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THE FOUR LEVELS OF COMPETENCE

I don’t know who originated the following stratification. I have observed its profound application to many subjects who carry a weapon for self-defense.

UNCONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT
The UI individual represents approximately 95% of all gun owners and includes people (police and military) who carry a gun for a living. The UI is incompetent but does not know he is incompetent because he has had no training or poor training, and has not yet experienced a tactical situation, which would clearly demonstrate his inadequacies. Examples of the UI can be found everywhere. The police officer who boasts that he has never had to draw his pistol in 10 years of duty is a lucky UI. The cop who only practices shooting his weapon a few times per year in order to pass the mandatory range qualifications is UI. The gun owner, who buys a gun and a box of ammo, fires a few shots at the range and then places the gun in his closet; confident he can use it effectively to protect himself is UI. The hunter who only shoots once a year to sight-in his rifle before going hunting is UI. Military personnel who receive basic rifle training, but have not handled a weapon WITH LIVE AMMUNITION in over six months are UI. Unfortunately, the UI often learns of his ineptitude for the first time under the most extreme stress situations. When the flag flies, the UI’s first lesson may be his last.

CONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT
If the UI survives his first lesson, and is smart enough to place the blame on the man in the mirror, the UI automatically graduates to the level of CI. The CI now knows he does not know and seeks help in acquiring the proper skills in the use of his weapon. The CI is a motivated student of weapon craft. Although the CI is still operating at a level of incompetence, the CI recognizes his faults, and in doing so can focus his efforts toward reaching a level of competency.

CONSCIOUSLY COMPETENT
With proper training and practice, the CI develops into the CC. The length of time needed to develop from CI to CC is directly related to the quality of the training and the motivation of the student. The CC is able to manipulate his weapon and clear malfunctions in a safe and efficient manner. The CC understands the principles of marksmanship, shot placement, and ammunition management. Quick assumption of field positions and the use of cover are familiar concepts to the CC. The CC has adopted the combat mind set as his own. As the level indicates, the CC is very quick and competent, but must think about what he is doing. Every decision and action occurs as a result of an intricate thought process and has not yet reached a reflex response level. The CC will respond effectively to most stress situations that do not require split second decisions or actions.

UNCONSCIOUSLY COMPETENT
As the fourth and ultimate level of competence implies, the UC individual has programmed his mind and body (after thousands of repetitions) to react in a fraction of a second with consistent responses that require no perceivable thought process. The UC functions flawlessly even under stressful situations because the UC’s extensive training overrides his conscious thought process. As you can imagine, the UC is not common in today’s society. This sad fact is due more to lack of proper training than to lack of motivation. Here are a few examples of the UC in action. In the heat of a gun battle, a pistolero hears a “click” as his hammer falls on a defective round. He reflexively taps the magazine, racks-flips the action, and hammers two rounds into his adversary’s chest without consciously recognizing that his gun had malfunctioned. Upon sighting a trophy, a hunter slings up as he drops into a steady sitting position. He fires, manipulates the bolt on recoil – without the rifle leaving his shoulder or his eyes leaving the game – producing a one shot kill and he does it all in less time than it takes to read this sentence. The combat shot gunner, confronted with a rapidly deteriorating hostage situation at 15 meters, immediately aims his front sight at the outside ear of the gunman, then confidently delivers half of the shotgun’s pattern to the gunman’s head.
 

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I think this is from Ignatius Piazza of Front Sight, but do not quote me on that. Great read nonetheless. Thanks for posting.

~A
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is from Piazza, I have been to Front Sight on a couple of occasions and my opinion of him is not fit for print here, but he has a few pearls of wisdom to impart.
 

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What is your take on classes offered by Front Sight? Wife and I are going to be attending the 4-day defensive handgun course.
 

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Several times since I began shooting, I started to think of myself as CC then discovered something new that made me realize that I was UI. For example, at one time, I learned to hit a target stationary target from a stationary stance pretty well and thought I knew how to fight. So, I learned to move and shoot quickly and thought that I knew how to fight. Then I realized my gunhandling skills were clumsy. So, I learned to clear malfunctions, reload, and transition from one gun to a backup. Then I learned that tactics matter more than marksmanship. So, I learned how to pie corners, clear stairways and enter doorways. By this time, I'm getting pretty reluctant to quickly start thinking of myself as good or competant because I'm starting to know how much I don't know. Then I learned that gunfights happen at fistfight range and you need to be able to fight with a determined attacker at contact range while you draw and employ your firearm. Low light shooting . . . same story. Wounded/disadvantaged shooting . . . same again.

