background in law enforcement, tournament shooting, or the military – being trained by a certified instructor is STILL worth your while.  And as a former Marine who has taken instruction after getting out, I can tell you I gained an immense wealth of knowledge from my instructors at Golden Seal in Winchester, VA.

Believe it or not, I never fired a Glock while I was in the service.  Until I had to go to Afghanistan as a defense contractor, I had never fired a striker-fire pistol before in my life.  Getting the instruction I did was the difference between getting the majority of shots center mass and not.  Could I have learned how to fire a Glock properly without instruction?  Sure.  Did it help?  Absolutely.

So, in conclusion, while we can’t always agree what’s a good baseline for beginners – Yankee Marshal’s philosophy on this one topic seems to be lacking the credibility I would normally give his channel.

If you disagree, let us know why in the comments below!

About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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  • Busefalis

    Personally I agree, if only because I taught myself. I had some friends who helped/help me out with finer things like trigger control and the like, but safety and basic operation, I learned from Youtube videos and reading the manuals of firearms. In our state we don’t require training, and I thought in a previous article you also said it shouldn’t be required, so I’m a bit confused here. TYM isn’t opposed to it, he just doesn’t think it is necessary. And plenty of people have used their firearms without training to save their lives.

    Btw, unrelated as a fellow NHite, hope to see you at the Capitol Saturday.

    • Chris Lee

      Agreed. I took one training course because of the hype I had read on the internet and found that it did give me some pointers but overall I learned from going to the local Sheriff’s range where we civilians can go shoot and working with police officers. Worked for me.

      Some of the ideas of training where you’re burning through a 1000 rounds of ammunition in “combat” situations etc… are really not needed. Not only costly, but you aren’t really any more prepared for a real-life, life or death situation. You’re still on a range shooting stationary targets. The only difference is you have someone shouting commands at you.

      I think a lot of the idea of training and more training online comes from instructors. This is how these guys earn a living. Bottom line, if you believe in all of the training hype you see on the internet then go for it, nothing wrong with it at all. However for those of us that need to conserve our funding to provide for those we protect, don’t discount us.

  • Robert C. Muench

    He is correct mostly. The numbers don’t lie.

  • Dave

    Sometimes I think firearms enthusiasts beat the training drum a little too much. There are some things that training simply isn’t going to ‘fix’. A pistol is a pretty simple mechanical device that fires a projectile that can/will kill you. It’s a very basic truth. If you can’t grasp that out of the gate, I’m not sure how training is going to change that. Things like keeping your booger hook off the trigger, not pointing the gun at something unless you intend to shoot it, clearing a weapon BEFORE field stripping it – these are *duh* things that a cursory introduction should easily cover. My wife has had no formal training in her life, and before me, had never even held a pistol. I told her the basics that I just outlined above, and since that day she has handled my firearms EXACTLY as any person should. Finger off the trigger, verify empty, always pointing away/down range. Simple/basic common sense stuff that anyone with a modicum of intellect will grasp very quickly.

    Now where formal training IS good is for becoming a proficient shot, and/or adding to your self defense skills overall. But that is a personal decision based on things like desire, time, practicality and money. And usually, people that seek out that sort of training already understand basic firearm safety and don’t need training to understand that.

    That’s been my experience, anyway. I’ve seen people at the range who are excellent shots – clearly they’ve had some sort of training in their life, and yet they muzzle folks beside them and generally handle a firearm like a numbnut. You really think after all that time, training will give them the common sense they clearly lack? If you need someone to tell you that fire burns, or that poking your eye with a needle will blind you, I’m betting you’ll end up burned and blind at some point in life.

    • Captain Kirk

      I gave my wife about an hours training on her 686 and then let her go to it.
      She now shoots at least as well as some of the officers I worked with.

  • Captain Kirk

    I’ve had years of firearms training from both military and law enforcement sources.
    I know that regular practice with your primary weapon is essential in order to build muscle memory and efficiency with that weapon.
    Surviving an actual self defense situation is however, much more complex than engaging targets that don’t fight back. I’ve seen officers who were stars in training, utterly fail to perform in real confrontations. We call it the “choke” factor like a ball player who is brilliant in training camp but, can’t get it together under real pressure.
    I forget who said it but, a baseball pro once said that a “natural” athlete will always beat a mediocre athlete no matter how hard he trains.
    During the Vietnam war, studies were done about combat aggression. The hard evidence was that out of ten, identically trained soldiers, only one of them aggressively engaged the enemy. The other nine either stayed behind cover or emptied their mags in the general direction without aiming.
    This was born out in even earlier conflicts. One guy out of ten actually shot at individual targets.

    My point is this, no amount of training is a substitute for a natural ability to take command of a situation and perform with cool deliberation in the face of danger.
    Trained police officers lose a lot of gunfights to untrained criminals who have become immune to fear and pain via drugs or psychosis.

    The infamous Miami debacle involving two very aggressive, ex-soldiers named Platt and Matix [who were both psychotic killers] and several FBI agents showed that training goes to hell when things get really messy.
    Of course, after all the smoke cleared with 5 wounded and two dead agents and two dead bad guys, the FBI conveniently blamed one, nine millimeter bullet that failed to immediately incapacitate Platt which lead to the whole .40 cal thing. They’re going back to the 9mm I hear.

    So, after all this blather, what’s the answer ? Regardless of how technically proficient you are with a weapon, you must also be mentally prepared to do whatever is necessary for you to prevail in a violent attack without a moments hesitation.
    Ask yourself, in a SHTF situation will you be able to put that front sight, center mass, on a living human being and squeeze the trigger ?

  • Dan Weymouth

    You know, for the most part I completely agree with Yankee Marshal on this one. which frankly surprised me. After decades of military service. Im sitting here watching and reading this thinking “yea right”. Well after watching the video and reading here. Well I gotta say I think he has a point. I grew up in the country. Been shooting since I was 5 years old. I was very proficient with firearms long before I ever signed up for the military. And it was my da and my older brothers who taught me how to shoot and good firearms handling and safety in the first place. I would say that professional training is stacking the deck in my favor so to speak. You can never know too much. But unless you are military or law enforcement, a great deal of these tactical training programs and what not. Really are not skills you will use on a regular basis. Still thinking it over.