Training for the Hoosier Carry Permit?

At least one Indiana lawmaker thinks this is necessary. Currently, Indiana does not require training for their carry permits. I think it’s always hard for our opponents in the gun control movement to wrap their heads around our assertion that, “Yes, training is a good idea. Everyone who carries a gun should seek training,” and “No, the government should not mandate training.” Part of the disconnect is they don’t realize what we mean by “training.”

I’ve used this analogy before, but for the sake of new readers, I’ll repeat it; mandating a training class to carry a gun in the name of public safety is like mandating a violin lesson before playing a violin in the name of the public’s ears. Sure, someone who’s taken an violin lesson might, on average, be off to a better start than someone hasn’t, but let’s not pretend one lesson is going to turn anyone into Itzhak Perlman.

The kind of people who will benefit from a training class probably aren’t the kind of people you really need to be worried about. They are likely the kind of person who would have sought training on their own anyway, will pay attention in class, and be committed to regular practice thereafter. The Cletuses of the world aren’t going to get much of anything out of the training, in the same manner a kid forced to take violin lessons by his parents, and never practices, probably isn’t ever going to rise above a level of playing that makes everyone in earshot want to stab out their own eardrum.

Overall, I don’t think the amount of benefit derived from a training requirement is high enough to justify the not insubstantial costs it places on the exercising of a fundamental right. This equation also doesn’t change if you just require more training, as the burden scales with the amount of training mandated.

9 thoughts on “Training for the Hoosier Carry Permit?”

  1. I like this analogy. I’ll have to remember it!

    Incidentally, I’ve had a few violin lessons while in college, and I wish I had more time to practice. Once, when someone was surprised I “knew” how to play the violin, I said “After a few minutes of playing, I can get anyone to do anything I want!”

    The person asked “You’re really that good?”

    I said, “No, I’m really that bad.”

    (Well, I’m probably not really that bad, but I thought it would be funny to claim it anyway…)

  2. Is there any difference in accidents or crimes committed by license holders in states with mandated training and states without?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    1. That is exactly my response when this question comes up! IF (a complete counterfactual) WA state had statistically-significant greater issues than states with big training requirements (e.g. Texas), then I’d have to think long and hard about my position that exercising a constitutional right shouldn’t have any prerequisites.

      But we don’t, so I don’t!

    2. Is there any difference in accidents or crimes committed by license holders in states with mandated training and states without?

      Bingo. In my adult life, I have lived in Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana. In each of these states I worked in and around the firearms industry, as well as shooting as a hobby. TN had a mandatory training requirment for a toter’s permit, while GA and IN did not.

      I gladly will testify in court that I have not noticed a lick of difference in the average level of competence or, indeed, legal knowledge of the average CCW holder between any of the three states.

      1. I would agree, though I have not spent as much time around CCW holders between different states. But I do think the other side has the money to pay people to doctor a study showing states that have training requirements have fewer problems. There are plenty of spinmasters with credentials at their disposal to do so.

  3. As an active instructor, I strongly support training. I would never want to see it legislated. California is a great example of the ignorance of the elected official with the plethora of asinine and insane laws on the books. None of which keep people safe. They only make 99.99999% of the law abiding folks criminals. They also know law abiding folks have money to pay fines.

  4. Off topic, but here’s a scoop for you:

    Toomey supporting background checks again! Though this time it’s for teachers. ;)

    But take close note at what the post-gazette does halfway down:

    Patricia Potter, an elementary school teacher in Fairfax County, Va., appreciates the senators’ effort but is disappointed Congress hasn’t done more to protect children from gun violence. She founded the advocacy group Teachers for Gun Control to oppose proposals by the National Rifle Association and others who have said the solution to school violence is to arm teachers.

    One background check deserves another I guess!

  5. Once again – the purpose of training requirements has little if anything to do with public safety.

    At best, they are prophylactics for legislators who can claim they are doing what they can for safety or who want to just “feel better.”

    At worst (and far more likely) they are intended to be just another barrier designed to make exercising the right to possess or carry a firearm more difficult, costly, and legally tenuous.

  6. Teachers should have to pass a written and practical shooting test, to maintain their teaching credential. Separate from whether the school even allows them to carry guns, just the knowledge that they are trained will deter mass murder. If they are principled anti-gunnies – fire them ‘for the children’.

    Shooting classes should be mandatory in government-funded high schools and colleges (along with swimming). Minimal competency with a firearm is more important that minimal competency in a foreign language. It is practically Title X discrimination not to have a shooting club.

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