Minimum standards

This is a discussion on Minimum standards within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Knowing full well that there is a very diverse group of individuals on the forum with varying levels of education, mindset, skillset, training and that ...

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Thread: Minimum standards

  1. #1
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    Minimum standards

    Knowing full well that there is a very diverse group of individuals on the forum with varying levels of education, mindset, skillset, training and that are employed in a large cross section of different jobs, I would like to propose the following questions.

    What do you consider to be the minimum standards for proficiency/training that someone should have to carry and potentially use a weapon in a self defense situation?

    Not what is required by the state or regulating agency, not talking about mandated training or further regulations or it is their God given right to carry with no standards, simply what you feel someone should know by your standards or by the standards of common sense before they carry their firearm for self defense.

    What are your personal minimum standards that you have set, attained or surpassed for yourself?

    My world is a bit different from others here so I will simply give an opinion of what I think someone should know or have in order to meet my minimum standards for everyday carry in the states.

    Knowledge of how to handle a firearm safely in the first place.

    A a working knowledge of the firearm that they are using. They should be able to disassemble and reassemble and conduct a manual of arms without help of the manual or calling someone for advice. Knowing the location and manipulation of all controls, safeties and so on.

    The ability to safely load and holster the firearm in a condition that is ready to fire upon drawing the weapon without further manipulation of the pistol. (excluding the safety)

    To be able to draw the firearm from whatever carry method they choose and engage a hostile target from 7 yards in under 2 seconds and actually hitting the target in a location that would be effective.

    To perform a reload of their particular firearm in a competant manner without hesitation or malfunction.

    Can diagnose and clear all types of common malfunctions in a speedy and proficient manner.

    Maintain an effective level of accuracy out to whatever distance limitations that they set for themselves.

    Before someone chimes in with some are these are ridiculouslly simple and everyone should already know that, you would be surprised at some of the posts that have been on here over time. These are the ones I can think of at the moment, I am sure there are others. You notice that I did not put a lot of emphasis on setting a particular time limit or a specific distance except for one.

    So let's hear what you have to say, who knows maybe it will make someone else have one of those "Never thought of that moments".
    "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

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    I would agree that each of these capabilities should be a minimum. But I believe that we're a self governing body and we need to remain self governing. So standards can be only suggestions, perhaps emphasized suggestions, IMO. When I think of standard it brings to mind mandate, this leads to intervention. Lines that should never be crossed. Only through social interaction can we communicate the importance of competency with a weapon. And thanks for putting safety as #1
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    My personal minimum standards are pretty much as you have stated. But, that is for me alone.

    Who am I to dictate standards to any one else? I know what I consider a minimum for myself. I do not have the inclination to tell my neighbor that because they have not yet attained that level of proficiency they can not use a firearm for self defense. Once we decide that anyone has the authority to limit our ability to defend ourselves, a door is opened to gradually up those requirements until there is no one who could meet them.

    There are consequences to all of our actions. I am one who believes that you "pay" for every decision and action, one way or another. I work hard to keep down the "price" of using a firearm, or any other tool, in a self defense situation. Any wise person would do everything possible to prevent damage or loss of life due to a lack of proficiency. However, as you said in your opening, we are all different and in different places in life. What is possible for me may not be for you or someone else.

    Those who choose lower standards, or have not yet reached some higher standard, still have the imperative to defend themselves. Are we to say that because they have not attained that standard, they must roll over and give up? No, thank you. We fight. We fight to the last shred of strength, to the last fiber of being. That is the human urge for survival.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    @Tacman: Good advice. I would have been stricter LOL The only change or clarification I would do is change this:
    To be able to draw the firearm from whatever carry method they choose and engage a hostile target from 7 yards in under 2 seconds and actually hitting the target in a location that would be effective.
    to:
    To be able to draw the firearm from whatever carry method they choose and engage a hostile target from 7 yards in under 2 seconds and actually hitting the target in a location that would be effective. This should be a cold shot (first shot of the day, no dry firing, no practicing a draw) wearing clothes that you would normally be wearing during the day.

    And add :know the laws in your state and states you frequent.

    Good post

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    I don't think there should be requirements for people to carry firearms, having said that, I do hold myself to similar standards as Tacman and Suntzu, with the addition of retention training.
    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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    Suntzu good point and additions that is what I was talking about.

    Gents this is a couple of simple questions I am not asking to define human nature or the beginnings of the universe simply what you as an individual would set or expect.

