Firearm Training: Why Humility is Necessary

by
posted on April 7, 2017
sheriff-jim-5-28-15.jpg (6)

I've been told that people, especially men, often do a little bragging to cover up for their own insecurity. This may be the reason that those of us who teach firearms training often hear the old line, “Hey, I've been shooting since I was just a kid.” 

While this is often true, it generally means that they've been plinking that long and maybe doing a little hunting. What they are often covering up is that they don't know doodly-squat about defensive shooting but are too into the whole macho thing to ever admit it. You can't help but feel sympathy for the guy who is foolish enough to inform Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch or Ed Stock at Gunsite Academy of these alleged facts. The response from these gentlemen is often something other than pretty. This attitude usually last about the first two hours of the class, and then individuals decide that they'd better buckle down and learn to shoot if they plan to get a passing grade.

I can't imagine why a person would spend the kind of money that it takes to attend a week-long firearms training class at a professional defensive school and not show up with an open mind and a desire to learn. Arguing with a professional instructor rarely ever can be expected to impress them. Trust me on this – students are very rarely pulled out of a class and given the job of instructing that class.

A good friend of mine, at my suggestion, took the week-long 250 pistol class at Gunsite. He later attended several NRA defensive shooting schools at the Whittington Center. His attitude was, “I am going to show up with an open mind and try to perform exactly like the instructor is trying to teach me.” Surprisingly for some, this friend actually feels like he got his money's worth at all of the schools.

I've talked several times about the responsibility of a truly professional firearms training instructor. He has to be a people person and he has to know how to teach. A good firearms training class is not about the instructor and it is all about the student and helping him/her to learn.

But students have a responsibility, too. They must enter a firearms training class with an open mind and make an honest effort to learn. They must do their best to learn the techniques and perform them in the manner that the instructor requests. When they raise their hand in class, it should be to ask questions, not to tell tales of derring-do. The only exception to this would be if the student perceives a safety issue and even this should be questioned respectfully.

Some years ago, I took the bolt-action rifle class at Gunsite, a class designed for the rifle hunter. Now, I have been hunting since I was just a kid and really didn't think that they could teach me anything that was new and different. You have no idea how glad I was that, for once, I kept my big mouth shut. They did, in fact, teach me a lot that has improved my hunting-rifle performance immensely.

So, when you get to that next firearms training class, realize that you bring a responsibility to the class just as the instructor does. You can't imagine how glad it makes a defensive instructor to hear, “I'm here to learn.  When can we get started?”

So, lose the attitude. You'll be glad that you did.

Latest

Kimber KHX Ultra 9 mm 1911 facing right
Kimber KHX Ultra 9 mm 1911 facing right

I Carry: Kimber KHX Ultra 9 mm 1911 Pistol in a DeSantis Holster

In today's episode of "I Carry," we have a Kimber KHX Ultra 9 mm 1911 pistol carried in a DeSantis Cozy Partner holster with a Buck Knives Sprint Ops Pro pocketknife.

First Look: Safariland Tiger Stripe Holsters

Go "old school," but still have all the latest innovations from Safariland to keep your firearm safe at your side.

HAVA Holds 13th Annual Family Day

Live entertainment, gifts, food, prizes and shooting exhibitions were just some of the highlights.

Can Perception Determine Reality?

How you appear to others can affect your safety.

BallistiClean 00 Buck Review

There’s less training conducted with the defensive shotgun than with any other defensive firearm. This is partly because shotguns recoil the hardest, and recoil is not something shooters typically enjoy. It’s also partly because shotguns—at least compared with handguns and carbines—are a bit expensive to shoot, especially if you’re training with 00 buckshot.

First Look: Anderson A4 Series with Picatinny Rails

Classically styled rifles, carbines and large-format pistols from one of America's most-popular AR builders.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.