The Brewhaus

From Corporate to Tactical: The Cara Conry Journey in Gun Education

January 19, 2024 The BeerdBro / Cara Conry Season 1 Episode 6
The Brewhaus
From Corporate to Tactical: The Cara Conry Journey in Gun Education
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Hey friends! Your favorite BeerdBro here with a potent brew of insight, swapping hops for triggers in a riveting discussion on firearms that's sure to ignite your curiosity. We've got the scoop on everything from the pressing need for firearm education to the intimate tales of challenge and triumph. Cara Conry, a sage in the realm of guns, graces us with her expertise, sharing her evolution from corporate life to a champion of safety and tactical training, with a special nod to her work in bolstering church security measures.

This episode packs a punch, offering up personal anecdotes that track the passage from early gun encounters to the complexities of concealed carry life. We dissect the dressing code of holster safety, and I'll confess, the initial awkward dance with concealed carry before achieving the finesse of a quick, safe draw. We're not just talking hardware; we're embracing the brainpower behind self-defense, dissecting the psychology of violence for protection, and navigating the murky waters of legalities that come with responsibly toting a concealed weapon.

Finishing with a bang, we open up about the hardships life can hurl at us, like my guest's gripping recovery from a near-fatal accident that redefined her approach to shooting. So, whether you're a beginner with an eye on the bullseye or a veteran marksman looking to refine your craft, this conversation is loaded with the kind of wisdom that can only be found at The Brewhaus. Pull up a chair, and let's raise our glasses to the courage of overcoming and the unrelenting pursuit of skill and safety. Cheers!

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Want to know more about Cara Conry? Check out Spirit Firearms Training now: https://bit.ly/Spirit-Firearms-Training

Visit https://bit.ly/uscca-info now to learn more about becoming a member of the USCCA and defend your freedom today!

Support the show

Learn more about becoming a member of the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) here: https://bit.ly/uscca-info

Improve your shot with Mantis Tech and the Mantis X10 Elite!: https://bit.ly/mantis-tech

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The Brewhaus is a production of Remnant Media. To learn more about The Brewhaus or its host The BeerdBro, visit http://thebrewhaus.show/

Speaker 1:

Live from the rolling hills of Northwest Arkansas. This is the Brew House.

Speaker 2:

Hey everyone, what's going on? Welcome back to the Brew House. I am your host, the Beard Bro, and I am excited for today's episode because I am officially relaunching the Brew House here. If you have been following me already, you know that some of my previous stories have actually been about folks in the beer and whiskey industry, and while I love that, while I love them very, very much and we'll still have some great beer and whiskey content on this podcast, I'm actually kind of reinventing the Brew House in 2024.

Speaker 2:

And we're going to take it a different direction. We're actually going to talk about something that is really it's been on my mind a lot lately, and that's been about the topic of firearms, specifically firearms safety, training, instruction, the things that are going on in today's world. You know, I just can't ignore it, because there's a lot of stuff being told by different groups, different organizations, even our government in some places. The media portrays firearms a certain way. I think there's more to the story than we're being told as a society, and so I really want to just share those stories here, and so what better way to do that than to be able to share the stories from the firearms instructors themselves, folks that are manufacturers, people that are involved within the firearms industry every single day, and so I'm actually going to be relaunching here. I hope you enjoyed the new content. If you are interested in becoming a guest on the podcast, be sure and reach out to me. There's a contact in the show notes here.

Speaker 2:

But first I want to give a big shout out to the USCCA today. If you are listening and you've ever had to use your firearm to defend yourself or your loved ones, you know the process after that can be really, really sticky. The United States Concealed Carry Association is actually. They're not sponsoring the show, but, man, I got to give them a big shout out because they are doing some really cool stuff over there. For just $29 a month, you can actually get a membership with them that gives you access to their nationwide 24-7 critical response team. You also get an insurance policy up to $2 million in self-defense liability insurance. They also get access to the USCCA's online protector academy, get some virtual training, that they have some video series and everything, and you get a ton of other great perks and benefits. Check out the link in the show notes below here to learn more about how you can join the fastest growing community of responsible gun owners in America, the United States Concealed Carry Association. That's out of the way. I want to get into today's conversation because I'm really, really excited.

Speaker 2:

My guest today is a firearms instructor here in Northwest Arkansas. She's actually my personal firearms instructor here in Northwest Arkansas. She has been teaching for more than five years, but shooting for the majority of her life. She actually just we figured this out before the show that she has actually spent more than 700 hours of class time logged with other instructors, organizations, different things like that, to learn different topics, learn different tactics and techniques. She also does private lessons here. She does concealed carry renewals, pistol optics, and she loves working with folks involved in church security, specifically those carrying a firearm involved in church security like myself. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show, ms Cara Connery.

Speaker 3:

How are you? I'm glad to be here.

Speaker 2:

I'm good. Good Thanks for being on the show. I really appreciate you. Not a problem. Right now we're recording in January of 24, and it's snowy and icy outside, 11 degrees, 11., 11. And that's not the windshield, that is not the windshield.

Speaker 3:

I feel, like I'm where I grew up. Yeah, where'd you grow up at? I grew up in Wisconsin what part of Wisconsin? Far southern, so right on the Wisconsin-Illinois border and grew up milking cows Okay, black and white cows in the calendar. They never looked yet that pristine, but that's what I did until I went off to college.

Speaker 2:

Okay, you grew up there and how'd you end up in Northwest Arkansas?

Speaker 3:

Well, Walmart, Okay, All right, I think that's the majority people's answer around here. Yeah, Either directly related to Walmart or suppliers. But I worked at the store in where I went to school in Wisconsin for two and a half years and my husband worked for Walmart as well at that store and they wanted more IT people, so we moved down here. It was not supposed to be a full-time job. I went to school in the middle of the year and I, 22 and a half years in, it was full-time job, so I intended on being a schoolteacher. So I went to school to be a schoolteacher. Yep.

Speaker 3:

Okay, and when it would come time to move down here, too late to find a job, school teaching. So I was like I'll just work at Walmart during the summer and I'll start substituting in the fall. Now, mind you, that was fall of 1998.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

Okay yeah, never left Walmart yeah.

Speaker 2:

So you know, they kind of bring you in, they have that culture right.

Speaker 3:

They suck you in and, honestly, I enjoyed it. I mean, I truly did enjoy it. Not that I enjoyed the corporate culture, but I enjoyed the people and it challenged my brain. I really love that. I love being challenged and learning new things, and so that just fed that. But at some point you go. You know what. I just physically can't take 50, 50, 60-hour weeks, yeah. So in 2017, I left Walmart and jumped into real estate. So I do real estate kind of part-time and do the gun stuff part-time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so why real estate?

