Responsibility and Concealed Carry: Is the Burden Too Great?


By James England via

Even while a record number of states have submitted reciprocity bills and constitutional carry amendments – there’s still quite a bit of political tension rattling the debate about whether or not people are ready to take responsibility for their firearms. As members of the concealed carry community, it’s a topic that comes up quite often.  For those unfamiliar, arguments persist about whether or not to grant reciprocity to concealed carriers from out-of-state. What’s at stake – truly – is whether or not we’re willing to be allowed to take responsibility for being a concealed carrier . . .

Mandatory Concealed Carry Courses?  Not All That.

For many states in the Union, concealed carriers have to undergo some sort of mandatory training prior to being granted their concealed carry permit. However, as one North Carolina news organization pointed out – those courses aren’t exactly operating up to snuff.

Check the full story of News 9 North Carolina investigating mandatory Conceal Carry Courses here.

What it ultimately comes down to is any requirement for mandatory training will inevitably be prone to negligence. Now, someone seeking out training on how to properly use a firearm and practicing those techniques is absolutely something that should be central to the concealed carry culture. That said, is mandatory training truly the best way to instill this?

 Concealed Carry – Some Assembly Required


Nobody is born with the latent ability to take a pistol from an inside the waistband concealed carry holster and instantly put shots on target.  That’s something acquired through meticulous training and practice.  As any concealed carrier discovers, it’s not what you do know that hurts you – it’s what you don’t know that can kill.

That’s why training ought be looked at as the thing that enables a concealed carrier to go from his or her daily routine and transition into defensive CCW mode.  Some of the principles usually demonstrated in any decent CCW course include:

1. Principles of Firearm Safety
2. Defensive Posture
3. Close Quarters Maneuvers
4. Draw and Fire Drills
5. Situational Awareness

And on the broader picture, it’s necessary to understand the legal rights and ramifications of using a firearm.  Those factors seemingly apply to the larger picture but in all actuality, it’s extremely important to understand how they can affect you.

Keep Cool and Talk to the Audience

Given all the training, practice, and understanding involved in simply carrying a firearm each day – is it too much to ask that this responsibility be understood by bystanders?  Likely not.  In the actual event of a hostile engagement, people tend to not instantaneously understand who’s the good guy.  That’s why it’s important to always communicate with the people around you to ensure they know what you’re doing and why.

This may seem a bit difficult for those whom have undergone some stressful or violent situations in their lives.  In the heat of the moment, considerations for strangers sometimes get sidelined by – well – survival.

However, incorporating active communication into your training regimen, at the range and outside, can help ingrain in the importance and reflexive nature of letting people who may be completely unfamiliar with weapons understand a little bit more about what’s happening.

Is it a guarantee that you’ll always be instantaneously credited with saving the lives of your loved ones and those around?  Not at all.  However, it is certainly a great first step towards ensuring that after the conflict is through – you’ll be granted proper legal justification.  Sometimes that’ll have to do.

In conclusion, it may not be enough to consider the issue of concealed carry gun responsibility through the limited lens of mandatory training.  True, any responsible carrier will train – however the degree of that training may not be something that can be properly legislated.

Do you have any considerations about carrying?  Do you feel you’re properly equipped to handle yourself in a defensive CCW scenario?  Tell us about what you do in the comments section below.


  1. avatar Beav says:

    Why is she standing behind someone with a gun in her hand on a range? Is she loading that Bersa? Yikes!

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Which of the 4 firearms safety rules is she breaking?

      It’s a 360 degree world. There are no “firing lines” outside of the range.

      1. avatar Logan says:

        The 4 rules are not the only rules. If you’re on a range you have to obey range rules, which usually have something like “Firearms must be unloaded until you are in position at your lane”

        Agreed there are no firing lines outside the range, but, dude, she’s at a range.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Not all ranges have the same rules.

          I’ve been to ranges where no gives two sh*ts about having and/or loading weapons behind the line.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I think I’m pretty mellow, but if I saw that, I’d try to find another range, like, right now.

        3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          In advanced firarms classes which incorporate movement while handling weapons, some times people are in front of the 180.

