In the feature
of yesterday's Outdoor Wire, Jim Shepherd told of the Crime Prevention Research Center report on concealed carry. This just covered permit holders – as 11 or so states have some form of "no-permit-required" concealed carry, we are seeing some part of the iceberg but not the whole thing.
In the report, the estimated total of concealed carry permit holders is over 16 million
. That's quite a number.
Coincidentally, I came across a series of blog posts on "minimum competency" with a concealed carry handgun. Frankly the various state tests for permit holders aren't what they could be and going for even base competency – think "essentials" – can take longer than most states have allocated for the programs.
But other tests examine a number of skills that, while nice to have, aren't really minimum competencies. The minimum competencies are something you need to be able to do cold, on demand, any time and any place – and they're skills that people have actually needed in real incidents.
How do we determine what skills are necessary? Well, we
don't. We let people who've researched this issue, like Tom Givens and Claude Werner, do that. What we arrive at, as John C. Daub ("Hsoi") did, is simply (1) draw from concealment (I'd add "safely reholster"), (2) using a smaller target, like the A/C zone of an IPSC or "-0/-1" zones of the IDPA target, (3) require "acceptable" hits – not "cuts the line" hits, and (4) do this in a relevant time frame at fairly close distances.
In other words, what do we need to get someone on line and ready to go in, say, an afternoon?
As Hsoi points out, these are minimums
. It's not "enough," whatever that is. Can it ever really be enough?
Do you imagine someone facing extinction in the next few seconds ever thought, "Damn. Wish I hadn't trained quite so hard?"
That's not likely and is similar to the "I wish I had a smaller gun" or "less ammo" – anything along that line. But in a real world with a living to make, children to raise, medical issues, housing, repairs, bills – and taxes – we all have other things to consider. Not everyone will attend the 250 at Gunsite.
It'd be nice. But it's not going to happen.
That being said, these minimum competencies are beyond basic firearms safety, handling, loading and unloading. That's someone one needs before the "draw from concealment and shoot" type training.
I had occasion to chat with an associate yesterday. He mentioned a couple of cases where acquaintances were partnered with people who absolutely wouldn't allow guns in their homes. Being curmudgeonly, we considered that being alone wasn't the end of the world.
Fate took a hand in both those cases. One was an increasing incidence of violent crimes close by. In another, a rather large, aggressive canine was attacking a family pet and seemed ready to attack a woman and her child.
In both cases, there was contact with my associate and the question, "We need a gun. Can you recommend a 38?"
He didn't. In the second case, with the home being the primary concern, his response was a shotgun.
In both cases, they became armed households and the people took up the shooting lifestyle. We can hope that all ends well.
This leads me to believe that those of us inside the industry aren't driving this train. People are being driven to us. It's up to us to best help them find their way.
The information about minimum competencies were taken from Stuff From Hsoi's
blog. There's good information there and his sources, Karl Rehn and Tom Givens, are aces.
- - Rich Grassi