The importance of training

I put up a piece a couple of weeks ago entitled, “TAKE IT! Force-on-Force Training For Civilians Is Good Stuff” which elaborated on the most effective, next generation of self-defense training available to civilians today. This proven system is starting to become more available to civilians (and while law enforcement officers are civilians too, for the purpose of this article, civilians refers to non-LEOs) in many parts of America.  Just as law-enforcement has embraced the proven results of FoF training to provide stress inoculation to cops, why shouldn’t prudent civilians looking to maximize their safety and security do the same?

In response to my piece, a couple of commenters rapped civilian firearms training for a host of reasons. One went as far as to call me an unscrupulous a-hole collecting a ton of money teaching pure, unadulterated, uh, merde.

I had a chuckle. Who was it who said that it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt? Oh yeah, Mark Twain.

The same person wrote that they didn’t trust firearms trainers/”dumbass mall ninjas” and that he’s too much of a cheap-ass to pay thousands of dollars and devote weeks of time to training. “‘Untrained’ people have perfectly good DGU’s all the time,” he wrote. “It seems to me that most of this stuff is a solution in want of a problem and it’s hellishly expensive in many cases.”

Let’s discuss some of this with an eye towards America’s newer gun owners.

Time and money

First off, you don’t need to spend thousands or devote weeks of time to training to develop more competence than the average person at shooting and at the same time keeping yourself out of the crime victim pool.

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There are thousands of experienced NRA instructors across America who provide competent training for very affordable rates. Most Americans – including non-gun owners – would benefit from taking an NRA course or two.  While NRA courses aren’t really thought of as the neat high-speed, low-drag stuff that Walter Mitty-types with an extra-thick man-card want, they provide real value and good basic fundamentals to build upon.

In reality, the things you learn at NRA classes really are high-speed, low-drag in that HS/LD is nothing more than the fundamentals executed very well with minimal wasted movement (and without thinking about how to do it which we call “unconscious competence”).

In fact, a single, high-quality class over a weekend – taught by those NRA-certified instructors – will often get even the greenest of noobs shooting somewhere on par with some police officers. That same class, for a more accomplished shooter, will eliminate wasted movements and tighten groups. Average cost to pull a trigger as well as some cops?  Maybe $150-300, depending on location and range availability.  A better class will also include lectures on how to avoid becoming a victim at home and in public, the proper care and feeding of your guns and legal considerations to using deadly force justifiably in self-defense.

You can learn the same things from nationally known trainers like John and Vicky Farnam for about twice as much for the same two-day class. The Farnams and their adjunct staff know their stuff and you’re paying that premium in part for their reputation, not because they’re going to teach you something from a “Mystical Order of Secret Stuff.” I use the Farnams merely as an example. There are more than a few others of the same high caliber…pun intended.

Again, you can get more affordable and more local options from NRA instructors.  Be cautious and seeking out referrals or recommendations from people you know and trust to avoid disappointment.  Most NRA trainers are competent and many teach for mostly altruistic reasons.  Some are better than others and word of mouth will help you find them.  Insider information: There’s not a lot of money in training, especially where trainers are using “team teaching” with a group of instructors as opposed to one person trying to run a class by themselves.

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Project Appleseed is an even better bargain than NRA classes. For about a hundred bucks and 800 rounds of .22s, you and your kid can get a weekend of solid training on firearm safety, the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship and some American history at an Appleseed rifle event – and they’ll give each of you a t-shirt on top of that.

Appleseed instructors, regardless of the color of their hat, are pretty much all good to excellent and the only variable is the ratio of instructors to students at any given event.  They (actually “we” as I’m an Appleseed Instructor-in-Training) will teach you how to become a rifleman, and with perseverance and practice, you too can shoot four minutes of angle.  If you don’t know what MOA is, you should Google it, then sign up for an Appleseed event.

Shooting the “Rifleman” standard does’s usually happen on your first outing, but it does for some. It took me three years of frustration, bruises and practice before it all came together.  Today, I shoot Rifleman (at least 210 of 250) in my sleep and you can too, but probably not without some training.  244/250 is my best so far on the AQT course of fire.   I encourage you to best my top score!

Other outstanding groups also offer similar training, including the United States Rifleman’s Association and Revere’s Riders.