          It’s just part of it

      2. avatar Gatha58 says:

        Difficult to tell if she might be pointing her pistol at someone to the left of the picture or not due to the framing of the photo. However, most ranges do not want the shooters to mess with their guns behind the firing line at all. And I would not want them to if I were shooting there. Too many untrained folks around who are not nearly careful enough or who seem to not understand the concept of “you can’t take the bullet back once it leaves your firearm”.

      3. avatar Paul says:

        With all respect hell child, your comments are pretty dumb. Loading behind the line? No range allows that and I don’t care what state you’re in. Moreover, if you found such a range please let me know where it is so I can avoid it at all costs.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          With all due respect, go f*ck yourself.

          See, you can say anything you want as long as you say,” with all due respect…” first.

          Also, DFW gun range in Dallas, Intermediate and Low Light course, sometime around 2011; we all loaded behind the line. No one cared.

        2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          On second thought, it was 2012.

          But, either way.

      4. avatar yep says:

        Found the James Yeager fan.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      No evidence of a magazine being inserted other than the position of her hand. Probably staged for the news camera.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        I guess it’s possible she was posing, but if I were posing with my pistol I’d move to a shooting lane instead of volunteering to have my picture taken like that.

        The way I look at it, there’s four places for a pistol to be at a range:
        On the line, pointed downrange.
        In a case.
        In a holster.
        In a hand, empty, pointed at the ground (not as good as the other three).

    3. avatar BlueBronco says:

      Its hard to tell if she is actually behind someone or not with that funky camera angle. At least the muzzle is up and the slide locked back.

    4. avatar Big John says:

      it’s very probably a staged picture for the article. take a deep breath.

  2. avatar Ddub says:

    I don’t think the responsibility of carrying a gun is as great as some folks try and make it sound. Some of these people are too deep in the culture and over analyze everything trying to make what they do seem more valuable. If a person is responsible enough to drive a car, own and use power tools, and function reasonably in society they have what it takes to carry a gun. If you want to get fancy with equipment and carry method, then that takes practice, but, standard side arm, standard holster, most folks are good to go pretty quick.

    1. avatar Virginia Gunner says:

      I agree with you in general. But your generalization may not cover as much of the public as you think, at least from my perspective. Just because someone is legally allowed to own and drive a car, doesn’t necessarily mean they are responsible or competent enough to do so. Let’s face it, the roads are loaded with incompetent idiots driving dented up cars. At least we have crumple zones and airbags between them and us when we share the road with them. Not so much with bullets.

      I fully understand and accept the fact that in order to exercise my constitutional right to carry, I am going to have to share the public space with others that are really NOT competent to do so, but may legally do so anyway. To protect my rights, I have to protect theirs as well. That doesn’t mean we can’t try and mitigate those risks somewhat by incentivizing training as much as possible.

  3. avatar Mikial says:

    When I took my mandatory carry class in a different state the instructor included a session on the range, but explained that range time was not a mandatory component of the course. When I asked why the state wouldn’t want to be sure people were at least safely competent with a handgun, he explained that the state did not want anyone prevented from being able to carry a gun to defend themselves because they were elderly or in a wheelchair or otherwise not a crack shot.

    I understood and agreed with that philosophy, while also feeling like it would still be a good idea to at least teach people not to shoot themselves by accident if they’re going to carry. But, I can also agree that people who choose to carry should get some additional training and experience with their gun so they can be effective at defending themselves and their families, while not becoming a bigger hazard than the bad guy.

    But we Conservatives consistently believe it is the individual who should be responsible for themselves and not the state, and that the 2A is a right. not a privilege, and I will stand by that.

  4. avatar Ken says:

    In Virginia, you can do it online in a few minutes and it consists of #1. Principles of Firearm Safety. I am not aware of any problems where we have that needed #2-5. I think most of what is being said is to make the “experts” seem more important than they are and to make them money. The profit motive is the main reason we are subjected to a lot of this drivel. I was shocked to find out how many people have a permit and many don’t even own a gun and most almost never carry. My daughter got hers because as she explained to me ” to protect my constitutional right”. I think most people that actually carry are careful and learn what they need to do for their individual situation.

  5. avatar steve says:

    I don’t know if she posed for that picture but yea loading a gun behind the line is a no go.

