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Better Education Needed?

Most training courses these days spend a lot of time on basic gun safety, and on the legal instances where one can and cannot use deadly force. These are important things. I’ve never been through Texas’s course, but there’s not much discussion over how to carry a gun, and what kinds of guns are appropriate for carry. This also seems important.

It seems when we hear of stories like this, they are quite often derringers that don’t have the appropriate safety features to be suitable for concealed carry. They also seem to be often carried without a holster, in purses or pockets. People who legally carry guns need more information about how to safely carry; in a holster, with a gun that has appropriate safety features.

Every single incident like this becomes a tool for the other side to use to argue against citizen carry.

11 Responses to “Better Education Needed?”

  1. Gene Hoffman says:

    If you want a more prime example of common sense gun laws, this is it. “No one shall carry in public a derringer without properly securing it in a holster.”

    -Gene

  2. Groundhog says:

    I’m going to work up a post on this tonight as it does beg some interesting questions. I’m a pretty ardent 2A supporter and as a Texas CHL holder, I don’t believe our laws here are open enough. I do believe though that if you exercise any right OR privilege (like driving for instance) where you wield something powerful enough to maim or kill someone, you need to be held accountable for what happens when you screw up. Intent obviously plays a role here to some degree as does the outcome. Did you kill someone? Or just hurt them, and if so, how bad? Lots of law here and questions.

    I’ll tell you one thing though. The Texas CHL training spends a lot of time covering legalities. That’s both sort of sad and important at the same time. If you don’t understand the responsibility you have when you carry, you probably shouldn’t. That said, Texas let’s you know pretty well where you stand in that area. The range test you get is not designed to teach you safety. It’s designed to see if you can actually use the gun and hit your target most of the time. It’s NOT training, not by a long shot.

    As to your point about giving the ‘tools’ more tools? I agree that it’s best to minimize that but they’re always going to get them. What they don’t get they’ll make up. I think public opinion sways back and forth on this issue and right now it’s way in our favor. So are a lot of stats. I suspect we’ll eventually get comfortable and complacent and it’ll again swing the other way.

  3. Dave says:

    Derringers. A fine idea as a compact carry piece, fifteen or sixteen decades ago. Well, the only thing I would say to the pocket carrying felllow and anyone else doing that is get a damn holster for the thing.

  4. Pyrotek85 says:

    What I’d like to know is, how many people carried that day and didn’t shoot anyone? People probably shouldn’t carry derringers for self defense, but it’s hardly an epidemic.

  5. Sebastian says:

    Post a link here when you’re done, Groundhog.

    To be clear, coming from a state that does not require training to get a license to carry, I don’t support it as a condition of exercising the right. But I think education is a good idea, and if you’re going to require it, it should be relevant.

  6. Dave says:

    Oh while we are talking to the pocket carrying derringer folks, we might as well talk to the people carrying cheap zinc alloy semi-autos. It is a single action striker fired pistol, it probably isn’t the best idea to carry it with one in the pipe.

  7. Dann in Ohio says:

    Ahhh, the slippery slope perpetuated by gun owners…

    “If you want a more prime example of common sense gun laws, this is it. “No one shall carry in public a derringer without properly securing it in a holster.””
    … or a Glock, or a S&W….

    Sebastian, I teach the NRA basic pistol course and curriculum as required in Ohio for a CHL. It is a safety course as required by law. Ohio does not limit you on what firearm you may carry, so a general safety course covers the basics. You would be surprised how many students I get who have been shooting for XX years, know everything there is ’cause they served XX years ago, or hunted since they were X years old.

    …and these same people have to be reminded to follow the NRA’s 3 basic rules – constantly – and wonder why we’re not teaching door kicking or room clearing… and yet I’m showing them how to operate or disassemble their XXXXXX brand gun they’ve had for X years but still don’t know how to make it function.

    I really appreciate most newbies and most women (not counting all women as newbies before someone throws the PC thing out there) as they are truly interested in learning rather than telling you war stories.

    It’s about all you can do to get through the basics of gun safety, different types of semis and revolvers, ammunition, terminology, two hours of safe range time, and overview Ohio’s CHL laws in the required 12 hours.

    Bottom line as I recommend to my students: This should be the first step in your continued learning and practice. As a former LEO, I tell them police are the same way – some seek out training and practice – others only pull their guns out at qualification time – it’s up to you.

    Dann in Ohio

  8. Exodus says:

    NRA Certified Instructor here, also have taken the Texas CHL class.

    Dann said it best but I’ll emphasize that the class (as I experienced it) is largely “where you can and can’t carry,” “shoot/no shoot” and range time.

    It is pretty much all there’s time for. Derringer carry is an “edge case” and there’s not really time to cover all the edge cases out there.

    NRA Basic Pistol 1 covers a lot more “gun stuff.”

    Don’t forget that unlike pretty much all other training classes, a CHL class is designed around state level requirements, and there are only so many hours in a day.

    Thinking about it, it is not unlike driver’s licenses. Just because you meet the state requirements for issuance of the license is no guarantee that your driving will be particularly good.

    And honestly, I’m a fan of open carry and constitutional carry anyway.

  9. Jake says:

    At least the family isn’t going all anti-gun over this.

    “What we ask is that anyone who legally carries a gun “remember” that they have it, ensure the gun has a functional safety, that the safety is in use, and not carry unreasonably dangerous weapons,” wrote Barker’s sons in another journal entry.

    Dave: A properly designed pistol is perfectly safe to carry with one in the chamber, regardless of the slide material, price, or type of action. If there’s a firing pin block (absolutely critical in any semi-auto carry pistol, IMHO), then the fact that it’s single action and striker fired makes it no less safe than a double action hammer fired pistol – even if the sear breaks or otherwise releases the striker, the firing pin block keeps it from firing unless the trigger is pulled at the same time. For it to fire without the trigger being pulled would require two completely separate systems to fail simultaneously.The probability of that happening is so minute it’s not even worth considering as part of selecting a carry gun.

    Of course, any mechanical safety can fail, and the dread god Finagle and his mad prophet Murphy will interfere whenever possible, so a good holster and conscious awareness when transitioning from one form of carry to another (removing your coat while pocket carrying, etc.) are always necessary, no matter what kind of gun you’re carrying.

    In other words, use a holster and pay attention, and things like this won’t happen.

  10. Dave says:

    The key words there are ” properly designed”, and “firing pin block” I was referring to the simple so called “SNS” types that sell in large numbers each year. The ones I have any familiarity with have nothing but the sear holding the striker back.

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