What's next? I'm imagining it's adrenal stress gunfight training.

I think it's Clint Smith who's known for saying: "I don't know much about gunfighting, but I know a little."

Chuck
 

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Good Read ya know a few years back there was a article on
adrenal stress during a gunfight for example they had a dr and id like to say emt shoot a course of fire then inject
Themselfs with adrenal and reshoot it .. intersting article :badguy:
 

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Bud White said:
Good Read ya know a few years back there was a article on
adrenal stress during a gunfight for example they had a dr and id like to say emt shoot a course of fire then inject
Themselfs with adrenal and reshoot it .. intersting article :badguy:
That was an infamous test that Ayoob did in an LFI 4 class. Had students run a course of fire after a dose of epinephrine.
 

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apcarmed & APachon

Good thread!
You'll think this is interesting if you're not aware of it already.
I am from Pittsburgh & PA is a "Shall Issue" state.
Here a person can go buy a firearm (of course with the proper NICS & paperwork done) & then have 2 photos taken & pay about $20.00 to get a license to carry concealed with no competency test or no safety classes required & then just carry. You just fill out the application & if you have no criminal history...you got it.
So...technically a person here can purchase a firearm & then carry it without ever having fired one single shot from any firearm...ever...in their entire lifetime.
Amazingly we do not seem to have any higher rate of negligent or "accidental" discharge or any more than average problems stemming from our CCW policy.
But, the overall violent crime rate here is extremely low & (I'm guessing) that the vast majority of folks who carry here never actually need to use their firearm defensively. I guess some folks here carry as a "security blanket" that they just never use.
Most of the folks that I know who carry here in Pittsburgh have a great deal of personal responsibility & lots of shooting, range, & "training time" clocked in but, it's all voluntary & not required.
 

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When I was in Indiana it was pretty much the same; anyone 18 and over can go the their CLEO and fill out the forms, local LEO checks them out and if that clears you send on to State Police if you clear there the state sends the permit. It is a paper permit with no picture, Indiana is also shall issue. When I was there the permit also exempted you from state paperwork for handgun purchase and also worked for NICS, so if you had your permit you could walk in, buy a handgun and walk out with it.
 

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F350 said:
When I was in Indiana it was pretty much the same; anyone 18 and over can go the their CLEO and fill out the forms, local LEO checks them out and if that clears you send on to State Police if you clear there the state sends the permit. It is a paper permit with no picture, Indiana is also shall issue. When I was there the permit also exempted you from state paperwork for handgun purchase and also worked for NICS, so if you had your permit you could walk in, buy a handgun and walk out with it.
I like it, the more I become educated by the forum as to carry and how other states issue the more I believe we don't require mandated training to get our ccw. Those who wish to learn and know the rules will get training on their own. One would think Texas was very easy but after reading about how long it takes to get a permit processed and the conditions you must meet I am surprised.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
QKShooter said:
Good thread!
You'll think this is interesting if you're not aware of it already.
I am from Pittsburgh & PA is a "Shall Issue" state.
Here a person can go buy a firearm (of course with the proper NICS & paperwork done) & then have 2 photos taken & pay about $20.00 to get a license to carry concealed with no competency test or no safety classes required & then just carry. You just fill out the application & if you have no criminal history...you got it.
So...technically a person here can purchase a firearm & then carry it without ever having fired one single shot from any firearm...ever...in their entire lifetime.
Amazingly we do not seem to have any higher rate of negligent or "accidental" discharge or any more than average problems stemming from our CCW policy.
But, the overall violent crime rate here is extremely low & (I'm guessing) that the vast majority of folks who carry here never actually need to use their firearm defensively. I guess some folks here carry as a "security blanket" that they just never use.
Most of the folks that I know who carry here in Pittsburgh have a great deal of personal responsibility & lots of shooting, range, & "training time" clocked in but, it's all voluntary & not required.
Sorry Guys but I have to disagree with this whole concept of being able to obtain a CCW permit wtihout the training to go along with it.
I'm not sure of the decision making process of a lot of people who have had training let alone those without it.
I am a firm believer that if you are going to be allowed to carry a concealed firearm in public you should be required to have a certain degree of training in the use of firearms as well as the law statutes pertaining to deadly force. Not having said training, is at the very least neglegent in my opinion and I'm sure it will be to a judge and jury as well.
Sorry if I get a little opinionated on this point but as an instructor I have seen way to much incompetence out there. Remember in hadling firearms "Safety is everything." You can't be safe if you've never been taught what that is.
 

