I was once standing in the waiting room of a particular indoor range with the late, great, Todd Louis Green and we were watching the people in the bays fire their guns. Most were shooting typical self-defense handguns, with the occasional AR15 thrown in. The range was full, and not a single person was even drawing a gun from a holster. Most were shooting at paper plates or bullseye targets at only a few yards away, doing so with a teacup grip, and taking all the time in the world to break the shot. The usual.
As we were watching this I asked Todd, “how do we get these people to realize they need training?” He just laughed and said, “if you figure that out you will be the most valuable person in the world of firearms training.” He was exactly right; basically, good luck with that.
I think as dedicated enthusiasts to shooting, if not self-defense and preparedness in general, we very easily dismiss the mindset of the average gun owner with a concealed carry permit. If you are even reading this blog you are no doubt an enthusiast who spends a significant portion or your life training with firearms and various self-defense skills. For folks like us, we simply can’t relate to the mindset of the average gun owner, or even the average gun owner who was inclined to get a carry permit (the vast majority of permit holders rarely carry).
While we all thrive in our bubble with each other, and talk about the higher end subjects in this craft that we are so fond of discussing, we completely forget about the segment of the gun owning, and even carrying, population that has no clue and no inclination to get a clue. We all should, therefore, strive to have at least some impact on these folks. The common permit holder is not at all like the folks who are avid shooters and out attending professional training. The common permit holder rarely takes training beyond the required “non training” to obtain the permit. So, how can we help them progress?
We simply can’t lead a horse to water; an individual who is not inclined to develop their ability will not be persuaded to do so though only encouragement. What can help, however, is to simply have civil and educated discourse in the matter of personal security against the possible threats that are out there. Sometimes planting such a seed in the mind can lead an individual to consider their own safety. If you are friends with the common permit holder, ask them how they would handle a situation like the one that just transpired in the stop and rob in town, or the home invasion in the neighborhood. There are always plenty of those incidents to bring up.
Also, if the opportunity presents itself, share the realistic statistics. Per the CDC and FBI stats far more people are harmed in their homes each year by invaders than by house fire. Did you know that? Maybe, but I am sure the average permit holder does not. Per crime stats the chances of getting robbed is not one in a million, it is about 50% in a lifetime. So, let’s try to educate people and through that effort maybe, just maybe, we can inspire them to develop the mindset and skills needed to prevail in the face of violence.