Why do you own a gun? At first, this may seem like a strange and redundant question, but truly think about it. Do you possess guns for protection or are they more of a pastime? Are they really just conversation pieces?
Owning guns simply for the sake of possession is like a resident of a large city who drives around in a Jeep outfitted with the latest equipment.
There may be aggressive tires and a winch attached, but the owner never takes the Jeep off-road.
This means they probably won’t be able to use it to its fullest potential.
The same holds true for gun owners. Simply owning firearms doesn’t make you proficient. Getting out and shooting those guns and most importantly, getting professional instruction on how to use them are what makes you a force to be reckoned with.
Author Rob Pincus concisely addresses this point in his article “Are You Just a Hobbyist?” on USConcealedcarry.com:
“Now, of course, there is nothing at all wrong with being a hobbyist. If your thing is collecting guns, that’s great! But if your thing is collecting guns as a hobby and yet you claim that you own guns for the defense of yourself or others, maybe you need to really consider the facts of your situation. At a certain point, having more guns doesn’t really make you safer.” (Read more about hobbyists and handguns here)
Professional training can be expensive. It can also take time and commitment, but keep in mind that with professional instruction, we can significantly reduce our learning curve and keep bad habits from forming.
Additional benefits of structured shooting classes include involvement with other students. Watching someone else make the same mistakes we’re making can really help us figure out how to train past them.
There is also the benefit of focused training time which can be more efficient. You’ll actually save money as opposed to burning through ammo at a range with no object in sight. “Getting some shooting time in” at the range is nowhere near as effective.
Professional instructors are experts at detecting where a student excels and where they need improvement. If you let them, they will give you tools and knowledge you wouldn’t have acquired anywhere else.
Sell a gun or two, if you must, and take a few classes. The reward will be greater than you can imagine. You’ll always learn something new if you have the right attitude.
Becoming an armchair expert with lots of books but no practical experience is a trap best avoided.