Understanding Training

Understanding Training

Why would anyone who has trained in the military or in law enforcement want to take additional classes if they don’t have too? The answer is simple – education.

Rules for Engagement

The rules for engagement are different for our military and law enforcement than they are for the average citizen. Average citizens do not have the protection of the government when they use their firearm. Therefore they are taught the firearm is the “Tool of Last Resort”. In the civilian world, military and law enforcement rules don’t apply. For those who live near bordering states, additional training could allow them to teach in a nearby state.

What is a Weapon?

Let’s bring up another point – the attitude you have about your firearm. Both military and law enforcement are taught their firearm is a “weapon”. They go to work knowing if something goes wrong they can use their “weapon” to end the conflict. Most seasoned instructors refer to firearms as guns, pistols, revolvers, semi-automatics and so forth. The reasoning behind this is to diminish the thought process of using the gun as a “weapon” in the first place.

In addition, the word “weapon” has a negative connotation – implying you intend to use it to kill someone. This is why the industry receives harsh and, on many occasions, untrue or over-inflated and negative publicity. Let’s face it, we don’t live in Paleolithic times where a club is a necessary tool for survival. We don’t live in the “Wild West” where renegades and thieves are abundant. Nor do we use our guns for hunting on a daily basis – we have McDonald’s. This is the 21st century, a time where law and order is pretty much in place, we live as a community in cities and towns.

It’s important to think about the gun as a last resort and to train accordingly. Students who conceal carry on a daily basis are literally bringing a gun to a fight. If we train students they have a “weapon”, psychologically, they reason they can use it. Instead, we should teach them to respect and understand the incredible amount of responsibility they carry with them each and every day.

Firearms and the Law

The NRA Personal Protection courses also have a legal lecture titled “Firearms and the Law” in which an attorney, a person with a J.D., or a law enforcement officer with advanced Police Officer Standards Training (P.O.S.T.) certifications who lecture and assist citizens in making the right decision.

Most conceal carry instructors are allowed or mandated to provide their students with a copy of their state laws addressing the use of lethal force. This is a slippery-slope where firearm instructors find themselves interpreting the law rather than providing the law in its entirety. Neither the state nor the sheriff authorizes instructors to interpret the law. If a student has a question that requires interpretation of the law, the instructor would be wise to refer those questions to an attorney.

Law enforcement is the biggest violator of this rule. It makes sense they have been taught to enforce the law as part of their duties; they are not trained to interpret the law – that’s what an attorney will do for his clients. There’s a fine line between enforcing the law and dispensing legal advice…we suggest you simply defer to an attorney for those types of questions.

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