[ Guest post by Patrick Benner. ]
ARMED AND READY is a very small company run by me, Patrick Benner. Most of the training and instruction I provide is right here in Vermont. I currently reside in South Burlington, and I honestly feel it is one of the greatest places in the country to live. I have been living here since 1997. Prior to that, I was living in Southern California working as a pilot with the local Civil Air Patrol Authority. Search and Rescue was a great life and I received a lot of great training, but I longed to return to the east coast where I had grown up.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, but came to desire the more slower-paced, simpler, country life. I chose Vermont for many reasons, the strongest being the states interpretation of the Second Amendment. Vermont was the first state to join the union in 1791 after the inception of the original thirteen colonies. In Vermont, state law says simply that you do not require a permit or license to purchase, own or carry a firearm including, carrying concealed.” That’s it! You can buy your handgun today and carry it concealed tomorrow. And due to that fact, the major crime rate here in Vermont can be put up against any state in the country.
In Vermont, state law says simply that you do not require a permit or license to purchase, own or carry a firearm including, carrying concealed.” That’s it!
You would think that makes a firearms instructor’s job easy. But in actuality, it makes my job harder. 60% of Vermonters grow up in families that hunt and shoot on a regular basis. A youth practicing with a firearm is as common as a teenager with a car. And as you might guess, those individuals have no need of my services. The other 40% have no need or desire to even own a handgun or any firearm, let alone the desire to carry it concealed. But as a wise man once said, “All good things must come to an end.”
And so it is, with the quiet living here in Vermont. Some of the larger cities have become aware of a growing cancer (drugs). There is an ever-growing concern that the need to supply themselves with drugs has given way to a slight rise in crime. Burglaries and one-on-one robberies are everywhere and always have been; but, there are new terms emerging, terms that were previously unknown to the average Vermonter such as, carjacking, bank robbery and home invasion robbery-burglaries where the entire family is slain before it is over. These statistics are on the rise.
With that comes the need for my services. The previously-mentioned 40% that have no need or desire to even own a handgun or any firearm are coming to instructors like myself and asking for help. I am an NRA instructor and membership recruiter. I possess concealed weapons permits in 15 states and because of reciprocity I have the capability to carry a concealed weapon in thirty-two of the fifty states, as well as state police-level instructorships in four states.
I like to take a student who has never held a gun before and bring them to the local gun dealers until we find them the perfect firearm; one that fits their hand as well as their personality. This can take hours or this can take days. After selecting the right gun, we choose the right holster and then the right ammunition. After, it’s off to the range for what could be days of training. Within the week, the student has gone from victim to victor. He/she becomes self-confident and strong, able to take their defense in their own hands and able to protect themselves, rather than cower in a corner and beg for their life during a home invasion robbery.
I firmly believe that when you carry a concealed weapon, your body and your mind possess a “look” of self-confidence such that the way you stand screams, “pick someone else; I will not be your victim!” The skill I teach the best is that “look.” You don’t give it-you just possess it; and that “look” can mean the difference between pulling your firearm in self-defense and being able to forget it is right there on your hip. The students that possess that aura are my greatest accomplishments. I teach the person, their mind creates the reality, and their newly developed self-confidence will see them through anything.
That is what I do up here in Vermont. One at a time, student by student. I teach them to be ARMED AND READY.
|Patrick M. Benner, Sr.
802-355-0245 or 802-865-0954