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Click here to download the results. Meanwhile, I have to say it: enough with the training already. How much training does a woman who may face a rapist need before she’s “allowed” to buy and use a handgun? An elderly woman worried about muggers? The most important aspect of self-defense is “shoot / don’t shoot.” And I’m not so sure you can train everyone on that score. And even if you could, making that training mandatory is bound to abridge the public’s right to keep and bear arms. My two cents.

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  1. Hopefully all the criminals will move to IL, WI, NJ and NY where they can rob anyone without fear of getting shot.

    • WI basically has constitutional open carry except in vehicles, and no permits or registration or gun or magazine restrictions, so criminals might want to stick to robbing people in NJ.

  2. People don’t need to be trained to recognize when they are being killed/raped. They need training to bridge the gap between rational and irrational fears. “Fearing for your life” does not always mean that your life is actually in danger. A crazy, knife-wielding maniac on the other side of your triple locked, solid wood door, shouting ‘I’m gonna cut your guts out!’ would scare the pants off of anybody, but shooting them through the door would be hard to justify.
    There is a big gray Bermuda Triangle between “No Shoot” and “Clean Shoot” that many people are completly unaware of. Some will wander into it and never return.

    Even a 2 hour class is enough to make people aware of the basic do’s and don’ts, and hopefully encourage them find out what else they didn’t know that they didn’t know.

    I don’t go so far as to MANDATE training, but we all ought to be doing our part to encourage people to get some level of it before strapping their guns on.

  3. The cross-tabs show that nearly 70% of those polled were women. In 2008, 52% of the Illinois electorate was female.

    So these numbers a bit skewed.

    • Goes to show you can skew a poll in HOPES of skewing the results. Typically women would be more opposed (or so the thinking goes) – but in actuality, I think women have an even GREATER understanding of the issue. Had it been closer to actual M/F demographics, the number of those saying yes would have been even higher…

  4. People who are serious about defending themselves with a firearm will seek out any training they deem necessary on their own. Voluntary education is the appropriate technique.

    Gun safety can not be legislated. Gun training under threat of law will result in nothing more than another tool in the toolbox of gun prohibitionists.

  5. What really frosts my cupcake about these polls is that any people in their right minds could believe that the police can protect them. Where do they find those morons? Oh, wait. They’re the same people who elected the Daleys and Carol Moseley Braun.

  6. While I’m not passionate about it one way or the other, I think mandatory training might help the cause. I’m certainly opposed to anything that costs more than maybe $100, and it should be a one-time deal, not recurring. We all agree that anybody planning to carry should, at the very least, understand the basic rules of gun safety, and the laws regarding self-defense. Women who are new to guns and want to carry are likely to seek out training voluntarily, but young men, they don’t need to read the directions. Testicles make education unnecessary. My opinion is based on a couple of occasions when I’ve made hasty departures from a popular quarry in the National Forest, because armed knuckleheads were waving pistols every which way. I suppose I could have tried to give them a lecture about muzzle discipline instead. I know we can’t legislate common sense, but maybe we should at least lead those horses to water.

    • You can’t have it all: easy access to self-defense firearms for the general public (shock horror!) as guaranteed by the U.S. constitution and mandatory training. Screw the idea of balancing the two; gun control advocates will bend the training system to their will. As they already have in D.C. and Chicago. Either that or worse: bureaucrats will make it like getting a driving license.

      All I am saying is give Darwinism a chance. A decade after Constitutional Carry and incidences of negligent discharges and redneck tomfoolery will return to their current round-to-zero percentage. Assuming it spikes. Which I’d bet dollars to donuts it wouldn’t.

        • Frankly – look at those states that are either no permit required or Shall Issue – you don’t see a whopping percentage of people carrying – what, maybe 15% if THAT many… 85%, even though they can carry, prefer not to – so the larger majority of carriers are probably by the rules, law-abiding citizens to begin with – If I were not REQUIRED to get training, I would still find and take it because it is the right thing to do… and if I could not find it or afford it, there are many ways to find out the information and training from reputable sources (such as TTAG, another plug)…

  7. I strongly believe in no training or licensing requirements like Vermont. If you have a training requirement, that means you have to have a “qualified instructor” teach the course, which means classes will cost money, and you will have to wait to enroll in the course, which leads to licensing, and people getting harmed or killed. You also have groups of people who don’t want to go to firearms safety courses, but just want to go through the motions to get their paperwork in order.

    I’m a firearms instructor and have had several people who take the courses to go through the motion to get the paperwork. Most of these individuals are dangerous in the class because they have the, “I’ve handled firearms all my life” mentality which is the worst sense of complaceny and negligence. Case in point, someone I know who is a police officer who shot himself stated this to me two days before he shot himself in the thigh. I don’t want to teach people who are taking my class as a requirement, but because they want to learn.

