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I wish every gun owner would take a CCW class!

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Hellbore, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    Just wanted to share, I took a CCW class recently (Arizona) and it was quite an experience. I was raised around guns and have owned guns and shot occasionally for over 10 years, but never got around to taking the CCW class.

    I have to credit my nephew for finally urging me to do it. He had a couple scary life-threatening encounters and decided to take the class, and asked me to take it with him for moral support or something. This was the kick in the rear I needed to finally do it!

    I pretty much knew the basics already like the 5 rules, maintenance, not to conceal my weapon, where you can't carry, etc. but there were a lot of specifics about the law that we learned in the class, as well as some really good safety training. Also a lot of good advice about how to think and act when armed and how to be mentally prepared for a life or death situation.

    There was a range qualification test where we had to hit at least 7 out of 10 inside the larger box of a TQ15 silhouette target from 30 feet. This wasn't hard for me or my nephew because we had practiced at the range, but some people needed 2 or 3 retries before they could pass. They also let the people who were having trouble do 5 rounds from 15 feet and 5 from 30 feet, which is the minimum for Arizona to qualify. Most of us did all 10 from 30 feet though without issues.

    The thing that was really scary though was that a lot of people in the class did not get 100% on the written test, even after 8 hours of being taught what the laws are. I don't know if they didn't listen or what. The test was VERY easy. In fact, I am pretty sure I could have scored 100% on the test without even taking the class, because most of the questions were common sense.

    A couple examples I remember that people got wrong (all were multiple choice):
    "Can you pick a fight with someone and then if they start getting the upper hand on you, shoot them?" A few people answered Yes! :uhoh:
    "Now that you have a CCW permit, you have..." A few people (including the guy next to me) picked "The same authority and responsibility as a police officer!" Whoah... :what:

    Our class had about 50 people in it, and this particular organization routinely fills up their classes. It surprised me a little how many people are carrying now days, people from all walks of life. About 10% of the class was female, by the way. Another funny thing was that a LOT of people who took the class had never shot a gun before. We know people are buying guns and ammo like crazy these days. It was cool to see people getting educated and arming themselves but at the same time, it makes me worry about the people who are just buying guns and not taking the extra step of educating themselves.

    Anyway, it was a great experience, and I wish everyone would do it even if they don't want to carry concealed!

    A couple other fun things from the class:
    Out of the 50 or so in the class, a bunch of them had never shot a gun before, and had bought their first gun just for this class. Several had purchased guns by Bryco, Jennings, Raven, etc. The instructor called out these brands and asked who had one of them, and then scolded the people who raised their hands, and basically told them to buy a better gun and not to trust their lives to those brands! He also said he hoped the bad guys were using those brands because it would put them at a disadvantage...

    Another fun thing was how many revolver shooters we had in this class. I would say, from what I remember, around 1/4 of the class was shooting revolvers. The instructor commented that this was more than he usually saw, especially single-action revolvers, we had a handful of those in the class.

    Overall, a fun experience
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  2. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I hope there were multiple instructors. That's too big a class for one guy to manage safely, IMO.
     
  3. Carl

    Carl Member

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    I enjoyed my CCW class. The assistant instructor began to tell us about the different places to conceal and situations where you would be justified in protecting yourself. By the end of the lecture he had pulled out 18 guns from his vest/pocket/coat/pants/belt. It was nice to have some humor in the class and not make people nervous about getting yelled at or scowled for asking or doing something that a new person to guns might do.
     
  4. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    There was just one instructor, but normally he had a partner. His partner was out of town or something. He did have 2 assistants helping with fingerprinting, paperwork, and setup/takedown at the range.

    He was very strict which I think was probably necessary with a class so large. He couldn't keep an eye on everyone at once so he instructed the class to watch the group that was shooting and call out any safety violations they saw. We also didn't all shoot at once, of course, we were divided into 5 groups of 10 so only 10 people would shoot at a time. Unfortunately the people watching couldn't really see the shooters well enough from where we were standing (directly behind them). Probably needed more instructors, ideally, like you said.

