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5 January 2018 by Online Carry Training

A study conducted by Mount St. Mary’s University found that proper training and education are key to successfully using a firearm in self-defense.

They recruited 77 volunteers with varying levels of firearms

experience and training, and had each of them participate in simulations of three different scenarios using the firearms training simulator at the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland.

The first scenario involved a carjacking, the second an armed robbery in a convenience store, and the third a case of suspected larceny.

They found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, people without firearms training performed poorly in the scenarios.

  • They didn't take cover.

  • They didn't attempt to issue commands to their assailants.

  • Their trigger fingers were either too itchy -- they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough -- they didn't shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at.

  • Participants with no skills were not only slow to fire, but did not fire enough shots to effectively neutralize the threat they faced.

Before a person even receives a concealed carry permit, many states require they complete at least a rudimentary training course on concealed carry procedures. At minimum, a good concealed carry training course needs to impart the basics of firearms safety, teach the student the basics of how firearms work and how to handle them so that person can operate them safely.

Proper training isn’t just limited to what is required to receive your concealed carry permit. You need to follow that up with regular practice at a shooting range. A person who is authorized by law to carry a gun should know not only how it works, but also how to use it. You need to be able to aim, fire and put a bullet in your target.

The study went on to urge gun owners to go beyond target practice and address the mental preparation, legal knowledge, judgmental awareness; as well as firearms expertise necessary for self-defense.

That starts with learning, understanding, and following federal and state laws that govern the carrying of a weapon in your area. You must know when and where you are legally authorized to carry a firearm and when the discharge of deadly force is legally justified.

Consider enrolling in specialized courses that will teach you the skills and the mindset you need to be effective in a real-world scenario. After you attain the level of training that makes you more comfortable with concealed carry, move on to real world scenario-based training. Being put into controlled situations under the stress of a class setting will build your confidence. Ensure you are using realistic scenarios based on working in and around your vehicle, home protection settings, even scenarios based on your work environment. 

If you choose to exercise your right to defend yourself and your family by carrying a weapon, you must take the time to learn the laws in your area and to consistently train to maximize your ability to effectively respond to any threats that may materialize. 

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