Well, this week I was fortunate enough to attend the three day NRA pistol instructor certification course. The course was held at Blackwater (USTC) and our instructor was a long time member of the NRA and training councilor, John Ford.
John did a great job in passing on the information during the course and was pretty pleased with the level of experience in the class. All of his students for this course were all lead instructors from Blackwater.
Even though I am originally from Australia, I already knew quite a bit about the NRA and it's origins. But I was surprised and impressed by the quality of the training system that they have developed.
Although this course was very basic in terms of skills, it is nonetheless a very valuable training tool for the citizens of this country to learn about things such as safe gun handling procedures.
At times I found myself reflecting on things that a lot of people take for granted in this country, and that is the constitutional rights that allow our citizens to be able to do such things as own and carry firearms.
In Australia we never had that right! It was always a privilege and that privilege was taken from us some time ago after a major incident in Port Arthur over a decade ago where a man named Martin Bryant shot and killed over 30 people with 7.62 SKS rifle. Martin Bryant was finally captured in his home after a lengthy siege with Police Swat teams from both Victoria's Special Operations Group and the Tasmanian Police Special Operations Group. He is now serving a life sentence in prison.
Following that incident, the Australian Federal Government decided to crack down on the ownership of legal firearms and conduct an amnesty designed to recover guns that had not be registered with Police.
Shorty after came the ban. In Australia at this time citizens are no longer by law aloud to own the following firearms:
A pistol with a barrel length under 5" or a magazine capacity over 10 rounds.
Any semi automatic rifle, not even a .22.
No auto/semi auto/pump action shotguns.
You can have bolt action rifle so long as it doesn't have a box magazine feeding system.
You do need to register every weapon with the Police department and must possess a valid hunting license to own a rifle.
If you are going to own a pistol, you need to have your fingerprints register with Police. You need to register the firearm with Police. You must have a safe bolted to the ground in your home under a certain weight that is inspected by Police. You have to have the Police chief sign off on you owning a pistol and you must be a member of a sporting shooters club and active shoot at least one time per month. Just to own a pistol!
So as I sat there listening to John talk about the NRA I thought how important it is to be able to communicate to all citizens that not only is it necessary to know about gun safety and how to store guns and basics on fundamentals but also the importance of the protection of the constitutional rights given to all citizens of this great nation.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects a right to keep and bear arms from infringement from the federal government.
We all need to remember that in the U.S it's a right and not a privilege to keep and bear arms!
Take care and stay safe.