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I like firearms training. It’s fun! And yes, it might someday save my life. But the vast majority of gun owning Americans don’t train. At all. Ever. Which means that the majority of armed Americans who perform a successful defensive gun use do so without training. And yet the antis argue that only police are trained enough to use a gun effectively.The Second Amendment is silent on the subject. Don’t you be! How important is firearms training? More to the point, are you OK with a newbie carrying a gun without any training?

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  1. Moderately. You don’t need a lot of training to use a gun effectively in the average defensive scenario. However, it’s the outliers that will getcha.

  2. I would recommend training to anyone, newbie or otherwise, but I don’t feel it is an absolute must to own or carry a weapon.

    • ^ This. Training is important, and highly recommended. Necessary? Nope. And if we start requiring training to exercise a *right* then, how is it in fact a right, and not a privilege?

  3. Panning for coin. I’ve trained more than I ever wanted and most likely not again. I’m getting old, my right shoulder is weaken, wear glasses. The fight that comes will be close in, two-four yards max, well withing the range of my barrel.

  4. Nowhere in the 2nd does it say anything about training. Except the well regulated part. If only people really understood that.

    Cost and round counts for courses are becoming astronomical. $600 for the course and 1200 rounds over two days? Really? Excessive much? I understand overhead and all, and trying to make a living.

    I’m more in tune with 4 to 6 hours and a couple hundred rounds 4 or 5 times a year.

      • Uh… yes it does.
        “Well Regulated” at the time of the 2A’s writing meant “Well functioning, of proper working order”.
        Training would most definitely be a part of that, though not something government was given the power to place any mandates on.

  5. He made one very good point. Training makes you more security conscious so you lower your chances of having to defend yourself with a gun.

    As far as training goes, a good defensive pistol course is all the training you really need. Then practice what you learned on a regular basis. Trianing without practice is worth less than practicing the right things without formal training. So just because all you have done is taken lots of courses doesn’t mean you are better prepared than someone who has just taken the fundamentals and practices them on a regular basis. No DGU is going to be like the one you trained for. You will have to “improvise, adapt and overcome,”

  6. Training?
    As in,
    Physical training….
    Weapons training….
    Mental training……..
    Threat assessment….
    Medical training……
    Legal training……..
    ……yes…its all beneficial and makes for a sharper tool in the box.
    But history is full of people that have made an impact without any formal training.
    I train because the bad guys do as well.
    If the time ever comes…i want to have the skills to royally screw their plans.
    If it never comes…i still did my part to the best of my abilities.

  7. Of course not, never trained a day in my life and I’ve been carrying this tricked out Glock in my pocket for years. Watch how fast I can draw my *shoots self in ass*

  8. Meh- when I saw it was nearly 5 minutes of yeager I didn’t bother watching. Training is great but being willing to shoot(and deal with the aftermath) is equally or more important. Like the 12 year old with a shotgun or the little old lady shooting her late husbands old 38 from the bedside…but obviously having skill,tactics and training is a good thing.

  9. Training is good

    Just not i-should-have-training-instead-of-a-gun good

    The guy is mixing up training and common sense

    Sorry i dont need instructions under the watchful eye of a competent instructor (what a fv<kin mouthful) to know i should lock my doors, watch my six, dont go to stupid places with stupid people…

    But i'm sure as hell i need a gun

    But then still, i train as a mall ninja very frequently. I wont blame anyone that dont have the time or money to do so, not in the least.

    Read the manual, though, please

  10. Be responsible! If something happens, lack of training or not, accept the consequences… Simple

  11. “The Great Equalizer” is what we called firearms long before civilian self-defense courses became a thing.

    It’s like driving a car: The average person can operate a vehicle safely in probably 99% of situations with a short amount of verbal instruction combined with common sense and some observation of others. Someone with extensive defensive driving training or a professional competitive driver, however, is much better equipped to handle those 1% type situations successfully.

    Now, substitute firearm for vehicle/car and shooting/shooter for driving/driver. We can see that reality played out hundreds and thousands of times a year in The Armed Citizen and other DGU reports. I’ll be attending a course this coming weekend, but that’s to improve my already favourable odds and to have a good time more than because I feel it’s “necessary” to win a DGU fight.

