Saturday, September 8, 2018

Mandatory Training for Handgun Permits is Gay as F&%!

So, I found a reason to post something!

As those of you who are acquainted with me on the Book of Face know, I relocated to Tennessee earlier this year after accepting a promotion at work.

I love Tennessee, I really do. I love the climate, the mountains here in east Tennessee, the no state income tax, the cheap DL, the cheap vehicle registration (at least for me), etc etc.

But Alabama has Tennessee beat hands down in one area, and that is the ease with which one can obtain the permit necessary to carry a concealed firearm. Now, having to have a permit to carry in the first place is gay as fuck, but if you are going to do it you should make it as easy as possible to do so.

In the county where I lived in Alabama a five year concealed carry license cost me $37.50 and the only requirement was that I be at least 19 and be able to pass a NICS check. That's it.

In Tennessee, they're a little backward compared to Alabama. In Tennessee you must apply for your permit with the Tennessee Department of Public Safety, then attend a mandatory training class (mine was $65), then you must take your training certificate to the fucking driver's license office with your Birth Certificate, picture ID, proof of Social Security #, proof of citizenship, etc ad handjobium to get your picture taken and pay a $100 for the permit (it's good for 8 years), and then they give you a voucher to get finger printed so they can do a local, state, and federal background check. Then, supposedly, after about two weeks you'll get your permit.

That process in and of itself is retarded enough, but the most annoying part for me was the mandatory training.

I've had professional training. I've been a concealed carry license holder in the state of Alabama and have been carrying for 15 years. I've been through NRA First Steps Pistol (my cherry breaker), NRA Basic Pistol Instructor, Tom Givens handgun training, Defensive Handgun at Shootrite with Tiger McKee, and both Intro to Performance Pistol and Intro to Performance Rifle with Frank Proctor at Way of the Gun. I shot IDPA regularly for a year or so and was rated a Sharpshooter (ratings being Novice, Marksmen, Sharpshooter, Expert, and Master, in that order).

I realize that's a slow year for professional gun people, but for those of us who have to maintain a full time job outside of guns and actually enjoy things other than pulling triggers in every kind of shitty weather imaginable that's pretty good.

So I was annoyed as fuck to have to take a Tennessee approved handgun carry permit class before I could apply for my permit.

None of my previous training mattered because it hadn't taken place in the last six month. My knowledge and good sense in researching TN state laws regarding firearms and self defense meant fuck all. The fact that my ALABAMA CARRY LICENSE WAS RECOGNIZED AS VALID IN TN FOR MY FIRST SIX MONTHS OF RESIDENCY also meant fuck all.

So I applied for my permit, scheduled a class for September, and decided to suck it up and get through it. I even promised myself that if it was a good class with decent info that pertained to my personal situation and wasn't a derpfest I'd give it the benefit of the doubt and not shit all over it as soon as I had my certificate.

Unfortunately, it was, as I expected, a fucking joke.

I'm an "ok" shooter. I shot 100% on the shooting qualification.

I played on my smartphone and tried not to fall asleep through the over 150 slide powerpoint "class" and scored 100% on the written exam.

To be fair, I will say this:  if you are a new gun owner who knows the basics of how your gun functions and can go to the range and keep most of your rounds on a B29 target this will probably be a pretty good class for you.

If, on the other hand, you have even a modicum of clue it's nothing more than government bureaucracy fucking you in the ass at your expense. The total cost to me for my permit will be $165 (for an 8 year permit). In Alabama, assuming prices stay where they are, that same dollar amount would cover the cost of my Alabama Pistol License for over 20 years.

The actual TN handgun training material is decent, but it's nothing more than a copy pasta of an NRA Basic Pistol class with some TN specific legal shit thrown in (and not nearly enough to make it worth the $65, it's the same shit you can read on the website).

This portion of the class could easily be completed online, and significantly shorten the time you spend dying of boredom listening to someone go over shit you've probably known for years while occasionally interjecting their own personal derp. If you could go to a local certified range and have a TN certified instructor run you through the range portion you could have the whole thing wrapped up in about two hours total (if you're slow).

Instead, I got to spend from 9AM until after 5PM (including a 1 hour lunch break) with everything from other out of staters who did not fucking need this class, to people who really did, to Cletus and his waterhead son who were wearing matching sleeveless t-shirts and smelled about like you'd expect.

Then there was the DERP. Because of course there was derp....

Today I learned:

  • If center mass chest shots don't work, shoot the pelvis because that will put the threat on the ground 100% of the time and while they'll still be able to shoot at you, at least you can run away without them chasing you...while they continue to shoot at you.
  • You can't possibly hit someone in the head; in fact, it is the WORST target to aim for because heads bob and weave better than a NFL running back and you'll never be able to hit one.
  • If you go to any gunfight school all the guys there and all the elite ex-military guys are running Glock 19s with no rear sights, because in a real gunfight that's all you need!
  • Don't bother practicing to shoot at more than 7-10 yards because that's where all real world gunfights take place and anyway PEOPLE WHO SHOOT TINY GROUPS AT 20 YARDS WILL BE ALL OVER THE TARGET AT TWO YARDS because it is totally a different kind of shooting.

I almost could not keep myself for saying, "LOL WUT???" out loud.

So, in conclusion, mandatory handgun training for a concealed carry permit is gay as fuck, but if you are going to require it you could have a modicum of pity on your victims by making the classroom portion available online and allowing people to do any shooting required under the supervision of a certified trainer at their convenience.

But that would make sense.