Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My MAG-20 Experience

Invariably, when you bring up the topic of conceal carry or handguns training in general in social circles, the conversation circles around to the topic of "So what are you supposed to do in this situation or that situation?"  What if a guy with a vicious dog is running at you snarling? What if there is a guy in your backyard breaking into your shed?  What if some guy starts beating on your car window in a mall parking lot? What if your attacker is unarmed? What if there are more than one of them? What if? What if. what if.

Yes, it is important to think of scenarios and how you'd react to them, especially if you have your conceal carry permit.  But for me until a few weekends ago, the decision making for those situations was very abstract, nebulous and largely undefined.  And I'm not just talking in terms of what was floating around in my head on the subject but also in terms of the information shared with me by others, even firearm instructors. Whether spoken with vibrato and/or out of ignorance, the information I received outside of my MAG-20 class related to this subject was largely wrong. Dead wrong.

Coming out of Massad Ayoob's MAG-20 course, "A two-day, 20-hour immersion course in rules of engagement for armed law-abiding private citizens, emphasizing legal issues, tactical issues, and aftermath management.", I strongly believe that anyone with the constitution to conceal carry should at a bare minimum take this class.

This wasn't a class on the mechanics of firearm safety; although, that was certainly touched upon.  This wasn't a class on technique either which was also addressed,.  This class was, primarily and most importantly. about the psychology of shooting in self-defense, the mindset, the decision making, the criteria by which those decisions are evaluated, and navigating the very real and present dangers to yourself and your loved ones after you've acted to protect yourself and/or others. 

It's a topic rarely addressed. This is likely due to a number of reasons including: the diversity in the related laws established from state to state across this nation, the diversity in how various courts interpret those laws from one case to the next, a general lack of certainty/personal knowledge on the topic by those in a position to communicate it en masse, and the general social climate surrounding firearms today paired with concern of liability by inadvertently providing legal advice. However, it is understood by me, especially after taking this class, that it is ESSENTIAL that this be addressed in depth by ALL law-abiding people who carry a firearm for personal protection before they find themselves in an encounter requiring force. To not educate yourself is irresponsible.

While I cannot go into the details of what was specifically taught in this course, due to its proprietary nature, I can tell you that it has completely changed how I view personal self-defense.  It took me from a place of uncertainty where I was ill-equipped to protect myself effectively from a psychological perspective and moved me into a mindset of preparedness.  Ahead of me I have a LOT of classes to take and a lot of training to master to be where I now know I need to be if I intend to be both mentally and physically ready the way Massad Ayoob teaches.

I want to be safe just like everyone else does. After taking this class, I feel I've been given the tools to act as safely as possible in our dangerous world. Having that peace of mind is something you can't put a price on. Take Massad's class if you have the opportunity and you'll know exactly what I mean.