cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Concealed carry is soon to become legal in Wisconsin and you have no doubt seen the small signs that suddenly popped up at intersections advertising classes. I know that hunter safety courses as taught currently in Wisconsin are considered adequate for a concealed carry permit, but there seems to be more than simply gun safety involved.
I spoke with Germantown Police Chief Pete Hoell at a recent event and asked if he had ever given thought to the department conducting such classes. To my surprise, he said the planning was already far down the road and there were just a few final pieces that needed to be put in place before classes could be launched.
The obvious course material of how to handle a hand gun safely and how to use the weapon are being taught now across the state, and some classes I’ve heard about also get into what I think are the equally important aspects of concealed carry.
The legal ramifications that exist, I believe, are essential elements that need to be taught. What is set in motion when a person carrying a concealed weapon makes the decision to inject him or herself into a situation? What are the situational aspects of making the decision? How does one best involve him or herself in the tense situation that is unfolding without adding to the problem rather than helping to resolve the problem? What happens if there are two people carrying concealed weapons in the same situation?
I have had the opportunity to practice with a handgun extensively during my military days and was a decent shot. I can handle a weapon properly even after all the intervening years. I think I could still be accurate and hit what I was aiming at. But then I was expending hundreds of rounds a week since I was a member of a pistol team.
What I have never done, however, is to draw a weapon with the intent to use it. Even with all the training I had, I still do not really know if I have the will to use the weapon. Shooting a wild animal is one thing but shooting another human being is an entirely different world. Shooting a silhouette target of a person and getting a nice shot grouping in critical areas of the body is one thing, but actually being able to shoot another human being is in a significantly different league as it should be.
It seems to me that all these situational and psychological aspects are critically important and it seems to me that police officers who have been thoroughly trained and re-trained on a regular basis would be good people to conduct such training. It also seems that being placed in stressful training situations using interactive video would be a great part of such training; that will likely be the only such training in situational awareness that anyone other than a law enforcement professional is likely to have experienced.
Once that round has been fired, it cannot be pulled back. Lives will be affected and some will be changed significantly if not ended entirely. Whether or not I decide to carry a concealed weapon, I would like to have taken the course and can think of no one better equipped to train me in all aspects than a professional law enforcement officer. Even then, the odds that the person leading the class will have ever fired his or her handgun other than on the shooting range are slim. But they will have had the personal exposure to situations that you and me probably will never have had and maybe they can help us using that experience they have gained.