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End Goals

End Goals

One of the takeaways from this year’s TacCon for me was the idea of an ideal end state. What does “success” actually look like? The idea was introduced during Ed Monk’s session on active shooters, where he said the ideal state was an absolute minimum amount of victims per incident (and he’s right).

But it got me thinking. What is the ideal end state for someone who wants to get their concealed carry permit? Can we define it? Can we tell our students “This should be our goal?”

In my classes, I tell my students that their mission is to avoid contact with the bad guys, but if contact is initiated and it turns violent, they need to be able to thwart the desired outcome of the bad guy(s) by either breaking contact or stopping the threat with an appropriate amount of force.Which works, sorta. But what does that look like in reality? What sort of lifestyle do we want them to lead?

Well, I thought that Smith & Wesson defined that lifestyle rather nicely ten years ago, with this TV ad for the introduction of the Shield.

Memo to that young woman: It’s no longer 2012, it’s 2022. Use an Enigma rather than that belly band.

Part of the problem is that the end goal for concealed carry is harder to define than other self-improvement tasks. I can tell you my ideal end state for weight loss. I can tell you I want to read 50 books this year. I can tell you I want to set aside $5,000 for a vacation this year. Those are all goals with hard and fast numbers attached to them. Moreover, all those goals are instantly relatable to our students, because everybody sets goals like that, with an achievable, measurable, specific outcome.

With concealed carry? Well, it’s a little more amorphous. Something like this might work:

  • Carry a firearm with you whenever you leave the home.
  • Be able to access that firearm in under two seconds.
  • Be able to put five rounds in under five seconds at five yards into a five inch circle from low ready, and do it five times in a row.

Right now, there’s a lot of trainers out there who are utterly flabbergasted that those goals are so low. What, no one second draw? No five second FAST? What are you thinking? Remember, though, we are trying to establish minimum standards of competency that students can integrate into their lifestyle. We’re talking 5k here, not ultra-marathoning.

Part of this issue is that there is such a wide gap between trainers, who look at range time as a way to learn and improve, and our clients, who look at going to the range as a chance to socialize and have fun. The more we can bridge that gap, the easier it will be for our students to reach the top of the mountain.