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OnTheFly
March 9, 2008, 11:13 PM
I just completed a CCW course today. Everyone in the class seemed to be reasonably sharp. However, there was one individual who had just purchased a Glock before the course. I didn't get a chance to ask his experience, but he sure appeared to be relatively new to shooting. Not that I'm an old timer mind you. :o The first indication was when he didn't know how much pull to exert on the slide to rack it. The instructor had to help him with it. He also asked a few questions that displayed his "youth".

Before our range time, the instructor was very focused on safety. He gave us hard and fast rules to use on the range. He also gave specific examples of what he did NOT want to see. The plan was for us all to stand in a row while we completed our firing drills. I was on the far left of the line and the newb was immediately to my right. During one of the first reloads, he did EXACTLY what the instructor said not to do and he turned his firearm on its side pointing directly at me while he tried to figure out how to release the magazine. :eek:

I'm somewhat of a geek in everything I do. Ok...I'm pretty much a full fledged geek. I read everything I can find on training and my specific firearm. I try to implement what I learn at the range. What amazes me is that someone would come to such a course without a basic understanding of safety and extremely poor knowledge of their firearm.

All in all it's not a huge deal as long as he learned something. I didn't get hurt. In fact, if the instructor didn't catch him pointing his muzzle at me, I wouldn't have even known.

Just makes me wonder what might happen at the next firearm course I attend. One thing is for sure...I think I will request to be on the far right side of the line if we're all right handed. :D

Fly

Hook686
March 10, 2008, 12:29 AM
What makes you think next time will be much different ? Hmmmm so you prefer your back to all those 'relatively new to shooting' folks. You got guts I'll say that for you.

AirForceShooter
March 10, 2008, 09:11 AM
He's a newbie. He'll learn.
As long as your instructor is that safety oriented your fine.

Everybody has been swept at one time or another. Rules or no rules.

AFS

garryc
March 10, 2008, 09:11 AM
Sweeping someone is an instant out on any course I teach to people that are qualifying or re-qualifying. We always go over saftey with every class every day. I harp on it so heavily that I am justified being intolerant of saftey violations. The second violation that I harp on, and give only one warning for, is finger on the trigger.

The funny one is when I check fingernails. You cannot safley handle a weapon with a inch or more of fingernail sicking out. I carry a manicure set and some germicide. I tell them to cut them if they are not within regulations. That's 1/4" from the tip of the finger. Several times I've had the offending woman refuse because she paid big bucks for them. Too bad and bye-bye.

The liability for an injury or death caused by an AD is on me, it ain't happening. I'm not risking getting myself or anyone else shot. That's exactly what I tell the class.

pax
March 10, 2008, 09:35 AM
The funny one is when I check fingernails. You cannot safley handle a weapon with a inch or more of fingernail sicking out. I carry a manicure set and some germicide. I tell them to cut them if they are not within regulations. That's 1/4" from the tip of the finger. Several times I've had the offending woman refuse because she paid big bucks for them. Too bad and bye-bye.


Nails over 1/4" (but less than a full inch) do not make it impossible to safely handle a firearm. It does take a conscious commitment to safety on the part of the shooter, because removing the finger from the trigger guard takes a little more deliberate effort than it otherwise would. That's a worthwhile lecture to give these folks, and likely to get good results because most women who have long, manicured fingernails are already aware of several things have to be done with more conscious care when those nails are in place.

But refusing to allow someone with nails 5/8ths of an inch long even to try to handle the firearm? Uh uh. I don't think that pre-emptively chasing new shooters off the range over their choice of cosmetics is anything to be proud of.

A commitment to safety is laudable. But chasing new shooters off the range when you have not yet seen any safety violations from them? Notsomuch.

pax

AirForceShooter
March 10, 2008, 10:25 AM
so we claim we want new shooters in the sport but we act like hard asses.
New shooters have to get cut some slack. Were you perfect in the beginning??? I bet you weren't.
I've told newbies "if you point that at me again I'll put it where the sun don't shine" But, I've never told one to leave.
I've been on military ranges where a recruit swept the DI. Recruit promptly was kicked in the ass and put down. HARD. But then it was "don't do that again". They weren't banned or dropped.
It takes time to learn.
Sorry, that's how I see it.

AFS

TexasSeaRay
March 10, 2008, 10:45 AM
+1 to AirForceShooter.

Jeff

garryc
March 10, 2008, 11:15 AM
My experience is as an instructor for my department, a little different than training civilians. The regulation is the regulation and I enforce it. Literally, I cannot order someone to do anything else but comply with the letter of the regulation. I can't say 1/2" is ok but 1-1/2 isn't because the regulation says 1/4". That's just the way it is.

My training is not done so people can enjoy the experience. It's more of a military style format. Now tell me guys, when you were in the military, did your DI give one half a darn if you enjoyed yourself? It's different with the public. I've informally instructed civilians and I take a softer approach, but safety is still paramount. I figure that this is the time to develop good safety habits, and if they can't do it on the range then the likely hood of doing so in there home is small. On the range I can simply not take them back, that's not the case with the department. Fortunately, muzzle awareness and safe handling is not a difficult habit to instill.


In the department training I have removed several people. Never have I removed them twice, with the stigma and supervisory criticism, once has always been enough. They generally listen real good next time around.


With the public I would take them aside and speak with them one on one. Kinder gentile approach. How many warnings I don't know. But surely not many.

Erik
March 10, 2008, 01:13 PM
Back on:

"During one of the first reloads, he did EXACTLY what the instructor said not to do and he turned his firearm on its side pointing directly at me while he tried to figure out how to release the magazine."

This is an extremely, almost universal, beginner's error.

"What amazes me is that someone would come to such a course without a basic understanding of safety and extremely poor knowledge of their firearm."

Where but a beginner's course should a beginner turn to for what you're describing? (The question is rhetorical.)

Creature
March 10, 2008, 02:18 PM
Wait a minute. This was a CCW course the OP was describing. I dont think a CCW course is where anyone should be learning HOW to shoot for the first time. A person taking a CCW course should already have the basics down by the time they reach the qualification shoot.

durdensfriend
March 10, 2008, 02:25 PM
I took my carry class about a month ago and there were 3 people out of 31 there who had never fired, let alone HANDLED a firearm before. It blew my mind! I mean, take a safety course first at least... you know? CCW classes are not training courses.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 10, 2008, 02:28 PM
This just a fragment of the debate about whether CCW mandates training.

OH, wait - we all drool about VT where there are no restrictions at all. No permit needed - we love Vermont.

Contradictions, contradictions - stun the mind of the true believer. :D

OnTheFly
March 10, 2008, 02:32 PM
What makes you think next time will be much different ?

I imagine it will and does happen quite a bit. This taught me to be a little more aware of the surroundings.

Hmmmm so you prefer your back to all those 'relatively new to shooting' folks. You got guts I'll say that for you.

In a word..."WHAT????" :confused: I don't understand this comment. When did I say anything about having anyone behind me?

