There are no defensive shooting experts.

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If, by “expert”, you mean someone with a significant amount of first-hand experience in the activity (i.e., shooting people who attacked them) .

Here’s the dirty little secret no one in this business will admit to: none of us have enough — in most cases any — shooting experience defending ourselves against a criminal attacker, sufficient to derive lessons worth teaching. 

No one you’ll find — not on Facebook, not on YouTube, not on Instagram, not writing books or teaching classes — has a significant amount of experience using a gun to defend  themselves from violent criminals.

Yes, you can find military vets who have shot at a lot of people, but that’s a lot different than suddenly being accosted in a parking lot while you’re trying to get your child into her car seat. You can also find police officers who have arrested a lot of people at gunpoint, but that’s different than being surprised by a home invasion. Competitive shooters put a lot of bullets downrange, but a lot of self defense is in knowing when not to shoot.

That doesn’t mean they can’t become experts in this field, because some do, only that their expertise comes from something deeper.

All of us in this business are, at some level, analysts; we rely on our ability to study the experiences of others and synthesize lessons based on what we find. The ones worth listening to spend less time shooting, and more time in the research and study necessary to be able to come up with those answers. 

The really good ones put much more effort into  learning which questions are worth answering, because not all are.

And that kind of insight isn’t learned on the shooting range.

— Grant

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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