Speaker 3:

I've always helped people. It's been drawn to me to help people with houses. I mean, I used to sit and just look at house stuff. And it's funny because I had a couple of friends who were like, hey, we're looking for a house, can you just come with us and help? So they had an agent. But I still went with them to be like I tell people, being a real estate agent is you are being a 90% of the job is psychologist. Yeah, is it really? People tell you what they want, but then you work with them and you process with them and help them to realize that what they think they want and what they truly want are two different things. Yeah, so it's an interesting thing, but yeah, I just enjoy going through and, honestly, my favorite part of real estate was working with buyers and I know that that's the hardest part of real estate, in my opinion too, but that's the part I enjoy most. Yeah, but yeah, that kind of led me into the gun stuff a little bit Because I decided to be a real estate agent.

Speaker 3:

That is actually Most people don't know that as one of the top 10 unsafe professions nationally, and so I knew that I wanted to come home to my husband every night, which means I needed the great equalizer on my person showing houses. So I'm licensed in two states and there's good and bad areas everywhere and we just don't know what we're dealing with when we get in there. And so that's really kind of what precipitated me learning to put a gun on my body and going through that. We call it the journey. You're really on a journey of you don't decide overnight that I'm going to take this loaded firearm and strap it to my body and it's all just kosher. I made a lot of mistakes in my journey, made a lot of poor choices and me teaching. Now I really try to encourage people. I try to help them on their journey. It's still going to take a while, but the fact is I'm hoping that they don't have to take the detours that I took to get to the final position. Yeah, because I took some pretty poor detours. So, yeah, that's really kind of what started me carrying a gun.

Speaker 3:

And then the teaching part of it. I decided I was with a women's group. We have a women's group, a nationwide women's group that meets once a month. Okay, it's called the Armed Women of America, and I wanted to help out more there, and so I knew I needed to get more education. So I decided to sign up for there. It was a combo NRA instructor course as well as their certification course and so I did that in 2018, once I had left Walmart and had more time and, quite honestly, I really didn't think I was going to teach. I just wanted to help out with them, and I had my mentor and dear friend kind of nudged me a little bit and encouraged me that we needed it'd be nice to have more female instructors out there, and so I just took the plunge and did it, and so I yeah, I've been teaching since late 2018 now, and COVID really changed a lot of things in the firearm industry.

Speaker 3:

I mean, you know, we've seen tides change, with more women wanting to learn how to handle a firearm, wanting to carry a firearm, but I think people started to realize, when we were so locked down with COVID, that they felt less protected by and don't get me wrong, I love our law enforcement officers, but they literally cannot be everywhere all the time, and so I think that really exposed people and it made them feel like they they had to take more responsibility in their self protection, and so it just ideally. You know, 2020 happened and with me being a real estate agent, I was able to teach. I mean, I there was some days I taught five days a week, which is really unheard of. You know, there are very, very few firearms instructors that make it a full time job, and so, and even at that pace, it still wasn't a full time job.

Speaker 3:

So, but anyway, that's, that's kind of my background and kind of how I got into firearms. But, man, I've, I've handled it a rifle since I was. You know, I had my first, you know Daisy BB gun and probably six or seven, I can't remember. I still have it. Okay, I still have it. It is sitting in the gun, safe.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. And so I had my son's 12 and we just got him his first Daisy. Now he's shot other firearms before, but we just he wanted his own gun and I said, okay, well, you know, so he was asking for it. We watched, of course, the Christmas story, you know. He's like kind of giving me the side eye the entire movie and he's like, well, it sure would be nice if I had one of those, and I'm like, okay, I get it. So we got it for him for Christmas and he hasn't shot his eye out yet, so that's good.

Speaker 3:

And I think honestly, exposure and exposure at a young age, when they are ready for it. I would never force anybody. But man, I was right where your son was. I mean, I wanted. I saw my, my older stepbrother had his own BB gun and, like man, I want, I want to do this, and so I had that passion from real young. That was a connection I had with my father is my older sister, my younger brother. I was the one that always wanted to go out and shoot the gun. So, but yeah, so no, I did rifles but really didn't expose myself to a pistol until 2012. That's actually when I got my concealed carry license, when I bought our first pistol in 2012. So I really don't think I shot a pistol prior to 2012.

Speaker 2:

Wow, Okay, it was. That's actually rifles Relatively new to you that it is it's?

Speaker 3:

I mean, we're talking, we're barely 12 years into this journey, yeah, so, but yeah, that's now. I love pistols. They're my jam that I just love them.

Speaker 2:

I was going to say you're really good at them too, because you've been helping me a lot. For those of you who don't know, I'm actually on my own journey to getting improving my pistol skills, my, my draw from conceal, all this stuff, because I'm comfortable, I'm confident, I'm capable. But I also know I can improve. Right, we can always improve. So I was. I was kind of trying to figure out how to get better, and so Kara and I were actually chatting a little bit and she's like well, hey, I can help you out with that. You know that, right, that's, that's literally what I do, and so, yeah, so I started working with you here and I'm currently at like a 1.4, 5, 1.6.

Speaker 3:

You're right, right on the cusp of what we deem as a professional concealed carrier, which is a 1.5 draw to first shot. Right, but that hasn't come easy now, has it.

Speaker 2:

No, it has not, it is. It is definitely not. And trying to figure out not only. You're right, I think, to go back to a point you made when you were first starting to chat here.

Speaker 2:

If you are looking to get into concealed carrying, it's weird, I'm just going to be honest. It's weird for the first while while you're doing it, because you're not used to having something capable of shutting down a human being strapped to your body the entire time, and so it's one of those weird feelings, right. And so I remember going back and kind of through my own mental inventory here of when I first started carrying. You know it can seem like it's really overwhelming, but I think the more that you do it, the more that you you know I'm sure you probably have some tactics and everything to help folks kind of get comfortable with that. I saw a video the other day where this guy was saying hey, if you just want to start being okay having a firearm on your person, just start, leave it unloaded and put it on you walking around your house. Don't ever carry it outside in public, just walking around your house.

Speaker 3:

And do this. So have it empty, but have it so that the slide's been racked, so that you know that trigger is in a position that you would know if the trigger was pressed or not. Yeah, and walk around all day with it or do things I mean, clean your house with it on. Just understand that it takes time to get used to it. It's no different than the first time you ever wore a ball cap or you wore a watch or you wear glasses. It's going to feel weird, it's going to consume you because it just feels so different. But then, at the end of the day, check it Did the trigger go off? Yeah, now, if you have, the important thing is you have to have good quality equipment that is not just for safety reasons. And number one, you have to have equipment that's safe. You need to have equipment that is going to hold the gun. It's going to be retentive. You've got to be able to bend down and that gun doesn't fall out.

Speaker 2:

Or you don't put pressure on a part of that gun that it doesn't need to.

Speaker 3:

That doesn't need to. It needs to be comfortable, because if it's not comfortable you're not going to wear it and, honestly, your equipment ties into. How fast can you be? It does make a difference. So I always teach my students a holster has to have those four qualities, otherwise you're probably not going to be successful with that holster. And the biggest thing is it's got to be safe. I love my Amazon, but don't go buy a holster at Amazon. Don't. Don't.

Speaker 2:

I learned that lesson once.

