The only New Year’s resolution you need to make

Once you’ve set up your rifle and defensive handgun exactly as you want them, once you’re got the right kit, all the accessories and cases of ammo, there’s only one thing left to do.


If you make only one New Year’s resolution, make yourself a promise to train more.

It’s what will keep you alive — period.

Training is far more important than state-of-the-art guns or gear. The coolest Gucci camouflage or the newest tactical accessories will do you no good if you can’t shoot.

In my humble opinion, training is a three part process.

It involves taking classes from a qualified instructor who will show you the right techniques, practicing these techniques at the range until they become automatic, and then developing a good dry-fire regimen at home to retain the techniques and increase your speed.  

But make no mistake, training never stops. For serious shooters, it’s an ongoing, lifelong process.

Over the years, I’ve heard many excuses for why people don’t take classes regularly.

None really makes any sense.

It’s too expensive. 

Anyone who can afford a $1,000 carbine, a $500 optic, a $600 handgun, thousands of dollars in accessories  plus cases of ammo, can afford to take a training class.

I don’t want to be embarrassed in front of other people. 

Your skills are just that — your skills. When you take a tactical class, you’re not competing against anyone other than yourself. Every single class I’ve ever taken has good students and better students. Some aren’t as capable as others, but none of that matters. It’s all about learning and improving your skills. Who cares how good someone else is.

I don’t have the time. 

One of the benefits of having so many qualified instructors is that there are classes available whenever you want to take them: evenings, weekends or during the work day.

I already know how to shoot. 

This is the biggest fallacy out there, and it’s one I was guilty of too.

After 30 years of firearms training — military, law enforcement and civilian — I thought I had a pretty good grasp on how to shoot. But after about an hour at the range with Bob Keller of Gamut Resolutions, I quickly realized how dated my skills had become, and I embraced the new reality — complete mastery of the fundamentals.

I can tell you that the confidence my new skills provide makes all of the effort worthwhile.

I hope you will experience similar results.

Off the soapbox, for now.

Have a safe and Happy New Year, everyone!


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

1 Comment

  1. Thanx for your imfo…been lookin into a training program…started ccw last year…been shootin since 5, Hunter safety at 7,huntin wothout dad since 8…I’m a 66 yr young man that fears no mtn…huntin high buck hunt in WA state…livin here 4 yrs now with son and daughter in law + grandkids…we all want to train…any imfo for Tacoma ? We’re all NRA…

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