On a firearms discussion board I frequent, there was recently some discussion about firearms training. One of the participants made a snarky comment about professional firearms trainers making money with what they do.
Of course I make a living at this! I am a professional firearms trainer. That’s the very definition of “professional”: someone who earns a living in a given field. I earn my grocery money by offering self-defense information and training to people who seek it out, and that makes me a professional, by definition. However, I have not always done so. The reason I got into this field in the first place wasn’t to make money. I started as a volunteer, and I still donate a lot of time to various not-making-money ways to get information and training to people who need it. This blog and the website that surrounds it, for instance: you’ll notice there are no ads anywhere on the Cornered Cat website. It’s a labor of love that includes some of my best written material, and it’s all free. So for me, even though I do have to make a living, it’s not about the money. It’s about getting the message out to the people who need it.
Part of that message is the importance of training. Real training. Dedicated, professional, serious training that comes from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Not, “I learned something from Joe down at the range,” but seeking out a well-qualified trainer and then doing the honest-to-God work it takes to master the defensive handgun. This isn’t something that comes easily for everyone, 1 but it’s work that needs to be done.
- It was darn near impossible for me. My childhood nickname was, “Grace,” because my parents are sarcastic people. ↩