    One thing we learned that was completely new to me was taking your finger off the trigger after every single shot. Is this a standard safety rule in the shooting community? It seemed nobody in the class had learned this before and many people forgot this rule between shots and got yelled at. For example, if we were supposed to shoot 5 shots in a row, we couldn't just shoot 5 one right after the other, we had to shoot once, take finger off trigger long enough that the instructor could see we had our finger off, then put it back in there and shoot another round... If you even left your finger inside the trigger guard for a second after firing a shot, and the instructor saw you, you got a "final warning". It felt awkward and I don't remember seeing people shoot this way at the range either. Is this normal or what? He was REALLY strict about it and almost disqualified a couple people who shot more than 1 round without removing their finger.

    Nobody ever taught me this rule before. I knew one of the 5 rules was don't put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot... but if I'm aiming at the target, and planning on shooting 5 shots, I AM ready to shoot again after the first shot.

    Please let me know if this is a normal safety rule or just this one guy's rule...
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  5. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    I wish everyone would also, I even helped teach the defensive shotgun portion of a civilian home defense course a while back, however; I am firmly against MANDITORY state approved classes.

    Government involvement in the licensing of a right is the tip of a very dangerous wedge. Any time the state assumes the power to allow something; it also gains the power to prohibit it.

    You would not want to be subjected to a background check, mandatory waiting period or state mandated Bible classes to make sure that you were not some kind of religious fanatic before being issued a license to attend church would you?

    Can you see how dangerous this is?
     
  6. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    Yeah, what about a different approach, a carrot rather than a stick?

    I would never want classes to be mandatory, but what if the government helped out in some way, like maybe for a first-time gun buyer, some or all of the tax on the gun purchase could go towards a training course? Or maybe some kind of incentive for taking a class, like if you take the class, you get a tax break on future gun purchases?

    Just a thought... might be nice to encourage training but not require it. I'm glad I took the class, the CCW permit and peace of mind are incentive enough for me.
     
  7. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    I agree with Owen on this one, although I would make only a very minor semantic change to the first sentence to read: I wish everyone who needs it would also...

    I still believe everyone is their own best keeper. Yes, I'm an idealist.
     
  8. 3:00hold

    3:00hold Member

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    I agree with those who said that it should not be required, but it should be strongly encouraged. In my opinion, when you cary, you are asking society to place a good deal of trust in you, and holding up your end includes being properly trained and practicing regularly.


    Hellbore, Sorry I don't know how to do the quote thing.
    One thing we learned that was completely new to me was taking your finger off the trigger after every single shot. Is this a standard safety rule in the shooting community? It seemed nobody in the class had learned this before and many people forgot this rule between shots and got yelled at. For example, if we were supposed to shoot 5 shots in a row, we couldn't just shoot 5 one right after the other, we had to shoot once, take finger off trigger long enough that the instructor could see we had our finger off, then put it back in there and shoot another round... It seemed very unusual. Is this normal or what?

    I've never heard of that as is pertains to shooting more than one shot in succession from, say, a pistol (i.e. not something like a bolt action rifle). It would certainly revolutionize the world of competitive shooting.
     
  9. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I guess he wanted to evaluate you after every shot... that is not the norm when shooting double taps or strings. I'd like to see someone get off 3-4 rounds per second (happens routinely in certain competetive and defensive scenarios) removing their finger from the trigger each time... heh.
     
  10. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    Yeah I thought maybe he was just trying to be extra safe, but really, he talked like this rule was standard among all shooters, and after the range test, he commented on how many of us messed this rule up, and how worried it made him, and kind of tried to make us feel stupid for it. The funny thing is he never said we had to pause between shots, just said to keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire, then yelled at us once we got to the range if we didn't remove our fingers after every shot. That's why it came as a surprise to me, I didn't realize he meant he wanted us to stop and remove our fingers after EVERY shot, he didn't make that clear beforehand, he just said "now fire 5 shots at the target". It wasn't until after he scolded a few of us that the rest of the class understood this rule.

