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Old June 5, 2012, 01:05 AM   #29
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,700
Originally Posted by docpadds
So even though I have said there could be improvements, there are better ways to say something, that its not a full on training video and was a spur of the moment expedited video made at the shop by a third party etc..... I don't believe I have been completely black and white on this ...
I understand the limitation, but I have to say that whether or not you would call it a training video, as long as it's intended to provide guidance to novices, one thing is "black and white": best safety practices must be followed.

Best safety practices include personally visually verifying the condition of the gun by checking the magazine well and opening the slide to check the chamber (or opening the cylinder on a revolver) every time you take the gun in your hand and strict muzzle discipline. If you want to know my qualifications for that opinion, please check my profile.

As I mentioned earlier, when beginners see improper gun handling, they don't know any better and will believe it is acceptable behavior. But it is not.

I know from experience how difficult it can be to start out novices on the right foot. It's simply that guns are foreign objects to them, and they tend to be very awkward with them at the beginning. And they have too much to think about.

But I believe that the first order of business teaching beginners must be inculcating proper safety practices. These practices are not negotiable. And laying a good foundation requires constant reinforcement.

Part of that comes from watching experienced instructors always modeling correct practices -- reinforcing that safety is not just for beginners but is also a sign of an experience and accomplished shooter. We show that we take it seriously, so the students are more inclined to also take it seriously.

Then there's guiding and correcting students in their gun handling. There is so much new on their minds, that we need to appropriately and consistently remind them. That's how good habits get started.

I teach monthly NRA Basic Handgun classes with a group of other NRA certified instructors. We limit class size to 12 students, and usually have five to seven instructors at the class. So students get a lot of individual attention and have a lot of opportunity to handle guns under direct supervision. We strictly model best safety practices in our gun handling, and we guide the students to do the same.

Probably 85% to 90% of students had never fired a gun before the class. Some 30% + are women.

The idea of a video is good. It doesn't have to be a professionally done extravaganza with first class production values. There's nothing wrong with it being a little rough or even amateurish. But to have value, the gun handling must be correct.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper

Last edited by Frank Ettin; June 5, 2012 at 01:47 PM. Reason: correct typo
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