Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Response from Insight Firearms Training Development

I asked for a response from Insight Firearms Training Development on their letter to their students. Here is their response, and, appropriately, I am reprinting it in full and without comment:

Dear Responder,

Please accept our apology for not responding sooner to your response to our
email. We are out of state on a training seminar and have been in session
daily for long hours. Today was our first opportunity.

We're sorry if we offended you. Protecting our rights is also a concern of
ours. We just have a different opinion as to why our rights are at stake to
begin with and how to protect them.

We train in many areas, from Civilian, Military, Law Enforcement, Security
and NRA (Instructor Level), as well as develop curriculum for all types of
firearms training, not just the CCW. Therefore our income is not dependent
solely on the CCW Training we provide, nor is our business dependent on the
actions of the government either way.

We are supporters of the Second Amendment and are not against people
exercising that right. We also believe that every Right has a corresponding
Duty. We believe training may very well be a key factor in retaining or
losing the very right our Second Amendment provides. We applaud those who
have willingly sought out training on their own to become educated on gun

That being said, as firearms instructors we see many students come into our
courses for training who have no clue or idea what the laws (both State
Statutes and case law) are in regards to owning or using a firearm in self
defense or any other purpose, let alone how to safely and properly handle or
store their firearms. We feel that it is the informed and knowledge gun
owners who will play an important role in allowing us to protect our Second
Amendment Rights, not those who choose to remain ignorant of the
responsibilities that come with that right. It¹s sad to say, but there are
many in our society who will not seek appropriate training on their own.
It¹s those who choose not to get training, act negligently and make stupid
careless mistakes, who are the greatest threat to protecting our Second
Amendment Rights. Mandated training is not the enemy, yet, it could play a
very important role in saving our rights in the long run. Therefore in order
to protect our rights we will support mandated training whenever it is
available. Just because we have rights doesn't mean it always makes sense to
exercise those rights without more thought in the process. Additionally,
though AZ is an Open Carry State, we do not support "Open Carry" That is
like putting a target on your forehead or back and inviting trouble!

Additionally, our forefathers didn¹t have to worry about the negative
effects that every form of media has on our newer generations and the
reality it has provided. Many of the current beliefs associated with guns
come from this medium and it has severely impacted the reality people have
today. If you have not done so please read Col. Grossmans book On Killing
or On Combat. We work closely with numerous police and prosecutors and have
been told that close to 90% of gun cases are related directly to people's
ignorance of the law or gun safety responsibilities. This type of behavior
is what jeopardizes our Second Amendments Rights. Mandated Training is a
solid solution to people who don¹t understand the importance of their
responsibilities with regards to gun ownership and a potential way to
protect our rights. With every Right comes a Corresponding DUTY and most do
not accept that DUTY willingly. There are many other additional factors that
need to be considered, aside from the right itself.

We hear on a consistent basis from our students that they had no idea the
responsibilities and liabilities they faced while exercising their Second
Amendment Rights until after taking this course, including post law
enforcement, military retirees and life long gun owners. Over 90% tell us
after completing the training that if they knew before, what they learned in
class, they would have had the knowledge to be much more responsible gun
owners. They also tell us they couldn¹t imagine carrying a gun without the
new knowledge they gained in our class. The majority also support not only
our efforts to train and enlighten those who have been in the dark for so
long, but continued mandated training.

Our training is significantly different in numerous aspects. The teaching
process we use allows our students to actually retain the information they
receive unlike other training programs. If you are really concerned about
our position on mandated training, and have not done so previously, please
attend our class and allow us to introduce you to the un-informed CCW
applicants who come to us for training. Maybe if you see things from their
perspective before and after our class you will understand why we are so
committed to this program and assuring mandated training continues.

We also realize there are those who use Alaska and Vermont as an example of
why this law should pass, since they have not had any issues. That may be
so, yet they are not comparing apples to apples. Example, those states are
very different from other states. They are extremely rural in nature, have a
different population number from other states and most brought up in those
areas are raised with guns from early on. There is a big difference in that
and those from urban or metropolitan areas. We know because we see it on a
daily basis.

Please understand that though we respect your beliefs we do not hold them as
our own, hopefully you will do the same. It will be up to each individual in
our society to voice their own opinion to their legislators and fight for
their rights in the way that seems appropriate for them. I'm sure there will
be many who stand on both sides of support for this issue.

Sherrie & Matt Seibert


Lawrence said...

Im guessing he's received a lot on not so friendly response to his position on open carry.

Matthew said...

Althought they mention AK and VT and wrongly dismiss them (Anchorage is "rural"?) they are ignoring states that are shall-issue or allow OC without training requirements. That's a lot more than two, and his dismissive reasons don't apply to them.

Also, although I respect thier anecdotal information, They're ignoring the fact that weapons' misuse and accident rates remain more or less identical across the board, whether a state requires training or doesn't.