    Another problem I’ve witnessed are individuals having to take the course because they had to get a protective / restraining order on someone else. Because the students are dependent on the instructors to complete the class, the students are also dependent on the instructors for their safety after the class. Essentially, the more time that the student has to wait to take the required course, the risks inscrease.

    To me, it’s counter-intuitive to have laws that require you get a license and satisfy training requirements, or even to get a license. People who have training, one is the police officer I know, still have negligent discharges and shoot themselves. I believe that if you look at the statistics in Vermont, you’ll notice there are not as high as negligent discharges, therefore you cannot at see a correlation between required training.

    I believe this mentality is the same we’re facing approximately twenty years ago with the image of concealed carry was negative.

    • I think you’re right about the “I’ve handled firearms all my life” thing. Of course, I’d say the same thing, and I’ve had no formal training beyond the basic NRA course at summer camp. But a ton of respect, a little fear, and a large dollop of humility go a long way. I believe you, that the knuckleheads aren’t going to listen anyway (that’s why I don’t bother to risk approaching them). I’ve talked to guys who say “My Dad taught me all about guns,” and that’s exactly the problem.

      So you and RF have sold me, mandatory training doesn’t actually help. If I choose to get a permit, I’ll get at least the bare minimum, hopefully better. Of course, first I’ll have to buy a handgun that’s not a .22.

      I still think the idea of mandatory training might help with selling the CC concept. But if you’re winning, why compromise?

      • It’s not exactly mandatory but what if proof of you taking a recognized training class extends your permit by a year? Keep taking classes and you’ll soon have your own lifetime permit because you can rack them up like “storage” so to speak.

        • I like the “carrot” approach. Even if you have Constitutional Carry, maybe taking a class recognized by the DA should give you some benefit of the doubt in court. An “Affirmative Defense,” if you will. Lawyers please weight in.

  8. I have a Modest Proposal for all the anti-gun groups. I propose that they use Illinois as a laboratory for a plan whereby they fund free, extensive gun training for anyone who wants it. The training, designed by the NRA, covers shoot/don’t shoot decisions, marksmanship, gun selection and maintenance, gun storage, laws that concern open and conceal carry, et cetera.

    If the gun groups truly want people to operate guns safely, they should put their money where their mouths are. If the training is successful, they should be happy, right?

    Of course, we know that this will NEVER happen. They don’t want private citizens operating guns safely. That’s already the norm. They want to use “training” as a way of stopping people from getting guns, either by pricing it out of reach, or by making it so difficult to pass, no one will qualify.

    Seriously, if training is such a great idea (and it is), let’s see groups like the Brady Bunch fund it.

    • Setting aside your Modest Proposal irony, you may be on to something.

      I’d like to see more outreach with training. Pro-gun groups do actually have a ton of money, and a lot could be done. You’ll have to be willing to bridge the Cultural Divide, though. Certainly the Pink Pistols are on to something. A lot of American Muslims have been the targets of violence and harassment. And, of course, women are always likely targets of violent crime. If you can shed some of your right-wing baggage, or at least slide it over into the closet for an afternoon, you’d be unstoppable. Currently, the people who are most likely to be armed (white guys in the suburbs and beyond) are by far the least likely to be victims of violent crime. Reach out to the people who really are living in fear.

          • I was looking for a cost-effective means of training that could be given to the people who really need it the most.

            100-300 USD for a class is a lot of money, not to mention ammunition – unless I am missing something here…the partisans’ training is to show people that almost anyone can do it and achieve a reasonable level of combat effectiveness.

  9. Great points all.
    AntiCitizen: In my state, all restaurants are required to post their health inspection records. Ones that do well get bronze, silver and gold stickers that everyone can see. It would be cool if a person could take extra training and do well and get a gold card, or platinum card, or some kind of add-ons. Maybe make it feel like the permit is just the beginning rather than the end.

    Brad: We are working towards campus carry in AZ. If the friggin universities were actually concerned with safety they would sell classes with ample ‘Lab Time’ and such. But its not. Its about control.

  10. Every Police Department of any size has at least one training officer and access to a safe shooting range. These are already paid for by taxes, why are these under utilized assets not used to offer (not) free training to all the citizens of any locality without charge. When the local authorities bother to get involved with “gun safety” at all it seems the norm is to spew anti-gun propaganda to elementary school children.

  11. As a former L/E Firearms Instructor I was always pissed off at the annual (only) practice of requalifying officers on the range. Those who chose not to keep up their skills and (especially tried to improve) would have to be carried through-because my superiors wouldn’t ” can” them unless they committed a gross safety violation. These were the ones who would even have rusty pistols and just never quite clued in about maintaining any of their equipment! I personally witnessed a local city cop fire 12, count them-12, rounds point blank at an injured deer in a ditch before the the animal was finished off! Mind you, the broken back from the car having hit it completely immobilized it-maybe Barney needed a moving target at the 5 foot distance!

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