DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: How Much Gun Training Does Anyone Need, Really?

Gun control advocates constantly slate the average American’s ability to defend themselves with a firearm. No surprise there. If you agree that people need training to safely carry a firearm, the state should regulate it (out of existence)! Some gun rights advocates bolster this argument by agreeing that everyone should have training. It just shouldn’t be mandatory. I reckon that hair-splitting argument befuddles gun muggles. The better approach: promote the idea that defending yourself with a gun is a no-brainer. Bullets face forward, point gun at bad guy, pull trigger if needed. All the operator operating operationally misegos – situational awareness, getting off the X, etc. – is Inside Baseball, best left out when discussing gun rights. Am I wrong?

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comments

  1. avatar Don says:

    Like many people here I assume, I like to read the reports of defensive gun uses. Many, if not the majority of these reports are about people with limited training and experience with their firearm, and yet they seem to be pretty successful in repelling attackers and in some cases presenting them with a Darwin award. Training is good, but a little reading and a couple boxes of ammo if possible through whatever you buy beats hell outta being defenseless. Seems to me the majority of these cases happen in the defender’s residence and it’s exactly as you describe it, point open end at intruder, warn, wait, shoot, repeat as needed to stop threat. It ain’t makin’ hamburgers.

    1. avatar california richard says:

      +1
      Traning can be scrutinizing DGU youtube videos, reading articles, dryfiring, practicing your draw, playing “what if” games in your head through the day, etc….. The basics.

      Offensive gun classes are what most people see in their heads when they think of “training”.

      1. avatar Junkanoo Jones says:

        Absolutely. I laugh at the operators. Point and shoot. Real tough. Sarc

    2. avatar Mikial says:

      Agreed.

      There are of course cases where the gun owner was unsuccessful in defending themselves, but no one really knows the variables involved.

      Having said that, training is good and it helps people to learn techniques they might not have come up with on their own. But there is a lot to be said for the things people learn from friends and parents, etc. I have had extensive training in the military, professional training, and many years in the field as an international security contractor. And I am hopeful (at least) that it would give me an edge in a gunfight, but the average dirt bag generally doesn’t get their gun legally, and as such, they don;t tend to take training courses or even go to the range a lot. Consequently, they are probably less prepared for a gunfight than the average CCW holder or home defense shooter.

      I think training is a good thing and I encourage people to get some, but it should absolutely not be made a mandatory political instrument to deny Americans the right to defend themselves. That would result in people whp have no clue about guns or shooting dictating what people who do have a clue should do. Bad situation.

  2. avatar Swilson says:

    In my limited experience, teaching beginners typically should be basic stuff. Whenever we’ve taken our girlfriends or wives to the range, I’ve seen them get turned off when you try to show them too much and over explain. Show them how to load, chamber, and work the safety and any other critical info needed to operate the specific gun. Go over the four rules, and let ’em rip. Hopefully the interest develops from there and you can work your way towards the more inside baseball stuff. If not, at least they’ve learned the basic basics.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      +1. Beat me to it. Anyone can be taught to safely handle a firearm in an hour or two. Start with the four rules, then the mechanics of the particular gun (loading, chambering, trigger, etc.) Finally the basics of a proper hold, and good to go. As stated, there have been many cases where someone with no training at all successfully defended him/herself. The second round of “training” is field stripping and cleaning–but that can wait until plenty of bang bang.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      I married a 40 yr old Russian lady from St. Petersburg. Whne she and her 12 year old son came to America they had never handled firearms (obviously), but he was excited at the prospect and she was at best neutral. I tool them out to the range and he had a great tome shooting everything I had. She watched. I had covered the basics – 4 rules, etc., but she was intimidated by the complexity of the semi-autos. When I got out the hand cannon – S&W 686 .357, she was intrigues, even though the reloads I had bought at the range were massively overloaded fro target shooting. Anna took the big pistol, sighted, and put all six rounds inside the 9 ring at 30 feet.

      Training is all well and good when you know you are going into hostile territory, especially if you are going with the intent to face deadly opposition. Marine Corps response to reporter in Iraq, “We are not in harm’s way, we ARE harm’s way!” For everyone else, get as much as you want, or can afford, or can physically handle. Other than that it basically comes down to do you know where to point the muzzle and are you in fact willing to pull the trigger when the situation warrants.

  3. avatar Shire-man says:

    Bullets go here, bullets come out of here, pull on this to make that happen.
    That’s all anyone needs and it’s covered pretty thoroughly by the little booklet that comes with any new purchased firearm and then some.

    If a mind is too feeble to put “bullets come out of here” in context with not pointing that part at anything they do not want a bullet inserted into then that mind is a lost cause and will sooner or later succumb to its faults. No amount of regulating or mandating anything short of a straitjacket will change that.

    A dumbass is a dumbass from birth to death. It’s in the DNA.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      I remember hearing about an instructor in California years ago who as the very first thing in his range instruction class he put a one quart can of tomato juice in front of a silhouette target and shot it with a .357. This visual demonstration of the results of hitting something wet with a pistol cartridge was apparently extremely effective in showing the students exactly what they were dealing with. I’m thinking a 20 oz bottle of ketchup would be even more effective.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    Other than basic safety rules that can be covered in 5 minutes from behind the counter? None. It doesn’t take a Ninja Ranger Seal Team Raider to use a gun effectively in any feasible defensive gun use scenario. 99.9999% of gun owners are not tier 0 operators operating tactically, who need to put bullets in brainpans at hundreds of yards or in split seconds.

    That being said, I’m a big fan of continuous training, but that’s a nice to have, not a need to have.

  5. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Bullets face forward,
    Some cops and gun companies cannot figure that out.

    1. avatar syms says:

      I see what you did there. Lol at HK

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    Everyone with a gun MUST know the Four Rules and the laws of their state and locality. They should have adequate practice to be both safe and accurate. All the rest ranges from helpful to window dressing.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      All the rest ranges from helpful to window dressing to unconstitutional, if it is mandated by the State before you are “allowed” to exercise your Second Amendment protected right to keep and bear arms.

      Sorry, Ralph, I had to put the clarification in there after you made an otherwise cogent comment.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “….exercise your Second Amendment protected right to keep and bear arms.”

        I was going to just pass this by, but….get over that “unconstitutional” stuff. The second amendment is not absolute. Laws and court rulings declaring certain gun restrictions constitutional are fact. Just because a bunch of gun lovers don’t like life doesn’t make something unlawful. If you don’t like the court rulings, or the restrictive laws, do something to change things. Don’t just keep stomping your feet and pushing out your lower lip.

        “Constitutional” is what the courts declare it is. If you think things should be some other way, take action to overthrow the laws and court rulings you don’t like. If you want to discuss how to do that you would be engaging in a legitimate conversation about ways and means. Otherwise you are just pouting about losing the culture.

        1. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          “The second amendment is not absolute.”
          But the right to self preservation is. Fortunately the 2nd amendment does not grant the right. It simply attempts to protect it specifically from government interference.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          We may agree that self-defense is inalienable, but laws requiring a person to no defend themselves are on the books in some states, and courts have not protected the absolute right of self-defense. Duty to retreat in some places is law, with only the proviso that if escape or retreat is not possible, then self-defense is permissible. It may be comforting to think there are some rights that cannot be taken by law, but all rights in this country are subject to majority opinion (as in majority vote for legislation).

        3. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          ‘laws requiring a person to no defend themselves are on the books in some states”
          I could not have defined tyranny in any clearer words myself. Well done.

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          Gun restrictions might have been imprudent long ago, but it is law and law enforcement that protect citizens in a modern society, not guns. And this country is very good at locking up criminals. What, 1.5 million behind bars right now? How many self-defense shootings in a year? You think 1.5 million? Your own blog reports that crime has been on a downward trend since 1993, and there is no reliable data proving a link between less crime and more guns.

          No, guns do not protect you from government. In the first Bundy stand-off (which was widely supported among POTG), Bundy showed up with guns, the government showed up with guns. Nothing happened….then. But all the rebels were photographed, and recently we saw reports that law enforcement was indicting the bunch. Where are the guns, now? Who is rallying to the defense of the Bundy posse? The government can easily get around your supposed last ditch defense against tyranny.

          Crime is way down from the mid-nineties, guns don’t prevent “tyranny”. Other than hunting, what is the real use for guns in private hands?

        5. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          “Gun restrictions might have been imprudent long ago, but it is law and law enforcement that protect citizens in a modern society, not guns.” Nope. For the most part law enforcement shows up after the fact, tapes off the scene and tries to track them down after the fact. It is exceedingly rare that a uniformed police officer is present when a violent crime is committed . . . or the criminal would have waited.