Where but a beginner's course should a beginner turn to for what you're describing? (The question is rhetorical.)

I will get flamed for this newb comment. I haven't even scratched the surface of firearms training. Compared to the vast number of courses that are available, I suppose a CCW course would be considered a "beginners course". Though I think some basic firearms training, maybe on a specific handgun, would have been appropriate. I have a strong desire for knowledge and safe shooting skills. I would not think of carrying a firearm unless I had at least mastered shooting basics and have a firm understanding of at least the external functions of my gun. I guess some people just aren't as cautious. The frustration was not only mine. You could see it in the instructors face.

I am a professional pilot, and part of my job is to perform training/checking flights. I would no more expect someone to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".

Fly

pax
March 10, 2008, 02:53 PM
My experience is as an instructor for my department, a little different than training civilians. The regulation is the regulation and I enforce it.

Ahhh, context is everything, thanks. I thought you were talking about classes like the one in the opening post of the thread, a CCW class for regular citizens.

Carry on~! :)

pax

pax
March 10, 2008, 03:01 PM
OnTheFly ~

A lot of people use the CCW classes as their first exposure to firearms.

Obviously, a single, state-required CCW class does not actually teach people everything they need to know in order to be really prepared to effectively defend their lives with a firearm. It can't. And it's not actually designed to do that.

Required CCW classes are only designed to reassure the state that permit holders have

1) been exposed to the laws about carrying and using weapons, and

2) possess the ability NOT to shoot an innocent bystander by accident.

That's it. That's all those classes are designed to do. You don't have to know anything going in, because they're not designed to teach you much except what the laws are and how not to shoot yourself or someone else while carrying the gun.

It's not surprising that you encountered a student who needed to learn what the class is intended to teach ... :)

pax

(Please don't take this as saying you can't sometimes learn more, even a lot more, from a required class. Sometimes you can, and often the instructors are excellent. But the above is all the required class is intended to accomplish in most states.)

Glenn E. Meyer
March 10, 2008, 03:23 PM
I would no more expect someone to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".


9/11 :(

OnTheFly
March 10, 2008, 04:09 PM
I would no more expect someone to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".

Okay...let me rephrase that comment.

I would no more expect a rational, intelligent, law abiding citizen (terrorists excluded) to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone (who matches prior description) who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".

A lot of people use the CCW classes as their first exposure to firearms.

Pax,

I agree. Many people will try to use this class as their first exposure to firearms training. To be perfectly honest, this was MY first course. Besides being a pilot, I used to be an instructor in skydiving. We used to do something called "dirt diving" which was simply practicing on the ground what we were going to do in the sky so that the dive would be second nature. The same goes for flying. We have procedural trainers that help us get the mental/physical skills ingrained so when we have a real SHTF situation, we can deal with it. On my own I've done the same with shooting. I've read a lot of useful information. Much of it on TFL (thanks to everyone's helpful information), I've talked in-depth with friends who are experienced shooters, and I take my new learnings to the range to physically practice it.

I know we don't need more restrictions/cost associated with shooting, but if someone isn't willing to take the time to educate themselves, then they should have the common sense to get educated by an NRA instructor, military personnel, friend, or someone.

2) possess the ability NOT to shoot an innocent bystander by accident.

When this gentleman pointed his gun at me, I WAS the innocent bystander. Granted, he didn't shoot me, but he wasn't exactly demonstrating #2 in your list.

Thanks for the comments folks. It is helpful information.

Fly

spacemanspiff
March 10, 2008, 04:33 PM
At least there wasnt a ND on a cold range at your qualifications.

OnTheFly
March 10, 2008, 05:51 PM
At least there wasnt a ND on a cold range at your qualifications.

Did this happen with your class? :eek:

Fly

Chui
March 10, 2008, 06:10 PM
I make no apologies for being a "hard arse" when it comes to safety. Don't point your pistol at me. Period. Don't point your pistol at anyone else. Period. I'll tell you civilly only once.

Most don't seem to have a clue; almost to a man we'd feel threatened if someone pointed directly at our noses yet they have the temerity to feel "offended" that I tell them in no uncertain terms that if they do that again I'll drop them on their heads. I don't care if you're "new" to firearms and active and retired cops seem to be the biggest offenders. A weapon is a weapon; if they don't have the raw ability to keep a straight trigger finger and mind their muzzles they don't need to be around firearms. The point I make is that none of us are perfect especially myself and accidents will happen. I stress the rules such that their "inevitable" mistake will occur with an empty weapon or their ND will do no more than destroy sleeping bag.

Too many brain "dead" individuals who've absorbed too much BS on the big screen = holes in parts you didn't have prior to their immediate company.

I handed one gentleman a pistol with the action open and turn to put away ammo. I turn around and nearly bump my nose into the muzzle of the pistol. I physically removed him from the premises and I wasn't being gentle.

If they cannot follow the rules toss 'em. It doesn't take much concentration or mental ability to keep your finger off the trigger, don't point it at anything you aren't willing to destroy and hand it back in the condition and manner given. Good riddance.

dave421
March 10, 2008, 10:47 PM
As for the people taking a CCP class as their first experience with firearms, it makes a lot of sense if you think about what they're told. Many of them are probably not firearm enthusiasts and will only own a gun for protection (namely, CC). When they research it, most of the time you're going to find something along the lines of "must pass firearms safety/training course". Most of the people on this board bought a gun and then got a CCP later on down the road. They probably don't realize that there are other training classes out there other than the ones that are so highly advertised (CCP courses).

Unfortunately, these are also the people who are likely to rarely (or never) step foot in a range.

trooper3385
March 11, 2008, 01:34 AM
There needs to be more hands on training and evaluation in these CCP classes. I agree, some people are new and need to be cut some slack, but they also need some more training before they are ready for a CCP. Now you have someone running around with a CCW that has no idea how to use it. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with carrying a weapon and if you don't have the training and understanding, you don't know what these responsibilities are.

Frank Ettin
March 11, 2008, 01:49 AM
Chui, +1. I'm very sympathetic to the plight of new shooters. I've taught many beginners the rudiments of trapshooting and wingshooting and I teach NRA Basic Handgun. I will sooner be certified in Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home. I make no money from my teaching because I believe in helping need shooters get started off correctly.

But for me safety is paramount and non-negotiable. The result of even a momentary lapse can be permanent and tragic. I start with safety and reinforce it continually. I should also note that at major schools I've attended, like Gunsite, a lapse in safety is not tolerated.

BreacherUp!
March 11, 2008, 01:55 AM
This is why I don't trust BS, CCW instructors. Were there any dry drills beforehand. Weapon manipulation and relaod drills, before live ammo present?

You have to accept some training mistakes and immediately correct them, as presented earlier by AFS. Also, many people here are very afraid of firearms, and cannot fathom weapons being pointed at them. Take the good with the bad.

pax
March 11, 2008, 02:03 AM
When this gentleman pointed his gun at me, I WAS the innocent bystander. Granted, he didn't shoot me, but he wasn't exactly demonstrating #2 in your list.