    Is carrying a gun a burden on ones self? Yes I’d say so, but its one you get to decide for yourself.

    I advocate training if you intend to carry but for it to be state mandated, screw that.

  6. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    Legally mandated training is not a good idea. For those who suddenly find themselves needing to carry *right now* for some credible threat, a training mandate could be a life-threatening obstacle.

    The other problem with mandated training is the presumption that all carriers start from a position of zero training. Some new carriers may have police or military training, or just a family background where they practiced growing up. For someone well practiced in firearms safety and handling an introductory level class may be a waste of time and money.

    That said training is absolutely a good idea for everybody. I simply prefer leaving it up to individuals to pursue their own training rather than mandating a one-size-fits-all solution to a perceived problem.

    I am fortunate to live in AZ where we have constitutional carry. I sought out training before ever carrying in public, and I still constantly read, study and practice for my own benefit. All without the gov telling me I have to do so.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Since begging the state for permission to exercise a Constitutionally protected right, and then paying a tax for the permission slip granting you that privilege, is unconstitutional on its face, requiring any sort of mandatory training in addition to that is equally unconstitutional.

      That said, states that do not require mandatory training do not seem to have any greater problems with mis-use of concealed firearms than anywhere else, as near as I can determine. I got my first CCW in Washington state and there is no training requirement – there are, however, a lot of places you are not allowed to carry and a lot of things you should know about how, when and why you can legally use your weapon. Anyone with even a little common sense goes to the trouble to find these things out on their own and THAT should be encourage at every opportunity.

      If you consider yourself responsible enough to carry a firearm in public then you should be responsible enough to get at least the very minimum training necessary to do it safely and legally. YMMV

  7. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    That seems like more of personal decision, rather than a state mandated one.

  8. avatar Gunr says:

    I must confess, granting my CCW permit was a “cake walk”. My instructor told me to meet him at the range. When I got there, he had several handguns laid out on the shooting bench. He asked me if I could tell him three things that were common with all the guns.
    I said to him:

    1. All the guns were pointed in a safe direction (down range)

    2. All the guns had the action open, and were unloaded.

    3. All the guns were capable of killing someone.

    He told me I past the test, and he signed off on the form.

  9. avatar mike oregon says:

    Is CCW a burden? Yes , life lived has many burdens. Are firearms, ammo, good training classes and other gear expensive, yes. Is the peace of mind that is allows worth it, again yes.On backwoods treks, hiking or canoeing I have more than just hope and faith in the goodness of strangers. Or at the mall.

  10. avatar Another Robert says:

    The vast majority of defensive gun use incidents that involve firing the gun take place pretty much at bad-breath distance. If you can point your finger at someone at that distance, you can point a handgun at him. You are at any rate unlikely to do any worse than those trained police officers who are supposedly the only ones to be trusted with guns. If you understand enough to know not to point the gun at anything you don’t want to chance destroying and not to finger the trigger until you are in the process of shooting you are pretty well good to go on the safety issue. At that point you are ready to face the situations that the vast majority of defensive gun-carriers are actually carrying for. I don’t see why you should be restricted from doing so.

  11. avatar Evan in Dallas says:

    If accidents were just rampant there might be an argument for mandatory training, but there just aren’t.

    When it comes to safety while carrying, make sure it’s in a holster with the trigger covered and don’t fidget with it.

    Most DGUs don’t require crack shots, and even if they did you can’t train that into somebody with mandatory training. Heck, most cops aren’t crack shots.

  12. avatar JohnF says:

    Carrying concealed without knowing you can take a life if you have to, and having sufficient training and skill is stupid, stupid, stupid. But the hazard of not doing so only accrues to the person carrying. It is not a hazard to the general public, so the government has no business requiring mandatory training. We don’t require people to be trained to use hazardous chemicals in their house, to use or even have a fire extinguisher, how to swim if they own a pool, all things that cause more deaths than guns.

    Having said that, if the government wants people trained, they should offer optional training free to the public. It would be a better use of police officers’ time than giving out traffic tickets.

