"You play the way you practice" was a favorite saying of my high school football coach back in the day. This statement is just as relevant to firearms training as it ever was to football. A large number of people, both those who are new to firearms self-defense and those who have been shooting for years, consider practicing at bull’s-eye targets adequate for self-defense. Such training will only be adequate in the unlikely event an individual is attacked by a target with rings and numbers. Mental and realistic training is paramount when it comes to defending your life.
The majority of what passes for firearms training today centers around approval for concealed carry (CCW) permits. I find it hard to believe that those who hate and fear the state are willing to submit themselves to the authority of the state when it comes to their right to defend themselves. CCWs exist as revenue producing programs for the state and those it sanctions as trainers. It also provides the state with a database of what they consider to be "domestic terrorists" and/or their greatest threat. To beg and pay the state for permission to do that which one already has the right to do is beyond the pale.
The very idea that only those sanctioned by the state have the right to defend themselves should be repugnant to all who claim to cherish freedom.
Firearms instructors teach from theoretical or practical experience. The vast majority of instructors have never been in a situation where they were forced to defend their lives or the lives of others with deadly force. They teach theory, that which they have read or studied. The advantage of being taught by an instructor with practical experience is obvious. Would you rather your pilot have actual flight experience or someone who has only read a manual on flying? Staying the night at Holiday Inn Express does not work in this situation either.
Firearms instructors who actively support politicians who do not support the Second Amendment are not worthy of your time or your money. Many of the "premiere" firearms trainers continue to politically support the "lesser of two evils," while proclaiming true 2A supporters such as Ron Paul to be unelectable. These people are simply shills for the state.
Firearms instructors who profess undying allegiance to the right to defend oneself from personal attack and tyrannical government who support a candidate such as Bush or Condoleezza Rice is analogous to a man professing his wife to be faithful because she is only sleeping with three other men!
Very few are the firearms instructors today who teach comprehensive self-defense, mental preparation, threat assessment, engaging multiple threats, situational awareness, firing while injured and instinctive shooting from actual experience.
One recent trainee, a beautiful lady from South Florida, told me her total rounds fired when qualifying for her CCW was seven; and they call that training. She readily admitted she was keeping her firearms under lock and key in a closet because she felt unprepared to use them, even though the state, with the issuance of a CCW, had judged her qualified to do so. The state and its vetted instructor had their money and could care less whether the lady was properly trained to defend herself in a life-threatening situation.
Preparing to defend yourself or your loved ones with a firearm should be given the most serious consideration. If you would not trust your money to Paul Krugman; your religious beliefs to Pat Robertson; your foreign policy to Dick Cheney; the future of this nation to Obama or the right to defend yourself to Charles Schumer, why would you trust your self-defense training to someone who teaches based on theory and supports the lesser of two evils when it comes to politicians?
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.