There are a couple things that I disagree with. If you have to shoot 3 times to hit the target, and you still don't hit him/her, you are doing it wrong. You should, as you said, wait for them to get closer. Secondly, a shot to a tree or something near you is just as nerve wracking as you being shot yourself. That kind of suppressive fire is great when a sniper is trying to hold down a fire team/squad so that his own team can get there. I don't believe that it diminishes the sniper in any way - they were just trying to suppress until their team could get there, right?