Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lessons Learned in Hunter Education

When I was volunteering as a certified hunter education instructor for the Department of Natural Resources of Wisconsin published a compiled list of statistics for each season's hunt. Being one of the top ten states for deer hunter participation, this makes an interesting and accurate case study. Let's go over the lessons learned from the compiled numbers and see what we can discover about trends in field shooting and safety skills of hunters.
First, the good news. Organized events, even those as rudimentary as basic hunter education, are marvelously effective at improving safety skills. In 1907, decades before hunter education was established, there were 97 reported firearm mishaps statewide of which 41 resulted in death. Total deer harvested was about 6,000.
In 2002, over five decades after the first hunter education program was established, the number of incidents was less than half that (47 total) despite a much larger hunting population taking the field: 618,945 licenses sold with 277,959 deer harvested.
According to the National Safety Council there is currently an average of seven firearm-related incidents for every 100,000 hunters in the United States. Wisconsin's 2002 rate works out to 7:92,184; close to the established national average.
This is yet more proof how safe shooting and hunting can be IF participants bother attending even the simplest, organized, skill-building event. Wisconsin's hunter education course is a scant 10 hours with a large number of topics in the curriculum and there is no shooting proficiency test or standard. Twelve-year olds find the coursework simple. Worst of all, no follow-on events are offered or even suggested. Yet, the difference between the most vestigial training and none is astonishing.
Hunter education instructors and administrators deserve a pat on the back. Not too hard, though, as there are still a number of embarrassing problems to iron out.
In other articles and reports I've pointed out that about a third of all hunting "accidents" are self-inflicted and half are perpetrated by a hunting party member (someone the offending hunter knew was there.) That means there is no acceptable excuse for at least 80 percent of the mishaps.
The 2002 statistics prove this yet again. 14 of the 47 incidents (29.78%) were self inflicted and 24 of the incidents (51.06%) involved a hunter shooting a member of his own party. These incidents can be traced to abject incompetence due to unfamiliarity.
Actual hunting experience, without continuing range experience and training, is of little help. Tim Lawhern, Wisconsin's Hunter Education Administrator, has noted in print that hunters with a number of years of hunting experience are often some of the worst offenders, not the new, inexperienced kids.
The numbers bear this observation out. Nearly half of the perpetrators (22 out of 47, 46.8%) were over the age of 35 and had hunted without mishaps for years. How can this be?
A new hunter takes basic hunter education and learns rudimentary skills. The tentative newbie is cautious with the lessons fresh in his mind. Unfortunately, after this one required event most hunters do nothing to further their field shooting and handling skills beyond this kindergarten level. As the years pass with incident-free hunts, and nothing done to relearn and reinforce lessons learned, complacency sets in.
We see this with alarming frequency when adult hunters attend a field day with their kids - at least when we can get them to actually toe the line and shoot in front of the class. I've learned that the "experienced" hunter often has to be watched even closer than the kids at first. The new student's safety procedures are just beginning to approach the Consciously Competent level. He may have to think about it first, but he knows what to do. The hunter who has neglected to reinforce these lessons too often reverts back to the Unconsciously Incompetent level, and doesn't realize how much of the little skill obtained years back at the mandatory hunter education class has been forgotten. The most basic safety protocol violations, improper muzzle control and failing to keep fingers clear of the trigger, have to be watched for and corrected for a few rounds before the hunter begins to remember them again. Without a semi-regular refresher, such as a class, match, or other event, too many hunters learn the hard, painful way and end up as statistics in reports like this.
I'm continually amazed and disappointed at the number of really dumb and preventable gun mishaps. Some typical examples:
- "Victim reholstered pistol after a shot with finger on trigger, shot self in thigh."
- "Victim had safety off and finger on trigger, shot self in foot."
- "Victim sat down against tree and gun discharged."
The numbers confirm the need for skill-refreshing events. Nearly two-thirds of the self-inflicted incidents (9 out of 14, 64.2 percent) involved hunter education graduates shooting themselves, and a exactly three-quarters of the perpetrators who shot their hunting partner (18 out of 24, 75 percent) were graduates as well.
This is NOT a condemnation of the hunter education curriculum or instructors, rather, it is further evidence of the need to provide and promote adequate follow-on activities and sufficient participation by the majority of hunters and gun owners. As noted above, the most basic training experience makes a huge difference. It's the follow-up, getting rank-and-file gun owners and hunters to bother to show up to shoots once in a while, where we drop the ball.
In summary:
- Organized, skill building events work! The huge drop in negligence due to Hunter Education proves it.
- Follow on experience is essential or the lessons will be lost. A mandatory, one time event is not enough.
- Raw number of years spent hunting is a poor indicator of skill. Hunters sometimes wait a year (or more!) between hunts. Refreshing skills in between through organized shooting events is vital.
John M. Buol Jr. is a former active duty small arms instructor for the US Army serving as Course Writer and Machine Gun Gunnery NCOIC at the Small Arms Instructor Academy, Camp Bullis, TX.
Having returned to a reserve status, he is the editor of American Gunsmith magazine, director of the Firearm User Network and a freelance writer on marksmanship-related topics. Buol is a member of the US Army Reserve Shooting Team, has earned both Distinguished Rifleman and Pistol Shot badges and a classification of Master in several shooting disciplines.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Continuing Education Options For Busy Managers