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One thing that grows to bother me more and more is the emphasis on marksmanship and the de-emphasis on the shoot/don't shoot decision. If I were king, I would do away with the marksmanship test and make people watch a video with stop points where the applicant would have to mark his or her test answer sheet as either shoot or don't shoot.

I feel that marksmanship is over-emphasized because civilian defensive shootings tend to occur at 0-5 feet where "stuff the muzzle into him and pull the trigger" is the usual aiming method.

Chuck
 

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acparmed

I am not in disagreement with you at all concerning the importance of GOOD and proper training/instruction. We are both on the same side of that fence.
Just stating my observations about the reality of the way things are here.
Though I do admit that I very much like the way things are in Pennsylvania on 2nd amendment & Constitutional RKBA argument.
So (in theory) I VERY MUCH LIKE THIS AS FOLLOWS:
CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
Right to Bear Arms
Section 21.
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

Personally I feel that it's my human responsibility (to myself & others) to be as absolutely honed & educated as is realistically possible.
 

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Indiana's law has been in effect since 1934.

The decision to obtain training is an individual one. It raises the cost of the permit. Should not be required IMO.
 

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I agree with ACPArmed in that I feel there should be a level of training required. I know this may countermand into a slippery slope by asking the Gov't to establish some sort of minimum firearms education in order to get a CCW but I still hold to my opinion that education shoud lbe a must. I think the same should be for Driver's Licenses as well. Both are equally dangerous and deadly in the hands of an unskilled individual.

~A
 

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acparmed said:
Sorry Guys but I have to disagree with this whole concept of being able to obtain a CCW permit wtihout the training to go along with it.
I'm not sure of the decision making process of a lot of people who have had training let alone those without it.
I am a firm believer that if you are going to be allowed to carry a concealed firearm in public you should be required to have a certain degree of training in the use of firearms as well as the law statutes pertaining to deadly force. Not having said training, is at the very least neglegent in my opinion and I'm sure it will be to a judge and jury as well.
Sorry if I get a little opinionated on this point but as an instructor I have seen way to much incompetence out there. Remember in hadling firearms "Safety is everything." You can't be safe if you've never been taught what that is.
I'm with you, I want people trained, at least minimally, I also want them tested to insure they can retain the information, I want them to be a legal adult and I want them licensed so their license can be pulled if need be. That being said, if you have the training, passed the test, are not a felon or mentally impaired in any way and are an adult I don't believe that the government should be able to deny you a permit, anywhere in the US. Just my opinion....
 

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OK all you training required advocates; you seem to be putting forth the argument that without state mandated training there will be “blood flowing in the streets” just like the liberal anti-gunners. Explain the total lack of any problem in Vermont in particular or Indiana, I lived in Indiana for 45 years and am totally unaware of any problems involving “untrained” CCW holders.
 

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Folks, I feel everyone should be trained. However, I also feel everyone should have the right to defend themselves at anytime. If they choose not take any form of training thats on them. I encourage folks to take a course and practice often, but in no way should it be manditory. Firing 50-500 rounds at targets that don't try to harm you is just target practice anyway. There are some challenging courses out there, but nothing like real life.

Give this a thought...We drive cars everyday, but how many of us attended much more than drivers training in high school.

Be careful folks, the Second Amendment has enough enemies without us beating up on her also.
 

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OK all you training required advocates; you seem to be putting forth the argument that without state mandated training there will be “blood flowing in the streets” just like the liberal anti-gunners.
I don't see that argument being suggested by anybody. No rights are considered absolute, and they never have been. Reasonable controls/restrictions have always been a part of the game, and suggesting that model be used with 2nd Amendment rights does not suggest anything other than that.
 

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David-

Quite frankly you strike me like many of the professors at the university where I work. Full of book learning, great theoretical thinkers and most generally full of BS and totally lacking in anything close to real world experience. They went from high school to college, got a BS degree (very fitting) went on to an MS (More of the Same) and then straight to the PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) and started teaching. I am in, let’s call it "technical support" and I find most of them to be generally incompetent and inept in most areas :reddy:
 
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