Speaker 3:

Yes, we had that conversation Also. You know there are a lot of I would say they're okay holsters. But I would tell you really go do some research and be willing to put down 80 to 100 bucks for a good holster and really you get what you pay for Overall. I mean there's still 10 companies out there I could probably recommend that. That would give you a decent holster at that price and again, that money also goes into comfort. They've thought about these, they've done research. It's not a mass marketed thing. You're going to find. Most of them are fairly small companies who do that, those things and people that I've personally met in the gun world and so I've got the respect. But I also understand how they run their business and I understand their passion behind it to make sure that their holster meets those four qualities.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think when you're looking out there, one of the biggest terms that I've seen thrown around and this goes right to it the term universal right. Oh, universal holsters, I got to be honest, guys, that was my mistake and that's what I went for a universal hip holster at first. And there's something to you know exactly what you're saying.

Speaker 3:

there's something to having that firearm, that holster, that holster married to it you know, and it has to have some retention to it because it knows all its nooks and crannies. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I learned that lesson very quickly that the word universal is great in a lot of areas Holsters and anything firearm related, not so much.

Speaker 3:

Exactly that's if I could implore people. Yeah, please stay away from a holster that says it fits more than one model of gun. Yeah, Just stop right there.

Speaker 2:

Yep, because it won't provide the same quality of carry, it won't provide the same level of comfort and safety.

Speaker 2:

All that stuff. Good grief. I had a holster one time. Let's go back into a stupid story of Brian here. I had a holster one time that something happened and I think the clasp on my buckle, on my belt, came like just broke and suddenly this thing falls off the side and the pistol fell over onto its side and thank God it didn't go off or anything like that, but it actually the way it hit the floor. The hammer went back. Oh, a holster with retention is not going to have that happen. It's not. You know something that's passive. You can do passive retention right. It doesn't even have to be an active retention device where it's like, hey, locked in there, like you see a police officer having that over the back of their firearm, and that's an important thing.

Speaker 3:

If you're carrying openly Exactly which I would also have that discussion of why you feel you need to carry openly. Yeah, there's a reason why police officers do it, but then there's also a reason why they have not only mainly one, but sometimes two methods of active retention. On that, yeah, I want that element of surprise. If somebody has made a poor choice, they want to do something bad to me or loved one that day. Yep, I want that element of surprise. Yep, and because also you know that gun's visible, then you become one of the first targets for that person. Because most bad guys don't want to go home with more holes than they showed up with. Yeah, they just don't.

Speaker 2:

They want to go in, do their act and get out Get out.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Yeah, go back to their cave, you know. But let's talk just a little bit about there's a ton I think you mentioned a while ago. You know COVID really activated a lot of stuff for people, right, and so I actually was funny when you were saying that. I have a good friend of mine that he actually was not a gun guy. He did not actually I'm not going to speak for him, but to my knowledge of how he believed at that moment, he was not really a fan of guns.

Speaker 2:

And suddenly COVID hits, the world shuts down and you know same thing. Massive, massive fan of our law enforcement officers, our men and women serving out there, our military, everybody else like that. But you can't 100% count on them to be there within 12 seconds, right, the moment that you hear someone breaking into your front of your house, it's too late. At that point you better be ready.

Speaker 3:

I don't want to be ready. It's not going to save you. At that point it's too late. I've trained with some, some quite a few national instructors, and one of them is Tom Givens and Tom runs. He teaches with Rangemaster and, honestly, you know, it's a little disturbing to sit in class and have him play this.

Speaker 3:

I think it's like 57 second phone call to 911 where, where this woman did everything right, like you know, door was locked, everything called 911 took, you know, hunkered down with, with a child, and yet it wasn't enough. And and he plays that in every class and his biggest thing is is is what's going to? What's going to save you from that? Yeah, we can only outsource the violence.

Speaker 2:

I you know, if we're going to call 911, we are outsourcing violence, because the only thing we can do to stop bad violence is good violence, right, so so so, and for those of you listening and maybe you're familiar with guns and maybe you're not, but that's a strong stance that I definitely want to take is that there is a good difference between bad violence and good violence. There is.

Speaker 3:

There's a book called when Violence is the answer. It's, I think, tim Larkin. Yeah, a very good read to to understand that the only way that we can have the will to live in a violent situation is if we are willing to inflict enough violence against the bad violence that we overcome. That yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

And so a firearm is a is a tool that, as long as you are being threatened with something of deadly force, you can't. You can't use it in all situations, but if you're being threatened with deadly force, that is a great tool that that we can counter with with that violence so that that situation can stop. Yeah, and that's it's hard for people to understand is so much of of what I want to get across to my students, especially in concealed carry is the mindset and the decision making. Using the gun is a small portion of of that is is what we're talking about, is what comes leading up to that event and making good decision making. Yeah, and be willing to flip that trigger, to go.

Speaker 3:

I know it's time I have to. I have to go to battle for myself or I have to go to battle for my loved one or your child. You know is at what point is it worth fighting for? Even if we legally can, there's still a decision to say well, we can, but should we or is it truly a must? We situation and I I can't tell you who to accredit that to, but I think that's something that's a mindset thing to think about. Just cause a law allows us and still may not be a good idea, yeah, or is it to the point where we have to choose violence to stop that violence?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely, and I think that that's where you know. To go back to my reference of my friend earlier, he did realize that there has to be something else than I have got to be willing to to protect my own self and my and his daughter, right, so he's got a little daughter. That suddenly and I think a lot of people probably came to that, that realization and that reaction during that time of going, hey, oh wow, I am the very first line of defense between me and this bad person that seeks to do harm. So you know, I think, going back to that, you know you mentioned real estate being a very risky industry to be in. Obviously, you're going out to different homes, different places, you're meeting up with people that you don't know, absolutely, yeah. And you know I've seen the crime stories, right. We've seen the true crime TV shows and things like that, and they were never heard from again, right, and that you don't have to become a statistic in that situation. And so I applaud you and I applaud anybody who is in our real estate community that does choose to carry because, yeah, there's a lot of scary situations out there and there are some very interesting characters. We'll say Absolutely. So well, let's go into.

Speaker 2:

You know, we're talking about the things that COVID kind of brought on and just kind of that realization for people. But I noticed like there's a lot of other stuff happening in the world right now of firearms. I mean, obviously we're looking at some different. There's always going to be talk about banning certain things or limiting certain things, whatever. But one of the things that's actually really cool, that I think personally is really cool here, happening here in Arkansas, is there's for years now there's actually been a regular what basic concealed carry and an enhanced concealed carry. Now, obviously I know you're not involved in the legislation or anything for this, so this is strictly opinions at this point. But I saw the other day that they're looking. Did I read correctly? They're looking at doing away with the basic and only leaving the enhanced right.