    1. avatar Gatha58 says:

      Actually an untrained person carrying a concealed weapon is a potential danger to the public IMO. True, it does not happen often but it is still potentially a much more dangerous situation than someone that is trained properly. I don’t think the government should provide free classes. Let them set up the guidelines and the certification process and then let the market set the rates. I took a free one day course in the Las Vegas area about a year ago that is offered by a local gun shop and range as a promotion once a year. That course qualified me to apply for a Nevada concealed permit. So, free courses can happen in the right kind of system. I don’t really buy the swimming pool etc. arguments. Not nearly the same as someone that has no training carrying a loaded pistol out in public. Apples and oranges to me. See my remarks on the Enhanced permits for WA State with some ideas of how to make this palatable to those that might already have a permit but one that did not require any training.

      1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        “…than someone that is trained properly.”

        The question is who gets to define ‘properly?’

        1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          The Soviet State shall apply scientific socialist techniques as in all other spectrums of Soviet society.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        What you describe still requires me to take some manner of mandatory training class after being a handgun shooter for over 30 years, and that is ridiculous. Yes, every CHL should be trained, and the amount of that training should be determined by that CHL holder. Not her government or anyone else. The main thing I think all carriers should do is go to the range one time and set the target at 100 yards for one mag, 50 yards for one mag, then 30, 10, and 5, checking hits each time. The only reason I think that is important is for the people who think they’ve learned to shoot by watching movies, and think they should stop a crime by shooting the bad guy one-handed at great distance. If those shots are the only ones they ever fire, they will never try to hit anything beyond 5 yards again.

      3. avatar JohnF says:

        When you say IMO that’s all it is. Show me the stats that say that untrained carriers have more accidents. You can’t. The fact is that most of the CCW accidents we hear about are COPS.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      At what point in this discussion has the phrase “…the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” been entirely forgotten?

      1. avatar JohnF says:

        Unfortunately, it’s been forgotten a long time ago by the government and most of the people. And all of us who have CC permits/licenses have tacitly admitted that it’s been forgotten. We’ve asked the state for permission to have the privilege (not the right) to bear arms, within their rules.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          I had a Washington state permit (CPL) and now have a Nevada permit. The whole concept bothers me, but I deal with it by considering it not a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but essentially a “get out of jail free” card. Sure, I could carry concealed any time and any place I want, and I’m sure many people do just that, but the card gives me the option of not going straight to lock-up if I encounter law enforcement. Sad that we have to trade our rights for this concession by authority, but it is the world we live in, and the world we here are hopefully working to change.

  13. avatar Gatha58 says:

    Thanks for bringing this subject up. I think that some kind of mandatory training for anyone that wants to carry concealed is a VERY good idea. For the CC person and everyone that they come into contact with. One of the huge drawbacks to WA state concealed carry permit process IMO is NO training required at all. Probably the reason some other states don’t recognize our permits in their state. Also one of the reasons I see a fair amount of unsafe conduct at ranges by folks that should know better. I think the solution is to come up with a program for an enhanced CCP rather than the CPL we have now. Enhanced permit would require classes on safety, legal considerations, self defense, basics of firearms and a life fire test at minimum. The classes could be given by certified private instructors at certified ranges. State would only be involved in the certification of the instructors and ranges and periodic audits of both. The Nevada system could be used as a model. Most important would be that the ECCP (Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit) would give the holder many more rights than the current CPL does. Able to take his/her weapon into places not allowed now. Lesser penalties for accidental carry in prohibited places. Also knives, batons and other weapons could also be legally carried with this permit. A CPL holder, at this time in WA state cannot carry a concealed hunting knife legally, for instance but they can carry a concealed pistol. The right kind of enhanced permit would correct this kind of weapon discrimination for the enhanced permit holders. This permit would likely also be recognized by many states that don’t recognize our current CPLs.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      Ah, a statist. You trust the state rather than your fellow citizens in practicing what to you is a privilege, not a right.

      So why do you trust the state to mandate our privileges? The example of the state misusing their ‘Monopoly of Force” is much more common than a law abiding citizen in carrying a weapon for for self-defense. Cops are more likely to shoot an innocent bystander than the citizen, 11% to 2%. Cops are more likely to be arrested for a crime than a citizen carrying a weapon, 1.5% to 0.5%. Cops are more likely to shoot an innocent resident when they invade the wrong home in a no knock warrant.

