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Old March 25, 2013, 09:50 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Thoughts on CCW classes...

so I've had my permit long enough now, that I've been through 2 training classes ( had to renew after the 1st 5 years )

couple buddy's & I are in the same situation...

I honestly I feel the classes offered around here are too easy, they don't spend enough time with legalese ( where you can carry, where you can't ) & even if you could hit the broad side of a barn with your gun on the range...

1st class, shooting was actually done IMO, in an unsafe place... instructor sidelines as an instructor, has a personal indoor range in his metal fabrication shop ( steel & equipment all over ) looks like a ricochet nightmare... several people couldn't even hit a man size target in low light ( no eye deer where all those stray bullets went, as I got out of there as soon as I could )...

2nd class was better than the 1st, both as far as education, & safety of the range, as range time was done on a private outdoor range, but there was at least 1/2 the class that had "issues" with their handguns ( I'd suspect "limp wristing" ) many who couldn't put more than one bullet on the target at close range

neither class failed to give out a permit, even though some people put as few as 1 bullet in 20 onto the target at close range...

I'm an enthusiast, & performed as I expected, & wouldn't expect newbies to perform to that level, but it's my opinion, that some of those people should have taken a fire arms safety class 1st, & spent some more range time, before trying to get their permit to carry...

I take the responsibility of carrying a gun seriously, & I mean, they do fail people who are trying for a drivers license who aren't good enough or knowledgeable enough ... is carrying a gun any less dangerous, if the person is unfamiliar with the gun ??? does it really do us, as "gun people" any service, by allowing "really" unqualified & under educated ( about gun laws & basic safety rules ) people to carry guns ???

your thoughts ???
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:21 AM   #2
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I don't disagree with your worries, but as is often pointed out on these forums, there are lots of problems inherent in placing qualifying restrictions on what is, at bottom, a group of rights. (I phrase it that way because there is a right enshrined in the Constitution as well as an even more basic human right to survival and protection of one's loved ones.)

When I see people struggle at the range and read reports like this about concerns at concealed carry classes, I try to remind myself that the people involved are at least trying to learn, and that they are at different spots on the learning curve. I was a beginner once - or at least I think I was, my memory is a bit foggy that far back. Maybe we are seeing the first steps towards a high level of expertise.
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:28 AM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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I understand what you are saying, & that these "trainers" are in business... I just feel that in both the classes I attended there were more than one person in each class, had I been the instructor, that I would have offered a free re-test, after they received more range time...

BTW... in the 1st class, we didn't go into enough detail the damages you could incur if you accidentally shot someone, & to just pass people that can't hit a man size target more than once in 20 rounds, with only the "stress" of taking the test, how would those same perform if trying to defend their lives, & if they fired a magazine full of ammo, where did those bullets go, if not into the target...

I have another buddy that's looking to re-new, & he just talked to the guy, "said bring 20 rounds, doesn't matter what gun you bring, doesn't matter if you hit the target, just how you handle the gun"... to me, that sounds like gun safety class... not CCW class ??? BTW #2... this is a different trainer than either of the two I've used, so I'm getting the impression, that is the norm
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:36 AM   #4
BigD_in_FL
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Having qualifiers for a right? You don't want to go down that road. Besides, who is to say these folks won't get more practice as time and money allows? Also, the vast majority of scenarios where guns are pulled from holsters end without a shot being fired
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:46 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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again... I understand the "right" thing... but along with that "right" comes a level of responsibility... & if the state or government say's you should take a class to exercise that "right"... those students aught to fully understand gun safety, & the responsibilities that go along with it, by the end of their class...

just because "Johnny B" turns 18, & has never handled a gun in his life, ( other than in his video games ) decides to get one & carry it, doesn't mean he knows not to point it at something he doesn't intend to shoot, doesn't know not to put his finger on the trigger, etc... ( insert any gun safety rule )

times have changed... some of that may even have been taught in school, long ago... & when I grew up around here, Firearms safety class was a "right of passage" when you turned 12... the way the school systems are today, the enrolment of firearms safety classes is down for young people, & there are so many new shooters... ( ever read the newbies at the range threads )

I guess I just think if we really want accidental gun injuries down, we as the firearms community, need to work are educating better than we are currently...

OK... flame suit on again...
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:54 AM   #6
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Can't you report them? If you felt unsafe, and the level of instruction was not above and beyond your expectations then you should have notified the Sheriffs dept.

I too worry about all the "Courses" showing up out there now. I spent 6 months researching for a place to Obtain my Permit. And when I did My expectations were exceeded.

I run into my courses instructor from time to time at the range and chat with him, follow him on Facebook and refer his Company and course. He still takes the time to answer my questions.
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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Wheel Man, I'm also in MN, and I have some of the same concerns about the CCW classes offered. (And mixed feelings about whether they should be required...)

