Gunsite Academy Training Class
Courtesy Kat Ainsworth
Gunsite Academy Training Class
Courtesy Kat Ainsworth

For decades, the gun control industry has preached that all gun owners must be trained, preferably as a prerequisite to owning a firearm. If they had their way, we’d have a law mandating long, no doubt expensive courses before anyone is allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Maybe we will, one day soon.

Here we have a Wired writer engaging in some tight-fisted pearl-clutching over the growing prevalence of…firearms training….and the tens (hundreds?) of thousand of responsible gun owners who pay for it every year. What Rachel Monroe’s piece really is is 6000 words of alarmist projection of her innate fear and distaste for gun-owning Americans and the (to her) mysterious gun culture in general.

[T]he tactical shooting world also attracts a much wider range of people: gun bros and gamers, preppers and adrenaline junkies, LARPers who want to spend their weekends cosplaying as commandos, and crime victims seeking a particular flavor of empowerment. Women make up a growing proportion of students, and the industry is increasingly catering to preachers and teachers who want to know how to face a mass shooter.

“We’re getting a lot of nontraditional gun owners, and some people who don’t want people to know they’re learning to shoot guns,” says Ken Campbell, the CEO of Gunsite, which claims to be the country’s oldest tactical training facility.

As we head into an era that seems destined to be marked by escalating vigilantism and political violence—or, if we’re very lucky, just the fear of them—it’s time to reckon with the whole of American tactical culture. For all its power to shape this moment, that culture has roots that long precede it.

The tactical world is a byproduct of years of rampant mass shootings and of our nation’s longest wars, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a space where paramilitary ideas thrive and where ordinary gun owners learn to see themselves as potential heroes; but it’s also where many Americans have simply gone looking for a way to negotiate living in a country where there are more firearms than people.

To try to understand it better, I spent this fall absorbing its mix of skills training, political indoctrination, and camaraderie. Sometimes it felt like CrossFit with bullets; sometimes it was more alarming than that.

— Rachel Monroe in I Am Not a Soldier, but I Have Been Trained to Kill

53 COMMENTS

  1. Well Rachel when your chosen leaders decide they don’t want to deal with their opponents it’s going to be harder to do something about it.

    Sucks doesn’t it?

  2. OMG…there is no pleasing some people…
    Imagine if we demanded training in order to vote? …or to have children?
    There would literally be riots in the streets.
    Look what happens when you ask for photo voter ID. SMH

    • To the anti-gun crowd we have to be “trained” so we don’t accidentally hurt ourselves but we can’t be too well trained that we are confident in using guns and perform better than the “experts” such as the military and police.

      In my perspective and experience, the standard set on average with M&P is surprisingly low in all but the most elite units.

  3. I care more about the possibility of bats in a bell tower that I don’t own than what the wimpy, pencil neck, placid, pathetic clowns in the media say, do or think.

  4. Only a matter of time… when that first confusing shot from some Leninist’s dirty old Mosin Nagant zips past her head, she’ll suddenly understand.

  5. I wonder if she is aware that the state bears no responsibility to protect the individual? My journey from left to right (and into gun ownership) began with my discovery of Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, Warren v. District of Columbia, etc.

    Perhaps this is the reason that the disarmament industrial complex is so adamant in their desire to stigmatize self-defense, and now it seems the training related thereto. It’s necessity due to material and legal realities reveals that their religious like devotion to the technocratic state is based in a lie.

    • I do not agree with the requirement that you must possess a permit to purchase a weapon. But I do like most of what the training is about.

      State Firearm Law. Overview of the State firearm laws, including discussion of what constitutes a regulated firearm, how to properly purchase or transfer a firearm, where allowed to carry or transport a firearm, when necessary to possess a carry permit, who is prohibited from possessing firearms, and state law relating to minors, permissible levels of force, and use of deadly force.
      Home Firearm Safety. Overview of handgun and firearm safety in the home, including discussion of access to minors, locking and storing of firearms, and use of safety devices, such as secure lock boxes.
      Handgun Mechanisms and Operation. Overview of the proper operation and safe handling of a handgun, including cleaning and maintenance, the loading and unloading of ammunition, and the differences between revolvers and semi-automatic handguns.
      Operation and Handling Demonstration. Orientation component that demonstrates the person’s safe operation and handling of a firearm, to include a “live fire” component in which the applicant safely shoots the weapon. An applicant may not be required to fire in excess of 15 yards during qualifications.

      I imagine the home firearm safety part has you storing the gun and magazine in separate safes doesn’t it. I went searching and did not find much.

        • I am in favor of that. Not for denying Black folks from voting but to prevent know nothing imbeciles from voting.

