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Old March 12, 2008, 09:07 PM   #51
hogdogs
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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?
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
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Old March 12, 2008, 09:43 PM   #52
tools
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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.
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Old March 12, 2008, 10:07 PM   #53
TexasSeaRay
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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
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Old March 13, 2008, 05:07 AM   #54
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Reply to TexasSeaRay

+1. Thank you.
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Old March 16, 2008, 01:46 AM   #55
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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
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Old March 16, 2008, 10:09 AM   #56
vtoddball
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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.
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.
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Old March 16, 2008, 10:22 AM   #57
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

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Old March 16, 2008, 01:23 PM   #58
TexasSeaRay
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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
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Old March 16, 2008, 02:13 PM   #59
Aqeous
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"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.
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Old March 16, 2008, 04:29 PM   #60
OnTheFly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkoPo
I am going to be that new guy taking my CCW next saturday.
If you...
  1. know how to operate your firearm with the external buttons/levers
  2. learn and practice basic firearms safety (finger off trigger until pointed at target, muzzle always in safe direct, etc.)
  3. 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.
  4. listen to the instructor (in class and on range) and follow his/her instruction
  5. 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".

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtoddball
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtoddball
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtoddball
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSeaRay
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.
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Last edited by OnTheFly; March 16, 2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old March 18, 2008, 02:10 PM   #61
dawg23
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Quote:
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."
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Old March 22, 2008, 04:23 PM   #62
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learning something here

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
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Old March 22, 2008, 06:40 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airdog
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by airdog
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
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Old March 22, 2008, 09:35 PM   #64
Deaf Smith
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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!)
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Old March 23, 2008, 09:53 AM   #65
Glenn E. Meyer
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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.
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Old March 30, 2008, 09:47 PM   #66
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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.
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