Formal training is good training

I’ve trained under scores of instructors ranging from local NRA people to regional trainers to some of the most famous names in civilian training – Ayoob, Tarani, Rogers (God rest his soul), Farnam, Grossman and plenty more. I’ve also watched plenty of training videos – ranging from very good and slickly produced (the old Magpul series) to the snooze-fests.

The bottom line: even a poor training class is better than the best training video. Here’s why: with a class, you have someone who knows what they are doing critiquing your technique, pointing out any bad habits you as the student might be exhibiting during live fire and helping you improve your skill set.

I’ve trained thousands of kids and adults over the years, and there are darn few people walking into classes without aspects of their shooting they can improve upon. Most people need help internalizing basic safety protocols including muzzle control and keeping their cotton-pickin’ fingers off the cotton-pickin’ trigger before we begin tackling the fundamentals of good shooting.

Yes, the men are usually the more challenging students. It’s sometimes why their wives or girlfriends (or both) out-shoot them towards the end of class…the women are usually more inclined to listen to instruction and leave preconceived notions behind.

Untrained people have perfectly good DGU’s all the time

Yes, untrained people have perfectly good defensive gun uses all the time. And if you Google “rejected self-defense claims“, you’ll get 1,350,000 hits, most of them from people who thought they were acting legally in using deadly force. But they weren’t.

You, as a gun owner, should know the legal standard by which you will be judged so that you can act to that standard.  If you haven’t had training in the justifiable use of deadly force, then you can unwittingly find yourself in a heap of trouble.

Look at the man pictured at the top of the page. His name is Orville Wollard III and the Miami Herald sums up his case this way:

…Mr. Wollard is serving 20 years in a state prison for firing a warning shot inside his home to scare away his teenage daughter’s unwelcome 17-year-old boyfriend; the shot was meant to scare the teen, and no one was hurt. But the use of the gun triggered the state’s mandatory-minimum sentencing. Mr. Wollard was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm, and a judge had no choice but to throw the book at him.

And there are others. In Pennsylvania, a CCW holder intervened in a spat over reserved church seating. After getting punched, the CCW holder drew and fired two rounds, killing the other man. Dollars to donuts Mr. CCW holder saved himself a weekend and a few bucks by not getting any training – after all, “untrained” people have perfectly good DGUs all the time – and it’s cost him his life as a good citizen, his livelihood and his reputation.

I’ve had first-hand experience with an untrained good guy jammed up in the criminal justice system. In my previous role as president of Guns Save Life, I received all manner of calls, including people needing help or wanting to tap GSL’s legal defense fund.

One such call came from a member who found himself facing prison time for using his handgun to hold the grandson of our then-Congressman for skipping on a cab fare until sheriff’s deputies arrived. It took place at 2:30 in the morning in Philo, Illinois — the center of the universe — or so it says on the water tower.  The member, also named John, got a plea bargain offer to avoid prison, but it involved taking a felony, serving time in the county jail, a fine, a couple hundred hours of public service and forfeiture of his gun rights. John didn’t have a lot of money and he dreaded the felony, but he dreaded prison more. He thought his goose was cooked.

I coached him on better articulating the threat he faced (the crook threatened to kill John if he wouldn’t allow his escape, the punk wouldn’t show his concealed hands in the low light, and a few other things). He took that back to his attorney along with a check from Guns Save Life. Six months later, our guy John called with good news: The charges had been dropped, he got his gun back and his attorney sent the check – uncashed – back to GSL.

But if John had taken a class, he probably would have better known how to articulate the threat and saved himself a lot of time, stress, grief and expense. If he hadn’t been a GSL member and hadn’t called me, he might be a former gun owner – for life.

But losing in court is the second consideration in critical incidents. If you ever find yourself getting served a big crap sandwich in the form of a deadly confrontation with a violent criminal predator, you will have the rest of your life to consider the pros and cons of your training experience or lack thereof.

Rob Pincus has talked and written about what untrained gun owners do in a critical incident. They Observe, React and Improvise. While good old American ingenuity and improvisational skills are good, Pincus writes, “we are better when we’ve trained realistically to respond efficiently.” Agreed. Responding efficiently in a tactically sound manner almost always trumps dumb luck and improvisation.

Take the case of the crossfit gym owner T.J. Antell. He went to the aid of a woman screaming for help after she had been shot. As a CCW holder in Texas, he’d taken a short firearms training class to get his carry license.

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TJ Antell and his wife.