        • “I am in favor of that. Not for denying Black folks from voting but to prevent know nothing imbeciles from voting.”

          Wow, are you out of step with the times. It is precisely the “know nothings*” whose right to vote must be preserved, without interference. Requiring people to understand what they are doing (in any endeavor) is just mean-spirited. Results don’t matter, only good intentions.

          Besides, “know nothings” are really easy to manipulate, and what is power for if you can’t abuse it?

          (* “know nothings” were once a political party: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Know-Nothing-party)

      • You may like what the training comprises, but do you really want it to be a requirement? More to the point, do you want it to be a requirement that applies to YOU?

        Many, if not most of us, have been around guns, handling guns, shooting guns, cleaning guns, and deeply familiar with what guns do for most of our lives. That understood, should we now be forced by a Government bureaucrat to prove our competency before we can have a permission slip to own the ones that we already have? After all, how does the bureaucrat KNOW that we are as competent as we say that we are without a class, and a written test, and a proficiency test?

        If you are willing to restrict the Constitutional rights of a new gun purchaser, one that’s buying for the first time, by demanding that they are ‘trained’ and ‘certified’ and ‘approved’ before they take possession, what is to stop the Adminispherium from demanding that YOU prove the same thing?

        Training is a wonderful thing. Effective, relevant training is better. MANDATORY, Government-regulated training is anathema, unConstitutional, and unAmerican.

        Never even THINK of giving the giant, ravenous Government mouse that first cookie.

        • “Never even THINK of giving the giant, ravenous Government mouse that first cookie.”

          Some states require training already. Gubmint is gubmint.

  6. Leftists have been attacking the NRA for a long time, and now Crazy Uncle Joe has taken a vow to eliminate the association completely. My wife asked me questions that affirmed the success of the Leftists’ characterization of the NRA as being a foe of democracy. She didn’t view the NRA that way herself, but was asking what the Left had its undies in a knot about.

    I explained that I became an NRA member at the age of 10, back when a Firearms Safety Certificate was required of anyone 10 years old to age 16 in order to buy a deer hunting license. That was back in the early ‘60s, when the NRA was one of the few places for kids to get the safety training required by the state. Everyone respected the NRA for its safety training. It was not a political entity then.

    The NRA became more political over the years due to the rising tide of gunphobes, until now, it is viewed as the primary target of Leftist gun grabbers. I’ve often wondered why the Left so feared an association that taught safe handling of firearms. But the Left is fixated on its cancel culture, and it has seen too much success in achieving its “fundamental transformation of America” to know when enough is enough.They won’t stop until every “cismale” has elected to have himself “fundamentally transformed” by having himself castrated.

  7. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

    Who is the Militia?

    “Unorganized militia – comprising the reserve militia: every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age, not a member of the National Guard or Naval Militia.”

    So, these people are regulating themselves, by getting the training necessary to secure a free state. Little Miss Rachel should be writing a story of why it’s wrong that the people aren’t provided free training from the “State”.

    • RE: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

      Been there, done that, got that. Unfortunately the Second Amendment is old hat and it means nothing to the new pompous left perched high above the fray looking down on the deplorables…With that said give those on a perch a view through the eyes of those without a Second Amendment…What a tyrant’s Second Amendment looks like and the results of what they propose and why they will be stopped at any cost…

      “An unregulated military wing of the democRat Party and nazi socialist party, here described as the KKK and nazi SS, being necessary to disarm, murder, torture and imprison Blacks and Jews, The right of the aforementioned thugs Shall Not Be Infringed and may they Live for a thousand years…Seig Heil, Seig Heil, Seig Heil.”

  8. A “reporter” who doesn’t know what “siege” means, can only be credible to other persons who have no idea, either.

    But, don’t laugh. Ignorance and stupidity are spreading like weeds, able to survive in the vacuum of headspace.

  9. If she did have the training, she would have been taught discipline and responsibility. Those 2 things usually change anti gunners’ minds. Either she did not listen or she is a paid hack.
    Guns and ammo in Americans’ hands is what freedom is all about. We do not need to live in fear of masked goons in the night. If we choose, we can punch holes in paper and have competition with like minded people. We can harvest meat and dispatch predators.
    Obviously, she did not pay attention.

  10. To be fair to the author, she does later mention that gun control in America was originally aimed at immigrants and blacks. It’s not JUST a panicky hit piece.

    • It’s actually an interesting article. It’s no big deal when you understand where the bias comes from. Everyone from all sides has there own bias. It also gives you insight when you listen to people that you don’t agree with.

    • I was under the impression that the goal posts were actually gallows from which the left intends to hang us in the end, and that they just move because they haven’t made up their mind when they actually want to get around to it.

