Conceal Carry or any other Firearms safety course…

8 06 2013

Getting adequate instruction for personal defense:

There are many “instructors” out there that promote their courses and some of them are actually good at what they do while others are trying to take your money and relying on your ignorance on the subject to get away with it. By ignorance, I do not mean that you lack education or common sense, just that you may not know too much about the subject of adequate firearms training.

With that, please think about something before committing to a dedicated course: if is broadcasts online, ask yourself “what if I have a question?”. Currently (and for the foreseeable future) the NRA does not have any online courses. With that, any NRA instructor that says it is an NRA course and they happen to put it online (for firearm courses that is) for you to register, pay for and “attend” (which usually means you watch a video or PowerPoint presentation) then expect your money to be wasted because the courthouse is probably going to kick it back. This means you will not get your money back AND you wasted your time AND you learned nothing about firearm safety.

When it comes to defensive information, such as conceal carry information, it is important to get out of the class what you need to and what your “need” would be is: what are the conceal carry laws? Where can I legally carry? How can I transport my firearm? What do I do/say if I get pulled over? What if I need to fly and want to carry/bring my firearm? What are the rules of the local area? What signs do I need to be aware of (to prohibit carrying)?

You cannot plead ignorance if you actually have a license to carry concealed. That license states that you attended some sort of firearms safety course and that you are aware that you need to stay “up” on the local/state laws in your specific area. By saying “I was not told that”, “I did not know that” or “how was I supposed to know that” you are already wrong. It is your responsibility to gain that knowledge.

How much money do you have and do you enjoy throwing it away? I ask this because if you attend an online course for your conceal carry permit and the state does not accept it, or you attend that course, the state does accept it but the NRA finds out that the instructor did it online and revokes their credentials, then you are liable now and you learned little about the “can and cannots”. The money? Well, now you have to attend another course, sit in the classroom and hope that THIS class is actually going to teach you something. Fingers crossed!

Point being, if you attend an online course (which most universities are now promoting big time) you may not understand certain information. This is not even speaking about the conceal part of the course, this is just speaking about the firearm safety part. So, if you do not understand a part of the safety when dealing with the firearm and you end up firing that firearm anywhere, you are now liable for where that bullet goes. You are guilty and negligent. So if that bullet were to strike someone, you are guilty. How would you feel if it struck a child?
The phrase (which unfortunately is used a lot) “I didn’t know it was loaded” will not hold water in court on any level. You are responsible for the condition of that firearm, all firearms in your possession, at all times and guess what? If your firearm gets stolen and you do not report it, then you are still liable for everything that occurs with that firearm. Hmmmm think maybe you should research qualified and competent instructors now? I would hope so.

Many people are trying to capitalize on the latest fad/phase and that is that most everyone wants to gain their conceal carry license. That means that there are people out there that will devise ways to convince the public that they have the course that they need. They may advertise it as a defensive course that satisfies the state’s requirements for their conceal carry license. They will devise these courses preying on the ignorance of society to make as much money as possible while trying to “skirt” the laws of morality and ethics. I take my responsibilities more seriously than that.

My main concern is that there are plenty of firearm owners that are out there that believe they are “safe” and that they already “know all that they need to know about firearms” and this worries me for everyone’s safety. Their ignorance of reality places everyone around them at risk, especially if something bad happens. There are many that “talk” a big game and when they are called up “to the majors” they fail miserably. I don’t want to be the end result of their failure (being shot because they thought that they were good to go/the hero/bulletproof/etc.).

It is important to research anyone that is teaching you a skill. Not only research them but ask around to see if anyone else has gone to their class to see how it was (was it informative, instructors available after the class for questions, information easy to follow and understand, etc.). There is nothing wrong with calling the instructors/business and ask them questions about their instructors, if they are legitimate then they would have no issues letting a client/customer know who is teaching, how long they have been teaching, their credentials, etc. If you are made to feel guilty for asking such questions then that should SCREAM at you that you have asked / looked towards the wrong business. In that case you should RUN, RUN AWAY from that business as fast as you can.

A business is out to make money, some people go into business because they love what they do, others just want to make money. The bottom line is a business must make money if it intends on doing more business and intends to stay in business. With that, a business can still make money while providing adequate information at an affordable price. That price should be competitive for the area. Want to find out? Call around and ask each location their cost for their class (NRA firearms class/Conceal carry class/defensive fire class, etc.). Compare the costs with each of them, compare their credentials and what others are saying about them and get your answer that way.

Let me give you another example: When a question is asked to the average person in this area on what they would do if someone were to break into their home and their common answer would be “I would shoot them dead”. My answer to them at that point is “You will then be arrested and thrown in jail, probably sued by the threat/threats parents or spouse and your firearm will be confiscated”. They usually, at that point, look at me and say “I don’t care, I did not invite them, they were there to do me harm”. I tell them that in VA there is no “make my day law” or “Castle doctrine” so there are rules and regulations.

