As someone who trains with firearms, I inevitably hear about 3 times a month, generally by people who are skeptical “why is training important?” This comes generally from folks who have recently purchased a firearm who are new to the concept that just having a gun doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t familiar with how to use it safely and effectively. I also hear this question for the folks who have been carrying guns for some time who think the pistol class they took around the time of Reagan’s 2nd Inauguration is plenty good enough. Training is important for a number of reasons. When properly done and when the concepts are simple enough to use under stress, training serves a number of very important purposes; especially in the world of gun handling. It reinforces good habits: By doing things right in ways that are safe and logical, you gain experience sometimes without knowing you are getting it. It takes about 21 days to learn a new habit according to scientists. How many of us have done good training to reinforce our good habits? It imprints good techniques : By learning good gun handling in an environment that supports adult learning, good techniques get imprinted on your brain as part of the neuro-muscular connection in the distance between your firearm and your brain. For example, learning when to put the finger on the trigger during the draw builds a connection that helps you do it the very same way each time; so that you can get repeatability in your marksmanship. It inoculates you against stress: This, in the gun-fighting sense, is one of the most important aspects of training. Putting you under some sort of stress (timed event, number of shots in a certain time etc.) allows you to test your mastery of the techniques you have learned in an environment that elevates your heart rate and pushes some adrenalin into your veins. This is important because skills that are not practiced in an adrenalized state cannot be replicated or performed in an adrenalized state. It reinforces your belief in your ability: In order to find value in your training, you have to believe it works. You have to believe that you can rely on the techniques you have learned to save your life or the life of your family while using your firearm. Good training, when properly done, helps the student realize this value when they use the new techniques they have learned to shoot better at the range or conduct their own “maintenance” training at the range. I would encourage everyone who owns a firearm to seek out training in order to better understand how to employ their firearm to defend their life or the life of their loved ones more effectively.