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STOP! Read This Before You Buy A Gun.

April 26, 20245 min read

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Some of my students bring their own gun to our range session, and yet, they have never shot a gun before.

Some of these guns are beautiful and expensive. They are highly rated and recommended.

I ask my students why they bought that particular gun, and the answers I get are usually the same few.

“My friend, who’s a cop told me to buy it.”

“The salesman said it’s a great gun for beginners.”

“I wanted something quickly, and this was on sale.”

“I asked my friends on Facebook, and this is the gun most people like.”

john wick holding a pistol in combat

This is one of the best ones I heard- “I saw it in the John Wick movie, and I just had to have it.”

Yes! it’s true. And yes! I was just as dumbfounded as you are now when I heard it.

Unfortunately, more often than not, as soon as I look at the gun, I know it’s not the right gun for that student.

However, I don’t say anything until I have the student go through the lesson and experience working with their gun.

They realize it fairly quickly for themselves and then ask me,

“What do we do now?”

tiger woods driver golf swing sequence

If you play golf, you know that what matters most is a good swing. Once you have a good swing, you get fitted for the right golf clubs for your swing and physique. There is no one size fits all.

However, if you have a solid swing, you can adapt and manage to play with almost any set of clubs. And the same applies to guns.

Unfortunately, marketing of such products by their manufacturers tend to suggest that by buying their equipment, you’ll become far better without having to change your current skillset. And the crazy thing is, most people fall for that and end up highly disappointed.

Now, if you get the new golf clubs and still suck at the game, no one gets hurt. Well, maybe your ego and wallet.

But that’s not the case with firearms. I don’t care how good your firearm is. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you or someone else can get badly hurt or killed.

In that case, a bruised ego and wallet will be the last of your worries.

Please don’t buy a gun because the marketing around it suggests that it will make you a better shooter or because you’ll look good doing it. Especially if you’ve never shot a gun before. I promise you it will do none of that for you. In fact, it will put you and others at risk.

lena miculek holding a mossberg shot gun

Companies spend millions on celebrity golfers and shooters to advertise their products. They use professional cameras and video equipment, backdrops, and precise language to influence our decision. And all of a sudden, we see ourselves able to skip all the work and get to the end result just by buying a new gun.

I’m sorry to break it to you. If, for example, you’re not hitting bullseyes except by accident and are frustrated as heck because you can’t figure out why, buying a new shiny gun, no matter how cool, expensive, and popular will not change that.

The smartest thing you can do is learn the skills first from a certified instructor. Good instructors will have a variety of firerms that are appropriate for different level shooters. They will focus on teaching you the skills first. Then, when you have a good foundation, they will help you pick the right gun for you.

That will do wonders for your confidence and development, not to mention saving you lots of money and aggravation. You’ll enjoy the experience so much more, and your confidence will grow much faster, too.

If you’re serious about becoming a safe, proficient, and responsible gun owner, resist the temptation of buying just any gun and invest in high-quality training first, and here are a few more reasons why:

1. You’ll figure out if you enjoy and feel comfortable about owning and shooting a firearm in the first place.

2. You’ll learn how to be impeccably safe with a firearm so you and those around you don’t get hurt by accident. You’ll be amazed at how much more confident and proficient you become when safety is no longer a concern due to negligence and ignorance.

3. You’ll know how to pick the right gun and ammunition for your objectives and your physique every time you shop for one.

4. During the COVID pandemic and riots, millions of people who never handled or even considered firearms ran to buy them. The demand was so high that they bought whatever they could get their hands on without any skill or knowledge of gun laws. That’s not a smart way to prepare for a crisis.

The time to prepare is during times of piece. Investing in quality firearms training now will give you a huge advantage if you want to buy a gun when there aren’t many to choose from. You’ll be able to adapt much faster.

5. If you bought a gun and are struggling with it, a good instructor may be able to show you a few tricks that will make operating it easier.

If not, they’ll let you use one of theirs, help you develop the right skills, and eventually help you transition back to your gun and you may not have to buy a new one after all.

world in chaos

The world is somewhat chaotic these days, and I find more and more people becoming concerned for their safety.

Buying a gun and thinking that’s the answer to your safety plan without even knowing if it’s the right gun or having the skillset ro operate it is not the answer.

Watching videos and going to the range to shoot at stationary paper targets just to get bullseyes will not make you a safe gunowner, nor will it prepare you to defend yourself from a real human being coming at you unannounced and at speed with a weapon and ill intent.

There is no substitute for high quality professional instruction to learning the right skills at the right time, and then being properly equipped to call on those skills and equipment should you ever need to.

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Joe Yagar

Joe Yagar is a NRA Certified Instructor in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.

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