Sunday, February 26, 2012
Commentary – How we “shoot ourselves in the foot”, so to speak . . . .
Please, make no mistake, I am an ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment. And I fully understand the ideals that surround the idea of “Constitutional Carry”. But, with the tremendous rights given to us by God and affirmed in our nation by the Constitution – there are tremendous responsibilities that are laid on our shoulders.
Earlier last week I passed through the area Gander Mountain store to affirm their classroom was, indeed, available for my NRA Basic Pistol class that was held yesterday. It was, all was right with the world. As I passed by the classroom, it was PACKED – overflowing into the actual store itself as well. The reason – a “Utah Permit” course was being held that allows the attendees to pay the state of Utah $60 (who knows what they paid the company putting on the course) and receive in return a shiny new State of Utah Concealed Carry Permit. The idea behind this is that it’s valid in about 39 states including all bordering states except the “Peoples Republic of Illinois”. Oh, and they qualify for their Iowa permit as well. The course clearly tells all those attending that it is not a shooting class, nor is it a fire arms training course – though minimal firearms safety rules are covered. It is primarily a course that covers the laws of Iowa and the state of Utah. No shooting component – really?? (actually I knew that, just throwing a literary “shocked and amazed” line here)
My class was some what smaller – a hell of a lot smaller actually. I follow the NRA Basic Pistol course format, use all their material and provide a range component as well. Actually, I think their course material and format are excellent for a brand new pistol shooter. Anyway, I asked if anyone in the class already had their Iowa carry permits – 3 did. One took the afore mentioned Utah carry class, the other two took an ON-LINE CLASS FOR CRAP’S SAKE!!!!! Those two had minimal experience with handguns while the other fellow had a bit more – but not enough to even own a holster – yet they had carry permits. Stillt, in the state of Iowa (and therefore the state of Arizona and therefore around 38 other states) they were fully qualified to carry concealed. Heavy sigh.
Yes, I know, I know – constitutional carry – yadda, yadda, yadda. I would not want to restrict our new must-issue laws to make actual live fire training required. But, honestly folks, if you’re going to carry a loaded weapon for personal protection, please take additional training (and lots of it) that will assist you in carrying your weapon safely and employing it effectively. That takes me back to the responsibilities that accompany the rights affirmed in the Constitution. And this, I believe, is where we shoot ourselves in the foot. As a shooting community, we need to always lean on the side of acquiring more shooting skills and higher proficiency with our weapons. We need to be as vocal about this to our own shooting community as we are to our communities in general about our 2nd Amendment rights.
I will give all due credit to these three guys, as well as the rest of the class, because they wanted to begin the process of learning about handguns from the ground up – and they all turned out to be safe and accurate shooters on the range. They also saw the value of seeking out additional training as well and were looking forward to finding out what else was out there. As we all should. I have yet to take a weapons course of any type that I have not learned from – and I am happy to have had the chance to set these folks on the same type of path.
Train, shoot, carry . . . . something we should all do.