      The state is more likely to commit mass murder than a law abiding citizen carrying a gun for self-defense; 96 men, women and children at in the Koresh siege or commit murder by shooting a boy in the back running a way or shooting an unarmed woman in the head holding a baby at Ruby Ridge. Including the over one hundred million murdered by Stalin, Mao and Hitler among others and their monopoly of state controlled force.

      So no, I don’t need or want the state to mandate the most important right, the RIGHT, not privilege, to keep and bear arms.

      1. avatar Doug says:

        Ah, a name caller.

        Better ways to make a point exist. On the question of state-mandated standards, if they do not infringe on the right to keep and bear, and only help as an accommodation to assuage the fears of the antis, just what is so bad about a state-mandated training event with a third party?

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          At what point in this discussion has the phrase “…the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” been entirely forgotten?

        2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          If the lack of mandated training is so terrible, then Indiana should look like an ISIS battlefield. It just does not happen. As far as mandated training, the Soviet state can and will use it as a brake to limit and eliminate as many concealed carriers as possible, or the carriers will be political cronies. Washington DC is a very good example of this.

        3. avatar Another Robert says:

          @ Doug, Love your avatar. To answer your question, by definition state-mandated restrictions on who can bear arms (including the restriction inherent in mandated training prior to being “allowed” to carry) infringe on the right to bear arms. And if the only rationale is to “assuage the fears of the antis” , so much the worse. Since when are my rights conditional on somebody else’s irrational fears?

        4. avatar ThomasR says:

          Well Doug, if the shoe fits. Calling a spade a spade, or in this case, a statist, is no more “calling names” than saying the color green is green.

          But if you find that you, as also being a statist, upsets you, maybe you should look at why you support state mandated tyranny. Because that is what a state mandated requirement is before practicing a right. or in your case, a privilege.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Doug, let’s try to use our heads for something besides hat racks, OK, hmm? Once you have conceded to government the forbidden authority to “mandate” training prior to exercising a RIGHT, comes the next administration, or the next mass murder, we’ll clearly need MORE mandatory training, then more, and more, and more, until we “need” 40 years of training at a cost to each individual (certainly not government, don’t be silly!) of several million dollars, and if you miss a day you must start all over. THAT is what’s wrong with these “simple little” infringements, and that is exactly what the intention is, of continuously proposing things which can make no conceivable difference. The entire idea is to acclimate the stupid serfs to the loss / surrender of their rights, so as to rule them more easily.

    2. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      Some animals are more equal than others?

    3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      I think that some kind of mandatory training for anyone that wants to carry concealed is a VERY good idea. For the CC person and everyone that they come into contact with. One of the huge drawbacks to WA state concealed carry permit process IMO is NO training required at all. Probably the reason some other states don’t recognize our permits in their state. Also one of the reasons I see a fair amount of unsafe conduct at ranges by folks that should know better.

      If you observe unsafe practices at your range, then the fault lies with the range and its RSO, not your state’s lack of mandatory firearms training.

      There are six states that have constitutional carry, other states that have permit-less open carry, and yet other states that do not include mandatory training as part of their licensing. Surely you can provide statistics that correlate negligent discharges and/or accidental shootings with states’ mandatory training?

      I think the solution is to come up with a program for an enhanced CCP rather than the CPL we have now. Enhanced permit would require classes on safety, legal considerations, self defense, basics of firearms and a life fire test at minimum. The classes could be given by certified private instructors at certified ranges. State would only be involved in the certification of the instructors and ranges and periodic audits of both. The Nevada system could be used as a model. Most important would be that the ECCP (Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit) would give the holder many more rights than the current CPL does.

      Wait: what? Some citizens can have “more” rights than others, with respect to keeping and bearing arms? The natural right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally protected against any and all infringement. Fullstop. This entire “enhanced” carry license line of thinking is a complete non-starter.

      Able to take his/her weapon into places not allowed now. Lesser penalties for accidental carry in prohibited places. Also knives, batons and other weapons could also be legally carried with this permit. A CPL holder, at this time in WA state cannot carry a concealed hunting knife legally, for instance but they can carry a concealed pistol. The right kind of enhanced permit would correct this kind of weapon discrimination for the enhanced permit holders. This permit would likely also be recognized by many states that don’t recognize our current CPLs.

