To a large extent, the existence of firearms as a method of self-defense is based on the hope that you will never have to use them. Simply the presence of the piece should, in most threat situations, be enough to dissuade any potential malefactors. However, by the same token it is important to be ready to use a firearm should you need to. If people know you can’t, or won’t, draw down in a threat situation then the arm becomes essentially useless.
This is where you have to find a balance between “I don’t want to use this weapon” and “…but I will if I have to, and I know how to use it.”. When it comes to appropriate use of a firearm, one of the most important elements of the process is taking a serious approach to learning how, and when, to wield it. There is never a bad time to take on extra training in firearm use – but how important is it to gain tactical training before you can consider yourself well-protected?
What is tactical firearm training?
There is a difference between knowing how to fire a gun and how to use one. Anyone can pull a trigger, but without the mastery of the weapon, it’s not unreasonable to say that some gun owners can be more of a danger to themselves than to anyone else. Tactical firearm training is designed to teach you, from the ground up, how to make the right decisions in using your chosen item. In tactical training, it is just as important to know how to pick the right gun, or what to do when it malfunctions, as it is to know how to shoot.
“Using firearms safely” isn’t just something people say because they think they are supposed to. In any situation where you might be using a firearm for self-protection, safety is a non-negotiable aspect. Unless you pay attention to your training and internalize it, the chances are too high of a person making a tactical mistake and ending up in serious danger. This is why many tactical firearm training courses will make a point of teaching how to use cover when firing, accuracy over distance, and shooting with both strong and weak hands. If you need to use a firearm, it indicates things have got out of control; tactical training is about regaining that control.
Is tactical firearm training essential for self-protection?
It’s fair to say that not everybody in possession of a firearm has had formal training in how to use it. Does this mean it is not necessary to have formal training? In truth, no – you certainly should be looking at getting training from an expert. When it comes to firearm use, there really is no room for leaving things to instinct. In any situation where firearms may be put into use, the likelihood is that thinking time will be at a premium, and the ability to make the right decision in a split second is invaluable.
Again, it can’t be stressed enough that in an ideal situation, you won’t need to touch the trigger of a firearm for it to provide you with the protection you seek. Equally, it won’t provide you with any protection at all if you don’t know how and when to use it – and how not to use it. It’s one thing to know that you can hit a target as it hangs 25 yards away in a shooting range. Tactical training will give you the skills you need to be accurate with moving targets, distant targets, and a wealth of complicated and challenging shots.
An additional note on tactical firearm training
The safe and responsible use of a firearm has as much to do with knowing when not to shoot as knowing how to shoot. Any good tactical firearm training will involve recognition of innocent bystanders, so that should you ever need to draw your weapon in self-defence, you can be confident of only discharging it when engaging with a legitimate target. Self-protection is not about being aggressive, it’s about being decisive with all of the information available to you – and that will make you a more effective shooter.
If you are in a position of wondering whether you should obtain tactical training in the handling of firearms, then the answer is certainly “Yes”. The more training you have, the more capably you can handle a firearm – and in knowing this, you will gain increased confidence for dealing with any situation where self-defense may be necessary.