I believe there is intrinsic value in training. In the military and as a police officer, I have had the opportunity to be trained by some of the best firearms and tactics instructors in the nation. I also have had the opportunity to train thousands of people in the fundamentals of marksmanship and advanced weapons skills and tactics. What I learned 30 years ago has evolved and I, as a trainer must evolve with it. The only thing that does not change is fundamentals. That is the foundation that everything is built upon.
As a Concealed Weapons Permit instructor, it is becoming very apparent to me that the majority of people are not comfortable with their weapons. This is not to demean anyone, this is simply an observation from a trainer’s point of view. I also understand that many people have not had the opportunities that I have had. I also know that it takes time, dedication and money to train. I have encountered numerous people who spend hundreds of dollars purchasing a weapon, holster and ammunition but will not seek proper training to become proficient with the weapon. The only understanding of the fundamentals of marksmanship is what is covered in the CWP class. The CWP class is not a marksmanship class, it briefly touches on the fundamentals of marksmanship and presenting the weapon. The class is primarily designed to teach the legal aspects and safe operation of a handgun, along with some other topics.
What I have observed, frankly, is scary. It scares me to know that so many people are carrying guns who cannot safely and competently manipulate them. If someone carries a weapon but is not competent handling it, they become a liability. I have written about the physiological changes that occur in a deadly force encounter that we have no control over. If someone cannot load or unload a weapon with ease, how could they possibly believe they can control the weapon in a stressful situation? This also leads me to believe that this type of person would be extremely lucky to hit their intended target but most likely would miss and hit something or someone they did not intend to. We all had to take drivers education and before we could get a license, we had a learner’s permit. Unfortunately, there is no such mandate prior to applying for a CWP. You only need to attend the class and pass the written test with 70% and get 35 out of 50 hits on a silhouette target from distances of 3 yards to 15 yards. Most people pass the qualification but require coaching while manipulating the weapon. The only stress involved in the qualification is self-induced. What would happen in a life-threatening situation? The person would most likely become a statistic due to the inability to protect themselves due to lack of training.
It does not take thousands of dollars to become proficient handling weapons and applying the fundamentals of marksmanship but it does take some time and a lot of practice. Shooting is a perishable skill and lack of practice becomes very evident quickly. Practicing hitting a paper target at close range is fine but it is not realistic scenario-based training that provides real world training. I cannot stress enough the need to seek a qualified trainer who has real life experience, not just someone who has certifications. There are things I know from personal experience that someone who attended a class to become an instructor does not know and cannot know due to lack of real-world experiences. I am not saying they are incompetent, I am saying you would be learning from someone who only has book knowledge.
I believe you must be the first responder and take control of the situation by whatever actions are necessary. Our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms is vital to our safety. On that note, I implore you to prepare yourself for whatever may come your way. You cannot depend on someone else to take care of any problems you encounter.
I encourage you and anyone else you know to contact me for training, questions or concerns. If you put a group of 5 together, I can discount classes and conduct a class specifically to your needs. Check out www.tacticaladvantagefirearmstng.com or www.facebook.com/timowenstraining for additional info.
Over 21,541 police officers have lost their lives in the performance of their duties since 1791.