Firearm defense expert told Guns & Patriots that increased education and common-sense application is needed to prevent gun accidents at training facilities; not knee-jerk gun laws and more government control.
“The firearm industry does a pretty good job in determining standards in training; the government should not get involved,” said Rob Pincus owner and operator of I.C.E. Firearm Training Services. ICE is a full service company offering training and consulting to armed professionals and those interested in self-defense.
Demands for official control of the firearm industry ensued when on Aug. 9 firearm instructor Terry J. Dunlap Sr. accidently shot student Michael Piemonte in the right arm after the 38-caliber bullet ricocheted off a desk during a safety class in Lancaster, Ohio. Piemonte was treated and released at a local hospital.
Experts in the field do a better job at research, informing the public, and providing useful resources than the public officials, said Pincus. “When the government gets involved in something this large, it fails miserably.”
“They create a standard of false confidence and an unnecessary bureaucracy,” said the managing editor of Personal Defense Network. PDN provides high-quality, personal defense video content online and a no-nonsense gathering place for those serious about arming themselves.
This is not the first incident of this type, he said. “It comes down to procedure; without real, useful, practical procedures, accidents like this will happen.”
Procedure is not just about exact steps, he said. “It is being able to predict what happens next.”
“Regardless of the rules, the instructor clearly failed to protect him and others with a loaded gun,” said Pincus who is a founding member of the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors.
ADSI was founded by leaders in the training community who seek to pass their knowledge and experiences on to others, encourage peer interaction and increase their ability to professionally communicate what is life and death information.
Many in the industry rely on dogmatic precepts to protect themselves from liability and responsibility in keeping people safe, said Pincus who is co-author of the recently released book “Lessons From UNarmed America”.
Pincus developed the School Attacker Response Course designed for teachers and students provide options for fighting back against an armed school attacker. His Combat Focus Shooting program has been adopted or integrated by a variety of military units, law enforcement agencies and private instructors.
In addition to federal laws, state by state officials mandate qualifications for firearm instructors, he said. “There is no simple way to train.”
“Like anything else, we encourage ‘buyers beware’ for the potential student,” he said.
He recommends asking a friend or colleague for a referral to a qualified instructor, but we should make sure they have an expertise in the type of class we need. “Training in self-defense is different than training to shoot targets and require different levels of certification.”
A referral can also be found on the internet, social media, and gun forums, said Pincus. “Look for safety precautions, competency and a personal, comfortable environment in a firearm school or teacher.”
The National Rifle Association has the most certified firearm instructors on the planet, said the former producer, writer and host of S.W.A.T. Magazine TV. “There are 90,000 instructors worldwide.”
“Owning a firearm is a responsibility,” he said.
Once we cross that bridge into firearm ownership, we must take responsibility for the safety and care of the firearm, said Pincus. “When someone purchases a car, we don’t say ‘good luck’ and throw them the keys.”
Safety is not a poem or a lecture, he said. “Safety is acting responsibly with your gun.”