There are two words you rarely hear in firearms training, and both of them begin with the letter F.
The first word is fear. Let’s be honest, the reason why people get firearms training is because they are afraid there are people out there who want to do them harm, and they know they are currently incapable of dealing with what might happen.
This is not an irrational fear. There is, after all, such as a thing as rational fear, and realizing you’re out of your league when it comes to the threat of lethal force is an understandable fear. It’s also a fear than can be conquered with training, practice and carrying some means to counter lethal force (aka your gun) with you wherever you go. Fear is a real thing, and we need to acknowledge it, embrace it, and move past it.
The second word is the exact opposite of the first: Fun. Why are so many firearms instructors afraid of describing their classes as “fun?” Is there some kind of law of instructional physics out there that you can’t teach someone how to draw and shoot in a pressure situation and have fun while doing it? Is it mandatory that an instructor growl and bark at his students like R. Lee Emmy with hemorrhoids? Is it impossible to teach the serious business of responding to lethal force and still crack a smile or two in the process?
We are not drill instructors. Our students do not have to be in our classes, they WANT to be in our classes. Maybe we should work a little harder at making them feel welcome in class, and making them want to take more classes from us. Otherwise, the brutal tyranny of the 1 Percent will continue to be the norm in the firearms training world.