      You know what else would correct it? A proper reading of the second amendment.

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I think conceding that any branch of any government has any authority to control when, where, or how any one of us can or cannot carry a gun, is a very, very, VERY *BAD* idea. There were a bunch of people 230 years ago who thought the same, which is why 2A is so clearly set completely apart from all our other rights, and so clearly worded as an absolute, unlike our other rights. No matter how convincingly supposedly intelligent people lie about it, if you just go back and READ the damn thing, it is perfectly clear. What *you* think should be a mandatory course of learning before a person can exercise a clearly defined RIGHT, you should be advocating as a mandatory course in school, before graduation, maybe in the 8th grade, and/or a cultural mandate to parents. Because government mandated training after you turn 18 (which is itself a questionably arbitrary point) is flat-out unconstitutional, and anyone tolerating it for any reason is unforgivable.

  14. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Might as well have asked: responsibility and liberty , is the burden too great?

    It would seem that some favor relinquishing some essential liberty (bearing arms free of infringement) in the hopes of gaining some measure of safety (fewer negligent discharges/accidental shootings?). I prefer to follow Ben Franklin’s admonishment on that exchange.

  15. avatar Shire-man says:

    Making it mandatory guarantees two things: the cost goes up and the quality goes down.
    The consumer has no real choice since it’s mandatory and the instructors have no incentive to go beyond the required structure agreed upon by politicians who know nothing about what they’re lording over.

    When I lived in one of these mandatory training states the classes were horrendous. Mills set up to churn out as many morons as possible while raking in $200-$300 a head.
    After suffering through one myself I became a certified instructor just so other people wouldn’t have to put up with that crap. I did not charge and I went well-beyond the required material. CT mandates something preposterous like 8 hours to go over the four rules.
    I filled the time with scenario discussions, concealing and drawing blue guns for the folks who wanted to carry and lots and lots of live fire. I wanted them to handle the firearms on hand like they’ve been around them all their lives before they left.

    I got black-listed off of local bulletin boards and ranges by the other instructors who would charge $200 and teach nothing.
    Instructors in those mandatory training states are some of the worst enemies of gun ownership by the way they price out the working class and offer nothing valuable to their students. The whole thing is a con to them and the students their marks.

    Now I live in a state with no mandatory training requirement and just about every gun owner I come across takes regular courses through one of the many training outlets in the state for all the right reasons; personal growth and development and for the sheer love of shooting.

    Mandating a thing is the fastest way to ruin any value that thing has.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      My training in TX was much like that, all 3 times I had to take it. The Legislature deliberately made the course a mandatory 12 hours, with the entire purpose to make it take at least 2 days of your life, to put a huge barrier up in front of anyone who wanted to carry legally. In their turn, instructors offered to do it in one 12-hour day, you can see some real fun going on, here. We made it a bit easier by 3 of us going together, me, the wife, and #1 son, but we were crammed into a tiny room at desks designed for grade school kids, and taught nothing for 12 hours, at a total cost of something like $600. In order to legally exercise a right we were born with.

  16. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

    I don’t believe anyone is every fully prepared to use their weapon. You can train all you want and still make a mistake in the heat of the moment. 80℅ of a DGU is all mental preparation. Its not hard to clear leather and pull the trigger.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Absolute, utter BS. 80%, maybe 90% of a DGU is HAVING A GUN!!! Which is precisely what these requirements are trying to prevent you from having. It seems to me the news is right there every single day, reminding us of how stupid these unconstitutional “rules” are. Today is a good example. It is damn near impossible in DC to possess a firearm of any kind, I gather. So we have a perfectly normal man and his wife and son, plus a housekeeper, held captive in their own home by an asshole with a fucking KNIFE for 24 hours, watching a 10-year-old boy tortured, before all being murdered by being beaten, stabbed, then doused with gasoline and set on fire. And every time the story gets even grimmer, I keep asking myself, “Why didn’t they just SHOOT the sonofabitch?” I guess your answer would be that they hadn’t taken the mandatory course yet? If you handed Daddy, Mom, the 10-year-old, or the housekeeper a pissant Ruger LCP holding just 7 rounds of FMJ .380 target ammo, at any point in those 24 hours, with no training AT ALL, EVER, and no instruction, that event would have ended very differently. The Constitution recognizes that fact, since such events were undoubtedly more common then than now, why do so many of us not recognize it, even with events like this in the news RIGHT NOW?