          “And this country is very good at locking up criminals. What, 1.5 million behind bars right now?” Only a fraction of which are locked up for violent crimes.

          “How many self-defense shootings in a year? You think 1.5 million? Your own blog reports that crime has been on a downward trend since 1993, and there is no reliable data proving a link between less crime and more guns.” According to the CDC there are 500,000-3,000,000 DGU’s per year. Yes there is a great deal of data supporting that link. Just have to read it.

          “No, guns do not protect you from government. In the first Bundy stand-off (which was widely supported among POTG), Bundy showed up with guns, the government showed up with guns. Nothing happened….then. But all the rebels were photographed, and recently we saw reports that law enforcement was indicting the bunch. Where are the guns, now? Who is rallying to the defense of the Bundy posse? The government can easily get around your supposed last ditch defense against tyranny.”
          Both off the topic at hand and there is so much wrong with it there is no room here to hash it out.

          “Crime is way down from the mid-nineties, guns don’t prevent “tyranny”. Other than hunting, what is the real use for guns in private hands?” Yes, they do. That’s why tyrants use them themselves. Again, the fundamental right to self preservation.

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Crime is way down from the mid-nineties, guns don’t prevent “tyranny”. Other than hunting, what is the real use for guns in private hands?” Yes, they do. That’s why tyrants use them themselves. Again, the fundamental right to self preservation.”

          Ok, here is what I read: Guns protect people from a tyrannical government because tyrannical governments use guns. Not tracking this.

          If you are trying to shore-up the notion that somehow all the guns in the country strike fear into the hearts of LE or the military, that is sad. There are so many examples of incidents you people have railed against, yet there is no popular uprising. Nor will there be one.

          While I agree that police have no proactive responsibility to protect an individual, the existence of police serves as a deterrence (though not 100% effective). The police represent “the law”, thus “the law” is the protector.

          Your number of DGUs lacks any basis in fact; it is mere speculation.

        7. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          “Crime is way down from the mid-nineties, guns don’t prevent “tyranny”. Other than hunting, what is the real use for guns in private hands?” Yes, they do. That’s why tyrants use them themselves. Again, the fundamental right to self preservation.”
          Ok, here is what I read: Guns protect people from a tyrannical government because tyrannical governments use guns. Not tracking this.”
          Yes you are. You are just trying to be obtuse. Governments use them because they are effective. Same reason they are effective for the populous.

          “If you are trying to shore-up the notion that somehow all the guns in the country strike fear into the hearts of LE or the military, that is sad. There are so many examples of incidents you people have railed against, yet there is no popular uprising. Nor will there be one.”
          A conversation worthy of having but deviates too far from the topic of this thread.

          “While I agree that police have no proactive responsibility to protect an individual, the existence of police serves as a deterrence (though not 100% effective). The police represent “the law”, thus “the law” is the protector.”
          No. The law is the threat of force. It doesn’t protect anybody. It outlines the punishment AFTER a crime has been committed. It only applies to those who feel effectively threatened by it. It is the responsibility of every person to protect themselves. This is only reinforced by the fact that “the law is the protector” has no “responsibility to protect an individual”. Since we acknowledge that “the protector” has no responsibility to actually protect anybody in a meaningful way we must also assume that we have not put in place an adequate substitute for self preservation. A right that while more effectively exercised with training, requires none.

          “Your number of DGUs lacks any basis in fact; it is mere speculation.”
          Not my numbers. But I’m sure the CDC and FBI will be interested to know that their research is speculation.

        8. avatar 2Asux says:

          Last first:
          – FBI etc cannot know the number of DGUs because unreported DGUs are, like, you know, unreported. Belief and estimates are not data.

          – The threat of punishment (force of law) serves as a deterrent, thus protects, however indirectly. If law did not deter/protect, there would likely be so much crime daily that all news outlets would have not time/room for any other reporting. Law protects. As your own blog reports, criminals are not afraid of private citizens with guns (stupid or arrogant, they still attack on the bet that the vast majority of people are not armed). It is the chance of detection and capture by police (the law) that deters more effectively

          – If the discussion of guns as a defense against tyranny is not germane to the topic here (gun rights), then you yield one of the three fave arguments demanding guns everywhere.

          – Now I understand your statement about government having guns.

          So, guns for self-defense – the law is the major (almost exclusive) deterrent. Guns for resisting tyranny – not for discussion (and since there has been no use of firearms by US citizens to throw off a government since 1865, there isn’t likely to ever be again). Guns for hunting – well, maybe, but absolutely not necessary for private citizens to hunt anything. Guns for a hobby does not justify guns for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

  7. avatar Sian says:

    Everyone needs to know how to make a gun safe. Not everyone needs to know how to make a gun go.

    Should know? Sure. Needs to? Not really.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      I think its hard to separate “how to make them safe” and “how to make them go.” They kind of go together.

  8. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Watch Sergeant Saunders on Combat, and you will be a high speed low drag operator in no time.
    I actually think a lot of government agencies watch Sergeant Schultz to be a military operator.

  9. avatar Bob says:

    I like the simplicity of the idea he starts with… however I think he goes off track of his point when he goes through the details of each type of weapon. Maybe its not quite as simple as he’d like it to be.

    I’m training my wife for using weapons. I want her to be versed well, and not necessarily make guns her hobby(Though I’d like that, but its not going to happen). Occasional training is all I’m going to be able to get her to do. We go at her pace of what she can/wants to absorb.

    Heck, for me, I don’t even like the idea of using a weapon I have not personally proven and trained with. But if the situation is that all I got is some possibility of a usable weapon sitting right there on the floor…. I’d probably give it a go if I felt I was going to die anyway. I may end up holding something only as good as a bar of soap carved out to look like a gun. No way to know. hehe

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      This may be very important. Simplicity is often the key factor. As I mentioned above, my wife was intimidated by the semi-autos, even the rifles, but shot well first time out with a revolver.

      A while ago, when I was driving over the road and had to leave my mother (85 years old) alone for days at a time, I wanted to leave her a pistol for protection. Try as I might I could NOT teach her to operate a semi-auto pistol, much less handle malfunctions. Even when I took her to the range, set the pistol up ready to fire with the safety off, she couldn’t figure out how to hang on the the thing resulting in either limp-wristing or nearly losing her grip entirely. I finally gave her my S&W 642 and even with a heavy trigger she really likes it.

      I taught her the four rules, emphasized trigger discipline, and told her to point it at the bad guy and shoot until he was gone or the pistol was empty. Since the greatest threat would be someone coming in her front door all else seemed unnecessary. And no, she does not have Alzheimer’s.

  10. avatar Jordan says:

    Using a gun in a fight is not that cosmic. At it’s absolute base, all you need is the muscle memory to be able to use it unconsciously. It does not require NEARLY the amount of training that other weapons require. That is why (one of the reasons anyway) armies transitioned from swords, axes, etc. to pikes and muskets (that and muskets could penetrate plate armor). The former required skilled and trained professionals (and I use the term “professional” loosely) to be effective in combat while the latter can be taught to a group of illiterate peasant conscripts in a relatively short period of time.

    That said, how much training does one need? A few trips to the range and a handful of boxes of ammunition to get the muscle memory. That is all that is PHYSICALLY needed to familiarize oneself with the mechanics of operating a piece of machinery (no different than any other piece of machinery). In fact, make marksmanship part of the public school PE program. Then everyone will have a basic understanding of firearms knowledge.

    1. avatar Joshua says:

      Im not sure how it translates to a firearm because im relatively untrained in comparison to my guitar skills, but I do know to maintain my muscle memory at its top level on my guitar takes hours a day months at a time to reach a plateau, and at least an hour or more almost every damn day to maintan that plateau even after 26 or so years of playing with 10 or so yrars of piano before that as a base.

  11. avatar Rob says:

    Let’s not over think it. Prepping for most likely scenarios makes sense. Application specific peril can help us define the nature and reasonable extent of training. Going above and beyond is just that.

    From a family standpoint, training to the point of familiarity and proficiency has been ideal for my wife and kids who have limited interest in guns beyond basic self protection. Similarly, the average American gun owner doesn’t typically need the draw speed, hand to hand combat skills, or house clearing ability of a Navy Seal.

    That said, the hobby side of my gun affinity draws me to those courses. Will I likely need those very perishable skills in my sheltered life? No way. Is it fun to play GI Joe on the weekend? Yup. Do I care what some anti-gunner says about how much training I need? Heech nay.

  12. avatar Vitsaus says:

    I think that if the gun rights community began pushing (and providing) training as something of a given, making it feel as normal as buying accessories, it would go far for our cause. Essentially we would be reviving the “well regulated milita” concept, in the archaic sense, and thus head off those antis who use that phrase against us. Also it would increase proficiency and prevent some of accidents that do happen. All this being said, gun rights should not be contingent on mandatory training, but we should encourage a culture of training among ourselves.

