My friend, Marcus Wynne, in a long-ish post that gives some excellent advice to the new gunner, had this to say about the mandatory classes that you are required to take in some jurisdictions:
If you are required to take mandatory training before you can purchase (like CCW etc.), take the cheapest/fastest/closest training – and compare what you’ve learned from your previous research with what you may be shown/exposed to in such a class. It may be wise to just keep your mouth shut and your head down and get your ticket punched. Don’t expect much.
I agree; just get it out of the way and then start some actual training with real instructors (Marcus’ post is an excellent guide on just how to do that). Why do I bring this up? Well, this is Part 1 of what I suspect will be a long series over the upcoming years on stupid things that stupid instructors, stupid gun owners, and stupid gun-store clerks will tell you at some point. And many instructors of these ridiculous mandatory classes are just that: stupid. And TERRIBLE. I mean barf worthy, cousin-marrying terrible. But to be fair, not all of them. Some are actually really good instructors trying to teach you as much as they are allowed given the format of the class, and the main constraint on their ability to do so is that most students in these classes just want to get the hell out of there and don’t care if they learn anything.
Buy a gun, plan on carrying it, and not want to learn anything. Yup!
Anyway, here’s our stupid advice for the day: If you draw your gun it should be to shoot. Alternate forms: 1) don’t draw unless you shoot, 2) keep your gun holstered until its time to shoot.
This assumes that you let a situation that you could have controlled with a proper display of your gun coupled with appropriate verbalization (called “challenging”) devolve to the far more dangerous point (for you!) where shooting is necessary. You let a situation that would have been a simple police report turn into a life-changing, years-long hell hole of likely financial ruin, emotional ruin, and relationship ruin.
Way to go. I don’t know if the stupid is strong here, Walter Mitty is being channeled, or the testosterone is out of control. Whatever: whoever says something like this should not be allowed to procreate — I would actually vote for a law that disallows it!
The best articulation of the right advice here is something that Massad Ayoob has been saying for decades: The great power of the gun is the power to intimidate. Use your gun, during legally and tactically appropriate circumstances, and in a defensible and legal way, to challenge a suspect that is threatening you. This is far safer for you, likely to dissuade the BG, and it leads to a far less bad – maybe a not bad at all – outcome for you.
This assumes you know how to recognize legally and tactically appropriate circumstances, and you know how to challenge in a defensible and legal way. You’ll need good instruction for that, and I refer you to Marcus’ post that I started this piece with.