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Old March 16, 2013, 11:01 PM   #51
Ludwig Von Mises
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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
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:09 AM   #52
pax
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I'm not exactly poor but not rich either and right now cant really afford higher professional training at the moment. I just wish there were established resources for good free training. So while I wish I read books, surf you-tube, and lurk articles on TFL...
My husband and I raised five children on one very small salary. We never took a dime of government money, but there were times when boiled dishrag soup was on the menu. (That's only a small exaggeration, closer to the truth than bears thinking about.) When the boys finally hit their teen years and I got a job outside the home, it was such a relief to finally have a little bit of spare cash that I literally burst into tears one afternoon in Costco when I just realized I had thrown a pair of socks into the cart without consulting my budget!

Telling you that, not to whine or to brag, but to give you an idea of what I mean when I say, "I was broke too, and got training anyway."

The first class I took was a gift from a friend. He bought it for me because he was tired of me shooting up his target stands instead of his targets. At that class, I learned how much there was to learn in this field, and realized how negligent I would be if I carried a gun but failed to learn the skills.

The second class I took came from a weekend job as a carpenter's flunky. I bargained with friends to swap babysitting (no small feat when you have five to farm out), and worked three weekends to get enough money to finance the class. Oh, plus bartered babysitting time for all three of those weekends plus the class time.

Subsequent classes came from three-cornered barter deals with friends. For example, in one case I helped paint a friend's kitchen while her husband did some plumbing for another friend of ours -- and the third friend paid the class fee.

If I hadn't been able to work out those deals, I would have contacted one of the traveling instructors and organized a class in my area. People who organize classes for the travelers usually receive one free slot in the class in exchange for that work.

What I'm getting at is that money is a factor, sometimes a painfully obnoxious or even crippling one. But it's only going to keep you from learning if you let it.

And here's the kicker: shooting is a physical skill. You simply cannot learn it from reading books or websites, or even from watching videos. At best, those are supplemental sources of information that give you context and food for thought. I say this as a person who earns a good part of her living as a writer.

pax

PS to add: This is one reason I get really, really, really torqued at snarky people who sneer at professional trainers by implying that we're in it only for the money. It's personally offensive to me on many levels. I believe good training is so absolutely vital that I carved money out of our non-existent grocery budget to get that training. Once I started down that path, I turned around and volunteered for several years so I could help other people get that same level of training. I'm not in this job for the money, but it is a job, and my expertise is valuable because I paid a high price for it. There's absolutely no shame in that, and it both depresses and irritates me when people act as though there is. (I note that these criticisms never seem to come from people who refuse to take a salary for their own work, as though you can feed your family on air and love...)
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:20 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Koda94
...it would be ideal if there was a worthy free program...
Wouldn't that be nice. But the reality is that it costs money to provide training. So if the student isn't paying, someone else must be.

I'm with a group of NRA certified instructors who put on an NRA Basic Handgun class once a month. It's a ten hour class, and these are some of the things involved:
  • We've prepared a powerpoint presentation that supports and illustrates the lecture portions of the class. We've developed or been able to obtain the use of illustrations, text, and some animation. We are continually updating and revising the presentation.

  • We print and bind a copy of the presentation in note taking form and give one to each student. This takes time and costs money for the materials.

  • We also give each student the NRA Basic Handgun class book as well as other materials. We have to buy these.

  • We have purchased various training aids for use in the class, including dummy ammunition, inert training guns ("blue" guns), and airsoft guns.

  • We have purchased eye protection and hearing protection (electronic muffs and foam plugs) for the students to use in the class.

  • We supply the guns and ammunition, and we pay the range fees.

  • We generally have a 2:1, and no more than 3:1, student to instructor ratio. We do a lot of one-on-one, hands-on work with students.

  • We have some operating expenses. As a non-profit corporation we must make various governmental filings. We also carry insurance. And we maintain and operate a website and a business mailbox.
All of that involves time and expense. And not one of us instructors receives any compensation; we're all volunteers.