    1. avatar Junkanoo Jones says:

      Oh, trading is being encouraged…$$$$

  13. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    If you’re going to carry a firearm, you should know the law.

    Beyond that, the number of successful DGUs by people with little or no training suggests that a gun is a fairly simple machine to run.

    It should not require any government-mandated training to use unless of course you believe that there should also be government-mandated training required in order to legally use power tools.

    In which case, I would recommend Valium.

    1. avatar Rob says:

      At the risk of getting flamed beyond recognition, I propose that mandatory training is a step in the right direction:
      I like the power tool analogy, but the car analogy may be a better fit. Reasoning: I care a lot how well the driver next to me has been trained and chooses to follow that training. I don’t care so much how safe someone is with his Dewalt at home.
      The state mandates drivers training in part to reduce road fatalities and injuries. I’m on board with that because I’m at risk when other drivers are poorly trained or negligent. It seems to follow that an easily obtainable minimum threshold of proficiency would reduce negligence with a firearm. Flame on. I can take it.
      For the record, I also support easily accessible mandatory continuing education for drivers (online and open book).

      1. avatar Bob says:

        I see your point. However I’d like to see some numbers with regard to my risk of getting hit by a bad driver… and overlay that with my risk of getting hit by a wayward bullet. After that… then we could talk about whether or not there is a problem to fix in the first place. I say this because too often we see in corporations and in government, policies for solving problems that don’t really exist.

        1. avatar Rob says:

          You make a great point Bob: solving non-existent problems is silly. However, negligent discharges from ccw carriers do happen. Example: ccw carrier shoots toilet and injures himself and someone else: https://jonathanturley.org/2009/01/19/man-v-toilet-utah-man-shoots-toilet-and-injures-both-himself-and-nearby-woman-at-carls-jr-restaurant/
          Admittedly, this doesn’t happen all that frequently; much less so than a fender bender. Not dealing with it because there are bigger fish to fry (ie injuries from driving negligence) is not necessarily terrible logic in my book. Still, I’d be ok with carriers like this guy getting more training than he chose to pursue.

        2. avatar Bob says:

          Thanks, Rob. I totally agree those events do indeed happen like you say. I guess I’m leaning towards the consideration of economics of any given situation in making a wise decision. You know… things like:

          -What is my chance of something bad happening, and the damage consequence if it actually does happens?
          -How much risk am i willing to except, in terms of both chance and damage if it happens?
          -Of the risk that I can mitigate, how much mitigation is needed?
          -How much effort/resource does it require(or am I willing) to put towards helping defend/protect from it to my satisfaction?

          There is a diminishing point of return where I can bankrupt myself in time/effort/resources for no appreciable gain in security from things that DO INDEED happen in remote instances. What it boils down to is that some things I’ve had to decide are… 1. not a realistic enough danger for me to take action, or 2. I do not have the means to take effective action anyway. So yeah. I suppose I am saying there are instances where deciding to “do nothing” is a perfectly wise decision, and I’m ok with the risks.

      2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        Rob, I think you are not giving this enough thought. Far as I know, there is zero ongoing “training” required or even available for most drivers. Their training is mostly from experience, and the number of wrecks on the roads indicate that their “education” is not always sufficient.

        I’m 70 years old. Had “driver’s ed” in high school in 1963, and a “test” to get the first “license.” I drove 300 to 400 miles a day for 14 years in my work. Have never had a ticket or accident, and never took another “training” course or driver’s test since then.

        So, you NEVER have any idea whatsoever how much “training” the driver next to you has, or how well he did in the initial driver’s test when he got his “license.” The subsequent “license” is merely a matter of being in the data base and paying the money. No further “training” is usually involved.

        As for guns, I too am always amazed and happy to read about people who successfully defend their lives with guns or otherwise. I’m tickled to death when ordinary people with or without “training” manage to wrestle the gun away from their attackers… and sometimes use it to good effect. No mandatory training would make that happen, I think. But as with any other tool, a minimum amount of instruction is almost essential for it to be used effectively most of the time. If you have the will and determination to survive, a very great many things may become tools. A gun just happens to be a superior tool. And, after buying a $300. – $900. tool, it only makes sense to learn how to use it properly.

        Rather than gun manipulation and mechanics being the essential part of this, I think that attitude and self control are the core issues. Those successful defenders had the will and overwhelming drive to survive and prevail. They didn’t freeze in denial or indecision. They did what needed to be done, mostly without even hesitation. And that’s the hardest thing to teach I know of.

        1. avatar Rob says:

          MamaLiberty, I respect your post and congratulate you on making it to 70. I hope to double my years and get there myself. I like taking advice from guys who have been around longer than me. Thanks for taking the time to respond and help me learn.

          Your point about training coming from experience resonates with me. While learning the piano I discovered that practice doesn’t make perfect… it makes permanent. I wonder if driving and gun handling are like that? The more we do it imperfectly (or not at all), the less competent we become. To my limited understanding, this highlights the needs for correct training and focused practice.

          I too relish reading events where an average Joe like me uses a firearm to save life or limb. It reminds me of what my dad ingrained in me: when the time for performance arrives, the time for preparation has passed. Luckily, some dangerous situations don’t require extensive firearms training to result in a “good guy wins” outcome.

          Your comment about attitude and self control being core issues to gun use is spot on. Fully embodying a self-made list of virtues is one of my life-long goals. Just don’t ask my wife how much progress I’ve made.
          My grandpa was a POW in Germany during WWII. In reading his journal, I didn’t see much in his training that would have prepared him for that. I attribute his survival to the employment of principles he developed throughout his life. Hopefully I can help my kids develop a modicum of grandpa’s grit and tenacity through work, faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, work, wholesome recreational activities, and work. However, they will still get proper firearms training early and often whether it is state mandated or not.

        2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

          I’m a certified firearms and self defense instructor, also the Chief Range Safety Officer for my gun club. I offer both group and individual training, coaching and a weekly shooting clinic to encourage people to bring out their guns and practice. Coaching is completely optional to participants, but most seem to want it at least sometimes. If I see a serious problem developing, I’ll speak to that person privately if at all possible.

          The major benefit of training, especially beyond the basics, is to help a person who does come out to practice not spend their time and effort practicing unsafe, bad habits. And, in my experience, most people don’t have to be shown or reminded more than once.

          Except for the dear heart 77 year old who took a basic pistol class a few years ago. He’d been shooting all his live, apparently, without any actual training. He simply could not remember/discipline himself to keep his finger off the trigger, not point the gun absolutely everywhere and at everyone, or remember the rules at all. We were still in the classroom then, and I had to send him home after the third warning. No way was I taking him to the range for live fire. He went home with the “student pack” and book, though I refunded his tuition.

          Interestingly enough, about a year later he returned with his grandson. The young man had worked with his grandfather intensively, and when he was able to demonstrate that he had absorbed and now both knew and followed the rules, he was welcome to join us! When we got to the range, the grandson stayed close to him just to be sure, but we were all amazed and delighted to find that the old man was one hell of a good shot – and didn’t point the gun at any of us. I was pleased to give them both the certificate they needed to get the CC “permit.”

          You just never know. 🙂 But for this man, intensive training of the right sort made all the difference.

        3. avatar H Lee says:

          Excellent comments. I would say that anybody can shoot a gun. I could fly a plane and land it if the pilot keeled over. Stick back is up, forward is down. Than you Sky King. BUT knowing rudimentary basics doesn’t mean you are qualified or skilled. That plane landing I could make, probably pretty poor. You wouldn’t want to be in the plane if you could help it.
          You mentioned how a lot of people’s skill is gained from experience. I wish you could see me type this. I taught myself to type many years ago and have learned some bad habits that continue to this day.
          The question is not can you handle a gun and “make it go bang” but are you skilled? Training classes and practice at the range are important to BECOMING BETTER.
          The question is would you want to be in a situation where the only good person in the room with a gun has no training or lots of training? Do you want to land in a plane with me at the controls or a military pilot of many years who takes periodic refresher training?
          It training necessary? No? Prudent and wise? Yes.

      3. avatar jojo says:

        Drivers’ training is still up to private initiative and payment, generally. The testing is a joke. There is no renewal.

        Basically…comparing shooting to driving is like saying “it’s okay, you can have it after you jump through some hoops, and we’ll take it away if you screw up badly enough, but probably not until you obviously endanger or have killed others.”

        Wait…that’s what we already have.

        I’m a huge proponent of training. Good training. Expensive training. Training that entails commitments that most aren’t willing to muster. I think it would make the shooting community a better place.

