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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kansas Concealed Carry Handgun

What a weekend!  Sometimes, I feel like I can hardly get anything done with the whirlwind I get caught up in.  I know it's all by choice, and I could simply stay home and get stuff done there, but I'd much rather get up and go!

Saturday, I hit the road before sun up and was well on my way to the countryside when I spotted the sunrise over the lazy hills on the way to Holden, MO where I was to take a course in concealed carry for handguns.  I have hardly ever handed firearms before and I think it is a good idea to understand what to know how to safely handle and use firearms.  If the situation ever arose where I would need to protect myself, I'd rather be in the know.  Kind of going along with the phrase of "better to have and not need, than to not have and need."  So I made my way over to the ranch where Marksman Firearms ( was located, out in the relative boonies of Missouri for this city slicker.

Mind you, I've only fired a gun at one time - out in L.A., my buddy Charlie and I went to a gun range and rented out a Glock pistol for about an hour.  Charlie's a guy knowledgeable about guns - he's grown up around them, his father was in the Army, and he's a bit of a reformed redneck.  Not that's a bad thing, just when I first met him in college, I had no idea he had the kind of streak in him that compelled people to drive out to the woods, spend days camping out, and bringing home deer and other forms of wildlife in the back of a truck.  He's now a schoolteacher in a rather upscale suburb of the Los Angeles area, and well respected in the community that doesn't take well to things like guns in their neighborhoods.

Anyway, I like school, and I like learning, so this was going to be an education for me.  Tom Echerd and Kim Becker, experienced firearms guys and partners in the business, were absolutely fabulous about drilling safety and knowledge into us, and doing it in a way that was accessible and clear.  I learned about protecting myself without a gun, being aware of my surroundings and my safety, and then understanding that if there's absolutely no other way out, then as a last resort take action to eliminate threats to my immediate safety via a firearm.  After doing some testing and qualification to pass the concealed carry certification, we got to actually experience shooting different guns to get the feel of what to expect when you may have to pull the trigger.

All in all, I feel safer and have a greater appreciation for both sides of the debate on gun control and gun advocacy.  I am responsible for my own safety when I'm at home and when I'm out and about, from downtown to the suburbs to the country.  I always try to be aware of my surroundings, and hesitate to go places where I'm uncomfortable with the level of risk to crime that I could be exposed to.  Even in the safest of places, I could be at danger at any time.  I think it's smart to make sure I have all my options available to me at any time, and I think getting the Concealed Carry Handgun certification will be just another thing I can use to keep myself and my family safe when I need it.  I hope I'll never have to use it!

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