Our class fee is $150.00. Since none of us are paid, that's about as "free" as a Basic Handgun class can get.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:31 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
What I'm getting at is that money is a factor, sometimes a painfully obnoxious or even crippling one. But it's only going to keep you from learning if you let it.

And here's the kicker: shooting is a physical skill. You simply cannot learn it from reading books or websites, or even from watching videos.
Oh I do agree, will not argue that. A little about me I can say I have applied technique from videos to improve my physical shooting skills. I will admit right now I'm also a bit behind on physical practice because of the price and availability of ammo, (that and last summer was a pretty busy year for me to practice much). Just today I priced ammo at $45/box for all calibers at my LGS (the only one with ammo because they are rationing it...) and realize the $150 non profit class that Frank mentioned is well over $200 if it includes more than 50 rds of live fire training... which, since Franks class provides ammo as well as range fees that's one hell of a deal right now, sign me up if your in my area.

Reading and lurking in this forum there is a lot of good advice from the voices of experience here, one of the benefits I get from even just lurking on this forum is discussion from experienced firearm lifestyles that I do not get in my otherwise anti-gun community and friends.

And BTW pax, as a guy I have bookmarked and referred to your website quite a few times for the good information there, your time and effort there is much appreciated.

So while I practice my draw and dry fire (safely of course) technique one of the things I keep thinking back to lately is a way to compile all the good information that is available into a series of articles presented in proper order with the intent of them to supplement regular range or practice sessions. This would never replace professional training but would be a great resource for those that need it.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:17 AM   #55
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But Frank and Pax, my point is that if the government were to require training (which I oppose), then the least the government should do is provide the classes. So, instructors would get paid, but not necessarily by the instructed.
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:29 AM   #56
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As a practical issue for the RKBA - the issue of lack of training is brought up every time we have a debate about campus carry.

I testified in front of the TX House on our concealed carry bill. My two cents went well. However, the anticarry folks kept bringing up that casual carriers may be ineffective or at worst dangerous.

That doesn't apply to me as I've trained a touch. I have had anticarry folks at work say they would be ok with me carrying as they know I have the background, blah, blah but fear the old cowboy coot with little competency or green behind the ears frat boy.

The argument can be negated by it's there and I share it as a practical matter in debate.

So Mr. Shooter - you want to carry a concealed weapon and perhaps by a good samaritan? Might you tell us how you have trained for such?

-- I have no training because the 2nd Amend. - blah, blah.

Thank you.

Now -it's a double edged sword because if Mr. Shooter gets into one of those famous good shots that somehow ends in court (how did that happen?), a training regime may be brought up against you - esp. if it as some of those neat quotes in class - like have a plan to shoot everyone you see, etc.
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Old March 17, 2013, 11:38 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
However, the anticarry folks kept bringing up that casual carriers may be ineffective or at worst dangerous.
How? What is the worst that can happen? just how do you make a mass shooting situation worse?

I've debated the same argument. At what level of competence should someone "be allowed" to defend themselves? This argument the anti's use goes back to their very fundamental fears of guns themselves and is about as logical as their fight back campaign with staplers or office chairs. Its quite obvious that this argument is an argument to ban all guns altogether.
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Old March 17, 2013, 11:45 AM   #58
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A reasonable point. They fear:

1. The good guy may shoot an innocent. The risk analysis that the loss of a innocent to save 30 does touch them. This is because, there is a psychologicla bias about hurting an innocent even to save more innocents. Doesn't make rational sense but it is emotional.

2. The armed good guy may go running to or through the gun fight and get shot by the cops. Or shot when the cops arrive. Thus, 30 are dead but that's OK as we don't want the cops to get the liability of shooting an innocent.

Those arguments can be refuted but it helps to say that the good guys have a modicum of training.
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:00 PM   #59
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I have heard both of those arguments and yes they can be refuted but you are correct about it helping to say that the good guys have some training. .

