Keyboard Warrior, Keyboard Commando, Internet Trolls, Pat McNamara
(Photo by Brandon Williams)

Anyone who has a footprint on social media has probably been on the receiving end of either an attack or unwanted advisement by someone with a lot of knowledge and lots of time on their hands. Better known as the “keyboard commando” or “keyboard warrior,” this douche-baggery has become commonplace on the Web.

Whether it is advice on a better way to set up an AR platform or critique a range practice, there are numerous gelatinous coelenterates that are chomping at the bit to nickel and dime a post or photo as fast as it uploads.

Portrait of a Keyboard Warrior

Emboldened by the security of their safe place and empowered by the Web whilst surrounded by Call of Duty posters, keyboard commandos are relentless in their devotion to trolling.

They broaden their personal database with useless information about gun makes and models, gear, ammo, military facts, as to better equip them for the destruction that they dole out onto unsuspected Internet contributors. I can only imagine how much time Marvin Milktoast, Larry Lunchmeat and the other walking-talking flaming butt plugs invest in research.

Fueled by Doritos and Chocolate Yoo-Hoo, they are trolling in dank basements across the country scanning YouTube videos, Instagram posts, gun forums and even while mommy fixes a fresh plate of snacks upstairs.

Drawing on their experience from BLET, JROTC, and their last airsoft victory, they are equipped with know-how sufficient enough to take on military veterans, career LEOs and competitive shooters. Perhaps their intent is not in malice, but it is to inform and advise. After all, they have a world of information at their fingertips. It’s all there on the Interweb.

Personal Experience with Internet Trolls

I have accounts on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Because many of my posts are tactically related — because it’s what I do — I am often on the receiving end of airsoft tacticians willing to offer me guidance on a plethora of training issues. They will sometimes challenge me to a fight pairing their style of fight with mine.

One time Joey Bag-Of-Doughnuts scolded me on YouTube videos because I loaded my primary weapon before my secondary. Or was it the other way around? I don’t know! Keyboard commandos call me phony. They critique me on my speed from the holster. They advise me that a particular piece of gear I use “sucks.” The list goes on and on.

How to Handle a Keyboard Warrior

Don’t let the keyboard commandos in to an attack on the Internet. It can be Sisyphean. Mitigate a would-be attack by checking and double checking anything you plan on posting.

Carefully check the details and background of photos ensuring that nothing is out of whack. Are the lens caps on the sight? Is the weapon on “safe”? Make sure weapons have a fresh sheen of lube. Is your pocket knife visible? Be prepared to answer why it is in your left pocket and why it is a knife as opposed to a “fighting blade.” Check the pants you are wearing and research whether the company supports any anti-2A stuff. Know the intricate details of the weapon in your photo — stuff like barrel twist ratio, type of alloy and chamber PSI rating.

Debates will fester, become heated and will be blown out of proportion. Let them run their course and stay out of the melee. When a keyboard commando bashes me, my response, when I am so inclined to respond, is always the same: “Thanks!” I let the Interweb take care of the rest. For every one keyboard warrior, there are hundreds of those with real experience and know-how. And they’re always ready to launch a counter attack.

For even more from Pat McNamara, check him out on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).

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