Until recently within the past few years I’ll fully admit I was just like the kind of people I’m about to describe. In the past few years I’ve really got into the concept of being truly serious in regard to firearms use in the event of a self-defense/survival situation. As most of you know there has been increasingly more and more people jumping on the band wagon strongly supporting the 2nd Amendment, phenomenal rate of new gun owners and even a rather large increase in the amount of citizens seeking out permits to carry concealed. This is great, but unfortunately it seems to me that for a lot people all of that stops right there, and it shouldn’t! All that is a step, that’s pretty much step 1, now you need to proceed to step 2 and so on. I guess it all depends on what purpose your firearms is for as to what is the next step is but I want to break down a few things that I’ve observed.
Concealed carry holders-
This applies to some people who are very close to me, good friends, etc. They buy gun, go practice and then they take the CHL course which if I remember right takes like 50 pistol rounds here in Texas. Now they may go shoot every now and then, but for the most part they’re done. Suddenly they believe that if something bad happens that new pistol they’re packing is going to save their life. With these people I can’t help but wonder what kind of situation they envision where no element of skill and prior practice is required. Training, get some formal training if possible and most people who can afford a firearm can also afford some level of more formal training. I’ve honestly had somebody tell me all that training stuff is so expensive said the guy that buys a new firearm every few weeks. Besides there is a lot of good educational information for free on the web not to mention a wide array of things you can be practicing from the privacy of your bedroom that doesn’t require any cost of ammo etc such as dry firing, pistol draws and tap & rack.
The gun collectors-
This one goes out to the guy that shows up to the range to shoot a few rounds through 27 different rifles. BTW, the range I go charges per gun so it’s got to be expensive for him. Casual conversation with this guy reveals that this guy knows a lot about guns I’ve never even heard of making me wonder if he went to college for this stuff or what. So here I am thinking that this guy is going to be a real sharp shooter only to later be disappointed by the fact that he can’t keep a very tight group at 100 yards even with that massive overkill sized scope. So surely out of those few dozen rifles surely he shoots one of them pretty good but don’t get your hopes up cause after few attempts with different ones it began to hurt to watch. I’m not going to hate on the guy too much because after all he’s into guns for the mere collector reasons from the best I could tell.
I got so much money I waste as much ammo as I can-
I’m near certain that if you’ve been to a public range more than a few times you’ve encountered this person before. This is the guy that shoots, and keeps shooting, he’s shooting a lot but you quickly start to wonder if he’s even aiming. It’s almost as if the person pulling the trigger (yes he’s pulling not squeezing) just for the sound of the bang and the smell of the gun powder with no evident desire to improve skill or accuracy. Shooting in general is in fact a lot of fun but I find shooting towards improving accuracy and skill even more awesome.
The hardcore well-informed gun rights advocates-
Good people for a great cause. This is one of those other steps I was talking about and these people do a really good job at keeping up with the politics regarding gun laws and politicians stances. This is that area and I can shamefully admit I’ve lacked and I want to keep up with better. Despite how you may feel about the electoral college and national politics this is a fight to fought at the local level with voting power and it’s important. We “Gun Owners and 2nd Amendment Supporters” can no longer neglect such issues as many of us have. Aside from failing to train many of us out there are failing include ourselves in the fight against those that oppose our gun rights. Sadly it’s a few people fighting for the rights that many of us are wanting to hang onto. This is one of those other steps I was referring to get more involved with supporting pro gun right groups.
BUT… and this is a strong but-
It bothers me to come across people who are doing so well in regards to the whole gun rights movement and still fall into one of those other categories I mentioned above. I’m sorry it’s just hard for me to take somebody serious that has talked to me for hours about such topics while being exactly like one of those people I described. I instantly begin to wonder if they even believe what they’re advocating because if your truly believe in all that then why aren’t you doing more to improve yourself. And if you don’t truly believe in the things that you’re advocating what is the real motive behind your strong stance.
I am no gun guru in fact in the world of guns I know very little, not a professional marksman nor a highly trained tactical dude. Within reason of what time and budget allows I truly am trying to be the best I can be in regards to living up to the reasons behind why I personally support the 2nd Amendment.
I follow a lot of pro gun pages on Facebook which enables me to frequently hear positive stories regarding a law-abiding conceal carry holder stopping a violent act from progressing further. I absolutely love to hear stories in which the good guys win but when I hear these stories I’m quick to wonder if the good person involved was just like many of the other good people gun owners I know. I’m talking about the gun owners that stand firm on having a firearm for defense purposes in the event it’s ever needed yet seemingly have this idea instilled within of if that event ever happens poor assumptions on their part have fabricated this ideal scenario that they anticipate. Some of the examples of the poor assumptions I’ve become familiar with is:
The bad guy is going to be a bad shot because gangsters hold their pistols sideways.
The bad guy is going to be up close cause statistics say most shootings occur within 9 yards.
I won’t need much ammo cause most shootings result in less than 3 shots being fired.
Please note that I don’t actually know how accurate those statistic really are it’s merely for example purposes. I get the impression that it’s common for people to prepare for what they believe to be the ideal situation versus preparing for the worst. What causes this I can’t say but only speculate that people put too much investment into statistics and buy into poor advice by people who really aren’t qualified to be giving advice.
Recently we hear of the courageous act of the guy carrying concealed in Wal-Mart who confronted the Las Vegas shooters resulting in him losing his life. As much as I love to hear about the good guys winning I really don’t like to hear about the good guys failing and while what he did was a courageous act it cost him his life. And with I can’t help but wonder did he have the same mindset that so many of my other gun owning friends have?
This reply was triggered by something posted by a unnamed competition shooter and Navy Rescue Diver on Facebook who wrote:
So the cop killers in Vegas were confronted by an armed citizen, legally carrying concealed… WHOOPIDY-DOOOOOO!!!!From what I’ve read, this armed citizen did not help the situation AT ALL, and got himself killed in the process. Seems to me that he had piss poor training, and was a hero in his own mind that was hoping to “rise to the occasion” in a high-stress life & death situation.
YOU WILL NEVER RISE TO THE OCCASION. YOU WILL SINK TO YOUR LEVEL OF TRAINING.
So I replied with this:
I agree. From what I can tell your not bashing the actions of the man but highlighting that outcome could have likely been much different if this person was better skilled before deciding to take part in a gunfight. Now I do love to hear courageous stories of the good guys winning often being just a law-abiding citizen carrying concealed stopping a violent act from progressing but at the same time I also think about how lucky that individual must be.
The reason I immediately think it must have been luck is simply because I know many people who are very into firearms, CHL holders and whatnot but out of all most of them seem to lack that drive to become more proficient or seek out any level of formal training yet want to rely on firearms to defend themselves if the need ever arises. Burns my ass to hear the guy who buys a new gun seemingly every few weeks but says formal training is too expensive.
As in this instance skill does dictate outcome. Could be the result that people in general make dangerous assumptions and prepare for their ideal scenario versus preparing for the worst.
Not a sharpshooter or an elite tactical guy here, but I do want to be the best I can be that my time and budget will allow.
And finally he replies back with this:
Joey – Exactly. The guy’s heart was obviously in the right place, but I suspect that he wasn’t very skilled in what we call “Combat mindset” or decision-making. I suspect that he saw trouble, decided to act, developed tunnel vision, drew his gun, and because of his lack of understanding and situational awareness, he walked straight into his death.
I always tell people who if you have $1,000 to spend on a gun, you should spend $500 on the gun and $500 on training.
Amateurs always want more gear. Professionals always want more training.
As harsh and offensive as it might be to some people I think he’s giving some good advice here. Just my thoughts of course.