How much training? And why?

In ransacking the news for the weekly newsletter, I ran across this letter to the editor which reminded me of a typically ban bunny tactic to make firearms less accessible to honest folk.

Support smart gun laws
On the other hand, I am appalled and always have been by the fact that only one hour of practice is required to get the permit.
[…]
When one picks up a gun and consciously gets a license, it is with the intent to defend yourself, up to and including killing another human being. It is a weapon more intense than an automobile, which requires many more hours of training before someone gets behind the wheel.

When I got my driver license 40 years ago, I had to pass a ten question — as best I recall — written test and a five minute road test. There was no mandatory classroom or road training back then.

My truck has several controls. Steering wheel, shifter, clutch pedal, accelerator pedal, brake pedal, parking brake, headlight switch, hi/lo switch, wiper switch, turn signal switch, dash light dimmer switch, emergency flasher switch. I won’t bother mentioning the rest which don’t relate directly to driving the vehicle safely. But for all that, ten questions and five minutes on the road. Training wasn’t mandated by law, but I undertook that on my own so I’d know how to work all those controls properly. It seemed the sensible thing to do. After all, I’d be operating a device with the kinetic energy of a small bomb while carrying a fuel tank with the chemical energy of a large bomb. Thousands more people die by automobile than by firearm in America.

My usual carry gun has a trigger, magazine release, and a slide lock/release. Note the lack of a steering wheel, because if you can point your finger you can point a pistol.

For that, gun controllers — when they deign to allow us to be armed at all — want us to — just as examples from bills I’ve seen over the years — 1) get a license to purchase a firearm, 2) undergo forty hours of classroom training, 3) sixteen hours of range training, 4) pass a hundred question written test, 5) pass a fifty round range test, 6) get fingerprinted, 7) get photographed, 8) pass a background check, and 9) get a judge’s permission to carry. In some places, not others.

Given the requirements for operating a potential weapon of mass destruction, the requirements for carrying a defensive tool with three controls seems.. a little excessive.

Someone planning to get a gun certainly should get some education and training. I did; some through military and law enforcement sources, and quite a bit more on my own, by my choice.

While I’ve never been a certified instructor, I have informally trained quite a few people. In a couple of hours or less I can get the basic laws regarding carry defensive shooting across to most people of normal intelligence. Then spend another half hour on the “four rules”, familiarization with the new shooter’s specific weapon, sight picture, trigger control (a little dry fire included). I’ve found that when the trainee starts live fire, 50% of them put the first round in center mass. quite a few do the same with the first full magazine. I don’t recall any who missed the silhouette. (As opposed to a law enforcement officer who routinely failed her annual weapons qualification because she couldn’t paper with a shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot at twenty yards. The only time I routinely wore my ballistic vest was when I had to be on the range with her. Another officer tried to buy it from me when he heard she was coming.)

The simple fact is that that defensive handguns are designed to be operated without a huge amount of training.* Clueless “useful idiots” in the gun control camp may not realize that, but their leadership does. The mandates are only intended to restrict honest people’s right to self defense.

Train, yes. Mandated unreasonable, restrictive requirements, no.


* Design is what matters, not mechanical simplicity. A broadsword has no moving parts, the only “control” is the hilt. Yet a new would-be swordfighter might require days or weeks of training before I’d let him armor up fully and engage in a regular full speed bout. Swords are mechanically simple, yet difficult to master. This is why medieval Japan banned firearms; too many highly trained-samurai-backed tax collectors were getting killed by peasants with those newfangled guns.

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