Defensive Ready?

Jim Sheckels shooting the NRA CCW
Regional Training Counselor, Jim Sheckels shooting the NRA CCW Course of fire.

Recently, I had the pleasure of training with the good folks over at Cornered Hill Firearms Training in Lenoir, NC. While getting certified to teach the new NRA CCW course and the corresponding Instructor Course, I was once again reminded that the everyday “Joe Shooter” does not train for defensive situations.  I had the privilege of training with the Training Counselor conducting the training, Mr. Tim Gordon, a retired Navy Seal and our Regional Training Counselor, Mr. Jim Sheckels, a retired Army Ranger, along with a host of other instructors.  Many times our conversations would center on one thought, that is that the average concealed carrier simply does not train enough to prevail in a defensive situation. You see, we all would like to think that our training will kick into action, if needed, but unless that training has become second nature, and even then, we really do not know how we will respond.  One of the goals of the shooting portions of the course, was the concept of defensive accuracy.  Not looking for bullseyes, but looking for about 9 inch groups in vital areas of a silhouette target.  You know, that there are instructors who, when placed under just a little bit of stress, had difficulty doing this.  These are good shooters, who can shoot tight groups all day long, but in a stressful situation, the end result is much different.  This doesn’t make them a bad shot, but it made them aware of an area that needed fine tuning.  Folks, this is where it counts!

In every concealed carry course that we conduct, we challenge everyone to commit to going to the range at least once a month.  This is minimalistic, when your life may be on the line!  You owe it to yourself to get good at this stuff.  More than that, you owe it to your loved ones!  Remember the difference between practice and training: We practice the skill(s) over and over until we get it right, we train until we can no longer get it wrong!  That is where we need to live, training-wise.  This is how we get “defensive ready”.