When I was a kid, my mom would sign us up for swimming lessons every year right after school got out for summer vacation. For a couple of weeks every summer, if you went down to our town’s public swimming pool in the morning, you would see clumps of maybe six or seven squealing little kids all over the place. They’d all be bobbing up and down and splashing the patient teenagers were were trying to show them how to swim.
If you took swim lessons when you were little, do you remember what the first day was like? It seemed like there was always that one kid who had both his arms and legs firmly wrapped around his mom’s leg, holding on for dear life and shrieking, “But Mommy! I can’t get in the water with the teacher! I don’t know how to swim!!!”
Poor little guy.
What does childhood swim lessons have t do with taking a defensive handgun class as an adult? Plenty! It happens often that people will ask me, “Am I good enough to take a class?” Sometimes the person asking the question is truly a beginning shooter. Other times they’ve been shooting for awhile. In either case, they’re concerned because they think they have to reach a certain level of skill before they will benefit from professional firearms instruction.
Like swim lessons for little kids, the purpose of a defensive handgun class for adults is to teach you how to do some things you do not already know how to do. It’s designed to stretch your limits and give you new horizons. The class description is supposed to sound like a challenge! The class should introduce you to new skills and develop your ability to perform skills you have not yet mastered. We don’t hold a class to validate what you already know, or just to let you show off your shooting for everyone. If you want to do that, you can open your own YouTube channel and have thousands of adoring fans within a week (at least if you dress interestingly enough). We hold a class to teach you how to do things you do not yet know how to do.
Yes, it’s scary to get into the water with the teacher on the first day of swim lessons. But it’s also the only way that frightened little kid will ever learn how to keep his head above water on his own.