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Thread: NRA Instructors teaching personal opinion

  1. #1
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    NRA Instructors teaching personal opinion

    A while back in the Connecticut forum, an issue came up about NRA Instructors misinforming their pupils about OC rights and other issues.
    Original Post: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...tructors-in-Ct

    It got a bit off topic but I felt like it was going in an important direction.

    So this issue that started to come up was that the NRA doesn't sanction ANY discussions outside of the curriculum and because of this, the instructors' positions on issues brought up should not be aired in the class.

    I have been averaging about 10 students a month in my NRA Basic Pistol Class and have tackled many issues outside of the normal course requirements including my opinions on ammunition, gun selection, open carry, etc... I try to answer any questions about carry laws here in CT when they come up. If they ask a question that I am not sure about, I make sure not to afford them information that isn't completely accurate and honest.

    In CT, this class is required in order to obtain your permit to carry. I want my students to leave the class informed and ready to carry but the class syllabus doesn't quite prepare them fully.


    So the question is, do I plead the 5th when posed with important questions? Or do I do my best to make responsible and informed gun owners?

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    "Sidebar" the subjects that are not part of the approved curriculum. Clearly specify what parts are not part of the course content, and discuss during breaks. JMHO.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

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    Regular Member sraacke's Avatar
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    It happens everywhere. Bad instructors giving out opinions or misinformation that is. A couple of weeks ago when we had our monthly business meeting one of our members told us about a CHP instructor we had approached about handing out our pamphlets to his students along with other handouts. I had given him one of our pamphlets and spoken to him at a gunshow in December. Our member told us on following up with him that the CHP instructor had decided not to hand out our pamplets because in a section we have for FAQs we answer the question of whether a person losses the right to OC after getting a CHP. The instructor insists that if you are carrying a CHP on you then you can't Open Carry. Of course there is no basis for this in law and we say so in our Pamphlet. This is misinformation that many instructors have been telling their students for years. We run into it regularly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yale View Post
    It happens everywhere. Bad instructors giving out opinions or misinformation that is.
    I can see that as being an issue, but how about good instructors giving out their opinions? I figure that these people will be asking other gun owners that they know before they go buy a gun. Isn't my opinion just as valid?

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    Regular Member ncwabbit's Avatar
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    SickPythons, et al., as instructor(s) you are looked to be the subject matter expert for the material you're teaching...period! your students look at you as providing valid course related information and as an instructor of a myriad of courses covering material from safety to guns to environmental health information as well as process management. trust me when i say it is quite the strain not to present my opinions in my courses but it is what must be done to prevent incorrect information from being atrributed to my courses.

    are your opinions invaluable, of course, but always remember your students, some complete newbies to the material, will take it as gospel and trust me if they discern down the line your opinion was in error, your entire teaching endeavor will become suspect in their eyes and your credibility is lost. this is a tough effort to rebuild.

    another problem is getting into a discussion with another expert w/a differing opinion during class...something i avoid like the flu!!

    wabbit

    ps: just today i sat through a class where the first thing out of the learned instructor's mouth was how much he hated HiPoint pistols, for over 10 min of a rambling tirate...the woman next to me just gasped as she quickly put her C9 away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SickPythons View Post
    So this issue that started to come up was that the NRA doesn't sanction ANY discussions outside of the curriculum and because of this, the instructors' positions on issues brought up should not be aired in the class.
    First, just because the NRA doesn't sanction an instructor sharing additional information, it doesn't prohibit it, Second, if the instructor limits what he adds to factual information, I can't see the harm.

    Sharing opinion, however, goes beyond sharing factual information.

    I try to answer any questions about carry laws here in CT when they come up. If they ask a question that I am not sure about, I make sure not to afford them information that isn't completely accurate and honest.
    Excellent approach!

    So the question is, do I plead the 5th when posed with important questions? Or do I do my best to make responsible and informed gun owners?
    I'd say the latter. There will be more than enough CCW instructors sharing their anti-OC opinions. Countering that with factual information is the right thing to do.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Instructors SHOULD make it clear to the students when something is their opinion, instead of facts from the lesson plan or law. There is plenty of need and call for expert opinions in the classes, but there should be no ambiguity as to which parts are opinions; and opinions should also include more feedback from the students than the factual portions of the class.

    At least, that's how I teach. Even when something goes against my opinion, I still teach it as a fact in addition to my opinion. As an example, I point out that exposed IWB holsters and horizontal shoulder holsters are legal for OC, but my personal opinion is against it.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    'As an example, I point out that OC is legal (where legal), but my personal opinion is against it.'