Yeah, I got that. :( Thing is, he was demonstrating that he needed to learn what the class was intended to teach -- and that he hadn't learned it yet.

Glad your instructor was on the ball, caught him and corrected him so quickly. Too bad the instructor did not catch and stop him before he got all the way around to muzzling you! That's a failure on the instructor's part, right there.

What was the instructor/student ratio in the class? Was that guy the only newbie?

pax

Frank Ettin
March 11, 2008, 02:03 AM
And when I teach, I do have the students handle guns with no ammunition around and under close supervision. That is a good way to instill proper safety habits and is the flip side of insisting on safe gun handling at all times. While I insist on safe gun handling, I also take some pains to teach it effectively.

BreacherUp!
March 11, 2008, 02:07 AM
Too bad the instructor did not catch and stop him before he got all the way around to muzzling you! That's a failure on the instructor's part, right there.


PAX, No human instructor is going to be able to physically stop someone from muzzling another shooter without being hands-on the weapon all the time. Sometimes you need to trust the students. many times, the student need to take up needle craft.

Casimer
March 11, 2008, 02:17 AM
I make no apologies for being a "hard arse" when it comes to safety. Don't point your pistol at me. Period. Don't point your pistol at anyone else. Period. I'll tell you civilly only once.

+1 on that - and I don't think that you should need to apologize. The situation that the OP describes suggests that this person didn't bother to familiarize themselves with even the most basic requirements for handling their firearm (e.g. RTFM - read the friggin manual).

pax
March 11, 2008, 03:12 AM
PAX, No human instructor is going to be able to physically stop someone from muzzling another shooter without being hands-on the weapon all the time. Sometimes you need to trust the students.

BreacherUp, I've worked the line enough times to know that it's not physically possible to be three places at once. :)

But I've also observed enough well-run firearms classes to know that there are certain very predictable moments -- and certain very predictable students -- where the instructor can often sidestep a burgeoning safety issue and prevent it from growing.

One such moment is the very first time a student fires a shot. A huge number of new shooters WILL turn around after that first shot is fired, no matter how much you warn them not to do it. A good instructor knows this and plans for it. (Load one round at first. Run two or even three relays so you have enough assistants to put one in between every two students. Whatever! Just plan for it.)

Another such predictable moment is the very first time a new shooter learns how to work a slide. Muzzle control will be nearly nonexistent and trigger fingers become very wayward. It's predictable and therefore worth planning for.

Also, some students give off very clear watch-me vibes. In those cases, you park an assistant right at the guy's shoulder, and give him no opportunity to create a serious danger until you are convinced he is ready to be trusted for at least two whole blinks at a time -- ESPECIALLY during those predictable times of heightened danger. From the OP's description of his range neighbor, it sure sounded like that student was giving off the watch-me vibes, which was why I asked about instructor/student ratios. If one instructor was trying to work with 6 or more students, he did very well to pounce on the violation at the very moment it occurred. But if he had better ratios than that, the instructor did a bad thing by not perching at watch-me guy's shoulder until the most dangerous moment (of first slide manipulation) was safely past.

pax

Double Naught Spy
March 11, 2008, 03:31 AM
However, there was one individual who had just purchased a Glock before the course. I didn't get a chance to ask his experience, but he sure appeared to be relatively new to shooting.

This happens with some frequency. I have seen folks show up with a new gun that still had gun show zip ties on it.

Wait a minute. This was a CCW course the OP was describing. I dont think a CCW course is where anyone should be learning HOW to shoot for the first time. A person taking a CCW course should already have the basics down by the time they reach the qualification shoot.

You have to understand, people go to a CCW course and figure it will be like driver's ED. On top of that, don't blame the student for being new in the course and not being rejected by the instructor who apparently thought it fine to have cherries. If the course required proof of competence before attending, then that needed to be an established criterion by the instructor or state offering the course. Obviously (from the student's perspective), it is okay to take such a course if the instructor allows it because after all, the instructor knows what is required to get folks through the course, right?

ragwd
March 11, 2008, 11:03 AM
Its scary when it happens to you and how do you react? I am not a instructor but have taken several classes. In one class I took (advance pistol by Commence Fire) the instructor lectured for about a hour on range safety, this being a advanced class I thought it was sufficient. He told us all the mistakes he expected to see and sure enough I witnessed everyone he mentioned. One guy had a jammed pistol and i could see the instructor moving to get behind him because he knew what was coming, the guy turned with gun in hand to ask for help but by then the instructor had gotten close enough to him to stop his rotation and grab the gun hand and stop him from sweeping all of us behind. He stopped short of taking him to the ground and could have easily done so. I could see the tension, but he just explained to the guy what he had done wrong and restated that if you need help to keep the gun down range and to raise your support hand. I bet the guy thought the instructor over re-acted but none of us standing behind and would have been swept thought so.

OnTheFly
March 11, 2008, 11:27 AM
What was the instructor/student ratio in the class? Was that guy the only newbie?


It was a small class. Only five of us. I thought the instructor did a good job. He was giving this guy most of his attention because he had demonstrated that he had the least experience. He caught the sweep during the first mag change. The 20 yo "kid" in the class needed no supervision. He might have been more mature than this 40-something too. :)

Fly

Alerion
March 11, 2008, 03:13 PM
I guess the thing that concerns me the most here is the attitude that beginners don't belong in a CCW class. Do the various states represented have a more basic training class? Even if CCW isn't the most basic class, I still see it as an entry level class. That is to say, every basic CCW class I've ever seen has always gone back to square one. Not only for the benefit of shooters who may have never fired a gun before but for those who have been shooting for years but are doing it wrong. So the instructor starts at the beginning and makes sure that everyone is on the same page. In fact it's probably easier to teach good habits to new shooters than it is to correct bad habits in old ones.

Suppose someone has grown up in a house without firearms and has no friend to mentor them. He or she wants to get a gun and to be able to carry it. State law where they live requires a CCW training couse to get a permit. So they buy a gun with the expectations that they will correctly learn to use it and will obtain a CCP. Maybe they feel that they know so little about guns that they don't even trust themselves to handle it without training so they don't even remove the zip-ties. Should they be told that they don't belong in a CCW course?

CCW classes are not training courses.

Ummm... What are they then? BS sessions? There really should be some sort of training in there somewhere. Or really good doughnuts. Otherwise there's not much point in showing up.

Wait a minute. This was a CCW course the OP was describing. I dont think a CCW course is where anyone should be learning HOW to shoot for the first time.

So if knowing how to shoot is a pre-requisite for the class then list it as a pre-requisite. If there's no shooting requirement for taking the class then expect to get students who haven't shot before.

A person taking a CCW course should already have the basics down by the time they reach the qualification shoot.

That's what the classroom portion is for. BTW, try taking some advanced shooting courses sometime if you want to see how basic an initial CCW class actually is.

I would no more expect someone to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".

