Ask your average person on the street about the ability of people to carry a gun.
Generally speaking, they will believe that a person whose job it is to carry a gun, like a police officer, will be highly proficient with their gun. They will generally believe that a private citizen will be of lesser skill or has no business carrying a gun because they’ll only be a danger to themselves and others.
The reality? One’s profession or lack thereof has no bearing on one’s ability or fitness to carry and/or utilize a gun.
Police departments require their officers to qualify with their guns. How often? Depends on the department. Some may only require them to qualify once a year. That qualification test will consist of 50 rounds. While yes there are some officers that will train to a higher level, a lot of those officers will never shoot beyond their required qualification: thus, 50 rounds per year, visiting the range once.
Think about that.
Could Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France by pedaling around his neighborhood block once a year?
Could Michael Phelps win 16 Olympic medals by just dangling his feet in the kiddie pool on a single hot summer day?
So what makes you think someone who begrudgingly visits the gun range once a year, shoots 50 rounds in a required course of fire, then never touches their gun again will be able to perform under pressure when YOUR life is on the line (let alone their own life)?
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say all cops are inept at gun handling, but the public shouldn’t be under the blind illusion that just because they’re a cop that they’re some sort of super badass.
On the other hand, just because someone doesn’t wear a badge doesn’t mean they have no ability with a gun. Look at the number of competition pistol shooters out there. Most of them are just private citizens and are extremely skilled. In the past Combative Pistol 2 weekend, there were 9 students in the class. I don’t know the full skinny on the scores, but at one point Tom Givens remarked how the class average on one of the qualification courses was 99%. That’s 9 very proficient shooters… from computer engineers to veterinarians. We don’t wear a badge, but it doesn’t mean we’re inept with guns.
Skill is not bestowed by your profession. It comes from your desire to learn, your desire to improve, your desire to excel.