The anti-gun left is advancing their next attack on the Second Amendment. You might be surprised at what it is and where it’s originating.
About one year ago I took an intensive, one-day defensive shooting course with a well-known New Jersey-based training group. There were approximately 18 of us and the lead instructor and business owner, who has significant firearms training experience, started the day with a thorough safety briefing. He left no pertinent subject untouched.
Throughout the day we trained to multiple scenarios, learning how to effectively (and safely) use our rifle and pistol platforms for lawful self-defense purposes. There was tremendous focus on accuracy and precision. But we also focused on movement, situational awareness, identifying and resolving malfunctions, reloading under stressful situations and much more.
At one point, the instructor addressed us during a cease-fire break and I will never forget what he said:
“Mark my words, the next attack on the Second Amendment from the left will be against what you are doing here today. They will try to outlaw training.”
Fast forward one year and his prediction turned out to be remarkably prescient.
As reported by our friends at Armed American News, the Vermont Republican Governor, Phil Scott, recently signed a law banning “paramilitary training”. Like many laws used to effectively suppress our civil liberties, the statute is vague and leaves much open to interpretation.
4071. PARAMILITARY TRAINING PROHIBITED
(a) A person shall not:
(1) teach, train, or demonstrate to any other person the use, application, or making of a firearm, explosive, or incendiary device capable of causing injury or death, or techniques capable of causing injury or death to persons, if the person knows or reasonably should know that the teaching, training, or demonstrating is intended to be used in or in furtherance of a civil disorder; or
(2) assemble with one or more other persons for the purpose of practicing or being taught, trained, or instructed in the use, application, or making of a firearm, explosive, or incendiary device capable of causing injury or death, or in techniques capable of causing injury or death to persons, if the person knows or reasonably should know that the practicing, teaching, training, or instruction is intended to be used in or in furtherance of a civil disorder.
There are numerous ironies to such misguided laws.
First, the list of skills taught in the training course that I took last year are not and should not ever be relegated to the military. That’s like saying defensive driving is only useful for police officers.
Marksmanship and competent operation of a firearm are perishable skills. Logically, firearms owners, and especially those who conceal carry, should be pursuing as much training as possible. Safe and confident operation of a firearm benefits everybody. Especially if it unfortunately ever has to be used in a self-defense situation where every round counts.
Second, by restricting training opportunities they will actually make firearms owners particularly, and the public generally, much less safe. It’s a guarantee that such laws will put negative pressure and tremendous scrutiny on law-abiding citizens and training providers. The net result will be a chilling effect on those wishing to operate a business or participate in such training. Let’s be clear on that: a chilling effect on exercising your Second Amendment rights!
The State knows exactly what it is doing and it’s as nefarious as it seems. Just like banning firearms, or magazines, or lead bullets, this is simply another element of the multi-pronged attack designed to discourage us from exercising our Constitutional rights.
Expect other states to follow suit and pass similar laws. But if such a law ever rears its ugly head in New Jersey, be prepared to fight it tooth and nail by contacting your representatives. We all know it’s easier to kill a bad law before it’s passed than to remove it once it’s on the books.