CONVINCING STUDENTS TO CARRY THEIR GUNS

Posted By: Justin Collett

One of the better decision’s that I made in my own development was to jump on the last spot of a Rangemaster Instructor Development course that was being held in my hometown of Pittsburgh. I could not have been more pleased with the training that I received under the great Tom Givens. He made a point a few times during the class that always really stuck out to me: “One of the hardest things to do is get your students to carry their guns.” This has proved quite difficult, and some people just don’t have that comfort level yet. I understand it and offer positive encouragement during training, but ultimately that will need to be their decision. I remember when I first started, and I have to say that I was not comfortable at first and felt like the whole world knew or could see. Hence, the pursuit of many, many hours of training.


I’ve always gone the route of trying to remind people of the realities of this world, and the bad things that happen in it. Tom had played us a few videos as well as some 911 call recordings that were hard to hear. They had very different outcomes based on the intended victim’s ability to protect themselves or their family. That said, it still does not always make it seem “real” to some students. I try to illustrate when giving examples of people being victimized that somewhere out there there are people still living with the consequences of a violent offenders’ actions, and in some cases innocent lives were lost due to those actions.


In the past few weeks, there have been several incidents in the suburb of Pittsburgh which I live with my family. One of them was a story that made national news of a women who had been rescued from being held captive in a townhouse up the street from where we live. She had been discovered by leaving a note in a Walmart restroom asking for help as well as another one inside the restroom of a tourist destination. Another was a major heroin trafficking ring that had been broken up by our local Law Enforcement. In addition a particularly violent sexual offender and pedophile had been released from prison and is now living here again. All of these events happening consecutively certainly raised people’s concerns. Events like the ones described occur just about every day and are reported in the news. However, for some reason people don’t pay much attention unless it occurs geographically close to them.


I still believe that giving students strong examples of real-world events is a great tool. I don’t want to get too dark or try and scare them but instead provide them with the information and try to frame it in a manner so that they can conceptualize it and turn it into a motivating factor. At times it’s uncomfortable to face and think about some of the hard truths of our society, but by having a strong understanding of them we can make focused efforts to mitigate the situation. Knowing that these potentially violent criminals are among us, living on our streets or nearby towns, and planning accordingly could make a dramatic difference in the outcome should one find themselves in a violent encounter.


Not only are the hard skills necessary, but the mental aspect of reminding oneself why they train and carry tools for self-defense needs to be exercised. I personally sometimes visualize myself being faced with a direct threat and not having the means to protect myself or others. I use this as a sobering reminder to carry my chosen tools, whether that be a weapon for self-defense or a life -saving piece of medical equipment. It is a mental practice that has helped me stay diligent. I plan to continue to help my students do the same thing so that the focus is not lost on why we have chosen to make these efforts. I owe it to myself, my family, and my friends to stay vigilant and disciplined.


Jordan Pastorok is the owner and lead instructor of The Defensive Collective. A certified Rangemaster Advanced Handgun Instructor, graduate of the Palisade Training Group, LLC House of Worship Security Instructor Development course, and a lifelong martial artist, Jordan has trained with and continues to train with world-class martial artists, firearms instructors, and personal defense experts. A perpetual student who designed his business around making quality information and training as accessible as possible for everyone, Jordan is driven by his passion for learning and sharing this information to accomplish the mission of The Defensive Collective: stronger and safer communities through training, education, and consulting.



Jordan Pastorok

Jordan Pastorok is the owner and lead instructor of The Defensive Collective. A certified Rangemaster Advanced Handgun Instructor, graduate of the Palisade Training Group, LLC House of Worship Security Instructor Development course, and a lifelong martial artist, Jordan has trained with and continues to train with world-class martial artists, firearms instructors, and personal defense experts. A perpetual student who designed his business around making quality information and training as accessible as possible for everyone, Jordan is driven by his passion for learning and sharing this information to accomplish the mission of The Defensive Collective: stronger and safer communities through training, education, and consulting.





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