Speaker 3:

So what they're doing is they're reassessing our concealed carry law, especially since we did truly become constitutional carry starting the 1st of August. I know the Game and Fish Commission are involved, the state police are involved and they're having some public hearings and talking through that and that's kind of one of the things that's been released is they're considering of saying, hey, why do we have these two levels of concealed carry now, when the basic does that really gait in somebody? Is there benefit to having a basic when we're a constitutional carry state? I would still say there are benefits Because, first of all, you can claim constitutional carry, but that doesn't go with you across state lines. Exactly.

Speaker 3:

That's where a concealed carry permit in Arkansas specifically states in their law that they provide that concealed carry permit for reciprocity. But we also have the Gun Free Zone Act from 1990, I think it was that says hey, you're not allowed to have a gun within a thousand feet of a school.

Speaker 2:

So if you're and there are some exceptions to the conditions.

Speaker 3:

There are some exceptions, and so one of the exceptions of that federal law that says it says unless your state has given some method to do otherwise. Well, in our state law, basically, if you have a concealed carry permit, that be basic or enhanced, that it does allot you to have that gun with you into the parking lot of the school. Now it's got to stay in the parking lot. It can't go with you into the school on developed property of any public or private school Can't leave.

Speaker 2:

Your vehicle Can't leave. Your vehicle has to stay in there.

Speaker 3:

But the fact is is I feel like that is one benefit, that's a tangible benefit to tell people hey, why do you need a concealed carry permit? Also, if you claim constitutional carry now, have you truly sat down and truly read through the laws of where you cannot have the gun we also have where you also? Do you really sit down and understand the decision-making process? Yeah, so I think there's still benefits and I don't want to force people to have a concealed carry permit. Yeah, I really believe we should have that right to have that gun with us. But I think there's a lot of benefits, both tangible and. But a lot more is in the mindset of understanding and hearing what do the laws say. But also that can, I, should, I must, I, yeah, and then at what point should I?

Speaker 3:

Now, when we talk about the enhance, what does the enhance get us over constitutional carry? The enhance is going to allow you to carry a gun on a campus of a higher education school that gets tax dollars from the state. Yeah, so your Arkansas state schools, your University of Arkansas schools and then any school that gets funding directly from the state. So, like in our local area, our community college, they are a state funded community college. So that's where I think you start seeing some benefits. You can. You can carry in the public area of the airport because that is managed by the state. It allows you to carry in the state capital building allows, opens up a lot of state facilities that you can carry in, allows you to carry in a bar Now we talk about in class, hey, what's the consequences around that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, of you know mixing alcohol and carrying a gun. So I think there's some benefits to it and I think why they're doing that is and I've seen this in my students is they see less value in the basic now and more value in the enhanced, because the constitutional carry does not give you access to those additional places. Yeah, so my classes have vastly changed since August to be more people than not, and it was funny because I probably had less than 10% of the people that I've ever taught concealed carry coming in and enhance license To. Now it's probably 75, 80, maybe even 90% are wanting to do the full money.

Speaker 2:

Let's just do the whole thing, yeah, the whole thing, and so that is.

Speaker 3:

That is pretty much now what I'm offering. And I'm offering more enhanced classes because I'm getting more requests for them. Yeah, I still have, you know, a few people who who are in generally they're they're newer people to the gun world and they go, you know what. Let me, let me take a little bite of it and let me start with the basic. Yeah, and I've seen them come back as well for the enhanced. So where the state legislature goes with it, I don't know. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

But I do think it's. It's not a bad idea to reassess the laws overall and I would encourage people again. You know you can absolutely exercise your two way rights to carry a gun in this state. There are still places that's going to be illegal to carry. But I would also challenge you Make sure you know the law, Make sure you know when you can or cannot use that gun, because constitutional carry is not going to cover you if you've made a bad choice.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, and to go back to your point too, just because you can, that's mean you should, because there are several people who I trust that can shoot very well.

Speaker 2:

But I don't necessarily want to watch that person walk around town with one strap to their hip Right, because, again, I think it can put off.

Speaker 2:

Not only does it make you a target, should someone be seeking to do harm, but also I think it kind of gives this perception of the kind of cowboy feel like you think you're rough and tough, and I think that it can put people at that point it ceases to be about the carrier and more about the feelings you're putting into other people's minds and kind of the unrest.

Speaker 2:

Now, granted, I don't think we need to tiptoe around other people's feelings, right but we do need to be aware that in some situations you have people who maybe they've had a bad experience with a firearm Absolutely, maybe they have been in a hostage situation, maybe they've been in a situation where they lost a loved one due to that. And so I think, if anything, if you decide to exercise, if you're in a state that you decide that has constitutional carry and you do decide to open carry, I would just encourage you one, have a carrying device, a holster that has active retention to it, absolutely, and two, just really be aware of kind of what you could be instilling in people's minds, I guess.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, let's face it, yeah, there are many people here who don't even aren't even afforded the choice to own a firearm in their country, and I have seen them, I've had, I can count. Now I've had two people. Now I've taught with green cards to get their concealed carry card, because once you have a green card and you're authorized, you can actually buy a gun and carry a gun. Ok, and they're working towards getting their immigration status upgraded so they could become a citizen because they felt that passionate about having that right. And if somebody is walking around with an open carry gun, again, like I said, that the feelings is a lot of times it's, you know, and I can't speak for everybody, but many people carry a gun openly or making it as a political statement.

Speaker 3:

Yes, we can do that in such better ways where we don't make other people uncomfortable. And if you're going to carry that gun, it should be carried for the right reasons. Yeah, so let's, let's you know, step back and go. What? Why am I doing that? What is my mission? I talk about mission a lot because our mission is not to be law enforcement, your nice mission is not to be military. And so sometimes you know, I see what some people are doing with tactics and and you scratch your head sometimes going, but I'm just a, I'm just a plain Jane common citizen. I don't have the, the legalities that are afforded to people in the military and law enforcement, and so that's, that's something that we kind of talks here in class as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely yeah. I think that's a great thing. Let's, let's move to that really quick, because what if someone were to sign up, say for your enhanced class? Just go, let's, let's do the whole game out like I did, right? So I know, whenever I took my class from you, it was really, really great because we sat down it was, it was the majority of a day that we sat down. There's a certain requirement of legal hours that you have to spend to get your concealed carry and your enhanced concealed carry. The different different, you know, certifications or licensing does require certain amounts of time.

Speaker 3:

It's a long day. So if you're going to do, if you're going to do your basic and enhance, we're required to have you in class for seven hours and we also have to lot for two hours of range time. You know we spend the portion of class we spend actually talking about gun stuff is about an hour tops. The rest of it is mainly about law, decision making, being aware in public, talking about criminal liability, civil liability. We are going to spend time at the range. So at the range you have to run both a basic qualification, which is instructor defined, as well as an enhanced qualification, which is state defined, and that enhanced qualification is done under a time stress. And they do that because they want to make sure that you can shoot decently under stress. Now I might have an opinion to go. Well, is that the best target to use? Because it's very generous? Let's say yeah, and the times are actually very generous, but most people tend to shoot way faster than they need to.

Speaker 2:

I've definitely done that. She's looking directly at me when she said that Exactly.