Today's businesses require regular updating of skills, with global competition and emerging technologies on the rise. With customer demands and expectations also on the high level, businesses require their mangers to have good project management and technical skills.
For a business to remain competitive, new projects and business development must be completed on time and within budget. Here is where the importance of project management leadership crops up. Project management skills are highly sought out by businesses to keep them ahead.
So what happens if you do not have the necessary skills? Take heart. There are ways and options to learn the skills, along with your regular job, so that you and your organization or business has the cutting edge.
What are the choices available to the busy professional of today, to stay ahead of the competition? Continuing education is the option and the various forms of continuing education available makes it easy for the busy executive to learn and study along with his or her busy schedule.
The skills could include project management, technical know-how, a foreign language, management, business, finance. Just about anything.
Let us consider a few of these:
UPDATE TIME: Professional education providers can provide practicing professionals with levels of knowledge and skills comparable to those graduating today from professional schools. For example, the engineer who graduated in the 1970's has a very urgent need to close the knowledge and skills gap with today's graduate. This they are able to do updating the curriculum from professional schools.
This is done very simply where who know something teach it to those who do not
know it in two or three days of intensive short courses. Such instructional systems are heavily didactic and the content of such courses is dominated by informational update.
The course is conducted by a single instructor, who lectures in a formal setting. The main aim of these short courses is to keep professionals up to date in their practice in a formal set-up.
FREE BIRD: You do not have to be confined to a classroom to continue your education or horn your skills. There are distance learning programs to help fulfill the needs of busy professionals like you. The Web, computer and other technologies are playing a large role in delivering education and training.
Teleconferencing, is a technology that allows several people to call one phone number and be connected at the same time. It can be a convenient and viable way to "attend" classes. No special equipment is required to participate in the call.
Some courses offer the online format for pursuing educational opportunities. With such online classes, lessons and homework can be done on weekends, late at night and even while traveling, thus making it convenient for the busy executive.
Mostly, all distance education programs will have a counselor or guide whom you can meet up with regularly to check your progress.
LATE BIRD: For the professional who can spare the time, there are evening classes and late sessions for continuing education held after work hours. These will have the formal set-up and regular sessions with an instructor. These are definitely more effective, if you have the time to spare.
Whatever method you choose, with the advent of technology, continuing education whether it is for career transition or career advancement or just for updating skills, need no longer be difficult to accomplish. With the plethora of continuing education choices being offered, even you, the busy executive, can learn those skills you have always wanted.x

