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Old March 11, 2008, 02:03 AM   #26
Frank Ettin
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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.
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Old March 11, 2008, 02:07 AM   #27
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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.
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Old March 11, 2008, 02:17 AM   #28
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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).
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Old March 11, 2008, 03:12 AM   #29
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Quote:
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.

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Old March 11, 2008, 03:31 AM   #30
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?
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Old March 11, 2008, 11:03 AM   #31
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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.
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Old March 11, 2008, 11:27 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
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.

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Old March 11, 2008, 03:13 PM   #33
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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?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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
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Old March 11, 2008, 03:39 PM   #34
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alerion
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?

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Old March 11, 2008, 04:00 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by On The Fly
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
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.

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Old March 11, 2008, 05:10 PM   #36
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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"....
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Old March 11, 2008, 05:38 PM   #37
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CCW Training

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.

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Old March 11, 2008, 06:05 PM   #38
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Yesterday 12:32 PM

OnTheFly wrote:




Quote:
Quote:
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:

Quote:
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.
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Old March 11, 2008, 06:45 PM   #39
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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!
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Old March 11, 2008, 10:46 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook686
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. 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.

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Old March 11, 2008, 10:59 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspiff
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.

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Old March 12, 2008, 05:40 AM   #42
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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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 08:53 AM   #43
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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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 09:43 AM   #44
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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!!

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.

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Old March 12, 2008, 10:26 AM   #45
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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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 10:59 AM   #46
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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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 11:59 AM   #47
Frank Ettin
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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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 02:35 PM   #48
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Quote:
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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 02:49 PM   #49
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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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 08:04 PM   #50
OnTheFly
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Join Date: January 9, 2007
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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
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Last edited by OnTheFly; March 13, 2008 at 10:29 PM.
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