It's a Right, if they want to restrict it, especially in a way that will cost not only time but money, the burden is on them to provide actual evidence (that'd be from state statistics and studies and such), not mere opinion, in support.

M. Munk said...

And I hope that they recognise my right to dissuade others from supporting anyone who wishes to deny me my right to open carry as a citizen of the State of Arizona. Sometimes it's good to be an editor!

ExurbanKevin said...

I'm an Arizona CCW holder and an avid but amazing amateur USPSA shooter (D Class and proud of it, baby! :) ). I got my CCW after I had taken an NRA Basic Pistol class and shot a few USPSA matches, and I was shocked at the lack of training in the CCW process.

Their line of reasoning is a load of whooey. The Arizona CCW process is a licensing course and not a training class: An NRA Basic Pistol class will cost you about as much as a CCW class and it'll teach you more about safety than any CCW class. It (or something similar) should be taken by anyone who has their CCW, and then more training on top of that.

DonWorsham said...

Mandatory training should come in high school. Every student should be taught about gun safety, gun handling basics and responsibilities, federal and state gun laws and the RKBA.

This should qualify them for a conceal carry license (at the state required age

Training beyond this should be voluntary but highly encouraged.

George said...

I think I see their argument here....I believe I need the government to tell me when I am competent enough to exercise one of my God-given rights...Yeah...That's what it's all about...They can go pack sand is what they can do!

Rastus said...

I wish I lived in their area so I could honestly tell them I would not train with them. Since I live so far away, I'll not have that opportunity.

Maybe I can wave to them on the way to G-U-N-S-I-T-E.

Kyle said...

Just wait until you need a license to practice your freedom of speech. Hey, we wouldn't want any of the unwashed masses abusing their "right" and saying something out of line.

Rev. Paul said...

Matthew asked if Anchorage qualifies as "rural". Perhaps not.

On the other hand, I have both bears and moose that routinely appear in the parking lot of my building, in the center of town. We've had people mauled in city parks (two years ago).

I carry every day, whether I drive 15 minutes to the forest, or stay in town.

All that said, I agree that life-long experience has taught me much; a training class is still a good idea for those who WISH to take it. I don't want one school to announce their class is better than anything else, and petition the state to make theirs mandatory.

Anonymous said...

Their response is a load of crap.

But where is the outrage that forced Dumbo (AKA Zumbo) out of his job?

(Yeah, I know, Dumbo got his job back and MB broke bread with him even though Dumbo was a lying turd when he tried to excuse what he wrote/meant.)

Where's the internet boycott that will put this place out of business?

Dave_H said...

Pardon the language, but @&%$# them and the horse they rode in on.
Pardon me for being particularly truculent as well. I hope they lose the lions share of their business to a competitor that geniunely supports the second amendment.

nj_larry said...

My take on this is that: most folks are scumbags, most companies could give a crap less about their customers and all politicians are liars. So you don't associate with folks who are, don't do business with companies that treat you that way, and don't believe any pols.

I am sure Insight will continue to do what they are doing, make lots of money selling their wares to the Gov't and unsuspecting folks etc. Letters/emails ain't gonna put them out of business. As noted above, no more than it did for Zumbo, Cooper Firearms, Ruger, S&W or HS Precision. We will always have within our midst a fifth column.

The only person I have total control over is myself. I need to be true to my ideals and beliefs. That means the 2A is never to be qualified. Not one time. Never.

Atlantalawyer said...

Michael, just found your blog. Love your shows on the outdoor channel. Great job on the History channel recently too - After Armageddon.

I think these guys are just flat wrong. The number of gun accidents has declined every year according to the NRA. That is in spite of a dramatic increase in gun purchases and in CCW licenses issued. Training and information is important, but it is also expensive and after watching years of your shows, I wonder how practical it actually is. Much of this training cannot be replicated by the average citizen and, as you know, the skills deteriorate quickly if not practiced.

Finally, as a lawyer I can tell you that the reason there is so much confusion about CCW laws (as cited in the letter) is because CCW laws are confusing. They are so confusing in fact that most good states are considering legislation to simplify them, not make them more complicated. I seriously question whether any instructor at Insight is qualified to advise citizens on their rights and obligations under the thousands of laws and cases that are out there. That would be like me teaching advanced tactical entry.

Thanks for your work out there. I watch you every weekend. Best regards,

Anonymous said...

I think learning the ROA and laws in your state are very important.

We all know that learning the rules of safe firearm is a must with no exception.

I would strongly recommend that anyone buying a firearm or considering carrying one take any suitable classes that are available.

State mandate, no thanks. Here in KY we have it and it borders on the useless.


Tam said...

What a pack of lame excuses. (...and a continuing thinly-veiled commercial for his product.)

And I'm calling BS on his "rural states" nonsense.