But its never an ideal situation for anyone confronted with a mass shooter.

The points of their argument in this context are not reasonable. Lets call it what it is a step to total gun ban

FWIW, most all CCW permits have to take a class to obtain, technically they have some modicum of training.


edit to add calling it what it is
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:57 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
...Now -it's a double edged sword because if Mr. Shooter gets into one of those famous good shots that somehow ends in court (how did that happen?), a training regime may be brought up against you...
Except --
  1. I'd rather be representing the guy with training. If he's the defendant claiming self defense and if the prosecutor tries to make an issue of his training, my pitch to the jury will be along the lines of, "The defendant took the responsibility of owning and carrying a gun so seriously that he spent his time and a not inconsiderable amount of his money to be learn to be safe and competent."

  2. The training will help on the street. A lack of training won't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koda94
...FWIW, most all CCW permits have to take a class to obtain, technically they have some modicum of training.
In many cases less than a modicum -- often barely more than a scintilla.

The responsible gun owner/gun carrier will seek out additional training.
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Old March 17, 2013, 02:46 PM   #61
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I cannot contest the excellent reply by Frank, especially his reply to my quote. Very true.

But I wont support a minimum amount of training to exercise your 2A right for self defense. I believe that the anti's must not win the argument against further carry infringments based on a training level argument.
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Old March 17, 2013, 02:59 PM   #62
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Perhaps I am missing something, but these three pages of getting training before being allowed to have a gun all seems centered around those of you for whom gun ownership only means SD/HD.

While I do have a few guns for that, the majority of my guns are for hunting and target shooting. Telling me I NEED training before I am allowed to buy a gun is just what the antis want us to do - divide and conquer ourselves.

While I understand that it is a good idea, making it mandatory is not; otherwise, let's ban stores from selling kitchen knives until you have passed a safety course - and the same for ladders - as those two items are responsible for more accidental injuries than any other items in the house.

Should responsible folks get training when getting into guns for the first time? Obviously.....making it some form of law and requirement seems to violate the 2A as I read it, no different than poll taxes

If I completely misread this thread's intent, my apologies, if I haven't, then some folks need a history lesson
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Old March 17, 2013, 05:14 PM   #63
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I fully understand the benefits of training, especially for those who regulalry handle firearms and/or carry every day. However, as BigDinFL notes, requiring such training as a condition to own or carry (keep and bear) firearms is a an infringement on a protected right. Encouraging training is fine and is a good idea, but it seems to me that requiring it as precondition is a prohibited infringement and will remain so until the Constitution is amended.

It could be argued that is is within the enumerated powers of Congress to prescribe the level of training that the states are to provide for the militia, leaving it to the states to provide for the actual training. But requiring the training and requiring the states to provide such training would still be an infringement if it were a condition of ownership.

It seems to me that rather then being a condition of firearms ownership, it would need to be a separate requirement. Perhaps it would require Congress to declare that every legal resident (not just a citizen) who exercised his/her right to bear arms becomes, by that act, a member of the militia, and that all members of the militia must be trained by the State of residence in the handling and use of arms. Whether or not the right to keep and bear arms is exercised is strictly voluntary with no precondition except existing criminal or mental health related prohibitions. Keeping (owning) arms would not require training (though it would be encouraged) but bearing (carrying in public) would.

Just a thought.
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Old March 18, 2013, 05:37 PM   #64
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the question to ask is not do we need to force training on everyone if they want to buy a weapon, but what does the training need to do?

there are many posts on this forum and others were it is felt that the training provided by the us army, navy, airforce, marines, national guard, at basic training is INSUFFICIENT to qualify them to have a concealed handgun permit.
so if that level of training, even that offered to the MPs is useless, how are we going to determine what constitutes a proper training? basic training for mps gives them far more training and skills then the standard 200 dollar 8 hour chl class.

or do you want to make it so that if i want to get a little singleshot 22 for my kid, i and my kid need to spend a weekend at gunsite?
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:40 PM   #65
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how are we going to determine what constitutes a proper training?
just brainstorming here...

