It all started, as I was embarking on a new job. One that would have me on the road, traveling alone.
In short order, I signed up for the required class at a local gun store to start the process of getting my concealed carry weapon license. Set aside a few hours on my calendar to attend the class, which was just a few minutes away from the house and off I went.
When I returned home, within an hour, and likely a very noticeable look of disgust on my face, the first question my husband asked was if the class had been cancelled. When I replied “no” his eyes bugged out of their eye sockets, mimicking the cartoon characters that we grew up watching. Which then started the anger rising up in a red wave across his face, again, just like in the cartoons.
I’m not going to name the instructors affiliation to an organization or even the gun store where I took the class. However, I will state what the class entailed and what it did not.
The first part of the class was about the instructor, their background, how many years he’d been hunting, blah, blah, blah, etc. The next portion, he described Florida statutes and other laws, describing where you cannot carry concealed. I didn’t realize how poor of a job he did with that list, until I returned home and pulled up the Statutes and read them.
The last portion of the class, involved firing two rounds of .22 through the instructors’ revolver into a sandbag about 7 to 8 feet away. It was rather obvious that many of the others attending had not shot a pistol before. I was one of the last of the attendees up to put rounds in the sandbag. Sadly, I was the only one that put both rounds into the rings of the target, some of the others only placing a single round into the sandbag. After I returned the pistol to the instructor, he joked about not getting on my bad side. (Note, I have been shooting for over 20 years, even though I am not a regular at the range. I don't hit within the rings every time, but I'm working on that).
Then back to the classroom, where we were handed our certificates to show to the State of Florida that we took the required class. And off we went.
Suffice it to say, that was the worst class I have ever attended. In my profession, I must take continuing education classes on some of the most boring of topics constantly, and I would still rate that less than 30-minute course the worst, in the decades of classes I have taken. I would even go so far as calling it a joke. And a bad one, at that.
There was no course content on firearm safety, how to better conceal, what happens if the need arises to draw your weapon and fire in self-defense, nothing that helped the student gain more knowledge about what the class was intended for…carrying concealed. I left there disgusted, angry and thinking there must be better. Thankfully, there is better, and there are other organizations that emphasize carrying concealed education and training.
One such organization that places standards on all the classes taught under their logo is the US Concealed Carry Association. If you’re licensed to carry concealed, but don’t, because you don’t quite feel that you know enough or are not comfortable enough, then take some of their courses. Watch their youtube channel, check them out. They also provide insurance for the situation that none of us wants to find ourselves in…forced to defend ourselves or our loved ones by pulling a trigger.
I don’t believe there is ‘one and done’ training for self-protection. I don’t think that taking one joke of a class comes close to preparing someone for the unthinkable. I’m not saying to go all para-military, but simply do more than what is required under the laws. If you trained for your day job, how much time did you put into that? And likely still do? Isn’t your peace of mind and your safety worth that many hours, or more?