However, in a perfect storm of poor tactics, he ended up getting himself killed DRT — dead right there — in a Walgreen’s parking lot. Mr. Antell accessed his gun, pursued the bad guy who had broken off the confrontation, approached the suspect, got his gun slapped out of his hand and was then shot in the head.

If Mr. Antell had spent a weekend and a few hundred bucks on tuition and ammo for a good class, there’s an excellent chance he’d be with us today.

Could you be the next TJ Antell or Google hit number 1,350,001 for “rejected self-defense claims”? If you have training, your likelihood at being either drops dramatically.

It’s up to you. What is your health, wealth and ability to earn an income worth?  Is your life and freedom worth a weekend or two and a few hundred bucks of education?

Experience gunfighting?

Another one of our would-be Armed Intelligensia offered this nugget: “If I take any advanced firearms training the first question I’m asking the potential instructor is how many gun fights has he been in? If none, he don’t get my business.” Really now?

Renowned self-defense expert instructor Massad Ayoob has never been in a gunfight. So the person offering this comment would never train with Ayoob simply because Mas has avoided needing to fire the gun in self-defense. That’s OK – it means extra attention for people like you and me who don’t impose meaningless, arbitrary standards when considering a teacher.

The best way to win a gunfight is to not be in one. How do you avoid it? Practice situational awareness and confidence in your daily life using skills you pick up in class or study. Bad guys, when given a choice, will pick on those who don’t practice those behaviors. I’d rather continue to avoid or manage potentially deadly confrontations than to become a member of the gunfighter fraternity. I believe most clear-thinking people would agree.

Breaking the “freeze”

“Some people, no matter how much training you give them, will freeze when the metal meets the meat. Most people can be trained to react to a threat but some simply can’t be.”

Hint: Everyone freezes when the metal meets the meat. How long it takes to break that momentary freeze is what distinguishes people who have had training from those who haven’t. And pretty much everyone can be trained to break the freeze and react to the threat. Some will be a little quicker than others.

Once more, many of those with training will have already skipped the freeze by avoiding the confrontation through their situational awareness and threat management skills.

Training offers something for everyone.

In short, formal firearm and self-defense training offers something for everyone. It helps keep you on the law-abiding side of the criminal justice system and helps keep you around for the people who love you. It instills confidence and skills you will use everyday to avoid becoming a victim.

Training makes you safer, both for yourself and the people around you, at home and in public. You might not be an expert using a gun after training, but you’ll be an expert at firearm safety and that’s something you can share with the people around you to help keep them safe, too.

With a modicum of effort on your part, you can find reputable training programs by using the Internet or by talking with family and friends to get their advice and recommendations. Keep reading The Truth About Guns and this coming month I’ll have an article on what to look for in a better training course – and red flags to watch for when considering a class.

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34 Responses to GET TRAINING: Why Firearm and Self Defense Training are Worth It

  1. One serious two day class to become as good as SOME COPS?
    You flatter those bottom rung cops, the ones who only shoot because of their job, and only to meet the minimum qualifications.

    Your average paper punching recreational shooter is miles ahead of those cops in shooting ability and not very far behind them, if at all, in tactics.

    • Relax a little. First, what he said was clearly a generalization. Secondly, he meant a newbie. The newbies I’ve known are all across the board in competence and teach ability. Hence the term “newbie.”

      Police agencies are all across the board in shooting competence as well. NYPD is arguably the worst shooting force in the US to ever wear a uniform. Some TX, AZ, and other agencies are pretty well infested with legitimate shooting enthusiasts. Our agencie takes practice somewhat seriously and safety very seriously. I was looking to represent our division in departmental 3 gun but it looks like budget constraints 86ed that endeavor.

      I’m doing a little work with our department transferring to a new firearm, and the sale of departmental guns back to officers and taxpayers. With a little luck there may be a glut of 3rd Gen Smith 4006 TSWs coming.

      • Color me interested. I <3 the 3rd Gen (and even the 2nd Gen) S&W semi-autos. Minus the damn magazine lock, but that's relatively simple to remedy.

      • You’re right, I missed the part about the student being a total newb, just like the big city cops are total newbs, just like 90% of my concealed carry class were total newbs.

        You touch upon the difference between big city departments and the others: The others have SOME shooting enthusiasts on staff, like the guy who regularly shoots rings around me at IPSC (using his revolver).

        The cops in NYC and LA County, outside of the elite ‘death squads’, are not competent to carry firearms in public. Witness the 100+ rounds fired on a pair of non-resisting LA Times delivery ladies, including two hits on the passenger (they were shooting at a an imaginary lone gunman, thus in their minds there was no passenger to shoot at, so both those rounds were misses) and zero hits on the driver.