IF training is required, perhaps basic gun safety training to purchase, and the "weekend at Gunsite" to carry in public?

For the first, put the burden on the seller. to provide the safety training with every sale. Cost included in the price of the firearm. The buyer can take the course or not, but pays for it either way.

To carry in public carries greater responsibility and might require one to have a higher degree of training in both safety and tactics.
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Old March 19, 2013, 12:00 AM   #66
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alright I have not read the entire thread so I apologize ahead of time but...
1. there should not be any set prerequisite training for buying a gun, that's just asking for someone to pitch in an effort to make it harder for law abiding citizens to buy guns.

2. no two people learn the same. I'm a kind of guy that learns best, hands on with an instructor. on the other hand I've seen people that bumble an fumble their way to a failing score in instructor led courses only to read a book and instantly pick up a set of principles.

3. gun buddies help a lot but everyone is biased and have yet to meet anyone that doesn't talk out their rears about something firearms related, depending on the person and their hind end topics, this can severely undermine a newbs progress.

I recommend a good combination of whatever you learn best with.
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Old March 19, 2013, 02:40 AM   #67
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alright I have not read the entire thread so I apologize ahead of time but...
1. there should not be any set prerequisite training for buying a gun, that's just asking for someone to pitch in an effort to make it harder for law abiding citizens to buy guns.
Completely agree, which is why I opened with that big IF
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Old March 19, 2013, 04:13 PM   #68
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Telling me I NEED training before I am allowed to buy a gun
For hunting, you do need a hunter safety class before you can buy the required permit for the game you wish to hunt unless you are old like me but I will take the class when my son is 12 just to keep up. It dont hurt....


Seriously, some of us were born with a hog leg in hand, many I know did not and ask for advise. I let them look and handle my guns, show them how each is loaded and unloaded and the way to carry it. Then they go off and get one that they like and understand.

Is like a car, you get a license to drive after you pass the test. But in the gun world who will pick the questions? or decide what is needed to pass the test?

That is what most folks will not agree upon.
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:11 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by markj
who will pick the questions? or decide what is needed to pass the test?

That is what most folks will not agree upon.
That's it in a nutshell.
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:28 PM   #70
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Oh, there's more to it than that.

I don't care who picks the questions or decides what the answers should be. It's irrelevant, because self defense is a basic human right. It is not negotiable. It is not open to bureaucratic bafflegab. It is not acceptable to nibble away at the edges of this right.

In fact, that's kind of what our Constitution says. It says that our founders thought this basic human right to own and carry weapons was so important, so critical to the security of a free country, that they forbade forever anything that would nibble away at the edges of that broad right.

Just because it has been infringed already, does not mean it should be infringed a little more. That's stupid and wrong.

Also, I'm no elitist. Elitists want rules to prevent those people from getting more guns. You know those people. They're the ones who live in the crappy ghetto neighborhoods, who don't talk right, who dress different than "we" do. They're the ones who don't have spare cash for extra fees, people to whom a "low" fee of $50 is a serious hardship, people who work low-status retail jobs that prevent them from taking weekend classes because, you know, they're working and will get fired if they take the day off.

These are people who truly don't have time to wait for a class, like the woman who just managed to ditch the psycho ex who threatened to kill her if she ever left. She left him and now what should she do? Wait for the next class (two weeks away) and then another six weeks after that for the paperwork to arrive in the mail -- if she's lucky? The danger in that situation is highest right now, not two months from now, and who has the right to tell her that her life or her children's lives aren't worth defending? Or do you just want to send her down to city hall to fill out yet another piece of paperwork, to "expedite" her permission to exercise this basic human right -- and incidentally take another day off work, another day of paying for babysitting, another extra fee?

