Does Training Matter?
Full disclosure: I am a Kentucky CCDW instructor, NRA Basic Rifle and Pistol Instructor, and have taken several firearms and defensive shooting training classes.
Recently, a 25 year old male broke into an occupied home in Sultan, Washington, looking for drugs and money. He beat the 75 year old male occupant with a crow-bar and stabbed him with a knife. He ignored the 80 year old woman in the room. Bad choice. The 80 year old wife of the victim retrieved a revolver and shot the felon. I wonder where she took her advanced defensive handgun training. I wonder if she knows who Jeff Cooper is.
When Barb Moles saw her husband being attacked, she didn’t hesitate. She picked up a .38 caliber revolver, which her husband had purchased for her as a Christmas gift, and began fighting back. According to reports, she fired 4 times hitting the attacker with 3 of those shots. The article didn’t say whether she used the Weaver or the Isosceles stance. It also didn’t include any information on whether she used Speer Gold Dot or Critical Defense ammunition.
Here’s something you’ll often hear: When trouble comes, you won’t rise to the occasion, you’ll default to your lowest level of training. This is always said by either trainers, or those who have been trained by them. It’s a form of self-validation. It might be true, it might not.
Sounds like Granny rose to the occasion.
Don’t misunderstand, good defensive training can give you an edge in an attack, but all trainers will agree that the two most important factors are  the willingness to fight back and  having a gun, with which to fight back. John Lott says that if you fight back with ANYTHING other than a gun you are, statistically, up to 4 times more likely to get hurt than if you do nothing at all. Of course offering no resistance can result in injury 2.5 times more often than fighting back in some way. In short – FIGHT BACK WITH A GUN.
And consider purchasing a revolver. Revolvers have no extra buttons to push, no slides to pull, and no malfunctions to fix (if a revolver malfunctions, it’s broke – use it as a club). You just point and press the trigger. And keep pressing. Barb Moles may have been nearly out of ammo – she probably had a 5-shot snub-nosed revolver, but it was enough.
For the amount you will spend on someone’s training class, you can purchase more ammunition and range time so you can practice, practice, practice. Success with firearms, whether used against real attackers or the paper ones, is improved by being familiar with your gun, and not necessarily by the money you spend on tactical gear and classes.
If a barber says you need a haircut, you might. If a gun trainer says you need gunfighting training, you might. You DO need the willingness to fight back, and a good revolver to fight back with. Even if you’re 80.