  17. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    “… there’s still quite a bit of political tension rattling the debate about whether or not people are ready to take responsibility for their firearms.”

    Yet strangely enough there aren’t similar debates about any of the rest of our enumerated Rights from the Bill of RIghts? No one questions the right to Free Speech. Or asks you if you are really capable of being a Christian or Muslim or any other religion out there. No one asks if you are ready to be secure in your home or if you are truly capable of standing before, or on, a jury of your peers.

    1. avatar Doug says:

      Haven’t been watching the Supremes using emanations and penumbras where an alleged right is not there to over-rule the very first right, an enumerated right?

      1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        Just try suggesting to your average hoplophobe the idea of mandatory training of any kind to cast a ballot and see what happens.

        1. avatar Another Robert says:

          yup–Actually been tried, after a fashion–literacy tests, civics tests, etc. They are apparently , shall we say, disfavored?

  18. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Nobody is born with the latent ability to take a pistol from an inside the waistband concealed carry holster and instantly put shots on target.
    Which is why ignorant children can pick up a gun and shoot another person in the house so well.
    That’s something acquired through meticulous training and practice.
    Something the government high speed low drag operators really do not have.

  19. avatar Bob Watson says:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, after they have been properly trained and certified, shall not be infringed”.
    I fixed it for the framers of the constitution.

    I was an NRA certified firearms instructor and taught the NRA personal protection class in the 80’s. The potential benefits of “getting some training” are undeniable, they are not guaranteed. The bell curve applies to both students and instructors, some are great, most are average and some are pathetic.

    With that in mind, has anyone ever heard of an instructor, who charges 200 to 300 dollars (or more) , flunking a student at the end of the class? Refusing to sign a certificate for a student who paid the money and spent the time in class, does that ever happen? Has anyone ever attempted to quantify the results of required training? Do legal concealed carriers in constitutional carry states have higher rates of accidents or bad shoots than permitted concealed carriers in states that require training?

    Conditioning the exercise of a constitutionaly protected right, a core right, a natural right on the dubious value of a required class is outrageous.

    1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      Yet there are some here who defend that government-mandated practice with ease….
      I only wonder what other rights they are willing to infringe upon for their “safety”.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      The entire, and I mean *entire* purpose of required “training” is prevention of the exercise of a right. It is, itself, an example of tyranny.

  20. avatar Roymond says:

    I believe in mandatory training — for all. Start in first grade, with safety training for those who shouldn’t handle firearms (e.g. Eddie Eagle). By graduation from high school, every citizen should know how to carry safely, handle safely, practice safely, clean up safely, and store safely handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

    Tannerite comes in as a junior in high school (consider it an incentive not to drop out).

    1. avatar derrickman says:

      This ^^^, 100% mandatory training for everyone. The framework is already in place. Public education should be used to teach life skills to children. If kids are mandated to go to school until 18 then teach them some things worth firearm safety.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Oh, HELL yes. Especially the Tannerite! And we’re only talking 1-2 hours a year.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    MA requires a four-hour class to obtain a license. I paid $60 for my training; my ex paid $40 (ladies discount). I got nothing out of the class because I was already experienced, but the other students did. I’m not arguing for mandatory training, but I am arguing for elective training.

    When I wanted to receive a firearms license in Nevada, I was required to take an eight-hour class, pass a joke of a test and pass a shooting practical. The class was free because Bob Irwin, who owns The Gun Store in LV, is a 2A evangelist. The instructors were very good. But the course was still a total waste of time and resources.

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Yeah it’s a waste of time-especially in Illinois. I see NO bloodbaths a mile away in Indiana where there are NO requirements for lifetime CCL…

  22. avatar Danilushka says:

    It is interesting that we have a higher burden to justify defending ourselves than the criminal will held to and will be punished for attacking us. Nearly no one sues a criminal in civil court for damages or gets Holder and the DOJ to come down on them for ‘civli rights violations’ for defending themselves or doing their LEO job.

