Wanting to become a green belt with UTKM I also need to get my PAL. I don’t have much experience with firearms, back at home when I still lived with my parents firearms weren’t really something we would talk about. My dad had a traumatic experience when he was being shot at so he was against firearms (on a side note – when going through training to become a mechanic in the GDR he also had marksmanship training and got the badge – without shooting at all). Before I educated myself more about firearms I thought only crazy people own guns.
Then I moved in with my first roommate who has a PAL and who also took me to a gun range every now and then, she showed me how to hold a firearm and also taught me about safety.
I find the different mechanisms of firearms interesting but they also scared me. There were all those news about people shooting each other, wackos who would walk into schools and kill teachers and students alike. But I also started learning self defense and part of that was learning how to disarm an attacker and take the firearm away from him. You can kill/ severely injure yourself or innocent bystanders if you don’t know what to do with it. I slowly started to warm up to the thought to get a PAL myself. Not too long ago my head instructor at UTKM offered his first CFSC/CRFSC (PAL) Course and I seized the opportunity. I learned a lot, about safety, about how firearms work, law – things I now consider basic knowledge and I will also now apply to get my PAL. I still respect guns and don’t want to be standing were a muzzle is pointed at. I also think the CFSC/CRFSC (PAL) Course is a stepping stone, it provides you with a good foundation but it is up to each person to train how to shoot.
Owning a firearm also comes with responsibility – learn how to store it, use it etc. For now my next step will be to apply for my PAL (I need one more guarantor – any volunteers?). After that I’ll probably consider purchasing a firearm, but I still have to get there. Of course I still need lots of training. The courses UTKM used to offer helped me a lot already but it is like everything else – you have to keep practicing or you’ll forget things and make stupid mistakes which with a firearm can be fatal.
I would recommend to do the CFSC/CRFSC (PAL) Course. Especially if you are against firearms. I noticed that on myself – haven’t been a big fan and I was judgmental to people who owned guns but that’s probably because I met idiots who then also started bragging about their guns (sorry, did I roll my eyes out loud?). Later I learned that for every bragging idiot there are probably about ten people who don’t brag and are responsible and not to forget smart about it. It’s like the first time I stepped into a heavy metal bar with those wild looking people with whom I then had interesting conversations about Hesse and/ or Kafka. So give it a chance. I don’t ask you to go to a shooting range every weekend and spend thousands of dollars but to keep an open mind and learn. It’s easy to go through life with your blinkers on (apparently those are the things coach horses are wearing) and be judgmental, but I personally also like to be challenged occasionally to see things from a different angle. So go and take your blinkers off!