What about training?

When and where can you carry that firearm? Under what circumstances can you use it?

What about training?

Postby Bill Kaylor » Mon Sep 15, 2003 11:55 am

One of the questions that keeps coming up in conversations I have with people that are "carrying" is, "What is the right type and amount of training and practice that I should maintain to be effective and safe with my weapon?". From these conversations, I have come away with the realization that there is no concensus or standard on this topic. The preception seems to be, "do what seems right for you". Quite honestly, I think that this leaves far to many loose ends in a very serious topic to be the "safe" response.

Therefore, I would like to pose these questions to the "forum". What about training and practice? Is there really a "mimimum" level of training and practice that a carry citizen should maintain? Could a "perceived" lack of practice or training be used agains't an individual in a civil suit that might arise out of a self-defense incident? What kind of practice or training might help an individual make a "correct" quick decision in an enounter? Do we have a "moral" obligation to improve our skills with our firearm when we decide to carry?

WHAT DO YOU THINK
"Our Founding Fathers defined tyranny as 'unelected officials making law' " (Patrick Henry College President Michael Farris)
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Postby 45ACP » Mon Sep 15, 2003 12:38 pm

Bill, please see my replys under "time to prune" in the General Forum. I totally agree with you. Training is the most overlooked area of self defense related topics. I think it would make a great Forum. Ability does not come in the box with the gun.
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Postby johnharris » Wed Sep 17, 2003 2:21 pm

When I speak from time to time on the issues of civilian use of deadly force, one of the topics that I do cover pertains to civil liability. As a practicing attorney, I do feel that adequate amounts of the right type of training can be an important issue in the event that a shooting ends up in civil court. Adequate training and regular recertification by an adequately credentialed instructor can have the positive benefit of establishing not only a paper trail on the individual's level of responsibility with the inherently dangerous device but it also has the benefit of creating extra witnesses whose testimony may impact the issue of negligence.

The issue of training and recertification can also be important in the defense of a criminal case. It has been an issue in almost every case of this type that I have been involved with.

Some may ask, what do you mean by the use of the term "adequately credentialed" - that is a tough question which turns on the facts of each instructors own qualifications. In my opinion, just being state certified as an instructor is a factor but is not sufficient. I would be more interested in the instructor's own training, work history, experience etc. For example, an instructor may have been on the police force for 30 years but if that time was spent in a department or function which did not regularly require the use of force or that firearms training be completed regularly, then their expertise may be challenged by a well-trained plaintiff's counsel. Likewise, an instructor whose only qualification is a NRA civilian instructor's certfiicate may not be persuasive to a jury. On this topic, ask this question, "if I explained to my grandmother my instructor's work history, his experience and his personal training courses, would she reach the conclusion that the instructor was an expert on the civilian use of deadly force?"
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Postby f5fstop » Wed Sep 17, 2003 4:52 pm

So, a handgun class taught by an instructor for the local Sheriff's department, who is also an NRA instructor, as well as an IDPA would be a great class to participate in?
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms..." (Richard Henry Lee)
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (Alexander Hamilton)
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What is "training"?

Postby Bill Kaylor » Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:47 pm

Ok.... I understand what John wrote about qualified training from a certified trainer. But, we keep using the word "training" without defining just what this training should be. I could take all kinds of "firearm training" that would have absolutely no benefit in preparing me to handle a critical self defense situation. While that would be "training", I doubt that any of it would have any favorable impact on my defense in a courtroom.

What kind of training and how often should that training be expanded upon is my question? Has anyone ever really addressed this need for further defination?

For that matter, if this "training" were defined in detail, could it be used in court to attack a person IF they had not quite lived up to the LETTER of that description? Is this really a "catch 22" situation? We need it but we would be better of not having it.?
"Our Founding Fathers defined tyranny as 'unelected officials making law' " (Patrick Henry College President Michael Farris)
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Postby johnharris » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:00 am

f5fstop wrote:So, a handgun class taught by an instructor for the local Sheriff's department, who is also an NRA instructor, as well as an IDPA would be a great class to participate in?


Without knowing which type of NRA instructor certification course the individual had, I cannot respond. The NRA civilian instructor certifications expressly (unless the manual has changed) prohibit those instructors from teaching defensive use of firearms. It is my understanding that NRA certifications for law enforcement do cover that topic.

I cannot address the IDPA issue because I have not engaged that sport and am not familar with its certification processes if any
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Re: What is "training"?

