A whole lot of people are buying firearms right now, many of them for the first time. Nationwide, 2015 is on course to be a record year in the U.S. as estimated by background checks through the NICS system. California already exceeded its busiest firearms buying year. Much of this current rush has been brought about by criminal attacks around the country as well as local, state and federal governments all demanding new draconian gun control laws. Sadly, all of these new proposed laws would have done nothing to prevent the tragedies we’ve seen unfold, but instead are designed to punish the law abiding and make it harder for them to defend themselves.
While I am deeply saddened by why it is happening, what is occurring is encouraging. More and more people are taking charge of their own safely by purchasing firearms for self-defense. But having a firearm for protection doesn’t stop there. Buying the tool is only the first step. Training in the proper use, care and legal aspects of the firearm is the responsible thing to do.
I hesitate to say firearms training should be made compulsory, as a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment shouldn’t be conditional. Imagine if you had to take public speaking classes in order to exercise your First Amendment rights. It would also begin a slippery slope of progressively difficult hurdles to ownership. If a mandated four-hour firearms class is a good idea, then eight hours would probably be better, and 16 hours would be even better than that, and so on and so on. Very quickly you would price the ‘privilege’ of owning a firearm out of the hands of many in the community. That’s not much of a right. However I do feel getting training is the correct thing to do. Used properly, a firearm can save your life. Used improperly it can take it. It’s really that simple.
Owners who are new to firearms should be seeking out the training as part of the purchase. In an ideal world, your firearm’s manufacturer and local dealer would help facilitate or even include it with the purchase. Standard training would include the Four Basic Rules of Firearm Safety, basic usage and marksmanship, care of firearm and the law. These things apply to everyone, everywhere. Beyond this, training depends on your intended use.
Training is important. We train to acquire new skills, maintain or improve existing ones and to prepare us for the time when we need to use our skills in real life. There really is no shortcut; training takes time, commitment, resources and the proper mindset to develop the mental and physical proficiencies. Trained skills are also perishable. Just because you could do something years ago doesn’t mean you can do it at the same level today.
Finding a good instructor and training environment is critical. Specifically when it comes to self-defense training, you need an instructor who will provide a realistic, challenging and safe program. Here are a few things you should look for:
• Do the instructors have applicable and current certifications?
• Do the instructors have a relevant background and experience to teach this type of training?
• Do the instructors carry the proper insurance?
• Do the instructors continue to participate in student and instructor level training themselves?
• Can the instructors provide student references?
• Are the instructors willing to discuss their program and your needs with you?
Then there’s this little concept called ‘the fundamentals’. There’s a tendency for those who take advanced level classes to dismiss basic / fundamental level training as being below them. That couldn’t be further from the truth. All those higher-level skills are built on a solid foundation of the basics. You are never too high-speed to practice at that level.
Firearm ownership and use is a right, but it is your responsibility to use it properly. Good training and practice, practice, practice will help you achieve your goals.
For me, I train to protect myself. I train to protect my family. I train so that I can train others. Why do you train?
#oddstuffing #training, #2A, #rights, #responsibility, #safety