Did you know there are some counties in New York where the wait is literally one and a half years -- simply to get permission purchase a gun? I'm not talking about carrying it, I'm talking about buying one in the first place. With a wait like that, that woman is dead and so are her children, and the bureaucrats Don't. Care.

But I do. I despise any law that stops poor people, busy people, threatened people, frantic people, from buying the simple tools to protect their lives. A right delayed is a right denied.

What about hunting, what about target shooting, what about gun games? Look, I don't care what use you're going to put your firearm to. The firearm is, at its heart, a weapon. It should be protected and enshrined in law on that basis. Anything else you do with it is up to you, but the right to own and carry it goes back to its status as a weapon. (If they could outlaw lawn darts as 'too dangerous,' your 'sport rifle' isn't immune to that kind of nonsense either. But the right to protect your own life ... that's sacred.)

***

And I still think that if you have the resources to do it, you're a fool if you don't go get some professional training.

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Old March 19, 2013, 08:55 PM   #71
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. . . .The firearm is, at its heart, a weapon. It should be protected and enshrined in law on that basis. Anything else you do with it is up to you, but the right to own and carry it goes back to its status as a weapon. . . .
Outstanding post, pax. Let me add one note to this particular point. We hear lots of talk about hunting and shooting sports, "sporting purposes" and the like. I have seen lots of posts by gun owners about how "a gun is a tool," and I'm sure I've said the same thing. The 2A isn't about those. Let's take a quick peek at the text we all know and love:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Founding Fathers
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. U.S. Const, Amend. II
The 2A doesn't protect "shooting sports." It doesn't protect "hunting." It doesn't protect "tools." It protects arms.
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Old March 19, 2013, 10:54 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
I don't care who picks the questions or decides what the answers should be. It's irrelevant, because self defense is a basic human right. It is not negotiable. It is not open to bureaucratic bafflegab. It is not acceptable to nibble away at the edges of this right.
It may not be acceptable to you, me, or most members of this forum, but I can point you to quite a few people who find it both acceptable and desirable, including a sitting president, 10 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and at least 4 sitting Supreme Court Justices. So yes, I do care who picks the questions and decides what the answers should be. (But as I said earlier, only IF there are going to be questions and answers )
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Old March 19, 2013, 11:25 PM   #73
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I think Grandma needs 30 seconds of training to be able to point her revolver at an intruder and pull the trigger.
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Old March 20, 2013, 06:39 AM   #74
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remember the case a few years back of a florida company that was training people to meet the state requirements for a concealed handgun permit, and were simply using airsoft to do it?

not every person setting themselves up as an instructor is able to give anything close to adequate training. i know an instructor that has been teaching for 10 years, and doesnt know you can fire 38 special in a 357...


if you make gunsite mandatory, you eliminate most of the population simply from carrying a handgun outside of the house. go price ammo these days, whats the minimum amount of ammunition you need to take along? magazines, etc. then getting their is going to be problematic.
what, cant afford a 900 dollar round trip on the airplane? oops, sorry timmy, judy, jane, and jack. guess you cant get your cpl. or even get a gun.

i can see it now... "spaghetti fundraiser so tiny tim can go to gunsite, dont worry we only need to raise 10,000"
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Old March 20, 2013, 06:46 AM   #75
DarthPaul
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Join Date: March 19, 2013
Posts: 13
First off, I'm new to this forum but not this issue. And agreed the right to self-defense is a human right. Also agreed that criminals by definition break the law, but hopefully they're not reading this thread.

However I can see no harm coming from a requirement to pass some form of recognized handgun training program to be licensed to carry in public (not talking about ownership, just carrying). In MI, we are an open carry state, which means that I had to pass a course to legally carry concealed- but any yahoo can open carry as much as he wants. Why don't the same standards apply? And as one of the previous posts said, while a training course may not help save your life, a lack of training will probably help get you killed.

My $.02.
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