Postby johnharris » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:08 am

Bill Kaylor wrote:Ok.... I understand what John wrote about qualified training from a certified trainer. But, we keep using the word "training" without defining just what this training should be. I could take all kinds of "firearm training" that would have absolutely no benefit in preparing me to handle a critical self defense situation. While that would be "training", I doubt that any of it would have any favorable impact on my defense in a courtroom.

What kind of training and how often should that training be expanded upon is my question? Has anyone ever really addressed this need for further defination?

For that matter, if this "training" were defined in detail, could it be used in court to attack a person IF they had not quite lived up to the LETTER of that description? Is this really a "catch 22" situation? We need it but we would be better of not having it.?


Several good questions. As a trial attorney (who give discounts to TFA members by the way), I would not want to see a specific, defined course endorsed as the "minimum" level of recommended training for a variety of reasons - one of which is that it might be construed or misconstrued as establishings a standard.

What I tend to recommend is that each individual be alter to the fact that they are carrying what some may refer to as an "inheritently dangerous device," that some jurors may believe that anyone carrying a gun is just "looking for trouble" and that the individual may need to take such steps as a "reasonably prudent person" would take to guard against accidential discharges, stay current on legal rights and duties, to maintain functional competency and to have the weapon periodically checked or inspected by an individual capable of servicing a firearm to make sure that it is function properly.

Training is important as well as preparedness but I do not think you would want to be cast in the derogatory concept of a "militia nut," trained gunfighter, etc.
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Postby 45ACP » Thu Sep 25, 2003 10:07 am

With due consideration to the various criminal and civil legal issues, it seems to me that the real reason for training, however one chooses to define it, is exactly the same as the reason one carrys a defensive handgun in the first place; TO SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND ONE'S SELF. It is wise to carry, wiser still to carry carefully chosen equipment, wisest to to carry that equipment with the developed ability to use it well. That's training.

Col. Jeff Cooper put it something like this; prevailing in a deadly force encounter is problem number one. Criminal and civil issues are problem number two. If one doesn't solve problem #1, problem #2 is moot. Train and equip to solve problem #1.
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Postby RonW » Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:40 pm

Yes, training is good. Yes, practice is good. If there is a confrontation with a bad guy, and you pull the trigger and miss, you lose and are likely deceased, if you hit the wrong thing you are subject to numerous criminal and civil liabilities, as everyone knows. There is plenty of motivation for doing all one can to be prepared. But when someone starts a discussion by worrying about loose ends and what someone else is doing, it is never long until some well meaning self righteous do-gooder will demand and expect that their personal theories of how others should act be put into requirements, mandates, or law. It does not matter whether the well intentioned is a TFA member or a left winger, the net result is the same. If required, who decides what is required?? Me? You? Hillary? Once going down the slippery slope, its only another step or two until it goes from your pet theory to Hillary's and Schumer's. If your level of training is good, then a little more and then much more is even better, and then another unconstitutional law is added to the 20.000+ already on the books. If more training is the ideal, then surely only police and military, and of course Ted's personal body guards, should be able to carry. The amendment does not say that those who meet your personal standards have the right to keep and bear arms, read it again, and don't be too surprised when you ask your neighbor how often he goes to the class or range of your choice, that he tells you that its none of your damned business.
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Practice makes perfect.............NOT!

Postby Ed__357 » Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:38 pm

I think if a person ever has to use his/her gun to defend themselves, that in the course of the trial and lawsuits that are sure to follow, you'd better be prepared to "Fight fire with fire."

It's reasonable to assume the prosecutors will do everything they can to make you look like a Tennessee redneck hick, uneducated, with a gun-ho gun nut attitude. Everything you can do to prove otherwise can and will help.

One way is to always try to come across as a respectable decent person. And the other is to be good at what you do, and this includes operating a handgun.

The state requires minimal training on gun safety, and the law as it applies to the use of deadly force.

My instructor told us in class, "If you're going to walk around in public with a handgun strapped to your side, you owe it to yourself and your community to be responsible and a damn good shot. You don't want to be left fumbling around for your gun and spraying bullets wildly through the air hitting everyone but the bad guy in the heat of battle."

Furthermore, you only have to qualify with one gun. But what if you choose to carry a different gun than the one you qualify with. Even though the state does not require you to re-qualify, you'd better believe they will use this against you. That is why MOST instructors in Tennessee will allow you to re-qualify anytime with another gun at a MINIMAL charge. The instructors keep records of all this, and these records could be used in your favor in court.

