Strange days

A personal first occurred today and it involves someone that most of my readers know so I thought I’d pass on the story. I hope this doesn’t embarrass Mr. Completely too much but after having read his blog and corresponded with him for the past…oh…probably getting close to two years now…I have to say I’m not really surprised.

First, to establish my bona fides: While on active duty in the Navy I qualified as an expert marksman with the .38 revolver and .45 pistol as well as with the AR-15 rifle. I was a member of the US Navy Marksmanship team and still am a member of the Reserve component. I’m not exactly world class, but I hold my own, generally falling out somewhere in the top half of competitors in the Atlantic Fleet matches. Anyway…part of shooting those matches is that we trade off acting as scorer for other competitors.

I also did a tour of duty as an instructor in Millington TN and one of the things I did there was qualify and perform as a Range Safety Officer for marksmanship award qualification shoots for our students. Part of my responsibilities involved scoring and marking targets to determine if the shooters qualified for marksmanship ribbons or medals.

Basically, the point is that I’ve done my fair share of scoring competition targets in my life.

When I received target entries for this e-postal match, I double checked the scores just to make sure no one made any obvious mistakes. I wasn’t expecting any real problems and I wasn’t disappointed. There were a couple people who cheated themselves out of a point or two by scoring too conservatively. I corrected those as necessary.

Mr. Completely had one target in particular that I kept coming up with a score 8 points higher than what he had scored. The only thing I could think of was that he had not counted a shot when adding up his score.

I scored it the way I saw it and let him know about the discrepancy.

I know I’ve taken a ridiculous amount of words to get to the point (no one has ever accused me of being too brief) but here it is:

This is the first time in my shooting and scoring career that I’ve ever had anyone argue with me because they thought I scored their target too generously.

That just speaks loudly and clearly to the integrity and honor of Mr. Completely.

As I said before, it doesn’t surprise me one little bit.

The quality and moral fiber of the vast majority of the members of the shooting community never ceases to amaze me. We may have our differences from time to time, we may be competitive as can be occasionally, we may even get annoyed or angry with one another over minor differences…we are, after all, humans.

But every time an incident such as this reminds me of the quality of the people I’m associating with I am humbled and honored to be counted amongst your ranks. Thanks to Mr. Completely and to all the patient and gracious competitors in this month’s e-postal match for reminding me again of the wonderful company I keep.

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