Speaker 3:

I look at my classes as a conversation. Yeah, they are, and I, you know, for my niche, my teaching capability I choose to do small classes. That's why it'll never be, never be, a money making endeavor for me. And first, honestly, for most instructors it's not even that it's about the passion we have to teach, but it's we're going to sit around for the majority of a day in the classroom. I feed you. That's her Correct.

Speaker 2:

I guess, labajos, there you go.

Speaker 3:

That was the best Most classes are going to get sloppy joes or pulled pork or something like that, so good. And when we go to the range I work with you individually at the range, so everybody gets, especially if we're doing the enhanced. You're going to get about 30 minutes, 30 to 40 minutes, Kind of just depends on how long to get through the qualification at the range. But that's me and you one-on-one, yeah, and I think there's benefit to that because in essence I'm not. You're walking in there and we take a week talking class about how we should shoot and I can spend a little bit of time. I'm putting that into play. So you know, it's just it's it's a long day, but I've had a lot of people tell me it goes by very quickly.

Speaker 2:

It does it really does.

Speaker 3:

It's a 10 hour day, you know. I'll be frank with you. Most, most classes don't get done till between six and 6 30. Yeah, it's a long day.

Speaker 2:

I think that's what you were saying there a while ago. A lot of it does tie back into, you know, talking through situations, scenarios. Absolutely Obviously there's, there's a ton you can learn about firearms, right, and specifically about your model of firearm, your make, whatever the way it shoots or anything. But in reality I mean the way I view it everything dealing with firearms, a gun itself, is interchangeable, right, you can, you can learn a whole different tool.

Speaker 3:

An inert tool no different than a vehicle.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I think the best education part, especially that I took away from your class, the best education part was is is that learning of what can I do, what can't I do, what is kind of? We talked about some of the reasons behind certain laws and certain rules, certain regulations, because you know, there are some folks that just think, ok, once you get it, you're good to go.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I can stand my ground.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what does that mean? You know, and I think talking the second, that someone turns their back on you. Well, they're retreating, so you can't.

Speaker 3:

And it depends, you know, but it, but it takes. You've got to take in the the scenario and its entirety.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely so but we, we talk a lot about, you know, stress and adrenaline and and what should we say to police, and you know. So it's not just about law. We talk through just real life and and you know we have conversations and we talk about situations that people may have been in, and we'll break those down and talk through it and say, hey, you know what, what does everybody think, you know? And so we try to bring some personalization into it and and having that conversation around the table, yeah, it affords us to do that. And and again, we can talk through some things that people don't really think about is, well, you want to. If, if a self defense event occurs, why wouldn't I want to tell the cops if I did everything, if I truly believe I did everything right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And you know we talk about how stress affects our body and our mind and you know time shifting and if we say things we think we saw and we didn't see, and so it goes, it goes beyond the law. We talk some physiological issues. We talk about just that mindset. We talk about what are you going to do if somebody breaks into your home? Yeah, you know, we. I literally ask every student what's your plan? And if you don't have one, that's OK. But you know we talk through what could that plan maybe be and what is allowed by law. But again, what should I do? Or is it a? Is it a? Can I? Is it a? Should I? Is it a? Must I?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think that's really good, like you know, to run through those, because a lot of people maybe they think they have a plan until they realize they don't Right, because a lot of people would say, well, you know what? What if somebody broke in your house? Oh well, I'd stop them. How, where's it at? What are you using? What's your what? How much are you training with it? What right you know baseball bat? Okay, go for it.

Speaker 3:

Use your baseball. What's on the other side of the wall if you're using a gun?

Speaker 2:

Exactly yeah, and so you have to start thinking of those things. You know like I know that that immediately that question right there actually changed what I carry because I've got a shotgun available right, and so a shotgun, if you use bird shot one or two layers of drywall it's done. You know it stops it unless you're like super close to it, obviously.

Speaker 3:

But what's bird shot due to a person?

Speaker 2:

Well, it depends.

Speaker 3:

It depends on how close that person is Exactly. But you've got to understand it's probably not what you'd want in your home defense shotgun.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because I've got a wife, I've got a son, I've got dogs. What is behind stuff? You know, if we've got a family member in town, suddenly that guest room is occupied, absolutely, that wall is now another potential problem, you know, and so it's really good to pay attention to that. Obviously you have the ability. If you have the ability to get up and get out of your home in the case of an intruder, awesome, do it, get out of there, get away from them. But if you have to fight, do you know how you're going to fight? And so that's really good to kind of go through some of that. Let's get into a little bit more, just some personal fun stuff here with you. I know one. We've been talking a lot about pistols. What is your favorite pistol or what do you currently carry? I'll say that what's your current choice of firearm for carry?

Speaker 3:

I carry an HK VP9. Stock, as can be, with a Hullosun 507C optic on it.

Speaker 2:

What drives that? What kind of what made you choose that one?

Speaker 3:

Because the gun fits me well. It performs how I want it to perform. It has a trigger that I like, the feel of the trigger Most people, that's a second thought for them. But I am very much, I'm, a trigger snob. I really want a short, crisp trigger. I don't want a lot of travel and could I make my trigger better? Yes, I could go have trigger jobs done, but I want, I personally just want to shoot a stock gun and I feel like, honestly, it's the best out of the box that you can get. Yeah, very configurable gun, you know, with the side panels, back panel makes it very configurable. I carried, you know, prior to that I carried the kind of the smaller brother to that which is the VP9 SK, which has you give up about a half an inch on the barrel and the grip but you could carry a magazine with a longer grip, which I did so I could have more ammo. But I found out going to class using that gun that at distance I could not be quite as accurate with it.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

So that barrel, that barrel length makes a difference. So that's why I carry such a large gun, because I feel like I want the addability to make that 15 yard shot, because I am capable of that 15 yard shot. Everybody needs to know what their capable yeah reliable distances and I knew I could be that if I had that barrel. But that gun just fits me well, you have to understand that you cannot just go tell your friend, oh, go buy a Glock 17.

Speaker 2:

Exactly.

Speaker 3:

Buying a gun is a very personal experience. It's an experience that that gun has to fit you well. It has to fit your hands well. You have to be able to reach the trigger properly. You have. You want to be able to reach the magazine release. So there's there's things you look at with that and for me that gun has just worked well and I can. I can pick up and shoot most guns fairly well, but that is still my favorite gun to shoot. I know it. I know it inside and out. I know what it feels like. I know when that trigger is going to break. So it's, it's, it's just my gun. Yeah, so it is my favorite gun. I love HK. I think they're a great company and so, yeah, I I should own stock in them, because I own four of those things.

Speaker 2:

You know well it's, if it works, it works. That's absolutely. You've let me shoot your VP nine and I really, really enjoyed the feel of that, and so now we're kind of on a mission. If anybody's listening right now and you've got one you'd like to like go off, then let me know. But we're looking for a VP nine because I do like that grip, right, you mentioned the interchangeable panels and the grip and everything too. That was one thing I noticed. To go back to your other point, there it's it's not just about price, right, because you can go out and you can buy a cheap gun, you can buy an affordable gun, but you will get what you pay for Exactly.

