If you want to be a responsible gun owner, then you need to do a few things right off the bat. First, you need to take a gun safety course. Second, you need to complete a basic handgun course, and third, you need to get some professional defensive training. All of this needs to be done before you ever enroll in a concealed handgun licensing class. You need to consider that these three steps are actually
only the very minimum that barely even starting to scratch the surface of what you need to do to become a responsible gun owner, but it is actually much more than most current gun owners do. And it is much more than any state requires for you to get your concealed handgun license.
The major problem confronting the firearm industry is that all of these new gun owners are getting licensed to carry a concealed handgun, but none of them have any prior professional firearm training. Imagine if we gave people their driver’s license without any prior professional driving education. It would be a disaster on our streets and highways. This exact state of affairs exists in the concealed handgun world.
The first thing you need to do, even before you buy a gun, is take a gun safety course. You can find these at any firing range, or at your local chapter of the National Rifle Association. You need to realize, that owning a gun is not an event. Owning a gun is your commitment to join a responsible and educated lifestyle. Primarily, that means you need to train like your life depends on it. Because the truth of the matter is, your life does depend on it when you are talking about gun safety.
Second, you need to take a basic handgun course. You need to learn the basics of shooting. It’s not as easy as it looks in the movies to just pick up a gun and hit your target with no prior training. You need an expert to show you how to aim the gun, how to fire the gun, and how to do so in a manner that actually allows you to strike your intended target. It is not as easy as you think, and this is exactly why you need to train the process.
Finally, you should consider getting your concealed handgun license. Do not be lazy and enroll in a concealed handgun licensing class before you have actually had any professional firearm training. That is a recipe for disaster. Your instructor’s job at the concealed handgun licensing class is not to teach you how to shoot. You should already know how to shoot your gun (accurately) before the class. You should already know how to field strip your gun before the class. You should already know how to clean and lubricate your gun before the class. And you should already know how to clear basic handgun malfunctions before you step foot inside a concealed handgun class.
Imagine how ridiculous it would be if a teenager showed up to her driver’s license driving test and said, “Okay, teach me how to drive.” That is the current state of affairs in the concealed handgun licensing world and it is insane. Learn to be a responsible gun owner, then get your concealed handgun license.
- This was the first how to shoot a gun book that I ever purchased, and it is still my favorite. I bought this when I knew absolutely nothing about shooting. No matter what I did, I kept shooting below and to the left of where I was aiming. I couldn’t hit crap back in those days. So I did what I always do, read, and ask questions. They have this fancy new gun range just south of me and I asked the range officer (read, special forces wannabe) if he could help me fix the problem. He said I shoot that way because I’m right handed and there was really nothing I could do about it. Which was bull crap, so be careful who you take advice from. Then I downloaded the Kindle version of this book and read it cover to cover and actually performed all of the exercises prescribed in the book. The book was great because it teaches you how to be a better shooter without firing a single bullet, thereby saving you thousands of dollars in ammo. After about a week of practicing the dry fire drills included in this book, I went to the range and was shooting tight groups and the bullet was hitting exactly where I was aiming. I still do most of my shooting practice by using the exercises in this book. And with the cost and scarcity of 9mm ammo these days, I think this is the only way to go.
2. Control the Conflict. This one is for my hardcore, right wing, end of the world, survivalist readers who everyone thinks is crazy now, but will be in charge of the rebuild once the crap hits the fan. This is your basic, be ready for anything book. You probably will not enjoy it, unless you are someone like me, who carries a tactical flashlight and pocket knife on his person at all times, and mentally rehearses emergency what if’s every time he walks into McDonald’s.
Don’t stop at personal reading, actually look for professional tactical handgun training in your area. Just about every gun range within a 20 mile radius of me has an ex-(insert military bad a## here) on staff who teaches some kind of tactical pistol class. Go get some training.