As a firearms instructor, there is one consistent trait I find with gun owners that never ceases to amaze me. It’s the single constant that creates a sense of fear deep within me and yet would be completely inappropriate for me to express to students in the way that I feel it. That fear is the fact that there are SO many gun owners out there who haven’t the slightest clue how to operate a firearm, much less use one in a defensive situation.
Gun Owner vs Shooter?
Of particular note should be the fact that I say “gun owners” and not “shooters”. The extreme difference being that a shooter will have ongoing range time with a firearm and the great percentage of “gun owners” will have little more experience with the gun beyond placing it from the box it came in to the closet/drawer/under the bed where it is stored.
Why does that make me afraid? Because someone who is unprepared to use a firearm can be as deadly to family members as they are to attackers/intruders.
Some of you may have read articles by yours-truly about this subject before (gun safety), but this particular position is from the point of view of the majority of readers on this site—those who wish to become prepared for emergency situations and not caught off guard when disaster strikes.
You reply; “Yeah, yeah. I know. Go to the range and practice with my guns. Gotcha. I go once per month and group my shots in an eight-inch circle at twenty feet. Can I go now?”
So that’s great! Clearly you know how to load and unload. Hopefully you know the basic rules of gun safety. You know how to fire the gun, the principals of aiming, trigger control, stance and grip. Bravo.
Of course, you also know how to draw from a holster. You know how to fend off a rushing attacker. You are familiar with techniques of aim and trigger finger positioning that will allow you to safely identify an intruder from a family member-able to engage or disengage safely. You know how to transition between targets. Your aim is such that you can wound rather than kill. You can defend yourself against wild animals. All that is covered.
Because those techniques are the kinds of things that will have to be prepared for. Confrontation is stressful, armed confrontation is shocking, armed confrontation with firearms is downright terrifying. Can you really expect to figure it all out without having practiced these concepts as derived from a qualified instructor? Ever hear of a police shootout where 43 rounds were fired and only 3 hits? Yeah.
Gun Safety, What Can You Do?
Simply owning a firearm, having ammunition and being versed in the gun is not enough. Anyone can swing a hammer, only those trained and practiced can swing a hammer effectively. Now I realize that I am extremely close to sitting atop a high-horse here. Am I qualified to perform some or all of the techniques outlined above? Yes. Am I qualified to teach most of the mentioned techniques? Sure. Am I confident that I would persevere in any such armed conflict? No, but I stand a helluva better chance than the guy or gal who buys a Glock and sticks it under the bed with the attitude of “Now I’m safe. No one better mess with me.” Of THAT, I am sure.
Pulling you a little further down into perspective here, I am also pretty confident that most of us will not have to worry about our homes being stormed by armed bandits, terrorists, rogue governments or zombies. I am also not encouraging you to go out and repurpose little Timmy’s college savings toward an arsenal of guns and ammo. Instead, I want you to be smart about what you have and confident in how you use what you have.
The funny thing is…all this training is legal, inexpensive and available! Anywhere in the US! Find yourself a reputable instructor in your state/county and look into some classes. You can always find opportunities online as well – such as www.nrainstructors.org which will show you everything available in your area—as far out as you want to go (by zip code).
Never stop learning gun safety, never stop practicing and ignore the gun grabbers this and the ammo-ban that. It’s all nonsense. Don’t refer to yourself as a “gun owner”—you’re a shooter and remember the difference, but make no assumptions about your skill level until you have the training you need for the confidence to bring it all together without someone getting hurt.
You may also want to check out the Expert Prepper’s Ultimate Survival Library today to learn more about weapons and defending your home during times of chaos and natural disaster.
It’s going to be a beautiful weekend coming up…go shooting.