        Part of this comes from the fact that I really enjoy it and think that people, in general, should be better with guns than they are. Part of it comes from watching how scary some people are.

        But there’s no way I’d ever support it being a government mandate. Government mandated training is basically just hoops to jump through and added expense; the same people will still seek out real training on their own and pay for it, and the same people won’t.

        1. avatar Rob says:

          Jojo, you make a great point: “the same people will still seek out real training on their own and pay for it, and the same people won’t.” So the question becomes, should those who choose to carry be legally required to have some modicum of training? I’d vote yes on that to keep me and mine safer from armed and untrained do-gooders. Some folks say its a non-issue, to me it is significant because I live in a state where more than 1 on 6 has a permit to carry. To get that stat I googled the number of permits in Utah and divided by our population. Let me know if I’m way off the mark.
          I understand that you don’t want it to be government mandated. I agree that our bloated government usually runs any program inefficiently. So, why not let the private sector provide the solution? Any private gun course the meets a very low minimum requirement could count.

      4. avatar James in AZ says:

        You’ve said the flame yourself so i wont flame.

        Mandatory training gives away another chip of our liberty from being messed with by the govt. Not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case I’d say it it.

        You are giving the state the control over who can have guns. Any power relegated to the state WILL be abused.

        A less intrusive way would be a massive propaganda campaign on safety AND proficiency.

        Think about this, criminals wont care, suicidal people wont care, what you are “correcting” are the accidents, which, is not that big of a deal to begin with compared with the former 2. Mandatory training will prevent some accidents, but is the cost of putting a chokepoint on liberty worth it?

        Not really. That mandatory training thingy doesnt seem to offer enough extra benefit over a propaganda campaign to justify it.

        1. avatar Rob says:

          James in AZ: I appreciate the non-flame. The civility of the readership at TTAG is exceptional. Thank you.
          Your logic is sound: “Any power relegated to the state WILL be abused.” I agree. Our government already abuses and bungles many of its powers: taxation, vote redistricting, 2nd Amendment, trade issues with China, immigration, the list of mishandling goes on. Yet we both choose to stay here. I’m here because America is unquestionably the greatest nation on earth because it recognizes natural rights and does its best to make them actual legal rights. I’m very grateful for that.
          The right to be armed is a natural right. As far as I understand, all rights come with responsibilities. If I want to carry a gun, I should know how to use it responsibly so I don’t endanger others. The way to accomplish that is through basic training. This is why I’m ok letting Uncle Sam require minimal amounts of training that any responsible person can master. Yes, Big Brother will bungle it in some ways. However, I don’t see my right to carry being infringed by requiring minimal levels of competence for most carriers. These levels should be able to be achieved by the young, the elderly, and those who are mentally and physically able to wield a gat.

      5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Rob, I think you may want to pick another argument.
        Drivers ed/training is not mandatory in all states.
        Not only that, but most folks never take a peek at the dmv manual or take any kind of refresher course for the rest of their lives. They just keep the bad habits until they get a ticket for “slowing down” for that red light.

        1. avatar Rob says:

          Tom in Oregon: You make your point well.
          I often wonder how long its been since the driver who just cut me off and illegally changed lanes looked in her drivers ed book… or if she ever had one.
          Maybe I’m a wonder-eyed idealist, but I really believe good training saves lives on the road and at the gun range. In Utah, drivers who get tickets can sometimes go to traffic school put on by the local PD for a remittance of a portion of their ticket fine. I’ve been twice and honestly believe it improved my driving.
          If we take the same approach to concealed carry by only providing training when there is an unfortunate incident, we are essentially putting an ambulance in the valley instead of a fence on the cliff.

      6. avatar Cliff H says:

        I have over 1.25 million miles on the road and I still make mistakes. I can state categorically that most non-professional drivers are barely adequately trained to operate the vehicle they chose. Many are over confident of their own ability to the point of ludicrousness. That is the result of state-mandated training and testing of competence.

        The Second Amendment includes no provision for the government to establish minimum standards of any sort for the right to keep and bear arms. To have allowed such provision would/will immediately invalidate the amendment in its entirety since the government will simply make the requirements so extreme or expensive that few if any will bother to attempt them. See State of New Jersey and City of New York.

        The point of the Second Amendment was to allow the citizens the means to oppose their own government by force of arms, if necessary. Relinquishing any part of the RKBA to government standards is antithetical to the purpose of the amendment.

  14. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

    Learning to use the gun mechanically speaking, and keeping it in proper operating in condition, is a far better use of time for new shooters than some intense scenario training. Take your gun to the range and get to know it. Then take it home, Take it apart, and and get to know it on a deeper level.

    1. avatar A Hill says:

      …gee at least buy it a drink first!

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Maybe a shot of FireClean?

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Although my daughter had been shooting with me for a few years, when I sent her a gun as a present for college graduation, it can=me with the instruction from me READ THE MANUAL FIRST! And second, field strip it and clean it, then reassemble it. Which was wise since it was a rather sticky brand new pistol, and doing it taught her what she needed to know.

  15. avatar RealityCheck says:

    All the training you “need” can be had in one hour of class instruction at your elementary school, and another hour in your high school.

    In elementary school, the lesson is “this is what it looks like. Leave it the hell alone. If you see one, go tell your parent or the nearest adult. Don’t touch it, don’t play with it.”

    In high school, you get a second lesson – “this is what it is, this is what it feels like. You put the bullets in here. You follow the four rules. And if you shoot someone with it, your life is over — so you better make damn sure first that your life is over if you don’t shoot them.”

    And that’s all the training you need. Put it in the public schools and you’ll end the debate. And hey, if they can have our kids strapping condoms onto cucumbers in school classes, they can certainly have them learning true “gun safety”.

  16. avatar 2Asux says:

    “Bullets face forward, point gun at bad guy, pull trigger if needed. All the operator operating operationally misegos – situational awareness, getting off the X, etc. – is Inside Baseball…”

    Just another example of gun lovers believing that any breathing human is fully capable of following “the four rules” infallibly, automatically knows when to shoot, and when to just avoid the confrontation, is always fully in control of all their faculties no matter the circumstances, believes there are never negligent discharges caused by someone who only knows, ” Bullets face forward, point gun at bad guy, pull trigger if needed…”. , needs no training or instruction on safe carry methods, pulling their gun from a pocket or purse or a holster, can accurately shoot a human sized target effortlessly from 100 feet, will never miss and hit a bystander. What the hey, cars are simple: turn on the ignition, drop in gear, steer wherever you want to go; no one needs instruction or training in safe operation of any vehicle.

    Robert, is this the best you got?

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      There are enough strawmen in your argument to fill a barn.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Just another example of the stock-in-trade of the gun-grabber: distortion, deception, misdirection. Without such they would just have to shut up.

        1. avatar 2Asux says:

          Any opinion that is not congruent with whichever gun nut is posting is de facto “trolling” or a “strawman”.

        2. avatar Another Robert says:

          I showed you your “strawman” below; why didn’t you respond there? Because you are in fact a troll, altho marginally better at it than a lot of others. BTW, your imaginary “all gun people” who all believe that they can “effortlessly hit a man-sized target at 100 yards” is another straw man. Deception, misdirection, distortion–it’s all you have.

      2. avatar 2Asux says:

        Strawman arguments setup an imaginary prospect, then the arguments seek to neutralize the imaginary prospect. Specifically, which elements of my comment are imaginary? Every “qualifier” noted has been pushed out there by gun lovers. Now, if those “qualifiers” were themselves “strawmen”, then I am guilty of believing what gun lovers say about themselves, but not setting-up “strawmen”.

        1. avatar Another Robert says:

          Give you an example: RF never said everyone and anyone can effortlessly hit a man-sized target at 100 yards. He never claimed anyone was infallible at anything. Neither of which is necessary to make the argument that operating a firearm is mechanically a pretty simple operation a valid one. Granted, he could have clearly made the point that the vast, overwhelming majority of defensive situations encountered by ordinary citizens do not involve 100-yard marksmanship, etc–but he was throwing a general concept out for discussion more than trying to persuade the public at large over to a specific point of view.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          To repeat myself (which I love to do), every notation I made has been put out here by one or more of you. More than once. Underlying Robert’s question/thesis is that because guns are a “right”, there should be no discussion of formal training in how to manage a deadly weapon. When establishing the mitigation of a risk, there is more than likelihood to consider. There is impact/magnitude. Thus the 5 X 5 risk cube. A risk with a likelihood of one (or less), that has a catastrophic potential impact is not to be ignored (it is why commercial businesses have liability insurance and lawyers). Even though there are at least 500 insignificant deaths due to negligent gun handling, most on this forum see those deaths not as catastrophic, but as not worth any consideration at all. There is no way you can expect people who don’t like guns (or is it somehow mandatory that everyone must like guns?) to be willing to just ignore the risk to themselves simply because gun owners dismiss the risk as merely a nuisance.