  2. How many week end trips do you have to make to gunsite or other training facility and how much money do you need to spend to learn how to not get yourself in legal trouble handling your gun?

    Learning how to not get arrested is different from paying some one to teach you to shoot from under a car.

    • jwm recognizes a important distinction. That is why a Massad Ayoob Group MAG 40 is divided up into two 20’s; one for shooting and one for law. We train to make the hands, eyes and BRAN work together to protect us from bad guys and the legal system.

      • I can see that. Teaching folks a class on avoiding legal pitfalls and stupid things like shooting warning shots at 17 yo’s makes some sense.

        And if the Mitty types want to spend their time and money learning to liberate the Nakatomi towers I’m cool with that. I did my share of paint ball when I was younger.

        But someone in the training industry, which is bloated right now, lecturing us cause we chose not to spend our money on magical mall ninja training is absurd.

      • Good point but terrible place to misspell brain. “Hands, eyes, and BRAN” working together makes it sound like you are extra careful when wiping your ass after the bran has taken effect. Just sayin’.

  3. That quote is not actually by Twain even though it is regularly attributed to both him and Abraham Lincoln.

    • Indeed. It probably originates with Proverbs 17:28:

      “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

      Then somebody, and who knows who, turned it around.

  4. If Mr. Antell had half a working brain he would still have a whole brain. What he did wasn’t a training issue it was a stupidity issue. Sorry.

    I’m tired of the training demagoguery the real reason most “instructors” want you to train is so you can give them MOAR MONEYS to be higher speed and lower drag. That’s it right there.

    You want to know how to use a gun defensively? Take a basic 6-8 week MWF self defense class, usually offered at local Community College (Vet the instructor!) and then take an NRA basic pistol course. Total cost is a few hundred. If you pay attention to the basics of self defense (paying attention to your surroundings for one, get your nose out of that phone), which don’t change based on the tools at hand, and the basics of handgunning you’ll outclass 99% of criminals by a mile. No need to pay Instructor Zero or some “retired Navy” (read Culinary Specialist) instructor $500.

  5. Different people benefit from different amounts and types of training.

    I grew up a full-fledged, red-blooded American regularly playing “cops and robbers”, “cowboys and indians”, and G.I. Joe with ultra-realistic toy guns. Of course I graduated to using BB guns with friends when I was a teenager for real-world force-on-force simulated “gunfights”. (We wore safety goggles and limited ourselves to one pump for a muzzle velocity of about 150 fps … which hurts a LOT if it hits bare skin.) In addition to all of that, I also spent countless hours playing baseball, whiffleball, softball, football, and ping-pong. Plus I grew up playing video games which definitely helps hand-eye coordination. Somehow, all of those activities, and perhaps some natural talent, have combined to where I need almost no instruction. I recently made my own “shoot, no-shoot” course and practiced engaging certain targets at 20 to 40 feet while “moving and shooting” for the very first time. My tactics and hit rate are astonishing. The only advice that my friend could offer was to either advance on or retreat from the target as I shot. (I really liked moving sideways to make myself a much more difficult target for the simulated attacker to hit and to find safe shooting “lanes” that enabled me to put rounds on the target while avoiding hitting bystanders.)

    Did I mention that friend is a retired LEO with multiple firearms instructor training credentials and has trained hundreds of police and SWAT members in my region? Aside from telling me in a previous shooting session to keep my elbow in to my side, and this session where he told me to advance on or retreat from the simulated attacker, he didn’t see anything else that warranted any comments.

    Of course other people do not have such skills that port over to self-defense handgun combat. Still others lack innate aptitude. And some lack both. Those groups of people will benefit a LOT from training and it might be great for them to attend several events.

  6. “…I’ll have an article on what to look for in a better training course – and red flags to watch for when considering a class.”

    Do you watch for, or look out for, a class where you are instructed to throw your gun on the ground?

    In all seriousness, jwm raises an excellent point on training for not being arrested and convicted. That’s something I would hope for can be addressed with a class like Appleseed…

    • Throwing guns on the ground, or certainly guns that have not been properly cleared, would fall under the category of sloppy muzzle control. If the guns were loaded, that would be downright reckless behavior.

