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The Real and Imaginary Dangers of Firearms Training

October 12, 2017

The most dangerous thing about guns is….

… I could accidentally wound my pride.
… I need a new gun before I can take a class.
… I could make a mistake in a self-defense class.
… I might look clumsy or unsafe, and leave my ego bleeding on the classroom floor.

These excuses feel familiar to me. Most gun owners have never taken a concealed carry course, so the feeling might be new to you. If we did get our permit, then most of us stopped there. We haven’t been to the range or taken a class in years. We like to shoot, but our fear of embarrassment keeps us from taking the next step.. from getting training.

Our fear also leaves our family at risk. When we step back and look at it, we would rather fail on the street in a self-defense encounter than submit to correction in a firearms class. Our fear of embarrassment in a firearms class is unfounded. That is the good news.

The person who puts his ego on the line is the shooter, not the firearms instructor. Every instructor I’ve ever met would much rather have willing students in his class, than have a person who is afraid to make mistakes and accept correction. The classroom is the perfect place to find out what you know and what you don’t. The classroom and range are where we can discover what works and what needs improvement.

It isn’t the instructor who will judge us or criticize our character. We are afraid of falling short of our own unrealistic expectations. How can we gather our courage enough to learn something about firearms safety and self-defense?

As a statement of fact, very few of us are as good as we imagine. On average, we’re average. I speak from personal experience.. and have the competition scores to prove just how average I am!  The solution is simple.

Back up and take a basic course where you feel comfortable.

I need to step back an take refresher courses from time to time. I have NEVER taken a class I didn’t enjoy. I don’t know anyone who has, and that covers some extremes. I’ve been hot and cold and wet, but I left with a smile every time. I always came away smarter.

Maybe I convinced you, but not your friend. Your friend says, “I already know how to shoot.”

Then show us.  Go take a class and be willing to learn.

  • Do you safely load, unload, and handle your firearm with confidence?
  • Do you hit stationary targets at intermediate distances?
  • Do you shoot on the move?
  • When you carry a gun on your body, do you get a perfect grip on your firearm every time?
  • Do you consistently present your firearm while wearing a concealment garment?
  • Do you remember the legal use of lethal force?

Take that first step. Ask the gun owners in your area where to train, because the course that fits an experienced gun owner in Hawaii won’t work for a beginner in Maine.

Believe me, there is so much to learn. I guarantee that you will learn something new. Even if you are in a basic class that you took years ago, you will remember things you’ve forgotten. You will also demonstrate what you know when you are out on the shooting range. Now you know what you know.

As a bonus, you will also discover what to learn next after you take your class. It is simply one small step at a time.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2017 6:03 pm

    Hello. My name is Mike kowalski and I am president of West Walker Sportsmen’s Club. We have about 1300 hundred members. Located in Western Michigan. I am writing to you to ask permission to reprint your article The Real and Imaginary Dangers of Firearms Training. Saw it reprinted by the JPFO. This would be printed in our monthly newsletter. My phone number is 616-826-3118. Thank you for your consideration. Mike Kowalski.

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