Friday, September 16, 2011

Attended a CCW Talk

A few days ago I attended our SCOPE County chapter meeting where we had a firearms trainer give a talk, he happens to be the same person I took the Utah/Florida class from. From this talk as well as the training I took, I noticed that he seems to have an interesting take on CCW training for the average person, more on that later.

He started out with mindset. You hear many trainers discuss this and he covered the aspects of preparing yourself mentally for a time when you might have to defend yourself; I think almost everyone who carries, has already done this. Then as he discussed the law and moral/ethical considerations, I was actually surprised by the number of odd reactions in the room to some of the things he said. The most interesting was when he said simply just because you can legally shoot someone doesn't mean you should. A lot of folks were of the mindset that if someone is in their house they are going to shoot first and ask questions later, which kinda surprised me, although people say a lot of things that they really don't mean.
The speaker brought up some good points based on some of the "if they're in my house" responses.
  • If you haven't identified your intruder because you can't see in the dark (have a good flashlight), how do you know who it is and what their intentions truly are. This could be an elderly person with dementia; it could be a neighbor trying to get help or even one of your own family members. In many of those cases you would be within the law to shoot, but could you really live with yourself after?
  • Once you shoot, the police are going to go through everything in your house; it's now a crime scene, so you better not have anything that you don't want officer friendly finding.
  • You will end up paying for the damage in your house out of your own pocket. Not just holes in the walls, but consider that the person you shot is most likely going to leak all kinds of nasty stuff (Not just blood) into your carpet and even the floor underneath, and you will need to pay a haz-mat service to deal with that.
  • You will almost definitely be paying for a lawyer, even if no charges are filed; and of course there is a good chance that you will need to defend yourself in civil court.
This was followed up with "this is part of the mental preparation you need if you expect to be truly prepared to defend yourself. None of these things should be entering into your mind during the incident; you should have already worked them out. Also, know where your mental "line in the sand is," and draw it in a reasonable place. His example was his home staircase, if they are downstairs and his family is upstairs then there is no reason to shoot. Defend the line and if they are willing to leave, with or without a handful of stuff, let them.
I guess the only thing in this list that I hadn't really thought about, is the local PD rummaging through our personal stuff. Not that they would find much, but I'm sure they would give it the o'l college try! It is our home and that thought does give me the creeps.

One of the first things that he mentioned that stood out was that he believes that the training world concentrates too much on the sword, and not enough on the shield; the shield being emergency or tactical medicine. You carry a firearm for protection, but there is a very good chance that you or someone you are protecting could be injured during an incident. Regardless of whether you carry or not his view was that you have a moral obligation to have enough training and forethought to render aid if needed. People that are present and should be able to render basic first aid are often not trained, and are more often than not in shock and can't function; again because they haven't come to terms mentally with the possibility of a nasty injury, due to an accident or gunshot and just aren't prepared.

He pointed out an example that made a lot of sense. We are driving along, all prepared, as a responsible citizen should be, we have our firearm, our light, pocket/rescue knife, fire extinguisher and we are wearing our seat belt, we come upon a car accident; are we really prepared to render help until the ambulance arrives?

I believe the reason he gave the talk was to drum up some business for a three day class he's working on which will be composed of one day each, classroom, medicine and range skills. While he is a trained EMT he was actually looking to get some guys who specialize in tactical medicine to give the medical training.

I'd love to take a trauma medicine class but I've never found one locally. If I can find the time I'll give it a whirl. I will also post a schedule when it becomes available.


  1. Rendering help untill the ambulance arives, amounts to pressure dressings to slow or stop bleeding. Qualifying in First Aid can be a detriment as this can put one in an area of higher expectations maybe disqualifying one from Good Sameritan laws. In Indiana if a nurse provides care and uses a stethascope to asses breathing good by good sameritan law now your at another level. Practicing medicine beyond your scope. Even carying a CPR qualification card can put one at risk. Not always but CAN.
    I am currently considering Prepaid legal.

  2. Good point. In most cases you are only talking minutes but there are areas, even here in WNY that 15-20 minutes or longer are possible for help to arrive, especially when your in areas without cell covereage. Hunting is another time when just reaching a phone that works can take an hour or more. In that case I'd take my legal chances.

  3. You are corect Dave. In a Katrina catastrophy, or in the bush, one should do their best. I do cary hemastats, tourniqets, sutures, coban stretch tape. Kotex pads (thick and thin) and lots of bandaids.
    FYI Family dollar has the cheepest first aid supplies. At least for my area.