I see this more like someone coming into a flight school and saying "teach me how to fly in a Cessna 172 instead of a 150." For that matter, at lot of the students at the big flight schools that train terrorists come in with no flying experience and go all the way to their commercial tickets. Knowing how to fly isn't a requirement to get into the Air Force Academy either.

BTW, before I took a CCW class I'd been through a father and grandfather who shot, Boy Scout rifle ranges, Vietnam and LEO training. I'm just concerned about the image we present to new shooters.

Just my opinion,

Tom

OnTheFly
March 11, 2008, 03:39 PM
Let me re-iterate. I am a beginner and this was my first firearms course. I guess I'm just the type who doesn't want to walk into a course not knowing anything. I would rather have a base of knowledge to build on.

If I were teaching the class, I would give some prerequisites. They would include being familiar with the handgun you plan to use during the course. Obviously this might not be the firearm they plan to carry concealed, but it will allow you to absorb some of the information being presented in the class.

I see this more like someone coming into a flight school and saying "teach me how to fly in a Cessna 172 instead of a 150."

I disagree. This may work for their very first "introductory" flight, but it sure won't fly (pardon the pun) for the rest of their training. When I instruct, I expect the student to come prepared for the lesson. They need to have a base of knowledge in order for it to be reinforced in the classroom/range. This is a basic approach that any mature person who is serious about the activity would take. For example...introducing a new maneuver in flight for the very first time is not conducive to learning. In fact it is usually a waste of time. They need to at least read/discuss the basics of the maneuver before it is demonstrated/practiced. If the functions of their firearm have them perplexed, then how do you expect them to pick up on what the instructor is trying to teach? The rule of keeping their finger off the trigger may be receiving the least amount of attention because they are still startled by the recoil.

Don't get me wrong. I DO and WILL make stupid mistakes, but that's just because I'm stupid. ;) Though it's not because I didn't at least TRY to prepare myself. I guess I am saying...why don't people take it upon themselves to be more responsible about something so serious?

Fly

TexasSeaRay
March 11, 2008, 04:00 PM
When this gentleman pointed his gun at me, I WAS the innocent bystander. Granted, he didn't shoot me, but he wasn't exactly demonstrating #2 in your list.
Yeah, I got that. Thing is, he was demonstrating that he needed to learn what the class was intended to teach -- and that he hadn't learned it yet.

Just my opinion, but a CCW class is not the place to first learn how to handle and/or fire a weapon.

Jeff

davlandrum
March 11, 2008, 05:10 PM
Most "CCW" courses that I see listed here in Oregon are listed as "Basic Firearms Safety" - with a note that it meets or exceeds CCW requirements.

I would hope that someone who had never handled a gun before would enroll in a course titled "Basic Firearms Safety"....

NV-TopGun
March 11, 2008, 05:38 PM
Pax - Your quote:

Required CCW classes are only designed to reassure the state that permit holders have

1) been exposed to the laws about carrying and using weapons, and

2) possess the ability NOT to shoot an innocent bystander by accident.

That's it. That's all those classes are designed to do. You don't have to know anything going in, because they're not designed to teach you much except what the laws are and how not to shoot yourself or someone else while carrying the gun.

You had a lot to say today, and most of it I agreed with. Sounded a bit sexist to me about the fingernails. My wife has long fingernails and she can shoot better than most men.

However, your quote about the reason for CCW Classes I stongly disagree with. I am an instructor in Nevada (and other states) and I see all kinds of folks show up for testing. That is what we call it here - testing - not teaching. That means (at least to me) that there had to be training beforehand. I am NRA certified to teach all of the basic training classes and teach intermediate and advanced pistol as well. In Nevada, CCW Instructors must be NRA certified so why should we not expect that folks showing up for to test for a CCW permit have some basic training as well?

Sadly, just about anyone can pass the CCW testing by simply shopping around. The facility where I teach is rated highly in the State because of our instructors (mostly police officers and former special ops guys like me). But, it we fail a student, they simply go to the local CCW mill who turn out passing scores as a business. And, it is not just the CCW classes that we see such issues. CCW renewal is just a bad. I have had ex-police officer and other law enforcement that were worse (in ability and safety) than the new guys.

Anyway, I like your forum and intend to participate as often as possible.

Nevada Top Gun (www.nevadatopgun.com)

Hook686
March 11, 2008, 06:05 PM
Yesterday 12:32 PM

OnTheFly wrote:





Originally Posted by Hook686
Hmmmm so you prefer your back to all those 'relatively new to shooting' folks. You got guts I'll say that for you.

In a word..."WHAT????" I don't understand this comment. When did I say anything about having anyone behind me?



From the last paragraph of your original post:


Just makes me wonder what might happen at the next firearm course I attend. One thing is for sure...I think I will request to be on the far right side of the line if we're all right handed.


If you are on the far right, everyone else is left of you. If you are right handed a turn to have your muzzle pointed down range to reload, you back will be facing to the left, where all the other shooters are ... at least this seems so to me ... I prefer firing line left. :rolleyes:

spacemanspiff
March 11, 2008, 06:45 PM
Yes Onthefly, there was a ND at my class. Myself and the two instructors were the only ones who recognized it for what it was. No one owned up to it though.

I saw more unsafe gunhandling during that 2 hour range time than in my entire life. Seemed like everyone was fiddling around with their guns while not on the line, peering down barrels, shoving loaded guns into pockets (not pocket guns btw!), trying to figure out which way to put the bullets in the magazines. It was atrocious. I wound up getting frustrated at getting out the way of muzzles so I stepped on the other side of the instructors vehicle.

My gun on the other hand, stayed in its carrying case, only brought out when the line was declared hot, and set back in right after. Didnt have to load mags in between because I had enough spare mags to get through the course.

Funny little side story, think I may have told it here before, the guy next to me was complaining because his gun wasn't accurate. His target didnt have anything resembling a group. His gun was a 1911 he inherited from his father. He wished he had a race gun like his buddys, cause it was accurate. The instructor ran a magazine through the old 1911 and put 7 rounds in a group that could have been covered with a quarter. Yep, it was horribly inaccurate alright!

OnTheFly
March 11, 2008, 10:46 PM
If you are on the far right, everyone else is left of you. If you are right handed a turn to have your muzzle pointed down range to reload, you back will be facing to the left, where all the other shooters are ... at least this seems so to me ... I prefer firing line left.

Ok...I understand now. However, I don't practice turning while reloading for a few reasons. For one I don't want to change my stance if it were a true wild west shoot out. :eek: I try to keep my shoulders square to the target/threat. Also, it would diminish my peripheral vision to the left...though I might pick up a threat behind. I try to rotate my wrist clockwise so the right side of the firearm is facing the ground and the magazine well is facing my support hand. This way the muzzle is still pointed at the target. At least I believe this would be proper from what I've read.

Fly

OnTheFly
March 11, 2008, 10:59 PM
I saw more unsafe gunhandling during that 2 hour range time than in my entire life.