        3. avatar Cliff H says:

          MR. 2A (sux), the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected from government infringement right. Every living being has the right to defend their life by whatever means they can utilize, even you. The purpose of the Second Amendment was to allow the citizens to protect themselves, and in the extreme to provide a means to overthrow their own government if it became excessively tyrannical. (Witness Obama, Hillary and Bernie, et al.)

          I know any logical argument will roll off your back since as a higher than average quality Troll you cannot and will not allow yourself to be influenced by logic, but if you truly believe that the Second Amendment sucks there are mechanisms within the U.S. Constitution itself (Article V) for its repeal or revision. Good luck with that, as no portion of the Bill of Rights has been so addressed in the more than 200 years since they were ratified, which is why you and other anti-gunners are forced to resort to the judicial system and propaganda and distortions to press your points.

          And need I point out that the ONLY amendment to the Constitution that specifically addressed what U.S. citizens were NOT ALLOWED to do (mala prohibitum) was prohibition and it is also the only amendment ever to be repealed in its entirety.

          I would greatly enjoy watching you and all the other gun-grabbers beating your heads against the brick wall that opposition to an amendment negating or revoking the Second Amendment would create. On the remote chance that you were successful at repealing the Second Amendment and the dream that has been the United States as a Constitutional Republic should finally die, I would enjoy watching the government attempting to collect up the 300 million plus guns currently in private hands in America. I would be willing to bet large sums of cash that YOU will not be with the government thugs going door to door to attempt this and that I WILL be with the citizens actively on the front lines making their job extremely hazardous.

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          Yes, there is the amendment process for changing the constitution. Thank you for pointing that out to POTG (who believe 2A is inviolable, absolute, immutable). However, we have been pretty successful at appealing to the courts to recognize the compelling interest of the government in regulating (to at least some degree) the ownership and use of firearms. While normal legislation and court cases can take multiple years, using the courts shortens the time frame, localizes in many cases the ruling (courts are somewhat more agile when cases have less than nation-wide implication).

          BTW, there is also a constitutional means to restrict the ability of courts to make common sense rulings about guns. Fortunately, no national politician has the nerve to try it.

    2. avatar James in AZ says:

      ECON100 was waiting for you at college

      You missed it by strapping too many condoms over that one little cucumber and finding out it was hot dog down a hallway

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “You missed it by strapping too many condoms over that one little cucumber and finding out it was hot dog down a hallway”

        Ah yes, the children are home from school, now.

        Run along, and play with your iPhone.

    3. avatar Ian in Transit says:

      I’ll try this again . . .

      “needs no training or instruction on safe carry methods, pulling their gun from a pocket or purse or a holster, can accurately shoot a human sized target effortlessly from 100 feet, will never miss and hit a bystander.”
      The right to self defense is absolute to every living thing and is not contingent on any amount of training or instruction. Those things can help, but the fundamental right to protect your own life and the life of yours transcends the concept of government or rules. It is more important to the concept of life than feeling safe. More fundamental than feeling anything really. More about that below.

      “What the hey, cars are simple: turn on the ignition, drop in gear, steer wherever you want to go; no one needs instruction or training in safe operation of any vehicle.”
      This is complete horseshit on every level. My children were all able to safely operate firearms before they were able to operate cars. This is repeated thousands of times every day across the country by various parents/children in every state. Give anybody who is competent with a typical modern firearm and a typical modern car and they will have 100/100 children shooting safely with supervision before they can drive safely with supervision. Nobody but a complete fool would suggest a child do either in public outside of the most sterile environments.

      Which brings us back to the fundamental right to self defense and the roll of training. Again. It is EASY to talk any gun owner from the newest to the most experienced into more training, because shooting is FUN! Ignoring any societal and logistical limitations the core reasons most gun owners do not practice more than they do is a combination of time and money. Without going into the numbers again, why do low income individuals, or middle income families not qualify to protect their lives and the lives of their family? Training is helpful and improves your chance of surviving an attack but the right to protect your life is not contingent on training . . . or anything. The best tool is the best tool. In this day and time guns are the thing make little old ladies the defensive equivalent of professional heavyweight fighters. Granny, single mom, married father of 4 an other time/money constrained human has just as much right to defend their life with the best means available as an independent minded millionaire or the president with hundreds of armed men around them. Training is easy to suggest and beyond simple to find enthusiastic students. The requirement of some arbitrary amount of training only means that the lives of those without the means to participate are worth less than the lives of those with the means. In short, if you don’t make enough money you and your family’s fundamental right to defend your life(s) has been removed.

      Please explain why (via mandatory regulation or social pressure/stigma/shame) the same rights that spiders, mice, lions, the flu virus and the wealthy elite humans already enjoy does not apply to the poor or middle class humans?

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “Please explain why (via mandatory regulation or social pressure/stigma/shame) the same rights that spiders, mice, lions, the flu virus and the wealthy elite humans already enjoy does not apply to the poor or middle class humans?”

        I have never contended that anyone be denied the right to self-defense. Gun lovers start and end with a gun as the single means of defense. Oh yes, there is the throwaway line about “gun is the preferred/most efficient/whatever, but other weapons can be adequately used”. But alternate weapons are rarely discussed with any measure of interest; it’s just guns, guns, guns (yeah, I know this is a gun blog, but so few others do).

        My theme has all along been that guns have unique ability to be sloppily used, causing unintended danger to others. Let’s take a posting today about a marine “hero” who used a gun to chase away some bad guys. The hero fired at fleeing suspects, three rounds. Two rounds ended up in a wall, and the hero said he had no idea where the other bullet went. Instead of the author using this episode as a slam against poor gun discipline, the thrust of the article seemed supportive of a gun owner prevailing in a DGU, but sadly that DGU would not go into the record books to count against the gun sense supporters claiming that DGUs are statistically insignificant, not justifying gun ownership. Three shots at fleeing suspects, and apparently no hits? Lack of adequate training? Well, no, because bullets go out the front and it is just simple to use a gun.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          I suggest, even though I know you won’t, that you visit YouTube and review videos of police shootings – there are many. Time after time the officer(s) empty their weapons in the direction of the target with ABSOLUTELY no regard as to what is beyond the target. (Rule 4 – Know your target and what is beyond it, in case you don’t know). Videos of police firing until empty while traffic continues to pass behind their target. I could go on, but it would be redundant.

          When a person is in fear for their own life they may or may not consider the safety of innocents beyond the threat, obviously even “well trained” police officers. This does not mean that they must forego their efforts to save themselves. Statistically (sorry, no citation, only memory) the majority of aimed shots in a combat situation from a pistol, at any range, miss their intended target, training or no. In addition, the majority of shots that actually hit a person are non-fatal given prompt medical attention. By corollary, one must assume that to be hit accidentally by those same missed shots would be an exceptionally rare event. Even so, the person in immediate peril has the natural right to attempt to save themselves and not the responsibility to die if to make the attempt endangers innocents. This is an unfortunate fact of life, and death. Do you really think that with a proper, state-mandated, amount of training ANYONE in fear of imminent death or severe bodily injury, the basic standard necessary before drawing and firing your weapon, will simply hold fire and accept their fate because there is a slight possibility their bullets may injure or kill a bystander? Highly unlikely – I further refer you to the works of Ayn Rand in regards to “The Virtue of Selfishness” and her cogent arguments against altruism.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          Did you realize your are making the case that even police need not be trained? If police are human, and just as susceptible to the reactions of the untrained (non LE), then time and money is being wasted because “bullets go in here, bullets come out here….”?

        3. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          “I have never contended that anyone be denied the right to self-defense.”
          Yes you have. On several occasions. You are careful not to use the word mandatory but your every word implies that society same people who can not afford your standard of training into abandoning guns, then deny the widespread training that can be found in any city every day of the week exists. You just pussy foot around it so it is easier to backpedal.

          “Gun lovers start and end with a gun as the single means of defense. Oh yes, there is the throwaway line about “gun is the preferred/most efficient/whatever, but other weapons can be adequately used”. But alternate weapons are rarely discussed with any measure of interest; it’s just guns, guns, guns (yeah, I know this is a gun blog, but so few others do).”
          Other alternaties . . . tazer (illegal in many states), pepper spray/mace/OC (illegal in places), baton (illegal in many places), knives/swords (illegal in most places when of effective size). NONE of these put 99% of women on equal ground with a male attacker. Once there is something more effective than a gun you will see us promoting that option. Using the best option is the entire point. Guns are not the single means of defense . . . the are the best, most effective option in most circumstances. Especially against bad guys who are also using guns that they are already not allowed to use. They don’t use those other options because they are not as effective. Even uneducated street thugs can figure that much out.

