By skidmark

More and more folks are buying guns; some of them are new to the whole
firearms ownership/use thing. They seem to understand that basic
training is “good” and quite a lot of them get that training by
attending classes that will qualify them to apply for a permit/license
to carry concealed. Some of those classes require the actual firing of
a handgun, some do not. Some (a lot fewer) folks (both new firearms
owners and those who have had one since they were “that” high) are
getting more specific training on how to shoot  —  especially how to
shoot for self-defense. All of that is “good.”

But what folks are not getting is “how to be a firearm owner,” and
especially how to be a firearm owner who carries — either openly or
discretely. There are some web sites dedicated to carrying a firearm,
as well as a few publications (I want to say magazines, but am afraid
someone will want to check how many rounds they can hold). Reading
them, and even participating in the discussion boards associated with
them, is “good”.

But what so often is missing is someone to take the place of the
grandfather/father/uncle/family friend/neighbor of some years ago who
actually took the new firearm owner “under their wing” and not only
showed them how to shoot, but how to behave. How to be a “good” wing
shooter, or sporting clay shooter, or bullseye shooter, or (more
recently) a competitive (IDPA/IPSC/Cowboy Action/three-gun) shooter.
And most importantly of all, how to be a “good” handgun carrier —
someone who carries a handgun (openly or discretely) on a daily basis
for self defense. Especially, how to respond and react to those who
are curious, or hostile, to someone who carries a handgun for self

There may be nothing quite as crazy as someone without a handgun
getting all up in the face of a person carrying a handgun, calling
that person names, and making threats of both legal and physical
assault. But knowing, or at least having some idea of how to respond
and react to that, does not come in the box along with the handgun, the
cleaning kit, and the mandatory trigger lock. It comes from looking and
asking around to see how the “old(er) hands” deal with it, and from
practicing and getting critiqued so that you handle the situation even
better the next time. Knowing all the laws and being able to spout
them off may be nice, but trying to explain the law in the middle of
the aisle at WalMart is usually not the best approach to take with
someone berating you for having a handgun.

If you are an “old(er) hand,” seek out a new firearm owner and teach
them how to be a good firearm owner.