Most states now allow some/qualified/all citizens to carry a concealed weapon with a license as an expression of their 2nd amendment rights. Yes, I know that if you have to have a license to carry it, we are on shaky ground calling it a right, but that is a conversation for another day.
The patchwork of laws governing the carrying of CCW (Concealed Carry Weapons) is loose and poorly defined. And so are the training requirements. In several states on the Atlantic side of the country, for example, there are NO training requirements. In Virginia, my home state, the training requirements are such that a safety course, without ever touching a firearm, qualifies one for a CCW license (called a CHL or Concealed Handgun License here).
While I believe that training requirements are not Constitutionally legal (that’s another article all together), I also believe that it is every gun owners RESPONSIBILITY to acquire superior training.
If you have the right to carry a weapon, and choose to exercise that right, then it is your responsibility to yourself, your family, and your community to know how to operate that weapon to the utmost of your ability. To do otherwise is irresponsible, lazy, and stupid. The irresponsible, reckless, and untrained use of a weapon can cause injury to uninvolved persons, the loss of your freedom, and the seizure of your fortune. In short… there are no up sides and no excuses.
Some people won’t take the time or effort to pursue training. Some won’t spend the money. Some don’t see the need.
For all of mankind’s history, one of our basic elements of existence is protecting our loved ones and our possessions from marauding hordes. This has required the training, time, and practice in some form of martial art with fist, stick, rock, blade, or gun. EVERY era has recognized this basic need.
I can hear you behind your screen… ‘But Chris, we have the police now!’ Think about it. The police are a REACTIVE force. Anyone have a local police officer that is assigned to your living room? Your vehicle? Of course not. Something bad happens. Someone calls 911. The police have to process the call, and then respond. It takes minutes at best, and hours at worst. That’s the truth of it. The police are there to make sure it STOPS with the first victim. They CANNOT protect you from BEING that first victim.
That is why part of being a moral, responsible, and free citizen is pursuing the age-old skill set of self defense. If we lived in 15th century Japan, I would urge you to get a sword. But this is 2012. Get a Glock (or a shotgun, or an AK…). Learn to use it well. Practice with it. And live as a peaceful citizen.
In fact I would argue if you cannot afford the training and practice as part of the initial cost of the weapon, just don’t get one in the first place. Keep your head down. Hope someone is there to make war on injustice/violence/evil when it invades your life. And hope the police get there in time.