I found out early today that Todd Louis Green had passed away after a ten year battle with cancer. For those that don't know who Todd was, check out http://pistol-training.com/. Todd was a giant in the firearms training industry. He had a distinguished resume and was a very accomplished shooter. You can take a look at his bio here.
I never met Todd, never took one of his classes nor spent time with him on the range. Nonetheless, through the mysterious magic of Al Gore's Internet I had talked with him on a few occasions...well, perhaps argued is a better term. We didn't see eye-to-eye on several subjects. I'd say that a lot of that comes from us being from different backgrounds, having different life experiences and different expectations, especially when it came to firearms.
After bandying words back and forth a few times with him across the magical light box I made up my mind that I didn't like him. No real particular reason other than my stiff-necked Appalachian pride. Which was really stupid on my part. More on that later.
I have several friends that had met Todd. They all spoke highly of him and mentioned what a great guy he was. I wasn't having anything to do with it, I'd made my mind up and that was that. Then I heard he had cancer. That made me decide to quit arguing with him, or at least disagreeing with his points. I mean, the dude has got more serious issues to deal with than my salient points on technical points of firearms and the handling of those particular models that I had experience with.
We met again in a facebook group. I was using my real name instead of my typical forum handle. The group is light hearted and fun, which makes me happy most of the time. The interactions I had with him there were much more pleasant. I decided that maybe I could bend a little bit and take him at face value. I wish I had done that years ago.
In the end, Todd passed away after his long battle with a horrible disease. We were the same age and that really struck a nerve. While mulling over my own life choices and health issues I had another thought. We as gun owners are a contentious and cantankerous lot. It doesn't matter what group you invest your time in, there will be heated arguments over the relative merits of caliber, capacity, barrel length, wood versus synthetic furniture, Winchester versus Marlin lever actions, Colt versus S&W versus Ruger revolvers, striker fired versus single action versus double action versus double/single action triggers, steel versus polymer frames, ad infinitum. In the end, what does it matter?
I missed out on the opportunity to learn from a man who had a wealth of experience. I completely ignored what was probably the best piece if advice my mother ever gave me. "You can learn something from every single person you meet, no matter how smart they are." I allowed my pride to prevent me from learning from Todd. No more. "Pride goeth before a fall." is good advice. I'd do well to remember it.
If you've made it this far through my ramblings, please take a few minutes to go to the Rampage For The Cure website. Word has it that Todd and his family asked that any donations be given here. Even if you don't donate in Todd's name, it's a worthy cause.
I'm also adding a link to the blog to the pistol-training website. There is a wealth of good information out there, we just have to let it in.