The trial is over. The jury has spoken. Here is my takeaway from the proceedings:
Never have I seen a case that better exemplifies the need for ongoing training.
Far too many concealed-carry licensees attend one course that meets the state’s requirements for their CCW license and then stop, never to take another handgun or self-defense class again.
In my opinion, this is morally wrong and could result in massive civil and/or criminal liability.
A basic pistol course should be seen as a portal, a gateway to more training. Armed citizens should continue their firearms education, constantly learning advanced skills with their handgun and other weapons. They should also blend unarmed self-defense disciplines into their personal training program, such as defensive tactics and weapons retention.
Many of today’s more-reputable firearms trainers offer unarmed self-defense classes, because they realize that a pistol is not the solution for every problem.
I am not saying that a CCW licensee needs to become trained to the level of a Tier One operator or even a police officer, but a Krav Maga or ground-fighting class adds tools to the tool box – it gives you options – so the pistol is not the sole means of protection. The classes are also tremendous self-confidence builders.
Advanced firearms and self-defense training eliminates the 0-60 nature of a use-of-force encounter that occurs when all the licensee knows how to do is pull their pistol.
Police officers used to be trained in the Use of Force Continuum, which taught officers there are different levels of force. Nowadays, the continuum is passe and somewhat discredited, since the courts have said that the test for any use of force is reasonableness, and police are not required to try less-lethal force options before using deadly force. However, the old continuum spells out that there are many, many different levels of force.
Carrying a firearm for self protection is a heady decision. You should realize the responsibility and the liability that comes with it. You should add as many tools to your self-defense tool box as time and money allow. It’s purely in your own self interest.
If, God forbid, you are ever forced to use deadly force, your training records will almost certainly become part of any criminal or civil proceeding.
Hopefully there will be more there for the attorneys to argue and debate than just the bare-minimum, state-required course.