Monday, October 3, 2011

Just because you carry doesn't mean you know how to use

I got an email from my firearms instructor.  He holds classes almost daily and is always trying to drum up business.  Being short of money most of the time I'd rather spend my extra money on prep stuff so I've just been ignoring the emails.  Most of the time I don't even read them...just hit delete.  After reading his latest email I realize that I need to spend some money on preparing, and not just on the stuff that you buy. 
The instructor stated that people who carry CCW's are in denial.  They want the license so they can "carry" a firearm.  He compared that to carrying a stick of dynamite in your pocket.  It's fine as long as you are carrying it but don't ever take it out to try to use it unless you actually know what you are doing.  Otherwise you could hurt yourself and other innocent people around you.
He then went on to say that he's sure the people who don't have CCWs but have firearms at home for self-defense are probably chuckling.  But, this applies to those people as well.  Be honest with yourself. How safe and proficient would you be with a firearm if you were truly under pressure?
It's not something that you can learn by watching shoot-em up movies.  It's not something that you learn in a day long class (although the instructor wants you to come to class).  It takes time and effort, and money for ammunition and perhaps having a trainer.  You need to balance training, practice, and the evaluation by an instructor to achieve good results no matter what it is you are trying to learn.  I know this first hand with work.  Practice, practice, practice, so when the situation comes you are on automatic mode and you don't have to think about what you are doing.  It comes naturally.  
I am sorely lacking in my shooting skills.  Shooting rabbits and squirrels in the yard is not the same as defending my life or my grand kids.  I have more than one handgun but only have one on the CCW permit.  Why?  I've been "to busy" to qualify and fill out the paperwork.  I also haven't been shooting as much as I should be.  It's not just standing at a target and aiming and firing.  That I can do, especially if there is no time limit.  I need to get back into the habit of going out to the range and also perhaps every other month taking a class in order to keep up on my skills and stay in the safe and proficient column. 


  1. I always tell our teams, "Perfect practice makes perfect." I'm with you about going to the range. I'd like to get in the habit of shooting then get the CCW. I should then feel comfortable with the weapon and be in the habit to continue practice. I'm sure our police and military don't go on the job without practice.

  2. I've been carrying since 1986. Before that, I spent a good long time in the Marine Corps, where shooting was just a part of life. Gunsmithing, reloading, and target shooting are my hobbies. I have my own range on my property, so I don't belong to a gun club anymore but I shoot a good bit still. If you have a friend who is comfortable with weapons they can probably teach you anything you need to know without charging you.