Not long ago, I came across an online video from a well-known trainer, someone I respect, who said some very important and true things.
He said that for ordinary people looking for training in firearms-based self defense, there’s little sense in seeking out instructors who have a military background. He pointed out that even though many excellent handgun instructors have been in the military, there’s very little experience in the military that directly applies to the ordinary person who intends to carry a handgun for self-defense.
Regardless of the branch, he said, very few members of the military use handguns at all, and of those that do, they rarely consider a handgun as the primary weapon system. He added that the rules of engagement between military and civilian gun use differ widely, and so do the expected situations where handguns might come into use. This means, he said, that an effective and good military mindset might in fact be a dangerous and perhaps illegal mindset for a civilian who carries a handgun.
So far, so good, I suppose.
Then he went on to say that ordinary citizens who want good defensive handgun training from an experienced source should instead attend classes taught by law enforcement professionals.
And that’s where he lost me.
He lost me because there is as wide a gap between law enforcement experience and ordinary citizen needs, as there is between military experience and ordinary citizen needs. Even though many excellent handgun instructors have spent time in law enforcement, there’s very little experience in law enforcement that directly applies to the needs of the ordinary person who wants to carry a handgun for self defense.
Military, law enforcement, ordinary citizen. These are three different domains, with different potential problems and different rules for solving those problems.