Glad it turned out ok. That's got to make you think twice about who you are shooting with. I have to say that the three other students did a fine job in their shooting and attention to safety. The instructor did a good job of barking out specific, yet clear instructions on what we were supposed to do in unison.

I don't mean to make this guy sound like a complete idiot. He seemed to be a reasonable guy, and hopefully he took his infractions seriously. He may have learned a valuable, life-long lesson. I know I did. :)

Fly

Lloyd Smale
March 12, 2008, 05:40 AM
I too am a nra certified instructor and give ccw classes. Probably 75 percent of the people in the class are very inexperienced and out of that 75 percent probably 25 percent have no experience. I get people all the time that bought a gun the day before the class. I feel part of my job is to teach them how to shoot and handle a weapon properly and to be able to sense which ones need one on one instruction both for there benifit and the safety of the rest of the class. Ive had shooters so inexperienced that at the first bang of there gun they were so startled they dropped it in the dirt!! This state is a right to carrry state and it is not my job to use my personal opinion to weed out who i dont feel should be carrying. Its my job to train the person, no matter how inexperienced they are, to be competant enough to defend themselves and there family. What i do at every class is offer free one on one range time at my range for anyone that needs the help or wants to improve there shooting and i will even provide the guns and the ammo. I have had to on a couple occasions stongly suggest that opion to people. But to jump on someone in front of other people is just going to make them more nervous and being nervous is what causes most of the mistakes made by new shooter. I quietly take them to the side and explain what theyve done wrong without announcing it to the world and it does alot more toward making them a safer shooter.

dawg23
March 12, 2008, 08:53 AM
Lots of good, valid viewpoints expressed here. Some conflict, but that's pretty normal.

I am an NRA Pistol Instructor, an NRA Personal Protection Instructor and a Louisiana State Police Concealed Handgun Instructor. None of this makes me any sort of expert....just giving you the basis of my perspective.

CCW regulations down here require that we spend certain blocks of time on certain topics. I spend a LOT more time on the legal justification for using deadly force, avoidance, awareness, de-escalation, etc. than I do on operating a handgun. In other words, this more of a "when to shoot" (and "when to not shoot") than a "how to shoot" class.

When students contacts me, I interview them a bit to find out their general level of familiarity with handguns. Those who have never shot are encouraged to make an appointment to spend a couple of hours with me prior to the class. We go over safety rules, how to manipulate the gun, sight alignment and sight picture, shooting grip and stance, etc. Then we go to a nearby range and I have them shoot a box or so of ammo to make sure they are ready for my class.

The law doesn't require that I do the foregoing. But I do it. I don't want the risk of having a complete novice in the class who might hurt himself/herself, or me, or another student.

If the prospective student can't or won't schedule a pre-class meeting with me, I suggest that they contact some of the other instructors in town that are less concerned about prior experience.

Safety isn't an option in my classes. Sweeping anyone with a loaded handgun = dismissal. It will be done in a respectful, calm, polite manner, but the student will be dismissed.

For those of you who think this is a shabby way to treat those who are newcomers to the sport of shooting............I don't consider self defense shooting to be a sport. Bullseye target shooting is a sport. Skeet, trap and sporting clays are sports. Self defense (CCW) shooting is a survival skill that can pose serious threats to innocent bystanders.

I also spend a significant portion of my class explaining the importance of defensive handgun training (way beyond the scope of a CCW class) and the importance of practicing to master the techniques learned in the training courses. My students may not (probably won't) ever take a class form Clint Smith, Tom Givens, John Farnam or James Yeager, but they will at least have been exposed to the concept of professional instruction..............and they will have taught the importance of safe gun handling. How much of this they retain and/or practice is beyond my control.

pax
March 12, 2008, 09:43 AM
NV-TopGun,

Welcome to TFL. :)

For perspective, I live and teach in a state (Washington) which has no training requirement. None. We have people walking around our streets carrying concealed weapons with NO training whatsoever!! :eek:

Untrained people carrying firearms! Blood running in the streets!

Actually, not quite. :)

Washington state does not require training, but Oregon, right next door, does require training. Remember, the purpose of required training is to prevent accidental shootings and also to educate permit holders so they do not violate laws through ignorance.

There is NO statistical difference between accidental shooting rates in Oregon (where training is required) and in Washington (where training is not required). In both states, accidental shootings by concealed carry permit holders are so rare as to be statistically non-existent. In both states, criminal activity by concealed carry permit holders is so rare as to be statistically non-existent. The state-required training thus apparently makes no statistical difference in the two areas the training is designed to address.

If it saves only a single life ...

There is one minor statistical difference between Oregon and Washington which is worth noting: approximately 5% of adults in Washington state possess a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Approximately 3% of adults in Oregon have a carry permit.

Why are there fewer legal gun-carriers in Oregon? I speculate that the increased cost of the permit, plus the physical hassle of doing so, plus the added time delay, might be driving Oregon's numbers down. So fewer people carry in Oregon than in Washington, and Oregon has stricter laws about who may, or may not, carry a concealed firearm. Correlation does not always equal causation, but I suspect it does in this particular case.

The overall crime rates between the two states are not appreciably different. But the overall effects on the crime rate do not tell us what is happening in any, particular, individual encounter with criminals.

I think it would be safe to speculate that at least one potential criminal victim in Oregon who would otherwise have had a permit, may have hesitated to obtain one due to the extra cost and hassle involved in getting a training-required permit. And it is safe to say that there are some in Washington who obtained permits they would not have obtained, had the cost of the permit been higher, or getting it more difficult. These individuals in Washington are each, individually, safer from criminal attack than they otherwise would have been, while that individual in Oregon is less safe than he or she would otherwise have been.

If it saves just one life ... right? :)

Anyway, that is why it is difficult for me to get tooooo wrapped around the axle about students coming into CCW classes who don't know much (or anything) about firearms. They're in the classes to learn, we expect them to learn. And while their ignorance may horrify us, it does not appear to be a problem that has any particular effect on our community once we step off the range.

We all need to do everything in our power to keep our students safe while they are on the range. At the same time, we have no control at all over what they do once they leave the range, but we can and should take comfort from the fact that even in states where no training at all is required, concealed permit holders are not causing problems in their communities.

pax

Glenn E. Meyer
March 12, 2008, 10:26 AM
We cannot escape the inevitable debate about whether the state can mandate training for the right to defend yourself.

We don't mandate training to get married or exercise your right to free speech.

We really don't have evidence that licensed carriers in nontraining states are more of a risk or less efficacious using their firearms.

I'm highly educated and I see people with little knowledge of many things voting so as to be hoodwinked by politicians. So should everyone become highly educated to vote. Or should my parents who didn't graduate high school not have the ability to vote?

The horrors stories of the range!! Listen to the radio to see what votes!!