          Which brings us back yet again to the core of the issue. The fundamental right of all things to self preservation by the best means available. ABSOLUTELY by the same means their life is being threatened with.

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          Again, I have never advocated people be denied the ability to defend themselves, whatever the economic or social circumstance. I HAVE advocated for self-defense using methods other than guns. I HAVE advocated, in the absence of any other sensible gun ownership restriction, that VOLUNTARY gun safety drives by industry be the norm, and encompass every one with a gun. Barring that, then government-mandated safety training is the next best thing (and only real alternative to voluntary training).

          Alternative methods of self-defense should be legal, everywhere. Laws to the contrary should be repealed (I am not one who thinks the only response to a dangerous situation is to run away [but the first rule of a fight is don’t be there] ). If someone needs to be tazed until their eyeballs pop-out, so be it. If someone needs to drink pepper spray until their lungs are disintegrated, so be it. If someone needs to be crippled by a farm implement, so be it. If someone needs to be run over, just fine.

          When it comes to disproportionate strength between attacker and attacked, many of those situations would not arise if people made better decisions about their daily lives (so let’s solve all those other problems before we decide that only a gun can be effective). A person who picks up a gun, intends to use it for its design purpose. A person who uses another weapon does so only because there is no alternative, and that object was not designed to kill. There is a moral difference between going around with a gun, and grabbing another implement and using it as a weapon in defense.

        5. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          “Did you realize your are making the case that even police need not be trained? If police are human, and just as susceptible to the reactions of the untrained (non LE), then time and money is being wasted because “bullets go in here, bullets come out here….”?”
          You do realize you are implying that the standard for training be more costly than current law enforcement training? Which having been through it, I assure you is not an adequate standard for people who are expected to put themselves in danger every day. And having been through it I can also assure you that most people who jump through the hoops and expense of obtaining a concealed permit practice to a standard well beyond what is required of our police forces. Not that standard is a requirement for self preservation.

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          My bottom line: if private citizens do no need firearm training, neither do cops. Cop firearms training is too expensive for what the taxpayer gets.

          According to what I read here, POTG are responsible for more gunfights than LE, but LE are “trained”. If the people who commit most of the gunfights do not need training, neither does the group who commit the least of the gunfights.

          There is no moral or economically valid argument for having two different standards for two different groups of gunfighters.

        7. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          “My bottom line: if private citizens do no need firearm training, neither do cops. Cop firearms training is too expensive for what the taxpayer gets.”
          This runs 180° contrary to most of your rhetoric here, but at least we are down to the core equality of the debate. You, me, my daughter, the neighbor, the cop directing traffic, Robert Farago, the bum that lives under the bridge down the road from me . . . all have the exact same right to self preservation, with the same standards. Cops however serve a different purpose which requires an entirely different set of skills. The role of police in society is an entirely different conversation worthy of its own exchange.

          “According to what I read here, POTG are responsible for more gunfights than LE, but LE are “trained”. If the people who commit most of the gunfights do not need training, neither does the group who commit the least of the gunfights.”
          Most of those 500,000-3,000,000 have no shots fired so they don’t qualify as a gun fight. This also deliberately ignores the enormous difference between the average person defending themselves from an assailant and a police officer injecting themselves into what is already known to be a volatile situation.

          “There is no moral or economically valid argument for having two different standards for two different groups of gunfighters.” This assertion only holds water if the two groups of gunfighters are fighting the same fight. You are either ignoring the fundamental difference between self defense and public defense, you have no grasp on the two concepts, or you simply didn’t think out your argument before you typed it. To use your word “gunfighter”, there is almost no moral similarity between the average person reacting to preserve their life, and a gunfighter hired to intentionally inject themselves into potentially tense situations before they may or may not turn violent. It is an apples and ribeyes comparison.

        8. avatar 2Asux says:

          Police do not have a responsibility to run in and defend anyone (as so many point out here). Therefore, cops are exactly the same as everyone else when it comes to gun handling. It is specious to argue that somehow cops need training because they are employed by citizens, but the citizens need no training because they are citizens. Anyone who has a gun is a gunfighter. Either gunfighters need training or they don’t. Why does society need protection from a limited number of cops, but not from an overwhelming number of non-cop gun owners?

          Training has value or it does not. Your own statements that cops are not adequately trained indicates training is a waste. If training non-cops is a waste, then so is training cops. Stop the madness, save the money. Everyone with a gun should be required to be safe and proficient, or everyone with a gun should be allowed to work out on their own how they will conduct themselves with a firearm.

        9. avatar Ian in Transit says:

          “Anyone who has a gun is a gunfighter” Intentionally irrational likely to entice an irrational response. Your fascination with the idea of cowboy shootouts is amusing though.

          “Either gunfighters need training or they don’t.” Intentionally closed minded bullshit. Different training for different purposes. No cop needs to be trained to move as a squad under fire, no civilian needs training for pulling over a car, and no police force wastes time providing training to evade a mugger.

          “Why does society need protection from a limited number of cops, but not from an overwhelming number of non-cop gun owners?”
          Again, a conversation very worth having but too far off topic for this thread.

          “Training has value or it does not.” Wrong. Training always has value, even if it recovers old topics.

          “Your own statements that cops are not adequately trained indicates training is a waste.” I don’t remember anybody here except you saying police training was a waste. I know I certainly didn’t. I can certainly testify to the fact that basic marksmanship standards are so low enough that the public would demand to feel better if they knew the truth. At best that makes their training inadequate, not a waste.

          “If training non-cops is a waste, then so is training cops. Stop the madness, save the money. Everyone with a gun should be required to be safe and proficient, or everyone with a gun should be allowed to work out on their own how they will conduct themselves with a firearm.”
          Again you are intentionally ignoring the fundamental difference which drives the specific training that would be beneficial. The expectation of the police, our soldiers and the average citizen are all very different and insisting on a single standard of training would fail everybody in every role everywhere. Stupid idea at face value and I’m pretty sure you know it.

        10. avatar 2Asux says:

          If training, for any activity, is inadequate to the task, that training is wasted. If training has a purpose, it is to ensure predictable and desired results. If training cannot and does not result in predicted and desired results, that training is wasted. Being half adequate in anything is acceptable for the self-taught (maybe), but not for professionals. Would you willingly fly in an airplane where the pilot’s training was inadequate to ensure safe passage? Poorly trained individuals are actually more dangerous than the untrained because the inadequately trained don’t realize their limitations, or don’t care and act anyway. The idea that a person with a gun needs no operation or safety training is just madness.

    4. avatar Cliff H says:

      I am seriously coming to the conclusion that 2Asux is either RF or Nick or Dan writing under a pseudonym and pretending to be a Troll in order to get the very best and most logical commentary in response to what a real anti Second Amendment Troll would write.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        On this (or any) blog, anyone can claim to be anyone, write anything, make-up stuff, and do whatever. Given the nature of things, we can only operate from the conclusion that participants are sincere. I take every original post at face value, and consider each worthy of vigorous debate. If I ever found out that the founders of this blog were also writing under different names simply to poke at us, I would abandon this place, post haste. I have confidence neither Robert, Nick, nor Dan are spoofing us.

  17. avatar Bob15 says:

    I like the tone of these comments. Don’t over think. Know the four safety rules. Know the law. Have some familiarity shooting the weapon.

    No operating operator, you’d better know how to shoot with your left pinky while rolling on an airplane floor and carrying six knifes in your pockets and wearing Oakleys sort of baloney.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Any real operating operator would be able not only to shoot accurately using only their left pinkie (weak hand), but would be able to clear a malfunction and rack the slide under the same conditions. The knives would be useless dead weight at that point because even Jason Bourne couldn’t throw a knife with only one finger, IMO.

  18. avatar Defens says:

    Although I am completely in agreement that training must be voluntary, I think it’s as important for people to learn the laws governing self defense as it is to learn how to safely and properly operate a firearm. As an NRA instructor, all that can be taught very effectively in an 8-hour period at minimal cost.

    Let’s consider the other major mechanical device that the average citizen is likely to operate – the automobile. It’s not mandatory to take formal, mandated training to get a driver’s license, but instruction (even if informal) is still needed to learn to operate one safely. Neither driving a car nor shooting a gun is instinctive.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      In many localities Driver Training is in fact mandated by the state and taught in high schools as a pre-requisite for getting a license. I am in fact surprised that with mandatory insurance requirements the insurance companies do not require proof of completing a driver training course before issuing a policy. It would not take much for Congress to intervene and decide this was a necessity.

