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. ↩
One of the participants made a snarky comment about professional firearms trainers making money with what they do.
Have you noticed how few of the people who make such comments donate any of their time, even to causes they “support.”
Oh, I dunno. I’ve benefited from other people’s generosity a lot over the years. It’s one reason I’m a big believer in turning around and helping others where possible, because so many people have helped me along the way.
At the same time, it turns out that you can’t actually feed your family on air and love. The grocery store always demands cash money.
Absolutely. There are a lot of generous people in the world. I’ve benefitted greatly, and try to pay it forward.
I’ve just noticed that folks who chide me for charging (them) and demand I adopt their priorities, don’t tend to be themselves givers.
I don’t see anything wrong with making money doing something you love. How many people in this world have jobs they hate, you at least get to do pass information to others, educating the world. Any educator/trainer deserves to be paid good money, society should realize this.
I also think it’s wonderful that you do have this blog and it’s encouraging to read and always keeps in my mind that I should at least try to sign up for a class with a professional once year.
Keep up the great work, not that you need to hear that from some random stranger, just know that this stranger appreciates what you do.
Thanks, Kalaryn. I do in fact need to hear stuff like that from “random strangers” — since it’s random strangers I’m writing for. I hope your day is as awesome as you just made mine!