  23. avatar Warlocc says:

    My state has mandatory “training” in order to get a license to carry- Massachusetts. I had to pay 200 bucks to have a guy tell me stuff that I knew already.

    He also showed me how to work the slide in a fashion that would muzzle the person next to me (not in a safe manner).

    And 4 hours later, I took a state written test with ten questions (one question on it that was clearly written by someone anti-gun) and passed.

    This is the problem with mandating tests. We have to pay whatever price the instructors make up, and they do the bare minimum that the state requires. There’s no actual training or instruction. Or if there is, it makes people more dangerous than if they hadn’t had the training at all.

    Most of us that own guns self train above and beyond what’s even required of law enforcement, so having to pay hundreds of dollars for a worthless exam is definitely an infringement and bars entry to people that already have trouble paying for guns, ammo, REAL training, and range time.

    If training is going to be mandated at all, it should be free, paid for by the state mandating it- which would also give them incentive to make sure it was thorough training.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Absolutely anything the government mandates in the name of “public safety” should be paid for by the public, ie taxpayers, whether it is firearms training or guardrails on the highway. And should apply equally to everyone, just as that guardrail does not move out of the way for certain people. Mandatory firearms training should be paid for by the taxpayer, and forced on children in school whether their parents like it or not. That would end it instantly.

  24. avatar TwinReverb says:

    Training is highly recommended, but I don’t know if I would make it mandatory. Part of me says yes in light of stupid things people already do, especially while driving. Part of me says no, in light of how liberty should require responsibility, and that responsible people seek training instinctively.

    I’d rather the minimum requirement be insurance, actually. But again, how much government “interference” do we want? And is our populace ready for the nanny state to cut the strings? Have people been lulled into a false sense of safety by being babysat?

    I’d say insurance is barely (0.1%) more important than training. Training does not completely prevent irresponsibility, though it helps immensely. We will always be human beings, imperfect and prone to error no matter how diligently we seek to be responsible. Therefore I say insurance. But I’d also say everyone should also have training.

    So there’s no good way to do it. I never received training (though I sat through one with the wife) because in my state military don’t need training to get a CWL. And I took it upon myself to go read and watch YouTube and do everything I could to learn prior to that. I had carried for a solid year without an incident.

    But I got insurance as soon as I got my CWL.

    So that’s my opinion, but I can’t say there’s any clear best way to do things. Training doesn’t make people perfect, unfortunately. Insurance can become a crutch. One could go on and on about this.

  25. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    State-sponsored mandatory training classes are really just a way for the state to poke you for a few hundred dollars. It’s about the money, honey. In some states the whole process is about the intimidation factor to discourage people from carrying.

    Real training, on the other hand as provided by many good schools, is well worth the money which is why I train regularly.

  26. avatar PeterK says:

    One thing that sucks is wanting to get training now, but having no permit. Most classes are only open to someone with a permit. 😛 Maybe to make sure you’ve at least passed the mandatory training? Maybe just CMA?

    Annoying either way.

  27. avatar Mark N. says:

    California mandates 16 hours “training” for an initial license, and 4 hours every two years for the renewal. The 16 hours is split into 8 hours classroom and 8 hours range time. Some counties require a qualification shoot, others do not. In my county, the 8 hours of range time consists of basic safety rules and 100 rounds fired over the eight hours–which is how much I shoot in one, with ranges of 3, 7 and 15 yards. The classroom is supposed to teach the law applicable to CCW and lawful self defense, which is useful for most people, but it doesn’t take 8 hours to cover the pertinent information, so there is a lot of fluff to fill out the time.

    But without a CCW, you have to pay $25 and pass a multiple choice test to get a permit to buy firearms. It used to be only for handguns (called a Handgun Safety Certificate), but now it is for all “firearms”, and includes a safe loading and unloading demo by the purchaser. Yes, it is a revenue measure. But then again, I had a case where a first time buyer passed the test but stil did not know how to load her Glock (which as it turned out was a good thing because she would have shot someone unlawfully if she had known what she was doing).

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