    RR you stated that the standards could/would eventually raised so no one could meet them but in truth it is exactly the opposite. The standards are lowered and lowered until everyone can pass them so everyone can feel good about themselves and not offend the inner child.

    Yes we each have our own standards we set for ourselves and we cannot force nor dictate to someone else those standards that is why I included the phrase "standards of common sense". Please forgive me that I would expect a person should be competent with the firearm they carry, that might violate something or offend someone and we certainly would not want to do that.
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    "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

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    I don't think there should be requirements for people to carry firearms, having said that, I do hold myself to similar standards as Tacman and Suntzu, with the addition of retention training.
    I don't think anyone here wants the government to set a standard. Change standard to recomendation then :)
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    If one is going to use tools, then knowledge of that specific tool, safety standards, proper uses, etc., is common sense.
    That said, no one must demonstrate 'learned knowledge' to buy or operate a chainsaw.
    Neither should RKBA be changed to be RKBAAT...the last AT adding After Training.

    Should knowledge, training, and practice be part of firearm ownership? Certainly, but making it a gov/req is going down a very slippery slope.
    I completely understand the merits of your suggestion...
    Be very careful what you would wish for or suggest...

    I have persuaded many individuals to seek out their CCW permits, and I have pointed out that getting the permit is just a small start on a much larger 'training mission'.
    There is probably not a place for the word 'enough' in the preparation of firearm readiness, safety, knowledge, training, and/or practice.
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    Ex Member Array ScottM's Avatar
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    LE and .Mil have minimum standards for qualifying.

    I have worked various ranges in my life and watched these people shoot the minimum.

    Personally, I want to maintain a higher level than that.

  11. #10
    Member Array RonCo's Avatar
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    Personally I think the "Minimum" standard that a person should be held to, as you have stated, is that they be trained to...

    "Not blow a hole in anything they don't intend to"

    Beyond that lies the real training.

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    As someone who's profession is driven by minimum standards and competencies in various means I probably have a different view.
    I have worked for various agencies that were extremely driven by statistics and numbers, once you set a minimum standard or competency you are bound to enforce and maintain them, which is difficult to do and carries difficulty with it. So move this over into the relm of firearms and concealed carry holders.... For hundreds of years people have purchased, used firearms, and carried them for various purposes all the while without government regulations or training. I don't have to prove I am competent to drive a Ferrari off the lot, buy a chainsaw, or a myriad of any other dangerous products that are available to use on a daily basis. Your drivers license doesn't give you entry into a NASCAR race, it's simply a minimum competence test to show you are capable of operating a motor vehicle. Your concealed carry permit doesn't make you a Tier 1 operator, it satisfies a minimum requirement. It is your individual responsibility to recognize and seek out professional training in what ever field you find yourself deficit, you want to shoot better, take a class, drive better, take a class...
    When you start putting additional training and competencies on things you are narrowing the band of people who are able to own a certain item which may or may not be beneficial. Certainly it is preferable to keep firearms out of the hands of felons or persons with mental illness, but what about the estranged wife who is separated from her abusive husband and decides to purchase a firearm to protect her and her children? Should she be required to take a 16 hours class and demonstrate the competencies noted above? She'll die waiting for the paperwork.
    It is upto the individual citizen to demonstrate responsible use of something, the government can intervine when they demonstrate that they are unable to do so, not beforehand.

    Sent from this... Using that...
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    Member Array chasbo00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    What do you consider to be the minimum standards for proficiency/training that someone should have to carry and potentially use a weapon in a self defense situation?
    Minimum standards appropriately apply to those who carry a gun as part of their job, but not others such as general citizens. I'm not going to tell a man with Parkinson's Disease that he does not shoot well enough to carry a handgun for his self defense. Not everyone is a fully able-bodied person. That said, I do like a simple assessment drill that I think is a fair indicator of one's ability to control their carry gun while demonstrating a minimally acceptable accuracy level. This drill is intended as a self-administered assessment that can be conducted at most ranges, even those that limit things such as working from a holster. Also, since the drill uses a 5-second par time, a shot timer is not needed - someone can call out the start and stop times. I suggest to able-bodied folks that if they can't achieve a basic level of performance, then they should seek out additional training and/or consider a different carry gun. Most find actually shooting this drill more difficult than they thought it would be. The Drill:

    The Defensive Handgun Control Drill

    Starting position is the low ready (pistol loaded and pointed down at 45 degree angle, safety off, trigger finger outside trigger guard)
    Fire 5 rounds
    Within 5 seconds
    From a distance of 3, 7 or 15 yards
    At an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper
    Repeat 3 times (15 rounds total)

    Performance levels:

    Advanced – From 15 yds, all 15 rds on paper, all runs 5 sec or less
    Intermediate – From 7 yds, all 15 rds on paper, all runs 5 sec or less
    Basic – From 3 yds, all 15 rds on paper, all runs 5 sec or less
    Last edited by chasbo00; May 5th, 2012 at 11:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Suntzu good point and additions that is what I was talking about.

