Have you ever considered taking a defensive shooting course? I’m talking about a course that goes well beyond the basic firearms safety and operation taught in most concealed carry classes. Most people that take a concealed carry class or other basic firearms course never consider continuing their training. Others think about it but never do it. Then there are those that buy a gun for “self-defense” but never take any formal training of any kind.
How can you expect to use a firearm as a defensive tool with minimal or no training? How can you expect a basic firearms safety course to prepare you for a life and death fight with a gun?
Yes, you read that right. Here are a few of the questions I’ve seen posted on social media sites in just the past week:
- “My mom wants to get her CCW permit for Christmas. Who offers the lowest priced course?”
- “Can anyone tell me more about the online Virginia CCW course? I like the idea of being able to just pass an online test and get a non-resident permit, and it looks like I can get it real cheap.”
- “Where can I get a fast, cheap CCW class in the St. Louis area?”
- “Who has the best price on a concealed carry permit class?”
I think you get the idea. You could probably look through gun forums and gun pages on social media sites and find hundreds of similar questions from just the last couple weeks alone. Continue reading
I recently read a blog post where the author opined that “blended learning” is the “future” of firearms training. As someone who has provided countless hours of in-person firearms training to a few thousand students, and who has also taken part in “blended learning” formatted instruction, this line of thought bothers me a bit. Continue reading
Every year as we near the Christmas season, I see memes such as the one posted above all over Facebook. Honestly, I would love it if someone bought me a new gun for Christmas and, admittedly, I get the slightest twinge of jealousy as I see my friends posing with their new “toys” in front of the Christmas tree.
But does giving someone a gun really tell them how much you care?
Instructor: Steve Collins
Some have asked why I would spend my time taking a course like this a second time. The answer is simple; there’s no way to adequately remember the lessons learned in such a course by going through only once. Too much time passes from the beginning of the course to the end of the day and there isn’t sufficient time to take notes even if note taking were more practical on an outdoor range.
Tactical Ted is my favorite hypothetical person. Despite his complete and utter lack of any formal training, he considers himself to be an “operator” and, unlike me, he knows every answer to every question in the defensive shooting world. Sometimes Ted shoots only occasionally and sometimes he shoots every week. Sometimes he shoots competitively and sometimes just for fun. In spite of all of his shooting experience (or lack thereof), Ted is all knowing.
Sometimes it blows my mind when I hear some of the ridiculous excuses made by folks when it comes to why they don’t carry their gun. They have put a lot of time and money into buying a gun, taking a state mandated safety course, paying for their carry permit, and buying a holster and other equipment but choose, instead, to leave their gun at home.
Let’s look at some of these excuses and see why they are invalid.
Part two in my series of “gun people” getting words mixed up will take a look at who you are receiving your training from. Many people, especially instructors, confuse the words certified and qualified. Continue reading
The words we use to describe a particular activity are important. If we use the wrong terms it can lead to a gross misunderstanding by others of what we hope to convey. This is especially true in the use of text since there is no variance or inflection of voice to help get the point across.
With that in mind, I have noticed many people in the “gun world” using the wrong words to describe all sorts of things. One pair of such misused terms is training vs. practicing. Continue reading
Organization: Suarez International
Course Title: HITS-8 – Defensive Knife
Instructor: Steve Collins
Date: August 28th, 2015
I decided nearly twelve years ago that I would carry a gun to defend my own life or the life of another person if necessary. That said, I typically do carry a knife as well but have never considered it to be of much use to me as a defensive weapon. I had absolutely zero knowledge on the defensive use of a knife and had always viewed the knife as a last ditch weapon if other, more familiar, options failed to be effective. Continue reading