Remember when you got your driver’s license? Remember how confident you were with parallel parking and left hand turns on yellow and staying in your lane at freeway speeds?
Yeah, me neither.
I was terrified my first few weeks driving by myself… So much information to keep track of while I’m driving, like the speed of my car and the other drivers on the road and what song was on the radio. I was a nervous (but thankfully, not physical) wreck until I had more practice driving my car and became more accustomed to where I should be paying attention at any given moment and what the rules of the road actually were in the real world.
Same thing with a concealed carry license.
A license is a permit to do an activity: It doesn’t teach you how to do that activity safely, that’s what practice and training is for. A concealed carry license is like your license to drive, it’s a permission slip from the government*. Nothing more, nothing less.
Grant Cunningham says it best: A concealed carry permit classes teaches you what you need to do to get a permit. It doesn’t teach you what you need to do with it.
That’s where classes like the NRA Basic Pistol and Personal Protection series or events like the Shoot N Scoot range days come in. The NRA Basic Pistol class is an excellent primer on the safe way to become a better marksman (and impress your friends with your skills), and the Personal Protection Inside The Home class gives you the knowledge and skill you need to make your home into a (well-armed) castle.
If you’re looking for a way to put your skills into action, you need to look at (and attend) the fun and friendly “Shoot N Scoot” events put on by Step By Step Gun Training. They’re short (three hours) fun (hearing steel go *ping* is never not fun), educational (you’ll learn how to shoot in something more like the real world) and you’ll meet your fellow gun owners in a relaxed, casual and friendly environment.
So if you have your concealed carry permit, realize that it’s just like a permit to build a house: It lets you perform an action. What you chose to make of it is up to you.
* Yes, I know. We can have the discussion about whether said permission slip is a good idea or not at a later date, okay?