      I’ve seen them tossed down once or twice, when cleared, to show people that they shouldn’t baby their guns, but thankfully, it’s far from a common practice. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  7. Ask all the operators operation operationally who have been killed or injured by un-aimed bullets, from un-zeroed and un-maintained rifles fired by untrained 3rd world boogers. They had plenty of training and experience, but when the magic bb comes for you, it won’t mean a damn thing. Do it if it makes you feel better, but likely your lights will be out before you knew what was happening, or you’ll choke in the emergency.

  8. If you own more than one gun then you had the money at some point in time to make the wiser decision and go get training. If you blow your tax refund each year on another gun, instead of training, I have little sympathy for you if you are in a DGU and make a bad decision.

  9. People that think training is not important are retards.

    That does not mean that a hard-working, serious individual cannot train himself or herself to a high degree of competence.

    It also does not mean that there isn’t lots of bad training out there that is a waste of money.

    • People who think that paying money = decent training are the real retards.

      There’s way, way more bullshit out there than there is real training and that’s a fact.

  10. What I really hate about civilization is that learning to navigate a Byzantine legal system takes precedence over adequately defending oneself. Often we are faced with doing time or living in a wooden box underground. I truly loathe fearing “the authorities” more than the Crips or Bloods.

  11. Could have shortened everything up with the classic Rogers quote, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

  12. It would be very useful for TTAG to catalog training courses (other than NRA basic pistol or the typical CCW courses) in all regions of the country; hopefully the commenters here might have gone to them and could comment on were they useful or not. Like many of you I am in the situation where it is difficult for me to go to a course on a weekend, when most are held. At some point I would love to go to a defensive handgun course (and not fly out to Las Vegas or Arizona to do it) where we could learn to shoot on the move, which I sure cannot do at either the indoor private or outdoor public ranges. I have also been intrigued by the Appleseed courses — one day I might do those as well. All these are post-retirement plans, when I have a lot of time on my hands during the week to do the things that I now must do on the weekends. I would like to hear about quality defensive handgun (especially) and rifle courses in the southeast or southern mid-Atlantic roughly Virginia through Georgia that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Any suggestions from readers in this part of the country will be warmly received.

  13. I am a big proponent of good training, and I think for a beginner, some good training is always better than none. So I applaud what the author is trying to do here. But I will also offer some counterpoints to his points:

    1. Time and money: I have been shooting handguns since I was 12, competed with the 1911 in the Navy. I have also taken several defensive shooting courses, both NRA and other. I am NOT a hard-core defensive shooter. I take training out of a sense of responsibility, not because I enjoy it or want to be tacticool. All but one of the NRA courses I took were at the NRA HQ in Fairfax. The NRA courses I took were by far the worst and the biggest waste of time and money. Some of the had huge safety violations, some put out patently false information and other than getting some rounds downrange, I don’t think I improved as a shooter enough to justify the time and money in any of them.

    2. Formal training is good training: I have to disagree. Bad training, formal or otherwise, is bad. And as I said above, I have taken some bad training. I think the best training is individualized instruction and it is worth the extra expense over classes because it fits your needs, with no extraneous BS. I also think there is a lot to be said of doing accepted drills on your own, because no class gives you enough time on that.

    3. Gunfighting experience and “beating the freeze”: Sorry, I DO want an instructor who at least has experience with real-world violence, whether they have shot someone or not. Gun training is going the way of martial arts training. lot of theory and not much application. And as a former military officer and 25-year martial arts practitioner, I see two ways to “beat the freeze.” 1) Overtrain: Train and drill until you literally can’t do your initial reaction less than perfectly. Combined with: 2) Force-on-force training, which is the only kind of training I consider worthwhile at any level above beginner.

    4. Rejected SD claims: The worst SD legal advice I have every heard was in NRA sanctioned classes. Those instructors are not generally lawyers,especially not criminal practice lawyers. The best SD advice I got was from an SD Law class put on by a law firm that specialized in gun law, that BTW, was not trying to sell anything. One of the instructors was a former prosecutor, the other a defense attorney. They absolutely exploded some of the legal myths I hear in NRA courses.

    So yes, get good training if you can find it. But it’s not that easy to find. Bad training is just expensive range practice.

  14. Number 3 is very real. I’m the guy that was quoted in the post about not wanting an instructor that had never been in a gunfight. I’ve been shot at in military and civil life. Why am I going to pay for a man that’s, to use the military parlance, still a virgin?

    Do you hire a virgin to teach you to fuck?