    Gents this is a couple of simple questions I am not asking to define human nature or the beginnings of the universe simply what you as an individual would set or expect.

    RR you stated that the standards could/would eventually raised so no one could meet them but in truth it is exactly the opposite. The standards are lowered and lowered until everyone can pass them so everyone can feel good about themselves and not offend the inner child.

    Yes we each have our own standards we set for ourselves and we cannot force nor dictate to someone else those standards that is why I included the phrase "standards of common sense". Please forgive me that I would expect a person should be competent with the firearm they carry, that might violate something or offend someone and we certainly would not want to do that.

    Perhaps I misunderstood your original premise. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I see these threads from time to time and they all read the same to me. “Yada, yada, yada… if you can’t meet this standard, you should not be allowed to carry a gun.” To my mind that is like saying, unless you have a Black Belt you should not be allowed to defend yourself with your bare hands. A firearm is just a tool to be used for defense, the same as, say, a baseball bat, a knife, or a brick. All of these items have the potential for catastrophic misuse, yet there is little discussion on standards for carrying a pocket knife or locking up sporting equipment.

    I really do understand the sentiment behind this thinking. My issue is that at some point in time absolutely NONE of us could meet those standards. At that time, if need arose, would YOU have refrained from using a firearm that may have been at your disposal? Do we only attain the right to self defense AFTER we have met an arbitrary level of proficiency?

    I sincerely hope that anyone who carries a firearm, knife, baton, pepper spray, or anything else for self defense works very hard to move beyond any definition of a minimum standard. However, I refuse to deny ANYONE their right to self defense because they do not meet MY standard.

    I do not consider this a “dumbing down” issue. There is an elitist ideal that is present in any skill-culture, i.e. “I can meet this arbitrary standard, but because you can’t you don’t deserve to do it at all.” The thing we need to remember is that we are not talking about a skill. We are talking about a biological imperative – survival. Survival has no minimum standard. It is pass/fail only.
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    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    I agree with Tacman and Suntzu as far as my personal standards are concerned. I feel everyone should know the laws of their state, and also any other state that they travel to while carrying. And while it would be great for everyone who carries to have this level of knowledge and proficiency in an "ideal" world, we all know the world is far from ideal!

    Should everyone be "required" to develop this level of proficiency and knowledge before being allowed to carry for self defense? No, I don't think so. Everyone has the right to defend themselves.

    However, it gets into some sticky philosophical issues. When does someone's right to defend themselves infringe on MY rights if they are incompetent, unsafe in their firearms handling, and let off a round in public either accidentally or on purpose and my family and I are in the area? What one does in ones home is their own business. I don't have to go there, so it does not impact me.

    Out in public is an entirely different story. Should someone have to demonstrate at least a minimum knowledge of firearms safety and knowledge of the law before being allowed to carry a firearm in public? Ohio has a minimum of 12 hours of training, which includes 2 hours of range time, to get your CHL. From what I have heard on this forum, the quality of training varies considerably. I was lucky--my wife and I had a very good instructor. We were both experienced with firearms before the training, but learned a lot about the laws in Ohio. Several people in the class were complete novices. Overall, I think Ohio's training requirements are reasonable and I have no objection to people being required to take the class before being able to carry concealed. The 12 hour class does not make anyone an "expert" by any means, and everyone should take additional classes and training, as I have done. And not everyone who takes the 12 hour class is going to remember all the "legal" info. But at least they have been exposed to the law, the responsibility of using a firearm in self defense, and proper firearms handling and safety rules. Just my .02.
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    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    RoarRunner, Suntzu, Retsupt, I understand what you're saying- you should be able to defend yourself- and completely agree.

    I think, and I may very well be wrong, that Tacman was talking about personal standards; the standards you hold yourself to.
    -------------

    I think what you said pretty much covers it; those are pretty good sounding basics. I hold myself to a pretty high accuracy/precision standard. I can't do much right now by way of drills, higher levels of professional training, or even target practice due to financial and physical restrictions. As soon as those restrictions are fixed, I will be taking whatever classes I can, and doing as many 'home' drills as possible.
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