May 18th, 2010 07:57 AM
My experience Saturday with the NRA class (long)
Well after months of thinking about it ,I finally went thru the course Sat.
I want to express my opinions (My opinions) and perspective on the class.
I am not unexperienced with firearms. Been shooting for 30+ years.
I went thru the Ohio Peace officers training and was certified in revolver 20 years ago.
I have owned ,shot, and dismantled many firearms.
With that said, Im not an expert or do I know it all ,nor am I the worlds best shot.
As far as the class goes my instructor was OK, not the best ...not the worst. On a scale of 1-10 ten being the best I would say she was a 7.
I do have a couple concerns that I will bring up and ask that you post your thoughts on them as well.
First lets talk about the guns used for certification. IMO I dont believe that you should be able to use a 22 to qualify unless that is the gun youre going to carry.
There were many in my class that brought 22 autos to shoot, but I doubt they will carry for personal protection.
This would be hard to regulate but I think they are being served a(as well as the public) an injustice by letting them train with a gun they will never carry (theres a BIG difference in shooting a 22 auto and a 9MM or a sbub 38.)
This seems to nbe happening more and more and Ive heard comments that "oh just take a 22 and you'll ace the course"
We shot at 15 ft and 24 feet at a paper plate.
The is not a tuff distance with most combat handguns.
Secondly we had a diverse group. There was some that I worry will be carrying soon.
I question my ability at times to shoot in stressful situations,and folks these people (some) scared me.
Im not sure what the answer is and I may be hated for this comment, but maybe we shouldnt be arming everyone?
Maybe there needs to be a little more strengent process to qualify.
I know a lot of LEO that are against concealed carry. After my experience Sat I cant say I agree, but cant blame them either.
During one part of the class the discussion turned to shooting a person. There was a lot of testosterone flying around with no regard to responsibility or liability.
I made the commitment that I was just going to sit and listen and not be an armchair qtrback during the class.
But I had to speak up at that point and tell the class that owning a firearm and having a permit to carry does not exclude you from criminal and civil liability if you have to shoot someone.
I went on to say that if you have to squeeze the trigger on another breathing soul it better be the right reason with no other option, or you could spend the next 20 years in the pokey being a "significant other" to a guy named Tyrone.
Smiles turned to frowns and the class went on.
I really think more time needs to be spent on the responsibilty and seriousness of carrying a gun.
We spent 30 minutes on proper cleaning of gun?
Anyway the thoughts and opinions expessed here may not be reflected by all but I had to express them.
May 18th, 2010 08:01 AM
That pretty much sums up why I will not conduct CCW classes for the general public, and if I do, you will have actually passed something and not have just got rubber stamped for showing up.
May 18th, 2010 08:26 AM
yours went a lot different than mine....
two other guys were there the same day as me. One was ex-army and one was a security guard. All of us seemed normal and competent and we shot 2 .22s 1 9mm 1 .357 and 1 .45
May 18th, 2010 08:28 AM
I took my qualifying course when I was 21...just old enough to take it. Most look forward to buying beer, I wanted to get my CCW. LOL Mine was less than you just described. It was taught by a State Trooper, and a DNR Officer, both of whom are academy trainers. Knowing what I know now, it is a poor excuse for a class, but it is easy money for them. I am looking in to finding a decent class for my soon to be wife now.
Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.
I am just as nice as anyone lets me be and can be just as mean as anyone makes me. - Quoted from Terryger, New member to our forum.
May 18th, 2010 08:32 AM
TDI. It close enough for a nice weekend trip, and you both will leave much better shooters.
Originally Posted by jwhite75
May 18th, 2010 08:41 AM
But, But Sixto that would mean that........ they would have to learn and be responsible gun owners and be trained and competant.
Opie I agree totally but as I have been informed on here over and over owning a firearm is a right granted to everyone no matter how strange, weird or unethical they may be and as long as they go through the minumum training it is their responsibility if they do something wrong they will pay the price and the government needs to stay out of gun ownership and further standards or training should not be imposed in anyway, shape or form and I am anti gun for even thinking or mentioning that there should be better training.
With that said some people should not be able to carry and use a fork much less a firearm but it is there right and as stated on here if they shoot themselves or someone else oh well they just have to live with the outcome.
"A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013
May 18th, 2010 08:45 AM
Here in Nevada an 8 hour course is required, I took a 4 day hand gun self defense course plus another day for CCW at Front Sight Training in southern Nevada. We had at least 2 long and very informative lectures about civil liability and responsibility along with the training for identifying threats and properly defending yourself. I am extremely glad to have taken that course and became a lifetime member so I may keep my training at it's best. It's fun and extremely beneficial in staying a responsible CCW permit holder. I'm not sure if this type of training should be required but I believe more is needed.
May 18th, 2010 08:52 AM
My NRA class was much more about different types of guns, holsters, more the mechanical part. The legal stuff we didn't get into very much(because there were people from different states attending, so covering all the laws was too much). We didn't have to specifically qualify with a score, just be able to competently handle and fire the weapon. We didn't need to use the weapon we would be carrying(VA and WV do not require that).