Saturday, October 27, 2012

League Education

Many parents dream of giving their children the best education possible. If you are a parent who resides in the northeastern United States, chances are the best education to you means that you want to send your kids to an Ivy League school, which is widely regarded as the pinnacle of education.
The general belief among parents is that the higher standards of education and social connections available in Ivy League schools are potent enough to set up their children for life. What parent would not want that for his son or daughter?
But what does the term Ivy League really mean and where did it come from. Records show that the term Ivy League traces its roots back to 1935 as a mention in some publications. However, the term Ivy League really rose to national attention prominence in 1954 and through sports of all things, specifically with the formation of the NCAA Division I athletic conference. Since there were little or not professional sports in most areas at that time, people were great supporters of their favorite college teams and the Ivy League schools were no exception. Through the years and because of the sterling record of achievement compiled by its distinguished graduates, Ivy League schools became associated with more than just athletics. They gained a solid reputation for an effective educational philosophy that has been tempered by time in many of the country's oldest schools.
The eight educational institutions that make up the Ivy League are as follows: Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; Columbia University in New York, New York; Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire; Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Princeton University in the Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, New Jersey; University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Although each of them has its own distinct reputation and its own way of doing things, they do share some common characteristics that bolster their reputation as outstanding educational institutions. For instance, Ivy League schools traditionally place high among the top 20 in the US News college and university rankings. Ivy League schools are among the top one percent of the world's academic institutions in terms of financial endowment. Finally, Ivy League schools are a well-known haven for the country's best and brightest students and faculty. They are considered to be socially elite.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Public School Sex-Education Classes --- Bad News For Parents and Children

One of parents' most important duties is to protect their children from harmful sexual values and behaviors. Yet many public schools force potentially harmful, sometimes shockingly explicit sex education on their students.
Most of the time, parents have no control over the content of these classes. Occasionally, a group of parents finds out about a particularly obnoxious sex education class and protests to the principal or local school board. The class may be dropped, only to be replaced by another class that teaches equally objectionable material.
School authorities' cavalier attitude towards parents on this issue shows their anti-parent bias, and their contempt for parents' rights to control the values their children are taught.
Many school authorities insist that children need comprehensive sex education from kindergarten through high school. They believe parents can't be trusted because they have shameful feelings about sex or have "outdated" moral or sexual values. School authorities, claiming that they know best regarding sex education, usurp the parents' role, allegedly for the good of the children. In doing so, they show contempt for parents' rights, values, and common sense.
Many sex-education classes indoctrinate children with sexual values that can cause them irreparable harm. For example, these classes often promote the idea that most sexual behaviors are acceptable, including adultery, homosexuality, masturbation, and premarital sex.
The sex-education instructor simply tells the kids to "be careful" or use their "common sense" when they engage in these behaviors. As if we can depend on teenagers with raging hormones to be careful or use their common sense. The soaring teen pregnancy rate in this country puts the lie to this notion.
Horror stories about sex education classes and flagrant violations of parents' rights confront us from around the country. Here are only four of those stories:
o On March 19, 1996, a public school in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania made 59 sixth-grade girls submit to a genital examination as part of a routine physical. The school did not ask for parental consent. During the exam, school officials blocked the exit doors and refused to let the crying and pleading young girls call their parents.
o In Stephens County, Georgia, parents were shocked to discover that their fourteen- and fifteen-year-old daughters had been driven to a birth control clinic by a public school staff member without their knowledge. The county clinic administered AIDS tests and Pap smears to the girls and gave them birth control pills and condoms. The school denied parents access to the test results and defended its actions on the grounds that the counselor believed that she was doing what was best for the girls.
o The Pacific Justice Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents against the Novato [California] Unified School District for authorizing pro‑homosexual presentations without any prior notice or consent. According to the Pacific Justice Institute Press Release, "The presentations entitled "Cootie Shots," exposed elementary school children as young as seven years old with skits containing gay and lesbian overtures. The presentations were followed by question and answer sessions about what constitutes 'normal' families and acceptance of those who choose the homosexual lifestyle." 6 (see Notes in "Public Schools, Public Menace")
o Carol (last name withheld for privacy), a schoolteacher, couldn't believe what she was being asked to teach in her sex education class. The curriculum forced her to show second-graders pictures of nude boys and girls and ask them to name body parts. School authorities told Carol and her fellow elementary school teachers that there were no absolute moral rules, so she shouldn't be concerned about what she had to teach the children.
Parents, it might be advisable if you periodically asked your children if their school is giving them sex-education classes and what the school is teaching in these classes.
If these classes force your children to sit through shocking, obnoxious, or embarrassing sex-education material, you can do something about it. Many states have Parent Notification laws that allow you to demand that the school "opt-out" (withdraw) your children from these classes. You can find more information about this important issue in "Public Schools, Public Menace."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Between A Promotion And A News Letter

Most businessmen are constantly on the lookout for ways to attract new customers. It is no secret that advertising takes up a huge part of the budget for many enterprises, but it is seen as an investment. After all, you can't make money without spending money. That much is certainly true - but exactly how much money do you have to spend in order to make more of it? Many ad agencies will advocate big, flashy campaigns, but there are also several time-honored ways like publishing a monthly newsletter that will help bring in the sales.
A news letter allows you to communicate periodically with clients who have already done business with you. This is a distinct advantage associated with the monthly newsletter; instead of chasing after customers who have not noticed you yet, it gives you a chance to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with those who already have. Many businesses are in the habit of sending promotional emails out on a regular basis; what is the difference between these promotions and a news letter?
Both email promotions and a monthly newsletter can be effective marketing tools. However, each one serves a different purpose. As the manager of a business, you should be aware of the difference between the two in order to use each medium effectively. To begin with, a promotion is simply a one-way communication tool. Its purpose is primarily to drive up sales in a particular period and thus works with a short-time goal.
Promotions are great during holidays to help you grab your share of the market when people are in a spending mood. They are also useful for helping you dispose of old stocks and make room for new inventory. They are also a good way to give incentives and rewards to loyal customers. When it is a slow period for sales, they will also help you meet your quotas. Because of their nature, promotions contain a lot of direct calls to action like "Buy now!" or "Take advantage of this special offer while supplies last!"
On the other hand, a news letter is a marketing tool that has long-term goals. It is a bit more effective in hard copy rather than as emails, because a monthly newsletter is meant to be read and savoured rather than serve as a notification that must be acted upon in a certain period of time. A news letter is supposed to help you build a lasting relationship with your customers, encouraging repeat business and referrals.
Because it promises to deliver "news" it also positions you and your business as a resource by providing information about your industry or niche. It is ostensibly supposed to "educate and inform," building your reputation and credibility over a span of months. It will even help you get referrals by being passed on from your customer to his colleagues, family and friends.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Technology Enriched Online Education

Are you aspiring for a better education or a better future? Are you tired of attending classes of your college or university? Here comes the solution. With the progress of technology, online education has taken its birth and it is of immense help to young adults and working people. It should always be remembered that education is not a compulsive duty. It should rather be taken with enthusiasm and joyful mood. It is only through education that people get employed in different sectors and make a bright future.
All these years you have been using the internet for shopping, downloading songs or videos, booking travel tickets and so on. Google, the most important search engine is of great help and with the help of this; you can educate yourself with the fast growth of technology. Most men choose their career path in online degrees or diplomas.
School or college education is discouraging
To some people, education from a regular institute can appear to be boring. The monotony of attending lectures, facing of punishments given by teachers or professors is really discouraging. When a student fails to complete his assignments, he gets rebuked by his teacher and harsh words are showered upon him. In this way his dream to fulfill his academic goal gets shattered.
There are many suicidal attempts that a school going kid often makes. Often you will find such shocking news of a student's suicidal acts in the morning newspaper. An online education ensures total independence and there is a lot of fun involved in it. So do you want to make your child?-a nagging school or college goer or a competent online learner?
YouTube has showered blessings on educational arena
There are different YouTube channels coming up which will help you in educating yourself. These are TED talks, Biography Channel, The Nobel Prize, PBS, Discovery Channel and many more. These serve as free lectures on various subjects and you can gain a lot of knowledge.
How can online MBA be advantageous?
MBA or Master in Business Administration is a post graduate degree or diploma in management studies. When a student applies to a regular B-school, he cannot afford the high fees involved in such education. Hence online MBA is very demanding and you need not submit huge fees to pursue such a degree. Also, this type of MBA comprises the same courses as offered by a regular institution. An individual can also continue a job along with his studies and can shoulder social responsibilities.