  12. Europe uses training requirements to keep people from owning guns….I support as much training as you can afford…but if you read actual stories of gun self defense….many people, with little to no training handle themselves well with a gun…since they aren’t required to pursue an attacker, hump hills in Afghanistan…they just have to drive off an attacker…that doesn’t take a lot of SEAL level of training to accomplish.

    That is the equalizing ability of the gun…..and why guns are so important to self defense…….for the vast amount of human history we didn’t have any guns….and the strong enslaved the weak…until guns came along, then the weak had a way to defeat the strong…and civilization and freedom followed.

    • Training is good; and, as soon as we conceded this point the gun-grabbers will use it to set an ever-rising threshold before one is allowed the privilege of exercising their 2A rights.
      Too many posters seem to assert that: “If you are not as well trained as I am then you are not qualified to have a gun.” They aren’t that blunt about it, but that’s the gist.
      In my opinion, the key factors are: attitude; aptitude; knowledge; reaction instinct. You can’t get attitude from training. Training will make the most of your aptitude, but it won’t make the aptitude itself. God gave us the internet to make knowledge available to those that don’t have the cash for expensive training. Whether you freeze, fly or fight is instinctive.
      If you can’t afford the training, society can’t trust you with a gun. No guns for Negros for the 21’st Century.

  13. Depends.

    It depends on if you make your living sell it or not. If you do it’s very important, if you don’t then it’s not.

  14. Training in general is good. Is it necessary for the average concealed or open carrier? No, I don’t think so. It’s a good idea to have at least one course under your belt and just practice at home. That should be enough to get you through most situations you face .

    I’ve been lucky to have hundreds and hundreds of hours and countless rounds of training from the military and civilian job. That sort of training comes in handy for teams of people searching/clearing a building, reacting to contact of a coordinated attack, barricaded subject, hostage situation, etc. It’s good training and it makes an absolute world of difference in those scenarios. For the average citizen street encounter, all that stuff isn’t really necessary.

    Keep in mind that instructors are ultimately selling a product, and some will suggest unorthodox techniques that serve no real purpose other than to make them stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

  15. Does one need training? No. One can learn most of the fundamentals from manuals and the internet. Is it desirable? Yes. Professional instructors, for any physical activity from dance to sports to defensive shooting can see what you cannot and can impart knowledge of things most would not know enough to even ask about. That said, I have never had the time or the money to have any professional training for firearms, though I would have liked to.

  16. As an EMT and as a former competitive shooter/current recreational shooter, I will agree with Yeager that competent training will lead to your body and hands doing the right thing at the right time when the need to perform happens. Having said that, merely training to handle a firearm does not translate to competent handling of a firearm you pick up at the scene if you’ve never used it or handled it only briefly. Which is why I cringe whenever I hear of a cop disarming a CCW armed citizen during an encounter in the name of “officer safety”. Not that I don’t have issue with any cop disarming a law abiding citizen who merely had the nerve to carry a concealed weapon lawfully, but because of the thought of your regular beat cop trying to un-holster and unload a potentially unfamiliar weapon is just asking for a negligent discharge. Unless you train on a multitude of weapons platforms, the odds are that you’re going to fumble when it comes time to pick up somebody else’s weapon and use it. If you’re going to get training, carry a gun. And if you’re going to carry a gun, get training.

    And no. I would not take any of Yeager’s classes.

  17. Dumbass apparently DOES need training more than the tool. Used his razor on his melon and ass but couldn’t figure out was actually for use on his face. I’m sure $600 could fix this.

  18. Sounds like we all agree.

    “Training is not essential” but occasional practice with your own gun is ideal.

    I think the mental is underempahsized and can’t be fully taught. Are you prepared to: 1 Recognize threats and act appropriately (that might mean retreating)
    2. Use lethal force in close quarters without hesitation.