That's the way I see it.

ragwd
March 12, 2008, 10:59 AM
When I took my CCW class, the instructor stated up front that this was to get you exposed to the laws of Ohio not a basic firearms course. With only 10 hours class time and then 2 hours range time and a 100 question test. Maybe a third of the time was spent on safe handling of a hand gun. He explained the internals of revolvers and pistols (this was also on the test). A short amount of time was spent on marksmanship. Grip, stance, aim point. He really crammed alot into the 10 hours it was non-stop with just 2 10 minute breaks and a 45 min lunch, none of which counted towards the 10 hours. I feel that he did all that he could do to help us at whatever level we were at. Got my moneys worth for sure.

Frank Ettin
March 12, 2008, 11:59 AM
I'm not concerned about people coming to a class not knowing much. I am concerned about people leaving a class not knowing much -- especially not having been thoroughly indoctrinated in safe gun handling.

dawg23
March 12, 2008, 02:35 PM
We cannot escape the inevitable debate about whether the state can mandate training for the right to defend yourself.

We don't mandate training to get married or exercise your right to free speech.


Mr. Meyer:

I am generally in agreement with your position on this (and generally agree with most of your posts). And I don't plan to enter into any such debates either.

But you might be able to formulate better analogies. Neither marriage nor expressing opinions is likely to kill or injure innocent bystanders. But incompetent gun handling can do exactly that in a public venue.

I personally liken gun ownership and carrying in public to driving a motor vehicle. Nobody cares what you do with that car or 18 wheeler while you are on your own property. But when you pull out onto a public highway, we all start to care about your competency. We have a constitutional right to own firearms, but carrying them in public places justifies (in my mind) the concept of issuing permits.

I guess the flames (from other members) will appear very soon.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 12, 2008, 02:49 PM
It's a legit point - no flames from me. I was just trying to point out the debate. In fact, I tend towards requiring training for carry for the reasons you mention. The counterpoint is that we don't see trouble with these folks. On the other hand the demographics of most license holders in various states (older, better educated) would predict that they would be careful

I am frustrated by folks who talk the gun talk and don't bother to train. I would like to make the case for university carry but if I pushed for that - I would have a cohort of untrained who would argue for carry. Could I defend them as legit 'sheepdogs' for the campus?

In an ideal world - folks who buy guns for carry would train.

No flames from me.

OnTheFly
March 12, 2008, 08:04 PM
Some GREAT points and counter points here. I like it! :)

As I said before, I wouldn't want to see more laws (and subsequent expense) for owning or carrying firearms. I'm more concerned with people's lack of motivation. I don't like showing up to a class and having no information. The instructor's job, in my mind, is to build on what we know. I figure if I come to the course with all the basic knowledge and skills to pass, then I might get a little more "advanced" instruction from the class. This was true with our class. While the gentleman with little experienced only learned the very basics (i.e., don't point your gun in that direction, squeeze the trigger, etc.), the rest of us got a few crumbs (and at my newb experience level I do mean a crumb) of advanced tactical information.

I know how this goes from my instruction days. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association was telling everyone that flying was like driving a car. It's for everyone...come on and get your license. This is nice, but there are just some people who are not meant to fly. Or when the training was taking too long by the student's measure, they would go to the instructor next door who wouldn't make them meet all these pesky skill/knowledge requirements. It was all about pumping out students and people just love to take the easy way out.

Fly

hogdogs
March 12, 2008, 09:07 PM
This, folks, is a thread I am closely tracking. I am about to introduce my 16 year old daughter to handguns. From the stories by instructors I feel she is a safer shooter with my .22 rifle than alot of the adults seeking a CCP. She never so much as touched a firearm until I insisted she begin the learning curve in october within a week of her 16th Birthday. She wasn't terrorized by my guns. She was afraid the recoil would hurt and the noise wasn't her cup of tea. I had her put on mufflers and, while I held the rifle outstretched, I had her pull the trigger. Her big ol' eyes lit right up and we went thru safety rules and I stood behind her while she used the tripod to stabilize it. It wasn't long after and she was helping procure ringneck doves to feed to her brother's snake.
I do sweat her first shot or 2 with the hand gun. But PAX hit the nail I needed to hear right on the head! Bri doesn't need a full mag at first.
Next question... I am the daddy not just an instructor so I have a little liberty on how we handle transgressions. Do i just give her the scowl and a stern "DERN IT.. BE CAREFUL" or do I paddle her bottom and put the gun away?:rolleyes:
I am grading her on handling of the known empty but assumed loaded weapon. Than she can learn the small things like safe inspection, cleaning, field stripping etc. before ever firing it. than it will be proficiency for a year and a half. At 18 she gets to pick out her weapon of choice (lord hopes she doesn't fall in love with them custom 1911's) in what ever color she wants. We than will start over on the weapon handling and care for that particular model. On her 21st birthday I fully intend to have her apply for her CCP. I hope the instructor tells me that she was the best "student" he ever got to qualify.:)
Brent

tools
March 12, 2008, 09:43 PM
PAX has got it. There will always be (I hope) new shooters who haven't a clue. We need classes to teach them (if they have applied for a class that is a good sign). All should be welcomed but quickly corrected.

In the classes I have taken, I have to sign a legal release form before each one. This form basically certifies that I am legally insane and anything that happens is my fault. After signing something like this, I believe that hard-core training can be legally justified-- someone sweeps a co-learner, they get put to the ground hard (literally). and told never to do that again. Just one occurance of a surprise takedown will most likely cause them to really think about where the muzzle is pointed always after that, and I (as someone who has been swept in class) would encourage this.

Gun owners (esp. the new ones) need to understand that gun ownership comes with some responsibilites which cannot be abdicated. One is not to point the muzzle at anything you don't want to destroy. Never. Ever.

TexasSeaRay
March 12, 2008, 10:07 PM
Owning a gun is one thing.

Using/firing a gun is another.

Carrying a gun day to day is another thing.

Using a gun to defend your life is something else completely.

We live in an era of "me first" and an almost complete absence of personal responsibility and accountability. Spill your coffee in your lap, it's McDonald's fault. Drink too much, run off the road drunk and kill someone, it's the bartender's fault. Spend your whole life smoking and die of lung cancer, it's Marlboro's fault. Get shot in a robbery, it's Smith & Wesson's fault.

I personally believe that with individual rights come individual responsiblities. I do not believe that rights are unfettered and without responsiblity nor obligation--and this includes the Second Amendment.

You want to own a gun, fine. Go buy one, put it in your nightstand and fool yourself into thinking it will hop right out on its own accord when something goes "bump" in the night and protect you all by itself.

You want to fire the gun or take it shooting orhunting, fine. Go take you some classes or get some quality instruction and learn the rules.

You want to carry a gun on a day to day basis, fine. Go get a LOT of instruction as to what you can and cannot do in accordance with the laws of your municipality, state and nation. Then demonstrate that you can do so responsibly and safely.

Then if you need to use that gun in defense of a life, the above criteria will show that you have accepted the individual responsibility and accountability that comes with exercising a right.

A lot of people shed a lot of blood to ensure that we maintain these rights. The very least that we can do is honor those who've stood watch over our rights by exercising responsibility and accountability when we do exercise those rights.

