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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Having a checklist inside your vehicle

28 03 2012

Having a checklist inside your vehicle

Unfortunately society has been molded to not care so much about the events that happen outside of their “world”. By that I mean: for most people, they will not become concerned with Home Invasions if it is not happening in their neighborhood or running rampant in their town.

If you think about it from the perspective of a “somewhat smart” threat: would it be smarter to try and assault or steal from someone in a neighborhood that has had a lot of threatening activity or in a neighborhood that does not have any activity at all? Moral of this story is “just because it is not happening in your neighborhood, on your street or to someone that you know or care about, does not mean it could not happen to you!

It may sound simple (and by simple I mean nonsense to some) but to the ones that actually incorporate this into their normal activities, their chances of becoming the victim while in their vehicle will become greatly reduced. It is merely a safety step that can easily become part of your everyday activities to the point it becomes muscle memory. This muscle memory could dictate whether or not someone becomes a victim or not.

Safety first!

Always check your backseat before entering into your vehicle. By checking the backseat, you are able to see if anyone is hiding back there. If you were to enter your vehicle and a threat were to “pop” up unexpected, you would instantly become the victim as that threat would gain full control. You would have minimal options at that point.

Always have your key in your hand, ready to use on the door. By having the key in your hand and ready to use, instead of fumbling around for it, you would be prepared to open the door quickly if needed. You would also have a defensive object in the event someone were to approach you in a threatening manner (if you were not able to enter your vehicle first, that is).

Once you have ensured that your backseat is clear of any threats you would be able to open the door and enter the vehicle. Upon entry, before buckling your seatbelt, before starting your vehicle, before settling in: LOCK the door immediately. By locking the door you have initiated the first line of defense against a surprise “visitor”.

Once the door is locked, immediately start the vehicle and place the vehicle into the appropriate gear (if you are back into a parking spot: place it into “Drive” or “1st gear” and if you are pulled into a parking spot front-first: Place the vehicle into “Reverse”). By starting the vehicle and placing it into gear immediately you have initiated an emergency egress step if a threat were to attempt to enter your vehicle or threaten you.

If a threat were to attempt to surprise you and approached your vehicle quickly and with malice, you should be able to quickly drive away, honking your horn to attract as much attention as possible. This solidifies the importance of the locked door, though, because if it was not locked a threat could easily gain control of you and your vehicle and possibly cause you great harm, or worse.

Once you have the vehicle started and the vehicle in gear, this is the point where you buckle your seat belt. By doing this at this point, you have created an escape option for yourself that you may possibly need at some point. Once you are buckled in, then you can mess with your phone or bags or whatever you need to do inside your vehicle before pulling away.

By incorporating this into your daily routines, you would create a safety muscle memory that could save your life and possibly the lives of those in your vehicle also. Carjacking and vehicle assaults are very real and do not always get the media attention one would suspect. Most people now get their news online and focus on national news vice local news. Be aware of your surroundings and the more you prepare for your safety now, the more you decrease your risk of becoming a victim tomorrow.