    I hate to think what would have happened if I had just shot my 5 shots in rapid succession, I probably would have gotten thrown out of the class even though people do it all the time at the range. And yes I could have passed the test doing this, I was shooting a .22 so I could definitely empty the magazine and get them all inside the box :D
     
  11. Kindrox

    Kindrox Member

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    A lot of people "know" the law. Even on obvious mis-perceptions I generally don't bother to attempt to correct such such people anymore because my citing the actual text of the law is less authoritative then what they hear from some guy somewhere.

    Many people believe what they would like to be correct.
     
  12. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    About picking a fight... That one I can sort of understand people having a hard time with, because of the way the law is worded.

    We read the actual wording of the law, and it said that if you started the fight, BUT then you tried to withdraw from the fight and were for some reason not able to, and your life became endangered, then you could use deadly force to defend yourself. However, the instructor warned us to "ignore" this paragraph when taking the written test.

    I think this might have confused some people and might be why they got that answer wrong... In general you can't use deadly force in a situation where you provoked the fight, but there is a specific case where you can... technically.

    My solution is to not start fights in the first place :D
     
  13. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    You really don't want the government involved.

    Let me approach this argument from another angle. When it comes to crime we treat everyone as innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law, right? Why should competency with firearms be any different? You should not have to prove yourself competent to exercise a basic constitutional right. The government should have to PROVE you incompetent before denying any right. That is the problem with state licensing. It assumes you incompitent until you prove otherwise.
     
  14. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    I can see your point of view, I mean, if you take that argument to its logical conclusion, should we even be required to have a permit to carry concealed?

    I believe here in AZ there's actually a bill in the works that would make it legal to carry concealed without a permit.

    For now though, I took the class...
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Without having heard his exact comments it would be hard to evaluate what he was trying to do there, but a few thoughts on the subject as applied to defensive "practical" shooting:

    1) When you have your sights on a target and have made a decision to shoot, press the trigger smoothly to the rear, release the trigger to the point where it "resets" or releases the disconnector, and then press to the rear again. Repeat until you achieve the result you're looking for. With practice, you can make aimed, accurate shots at a rate exceeding four shots a second with most service handguns. During a string of aimed fire at one target, lifting your finger off the trigger -- and even allowing the trigger to return fully to it's relaxed position -- will only slow you down as not only are you introducing extra travel length into your trigger stroke but you're losing your "index" of where the reset point is.

    2) At any (and EVERY) point at which you will stop to re-evaluate your target, transition to another target, and/or move your position, your finger comes OFF the trigger and OUT of the trigger guard. The correct trigger finger position for all functions before and after the moment of firing is pointing straight ahead and resting against the frame, above the trigger guard.

    Again, it's hard to evaluate what he was trying to say. If he had some drilling technique by which he was instructing you to take deliberate single shots and wanted to force you to slow down and look at your sights, that might make some sense. As a general rule, (as you've related it) it isn't sound instruction.
     
  16. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    If there is no more to that story, I would have to start assuming this guy is... well... a moron. Wait till he gets a competent competetive shooter in there and doesn't fully explain that rule. The guy will have five rounds off before he even has time to protest.
     
  17. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I only pull my finger out of the guard while simultaneously moving and not shooting and/or reloading.

    Just moving your finger from the trigger, to outside the trigger guard, back to the trigger will take more time than it takes to fire a double tap. If you have multiple targets close together it will take more time than it takes to transition between targets. I.e. you couldn't (or at least, I couldn't) do it between the last shot on one target and the first shot on the next, assuming a short transition at play.
     
  18. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    When the state assumes the power to license any right; it is no longer a right but a privilege subject to state regulations.
     