Just by that example, people go on the defensive and say crazy things like “I will shoot them and drag them into the house” (what they don’t know is that they will still go to jail), “if they come into my yard I will shoot them” (jail time), “I will put a knife in their hand and say they tried to kill me” (jail once the police investigate and realize that your fingerprints are on the knife and the knife matches the same ones in your knife drawer…two rooms and one floor over). Yet, people will still give a disgusted look and think that they have rights or that they will be “in the right” because someone attempted to break into their home.

Bottom line: you MUST know the do’s and don’ts when it comes to your rights, the laws and proper training involved with carrying for defensive reasons (and concealed carry is for defensive reasons). It does take more than going to the range once and shooting at a paper target. Ask yourself this: when was the last time a paper target attacked you? Just saying. There are techniques that can be used to increase speed and accuracy and prepare someone for quick/defensive firing if the need came up. Remember, if you get into a situation where you have to shoot to defend yourself, you still OWN every one of those bullets, regardless the situation, you are responsible for every bullet that you fire and you will be tried for any innocent struck by your bullet (that also means property as well).

Research for your rights, for your sanity, for your protection and the protection of your friends and family. Ignorance of the laws and regulations in your area (or other areas) is not a viable defense. If you enjoy your freedom, I would suggest you research your instructors, your future firearms safety classes and the things that will ultimately keep you safe in a dangerous/deadly situation.

Please feel free to forward this, email this, copy and paste it, share on social media, etc. I only attempt to ensure everyone knows what would be needed for their safety and the safety of their loved ones, especially today. Please be safe and DEFINTELY attend a safety course.

Smart Tactics {www.smartweaponstactics.com}

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Buying the bling!

5 04 2012

Yet another thing that irritates me greatly: the people that go out and purchase a firearm because:
1) They saw it on a movie once
2) Their favorite rapper/rock star just got arrested with it
3) It was really bright and shiny (and gold in some cases)

Why would it irritate me? Well…it would irritate me if someone were to purchase a firearm that they have no idea how to shoot it. Not that they couldn’t take lessons, it is because some of them never take lessons and maybe only shoot it once.

Hollywood always glamorize everything and companies will always attempt to market their items to sell, that is called business. But a gold pistol? Really? Who are they marketing that towards? The pistol in question is the desert eagle .50.  For one thing, you better have a lot of land to fire that pistol because no outdoor range that is structured would take the chance of having their backstop torn up or have a stray .50 cal round go traveling over their land, into a neighborhood. Could you imagine the liability?

I have taught many people that told me that they have owned a pistol for many years, never fired it, never took it out until their kids begged them to get lessons. One woman in particular bought a firearm because her friend took her to a gun show and told her to buy a specific pistol. The woman bought the pistol and it stayed in her purse for 6 years, never cleaned, never fired, never touched.

When I took this woman to the gun range, I actually had her son try to put a bullet through the barrel and it jammed immediately. I oiled it up and we tried again. It malfunctioned again. I then told her to sell the firearm to someone that could use it. The action was so hard that the woman would not have been able to chamber a round if she needed to. That would/could have cost her, her life. Why take the chance.

It is not that hard to gain the information about firearms or to find a local range that provides lessons to the public. Don’t go by what Hollywood throws at you on the big screen because real life can be much more painful if you don’t pay attention.





Instructors with no muzzle discipline!

5 04 2012

Safety First

One of my pet peeves is seeing firearms instructors that put themselves out there via the internet (Youtube, Facebook, Websites, etc.) and show the world that they, themselves, do not abide by the safety rules that each and every instructor is supposed to do. It does not matter if you are a basic firearms instructor, military firearms instructor, tactical instructor, law enforcement instructor, SWAT instructor, or king 6-gun-ninja instructor, safety means safety and if you can’t show your students that you can be safety, why should they listen to you?

I have seen videos of instructors that claim to be the “best of the best” and they may absolutely be one of the best but then they ruin it by continuing on with their video and pointing their firearm at the audience. Even if the firearm in question is a “blue gun” or “shape” or “rubber gun”, whatever you want to call it, it is a firearm. I have had a couple of personal attempts towards me via personal attacks because I had mentioned this to the instructor. I am a “train how you fight and fight how you train” instructor and believe that safety should always be number one on the list of things to teach to my students. Regardless who that students are.

I had a law enforcement instructor tell me that he teaches his cadets about firearms and he uses a blue gun with them and “sweeps” (moves the barrel towards them and passed them) them because they know that “it is fake”? So now there are many newly appointed officers that do not have a clear concept regarding being truly safe with a firearm. But they won’t really know that now will they? Not so much.

I truly do not care how professional someone is or how much they boast that they are the best of the best, if I hear someone boast about how professional and expert they are and they sweep a barrel in my direction, I am leaving that area because that instructor, the “professional”, is going to end up “accidentally” shooting someone who they are trying to teach. Fact!

If you want a great example, try going to Youtube and type “DEA AGENT shoots self in the foot”. Find the best quality video that has the audio as well. I am sure this instructor lost his job because of this, but this is another example of what could go wrong, when you think it will never happen to you.

As always: be safe, take a class and shoot straight.