I personally go to the range at least every other weekend and sometimes more frequently. I would love to do some of the IDPA style of practice and shooting, but there are no clubs in my area, and no places in my area to start one. Afterall, you do need a place to shoot. I have looked into the local IDPA clubs, and the closest one I could find to me is over an hour drive away. I guess I'm just not willing to do that. I am hopeful that maybe in the future, more gun ranges, and clubs will become available closer to me, but in reality, it's probably a pipe-dream.

And finally, remember the old saying: "Practice makes perfect." Well that's not true. If you practice doing the WRONG things, then you get real good at doing the wrong things. only "PERFECT PRACTICE" could make perfect.

One should practice not only their shooting skills, but their carrying skills. They should practice quickly drawing their weapon from their holster and acquiring a target instantly. One should practice shooting from various positions. It's hard to do all these things at the range. Clubs like the IDPA focus on "realistic shooting scenarios" and this type of practice is generally taught.

We should all remember, when the adrenaline starts flowing and the heart is pumping, and you're scared for your life, you "Will resort to your animal instincts" and act according to how you've been trained. So if you have NO TRAINING, then you're just "A person carrying a gun" and you may not know what to do with it.
It's best to let the world "Think" you're an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
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what about training

Postby john wall » Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:44 pm

several years ago, i took the certified instructor course. it was a 17 hour course that you basically could not fail. now, i think that a good lawyer, such as john harris could eat me alive in court if that is all the training i had, and i am talking about the instructor course, not the one day wonder course that most shops offer. the one day classes are set up to take your money and get you killed or taken to court. i have fired over three million rounds in competition, have been a pistol champion on two continents, over a 45 year period. i have been shot at, have fired in anger (terror), and lived to tell about it. i have been a champion at ipsc, a highly competitive pistol game involving defensive scenarios. i thought i knew more than most people about the defensive game. i was wrong. after a near disaster defending myself against three young thugs, i knew i had to do something. i went to APPS, run by buford tune. i was told he was a arrogant know-it-all. well, he is not arrogant, but he does know almost all of it when it comes to self defense. he has decades of teaching and street smarts. he has come out ahead in numerous gunfights. he has been shot and stabbed, and plain beat up. he has forgot more about self defense than anybody i ever met. when he is not teaching classes, he is on line and on the phone, studying and helping make laws for self defense. if you want to get the training that will keep you alive and out of court or prison, go see this man. i thought so much of his training that now i assist him in his training. i do not get paid for this. it is a honor to be associated with a person of such high moral fiber and superb teaching abilities. if you want to stay sharp and out of court, call buford at 360 6002, and set up something with him. i learned more in his two day class than i did at the instructor course i took.
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what about training

Postby john wall » Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:48 pm

the sad fact is, you cannot get enough training, and the training is very perishable. i would suggest shooting at least once a month, and then about 100 rounds with the gun you will carry. any extra shooting is icing on the cake. you cannot go wrong shooting several hundred rounds a month with a good 22 pistol, to establish and maintain trigger squeeze, sight picture and sight picture reaquisition. don't neglect your big bore carry gun, shoot it too. it will be different than the 22, including more recoil, muzzle blast, flash, and increased recovery time. after all these years, i recommend a smith or ruger 5 shot double action only revolver. i have shot, watched other people shoot, and helped train other people to shoot since 1959. i have never seen a semi auto that was 100% reliable, and have never seen a well maintained top quality revolver malfunction when used with quality ammo. my tournament grade auto has $2,700 in goodies and hand tuning and it has jammed with good ammo. i had a smith&wesson m-625 revolver that i put around 400,000 rounds through it and it never failed to fire. not once. it was well maintained. have a good gunsmith check out your carry gun regularly. by all means, do not buy a gun you are not familiar with, and then load it and carry it without shooting it often. i have helped train people lately that did not know how to load and operate their gun. when you get your carry gun, put at least 500 to 1,000 rounds through it to make sure it is right, and please when you go get your training, at least be familiar enough with it that you know how to load, unload, clear it and operate any safeties and or decockers. even the most recognized instructors in the country now recommend double action revolvers for carry. remember, if you do manage to survive a lethal incident, and screw up, you will have to face the music in court. ask john harris.
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