by Shawn Jewell
Which Gun …?
Which School …?
Which Instructor …?
Isn’t it interesting how such simple questions can become so complicated, or how asking a valid question, with only the intent of receiving a simple answer or direction, becomes a debate, an argument, a complex barrage of opinions and discussions? Who is right and who is wrong?, everyone can’t be equally correct, there must be “levels” of competency and in fact, incompetency.
Well of course there is, but how do you know, who decides, who do you listen to?
The first real problems are simply ego and money. Whenever and wherever there is an opportunity for some people to make a buck, there will always be those that are driven to “cash in” on whatever is popular, taking no consideration for whether they have the right answers, good material or the ability to offer it correctly, their only focus is “what is the hot topic right now, and how can I make a profit”?
Of course some of them are ego driven. The primary concern for them is impressing as many people as possible, not helping others with their needs, but instead focusing on what they have accomplished. Many times these two factors work hand in hand.
Now don’t misunderstand, there are times and places where some background information is necessary, there are times when certifications and licenses, real experience in both the subjects being taught and experience in the delivery of the information in the classes are important, BUT, where is the focus? If the focus is on what the instructor has done or can do, rather than being on what they can help the student learn to accomplish, the balance is wrong. Who cares if the instructor was a special tactical ninja if you are a law-abiding citizen attending a class for your concealed carry license? I mean honestly, will any of that special training or background make them a great instructor in a field that has no connection at all?
In fact I have seen instances where they were less effective and gave misinformation. Unless that citizen is there just to tell their friends they met a special tactical ninja and get a picture or autograph?
But seriously though, most responsible adults who are seeking a license to carry for personal defense and the defense of their families from bad people have more important priorities. They are much more interested in learning the skills to perform that specific task. Most realistic concerns are safe handling skills, clearly understanding the difference between “shooting” a gun and utilizing one for defensive purposes. Understanding the differences of real world application, understanding when and where, when and how they may use the proper amount of force if necessary and how to survive the immediate aftermath in the criminal and civil processes. This is just one small example of many, but the principle is consistent when one is seeking professional training in any area.
Is it is really important what the instructors have done, or is it more important at how effective they are at imparting the skills, information and training methods that work for you, specific to your needs and circumstances? Should a potential training facility have the proper equipment and staff, with the appropriate credentials and experience to meet or exceed your training needs?
Absolutely, but what is the focus, the specific goal of that teacher/facility/class? Is it lots of bells and whistles and fancy advertising to impress you with their own past or current abilities OR to impress upon you real and useful information and skill sets that help you reach your training goals, at a level your are ready to understand and accept? There are unfortunately way too many substandard choices out there, but there are also a few good choices, individuals and companies with integrity that put the needs and expectation of their clients first. No matter what your subject or subjects of interest may be, remember everyone wants to take your time and money and convince you that they are the “best”.
Try to make sure that whomever you choose for your personal firearms or self-defense training, that they have only one primary goal, to help YOU be as prepared, competent and confident as you possibly can.