Speaker 3:

And if, if that's what you can afford, then do it and do it and care for that product and and run it and make sure you know how it runs, or find the best ammo for it. That's it, Because a gun is better than no gun, Absolutely. But I would challenge you to find the best gun for you and get to that. That position is to get the gun that that fits you best, that you can shoot best. Yeah, there's, there's a lot of disparity in price of guns and there's a reason for that. And so do your research. Yeah, you know, go watch reputable people on YouTube, go read articles, you know, before you make that decision but you know I do, I've there are some people that that's all they can afford. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

But they have to get that gun working into a position to where it's not going to jam when they need it.

Speaker 2:

And I'll tell you this right now Don't use steel ammo.

Speaker 3:

Do not use steel.

Speaker 2:

Please don't use steel ammo for your own sake, please don't.

Speaker 3:

If you want to work on malfunctions, yeah, that's steel. Ammo is great, that is a great way to do your drills. And there's there are some ranges that don't allow you to just be for insurance liability, so I know it's cheaper, but I feel like it's easier on the gun to run brass as well.

Speaker 2:

The guns were made to run brass, yeah, so yeah, it expands differently, contracts differently, it transfers heat differently, everything. So that is one thing we can. We could go. We could probably talk for an hour just on ammunition. So we're not going to right now. Yeah, but what? So? Let's go to the opposite end of that. What is? What, would you say, is the worst gun you've ever shot? Do you remember what? Something that's just undesirable to you, whether whether it was a performance of the firearm or you're just like dude. This just doesn't work for me.

Speaker 3:

A gun that is not properly lubricated.

Speaker 2:

Okay, Any gun, that's yeah that's true, that's true.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you can have the best gun, and if it's not properly lubricated, yeah, it's a brick. Yeah, so I'm not saying, I'm not saying a gun has to be spotless because people will say I hate gun cleaning.

Speaker 3:

I do, I'm just going to admit that to the world right now it's the worst part of gun ownership. But you find the balance of when you know how clean do you want to have. My carry gun is spotless. Yeah, all the rest of my guns. They are properly lubricated so I will guarantee they're going to work well. And when they stop not working well because even when they're properly lubricated they can stop working well Then it's time to clean them. You know I don't stress over the cleaning part for my guns that are not meant for my self protection. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

But if it is your self protection, you have to decide what it means to you for you to have that gun clean and well, well lubricated, or lubricated to a point that it works well. Some guns like more lube than others. Yeah, so it's. You have to understand that. So the worst gun to shoot is one that just plain does not work, because either it's it's way too dirty or, most likely, it's a it's it's not properly lubricated.

Speaker 2:

It's, you got to have the right kind of lubrication, because there are quite a few companies out there that make different products. I'm not going to name any of them because that's on them, but just just do your research because you don't want to use just any lubrication. I've seen some folks you know talk about oh, wd-40, this or something else like that. Right and it's like there are products that are specifically made for firearm maintenance.

Speaker 3:

They're calibrated, they are tested to firearms and the use of firearms.

Speaker 2:

The heat, the friction, everything else. So you want to be, you only want to use really good product there. So now I know we've got, we've got just a little bit of time left here. When I was in class, you had mentioned that there was a situation and I hope I hope you're okay with me asking about this one because I know it's very personal for you but you had mentioned there was an accident that you had had that kind of through your firearms training and you're handling really for a loop, right.

Speaker 2:

Like it kind of means everything. What happened? Tell us about this. Like I heard, there was a train and a scooter and something going on. What in the world?

Speaker 3:

Yes, so we were in Prague, so in the Czech Republic, on vacation. We had just finished a 10-day trip in Israel and the you know, seeing all the the just amazing places in Israel, and we my husband happened to have a work trip in Prague, so we hopped from Israel to Prague and we had a couple of days to sightsee. So on day one we decided to take the scooter tour and it was my husband and me and the tour guide, I was in the last of the little train and we spent all morning on the scooters and then we went up and we did the segues you know, and everybody was all freaking out oh, segues, you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah because they were relatively new to the mass public at that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you know, this was five years ago. Yeah, they were gaining popularity and so, yeah, we head back into town on the scooters and, unbeknownst to us, later I was told this was one of the busiest streets in Prague. Oh, and Prague has commuter trains that run on the street. So if you've ever gone to San Francisco or Seattle, you know. Or there's some in Kansas City even, where they run on the street. So, like they have to, cars have to be careful of them while on the street. So we had the scooter or the train, commuter train, and parked cars to the right. Well, a train come up from behind and again, I was last in the train of scooters and the train didn't hit me. I hit the train.

Speaker 2:

So so You're not supposed to do that.

Speaker 3:

No, I know it, I sideswiped the train. I think what happened is I think there's that column of air that pushes, you know, from the front of the train. If you ever sat in a subway, you feel that column of air and I knew the train was coming, but I guess I didn't account for that because it pushed me over and I didn't want to hit the parked cars and I overcorrected into the side of the train. So, let's say, a motorized scooter with a bicycle seat does not do well when it decides to go the speed of the train, and you're going the speed of the scooter, I would imagine so. So if we can want to be dynamic, critical incident. So I was thrown into a adrenaline dump basically at that point. But that accident, you know, caused a lot of damage to me. But one of the things it did is that it bruised my nerves in my neck so that my index fingers didn't work properly. So I literally could not bend the first joint of my index finger, which is kind of important when shooting a firearm.

Speaker 2:

I feel like that would put an immediate stop to a lot of people's situations.

Speaker 3:

It kind of stopped that situation. So you know, that was probably the least of the severity of the accident in my injury. So I, you know, I was laid up for over three months, basically kind of bedridden. I didn't walk for three weeks. I had to have a private medical transport from Prague back to our local airport. Yeah, Because you were still overseas, I was still overseas. So so I shameless plug, get travel insurance if you're going to leave the country, but anyway.

Speaker 3:

So, but laying in bed, and I love shooting guns so much and I'm a big dry fire nut, huge dry fire nut, dry fire quite a bit and so I just decided I was going to figure out my way through this problem. And so I, you know, started picking up a cert pistol, which is a training pistol that shoots a laser, yeah, and just realized I couldn't press the trigger. I literally had not. I didn't have enough flexion in my finger to actually press the trigger. And so I started doing some research online, watching YouTube videos, and there are some people out there that purposely shoot with their middle finger, and so I'm like, okay, so I just started laying in bed with my little cert gun, learning how to hold the gun and press the trigger not just on my right hand but my left hand, because I couldn't do my left hand either with my middle finger, which means when I was drawing the gun, I would actually draw the gun with two fingers in my thumb Because I had to use this finger to get on the trigger. So and it taught me a lot that with people with disabilities, that we can find ways around everything and so we just need to be creative in the gun world, that I don't care how disabled a person is, we will work with them and work what they are able to do and make it work.

