Firearm training is always an interesting discussion among gun owners. Most people believe they don’t have enough, but they have enough. I know…doesn’t make sense but it’s the best way I know how to describe it.
What it means is that most gun owners get some basic level of training and consider themselves “trained enough” for home defense and use of their firearm(s). But if you ask them if they are “trained enough” they all say they could use more training. Is there ever enough training when you are talking about a weapon that can take lives? I don’t think so and I would hope more gun owners feel the same.
To give you a strong and dramatic example, there was an article in GoDanRiver (a Virginia news source) called, “Active shooter training ‘the closest we can get to the real thing’”, that went into great detail about how important training is to someone who owns a firearm for self-defense. I use this article to demonstrate a key point…there is probably never enough training for a gun owner.
In this article they describe that the “closest thing to a live situation” is an active shooting scenario. I would agree…the closer you can get to the actual situation happening (adrenaline pumping and everything associated with it) the more prepared you might be when the actual situation occurs. We all hope it won’t but if it does, it is always better to be more prepared than less prepared.
To help gun owners be more prepared, Active Shooting classes put students in the line of fire (without real bullets) to simulate certain situations to see how they will act and react. One of the goals is to help them be more comfortable with their firearms while helping them decide “if and when” to shoot. It’s very close to the real thing.
But even with all the training these gun owners received during these classes, they still feel there is more they need to know. They described how they felt about this live situation training…
The officers are forced to “evaluate the situation, determine whether or not it’s proper to engage, and then they have to use the proper tactics” in the situation, Haley said.
It’s “absolutely vital” that the rookie officers train for every possible scenario before going on the street, Haley continued. “We don’t want the first time they encounter a situation like this to be in the real world.”
Even with all this training, there was still the need for more…to be as sure as they could before being in and active shooting situation. The average gun owner usually receives a small fraction of training compared to this and yet feel they are prepared to handle their firearm, be safe, and know how and when to shoot if they need to use it for self-defense. There is clearly a disconnection with how prepared they should be if they were involved in an active shooting.
I would encourage every gun owner to self-evaluate where they are with their level of knowledge in how to handle their firearm, the law surrounding the use of a firearm, and whether or not they feel competent and ready for an active shooting scenario. Based on this assessment, it might be in the best interest of everyone to get more training…training that could save their life and the lives of others around them should they be involved in an active shooting. As the trainers in the article described, even when you have had extensive training, you still need more. With more training, you will…Be more Prepared. Be Smarter. Be Safer.