Constitutional Carry without mandatory safety and handling instruction is unwise. It is simply unsafe to carry a sidearm without knowledge of things as basic as loading or uncocking a pistol.
I see dangerous instances caused by ignorance or an atrophied skill-set. I’m not speaking only of sideways-shooting, rapid-firing, macho gang-bangers. I’m referring to everyday low-time shooters like your mom, your 16-year-old or even the (haven’t-picked-up-a-gun-since-squirrel-hunting-with-Papaw) 70-year-old.
I think anyone who can pass a background check, who is physically able and has the correct attitude, should be able to own and carry a sidearm. But let’s face facts: the safer you are with a gun, the safer the rest of us will be.
Placing a finger on a trigger pre-maturely, indiscriminate aiming, failure to maintain a secure backstop, inserting the wrong caliber ammunition in a firearm is all evidence of instructional need. And these are not beginner mistakes; I see it all the time. At least one shooter a week damages their hand due to an improper grip, many of whom drop their cocked, loaded weapon on the floor as a result of their injury. Very scary.
Most police only qualify with their duty weapon once-a-year. A total of 50 rounds. If I were taken hostage, I stand a better chance having your average officer or armed security agent not attempt a hostage take-down.
Before you advocate unfettered constitutionally guaranteed second amendment rights, use your judgement as to whether you’d like to be around an individual who has purchased, borrowed or inherited a pistol, and carrying without training. Having watched John Wick 17 times is not a substitute for two hours with a qualified instructor and practicing at least once-a-month.
One final note: Just because you can does not mean you should. Think about open-carry and the chance someone will take your piece from you. Before you carry a lethal weapon make certain you’ve thought deeply about whether you can actually take a life. Forget platitudes like “better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.” It’s just not that easy. Think about the legal and civil litigation that will assuredly follow. Firing a lethal firearm requires knowledge, maturity, judgement and training in equal measure.
* * *
Your assumption that someone is not familiar with their firearm because the “State” has not trained and tested them is presumptuous at best. I know plenty of people who have never been “trained” that know more about firearms and are more responsible with them than most trained people.
The first rule of firearms is keep your finger off the trigger until on target and ready to fire.
Now let’s address the statement you made regarding law enforcement. “Most police only qualify with their duty weapon once a year. A total of 50 rounds.” You are highly misinformed in this regard. After 27+ years of law enforcement and more than 20 years as a firearms instructor I find that statement to be absolutely false.
Law enforcement post requirements are far more stringent than that. Every post certified officer is required to attend eight hours of firearms training each year. This training includes, but is not limited to, daylight and low light qualification. Both courses of fire are 50 rounds. There is additional training of which I will not go into detail, however most agencies fire a minimum of 250 rounds during their annual firearms training. I could go on and on to refute your lack of knowledge about the subject, but there’s just no point.
Our second amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms. The constitution does not say you must be trained by some authority in order the be given that right.
Should people be safe with their firearms? Absolutely. Should they get training? Absolutely. Should it be required by and administered by our government. Absolutely not!
I don’t think you personally are safer because I or anyone else is required to attend a state run training course that is so watered down that the average person learns nothing.
My safety nor yours depends on the infringement on someone else’s rights.