      As for professional drivers – truckers, it is now required that they take a mandatory truck driving course before being issued a Commercial Driver’s License Class A. Not to mention the mandatory physical exam every two years. I have been driving since 2002 after 3 moths of driving with a friend and getting my CDL. Even with 1.25 million miles on the road if I were to take 12 months off from driving I would be required by law to take the same mandatory training as any newbie driver heading out for his first job. That’s what you get when you allow bureaucrats to decide what is proper.

  19. avatar Howdy says:

    RF was kind enough to point me to a Wikipedia article that showed the majority of defensive gun uses were by gun owners with little or no training. Sadly, I have lost the link.

    Does that mean trained gun owners are less likely to put themselves in those situations? Or does that mean there are very few defensively trained gun owner? Probably neither. Ah, correlation…

    I agree with many of the folks posting. Training is recommended, but should never be mandatory.

    If the government wants to be involved with our gun rights, how about a tax break for the purchase, delivery and installation of safes? Maybe not if you don’t want to invite .gov to be in your business.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Actually, in Washington State, gun safes are not subject to sales tax. A compromise forced upon the anti-gunners as part of some legislation they wanted, years ago.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      If the government wants to get involved in mandated gun safety then training should be provided in High School at the junior or senior year levels, classes open to all other persons who for whatever reason did not complete high school, free of charge.

      Other than that, keep government out of it.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        I would welcome mandatory gun safety and operation classes as part of public school, taxpayer funded. Would that be the sort of “government interference” that would be tolerable for gun lovers?

  20. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Need?

    How much defensive driving training do I need to avoid the highly unlikely but potentially deadly highway idiot? National statistics aside, in my neck of the woods a lot more people are killed in vehicle collisions than through firearms-related mishaps or violent crimes.

    Just the basics. Safe gun handling. Situational awareness. Occasional practice, as time and budget allow.

    Beyond that, most of us have more important or more fun things to spend our money on.

    1. avatar Joshua says:

      Thats a terrible comparison. Most people drive daily, it in and of itself is a form of training to avoid the 1 in a million idiot. Driving and shooting are perishable skills. Carrying a gun on your hip gives you almost zero training practice for actually having to employ the gun. Your car stays in a garage, your gun stays
      on your hip.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        “Most people drive daily, it in and of itself is a form of training to avoid the 1 in a million idiot.”

        As a professional driver for the last 14 years I can state with some certainty that your 1:1,000,000 ratio in re idiot drivers is highly optimistic, at best. In a single day of 500 to 700 miles driving I can be assured of meeting at least one such person sharing the road with me, and everyone else. I have lost count of the number of people who didn’t die because I or someone else was a good enough driver to avoid some idiot on the road.

        There are in fact idiots who own and handle guns in a dangerous manner. This occasionally results in death or injury to innocent bystanders. Shit happens, especially when you are stupid and doing stupid things. This is not a good argument for allowing the government to infringe on our RKBA.

  21. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    But, but, but… who will employ all those operators operating operationally if people don’t take at least a one-week tactical course once/year?

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      My house could use a new coat of paint. Just sayin…

  22. avatar Shire-man says:

    Regarding the repeated mentioning of driver’s ed.
    Last time I checked driver’s ed was not mandatory. You can totally show up and take the test for your license without spending one minute in drivers ed.

    Insurance companies will throw you a slight and meager discount for taking drivers ed occasionally but it is certainly not a requirement to get a license to operate a motor vehicle. Your state may vary of course.

    Back to dumbassness being in the DNA:

    “Despite widespread appeal of driver education, scientific evaluations indicate that it does not produce safer drivers,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a 2009 report.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/09/14/teen-driving-schools-safety/

    All the classes and all the tests and all the checks in the universe don’t do jack shit except make money for the teachers and test administrators.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Damn, I think you’re on to something there.

    2. avatar 2Asux says:

      “All the classes and all the tests and all the checks in the universe don’t do jack shit except make money for the teachers and test administrators.”

      I agree !! End mandatory schooling. End any mandatory qualification training for anybody, anytime, anywhere. People have the right of pursuit of happiness. If I want to be an EMT and go about rescuing people, that is my business. If I am bad at being an EMT, let market forces make me unsuccessful and unable to provide my services due to lack of customers. Education, training, certifications are only there to benefit teachers, instructors and organizations; people never get back dollar-for-dollar value.

      You don’t live in a free country if the government can mandate anyone do anything. That was all settled when the draft was terminated.

      Point and shoot; stuff happens.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        In my state, you need a license to cut hair, but no licensing required for electricians.

        The whole idea of government sanctioned testing and licensing certainly deserves another look.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          I vaguely recall a case some years ago where a black woman (an American of African descent) in Washington D.C. who specialized in doing corn-rows for other black women was arrested for plying her trade without a beautician’s license. Part of her defense was that beautician’s school did not teach how to do corn rows. I do not recall how the case was resolved.

  23. avatar DaveL says:

    It takes remarkably little training in order to not hurt innocent people accidentally with your gun. The sky’s the limit when it comes to training to actually be effective in a fight, but reaching the point of not being a danger to others, and thus beyond the reach of honest legislation in a free society, is trivial.

  24. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I think if someone is fixated on taking a training class, a force-on-force would be the best. Gives you a bit of real world application of using an actual firearm on actual people.

    All in all, safety is paramount. Being the subject of a negligent discharge myself (being dumb and thinking it could never happen to me), I think the most important rule is keeping the muzzle in a safe direction. You can forego all other rules and still not have any damage to yourself or others, minus a hurt ego and some ringing in the ears for a bit. Maybe even a couple holes in the wall.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      Tell me, Jon.. just what IS a “safe direction?”

      I submit that it may well be very different in every situation, even at a gun range. The only way to get even close is to actually THINK about it carefully, each time you pick up a gun. There may be people, animals, vulnerable things and unknown dangers behind every wall, large safe seeming object… or target. If you don’t look carefully, and consider the possibilities, you may find out tragically.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Good point.

        I know someone who killed his cat when trying to get a skunk.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          Close enough!

      2. avatar Jon in CO says:

        Wasn’t attempting to downplay the safety rules at all Mama, just speaking from my own experience. To answer, a safe direction would be, in my eyes, away from living things. If I put a round through my floor, worst case, my floor needs a patch. If I put a round through my leg, well, that’s a different matter.

        I’ve learned the hard way, so I’m always very diligent about clearing the weapons now. I’ll probably get some crap from people on here for that, but I’m man enough to admit my mistakes, learn from them, and prevent them in the future.

  25. avatar Kendahl says:

    As Grant Cunningham puts it, “You don’t need to become a Navy SEAL to keep yourself safe.” While more training is always better than less, lots of people with little to none successfully defend themselves with firearms. In my opinion, the most important training, after basic gun handling, is a practical understanding of the laws governing self defense

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Considering how often simply revealing your weapon convinces Bad Guys to reconsider their plans and decide to impersonate cross country runners instead, I would have to agree that training beyond the basic safety rules and when it is legal and proper to offer deadly force in self defense is a good thing to have, but hardly something that is required.

      Bad Guys who are willing to stand and fight it out with an armed victim over the cash in a Quick Mart or your stereo equipment at home are the stuff of Hollywood fiction, for the most part.

      My advice to my mother regarding her 5-shot S&W 642: Fire one shot in their general direction. The chances are very good the sound of the shot and the muzzle flash will convince them to turn and flee. If they do not, do your best to put the other 4 rounds center mass because they are insane or drugged up and that is your only hope of a good outcome. YMMV.

  26. avatar H says:

    Train train train. Why? It’s fun.
    I had a class at 19 years old in proper chainsaw technique. An old grizzly farmer said, “common you all are going to be safe.” Now, I can’t believe you can just go buy a chainsaw at HomeDespot and take it home and just start using it. They are weapons of mass destruction.

    Firearms? Training? I’ve been in class with an armed guard who carries everyday. He swept the entire class with his pistol. Everyone said, “WHOA!” He said, “Wow you all are disciplined.”

    Training includes repetition and learning to not make excuses for your own mistakes. With firearms these can be life and death. Excuses like it wasn’t loaded….

    Training separates the men from their boy fantasies as well. Your loved ones lives may depend on you being cool and collected enough to walk away or bring it if necessary. If necessary you need to be in control of yourself and know about tunnel vision etc.

    So yes to training.

  27. avatar Jack says:

    If your masters actually cared if you lived or died they would GIVE you training. Gun safety class in every grade and GUN oriented self defense training in high school and available free from the sheriffs office.

