Can we be a little less judgmental?

(First in a series)

There’s a picture of a woman carrying a pistol non-doctrinally (i.e., a lot of people are unhappy with the way she’s doing it) circulating on the Internet now. The pistol is in a holster attached to her yoga pants and despite being a small pistol, it’s pulling her pants down some on that side. I’m not going to post the picture because it’s unnecessary to my point. The picture has generated almost universal criticism, the following being typical.

The freedom to carry a gun is a great thing.

But you will never, EVER convince me that carrying a gun without training is smart decision. If you’re untrained[,] you do stupid things like this, which actually puts you and those around you in more danger than if you were unarmed.

Carry a gun. But don’t be an untrained fool about it.

My comment about the picture is:

At least she has a gun and her holster has a safety strap.

“Get some training” is a meme in the industry. Unfortunately, both the size and the availability of the training base are very small. This is true even if every NRA and State certified CCW instructor is included in the number. There’s also the issue in my mind of those who make statements like this but got their training from the government while in the pay of the government. That generates an ethical issue you can ponder some time.

Here’s an infographic about the availability of training to gunowners. The concept of ‘the training base’ is something that people who haven’t had to regularly conduct resource intensive training for a lot of people simply don’t understand. Once again, it’s the Tactical Professor with those pesky little numbery things again.

training base w numbers

That tiny triangle where the three circles overlap is the real availability of ‘training’

And my estimate of training facilities is based on those capable of supporting at least NRA Basic Pistol not any kind of ‘meaningful’ training for carrying a weapon. Basic Pistol or its equivalent is as far as most facilities are prepared to go, for various reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number where holster oriented training is allowed is less than 1,000. The good news is that the NRA Instructor base has grown to over 120,000 so we’re probably under 500 students per instructor now. Other good news is that the NRA Training Department has created a CCW course. However, that will take years to generate any significant number of CCW Certified Instructors.

Here’s my first question:

Did the person who took the picture approach the woman and offer to help her out with her knowledgebase, either personally or by referring her to someone who is a trainer?

As a community, we need to do a better job of the way we interact with beginners and novices instead of just being socially maladroit jackwagons and calling them fools.

More in the next installment.

BTW, my Concealed Carry Skills and Drills eBook would have been a nice reference to point her to or maybe even buy for her if the observer actually really cared about her welfare. Or was finger pointing, ego stroking, and shaming the real object of the exercise?

Tactical Professor books (all downloadable PDF files)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

8 responses

  1. Steven M. Harris

    A lot worse can be said about some women in yoga pants.

  2. Claude, I don’t disagree with your theory that there may be a (lack of) availability of training to gunowners. However, a huge part of the problem is the lack of visibility/discoverability of firearms training.

    In my own case (as a relatively new gun owner), my choices were to either stop by the local range OR flip through Instagram to find out when some “insta-famous” instructor was going to be in my area.

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve built a tool (https://pewpewtraining.com) that shows firearms training within range of any zip code in the US. It’s still missing quite a bit of data but thousands of people have already found it useful… so maybe we’re on to something here.

    Bottom line: it’s not just the firearm owners’ fault. Firearms instructors need to step up their own marketing capabilities to get “in front of” the people searching for training.

    1. I agree with you completely. We in the industry often assume that people know where to look for training but that’s not necessarily the case. Good work on your website.

  3. Nicely done Claude.

  4. Mr. Werner, thanks for broaching the subject. I do concede that persons new to training in the use of a firearm for personal defense may have problems picking a good instructor. But I find Karl Rehn’s thoughts on the subject compelling, as contained here: https://gunculture2point0.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/the-viability-of-the-full-time-firearms-instructor-job-by-karl-rehn/ . If I may summarize them, it would be to say that demand for handgun instruction beyond that mandated to obtain a carry license is extremely low. His analysis is congruent with my experience in trying to get my friends to take classes. Many have carry licenses, most of them will shoot at local ranges, but none are sufficiently interested to take training courses beyond the mandated minimum.

  5. Why Instructors not teaching concealed carry info? Liability.

    >

  6. Being involved in a couple of fraternal orgs one of the common laments for declining membership is “our group is a well kept secret”. Well… duh.

    Proper marketing takes planning and dollars that, I suspect, many small business trainers have neither the time or the skill set, let alone the budget, to accomplish. So much of the industry is word of mouth. I’m taking an advanced carry skills course later this month that I only heard about from a friend talking about it. Many trainers rely on social media which has it’s pros and cons as well and often doesn’t have nearly the reach it is assumed to.

    There there is the backlash of political correctness. The stigma that pop culture applies to firearm related businesses in some parts of the country precludes some segments of the market from access to competent training.

    I am working toward launching a training and consulting business of my own when I retire from my day job, and I would submit it’s in all of our interest to figure out the marketing side in parallel with raising our own professional standards.

  7. Training is not cheap. A person who has a $250 pistol in a $25 holster may not be able to afford the training she needs. In my neck of the woods, I’ve found that inexpensive training is usually worth less than what you pay for it. And good training costs $200 day and up, not counting the cost of travel, lodging, and ammunition.

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