I spent about 6 months while I was in the Navy assigned to temporary duty in the Shipboard Security department. Being in security I had to perform armed patrols of the ship while it was underway. In order to qualify to carry a weapon for these patrols I had to get my 9mm qual. Here's how the Navy trained and armed sailors aboard ship:
First I went to a class. This was a 30min class packed with over 60 people. A single instructor stood at the front of the class. First he holds up the pistol and says, "this is a pistol" then he goes through and tells where the sights are, where the trigger is and how it works, where the safety is, how to load and unload a magazine, a couple ways you can hold the pistol, a few ways you shouldn't hold the pistol, the way you're supposed to line the sights up, a couple ways that you should stand while firing. Then he shows us how to remove the slide (aka field strip) and put it back together.
Yay, we're ready for actual shooting quals the next morning, we have officially been trained.
The next morning there are hundreds of people who need to shoot. Re-quals didn't need to take the class. We're at sea and we have targets set up at the edge of one of the air-craft elevators. I think 10 people at a time go up and are issued their magazines (I think they give you 7 magazines, each with 7 rounds) and a psitol. Then everyone goes up to the firing line where there are three gunners mates helping people out. Another gunners mate is off to the side running the show.
The shooting qual involves shooting at 3, 7 and 15 yards, from standing position, kneeling position, weak hand and strong hand, with magazine changes and without. 49 shots later and you're either qualified to carry a gun in the Navy or you're not.
There was a slightly older woman (by Navy standards) next to me on the firing line. She was a warrant officer. She had to qual with the pistol because as a warrant officer she was required to stand Officer of the Watch (OOW) on the quarterdeck for her duty section, which is an armed watch. She was visibly trembling. Shaking. She was fumbling with the controls of the pistol and she was flinching badly every time she fired. She was absolutely terrified. I'm guessing this was possibly the first time she had ever fired a gun. Unfortunately for me her shooting was so bad that she hit the edge of my target (the target supports were several feet apart and we were shooting at full sized abdomen silhouette targets) and they counted her errant shot as mine and ruined my perfect score.
I don't think she passed on that first try but they put her back in line and she had another try or two.
That's the standard I saw in the Navy as to who was qualified to carry a gun. Forgive me if I'm not impressed.
But the bigger point I want to make is that with that lack of actual training many people were very competent in their ability to handle the pistol. You want to know who those people were? They were people who learned how to shoot outside the military, using civilian weapons, taught by family members. Everyone I ever knew in the Navy who was competent with a firearm learned how to use firearms before they joined.
I wonder how much more effective our military forces are because the people in the military have civilian access to firearms. Even more that there is a strong gun culture in the U.S. and people who are interested in the military are often also part of the American gun culture in some way. I've seen the videos of rag-tag morons firing weapons at the U.S. forces in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. I'm often struck by the lack of aiming or even proper holding of their "assault weapons." I wonder, if grandpa and uncle Joe had taken them out into the country and shot up an old VCR and phone book now and then would they have been a lot more trouble for our guys? I kind of think so.
I agree GF. Those I have seen raised around firearms and taught its use seem to be generally more proficient than those that learn to use them as an adult. They are more comfortable and relaxed while using their weapon.
Speaking of which, I think it is time I took my daughters to the range again.
So does anyone know how likely it is for the proposed AWB 2.0 to pass? My guess is that it will not pass, not as it is.
I read this: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/24/politi...ils/index.html and personally I think this is a big stupid joke. There is nothing of substance about this "ban." Those who oppose it are being labeled as extremists and gun-fetish nut-jobs. Well, I oppose it. It accomplishes nothing good. It bans aesthetic features of certain scary looking rifles. This is not what I believe we should base our gun policy on.
This legislation is a happy pill for gun-ignorant hoplophobes and nothing more.
My father took me and my group of brothers out to shoot when I was about nine. The older bunch were better trained because he did it more for them. One older brother, and an uncle became professional competitive marksmen. My brother did a stint in the navy during the Korean War, and his job was, so I gathered when I was very young, to shoot and detonate stuff in the water like mines. . . . I was just proud of him. But he was trained by my dad and our uncles.
I say I don't know anything about guns because I know some people who really do, and have a notion of how much more there is to know.
This type of training is and has always been an important asset to our nation.
Seems CNN is admiting that the proposed gun control laws in the house/senate won't do much if anything. It instead focuses on something more effective such as the mental health and the mentally ills access to weapons.
Prevent those incappable of responsible ownership, thru mental health and criminal records, from easy access.
Despite how you would attempt to cloud that issue it is fairly straight forward.