It may be someone's right to go straight from the gunstore to a CCW class without knowing a damn thing about their gun, how to handle it, how to load/unload it or even what kind of gun it even is. It is their right to have zero common sense about the matter and to even abdicate any responsibility for knowing anything about their firearm that they want to now carry on or about their person.

It's also my right to tell them to find someone else to be their instructor.

Jeff

MLeake
March 13, 2008, 05:07 AM
+1. Thank you.

MarkoPo
March 16, 2008, 01:46 AM
I will put in my two cents in this thread. I am very glad I read through all the posts. I am going to be that new guy taking my CCW next saturday. I purchased a handgun about a month ago and put all of 40 rounds through it. I have very little experience with handguns. I probably fired 200 rounds through handguns in my life. I am however very proficient with a rifle or shotgun. As a matter of fact I am a great shot with my SKS and Ruger 10/22. I fully understand gun safety and have spent alot of time at home tearing down and putting back together my Springfield XD. The first and main reason I am getting my CCW is so I can more easily carry to the range. In Michigan you have to keep a handgun locked in the trunk away from ammo when transporting in a vehicle. I don't intend on carrying all the time until I have more experience and become a good shot. I know my limitations, and wouldn't feel safe carrying yet. I hope I am one of the better students when it comes to safety on the range, and I will pay attention and listen to what the instructor says. I would like to have put alot more rounds through my gun before taking the class, but the weather in Michigan hasn't permitted me to get out and shoot in the past month. So if anyone would like to offer any advice I would gladly listen. I do want to take more advanced classes as time goes on to better learn how to handle situations while carrying. Thanks, Mark

vtoddball
March 16, 2008, 10:09 AM
Wait a minute. This was a CCW course the OP was describing. I dont think a CCW course is where anyone should be learning HOW to shoot for the first time. A person taking a CCW course should already have the basics down by the time they reach the qualification shoot.

So what do you do in a state like NY where you can't even purchase a handgun until you have your permit? What practice are you going to get ahead of time? I personally would TRY to learn everything I could ahead of time because I'm more comfortable that way, but I certainly wouldn't fault those who hadn't or couldn't.

And whenever I hear the instructors from Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc on Tom Gresham's show, they all indicate they are much happier teaching people who have no experience because they don't have to unlearn bad habits.

Treating newbies poorly is exactly why a lot of people never get into the sport. It takes a lot of time and money after the gun, ammo, licenses, photos, paperwork, etc. and adding harassment from a bunch of chest thumping loudmouths who can be quick to criticize and slow to teach is more than enough to drive those on the fence back to an anti-gun stance.

pax
March 16, 2008, 10:22 AM
And whenever I hear the instructors from Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc on Tom Gresham's show, they all indicate they are much happier teaching people who have no experience because they don't have to unlearn bad habits.

This is absolutely true. The most frightening people I have ever worked with on the line are old guys who have been shooting for thirty years or more. In a lot of cases, they've put in a lifetime of building up some very dangerous gun-handling habits. Breaking those habits takes a lot of work.

One such guy I worked with had a habit of racking the slide with his finger on the trigger and while pointing the muzzle of the gun directly into his own abdomen. When I tried to correct him, he looked at me apologetically and said, "I've been doing this longer than you've been alive. Haven't shot myself yet, but I'll try to do it your way." Funniest(?) part of the whole thing was that he was completely unaware that he was pointing the gun at himself. It was just a habit.

That's the extreme case, of course. But most instructors would agree it's a lot easier to build good habits to begin with than it is to erase bad habits.

There's something else here, too: a lot of experienced gun owners either never knew, or have forgotten, what it is like to be a newcomer and know nothing at all about firearms. They think it is "just common sense" to handle the firearm in certain ways. But the truth is, these are learned behaviors. We have new people coming into the firearms world all the time who have never even seen someone else shooting, or who have never seen it done safely while surrounded by other people on the firing line. How else are these folks going to learn, if not in a class!?

Physical skills really cannot be learned through the written word. The more energy and effort I've poured into my website and writing in other places, the more convinced I am of this basic truth. These folks have to learn somewhere, and under the watchful eye of an accomplished shooter or experienced instructor is the best and safest place for them to do it.

Treating newbies poorly is exactly why a lot of people never get into the sport. It takes a lot of time and money after the gun, ammo, licenses, photos, paperwork, etc. and adding harassment from a bunch of chest thumping loudmouths who can be quick to criticize and slow to teach is more than enough to drive those on the fence back to an anti-gun stance.


Well said.

pax

TexasSeaRay
March 16, 2008, 01:23 PM
I once had a brief conversation with Tom (Gresham) over this very topic--newcomers and CCW.

I come from, and have lived and taught in three distinctly different worlds--military, federal law enforcement, civilian gun safety and instruction.

In the military, you did things our way. Period. No if's, and's or but's about it. If you didn't, you were gone from our unit immediately. There was no margin for error. Everyone had to be on the same page given the nature of our work and the close proximity in which we often worked with each other on certain operations.

Didn't matter HOW you'd learned it in Boy Scouts, 4H, from your dad or grandfather . . . you did it (firearms) our way. The necessity of and for which is obvious.

In the (federal) law enforcement world, during stints I did as a firearms instructor for basic agent training at the academies, we often had to overcome previous habits.

Ironically, the female agent candidates we would teach who had no prior firearms experience would almost always outshoot the males who had no prior firearms experience. Reason? The females didn't have the "John Wayne" syndrome and mentality. While most weren't scared of the weapons, they did display more respect and paid more attention than their male counterparts.

Those who had prior law enforcement experience and training were a breeze to teach and qualify. There were exceptions, of course, but all in all seeing as how the concealed handgun was a major tool and security blanket for us, those agent candidates with previous training already knew the realities of what they were stepping into. As such, they listened and paid attention because they knew their life could very well depend on it.

In the civilian world, it was different. I have never been a "certified" civilian instructor and have never had any aspirations whatsoever of becoming "certified." Given my background and actual experience in using firearms to save my life and the lives of others, I am an unashamed and totally unapologetic hardass when it comes to teaching and expecting basic things to be done my way.

I have taught dozens upon dozens of novices how to handle, shoot, carry and safely use firearms. I am very upfront about my expectations, and I'm very thorough in how I start with "A" and end with "Z." I've had no complaints up to this point as my "students" get what they pay for--and I charge nothing.

That being said, I equate a brand new gun owner who's had no previous experience or knowledge in dealing with firearms who wants to start off in a CCW class the same as someone who's never owned or driven a car wanting to take one class and then go drive on the Winston Cup NASCAR circuit.

Based on my experience and that of many folks I've worked with in years past, there is a significant difference between owning a gun and carrying a gun on a daily basis for self-defense. And I simply do not feel that one, ten to twelve hour class taken ONE TIME is adequate preparation for one to carry a weapon on a daily basis for defense.

Now, do I think that there ought to "be a law" demanding such? HELL, NO.