MN law requires only that applicants show they've had training in the safe use of a pistol. That leaves a lot of room for instructors to decide what counts as "safe use," so there's a lot of variation in what's offered: if you look at course descriptions, you'll see everything from this:
Our range qualification is low stress and is meant to demonstrate your safety and competence with a firearm and is not meant to establish a threshold not required by the law.
To this:
Our goal is to provide each student with more than the minimum legal requirements to obtain a MN Permit to Carry a Pistol and/or a Utah Concealed Firearm Permit as well as resident and/or non-resident permits from other states.
The second instructor does have a shooting qualification in which students are required to hit the target for a qualifying score; if someone fails, he offers one retest on the same day, and states that anyone who fails twice needs more practice and can schedule a free retest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TailGator
When I see people struggle at the range and read reports like this about concerns at concealed carry classes, I try to remind myself that the people involved are at least trying to learn, and that they are at different spots on the learning curve.
Unfortunately, when it comes to CCW classes, some people really aren't trying to learn -- they're just trying to get a permit, as cheaply as possible, and there are instructors out there who are happy to oblige them. You'd think that people would get that shooting a handgun is a skill, and that proficiency takes practice and training... but common sense doesn't seem to be that common any more.
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Last edited by Vanya; March 25, 2013 at 04:20 PM. Reason: not enough words.
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Old March 25, 2013, 12:21 PM   #8
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Two separate issues at work here.

Magnum Wheel Man; I have to agree that anyone who assumes the right of armed self-defense also needs to assume the responsibility of competence.

I will further agree that anyone who assumes the position of 'teacher' needs to actually teach both facts and skills, as appropriate. (I've had teachers in college who would have starved to death, had knowledge and ability alone determined their ability to eat. Different story.)

Here's where I disagree; the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms is not contingent on governmental approval in terms of 'training'. Were that so, we would also be required to show 'training' to exercise free speech, free religious convictions and the right to be secure in our papers, property and persons. Not that some factions of our political process wouldn't like that.

Consider the number of muggers, stick-up activists and murderers who have 'shown competence and safety' prior to arming themselves. Why should otherwise honest citizens have a burden not imposed on the forces of evil? (Which, by the way does not imply I advocate incompetence or even mediocrity among my armed brethren or sistren.)

But I don't want the government - at any level - to determine exactly what 'training' is required. To do so creates another bureaucracy and unlimited expense on the potential citizen defender.

Perhaps if you were to write some 'reviews' of the training you have taken, with honest and fact-based critiques of the facilities and actual training offered, you might be able to influence potential customers in their selection of 'trainers'. Publish these through local gun clubs or even your own blog site. In such manner, you leave the government out of it and still accomplish your goal of encouraging better training.
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Old March 25, 2013, 12:40 PM   #9
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I do believe that any training requirements are an infringement and should be done away with ala Constitutional carry. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek higher level training as NO CCW course that I am aware of adequately prepares people for a FoF scenario. There simply isnt enough time. If anything, I would argue that they are a false sense of security.

However, if licensed instructors are charging for their service, they do have a responsibility to carry out their services in a safe and responsible manner. Your state likely has some type of board that licenses instructors that you could complain to.
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Old March 25, 2013, 08:00 PM   #10
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Yes we all have a right to keep and bear arms.

But I believe Magnum Wheel Man has a good point. The instructors are letting these people (and the rest of society) down by not encouraging safer, more effective handling of firearms. There's a difference between exercising an inherent right and practicing at it (or not practicing and knowing your boundaries) and carrying without any classes because the constitution says we all can. After all, every one of us here teaches safety first and if the reporting is anything like what is happening at the range, it doesn't seem to be a very safe environment.
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Old March 25, 2013, 08:15 PM   #11
ricko
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I really don't want to get into the politics of it, but things really are very different than they were when I was a kid. I started shooting regularly at age 5, by which time I knew enough about guns that I wouldn't THINK of pointing a gun anywhere but downrange, or leaving a rifle on the bench with the bolt closed. I expect many people today going for their CCW permits have never handled a gun before, and no one has given them anything like the indoctrination that my father gave me from the time I could walk. Some of these people are sincerely trying to learn, others just want to feel cool carrying a gun. It really would not be a bad thing to have people understand and respect the power of the machine they're carrying, as they should when they drive a car. The people who are killed by carelessness and ignorance in both cases are real people.

Now, how you go about that ..... I don't know. It would certainly be better if we were all brought up in households where we were taught these things, but it's often not the case.
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
common sense doesn't seem to be that common any more.
Boy do we agree on that one!

Quote:
if someone fails, he offers one retest on the same day, and states that anyone who fails twice needs more practice and can schedule a free retest.
That is a very equitable, responsible, and if I dare say it, common-sense approach. As long as it is in line with state law, and it would seem to be from what you say, I would fully support that.

Florida (my state of residence) is similar in that it has no required proficiency standard; any standard is set by the instructor. And in Florida it is a a one-time class; renewals are just paperwork and a no photo.
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Old March 27, 2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Hunter Safety

I am a ccw trainer in WI. MANY of my students have NO firearm skills at all. I do a live fire drill but I too say that mostly what I am looking for are fundamental safety skills. People here in WI can get their ccw permit with just about any training i.e. Hunter safety, DD 214 or any gun safety class. My thought is I am happy these somewhat misguided folks at least are trying to do the right thing. I make the consequences of bad gun behavior very clear. I make the training required to attain competency clear (LOTS of it). I also help those who need it with fundamentals as much time as I am able and recommend further instruction.
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Old March 28, 2013, 08:57 AM   #14
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I am interested in whose class you took, as I am a CCW instructor in that area.

