We often come across debates among each other about who and what is the best technique, trainer, resume, drink, cookie, steak – just kidding, medium rare is where its at. The most ideal for this and that person should be training and learning how to fight/shoot in that methodology. Yet, we always find ourselves stepping on each other’s toes and alienating each other over a common interest and lifestyle; firearms and how we conduct ourselves as assets to society.
First thing’s first, we train and pick up this lifestyle because we have a higher understanding of care for our fellow human beings and those we care about. Willing to be pressed into the worst possible situation because of this lifestyle and the way we carry ourselves, while a majority of us are ‘everyday civilians’ (myself included) that generally do not carry a firearm as an armed professional such as; service members, law enforcement officers, or security professionals. Our spectrum of training is very different from those who do carry a firearm professionally. train like you fight.
A service member overseas fighting in Dirka-Dirka-Stan will be hard pressed to master their service rifles and crew served weapons before considering utilizing a pistol in at an intermediate level. That being said, a service member in a conventional unit doesn’t have an end of all means expertise and knowledge on the subject of the service rifle (an M4/M16). Just as same as a law enforcement officer does not have the end of all means knowledge and training of their service pistols and patrol long guns, highlighting an important investment for service members and armed professionals to seek outside training from the private sector.
Where they seek their training is important and trainers alike must also stay in their lane of definite expertise. Pre/post deployment service members should seek out a trainer who was in their occupational capacity and have developed more weapons manipulation skill sets that would help them in their upcoming mission such as; lines of communication, fire support use, etc.
A law enforcement officer on the other hand should seek out a trainer who has a focus on the handgun. It’s a common (and tragic) truth that police and armed security handgun qualifications are conducted without any stress factors and under 7 yards in a slow firing cadence. When was the last time an officer or security guard engaged a threat with a slow cadence of fire at 7 yards and closing in? Armed professionals have their handgun as their lifeline and lethal means of self defense. pushing the capabilities of their service pistols and onto their patrol long guns, the trainer must be intimately familiar with their applications and capabilities.
Then there’s the every day man/civilian who does not carry a weapon openly (or concealed) as their profession. Random acts of violence occurs the most with these people (even more often to those unarmed) by street thugs and predators of society. Of course, we chose to uphold the very responsibility of self defense upon ourselves. Which is why an emphasis on training with conceal carry should be critical. In my direct opinion, civilians and patrol officers should have a similar mindset of training/fighting. Seek out training that has an emphasis on conceal carry draws and fighting at bad-breathing distances with and without the handgun (often times fists and knives or improvised weapons).
The private training sector is a glimmering, yet hidden success of the 2nd Amendment in this country. Civilians from all walks of life with different backgrounds share the common interest and goal of excelling in the art of shooting while learning the application of weapon manipulations… taught to supplement one another into different occupational capacities.
Overall, the emphasis on what to train for and with is paramount for continued service to one self and society’s grey asset as a whole. Medical training is often an overlooked skill set that should be applied to ALL occupational capacities. As it is with yin & yang, we carry ourselves to commit trauma, but we must also have the skills to relieve trauma. Seek out emergency medical training through a militia (survival group) or start with a Basic EMS to EMT I & II Classes.
I will close with this… as a civilian it is my duty to come back home safe and live another day. In my mind, the more people like myself or are more skilled than me will prove invaluable down the road to an uncertain future. Surely we cannot prevent horrific acts of violence or tragedy from happening, but each day training brings another mark that we are ready. Do not become complacent in your training, and always seek more efficient ways to doing tasks. Training is a way of life, regardless of occupational capacity and it is a journey with no end. I am grateful for the mentors who have taught me in the past and will continue to carry myself with integrity for my fellow man and person right next to me.