The Concealed Carry Industry
It is a fascinating one. Of course, you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt because I’m neck deep in it. A significant portion of Safety Solutions Academy’s gross revenue comes from the instruction of everyday folks in defensive firearm use. A decent amount of the defensive firearm instruction that takes place deals with the defensive use of handguns and much of that is Concealed Carry instruction.
Plain and simple, I pay bills with tuition from Ohio Concealed Carry Courses. It would be “moar awesomer” in lots of folks minds if I was instead working with spec ops recon 4 ranger force bravo, but I haven’t been on the teams since I quit playing softball in college… (get it?)
The reality is, concealed carry instruction is a place where I can have a strong and positive impact on a significant number of people that are interested in leading safer lives. So that is part of what I do. I teach classes. I hire instructors to teach classes for me. I work with other concealed carry instructors to help them develop professionally so that they can also have that strong positive impact on people that are seeking professional guidance.
I do all those things and I derive an income from those activities. Safety Solutions Academy does good for the community and it does well at the same time. After all it is a business.
No, concealed carry isn’t all that I do. I teach a full spectrum of “advanced” courses that are well attended in around a dozen states annually, but concealed carry courses are a big way for me to spread the word about those other classes. It is the introductory class that lets folks get to know Safety Solutions Academy and consider additional training.
All that said. I look forward to the day that the State of Ohio does what it should do and remove restrictions surrounding concealed carry.
Ohio has another Constitutional Carry bill in its legislature now and I would like to see it pass.
Yup. You heard it right. I am 100% in support of constitutional carry. If you can legally possess a handgun you should be able to carry that handgun concealed.
- No paperwork.
- No permit.
- No mandatory training.
It shouldn’t just be Ohio. It should be everywhere.
Constitutional Carry In Kansas
I have friends in Kansas. Instructor friends. I hope their businesses survive if constitutional carry passes in Kansas. I have to say though, I want constitutional carry to pass in Kansas more than I want their business to be successful.
Does that make me a “True Blue Falcon?” Am I a guy that is going to toss others in the industry under the bus to advance my agenda? Maybe. On the other hand, I think that the real turn coats are the CCW instructors that oppose constitutional carry.
They are standing squarely behind you, the American gun owner, with their hands on your hips.
Recently, Bearing Arms penned this piece about some dissension on constitutional carry in Kansas. You can read the article here.
Neither you nor I should be surprised that there are folks that don’t want to see constitutional carry realized. What we should be surprised about is that some of those that oppose it are “our own.”
Back in November I was lambasted because I expressed some frustration with the “Open Carry Movement” on social media. Without anyone really paying attention to what I really believed and practiced I was labeled anti 2A and lumped with people that were profiteers. Far from the truth. You can read about it here.
The Second Amendment: Maybe you have heard of it?
27 words. Fairly easy to understand. Historically supported. Widely disregarded. It really shouldn’t be much of a surprise but it should be concerning.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
You and I both know that it isn’t being followed as it is written. Neither is the First or the Fourth. That leaves us with 1 of the first 4 unscathed. Ouch. 25% isn’t all that great of a score when it comes to the Bill of Rights.
Concealed carry is simply one of many ways that our Second Amendment is being infringed. Of course, there are all kinds of “logical” and “common sense” reasons that people push for regulation on your rights.
Some folks just want you to “think of the children” while others worry about “blood running in the streets.” In general, most of those people, (most) mean well and are simply acting out of ignorance. They are trying to do something good, they just don’t get it.
Then there are the folks that don’t mean well. They have some kind of nefarious motivation to place your rights on the chopping block. Maybe they want control or power and your rights stand in the way.
Or it could be money.
Business vs. Rights
If you want to know how important money is, all you need to do is open your eyes and look around. Today the American dream seems to have a considerably green tinge to it. For many, it centers around money, cars, electronics, the latest gadget. Heck most of America has dug itself into a hole of debt that is oppressive.
That American dream is funded by business. Some businesses are big and some are small. Regardless of size, they each have some kind of a model that they use to generate income. Sometimes government regulation can help to fortify a business.
Think about your local drivers ed instructor. State law is what keeps them in business. A set of regulations REQUIRES new drivers to take educational courses to learn how to drive. The instructor offers those courses. They derive income and either make a living at it or supplement their income and move closer to their personal vision of the American Dream.
