Mandating Education

Bob S. has started a small series on mandated education for firearms. Post 1, Post 2, Post 3.

Then as I’m catching up on my blog reading this morning, I see this posting from Roberta X.

Given what we see in Roberta’s posting, it just feeds into what Bob was saying about government mandated firearms education: what’s the damn point?

Of course, I take a step back beyond just gun/firearms/concealed-carry education and look at government mandated education in general. Hey… I homeschool my kids. Tells you what I think about government schooling.

For those unsure of my stance, I think education is one of the keys to success in life. The more you know, the better you’ll do. Rarely is ignorance the better route. But mandating education? That opens up a whole ugly can of worms, mostly because no one is going to agree where to draw the line. Look at the mess of our public government school system and failures like No Child Left Behind.

In the end, those that understand the value of education will seek knowledge. Those who are satisfied to remain ignorant will do so. Best we can do is ensure folks don’t infringe upon another’s ability to live their lives.

4 thoughts on “Mandating Education

  1. Hsoi,

    My post started as first a response to the issue over at Southern Female Lawyer and then as a response to some of the things I’ve seen pro-gun folks say.

    All I’m trying to do is establish what is the minimum ability, skill, knowledge and capability to carry a firearm.

    SFL wanted everyone who carried a firearm in public to be “well trained”. I can understand that.

    What I don’t understand is what is needed to define “well trained” for the act of carrying a firearm.

    Not using it, not using it against 3 people at night at varying distance, not when to shoot — just what is needed to carry a firearm.

    The overwhelmingly vast majority of people will simply tote their firearm around day and day out.

    So what do we consider well trained in that case.

    Next, you are right, I’m trying to head off the call from the antis that says everyone has to be ‘well trained’ and then have them define that as passing a 6 month Special Forces training course.

    Best we can do is ensure folks don’t infringe upon another’s ability to live their lives.

    That’s the money quote

    • Actually it’s interesting you bring up “well-trained”. For those that clamor about it being a fundamental right, let’s look at 2A and how it does say “well-regulated” and what that actually means. If we’re going to say that our very Constitution requires us to be well-regulated then yes, I suppose that means it’s quite valid for our government to require us to be well-trained. That it’s not out of line to require not just education, but regular education.

      Of course the question you raise still remains: what does that mean? Where do you draw the line?

      And is it wise to just tote it with no idea on how to use it? And I guess I would say “use it” means within the context. So for instance, if we’re talking silhouette shooting that’s one context and one that has different requirements than self-defense or action pistol competition.

      I can say this.

      My primary instructor, Karl Rehn said:

      “Shooters, more than any other group, suffer from delusions of competence.”

      There’s much truth to that. I’ve often assessed where my skills lie and found myself overestimating. I maybe thought I was good enough, then something was able to come along and provide me with another measuring stick and I realized that no I am not as good as I think I am. That provides me with motivation to get better, so I seek more training and dedicate myself to further practice. Am I “well trained”? I don’t know. I know I have training, I know that there are people I am more skilled than, and I know there are people more skilled than I am. Am I personally satisfied with my skill level? No. I am capable, but I am not where I want to be… but I’m also aiming pretty high.

      So is well-trained something you can make a blanket statement about? Or is it a personal measure? perhaps both?

      Mandating education is difficult, and isn’t always successful. People that don’t care to learn won’t, and frankly I’d rather spend my teaching energy on people that want to be here and learn than those that don’t give a shit. But it’s like most anything in our world… let people conduct themselves in a free manner and you get to get further. Start mandating and forcing folks to do things, and you tend to get worse results. But hey… freedom is overrated by some, I guess.

      • Hsoi,

        First, the exact wording in the Amendment isn’t well trained — it is “well regulated”. The understanding that I have of the usage means it was closer to orderly, controlled and sufficiently trained.

        That training though referred to functioning as a militia. If we accept that training is required, then it must be to function as a militia – except that not everyone was a member of the organized militia all the time.

        If the government wants to insure “well trained” shouldn’t it be required to provide that training or at least the opportunity for training?

        Again, I’m not knocking training classes at all, I want to get some training classes because I do not suffer the illusion of competence.
        But as someone said, most of the classes start with basic gun handling skills then move on to spent most of their time on gun fighting skills.

        My next series of post will focus on the skills needed to use it. Your thought would be appreciated on that also.
        I do think that if you carry a firearm — if you plan on doing more then just carrying – you should know how to use it. Just how do we define being able to use it as a minimum skill.

        • I don’t know if I’d want the government to provide the training. Look how well every other government program runs. 😉

          Tho in all seriousness, I did read some really cool WaPo article some months back about Secret Service training. It’s pretty awesome what they go through.

          So how to define minimum skill? If I can take a rough stab, it’d be that you had the knowledge, skill, ability, and confidence to be able to perform the desired task. I know, not very concrete, but perhaps it’s a start.

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