 





Gun ownership

28 03 2012

Gun Ownership 

Many will have their opinion about gun ownership and politicians will continually attempt to support or go against guns and gun ownership, there are reasons for both sides. Some could say that some opinions go “over the top” with their efforts. I would have to say, as my opinion, that I would consider an “over the top” opinion and effort to be sneaking gun bans into congressional bills expecting the bill to get passed without noticing some new change to our already confined ownership. That would be “over the top” in my eyes.

I agree with some that state “guns should not be owned by some”, absolutely, but those some are those that purchase firearms only to commit crimes or to do bad things. How do you stop that type of ownership? No one will know, ever! There will always be a way to purchase firearms no matter where you are. I believe that not everyone should own, carry or fire a gun. Not everyone can safely handle a firearm but I am sure that even the most ignorant of owners would be able to tell you how a gun works, even in the most basic of terms.

Many purchase firearms because of what they look like. We all want a good looking firearm but I am talking about the “bling”. Some purchase a firearm just because of the way it looks and not because it suits their needs. Then, when they get to the range to try that firearm (if they even go to that extent) they find out that it does not work out for them more often than not. That is a waste of a good firearm.

Some will own firearms but never take a safety course. Then, when something happens, they blame the firearm. Last time I checked a firearm cannot fire itself, especially if that firearm is unloaded. Firearm accidents happen, mistakes happen but common sense could stop a lot of the accidents. Safety courses can provide many tools and tips that could keep an owner and their family safe.

A third-generation 9mm Glock 17 with a cable lock.

A third-generation 9mm Glock 17 with a cable lock.

There exist people that believe that they have been shooting guns their entire lives so they do not need a firearm safety class. Once again, they have fired guns their whole life and never had a problem. Does that mean they have been doing everything correctly their whole life or that they have been lucky their whole life? Whatever the case, firearm safety and keeping the family safe along with being responsible could provide a safe and fun gun ownership.

 

A lot of the people that are taken to the range have been “scarred” previously because of past experiences:

Being forced to fire a large firearm
-Not being told what is going to happen
-Made to fear a firearm as a young child
-Made fun of when they fired a firearm they were not trained on and they dropped the firearm
-many, many more situations.

The anticipation of those people when they are on the range, getting ready to pull the trigger after a traumatic experience behind a firearm in the past, is large. Some almost get to the point where they start to shake or cry. It is up to the instructor at that moment in time to be there for their student! Coach them, be patient with them and be ready for anything in order to keep things safe on the range. The student may or may not pull the trigger on the first attempt, do not get frustrated at them because of this, have them stand next to you while you put a bullet into the target. The sound is the biggest deterrent to scared shooters.

It has been noticed on numerous occasions where there were two people on the range and there were pieces of that range (ceiling) shattering everywhere. A definite sign of bad things. Then, upon listening to the “helper” of that person explain things, it was realized that that person really had no idea how to fire safely either. Then the target system crashed to the ground in their lane because the shooter that knew not what they were doing managed to shoot the cable system   down and break it completely.

Having a gun does not make someone a shooter, shooting a gun does not make someone a marksman and owning and firing a gun does not make someone a tough guy or gal. Some people are more of a danger to themselves then they are to anyone else. Having that person in existence makes me worry about my own safety when out in town. I carry for self protection: to protect my family and myself. I would only use it as a last resort and in an imminent danger situation not just a dangerous situation.

Firearms may produce the same end result but each and every firearm is different in their own way and not every firearm can be used effectively by everyone. This is why it is recommended to search and research to find a firearm that fits your need and your budget and then to rent it out in town at an indoor/outdoor range. Renting it saves the person from buying a firearm that they cannot use. If it works well for them and meets all of the criteria then it could be a safe buy, if it does not, then that person knows right then and there.

Not everyone should own a firearm, not everyone should fire a firearm and not everyone own firearms that are legal. Criminals do not register their firearms. If, in fact, laws were passed that gun ownership was illegal, then the law abiding citizens would have to give up their firearms while the criminals would not (as I am sure they would not suddenly gain a conscience and turn theirs in). Making the right decisions, gaining the education and experience behind a firearm and being a responsible owner and user of firearms is a wonderful thing and can bring about many years of security, protection and fun times.

Being safe is always the number one concern of firearm ownership and not listening to others when they tell you “you should not carry a gun, it is dangerous”, “guns kill people every day, do you want that on your conscience?” or “You don’t know how to use a firearm and are going to hurt someone” is vital to be confident in your decision. There are many firearm safety courses that exist and many courses that also promote “women only” courses so the women become more comfortable without worrying about any men in the class. Research courses in your area, then research the bio of the instructors to ensure you are getting the best possible training and then commit to that training.

Once a safety course is accomplished, shooting lessons can follow as well. Shooting at a target at a set distance is fun and many people/gun owners have guns for just that reason. Others purchase firearms for home safety/protection reasons. Whatever the reason, shooting lessons are always a plus and can enhance the shooters knowledge, proficiency and confidence behind their own firearm. Search now and get to know your firearm today!