Recently, I wrote an article about Why I don’t open carry and don’t think you should either …
I got a lot of great comments, with most of my readers agreeing with me.
But one type of comment kept coming up again and again. It goes something like this:
I completely, whole-heartedly do NOT agree with this statement.
Here’s why …
Self-Defense Is A “Natural Right”, Not a “Legal Right” Granted To You By The State …
They don’t teach you this in school, which is why much of the population of these United States is so confused about the role of the government in the lives of the people …
There are two types of rights:
1. Legal Rights – are those given to a person by a legal system (i.e. rights that can be modified, repealed, and restrained by human laws)
2. Natural Rights – those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).
When Thomas Jefferson and the other founders of America wrote the Declaration of Independence they started with these natural rights — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”
The signers of the Declaration of Independence deemed it a “self-evident truth” that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”
Whether it’s Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence) or Life, Liberty, and Property (John Locke’s version) — Life and Liberty are the the most important.
It therefore follows that you have the unalienable right … the natural right … to defend your life and liberty … You have the Natural Right to self defense.
This is NOT a legal right. That means no government or system of laws created by man can give you these rights, nor can they take them away.
Self defense is a natural right and famous Supreme Court cases (Heller, McDonald, etc) have recognized this.
Hopefully by now you can see why I believe 1.) Anyone should be able to carry a gun concealed or otherwise and 2.) there should NEVER be mandatory training in order to exercise that right.
The 2nd Amendment was written to recognize the natural right to self-defense and to ensure that it was protected from the Government.
I basically find myself nodding along with everything Reid Henrichs says in the video below:
You Don’t Need Training To Exercise Any Other Natural Rights (Nor Should You) …
There should never be “mandatory training” legislated by the state to exercise your fundamental natural rights …
It’s important to remember, the Bill of Rights were NOT written to give you any rights. They were written to recognize your natural rights and restrain the state from infringing on those rights.
Imagine if you had to get “Good Citizen Mandatory Training” before the 4th Amendment — the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government — applied to you?
But that’s silly Caleb! That would never happen! Think of all the reasons “mandatory training” for privacy in your own home makes sesnse … What if you’re harboring terrorists in your home? What if you’re building bombs or making drugs? What if there is child abuse in your home?
Should the government mandate “good parenting mandatory training” before allowing you to be secure in your home? After all, you could be a child abuser without proper–government mandated–training in how to be a parent!
And the favorite card of the liberals, “If we could save just one child we should pass mandatory good citizen parenting training!”
I Am Totally For Everyone Getting Firearms Training …
To be clear, I have spent into the 100’s of hours attending firearms training classes. I’ve exceeded the standards needed for FBI Firearms Instructors to pass the FBI Qualificiation Course. I am totally, 100% in support of all gun owners getting more training.
But I’m 100% against it being mandatory.
Imagine if you had to take some form of Martial Art and achieve some arbitrary level of skill — let’s call it a blue belt — before you were legally allowed to defend yourself with your hands and fists if you were a victim of criminal violence. It’s ridiculous!
The truth is that the more power given governments to write laws, the more that power will be abused. It is the natural course of history.
Making Training Mandatory Would Hurt Many People Who Need a Gun NOW
Greg Ellifritz shared an interesting story on his blog before. Greg is a respected firearms trainer, and I’ll share a snippet with you here:
“Interesting experience at the shooting range this afternoon….
The range is packed. Everyone got new guns for X-mas and wants to shoot them. There was about an hour wait for a stall. I sit down and start reading as I wait my turn. In a few minutes, a young girl sits down to wait in the chair next to mine. She’s by herself and appears to be in her early 20s. She’s the only black person in the room and one of the only women. She seems nervous as she fiddles with the gun case in her lap. She’s obviously uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable people with guns in their hands shooting in the stall next to me isn’t what I like to see. I decide to talk to her. Keep in mind that no one at this range knows me or knows what I do for a living. That’s why I like shooting there; I have complete anonymity and can focus on my own training rather than teaching others. I rarely talk to anyone, but something told me that I needed to talk to this girl.
“It’s a long wait, huh?” “What kind of gun did you bring to shoot?”
She smiles and seems visibly relieved that someone was being nice to her. She says “It’s just a 9mm. Nothing special, but it’s the only thing I could afford.”
We keep talking. I find out she’s a single mom with two kids. Her house has been broken into three times in the last two months. The last burglary attempt occurred while she was in the house with her kids. She has never shot a gun, but she recognized that she had a duty to protect her family. She went to a gun show and bought a Jimenez Arms JA-9. She asked all her male friends and family members to go to the range with her, but all of them turned her down.
