“ I shoot over 1000 rounds a month”, “I’ve always been a good shot, so why waste the ammo?”, “I don’t get to go shooting very often [while open carrying]”. Any of these sound familiar? Unfortunately I’ve heard them all, and more.

Each of the statement above are good examples of the different types of people who typically end up giving gun owners a bad name, unfortunately. And while that isn’t always true, it does hold true for a variety of reasons. Let’s break down the issues with each of those statements before expanding further into the idea of training as a responsibility.

1: “I shoot over 1000 rounds a month”

Well, good for you! I guess I can think of worse ways to waste money, but there lies the issue. If you’re not training properly from the beginning, all those extra bullets you send into your favorite piece of paper or steel down range is a complete waste, and may actually reinforce poor habits. Instead of wasting that amount of money on ammo, why not find a trainer that can help improve your skill set? I’d rather spend my money on 200 shots that are constantly improving by proper guidance and training than 1000 shots that are no better than the last.

2: “I’ve always been a good shot, so why waste the ammo?”

Because nothing has ever changed since high school/ 5 years ago/ before you got married, had kids, etc etc etc? You’re not gonna Atticus Finch a “To Kill a Mockingbird” scene in real life. Training keeps your focus sharp, your aim true. Saying the opposite in incredibly arrogant, along the same lines of people who go to the gym and work out their chest for an hour because that’s what they did in high school and that’s how their 95 year old coach did things in the 50s, all in the same while your legs being useless and having no true functional fitness [ reflection on that rant obviously shows a trigger point!].

3:“I don’t get to go shooting very often [while open carrying]”

Holy sheep shit. Please stop carrying (especially open-carry, but thats a topic for a different discussion). The over-zealous types are usually the worst. The people in this category are also typically the ones that went to a LTC class and once he passed (which is impossible to fail unless you’re blind, considering that only 70% or greater is required to pass, or 175 points out of a possible 250 points, so if you’re on target at 3 and 7 yards you already have enough to pass!) Here’s my thing with these people, I don’t typically like the “jumpy” type who carry just to carry. I would love for more people to carry, but only with proper and constant training does that actually make people safer. What’s the point of carrying if you can’t hit shit? All the gun community needs is for a licensed LTC to miss and hit/kill the person standing next to or behind the bad guy. PLEASE GET SOME TRAINING!

Training for different scenarios has become increasingly important as well. And remember not all training is the same. If you haven’t caught on by now, my two largest pet peeves about the gun industry and gun owners is lack of training and being physically unfit. If you haven’t been in a fight, go join a martial arts class. It will get you both physically fit and give you a sense of how you would react in the case that you are ever in a situation where you need to engage physically (remember shooting someone is a serious decision, and should be a last resort/ only if truly necessary for your safety and safety of those around you). You don’t need to have six-pack abs or a black belt, you just need to be honest with yourself.

As far as training programs, there are many. I’ve even gotten lucky and found some Magpul training videos (The Art of Dynamic Shotgun and The art of Tactical Carbine) in a bargain bin at a shooting range I frequent, and picked them both up for only $30. Aside from that you can find courses at your local shooting ranges, training facilities and even online- such as Soflete.com. As a 2nd amendment advocate, I love to see more people getting into shooting and shooting sports, but understand that there is a responsibility that should come along with it. We are a strong nation, but as I’ve always said, there is always room for improvement. Train hard, train often, and be vigilant.