When is the last time you stepped outside the box and tried something new, or do you play it safe and not challenge yourself or bruise your ego? Training vs Fear—Sometimes a debilitating dilemma.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a challenge for most people, including myself. I think of the opportunities I personally have turned down in my youth either because of the fear that I would not be the best or not succeed. Many of us have that deep down fear of failing, but as they say, the only failure is failing to try.
I have the opportunity to speak to many people who carry a firearm and it amazes me the shear number who do not train. I repeatedly hear the same statements, " I have been shooting for years" or "I know how to shoot.", my personal favorite is " I have my carry permit and I know everything I need to know". My reply to these is simple, knowing how to shoot a paper target, a tin can, or tree stump is a lot easier than protecting yourself from an attack or protecting your family from an intruder.
Let's start with the basic fundamentals of handgun safety and handling. Staying true to the Training vs Fear is simply taking the a Basic Pistol Safety course and progressing from there. The NRA, Norsemen Training & Consulting Group and multiple other qualified schools have put together a great foundation and starting point to teach shooters the correct and safe ways of handling your firearms. Be cautious, just because somebody has been in Law Enforcement or in the Military does not qualify them to be an instructor. Don't get me wrong, I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer and I have great admiration for those who have and still do serve their country in the Military and Law Enforcement. A good instructor will be certified and take continuous classes to improve themselves as well as help their students. A good instructor will never stop learning.
Sadly enough many people go to a range, shoot a few rounds at a paper target and pronounce to themselves "I got this covered".. More often than not, when I watch the people shoot after stating they "know what they are doing" it causes me great concern for my safety as well as theirs.
I understand that pride or ego play a part in the shooting sports and personal protection, but we should all agree that above all, safety is vital. Step outside of your comfort zone, take a class, learn something new or just refresh your memory. Help pass on the safe sport of shooting to our children and set a good example.