I am fairly certain that some feathers may be ruffled when I say this, but that’s OK with me. We can’t grow and we can’t improve if we are blind to our errors or if we choose to overlook them. So I’ll just put this out there for everyone to consider: When it comes to firearms safety and training, “good enough” is not good at all.
Did you ever hear the saying, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest, ‘til the good is better and the better is best”? I remember hearing that often as a kid. And it has stuck with me ever since. This was especially true when it came to things that were really important to me. I may not have stuck with my softball swing or clarinet technique, but I did stick with writing skills and teaching proficiency. And I continue to work on those things — along with my firearms training.
The problem is that some people think you can pick up a gun once a year and be all set. Others assume that you can use a poor trigger press and it won’t make a difference. Or, even worse, some individuals believe that you can “teach” a new gun owner but not really focus on the proper mindset or the correct fundamentals.
To put this into perspective: Think about some of the positions in which folks may have lives hanging in the balance. Or consider the most dangerous jobs or the tasks that require the most risk. Do you want a pilot to be “good enough” at his or her job? For example, what if he or she doesn’t keep the plane level or steady and then slams into a rough landing? People are nauseated, and the vomit bags are full. One man nearly has a heart attack. But thankfully no one is hurt.
Do you want a surgeon to be “good enough?” For instance, what if he or she cuts open the right area but then nicks a few of the patient’s organs on the way that have to be repaired? The surgery fixes the initial problem, but the patient experiences terrible pain afterward. He or she has a noticeable scar as a result. But fortunately it’s over.
Or just consider the drivers all around you each and every day. Is riding halfway into your lane “good enough?” Is driving 25 miles under the speed limit or 25 miles above OK? Is it safe to peek at your phone and send a few texts as long as you don’t crash? Even at 70 mph?
Now let’s return to the topic of firearms training. This activity could literally be life-changing … or lifesaving. Is it “good enough” that good trigger-finger discipline is displayed only 65 percent of the time, even if it could mean a negligent discharge one day? How about if two hands are gripping the gun, even though in a dynamic critical incident that poor grip will likely cause the user to miss?
When are we going to realize that it is not acceptable to allow a sloppy stance or weak grip? When are we going to force the fundamentals to be proper and correct? And when are we going to stop posting pictures of these errors on social media, claiming that we’re doing great things?
“Good enough” should never be the goal, but “good enough” should never be an excuse either. And for all you responsible gun owners, I challenge you to take a self-inventory. If you’re good, work for better. If you’re better, work for best. This is a journey that doesn’t end, and it’s one that requires uncompromised focus and dedication.
About Beth Alcazar
Beth Alcazar, author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals and associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has enjoyed nearly two decades of working and teaching in the firearms industry. Beth is passionate about safe and responsible firearms use and enthusiastic about teaching others. She is certified as an instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.