Clint Smith, the Director of Thunder Ranch, a firearms school in Oregon, says, “You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it.” Of course, not all problems are life-threatening; most problems that pose threats to life or property will never be solved with combat shooting skills. The question of whether you think you need such skills is akin to the question of whether you would have helped Noah build the ark- it all depends on your perception as to whether the water is likely to get as deep as Noah said it would.
I have had the good fortune to meet many armed citizens, local people that are just as well trained as the most proficient military and police professionals- but without arrest powers. Many lawyers and other professionals participate in competitions and other shooting events. In fact, folks from all walks of life are going to schools like the Firearms Academy of Seattle (near Centralia, Washington).
High quality triggernometry schools now exist in most regions of the United States. Providing classes on the legalities of armed self-defense and basic pistol skills, many of the schools offer a curriculum that includes tactics on par with SWAT training. If you doubt the need for such skills, you are likely to conclude that developing proficiency with any kind of weapon will constitute an expensive and time-consuming ego trip.
On the other hand, if you are an investigative journalist writing stories about organized crime, a judge sentencing dangerous felons to years in prison, or a soccer mom that drives the kids to practices, you may have reason to anticipate how dangerous the world can suddenly become. Once you invest the time and money into being prepared for the possibility of violence (many of us have a hard time even thinking about dealing with such a possibility), your outlook will gradually shift from a sheepish mentality toward the attitude of the sheepdogs; i.e., police and other security personnel.
Friends- even family– will call you paranoid, paradoxically suggesting that a perpetrator will “take the gun away and use it against you”! But training will give you the confidence to handle many situations like a professional.
The predators that are still on the loose after assassinating a police officer in Seattle this week will think nothing of killing you or your family. You don’t want to cross paths with any predators at the wrong time. The wrong time could be during the aftermath of a flood in the Green River area or another situation where law enforcement is too busy to respond.
If predatory violence becomes an imminent problem, how much time will you and your loved ones have to prepare? It does not normally take five minutes for the police to arrive in a city like Federal Way, Auburn or Kent. But you should not plan to obtain your training when seconds count and the police are just minutes away. How does the weather look lately?