Everybody knows how to shoot a gun, right? Well, no, because I have a lot of folks call and tell me they have NEVER shot a gun before. Actually, those people who have no experience with guns are the easiest to teach. I believe this is true do to the fact they have no bad habits to overcome. I have also had quite a few students who were experienced with firearms, but they wisely felt that a professional trainer would be very valuable. Those students who had prior experience and training expressed to me the fact that they learned a lot during my class.
Of all the students I have taught, I only had two which had trouble with the basic skills needed to handle a firearm safely. It appeared to me that the fear of the loud noise was the main deterrent, along with the “kick” or recoil when they pulled the trigger. One student, I call her “Nine Inch Nails” had a great deal of difficulty because along with the extra long bright blue finger nails, she would recoil with fear even before she pulled the trigger. The gun was too small and light weight for what she needed. I offered a free follow-up training another day, as it was beginning to rain after about an hour and a half of time spent with just her. She was moving out of town the following week and was unable to accept my offer of additional training.
I certainly do not tell about the above difficulties to discourage anyone, but getting a special nail job the day before you take the pistol class will definitely create problems with the proper handling of your gun. My number one goal is that each student would leave my class with a solid basic understanding of handling their gun SAFELY and properly, along with a full understanding of self defense laws.
When my students call or e-mail to ask about my Basic Pistol Training and Basic Self Defense Class, we usually discuss everything from the selection of various guns and ammo to what purpose the gun is being used for. Many of those who call are interested in concealed carry. Others do not plan to carry their gun on their person, but plan to keep the gun in their home for self defense.
I have had numerous students, including many ladies, who did very well with the small “Mouse” guns, as I like to call them. Small guns such as the Ruger LCR series and others are great concealed carry guns. But, for some, the small size and light weight, causes the user to feel more “kick,” or recoil. Everything else being equal, such as the caliber (size) of the bullet, the small light weight gun will kick a lot more than the same bullet shot out of a larger heavier gun. The smaller gun is a lot easier to carry concealed than a larger gun.
Ok, so you know how to shoot a gun. You can stand in front of a target and hit within a nine inch round area most, if not all the time. I'll bet that paper target has NEVER shot back, has it? Back in the ‘70s when I was first a Deputy Sheriff, we would all go to the gun range every six months to qualify. We had to hit the target forty out of fifty shots at various distances from 25 yards to 3 yards.Back in the day, we trained out in the open, standing and shooting with no cover or tactical defense.
Later into the ‘90s we finally got some realistic training such as shooting from behind cover and various positions. We even trained shooting from inside our patrol cars. I will let you in on a little secret: Statistics show most gun fights are THREE yards or closer, and the shooter never had time to aim. Another scary fact: a bad guy with a knife, running toward you from 21 feet away can stab you before you even draw your gun. How about shooting from inside your car? Can you produce your gun and defend yourself while seated inside your car with a seat belt on?
If your gun jams, can you clear the jam or malfunction and stay fighting within a few seconds? How about that little five shot snub nose, can you reload it fast enough to save your own life or that of a loved one?
By: Paul Foreman
NRA recruiter, former Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy