The classes consist of basic pistol safety, minimal tactics for self defense and a lot of information on the laws and questions of if you really want to carry a pistol at all. The "chain of requirements" for use of deadly force in self defense is drilled extensively:
- You are a reluctant participant - you in NO WAY instigated the situation, and as soon as it is possible to disengage, you do. No "chasing an assailant".
- Imminent threat of Death or "great bodily harm" - and it better pretty much be death, rape doesn't count as "great bodily harm".
- No lesser force will do - Don't carry pepper spray and a gun. If you shoot somebody and didn't try the pepper spray first, you will fail this one.
- Escape is not possible - If you can get away, you HAVE to, at least in MN. In some other states you are allowed to stand your ground.
We passed, so the permit applications will be going to to both MN and Utah for one of us and Utah for the other. The reason for getting the MN permit is that it also acts as a permit to buy a pistol for 5 years. The reason for getting a Utah permit is that there is no re-take on the class required in 5 years, it renews for $10 where MN requires you to re-take the course PLUS yet another $100 fee
My major impressions from the class:
- Other than my wife and I, the other 4 people in class were current or ex military, and the instructor was ex-military and ex-police. Apparently military folks feel comfortable being able to carry.
- The instructor made the comment that there are 3 kinds of people; sheep, wolves, and sheep dogs. He clearly left out Mooses, but I'd say the comparison is similar with the sheep dogs. The sheep are as expected. Their odds of being a victim are low so they choose to believe they are zero. They assume that someone else (police) will protect them. They decide to believe that they are incapable or that it is unwise to try to protect themselves. The wolves are as expected. They understand sheep well, and look for opportunity for a tasty lunch. Sheep dogs would just as soon there were no problems, but they are the kind of folks that have to look at reality as it is and tend to be responsible for themselves, and even others if required.
- Police are there to SERVE the state, and "protect" if they have time, there are enough officers, they are an especially good cop, or other considerations. They are a "Law Enforcement Officer", and often forget that the law abiding public is made up of citizens that are their employer, not "civilians". At least in a CC state, there is an alternative to being a sheep. In MN there are around 100K permit holders, but only 2K police. The criminals odds of being confronted with an armed adversary are something like 50x higher in a CC MN rather than in a mostly sheep MN.
- The whole "movie gun use", plus lack of exposure to hunting and even war leads most of the sheep to have a poor understanding of what guns can and can't do. They don't repeal the laws of physics-if they had the power to stop, turn around and throw through the air a 200lb man, they would break your arm when you fired them. Every action still has an equal reaction. I blew half the heart away on the deer that I shot last fall and it jumped and ran 30 yards or so. An assailant that is shooting at you is very likely to keep shooting as you put rounds in him, it is a good idea to have a reasonable caliber (.38 or better) and a decent number of rounds.