    This was a response to jmf552.

    • Too bad the vast majority of instructors have never been shot at and are generally shit.

      As I said in my comment; you end up with someone claiming Navy creds only to find out they were a Culinary Specialist once the class starts and no refunds are available.

  15. “One such call came from a member who found himself facing prison time for using his handgun to hold the grandson of our then-Congressman for skipping on a cab fare until sheriff’s deputies arrived. It took place at 2:30 in the morning in Philo, Illinois…”

    Can you tell us the name of the Guns Save Life member you helped out in Philo and the year this happened? Also would like to know his lawyer’s name and the county he was charged in. Who was the Congressman? I’m sure all this info. was in your print paper if you wrote it up at the time.

    Disclaimer: while it is my opinion that John Boch and Guns Save Life in general were deliberately and spectacularly ineffective in influencing Illinois’ 2013 concealed carry bill in any positive way whatsoever, due to their rolling over for all the bad stuff put in the bill by various police unions, John is probably the most highly trained up gun guy in Illinois. I have no doubt that he could outshoot at least 90% of cops working today with either rifle or pistol. When it comes to training and gear, he knows his stuff.

    As far as practical legal knowledge regarding interacting with cops, or taking a winning attitude to the legislative arena, not so much. A man’s got to know his limitations.

    • John Sayles was the cab driver. Tim Johnson was the then-Congressman. 2006 into 2007. Looks like it was charged as a misdemeanor, although I recall him saying they wanted a felony out of the deal. It’s all at CCCircuitClerk.com. Champaign County. John’s now working at a major retailer in low-level management, working his way up. Glad to see he’s doing well.

      I’m not as good as you say I am with a gun, but thanks. And as for CCW, Michael Madigan wrote that bill and gave us an ultimatum: take it pretty much as is, or take a bill from a rabidly anti-gun Senator (may issue, highly restrictive). We didn’t have the votes to pass our own bill as it contained pre-emption, and had to overcome an expected governor’s veto. Especially in a state where Democrats have a super-majority in both houses and a Dem governor at the time. In the end, we got a bill that was light years ahead of what we had – which was NOTHING.

      Even better, the anti-gunners lost their effort to block implementation of right-to-carry in the last state without it. And today, those anti-gun “NO GUNS” signs are a daily reminder to them that they LOST.

      Our political efforts to liberalize the bill since then have been thrwarted primarily by Senate President John Cullerton who won’t let our bills out of committee in the Senate, thereby precluding a free and fair vote on the floor and passage.

      John

      • Speaker of the House Michael Madigan did not write Illinois concealed carry bill, state Rep. Brandon Phelps put up the same garbage bill in 2013 that he sponsored in 2011: HB148. Phelps HB148 failed in May 2011. Phelps bill was basically written by the police unions. You should know since you were present for negotiations with the Illinois Chiefs of Police. Which organization has totally opposed any form of citizen carry for the past forty years at least. Hint: cops are not your friends.

        “Our bill has pre-emption” is the same rap spouted by your counterpart “executive director” Richard Pearson at ISRA. Pre-emption was the excuse you and Pearson sold to your members so that you could claim “at least we got a bill passed” then pray they don’t read it. Anti-gun Chicago democrats have a bill pending right now that would remove the assault weapons pre-emption from the bill, so was it worth it?

        Since 2010 you have been telling Guns Save Life members that once “we” got a bill passed, it will only take a majority to amend it, then “we” can make it better. So do it. You have a conservative Republican governor in Bruce Rauner. Pearson has been telling ISRA member for five years, “it normally takes ten years to improve a concealed carry bill once it’s passed.”

        Illinois garbage concealed carry bill provides job security for you, Pearson, and the NRA. Since Illinois is the fiftieth state to pass concealed carry, let’s learn from everyone else and start out with a better bill in the first place. If you build a house with a poor foundation, you will never have a solid house. The problem in Illinois is not Mike Madigan, Rahm Emanuel or the evil Democrats. The problem in Illinois is phoney politicians like Brandon Phelps who are owned by the police unions, and police collaborators like yourself who don’t look out for the interests of their own members.

        I hope the you don’t teach your students to lose at gunfights the way you lose at politics. Planning to lose is not a plan.

  16. My training was with a pellet gun when i was 20 years old. Now i am using my air riffle smoothly. I think everyone should concentrate on training with a handy gun first followed by the difficult ones. It provides motivation too.

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