I’m ok with that.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of the small business owner I just described. You are sitting reading the paper (on your tablet of course) and you see the headline that you dread.
“STATE DRIVERS EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS REDUCED TO STATE ADMINISTERED ONLINE COURSE AND EXAM.”
Poof! That income is gone.
If you had the opportunity to stop the government from reducing your income you would do what you could do wouldn’t you? I think most of us would or at least would understand why someone would.
When it Comes to Rights it’s Different!
Or at least it should be.
That is what these concealed carry instructors don’t realize.
When we talk about driver’s ed, like it or not, the government has the ability to regulate the industry however we allow it to. I’m not a fan of government regulation at all, but, in this case I get it.
On the other hand, concealed carry falls squarely under the protection of the Second Amendment. Remember, “shall not be infringed.” Even though it is, it shouldn’t be.
Safety Solutions Academy offers concealed carry courses so that it’s customers have quality training and so that they can navigate the unconstitutional regulations that the State has put in their way. When the Sate of Ohio finally figures it out and moves to constitutional carry, so sad, too bad for Safety Solutions Academy.
The Constitution trumps any instructors desire to make a buck and lets not for a second think that money should be the main reason for anyone to be in the defensive firearms training business.
I Understand Why An Instructor Might Be Worried
But I don’t care.
Let’s face it. The concealed carry industry has blown up in recent years and continues to do so. That means there are all kinds of people that are drawn to the industry to profit. That is probably the wrong motive, but it is a motive that is common. When someone that is driven by profit sees that profit threatened, they are likely to react.
That is what we are seeing from instructors is a reaction. Unfortunately, some of the reactions aren’t very well thought out logically. More importantly they are flawed when it comes to the rights of the people they claim to serve.
It is clearly disingenuous to claim to be a Second Amendment supporter and at the same time support mandated training for concealed carry. If you don’t agree, I have to ask, did you read those 27 words? Do you believe them or just say you do when it fits your agenda?
So what is a business owner to do?
If it came down to paying bills or keeping your rights what would you do?
Hopefully, you would do what is right!
It Just Isn’t That Complicated
Right and wrong are always an easy choice for those that live lives grounded in principles and it is pretty easy to take the right road in this situation.
Statistically there is no proven tie to concealed carry safety and mandatory training so we can’t fall back on the idea of mandatory training as a measure for the common good. At the same time, I do believe that training is an important thing for those who wish to carry concealed.
Quality training can:
- Make carrying a concealed handgun safer.
- Help CCW holders make good decisions before they ever start carrying.
- Identify areas that might make carrying a defensive handgun easier, more comfortable and more regular.
- Give everyday people the confidence to actually carry their gun and use it if the need to.
- Make a difference in a life and death violent encounter.
All of those things are good things and they certainly aren’t difficult ideas to sell to responsible citizens that are interested in their personal safety and the safety of those that they love. Intelligent people understand that education is the way to doing things well. They don’t need the state to tell them that! The certainly don’t need the government to mandate it.
A Culture of Responsibility
That is the real solution. Get the government out of the concealed carry business. They don’t belong there and government regulation isn’t needed.
What is needed is a firearms community that cultivates a culture that values responsible actions. Education is a responsible action and the vast majority of firearms owners are responsible. When our community truly values education it will take on a whole new level.
How do I know this? I see it every time I teach a course. I watch students relax, get excited, feel relieved when the education they receive through Safety Solutions Academy solves problems that they have or perceive to have.
Instructors that are griping about the potential issues of constitutional carry simply need to reframe their thinking. Or maybe they shouldn’t? This business isn’t for everyone and it certainly isn’t for those that need a government to force students to take their course.
The Constitution is an important document and the Rights that it guarantees are the fabric of our Nation. That fabric is tattered and torn and needs mending. That is our job together. We need to remove power from those that belittle or sidestep our rights and empower those that are dedicated to their restoration.
If you are thinking about firearms training you are on the right track. You are most likely thinking about it because you value your Rights and understand that with Rights come responsibility.
When you are looking for that person, company or school to trust with your training take a moment to figure out how they really feel about your rights. Ask them what they think about constitutional carry. There answer may go a long way towards helping you understand the depth of their belief in the real American Dream.