Speaker 3:

So it also opened my eyes up to how our bodies react under that adrenaline response. Because if you'd asked me or told me before my accident okay, you're going to have this severe accident, how are you going to react? And I would probably told you I would be screaming, I'd be crying. You know be a little chaotic and I remember I was just the calmest thing at that point. I felt nothing but calm. Now, part of that was laying on the street. I felt no pain because I had enough adrenaline screaming through my body. The first point that I actually felt pain was when they laid me in the ambulance Because that's your first measure of I feel safe, I feel like you know I'm going to get help.

Speaker 3:

You've let your guard down a little bit, but it was really interesting. It was fascinating that when I got home here and they wheeled me up to the hospital room at Mercy here and laid me in that bed, I actually went into shock. That's the moment when they I literally started shaking uncontrollably. I mean, I Emotionally I lost it. Yeah, it was the weirdest thing and it's because I had had my guard up. Even because you're in a in government run healthcare, yeah, in another country, which is very vastly different than healthcare here in the US. I know there's a lot of problems with healthcare here in the US. Let me tell you it.

Speaker 2:

You we got a pretty good.

Speaker 3:

We got it pretty good. We got it way good. So so the fact is is I learned that. But also, you know, playing through that incident, I've done some medical training. So those 700 hours is not just gun training. If you're gonna carry a gun, you probably should carry a tourniquet and know how to use it. Oh, because medically you know that is tourniquets. If people would just have more tourniquets with them every police officer it's a tourniquet, it's for themselves, because that is the most effective way for us to not bleed out a Spit from a limb. Yeah, a tourniquet's not gonna help your neck. It wasn't gonna help the cut I got on my head. Yeah, but the first thing I thought when I hit the ground and I saw all the blood Was I knew I had two tourniquets in my backpack.

Speaker 3:

Yeah and I thought, okay, I've got those two tourniquets. And I knew you nick your head of bleed tons and I'm like I got my wits about me, so my brains must not be hanging out. But there was still a lot of blood and I had. I had a pretty good gash on my leg and so I thought about my tourniquets. But then the the ambulance. I started hearing. The ambulance showed up really quickly and you know so I sat in the hospital.

Speaker 3:

I was recapping this with my husband. I was like gosh, I wish I had a video of you know, just that whole incident. And so I started talking through kind of what went through my brain. And when I started talking about the tourniquets that I was thinking about them, he looks at me and he said you asked for those tourniquets. I says no, I didn't. He said, oh, yes, you did. And I'm like to this day I swear on a stack of Bibles and never, ever ever said the word Tourniquet out of my mouth. And he said I said the ambulance. I was impressed. You know, within like two minutes I heard the sirens. They were coming. He's like they were like eight minutes. Oh yeah, like, oh, okay. So adrenaline will screw with you and that feels again adrenaline and that cortisol dump.

Speaker 3:

So that's why I bring that story up in class sometimes when people go Well, you know I'm gonna know what to say. Yeah, what you think you know you're gonna say and what actually happened might be two separate things. So you know, till you've truly experienced it at that grave of a level, I don't think you really understand how much it changes what goes on in your brain. And again, I'd still to this day if you just said hey, I'm, we're gonna lay you in that hospital, in In in Rogers here after you get off the airplane and you're gonna go into shock.

Speaker 3:

I would really that doesn't make any sense. But that's exactly what happened and that that's because I then I fully, I probably let my guard down a hundred percent at that point. Yeah, because I knew I was gonna get the treatment I needed here. So, so, yeah, it's. It's a very odd story. It showed a lot in me. Um, the afforditude. You know, you don't know your own fortitude until you have to go through something like that. It's suck. It sucked for me laying in bed. It truly sucked. Yeah, I, I Love being out with people, I love teaching, I loved being, you know, with friends and I was missing so much. So it kind of you know it. I says, okay, I got to get my button gear and my, my PT was I would have my husband throw laundry in and when it got dry, I would Walk to the kitchen and fold two or three pieces of laundry and walk right back to bed because that's all I could do. But you do more and more and more of that. Gosh, there's a lot of God in that story too.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we, you know I had just been in Israel for ten days, yeah, with with my church, with a large group from our church. It was a hundred and it was like this massive trip. They didn't expect it to be this big but it ended up being like 150 people went and I made some friendships on that that. One of them was a medical relationship. That that that that doctor worked at mercy and had admitting privileges To get me home because they would not fly me home unless somebody signed that they were gonna accept me. That that relationship developed in Israel, not because we knew we needed it, but we just had dinner a few times and he said when, when they heard I had an accident, he said here's my cell phone. You know, our church had a missionary in Prague.

Speaker 3:

Wow, now, now the odds are that her and that missionary was a nurse here in the States. Okay okay, she didn't know medical terminology in in the Czech language, but she could at least communicate. And you know it's. It was amazing she would come to the hospital for eight hours and and do as much translation and she brought everything to us because, honestly, you don't even get a gown when you go to the hospital in Prague.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 3:

Like you, were expected to bring everything with you.

Speaker 2:

All right then. So yeah, um mental note Do not go to a hospital in Prague.

Speaker 3:

Um yeah, let's say, I wore a sheet. Yeah, honestly, with my injuries, it was really cumbersome for me to have anything on. But the fact is is is you know that was just a god thing? You know, having the, the relationship with the doctor in Israel god thing, yeah. And then you know people here I, you know people coming out of the woodwork to help. And you know a friend, you know I had a friend who really was that person, who she allowed me to complain to her. Yeah, I was like why did God do this to me? And and she was there for me to speak truth and to make sure I was okay. And and so you know, things like that are special and that can't be formed just, you know, organically, it's, it's, they are formed, and gorynically, through things like that exactly yeah, when you're at your worst.

Speaker 3:

That's where you truly find out who who's who's got your back and and and so it was a very trying time in my life, but I learned so much and and people are saying, well, that's crazy that you would do it all over again, but I was absolutely 100%. We go through it all again to learn what I've learned and in my relationship with God has changed so much through that as well. Yeah, so.

Speaker 3:

Not saying go out and get on a scooter and try and hit a train to make you know that better. But yeah but take those bumps in your life and try and put a pot of positive spin on them. That's so, yeah, but no, I was. I was so excited and, and you know, to get back to teaching after that, but to go to my first national level class, yeah, as a student was six months after the accident, oh, wow, and in working and shooting middle finger.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, you'd I think you had touched on that just a little bit in the class as well and you said you'd you'd gone back and the and the. What was it that the instructor told?

Speaker 3:

your walk. Duffy's like why are you shooting like that? And all I had to say you know. And he was very respectful. He says you know, it says I had an accident. He's like okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and.

Speaker 3:

But at lunch he wanted to hear why, yeah, what, what caused that you know so well? Yeah, there's a story, it's a big story. The other round, yes, so, but that challenge, and again after a year, and the neurologist told me I mean, I, I had some Funky nerve damage. I mean my shoulder blade was was sticking out like an extra inch Because my muscles didn't know to pull it in. And so he's like this is all related. He says it's all gonna go away. Yeah, you aren't. You're gonna get most of you stuff back.