We have an extremely high pass rate as well. On those who have a demonstrated inability to hit the target at all, we attempt to correct their shooting technique. If they show rapid improvement, we usually call it good. Once it was a mechanical problem- a guy had aftermarket sights on a Taurus Millenium, and the front sight was way short.

There have been a couple cases where despite repeated individual coaching, a person was unable to hit the target. We issue them a conditional certificate pending another range trip with improvement.

The only case in which we would flat out refuse to issue a completion certificate is repeated negligent gun handling.
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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Magnum Wheel Man; I have to agree that anyone who assumes the right of armed self-defense also needs to assume the responsibility of competence.
Training should not be a mandatory requirement for carrying or using a weapon in self-defense. If a person uses a weapon such as a gun in self-defense but injures an innocent, willing or not, he or she will be held accountable.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:25 AM   #16
Magnum Wheel Man
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If a person uses a weapon such as a gun in self-defense but injures an innocent, willing or not, he or she will be held accountable.
& so will every fire arms owner... well trained or not... it's a double edged sword, if we start looking too self righteous or callous, & don't police ourselves, the government is just itching to "help us out" at least if we seem to be trying to be realistic, & police ourselves, we can complain when "they" want to start sticking their uneducated noses into it
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:29 AM   #17
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Making training mandatory is counter to the 2nd Amendment.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:34 AM   #18
Magnum Wheel Man
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now we are starting to get too political for me...

but how is requiring training "actually" countering the 2nd amendment ???

if that training is easily available for everyone, I don't see it as anti 2nd amendment... heck...I think they should be teaching firearms safety classes in school again... I mean how irresponsible is the system, even if they are "anti" to not teach kids about them, so they can make educated decisions on their own... might as well teach them that hammers are evil, & so is physical work

flame proof suit back on
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:13 AM   #19
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Buddy, do we need to send some of our Texas grandmas up there to Minnesota to teach you boys how to shoot?
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:16 AM   #20
Magnum Wheel Man
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well.... not me, but from my personal experience those TX grannys could sure help out a good portion of the classes I've been in ( BTW... I like TX, & seen some of those grannys shoot )
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:11 AM   #21
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Mandatory CCW training is the product of a political process several steps removed from the question of achieving reasonable practical proficiency with a handgun. So it's not unexpected that successful completion of a required CCW class doesn't necessarily prepare one adequately for the street.

While we don't need (or shouldn't need) government telling us we must have training, the wise and responsible gun owner, especially one who plans to carry a loaded gun in public or keep a gun for self defense, will voluntarily get training (well beyond anything required by government) to be safe, proficient and to understand his legal responsibilities.

It may be one's right not to get training (beyond anything required by government). But if someone makes that choice, don't expect me to congratulate him for it.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:26 AM   #22
Magnum Wheel Man
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Quote:
It may be one's right not to get training (beyond anything required by government). But if someone makes that choice
unfortunately, that's what I see a lot of at these classes... I guess I don't know how many actually carry, since I don't personally know all the attendees...

but if you remember the "gun marches" after the last school shooting & the government's knee jerk reaction, the news was full of accidental shootings at the rally's & gun shows that weekend... may have been highly "sensationalized" but... unsafe, uneducated gun owners, make it easy for the news to make us ( as a group ) look like a bunch of careless idiots...

I guess this is my problem, IMO, if we are "forced" to take a class, I don't want careless or uneducated people passing the class, then showing up in the news, making me look like an idiot to my neighbors...
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:36 AM   #23
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I imagine all across the country as people are taking more interest in guns and carrying concealed, quality instructors are going to be tougher to find. I could tell my own horror stories from the class I took up here in Alaska about ten years ago. Now Alaskans no longer have to have the license to carry concealed, not sure if thats a bad or a good thing, considering every yahoo who wasnt carrying before is now.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
I honestly I feel the classes offered around here are too easy, they don't spend enough time with legalese ( where you can carry, where you can't ) & even if you could hit the broad side of a barn with your gun on the range...
IME, Paul Horvick does an excellent job re: legal issues....

He's south of Detroit Lakes, but will travell to give classes.

http://shootingsafely.com/2201.html

As for practical instruction/training, that is up to the permit holder: If you want to get good, or even Great with your pistol, that is up to you, and there are great instructors out there. It should not be a requirement for being able to Carry. The first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun.
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Old March 28, 2013, 12:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Quote:
Magnum Wheel Man; I have to agree that anyone who assumes the right of armed self-defense also needs to assume the responsibility of competence.

Training should not be a mandatory requirement for carrying or using a weapon in self-defense. If a person uses a weapon such as a gun in self-defense but injures an innocent, willing or not, he or she will be held accountable.
Thats not, in any way, a confidence inspiring statement...
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