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 {}


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.

Home Defense

28 03 2012

Home Defense

There are some that believe that the sound of a shotgun cycling or chambering is enough to deter a threat inside one’s home. It is possible, but anything is possible: having your cat jump towards and hiss at a threat inside the home could deter a threat also but you are not going to rely on that, are you?

Being prepared means being ready and practicing what “could” happen, not what is going to happen because no one can predict what is going to happen day to day. Having an adequate defense device or plan, is important for the safety of those inside the home.

Some States make it Law that you would have to run away from someone breaking into your home. You are to run to a room, lock the door and call the police. I guess at that point, you should also hope the threat will not attempt to come to your location. The “Duty to Retreat Law” says just that. This is why having a safe room is vital for your safety and the safety of those you love.

Some States have the “Castle Doctrine” or versions of it, such as “Make my day Law”. These laws allow the homeowner/occupants to defend their home and allow them to defend it without fear of a civil trial if the threat (the one trying to break into your home and cause you harm) becomes injured while inside your home.

Let’s talk about that for a second: We have all heard about:

-Man falls through skylight of this couple’s home. The man was trying to break into the home to burglarize it. When the man fell he fell onto the couple’s kitchen counter/cutting board and landed on some knives. He cut himself. Police arrive, man gets taken to hospital, man sues couple for injuries sustained while on their property and …..that man won the case and the money!

Actually, the man in the above mentioned paragraph was a teenager. He was a teenager and the injury occurred at a school because of a skylight. The boy fell through a skylight: why? Because it was painted black and he did not recognize it as a skylight while walking across the roof. One explanation was that the teenager(s) were trying to steal the lights off of the roof and their explanation was that they were attempting to redirect the light so they could play basketball. The school got sued. {}

-Man breaks into a home of a doctor and his wife, doctor gets his pistol and shoots burglar in the back. The burglar, who is in jail, decided to attempt to sue the doctor stating the doctor deliberately “tried to severe my spine”. The doctor fired once at the threat who refused to leave his home.

Some States have laws in place to take care of their citizens and other States seem to have Laws that take care of those that conduct the home invasions and burglaries. Confusing? Yes? How can a State not see that a home is someone’s safe haven, a place to raise a family safely? I am not sure but in VA the “Duty to Retreat” is a real thing. It is important to gain the information on the rules and regulations because the mindset of “If someone were to break into my home I will shoot them dead” could get you prison time.

Firearms: As mentioned above, the sound of a shotgun chambering a shell is not always going to “scare” away an intruder. As a matter of fact, it may give the threat/intruder the early indication that someone is in the home with them, awake and coming their direction. This could give a threat enough time to find a hiding spot to gain the advantage.

There are some that will purchase a shotgun specifically because they are told the sound will make the threat run away every time. Now, in their mind, they do not need to fire the shotgun, maybe not even purchase any shells for that shotgun thinking the pure “shock and awe” of producing a shotgun will cause a threat to fall to their knees and plead for their lives. This is sad.

If a shotgun is the defensive item of choice, ensure it is a well thought out choice. Ensure you choose ammunition that can be used adequately in a close quarter’s situation. You would not want any ammunition to travel through walls into a neighbor’s home or into anyone passing by. Having the correct ammunition for the situation is vital. Being able to handle it safely is paramount, especially if there are others that live in that home.

If a semi-automatic pistol is the choice, ammunition is still the main topic: ensure the ammunition is the type that will provide the end result desired without damaging anything else. Know where the bullet will go if it does not hit its intended target and ensure it does not go any further than your property. You own every bullet that comes out of your firearm, regardless of the reason for pulling the trigger.

Caliber is important. Some people go straight towards the bigger pistols thinking that the size alone will cause the threat to run away. A Desert Eagle is not the firearm for home security. The bullet will travel through most everything and nothing good can come from that. That would be excessive. Know the caliber that works for your location but also a caliber that you can shoot extremely well. Coming close will not save your life!

Revolvers: make sure caliber is taken into consideration but also ensure accuracy is top of the list. It does not matter what you fire or what you carry as long as you practice with that item and become proficient in firing it accurately every time. Stressful environments are very different from range shooting and can make the difference between a survivor and a memory.

Practice at home (without ammunition) from throughout your home to ensure movement is possible and 100% control can be acquired and achieved every time. It is your home; you must keep it your home! Practice also at the range: fine tune your accuracy with different courses of fire and different distances. It is worthless to place the target at the far end of the range and then shoot at it because you would not have that ability in a real life situation. Keep it close, keep it accurate and keep all firearms clean and ready!