  19. Think about some Tier 1 SF guy, millions invested in his training and equipment, just to get a bullet in the head, ricocheted of a wall, from an unzeroed, unmaintained weapon, from an untrained enemy who wasn’t even aiming at him. The best training you can get is your own not being a stupid person, doing stupid things in stupid places.

  20. Learning to safely handle a gun is a must. Past that training is not needed. But it is a free country and you can spend your leisure dollars in any fashion you see fit. We have better odds of catching a lighting bolt and hitting the Mega Millions on the same day than we do of having to secure the Nakatomi Tower.

  21. Training is good, and fun, but there are plenty of examples of people with little to no training effectively using a firearm to defend themselves and others.

    But I do find Yeager to be an irritating and obnoxious example of a gangster/thug wanna be that makes it difficult to take anything he says, seriously.

  22. Training from vetted trainers not clowns. Therein lies the issue. Apparently it has become popular to scream, cuss and threaten students to establish dominance by trainers who are unable to clearly articulate the agenda, expectations and requirements. Pushing the envelope with weapons safety in an attempt to “show someone what can go wrong” is the norm too.
    POPULAR ISNT VETTED remember this.

    • What method do you use to “vette” such people?

      For me, it would be to ask people I trust that might have taken a training class with the people I’m interested in. Also read their back ground and training philosophy. Get reviews from people that have taken the class.

  23. Depends on the “training.”

    I see a great many younger shooters today who can’t shoot competently at a round bullseye target. They’re used to shooting reactive targets, ‘zone’ targets, etc. But ask them to put this bullet into that 3″ circle at 100 yards… and they can’t do it. They don’t know how to use a sling, (any sling), they don’t know the difference between a sling and a carrying strap, they don’t know how to adjust iron sights, how to properly clear a jam on a semi-auto… on and on and on. But man, do they have all the operational kit on them, from the shoes on up.


    Physical training is always good, if for nothing other than the exercise.

    Training in how to disassemble, clean and re-assemble a gun you own is a good thing for all gun owners. That said, little old ladies who want their bedside pieces to be stripped, cleaned, reassembled and reloaded with fresh ammo every year are a staple of many gunsmiths all over the country. These women don’t change the oil in their own cars, and they don’t detail strip their own guns. However, they know it has to be done, and they have it done competently.

    Training in how to select the proper ammunition for your task at hand is good.

    Training how to hit a target on the first shot, time and time again – always good. Training how to put a handgun on target from muscle memory so you don’t even need to aim? Very good, but maybe not necessary. Lots of perps have been laid out by people who haven’t fired a gun before it was used for lethal effect.

    Training in the proper and safe operation your gun? Always good.

    Running, jumping, squeaking around a range in BDU’s, Oakleys and camo, shooting at reactive targets (which require you to stand back a fair distance to avoid your own splatter) while looking menacing and scanning both ways before you reholster “tactically?” Mostly useless.

      • True. Unfortunately, it is also difficult to come by, most ranges (in my experience) do not allow it. Learning on private property (ie teaching yourself) could be dangerous. Seems like immersion in shooting games may be the best bet, and I’m too old and decrepit for that.

  24. I recommend training. I also recommend not following/listening to/watching/sharing a single God damned thing that James Yeager has to say. He is to guns what Ted Haggard was to the Church … simply terrible.

  25. Training is like anything else in our system. It may function adequately but we can make improvements. Practice is indeed neglected.

    I will also say thay the emphasis on training is somewhat misrepresented. A 90yo who was untrained with a gun is likely better than a 90yo with a ton of training just because they are less physically able on average. A carpenter still needs a hammer to put in nails when nails need nailed.

  26. Honestly, I think it depends on the person, their situation and what they want.

    Some people are, forgive the term, completely fucking retarded. They require training to put some common sense between their ears and give them a grasp of how a simple mechanical device functions. These are the people who look at you like you just grew a second head if you hand them a socket wrench which sounds funny but in today’s society such folks are alarmingly common.

    When I say “their situation” I mean their financial and living/work situation.

