Carl Chinn (right) was a member of the New Life Church security team that found himself woefully undertrained and undergunned when it mattered most.
Carl Chinn (right) was a member of the New Life Church security team that found himself woefully undertrained and undergunned when it mattered most.

Carl Chinn was part of the church security team at New Life Church in Colorado Springs  in 2007 when a mass killer entered the building with a 6.8 SPC rifle, several pistols, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, intent on racking up a massive body count. The murderer had carried out a successful attack the day before at another location, and had just killed two people and wounded three more in the church parking lot. There were several thousand people still on the church grounds as the killer entered the building.

Jeanne Assam, a member of the church security team, engaged the murderer as he came into the church and wounded him, at which point the murderer decided to commit suicide as mass killers so often do.

Chinn learned from his experience that he neither had the right training to engage a real threat (only target shooting), nor an adequate defensive firearm on him at the time of the shooting (a .32 ACP Kel-Tec).

Folks, I can’t stress this enough.

If your only experience with a handgun is standing still in a fixed position shooting at a stationary paper target, you are not adequately trained. Period.

If you are carrying a gun for comfort that you don’t shoot and aren’t comfortable and competent with, you’re also in deep trouble. This is stunning common, with people bringing duty-sized handguns to the range for practice, but then carrying a much smaller gun that they never (or almost never) train with in their daily lives.

I used to be as guilty of this as everyone else, shooting a full-sized striker-fired pistol at the range (a Walther PPQ 5″) because I shot my best with it, then carrying a tiny Kahr CM9 because that was easiest and most comfortable to put in my pocket.

Now I make sure to take my defensive firearms training classes with the same gun, holster, magazines, and mag pouches that I use for concealed carry in my daily life.

I strongly suggest that you do the same.

You’d rather trust your life to skill than dumb luck, right?