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Old March 17, 2013, 12:09 AM   #52
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,438
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.


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...)
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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