She tells me that she has a bad feeling that the robbers are coming back tonight to get the x-mas presents she bought for her kids. She doesn’t know anything about guns and doesn’t know anyone who can teach her. She’s signed up for a CCW class, but no one teaches classes on the week of Christmas and she can’t find an opening until January. The problem is that she thinks the robbers are coming TONIGHT. A January class isn’t going to help.
She told me that even though she didn’t know what she was going to do, she knew she better figure out how to shoot the gun before she has to shoot the robbers tonight. That’s why she was there by herself at the shooting range. It didn’t matter that she was by herself, that she was the only woman in the room, or that she knew nothing about guns. She had babies to protect and was going to figure out how to do it, come hell or high water.
It got me thinking about the courage and commitment that this woman was displaying. How many people would intentionally place themselves into a situation where they know they will be the outsider and probably look stupid and inept to all the other “experts” at the range? Not many. The woman had guts.
“I think I can help you. Let’s share a stall. I’ll show you how to shoot your gun.”
Helping her seemed like the right thing to do. No problem there. The problem was that the range was closing in an hour and she could only afford one box of bullets. How’s that for a dilemma for you instructors out there? You have less than an hour and one box of bullets to take a woman who has never held a gun before and prepare her for a gunfight that she thinks will happen TONIGHT.
Game on. Challenge accepted.
Gun function, loading, stance and grip and sight alignment in 15 minutes. On to live fire. Slow fire two handed at first until she got used to the gun, then some faster shots, a few shots right hand only/left hand only so that she had the confidence she could do it if she had to. Finished up with a few reps of malfunction drills. I’m pleased to say that she kept all of her shots in the chest area of a silhouette target at 10-15 feet. The gun puked a couple times, but it gave her a chance to practice her tap/rack. She sucked up the information I provided like a sponge. She was a better student than any of the thousands of cops I’ve taught.
The range closed. I wished her luck She packed up her new gun and left. I told her that I was a cop, but not that I teach people to shoot for a living. For all she knows, I’m just some friendly dude at the range. I like it that way.
The whole experience gives me pause. How many times have you been at the range and looked down your nose at somebody shooting a HiPoint or Jennings? How many times have you silently thought “idiot” when someone fumbles with their gun? How many times have you looked askance at shooters using the “wrong” grip? I know I do all of those things almost every time I’m at a public shooting range…but I won’t do it anymore. What if those “idiots” are really just people like this woman…inexperienced, poor, and without anyone to teach them how to do things right? By the luck of the draw, this woman pulled up a chair next to a professional firearms instructor at the range. She could have just as easily sat next to “Bubba” who will tell her that her gun is a piece of shit and that there’s no way she could ever learn to defend herself in an hour.
We shooters need to do better. It doesn’t matter if someone has a shitty blaster or if they don’t know how to hold it correctly. They might be in a situation like this woman was in. We need to help these people the best that we can. Who knows what an impact we will have? Save a life or sneer at an “idiot.” It’s your choice.”
In other words, there are a lot of poor, inexperienced people out there, who have no chance of defending themselves with their hands who may need a gun and they may need it right now. They don’t need “mandatory training” to get in the way of defending their lives or the lives of people they love and are responsible for.
Todd Green Has a Great Idea For A Two-Tiered Carry System …
Todd Green posted a great idea for a “Two-Tiered” carry training idea that I think would be something I would agree with:
“Rather than mandatory training, what I would like to see is a two-tiered system. Simply carrying concealed should be legal without a permit (or training). But because it is legitimately in the government’s interest (and the community’s interest) to encourage training, instead create benefits — incentives — for gun owners who get serious training… like most readers of this website do already. Just a few examples of what could be offered, some of which already exist in certain jurisdictions:
** fewer prohibited places compared to the “Constitutional carry” option
** exemption from “NO GUNS” signs posted at businesses
** additional legal protections (e.g., civil immunity for lawfully exercising self-defense determined either through a not guilty verdict or a grand jury returning a no bill)
** NICS-exempt status for firearms purchases
access to state-sponsored facilities/training exclusive to trained CCW permit holders
** in states where even the no-training CCW option requires a permit, reduce or eliminate the permit fee for folks who take the optional training
A system like this protects the Constitutional rights of every gun owner while creating enough benefit to encourage regular ongoing training. Reward good behavior and you’ll get more of it.”
What Do You Think? Should Training Be Mandatory?
What do you think?
Should there be mandatory gun training before you’re allowed to carry a gun to defend yourself and the people you’re responsible for?