Bad Training Worse Than No Training
Dr. John Woods 11.22.16
What with the heightened interest in concealed carry in this country, the permit requirements for self-defense training has generated the creation of a plethora of shooting schools and training courses. Many of these schools are owned, operated, and taught by highly qualified instructors with proven curriculums. However, some could only be classified as “fly by night” with instructors having little more credentials than big egos.
Before you sign up for any self-defense course or qualification class to secure a concealed weapons permit, check your state’s laws, rules, and procedures for obtaining the permit. Some states may certify and recommend specific training schools or programs to meet their criterion for acceptable training. If not, ask around at the permit agency, law enforcement officials, at local gun shops, and even the old yellow pages. Do your due diligence to find a qualified school.
What credentials or qualifications should you look for? First ask or check to determine if the course instructors are officially certified NRA instructors. Ask to see the certificates. This means those trainers have attended and passed these rigorous courses to know what needs to be taught and how to teach it.
Certainly quiz any instructor or school official about their training resume and reference list. If they don’t have either, then pass it up. How long have they been in the firearms training business? How many classes or participants have they trained? What are their course offerings? Do they work in an established location and facility or are they working out of a backpack in a field somewhere?
When I took my course, I knew the instructor personally. He used a training room at the local Bass Pro Shops store. The firearm’s range and course of fire was conducted at his deer hunting club some 20 miles away. It was not the best situation and to the unknowing, it might have appeared a rather sketchy set up. Check these things out in advance so you are comfortable with the whole situation. Again, if in doubt call the permit agency to ask if this instructor or course has qualified other permit seekers.
Ask the course instructor about the classroom course. Is it an approved NRA course with a provided course book or just a bunch of handouts? Again, make sure your comfort level is high on this. Be sure you know the difference between a standard course and an enhanced course and what the shooting requirement are. Bad training is a bad deal.