But do I believe that there ought to be more individual responsibility on the part of instructors and students alike in demonstrating some semblance of knowledge and experience before taking the CCW class? HELL, YES.

It seems that we keep conveniently forgetting that with rights come individual obligations in order that we may exercise our rights safely and responsibly--so as not to LOSE THEM.

Jeff

Aqeous
March 16, 2008, 02:13 PM
"During one of the first reloads, he did EXACTLY what the instructor said not to do and he turned his firearm on its side pointing directly at me while he tried to figure out how to release the magazine."

"This is an extremely, almost universal, beginner's error."



This is a little more common then just a beginners error. It's amazing how P-off someone will get when you tell them "Point that gun down range." Being that I have spent some time with both Leo and friends in the military, one of which was in the special forces, allot of the finer points of gun safety (among other things) has really rubbed off on me. The result is that I notice little things, and if you really take the time to look and notice, you might find that its not just the newbies doing things like this.

I know of no way to get them to knock it off either. Not to say that it happens to me often, but there are occurrences I have noticed from people that should have known better. As another poster here stated . . . it seems to be due to a certain lack of motivation on there part.


I'm not sure if I have added anything to this thread, it is just an observation of mine that I kind of wanted to get off of my chest. Not many things irritate me more then a supposed "gun veteran" who acts as if he was a newbie. :mad:

OnTheFly
March 16, 2008, 04:29 PM
I am going to be that new guy taking my CCW next saturday.

If you...

know how to operate your firearm with the external buttons/levers
learn and practice basic firearms safety (finger off trigger until pointed at target, muzzle always in safe direct, etc.)
get some practice at the range until you are comfortable with your firearm. This shouldn't be too many rounds for someone who has been around firearms before.
listen to the instructor (in class and on range) and follow his/her instruction
move slowly and deliberately. I don't think there are any CCW courses which have time limits and you won't be graded on speed. Safety and accuracy do count though. As our instructor said "slow is fast and fast is slow".


So what do you do in a state like NY where you can't even purchase a handgun until you have your permit? What practice are you going to get ahead of time?

There are always exceptions to the rule. If this is the law, and you have no way to receive instruction on the handgun you will qualify with, then the instructors will know what to expect and organize their course accordingly.

And whenever I hear the instructors from Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc on Tom Gresham's show, they all indicate they are much happier teaching people who have no experience because they don't have to unlearn bad habits.

This is at the heart of the debate. Should a reasonable person with absolutely zero experience with firearms go to an 8-10 hour CC course and expect to walk out with all the skills and knowledge necessary to carry? Even though I felt obligated to be prepared for the class, the answer to this question for me may be "no". Again, I'm not arguing for more legislation/restrictions, just more responsibility.

Treating newbies poorly is exactly why a lot of people never get into the sport.

I'm not advocating treating anyone badly because I AM a newb. Just suggesting that people need to be more pro-active. Know your firearm, the basic rules of safety, shooting basics (stance/grip), and get a little practice with the handgun you plan to qualify with.

It seems that we keep conveniently forgetting that with rights come individual obligations in order that we may exercise our rights safely and responsibly--so as not to LOSE THEM.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

dawg23
March 18, 2008, 02:10 PM
And whenever I hear the instructors from Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc on Tom Gresham's show, they all indicate they are much happier teaching people who have no experience because they don't have to unlearn bad habits.


You are mixing apples and onions here. When you go to Thunder Ranch, or Gunsite, or Tactical Response, or Rangemaster, et al you will spend anywhere from two to five days learning how to shoot.

They have time to teach you "by the numbers." A CCW class will rarely, if ever, have enough time to take you from "zero to 60."

airdog
March 22, 2008, 04:23 PM
I'm pretty much a newb to shooting. admittedly. been to the range once since purchasing my pistol and am planning to return next week. shot 100 rounds without shooting myself or other range attendees, so I felt pretty good about that. I kept muzzle awareness, and pointed down range, even when loading my magazines to continue. Don't own a holster yet.

I plan to sign up for the ccw course soon, after some more range time and confidence with my pistol. I haven't heard of any familiarization courses for beginners other than the CCW course. I have read the NC DoJ regs regarding permits, transportation, etc and spoken to a couple deputies regarding what I should do if I have my weapon, after passing a ccw course. For now it will sit in the back seat locked and in plain sight, same for my ammo/supply bag.

Only 1 range near me so I might be one of those I read about earlier with limited experience.

Is there anything yall might recommend to prepare myself, that I can do "self training?"

thanks in advance,
Les Owens
Bath, NC

OnTheFly
March 22, 2008, 06:40 PM
shot 100 rounds without shooting myself or other range attendees, so I felt pretty good about that.

I like that. A very straight forward and simple goal. :D

Is there anything yall might recommend to prepare myself, that I can do "self training?"

With what you have done, you are already light years ahead of the gentleman I was speaking of. Post #60 above lists what I would suggest you do to be ready for the course.

Fly

Deaf Smith
March 22, 2008, 09:35 PM
I teach CHL classes and I've twice had students sweep me with a gun. Both thankfully were unloaded.

How? One woman who did not have any experience (yet she was quaifying with her son's 1911 .45) had the weapon in her hand and no holster (and one of my favorite sayings of Jeff Cooper is, "a holstered gun is a safe gun".) Well she waved it!

The second incident was a security guard who, when asked were one of the students extra ammo was, he pointed were it was with his pistol!

So I wear a bullet proof vest while teaching. And now you know why.

Many many of the students I teach have very little skill with handguns. I do what I can with the time I have to get them up to speed. Never heard of any of them having a AD or injuring someone (and I hope I never hear it!)

Glenn E. Meyer
March 23, 2008, 09:53 AM
I once took a course from a very, very, well-known instructor. A student asked a question about draw stroke and the instructor then said: It goes like this - and then drew on the group. A look of ultimate horror went over his face.

Mental lapses happen among all. I also know a very well known instructor who shot his dashboard. One of the top instructors of all times, left a gun loaded which led to an ND.

Let he or she who is with sin, fire the first shot.

workinwifdakids
March 30, 2008, 09:47 PM
I remember that class I took in college, where a world-famous math professor stood on stage in front of 300 people writing small numbers in chalk (which he stood in front of), while muttering and whispering in some Asian language. Then he'd stand to the side and say, in broken English, "Well, you know." And then he'd erase it all.

This topic is much the same, I think: People assume that the person with the most knowledge ought to be teaching it to others. One person has perfect knowledge but can only effectively transmit 10% of it; the other only knows 80% of the material, but can really teach 100% of what he knows. Which is the better teacher?

Here's an interesting question: erase everything you know about firearms, and pretend you were starting from scratch. Furthermore, pretend you'd grown up to be fearful of - and intimidated by - firearms. Where would you start? Whom would you ask?

With firearms, as with everything, we see everything so clearly from our perspective. Active recruitment to pass on a lifetime of safe firearms enthusiasm means that we look at it from the other man's perspective, and ask if we can make things more available, and less intimidating, without sacrificing safety.