The day arrived for my first day of my concealed carry class and my stomach was doing flips as I walked into the classroom. It wasn’t just excitement that had me going, but the apprehension of being inexperienced in this area of firearms. How was I going to do? How will my lack of experience compare to that of others?
My fears were relieved the minute I shook Chip, from Top Shot Academy's, hand and took a moment to look around at the other 20 or so individuals in the class. They all looked as though they shared my same concerns. The class was a mix of men and women, young and old.
Some were very experienced with handguns and some had very little. The one thing that they all shared was the desire to express their 2nd amendment rights and do it in the safest way possible.
The state of Illinois requires specific items to be taught in the course and most of this was dealing with the laws as well as “basic” firearm training. This can be some really dry material; however between Chip and his partner Julian Perez they made this fun and entertaining.
The duo covered all the necessary info in great detail and utilized videos as well as a well-developed power point presentation to get the information across. Combining the use of visual aids as well as training guns the classroom portion of the experience was very informative.
The part of the class that I enjoyed the most was when we moved over to the “dry-fire” zone. This was an area that allowed the students to handle a simulated firearm that utilized lasers to show the aim point as well as the trigger prep of the firearm.
These exercises taught us proper aim, stance, trigger pull, and what it looks like when you do it correctly or incorrectly. This combined with working with holsters allowed us to get a better feel for what it will be like to carry and even draw a concealed firearm.
One major lesson I learned in my 16 hours of training was that concealed carry is not something to be taken lightly. There are many things to consider when carrying a loaded firearm and the one that stuck out in my head the most was the consequences of my actions. You need to be prepared if you were forced to use deadly force.
Concealed carry is not just about how to carry a firearm or how to draw it out of your holster, but to realize when you should or shouldn’t use it. Being a responsible gun owner doesn’t stop when you are faced with a dangerous situation. You must still take into account what your actions may lead to.
The concealed carry process has been a very interesting time investment as well as a new learning experience for me. It has certainly opened my eyes to something a bit out of my comfort zone and I am looking forward to getting my permit in my hands.
The concealed carry certification process has been completed and soon the application process will start. This will also start my search for the firearm that I intend to carry as well as holsters for it. These are stories for a different time so make sure you keep your eyes open for part 4 of the story.