      • “I was under the impression that the goal posts were actually gallows from which the left intends to hang us in the end,…”

        Striking a blow to end global warming/climate change/global winter/etc.

      • Hard to hang a guy that has a loaded AR-15 (or whatever you choose) in his hands and knows how to use it, unless you survive being perforated and he runs out of ammo.

        Let’s keep it that way.

    • “Isn’t calling someone a hate filled foulmouthed harpy a hate filled foulmouthed thing to do?”

      Saying/writing anything that I don’t like, or that makes me feel bad or unhappy is intentional hate speech. Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment (only legitimate speech is protected). Hate speech is a form of violence, also not covered by the First Amendment. People who engage in hate speech should lose all their constitutional rights.

      So, please don’t make me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry.

  11. I would suppose that a new gunm owner, one that had never fired a gunm or had family members that had firegunms, a little training wouldn’t be a bad idea. But to make it a mandatory requirement by law is not such a good thing. For one the cost of the courses will skyrocket and those without the finances will not be able have a gunm. Same as the push for gunm insurance. Of more concern to me is this gunm registration thing. I’ve looked at both sides of that coin and can see no good coming out of it.Hopefully Bidens gunm control sht was just another lie to get votes. Oh and btw, I’ve always flown the American flag, always will, but here lately I’m looking at it differently, the pride just ain’t there. Pity

    • “I would suppose that a new gunm owner, one that had never fired a gunm or had family members that had firegunms, a little training wouldn’t be a bad idea. But to make it a mandatory requirement by law is not such a good thing.”

      Offer it as an option in high school, think along the lines of driver’s ed.

      Not mandatory, a parent can opt out if they wish, Curiosity will motivate a lot of them to see what it’s all about…

    • I still have pride. I have the Flag my Grandfather gave me when I enlisted. She has flown in deserts and jungles and everywhere in between. She even hitched a ride on a F15 over Iraq. She went to jump school with me and was in my cargo pocket for all 5 jumps. She has seen combat, recieved a few rips and tears, but she is still beautiful.

      On the 4th of July, Flag Day, Memorial Day and a select few other dates I hoist her up. She gets her earned respect to fly even in her retirement.

      When I see her flying, Johnny Cash’s song, Ragged Old Flag comes to mind. She may be disrespected, even scorned by some, but she is ours to protect. Don’t let them steal your pride, our Flag has earned more than they ever will.

      • “I still have pride. I have the Flag my Grandfather gave me when I enlisted.”

        I took mine down the morning after Obama was first elected president. The country the flag represented was gone. The nation left behind as residue was not actually worth defending (family is a different thing). Even with all the great accomplishments of Trump, the nation remains residue of its former promise and glory. When the nonsense and destruction coming from the Left is soundly defeated so that their ideas are relegated to nothing more than bad comedy, then will I again fly the grand old flag.

        Like sand through the hourglass, so go the days of our lives; getting very low on sand.

  12. The left runs a constant propaganda campaign against it’s political enemies. These incessant attacks are intended to achieve total victory against their perceived opponents. Leftists fully understand that they can never have an outright triumph until Americans are forcefully disarmed by the government. The communists will then begin the systematic murder of former gun owners and anyone who has had any type of firearms training, because they will be deemed a threat. The American gun is literally the last firewall against tyranny. I recommend that every gun owner get training in the use of their preferred weapon and to be politically active and vigilant against these domestic enemies. No negotiations or compromise on 2A.

  13. OMG OPIONS .. WELL IN AWAY I AGREE , MUST BE SOME COURSES OFFERED FOR GUN SAFETY AND USE OF WEAPON , TAKE DOWN OF WEAPON , TO BE MANDATORY .
    FEE ? $5 ~10 ~ 15 . . GOOD FOR LIFE TIME . BET FIRST TIME BUYERS IN THE GUN BUYING CRAZ , HAD NO TRAINING NOR SAFTY CLASS , BUYING PROTECTION IF USE WEAPON , , LIKE USCCA , AND OTHERS THAT OFFER INSURANCE . ETC .
    I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE ADULTS GUIDE ME WHEN I WAS 10 YEARS OLD .
    BELIEVE ME AS GROWING UP AROUND WEAPONS HAD TIMES THINGS COULD HAVE REALLY GONE SOUTH . HANDLING LOADED WEPONS .

  14. Has she been training to kill, or to stop a threat?
    If the former, she’s been to different training than any civilian school I’ve ever heard of.

  15. “Thank you for the endorsement Sam.”

    I will accept credit, earned or unearned, anytime. However….

    I’m on my third martooni this morning, and don’t remember who I said what to.

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