I firmly believe that the future of gun rights in America doesn’t reside in the hands of big nation-wide activist groups. Rather, it resides in the hands of actual activists. This is why I decided to start up Quietly Armed. I want the people closest to me to be prepared to deal with the worst day of their life, whatever that day may be.
This requires you to realize you might have a bad day, where you might be placed in a literal life and death situation. This, in turn, changes your relationship with your firearm of choice. The vast majority of American gun owners comprehend the shooting sports as a recreation or pastime, not as a martial art.
And let’s face it. Concealed carry is the American martial art. Sorry, Master Ken, but it is.
Most instructors don’t grasp how different shooting with a purpose is versus how their beginning students shoot. Standardized drills should be a part of every class, yet most recreational shooters are completely unaware that such things are even possible outside of .mil and LEO qualifiers. The reason why 99% of gun owners don’t get training might just be because we’re not changing their minds about what they can do with their gun, and we’re not making training fun.
For instance, every concealed carry class I do has a standardized drill, the Michigan Concealed Carry Safety Assessment. Yes, it’s a low bar to pass, but it’s a participation trophy for people who crave such things. Once that is over, I do a competition for the hard-charging Type A personality types. I run a variation of the classic Bill Drill, with a scoring twist. The target is an A/C zone metal plate at 8 yards, and it’s just five rounds instead of six. If you miss the first shot, it’s a 5 second penalty, and each miss after that adds another second.
Boy howdy, does this get the Type A’s riled up. It also introduces an element of fake stress and because of that, beginning students start to realize that it’s what they can do on demand, under stress, at that moment, that counts. They’ve gotten a glimpse of their own mortality, but more importantly, they’ve done so while having fun.
Is it a cure-all to the 1% problem? No. Does it give beginning students a taste of what is possible with training, practice and competition? Oh heck yes, and a taste is all I need to get them coming back for more.