    Then there’s what the person wants. If you want to be a tacticool mall ninja operator that operationally operates all over your AO every weekend and you can afford to do so, go for it. Do you need that training? No. I can think of literally 0 situations where it will be truly useful. Sure, a mass shooting with multiple hostiles in a mall could happen when you’re there. The chances you just happen to be wearing your plate carrier, chest rig, toting your rifle and have your mall ninja buddies with you to take down the threat while cracking jokes like Mat Best is about 0.00%. . You’re better off taking a tactical medical class, buying a good holster and carrying a full size pistol in a decent caliber. A lot of people think I overemphasize medical, but I’ll say this yet again: If you’re caught up in an event like this and you or a loved one/friend/associate/stranger are wounded you’re relying on self-aid and buddy-aid for the time being. Cops will have to show up, surround the area, take down the shooter(s) and then search the area for explosives and other boobytraps before EMS is allowed in. You bleeding to death on the floor is 100% a secondary concern to them. (Just look at the 3+ hours of bullshit in Orlando). The cavalry is hours away here folks, can you keep someone with two GSWs breathing long enough for EMS to get them to a hospital?

    Then there is of course, the cost of all this. For me, locally there’s a company with a shoothouse. Awesome right? No, not really because even if you can prove you got out of MARSOC just yesterday they require you to take all the prerequisite courses. That’s Basic Pistol, Intermediate Pistol, Advanced Pistol 1, Advanced Pistol 2 and Tactical Pistol. Five classes but you still can’t use the shoothouse. You have to take 10 more classes five for shotgun and five for the AR. What’s that, you like the AK? Too bad. Buy an AR. They don’t “do” the AK. By the time you’re done, assuming you already owned the AR, shotgun and pistol, you’re talking about nearly $8700 in class fees and ammo before you can set foot in their shoothouse. That’s a wealthy person’s game right there. Not applicable to your average Joe with mouths to feed or to that single mom living in the projects who needs a pistol to defend her apartment against drugged out attackers.

    And of course, regardless of the level, your training needs to be done by someone who isn’t a chucklehead.

    If you’re going to get training (assuming you’re a noob) then you want to get a gun, familiarize yourself with it and put 500 or more rounds through it. Now you can think about taking a class. After the class, you likely don’t need another one, at least not right away. Go to the range and practice what you learned once a week using 100-200 rounds.

  27. Operating a modern, cartridge fed, weapon, is, as is opening a modern screw cap bottle, one of those things that you can get very much usefully proficient at, with very little training.

    Of course, progressives are, as evidenced by the very fact that they fall for progressivism, unusually likely to be stumped by both gun operation and bottle opening. Rendering them usefully easy prey for the sham that only state certified, trained bottle openers charged with keeping Bloomberg well hydrated, have any business being in possession of such dangerous glass implements.

    • Progs claim that people need extensive training with firearms to handle them safely yet at the same time progs claim the firearms make murder easy. It can’t be both at the same time.

      I wouldn’t be shocked if a the machinations of a bottle opener eluded them.

  28. Wow.. The ignorance on this thread is staggering. I am dumfounded that so many people think all there is to defending your life with a firearm is a little range time.

    The more training you do, the more you realize how much more there is to know.

    If training is not needed, why are the newbie participants at training classes so incompetent?

    • Oh now. The accidental death rate by firearms is the lowest method as listed in the CDC wensite.

      The effective use of firearms for self-defense by one of the lowest figures is 80 thousand up to a couple of million a year.

      If the misuse of those firearms by “incompetent” citizens, woyld have led to the charge of manslaughter because they killed the wrong person, the left would be singing it from the roof tops.

      So no, your contempt is not warranted.

    • Um, yea. That’s the point.

      Defending your life without a firearm takes a tremendous amount of training – whether in unarmed martial arts, or with a sword/dagger/etc.

      The whole point of guns is that they are a great equalizer. One of the reasons why guns were abolished in Japan was that the mere ownership of a gun contested the supremacy of one of the most highly trained and educated martial castes in human history, the samurai.

      Of course there’s always more to learn. That’s true of all of life. But the question was “how important is training?”

      And in the pages of newspaper after newspaper across this country, the answer is “not all that much.” Plenty of people with scant, if any, training, have used guns have successfully to defend themselves.

