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Friday, September 2, 2016

Do I need training?

In the words of a British soccer commentator, "it's a funny ole game". By game, I of course mean the firearms "game. Running a range like Caswells, you soon learn to expect the unexpected. From a customer returning to the store with his receipt from 1996 asking if his special order magazine had come in yet, to people pulling the trigger again in the hope the speeding bullet will clear a squib, we see a great many things that make us smile, gasp and sometimes even wince a little!

But, what is always a shock is the difference in views to training. We have all types of people that come here, but with training there tend to be 2 camps which most people fall into, namely "all" or "nothing" with little in between.

There is no compunction to take training, apart from basic training for the CCW, but is it a great idea to take no training? Lets see, if you were lucky enough to be given a McClaren P1, and were offered training at a fraction of the cost of the car, but that would mean you could actually get the best from it, would you do the training? I suspect you would.

Now think about a nice new Sig Sauer, best part of $1000, would you spend $100 on some training so YOU can get the best from your new and shiney Sig? I know I did when I first started to get involved in firearms.

But, even more important that getting the best out of your gun, safety. There are SO many tragic stories in the press of injuries and deaths from negligent discharge situations. A 2 year old toddler was wounded when a gun that HE WAS PLAYING WITH went off and wounded him in the leg. A man was shot in the neck a few weeks ago by his friend who was cleaning his gun in another room!

On the range, we are often critised for asking people to unload thier guns outside the store. But the case of a gunshop owner in Ohio who was killed by a customer taking in a class in another room, who suffered a negligent discharge with a gun that should not have been loaded serves as a warning and an explanation of why following such rules is essential for both customer and staff safety, we don't just make them up for fun.

What's the answer, ban guns, universal background checks, AR bans, ammo bans? Of course not. Training and good sense are the key. Guns do not simply leap up and shoot people of their own accord when they are bored on a Thursday afternoon, they have to be manipulated to make that happen. Children access bleach left in cupboards they can reach an drink it, with obvious consequences. Do we seek to ban bleach, no we try and educate people to store it safely. Would I be any more appalled to find a child playing with bleach or a gun I wonder..

Both are the result of poor decisions made by those responsible for keeping the child safe, and failing to do so. The guy cleaning the gun didn't follow the golden rules, clear any firearm you pickup, treat every gun as loaded. The student in the classroom broke the golden rule, no ammunition in a classroom

When we see attacks daily on guns and the shooting sports, don't give them an open goal to shoot at. Every one of the incidents I describe would have been avoided by following the most simple and basic gun handling routines, taught in in every class. Caswells runs classes from Family safety classes to the P300 class, and many in between, all of which can be found here on

Lets be safe and responsible, and don't give those who would ban your sport and your means of defending yourself and loved ones anything to throw at us. Lets see an end to 2 year old playing with loaded guns hurting themselves. The answer is in our hands!

Toddler shoots himself
Man shoots freind
Gunstore owner dies

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