There's no training requirement to CCW in Atlanta, GA.

There's no training requirement in Indianapolis, IN. (...and you can carry your gun in a bar with your $100 no-training lifetime CCW permit...)

Maybe his arguments fly with naive novices who know nothing of the wider world of CCW, but to anybody who's been at this game more than fifteen minutes, they are totally transparent.

Anonymous said...

"We believe training may very well be a key factor in retaining or losing the very right our Second Amendment provides."

I don't want to be trained by anyone with such a poor and dangerous grasp on the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment provides nothing. It is nothing more than the token recognition of a natural right given us by the laws of nature and nature's God, preexistent to our birth or any form of government.

That right can be deprived by an oppressive regime, but cannot be alienated from our being. In fact, we could not - were we so cowardly - give up that right of our own volition.

The extent to which the militia ought to be well-regulated is up for discussion, but the founding fathers would have a chuckle over the idea that a militia's lack of training would constitute reason to doubt a man's right to arm himself.

Kansas Scout said...

With friends like that.....

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of this administration, I propose legislation to force Insight Firearms to train 50% of its customers without pay, and without any prescreening or right of refusal.

After all, the 2nd amendment documents a fundamental right, and they believe training is essential to exercise that right; ergo, we have a right to their services.

Anonymous said...

Their reasoning is effectively the same position as when Bill Ruger wrote a letter telling the guvmint that there was no "reasonable" need for magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. We all know how that turned out in 1994.

Feh. This guy is simply a whore - if he gets his way, he'll make more money and we'll all be measurably worse off.

Laughingdog said...

Well, that's one more school on my "never going to see my money" list.

Kristopher said...

I disagree with anon9:36. A whore wouldn't mistreat their customers like that.

We have open and CCW in WA ... and you don't need a class to CCW in WA.

Seattle ain't exactly "rural".

RVN11B said...

I find it amusing that this gentleman produces such a ton of crap.
Either you support the second amendment or you don't. There is no half-stepping!

ericire12 said...

22 comments so far.... yikes! You really stured up the hornets nest with this one.

Missouri Mule said...

I wear a seatbelt but I do not need the Government to tell me to do so.

peacekeeper said...

I hope nobody has anything to do with this place or anyone associated with it anymore.

They are more of a threat to our rights than someone who hasn't taken their course.

Robin said...

A very long, very well-written response that does not change my first conclusion.

They are just doing what is called in economics "rent-seeking". In other words, they are trying to make the government make people pay them.

Screw that.

gullyborg said...

I think voting, while a right, is full of danger. An uninformed populace may vote for bad things unknowingly, which is a danger to us all. As such, I think we should require literacy and civics education and testing before allowing anyone to vote.

Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

Ass clowns. I would not go to them for training. Particularly after the condescending tone of their email to somebody who knows a thing or two about the issue and is recognized as an authority on firearms issues.

DirtCrashr said...

I'm not sure where he gets the Rights = Duty quid-pro-quo, the natural rights with which we are endowed may often carry some responsibilities in a civil society of equals, but not inevitably or necessarily.
But Duty? That's a kind of steel-helmet Bismarkian construct there with the "Pflicht" and all that.

Anonymous said...

They are motivated entirely by greed. If the government makes everyone get training, their business and profits will go through the roof. They are revolting statist fucks. Shame on anyone who patronizes them.

Clint said...

"We're sorry if we offended you."

NO, you're NOT!

If they were they wouldn't offer a "non-apology apology."

REAL men and REAL women don't pull that stuff.

Clint said...

If I may link to another blog, Chris said it best over a year ago.

Shy Wolf said...

First: I am against any license to CCW or Open Carry. They are rights guaranteed, I don't need no stinkin' license. Any state or person who enforces such laws is breaking the law. Period.
Second: any school that believes and teaches that people "need" firearms training before owning or carrying is not worth supporting and should be boycotted.
All they're doing is toeing the dotgovBrady line while taking money dishonestly from honest people.
Firearms training begns in the home and is supplemented in schools. Just like sex ed or any other education: it begins with parents and handed down each generation.
Documents to read if you're of the argumentative persuasion: Bible, Declaration of Independance. and Contstitution.
LOL: verif. word is "gogivent"... guess I went and vented. :)

TheBronze said...

Couldn't read that, it made my eyes hurt...

Anonymous said...

They make a lot of valid points. There are a lot of dufuses out there and a lot of overconfident gun owners with the "magic talisman" in their possession. However, such a license/permit system is always "recorded" and now used to target gun owners during traffic stops and to decide how warrants are served (no knock and kick your door down). So perhaps a compromise would be a certificate given out but not recorded. Lack of the CCW certificate would NOT be a crime (let alone a felony) but say a civil fine like for not wearing your seatbelt. The criminalization of a lack of a "shall issue license" is BS.

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