    So, what is the difference?
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Are you attempting to paraphrase me to ask a question about it?
    Last edited by MAC702; 01-24-2012 at 11:29 AM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Statements of personal opinions expressed during any course of instruction, should always be identified as such by the speaker. At least that's my personal opinion. (We all know what "opinions are like"... we even have an "opinion" sitting in the Oval Office ) Pax...
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Are you attempting to paraphrase me to ask a question about it?
    Yes.

    I agree with your assertion that every instructor should able to clearly delineate between course syllabus derived student questions and student questions asking for the instructor's opinion regarding a subject that is beyond the scope of the course material. The instructor's answer to either type of question should be a factual answer based on current law, or proven to be true from professional training courses (Gunsight Academy for example, not promoting or endorsing these folks). If it is a 'you should do this, or you should do that' type of answer relating to equipment, tactics, situational awareness from his experiences then I think the instructor may do more harm than good depending on the question and subsequent answer.

    No intention of putting 'words in your mouth'.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Does a instructor that states the fact that OC is legal in their state, yet advises against it, doing more harm than good?

    Inevitably, that instructor will trot out all of the unfounded 'facts' that 'prove' that CC is 'better' than OC in all situations.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Does a instructor that states the fact that OC is legal in their state, yet advises against it, doing more harm than good?

    Inevitably, that instructor will trot out all of the unfounded 'facts' that 'prove' that CC is 'better' than OC in all situations.
    The only reasonable answer to your question is "Perhaps". As for your statement... that simply raises another question in my mind: Is there a great demand for OC "instructors" - that I am unaware of - somewhere in this country? To the best of my knowledge (which I admit is limited), OC in most states doesn't require "instruction"... since there is no test. Where is the surprise in a CCW instructor claiming that CC is 'better' than OC? It's a source of income for the instructor, and for him/her to claim that OC is 'better' would be as big a surprise as the salesman at the Ford dealership telling you that the GM dealer down the street had a better product. Both OC and CC have their place in the carrying of arms, and the choice of method may be dependent upon the circumstances under which one carries (for example, personal desire vs job requirement). I am retired, so I no longer have a job requirement dictating method of carry. Utah is an OC state, but I have a CFP, so the choice of carry is mine, and mine alone. This time of year it's rather cool here, so I wear a mid-thigh length jacket, and the waist-high r/h pocket holds my LCR+P. We usually experience summers that are significantly warmer than many parts of the country. During that season I'm more physically and psychologically comfortable with one of my belt-holstered Glocks. Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 01-25-2012 at 01:02 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Did it seem that my opinion is against OC? I am very much in favor of OC. Please read my statement again and let me know if it needs to be cleared up. Sorry and thank you.

    I think I was VERY POORLY paraphrased, and that is what led to the confusion. Scratch that, I was deliberately misquoted.

    Next time, please just use the direct quoting feature built into the forum software. I tend to choose my words very carefully.
    Last edited by MAC702; 01-24-2012 at 07:54 PM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    'As an example, I point out that OC is legal (where legal), but my personal opinion is against it.'

    So, what is the difference?
    I humbly apologize for the above post. It is not, nor was it, my intention to misquote MAC702, or to mislead a reader on what MAC702 stated.

    The below is MAC702's statement:
    MAC702 - 01-23-2012, 02:58 PM - ....As an example, I point out that exposed IWB holsters and horizontal shoulder holsters are legal for OC, but my personal opinion is against it.
    If a question is asked by a student that elicits a instructor opinion on 'X'. The instructor should provide an opinion based of provable facts and not on instructor preference? As an example, if OC and CC are legal, provide no opinion and toss it back to the student to choose. Ensure that the student understands the requirements under the law for the method of carry, nothing more.

    As to MAC702's holster example, I find it not much different than my example of OC vs. CC. Provide options and let the student choose. There is nothing wrong with providing a reason for your choice, if specifically asked for it. Just don't volunteer your reason.

    Once again, my apologies to MAC702 for my poorly written post.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  16. #16
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Apology graciously accepted.

    Now, to answer your intended question, in line with the topic of the thread, I encourage OC, but I make it known that I have a PERSONAL opinion that IWB and horizontal shoulder holsters are not among my choices for doing so, though they are technically okay, and I make sure they know the difference between facts and opinions in my classes, and because of the nature of my personal, private classes, there is LOTS of student interaction and trading of opinions. No need to get into what my personal opinions are on this, as the point of the thread is the fact v. opinion issue. I've mentioned them in other threads as appropriate.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member glockluva's Avatar
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    i haven't been and instructor for long but the few times i've had people question me about various topics, i try my best to answer them based on lawful facts. open carry seems to come up alot and i've noticed that a good portion of the older minded instructors are simply against it and tend to want to drive people away from it. as an instructor you are to know the laws of the state you are teaching within and oc falls under the law so that makes it legal for you to discuss...
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