  19. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    Oh I don't think the instructor was a moron, more likely he assumed we were morons :D

    Some in the class did act somewhat moronic so I can't blame him too much. To me he seemed like a nice guy who just puts up a tough disciplinarian act to keep people in line. He really just doesn't want anyone getting hurt, I think, that's probably why he was going the extra mile safety-wise, beyond what people would normally do at the shooting range. I can't really blame him since many of the class members had never shot a gun before and surely didn't have well-developed safety habits.

    It's also possible that I simply misunderstood his instructions for the shooting test. See, when he was talking about shooting technique for the range test, he actually described how an experienced shooter might fire all 5 shots in rapid succession, but then he said "I doubt any of you will be doing this on the range test". He didn't, however, say "Don't do this on the range test". He repeated many times that we should always remove our fingers until ready to fire but I don't think he made it clear that he wanted our fingers removed after every shot, until we actually started shooting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  20. Tully M. Pick

    Tully M. Pick Member

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    That's the stupidest thing I've heard yet. I'd forget it as quickly as possible.
     
  21. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    When I took the NRA course there were 3 rules. Later, I began hearing them expressed as the "4 rules" and the new one involved the "don't put your finger on the trigger" business.

    1. Assume that all guns are loaded (until proven otherwise)
    2. Don't point the gun at something unless you intend to shoot it
    3. Don't put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to fire
    4. Be sure of your backstop

    So what's the 5th rule now?

    As for the class mentioned in this post, I've got a couple of thoughts on that. First, maybe he was just trying to make sure everybody understood the "finger off trigger" rule. Second, maybe he was trying to enforce slow rates of fire so he time to walk around, checking people's form. Who knows.

    But I wouldn't protest it at all. The way I see it, the range officer can make any rules he wants and all you have to do is follow them. You only have to do this for the 10 shots in the test and you're out the door so no big deal.
     
  22. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    Yep I agree 100% Shockwave, I wasn't about to argue with the instructor, I just needed to obey his rules and fire my 10 shots. In fact we were warned at the start of the class not to argue with anything the instructor said, so I wasn't about to.

    The new 5th rule they are giving now is basically "maintain control of your weapon at all times". I don't remember exactly how it was worded. The idea is to be sure that your gun is always either in your possession, or in a place where some unauthorized person can't get it (or kids for that matter).
     
  23. heeler

    heeler Member

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    I took my class a couple of weekends ago and truely enjoyed it.
    It was a very small class in a resturaunt and even included a free lunch.
    There was a total of seven of us in the class.
    One guy had a very non Texan accent and listening to him speak I got the impression he thought this license gave a neo law enforcement capacity.
    I mentioned the fact that even though the law mentioned you could you force or deadly force against someone who was commiting a murder, aggravated sexual assault,Robbery,type of major felony etc. dont forget that when you take it upon you to inject yourself in that scenario be aware that if some innocent person gets hurt or killed by your actions you are criminally and civilly liable.

    I myself aced the test at the end of the class without getting one answer wrong but I have read the laws over and over again in the last two weeks and have become familiar with them.
    BUT...Make a mistake and it will be very costly to you.
     
  24. FLR72

    FLR72 Member

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    I have to agree with Hellbore. A CCW class is an excellent idea for everyone who has not taken one.

    I can tell the same story of being around gun’s my whole life blah blah blah. But I will say that first CCW class I took opened my eyes to my own ignorance.

    Do every gun owner a favor and take a class and continue to learn, the better educated we are the better we are as a whole, the better we are as a whole the better we look to the rest of the world.
     
  25. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    For me the biggest eye-opener was thinking about specific scenarios and what the legal consequences would be.

    For example, you can kill someone in self-defense and get off without criminal charges, but that doesn't mean the criminal's family won't take everything you own in a civil lawsuit. You need to know this is a possibility. But then again, would you rather be dead? It's very thought-provoking.
     
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