I am by no means anything close to an "instructor" or even good enough to teach, but I've "grown up around guns" and been a regular shooter since before I was tall enough to ride roller coasters. Funny thing, dad was SF in Vietnam, "wetwork" so to speak, and from my knowledge, even until the day he died and we cleaned out his stuff, he had not a single firearm, nor ever hinted at wanting one.
That being said, I was shooting trap at age 6, and since then, I've introduced somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-50 people to firearms and firearms handling. I go by the common sense aesthetic that is so often lost in todays "tacti-cool" culture; that is, 1. Safe direction 2. Area behind L.O.F. 3. If gun malfunctions, face it downrange, put it down, and call someone who knows what's what.
For the most part, if people always follow those simple rules, they have no problems. Training aside, I've hiked out to the lake at dawn with girls who have never even picked up a gun before, and hiked out at dusk with sub-5MOA rifle shooters. People make beginners shooting courses way more complicated than they need to be (I've taken a few, for pure kicks and giggles) I don't know much about the safety or lack thereof of most people, but I, personally, don't take anyone near a gun who I don't believe has the common sense to handle one. This is a problem that I don't encounter, that I can assume most Certified Instructors and range lackeys deal with on a regular basis, every yahoo with a fresh paycheck and a clean 4473 thinks its the bees knees now, and that scares me.
Common sense is key, in that, I've known completely sober people who are idiots and end up blowing out their eardrums (or worse) with an accidental discharge, and then I've known blackout-alcoholic-drug-addicts who never had a single incident or even seemed like they would. Common sense is common sense is common sense, regardless of "growing up around guns" or "training" or any of the BS labels we want to assign.
Training wise, minimal, common sense, massively important.
EDIT: One thing that irks the hell out of me, is that many "Certified" firearms instructors that I've met and parlayed with on an informal basis, never care to teach about the problem of slow primers and how it affects the general course of action of clearing a malfunction. My father wasn't a gun guy, but one of the first things he told me with semi's was the problem of slow primers, esp. in mass produced mil and milsurp rounds, which people are using more and more nowadays. I'll take a five minute break over brass fragments in my beautiful mug.
Last edited by Frank Ettin; March 16, 2013 at 11:49 PM.
Reason: remove profanity