      I’ve taken plenty of courses in shooting, firearms law, self-defense law, plus years of schooling in gunsmithing, machining, etc. Without sounding like a braggart, there’s darn few people in the civilian world who have put as much money and time into learning about guns as I have. I’ve put 10’s of thousands of dollars into training on guns, just in course fees and tuition alone. Let’s put aside the costs of guns, ammo and fuel to drive to/from these courses and training.

      After all that training, schooling and study, I honestly have to admit that none of this stuff is required, and most isn’t important, to successfully defend one’s self with a gun. When the turds hit the turbine, there’s one, and only one, thing that is important in defending one’s self against people who wish to injure or kill you: have a gun. Everything else starts falling down the page into the footnotes.

      • +1

        Like golf, self defense is takes place in the 5″ space between your ears. You can have all the training in world but if you don’t have the head for it then you are going to fail but if you have The head for it then you will succeed regardless of what training you have.

    • “If training is not needed, why are the newbie participants at training classes so incompetent?”

      Are we being a bit snotty? Would you like to take one of those “incompetents” out, put a loaded .45 in his hand, then run at him with a knife screaming Allah Akbar? Zero training beyond basic firearm function is necessary for self defense. 3 years after starting to carry a loaded .357 occasionally, the first training I ever got was from the USAF, who had me shoot a .38 at a paper target and gave me an “expert marksman” badge for it. No quick-draw, no over-the-shoulder with a mirror, standing on your head, or just learning how to feel/act superior is necessary. Training/practice/more guns purchased is nice, and helpful, but not necessary. A narcissistic operator who daily operates operationally? Well, of course. But that is not self defense.

  29. Realistically, I do not see most people having the time or money for elite training courses even if they are available to the serfs.
    I think resources would be better spent on some practice and familiarity of the gun.

  30. It’s funny how often this topic comes up.

    Training is important, but I suppose someone can do fine without it under certain circumstances. Look at it this way, some people get training in everything from tennis to mountain climbing and other people just go out and try it on their own. The ones with training obviously do much better at things than the ones without.

    Of course, one also has to consider that someone carrying a gun with no training will probably not only do as well defending themselves, but could be a danger to other innocent people but there’s no way to mandate that people get any training beyond what their sate requires for a permit. Personally, I think training is important, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to get. Just sign up for the USPSA meets and you will quickly learn a lot at a cost of about $20-$30 a meet plus the ammo.

    • “Just sign up for the USPSA meets and you will quickly learn a lot at a cost of about $20-$30 a meet plus the ammo.”

      Maybe we have a problem with terminology, here. That sounds a lot like “practice” to me, much less like “training”.

  31. If Chucky says I need training to avoid killing a pissed off Navy Seal, that is good enough for me.

  32. Attitude, rest, diet, physical fitness, weapons manipulation, equipment choice. My priorities in order. Weapons training is almost last, but absolutely vital.

  33. California just went one inch further I wonder if he’s going to start shooting people

  34. Yeager’s a toolbag. If i were ever to commit the time and funds to training, it wouldn’t be with that douche.

  35. I think the basics will get people pretty far and will likely be sufficient for the average criminal encounter where it will be you vs. a single or multiple threat.

    However, with the advent of coordinated attacks and mass shootings, it seems reasonable to want to seek out training that will expose you to how to factor and deal with large numbers of civilians and crowded environments.

  36. I am all for training and I have taken a lot of it, but I am not for it as a requirement. What I might discuss is a requirement is proficiency testing. If you can pass a short written test on gun safety, handle a gun safely on the range and get in the kill zone at three yards, you should be able to carry. The whole thing should take about an hour, like a driver’s test. I know it would be yet another 2A infringement, but we already have about 30,000 of them, at least this one might help.

    I am disappointed with a lot of the training I’ve taken. I think much of it is unrealistic, misleading and geared more toward the instructor showing how cool he is and getting you to sign up for more courses.

  37. Gotta love the response to Yeager’s “stupid internet gun stuff” videos with stupid internet gun stuff. Every single criticism of Yeager is ad hominem.

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