I'm more concerned about someone's character more than how well they shoot or what they're carrying. In all likelihood, they won't be in a situation where they really need it. However, if they did actually have to fire on someone, the distance will be small. Someone who's 50 yards away is not a threat. I haven't heard of anyone who legitimately had to use a weapon in self defense miss the target and hit someone else. So, in my mind if they're sensible, everything will turn out OK.
"The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree..."
Nunn v. State GA 1848
May 18th, 2010 09:22 AM
This is a very interesting post, as I had a very similar experience.
I was not impressed with my class, even though it was taught by a 19 year veteran of the sheriffs dept. My observations included the fact that there was no discussion on the criminal ramifications of using a firearm inapropriately. I left the class assuming that if confronted with a difficult situation I could just pull out my weapon and scare people away.... not hardly !!!
I was also stunned when we arrived at the shooting range (property that the instructor owned) and everyone just pulled out their weapons and started showing them off. Guns were pointed everywhere with no assurance that they were unloaded.
One person in the class (who passed) never really understood that even after taking the magazine out there was still a cartridge in the chamber. She repeatedly waved her gun around after dropping the mag and had to be reminded that it was loaded and capable of killing.
My wife had planned to take the same course, but after my experience we looked around for another. She ended up taking an excellent class tought by 4 instructors. She said it was the closest she will ever get to being in the military. They were tough, demanding, and didn't let anyone slide.
I am seriously thinking of retaking my course at the place my wife attended.
May 18th, 2010 09:33 AM
As an NRA Instructor, I'll try to shed some light on NRA training.
- NRA courses are country-wide, and must be followed precisely (or they will pull the instructor's credentials). The instructor is NOT allowed to add content to the NRA courses. They may teach additional content AFTER the NRA course is complete and certificates issued however.
- IMNSHO NRA is basically "hunter-oriented" and not "self-defense oriented" wrt training.
- Legal issues are different in at least 50 states, plus many cities/towns/counties. Thus impossible for an NRA course to address legal issues in any useful way.
- NRA wants to encourage shooters, courses are designed for everyone including those that have never touched a gun before. Therefore they REQUIRE the instructor to start with a .22 and blank paper/paper-plates at short distances to get the first shots on paper. Moving further out and using other calibers are allowed but not for first shots.
- The NRA Basic Pistol and/or NRA Home Firearm Safety course were never designed to prepare anyone to CCW a firearm. Many states have authorized these courses for CCW applicants, but that was not NRA's focus/intent in designing these classes.
Defensive handgun courses are great for serious ccw'rs but the cost and time commitment would not suit many people and if that was the criteria to get a CPL/CCW/LTC/etc. it would exclude many and truly be anti-2A.
As someone who was issued a gun permit 30+ years ago with nothing required more than $10.00, fill out an application and have a clean background, I survived w/o getting into trouble. Also having attended a state-certified police academy and worked as a PT PO for many years, none of the training there holds a candle to any defensive handgun course out there. Again, I was able to stay out of trouble.
I'm a true advocate of training in both laws and defensive use of firearms, but I wouldn't advocate it as a legal requirement (read as an "impediment") for the "privilege" of owning or carrying a gun.
May 18th, 2010 09:37 AM
My NRA class was 2 4hr night sessions. The first night we talked about guns, safety, laws and hands on with unloaded safe weapons. The second night we did the written test and then spent about 3hrs on the range. Guns on the range were a variety of semi-auto 9mm, two .38 revolvers and a .44mag. Everyone got to shoot each of the 9mm and revolvers and then everyone took one shot at the end of class with the .44mag to see who could get closest to the bullseye (I DID! :) ). The instructor made it clear in no uncertain terms that you would not pass if you were not safe, you could not follow directions and if you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
May 18th, 2010 09:52 AM
I have had the same concerns. It seems most instructors are affiliated with the NRA and as such, are discouraged from getting into any discussion on the legal aspects of CCW. The requirement in Ohuo for the instructor to pass out the AG's booklet without any discussion is assine. It's fine to say the responsibility to understand the elements of self defence and the use of deadly force rests with the individual, but look at the posts on the various CC forums and you can see that many don't have a clue.
They gain valuble information on the forms but not everyone avails themselves to the info available and for some it may be too late. the damage is done.
Korean War Vet
Discharged as S/Sgt, 11th Airborne Div
May 18th, 2010 09:59 AM
Wholeheartedly agree! Training should be encouraged...NOT mandated.
Originally Posted by LenS
- know the difference
is a fancy name for crappy fighter
You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know
May 18th, 2010 11:23 AM
I guess that my concern with more stringent requirements is the question of why we do not require the same for any other of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. I gotta say that I am delighted with Arizona's new Constitutional carry law, which respects both the federal as well as our state Constitution. I am not the judge of someone else's competence or abilities.
That said, training is important. I am encouraging friends who are going to take advantage of AZ's new law to take the time and money they might have used for a CCW course and get some competent training instead. I think having more than just safety and legal stuff is important. Sight picture and sight alignment, firearm control and shot placement, combat stress and situational awareness are as important as the legal ramifications. Why? Well if you get killed because you can't defend yourself it will not matter that you were in the right legally. JMO.
May 18th, 2010 12:27 PM
I had the same concerns we I went thru my class. However, if people are serious they will continue to train. I train everyday in some way shape, or form. Thursday is a trip with the PD to do some training. The best advise I can give is to train, train, train......
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......
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