Speaker 3:

And he says he may not be a hundred percent, and it's not. I will still, to this day, tend to work with my middle finger over my index finger, okay, but I shoot gun with index fingers now, okay. So it took about a year to work itself out. And so, you know, just keep at it. All I can tell people is if you're struggling with something, keep at it, be tenacious and and you know it's it may not be perfect, but when it comes to being your own self-protector, do the best you can. Yeah, do the best you can, mmm.

Speaker 2:

That's really good and I know you know, just from my own personal experience, I know that a lot of that, that exact approach, goes into all of your teaching, and so thank you so much for one, sharing your story with us here. But two, thanks for working with me, because I know you've you've already made a huge difference in my training, my abilities, my skills and and you're really really good at picking up on what I'm doing. I wouldn't even I wouldn't even say wrong, I'm just doing it in a way that's not the best for my performance, right.

Speaker 2:

And so it's like I get better exactly, and so if I can improve and you're able to point that out just by watching me shoot, you know I've already improved my draw, I've already improved you know my accuracy and things like that. And I got to say you were the first person to tell me about the Mantis system and I that has been a godsend for me because it's been able to help me. That little y'all that this is the X10 and this I mean you. You turned me on to this one and it has changed the way that I shoot, absolutely changed it, and so I think finding a good firearms instructor, like Kara here Is, is absolutely crucial if you're wanting to improve your skills, if you're wanting to improve your abilities. Find someone and, and especially if you're in Northwest Arkansas area, how can people sign up for a class with you, learn more about your classes, what's?

Speaker 3:

the best way then go to spirit firearms training, calm. Okay, there's a contact form, I believe. My pretty sure my phone number is out there. You can get me on email through there, but yeah, that's probably the best way. Or on Facebook spirit firearms training on Facebook.

Speaker 3:

And you know, I'm, you know, kind of more northern in Northwest Arkansas, and if you are in Fayetteville or whatever and you go hey, that's just a long distance I can give you some recommendations to some other great instructors. Yeah, in the area. You know we are truly blessed in this area to have I, we are kind of a little cadre that hang out together and train together, and so I wouldn't recommend people to an instructor unless I've vetted that instructor myself and yeah, and so, yeah, I think that you know you put what's the value to getting Instruction, even if it's just one private lesson that could. That changes a lot. Even when you go back to the range yourself, you kind of know what to work on. So the the best thing I think anybody could do is is, before they ever buy a gun, before you even go to the store to look at a gun, go, go get a class, go do an intro class with somebody, mm-hmm, because you're gonna learn what you need in a gun Before you go.

Speaker 2:

Spend four, five, six, seven hundred dollars on something that you might find out later is not for you, yeah, so absolutely no, and I think that's that is crucial, because, you know, even now, on my own journey with firearms, I've got my Ruger security. Nine Love the fit, love that pistol. Right, like it's a really great performing pistol. I'm I'm also learning more about grips and the, the specific shapes of the handles and everything else. So is that gonna be my long-term carry? I don't know, it might not be. We're looking at that, vp. Nine right, we're looking for that. I mentioned that earlier in this, in this show, because it there is so much that goes into it. But you're you're right.

Speaker 3:

Yep, triggers, triggers, trigger, reach. I mean there's so many different variables in it and it might seem very minuscule, but that minuscule change may make a large change in in how you shoot. Yeah, optics are another thing. You know some people you know looking at going to optics. Optics, you know they. There's some big benefits there. But there's nothing wrong with iron sights.

Speaker 3:

I mean, you're rocking it with the iron trying, I'm trying you're doing really good and so, um, you know, don't don't put the cart before the horse. Yeah, really, go get some instruction and Find out what works for you most. Most instructors who are Passion about their students will bring guns for the you to use. Yep, they are gonna have them. They're gonna have a good selection of Of quality firearms for for you to try a student. Yeah, and that's the best place you can start. That's gonna be the best value Upfront and then, once you do that, go rent guns before you buy the gun. Yeah, I know I'm gonna shoot it before you buy the gun.

Speaker 2:

We've got a couple ranges around here specifically that will Rent those out absolutely. Test drive them? Essentially yes, so please.

Speaker 3:

It's spend the hundred bucks or, yeah, 80 bucks or 50 bucks to go rent, buy the ammo. Shoot the gun Before you go buy the gun so worth it.

Speaker 2:

So worth it, that would have saved me a lot. I won't say the name of the gun that I that I my first handgun that I purchased. It was a good pistol, it was fun, it was what I could afford, right exact. Going back to it, it's what I could afford and I learned to train with that gun to the point where I could be relatively accurate, right Like. I could be pretty decent with it. But the more I learned and the more I have grown the man, you, you got to find the right one. You got to find that right grip because you know, as we were even talking earlier, there's some, some stuff that I've been working on my car, I've been working with my, my pistol, training and everything else. And after a while, your hands, if you don't have the right grip For that, then it's definitely going to Effect your shooting.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and a good instructor will also help you. If you say, hey, here's my budget, yeah, they're gonna guide you and say you know, here's a good mid-range gun or or low-range gun, that that it has the reliability behind it. You know, I think you know you have that rigorous security. Nine, I do think that's a for for the money. Yeah, that is a great option out there right now.

Speaker 2:

It's in the mid threes, yeah, I think, I think that is, that is you know.

Speaker 3:

And they make a security 380 as well. That, honestly is is a great gun, introductory gun to some students who who might struggle with recoil of a nine or racking the slide. So so the manufacturers starting to get smarter, yeah, you know, I think we saw that initially with Smith and Wesson in their easy series, we've seen it with Walther, we're now seeing that with Ruger. I sure hope that all the manufacturers are taking stock in that and realizing that, you know, gun ownership is not the typical white male Owners anymore and they're there of all colors they're, they're male, they're female, all age young, they're old Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

so there's all ages. So there's just so much out there. There's so much out there.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely Well. Thanks again for being here. I will make sure and put a link to your website down the show notes of this podcast. There's also again mentioning. There's a link to the USECA down there. So if you Need insurance, I'm going to encourage every single person, if you carry, make sure you have insurance on yourself there, because you know if you ever have to use it, the legal system can tie you up real fast. I mean sometimes, right, if you've used a firearm, even if it's justified, they might take that firearm for a certain amount of time. You might be out that you might have different processing costs depending on the gonna need a lawyer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're gonna need an attorney to do something. So Just get the membership, guys. 29 bucks a month, you can't beat that up to 2 million in coverage. And, like I was actually starting to go through some of their training the other day their video training on there as well I know I've got ASP now I've got concealed carry or the USECA and I'm just learning a lot right now. So, yeah, guys, get out there, get your membership. That's in the show to show notes of this as well, and I guess we'll see you next time here on the brew house. Thanks again for joining us. Cheers.

Speaker 1:

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