I saw an advertisement for a $19.95 CCW (Carrying Concealed Weapon) class the other day. Promises to “teach you shooting fundamentals” in three hours and prepare you for carrying a concealed weapon was the gist of the ad.
Some new gun owners might look at that and think, “Wow! That’s a good deal.” But, there’s an old saying that comes to mind - “You get what you pay for.” The class is undoubtedly less expensive than many others but, how much real value will the attendees be getting? Can you really get enough information and practice in that time frame to be competent enough to carry a firearm for personal protection? Did I mention there is no live fire in this class?
I’ve taught thousands of students how to shoot and many find out they aren’t going to be ‘John Wick’ in three hours. It’s my experience that most think they are capable of much more than they actually are. Some who come to class have even had some experience shooting and have decent marksmanship skills. But, as soon as any of the variables are changed - movement, drawing/presentation, etc. - hitting the target suddenly becomes a bit more problematic.
Carrying a handgun for personal protection is more than mere marksmanship. There are many fine instructors out there who can guide the new shooter through the fundamentals, legal requirements, and more beyond the fundamentals. Generally, it takes more than one class and a quick range session to become safe and competent enough to carry a concealed handgun. That is only a beginning - an introduction.
Bottom line ... choose carefully when attending a “Lunchtime” concealed weapon class. Carrying a concealed weapon is a lifestyle. As LTC Jeff Cooper said, “Owning a handgun no more makes you a gunfighter than owning a piano makes you a musician.” I agree with LTC Cooper.