There are too many people today that will purchase a firearm without learning how to use it. Then, if someone were to break into their home, someone gets hurt or killed because of a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is not a defense and will cause you to go to jail because of that. Seek the education on whichever defensive tools you try to use in your home in defense and protection of your family. A couple hours in a classroom could save you from a lifetime in jail. Be safe!

Why carry concealed

28 03 2012


Scenario: You are having a great dinner with your husband/wife; you are laughing and having a great time. You finish with your dessert and put on your jackets and head out into the cold evening to enjoy the rest of the night together. As you are walking down the sidewalk, talking, laughing and barely paying attention to where you are going because of the conversation being so humorous and suddenly a man steps out of the shadows with a knife and demands your money!

Depending on the distance of this threat, it may be wise to just give him your money and hope he goes away…but then you do give him your money and he is NOT satisfied with that and wants to forcibly go after your wife. He has a knife and what do you have? Your cell phone? Jacket? Not your wallet because you already gave the threat your wallet.

Scenario: You are grabbing a quick bite for lunch with some coworkers and someone enters the restaurant with a pistol and starts shooting people inside the restaurant. The threat is picking out random people throughout the restaurant and executing them on the spot: women, children, elderly!

Scenario: You are driving into a location you are not familiar with and did not bother to do any research (because why would you) to see what the crime  has been like over the past month or so. You pull up to a light and a group of thugs armed with crowbars and pipes start to approach your vehicle. As you are aware of the group coming from one direction towards you, you do not seem to notice the two that have successfully snuck up around the other side of the vehicle…that is until they smash your window with their pipes and order you to open the door.

Scenario: You are filling your vehicle up with gas so you won’t have to worry about it tomorrow. You just finished with a play-date with your child, who is now in the backseat napping, unaware of what is about to happen. As you are paying attention to the two teenagers that are up towards the front of the store that seem to be up to something shady, you don’t seem to notice the threat that has come up behind you about to demand your keys! You plead with the threat but all that does is anger him further and pushes him to punch you across the face, knocking you to the ground. Now he has your keys and is heading to your driver’s side door to leave with your vehicle…and your child!

Scenario: You are coming out of a store and approaching your vehicle. You didn’t happen to notice that there was a vehicle parked next to your vehicle that had someone inside of it, waiting for you! You approach the vehicle and the person steps out of theirs and tells you to “get inside this car and don’t say a word or I will kill you”.

Scenario: You are working late in the office and everyone else is gone for the evening. The security guard is making his rounds and you are tired and do not feel like waiting for them to escort you to your vehicle (if that would even be an option in most places). You figure it would be okay since there are cameras around the building and the security is pretty good. You step outside and walk towards your vehicle, open the door and enter the driver’s side. Nothing out of the ordinary..until you hear a raspy voice from the backseat that is ordering you to drive behind the building.

Scenario: You are stepping off of the elevator onto a level of the parking garage where you parked, to attend a seminar. The parking garage is seemingly quiet with no traffic. There are plenty of vehicles parked inside and nothing seems out of the ordinary. Then, you smell what could be either a cigar or cigarette that seems to linger in the air. But there is no smoke around and no one present within view and there are no sounds such as footsteps or shuffling or even an engine running. The only sounds you hear are those of your footsteps and the pounding of your heart. You start to walk closer towards your vehicle and you see someone out of the corner of your eye hiding underneath the vehicle across from yours and they have a machete!

Scenario: You come home after spending time with a friend and enter your home and you do not notice anything out of the ordinary. You walk into the kitchen because the phone rings and notice the window over the sink is partially open…odd…you didn’t leave it open because the weather was going to be colder? You pick up the phone to see who is calling and you see a shadow pass across the hallway wall. The only light showing towards that direction had to have come from the living room and something had to have passed by the windows….but you live on the second floor!

The scenarios are endless and all point to a situation where the threats will use intimidation and fear to their advantage. Being able to carry concealed is an option that is available in most States and available to most people (there are regulations and laws against some people whom would not be eligible). Providing that person attends an approved firearms safety class, they would be eligible to put their application in to carry a concealed firearm. It does not stop there.

There is a copious amount of information that is available to everyone as long as they pursue it. It is not wise to get a permit to carry concealed, purchase a firearm and start carrying without truly knowing your firearms capabilities, your capabilities and limitations and different tactics associated with traumatic occurrences and immediate actions against a threat. If you are driven enough to protect yourself and your family, please be driven enough to pursue education that can hone your skills or teach you how to properly defend yourself in dangerous and sometimes deadly situations. Your life may depend on it!

Be Safe!