  28. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    +1 MamaLiberty. Pretty much what I was going to write. High school DE, safe driver cert, a gazillion miles driven,no major accidents(not EZ in Cook co.) and NO training. Willingness to pull the trigger and being prepared for the consequences is #1. And I live in Illinois and observe the nearby state of Indiana which has essentially NO requirements-and way less problems than Illinoistan…

  29. avatar SteveInCO says:

    One more thing I’d add to the four rules, and basic operation…is sight picture.

    But even something that basic can be lost on some people. I took a friend to the range once, and she simply could NOT understand why she wasn’t putting holes in the paper. Being in the next lane over, I could see she was holding the gun pointed below horizontal at a 20 degree angle (no she wasn’t flinching, that’s how she held it). She denied it vociferously, and insisted she had the proper sight picture. (She could not possibly have seen the front sight.)

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      I don’t even use the sights much anymore. 🙂 I do mostly “point and shoot” and much of my practice is shooting close to my body, the instant I clear leather, not even raising the gun much. Now I do know this isn’t something to teach novices, but if you think about it you are likely to need to be able to shoot that way in a self defense emergency. Will you truly have the time to find your preferred “stance,” get the “sight picture and shoot before that knife enters your chest… or wherever? If you can do all that preparation stuff in 1.5 seconds, more power to you… otherwise, you might want to look at point and shoot. I use “FistFire” myself, but there are others.

  30. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    No, you don’t need a bunch of training to use a firearm effectively and responsibly for self-defense. In fact you only need about 2 minutes of training for self-defense engagements up to 12 feet or so.

    Here is the training …

    Maintenance/familiarity:
    (1) Make sure your firearm’s chamber AND magazine are unloaded when cleaning or familiarizing yourself with its function or handing it to another person.

    Non-combat:
    (1) Keep your finger off the trigger and keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
    (2) Only point/shoot at known targets with safe backstops.

    Combat:
    (1) Point the muzzle at your attacker.
    (2) Pull the trigger.
    (3) Keep pointing the muzzle at the attacker and keep pulling the trigger until your attacker is no longer a threat.
    (4) When your attacker is no longer a threat, keep your finger off the trigger and keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

    That’s it. If you can accurately point your finger at someone, then you can accurately point a firearm at someone for self-defense. You don’t need a bunch of range practice or training.

    And I saw a woman that epitomized all of this. She had never shot a handgun until she deployed it to shoot an armed robber right in front of her. I wish I could find the security video of that event. (I think it happened in New York City at a small shop of some kind.) There was nothing to it. She pulled out a revolver, pointed it at the attacker, pulled the trigger, and put one round into the attacker who immediately dropped to the floor. And she did all of this quickly and fluidly … WITHOUT ANY TRAINING.

  31. avatar ptrog says:

    hard to say. as many others have pointed out, many DGU are perpetrated by people with no experience what so ever and they USUALLY come out ahead. then again, you can not make some people abide by the rules 100% of the time, i.e. Scootch or what ever his name was that shot his own damn truck. he has lots of experience but let his ego override his safety training.
    This is where i can not agree with RF’s ideology that if the government is involved in ANYWAY, that means 100% that we will lose rights/access to whatever it is they are regulating. IF THAT WERE TRUE then no one in this country would have Class 3 weapons, and many do.
    There are so many straw man arguments made by so many people on both sides. This is one perpetrated by our side, continuously and it needs to stop. Its makes us look like loons with no sense of reality.
    I am no fan of the government by any means but i guess i’m a little different than most, i base my ideals on FACTS not emotion.

  32. avatar Bud Harton says:

    I am a retired soldier and graduate of the US Army Infantry Small Arms Instructor Training Course, a retired police officer and a former Police Firearms Instructor (Illinois) a current Concealed Carry Instructor an NRA pistol instructor and I am soon to be (In June and I am registered at the Bud’s Online Store Gift Registry) 69 years old.

    I still try to take a least one formal training course in pistol, shotgun or carbine every year. Having lived through major combat, several shoot outs and a lot of allied experience, the biggest thing I can pass on is there is always something new to learn when it comes to firearms training and utilization.

    Also in IT, electronic and cellular systems but I let my son worry about that crap and to keep my stuff up and running.

  33. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Oh geee….mandatory training…..I can see the Donkeycrap Legislators having a field day with this one.
    On the other hand, if you actually had rational people running things ( alternate universe), some sort of mandatory Hunter Safety Program or CMP in school would be very beneficial in many ways.

  34. avatar Mike in OK says:

    It’s so easy that virtually anyone with the will to do so could manage to use a firearm to defend themselves against the average criminal regardless of their level of training. Everyday carry is a little different, but I think it’s more a question of familiarity than training. And of course the most important factor is situational awareness. If it required years of training to use successfully it wouldn’t be the great equalizer.

  35. avatar Joshua says:

    So many of you seem to wonder why, despite reality, logic, statistics, common sense, and the 2nd amendment being in favor of gun owners, we still get our gun rights trampled on so easily. So 2A all day…and we dont need to much training? 2A obviously isnt enough and here we have a plethora of gun owners talking about how they dont need too much training to employ a perishable skill which could make the difference between life and death for not only ourselves and our loved ones but also other people’s innocent loved ones. For Christ’s sake, practice as much as you can and get some basic first aid training and keep a first aid kit nearby.

  36. avatar Don in NM says:

    Seems the founders implied that we all be trained and the NRA was founded to do just that so please shoot often and perfect practice makes perfect.

  37. avatar Don in NM says:

    Law enforcement is not responsible for your protection, so says SCOTUS.

  38. avatar DetroitMan says:

    Depends on your definition of “training.” Should you buy a gun, fire it once, and then put it on your nightstand with half a box of unfired cartridges from your one trip to the range? Absolutely not! You need to be proficient and remain in practice. I preach practice to any gun newbie who seeks my advice about getting a gun for self defense.

    Do you need to practice to successfully defend yourself against an attack or home invasion? Strictly speaking, no. There are plenty of DGU stories where the non-firearm-interested spouse or a child uses one to successfully fend off an intruder. However, you felt the need to own a gun and you spent resources to acquire it. Give me one good reason not to practice with it. If personal defense is a priority for you, you can carve out time and money to go to the range once in a while.

    Do you need to spend thousands of dollars on training to become a Tier 0 Operator? No. Training is valuable and will help you, no question. But plenty of people defend themselves successfully with no professional training. Training certainly should not be required to get a CPL or a purchase permit. The antis will continue to spout ignorant rhetoric about the ineffectiveness of the average person with a gun. Arm yourself with a few facts about police training and proficiency, and some about DGUs by untrained muggles who are supposedly more of a danger to themselves and their families. You won’t change an anti’s mind, but you might elicit some satisfying sputtering and illogical denial.

    1. avatar 2Asux says:

      Seems like only yesterday….oh, wait, it was yesterday we read about a former Marine who fired three shots as some robbery suspects. Two shots went into a wall near the door they fled out of (back-shooting is OK?), and the former Marine stated he had no idea where the third shot went. Is that the kind of “muggle” you think is not more a danger to others than to a robber?

  39. avatar Doran says:

    OK kids. Yes…point andcshoot has its premises but so does common sense. If anyone buying a gun does not want to take an amount of time to learn it along with ingraining some basic skills should they even own one???
    The only worse than no gun is having one and not being comfortable enough with it to use it.
    As experienced gun owners WE are responsible to help beginners. The burden is on us.

  40. avatar Will Drider says:

    You can train for this situation of using a unknown handgun

    Pandora’s Box Pistol side match. The purpose of this drill/event is to test the competitors ability to load, fire unsighted and make safe an unknown handgun in the “blind”. An option is to let each shooter use ther own handgun. 

    Target is at 7 yards. A uncommon handgun, Wheelgun and five loose rounds (in a small tray or bowl) or a pistol and loose mag w/5) is placed in a medium size cardboard box. The box is open on the target side (prep, scoring) and a 8 inch hole centered on the firing line side. 

    Shooter starts with support hands on back top corners of box. At the beep the competitor using ONLY ONE HAND Reaches inside box, loads, fires and clear firearm ALL DONE BLIND INSIDE THE BOX. Cycle is over when shooters empty hand is back on the box.

    If no round is fired in 1 minute the competitor is DQ. Adjust time on difficulty if using unknown handgun. Score time, target and leaving a safe weapon

    Note: Revolver rounds can be loose, on star or half moon clips or speed loader.
    If using AR/AK pistol use a heavy and reinforced box. Have spare boxes. A mat inside the box is helpful. 

    Exclude NAA removable cyclinder 22s, and obviously cap and ball. Lol

    Do you want to test yourself against Pandora’s Box?

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