I recently watched a live stream on YouTube where the topic of paying for firearm training came up. On one side of the fence was the idea that it isn’t really necessary to pay for training. On the other hand, the answer is yes you should. There were some really good points on both sides of the debate and figured I would chime in.
Let’s start with a disclaimer: I’m not a firearm expert by any stretch of the imagination. I am an enthusiast and an aspiring gun geek at best. So feel free to dismiss anything that I say here.
Now then, let’s talk about what kind of training is available for purchase. There is a lot to pick from out there. They vary in duration from are multi-day (even week long) events to a couple of hours. They vary in price from under a hundred to several thousand. They vary in quality from world renowned to questionable. If that wasn’t enough, the content choices are vast focusing or mixing topics about laws, skills, tactics, and mindset.
As you can see there is a lot to pick from, but the question still remains: is training necessary? I just don’t think that question is a simple yes or no answer. Let me explain.
I do think every gun owner should be familiar with federal, state, and local laws. Truth is firearms are heavily regulated. So at the very least, one should be familiar with laws regarding ownership, transport, and storage. With all the regulations surrounding firearms today, ignorance is probably the fastest way to find one’s self on the wrong side of the law and that can lead to complete loss of gun rights. However, attending a legal seminar or course is only one way of staying up to date on the laws. Other ways, include reading the actual laws. So I don’t think “purchasing” a class is necessary, but it is a viable option.
What about skills and tactics? There are different skills and tactics for different firearm applications. Sure there are some fundamental ones like marksmanship and general safety. But skills and tactics for self defense firearms use will be very different from hunting or competitive applications. Again, I don’t think that purchased training is necessary here. But I do strongly recommend it. While you can get some of this information from books, video, and the world wide web, not everyone has access to friends and family with profound knowledge and experience with skills and tactics to validate and verify the content consumed. Professional trainers provide this feedback. They can evaluate our skills and knowledge and guide us on how to appropriately practice on our own to improve the right skills and tactics correctly. Remember, practice makes permanent – so it’s important to practice the right things correctly. As such, I think money spent on quality training is money well spent.
In summary, I believe training and practice is absolutely necessary unless a gun owner is strictly a collector. However, I don’t think purchased training is required. I do strongly encourage people to seek out quality professional training to develop skills, tactics, and mindset especially for self defense firearms use. I do think it is imperative for gun owners to be familiar with firearms laws and regulations – how one goes about that is an important personal decision. I personally make it a point to: 1) attend one or two self defense training courses per year and attend a legal seminar at least once every other year (since legislative changes occur every other year in my home state).