I have shot pistols since I became old enough to own a firearm. I had safety courses and numerous discussions with law enforcement friends and some genuine prior Navy SEALs (many claim to be SEALs, and are not. That is dishonorable). The story: I had a friend who had a concealed carry license. In fact, he has always carried his Springfield XD or a Ruger LCR. It was he, who had convinced me to get my Concealed Weapons License in Florida. That license allowed me to carry and conceal any legal weapon, as outlined by Florida Statutes (pistols, knives of any length, automatic knives and even Balisongs). One day, my friend invited me to go to the range. I told him, I would like to watch his technique. From the 5 and 7 yard mark, he did not hit the black with his XD. In fact, he missed the target paper entirely on numerous occasions. I looked at his technique, the method of how he held the pistol, his stance, his method of aim and the latent nature of how he sighted the target and then shot. I have to say that I thank God I came with him that day. He also said that the Ruger LCR doesn't shoot that well, either. I tend to have a lack of restraint when I talk to folks which has offended more than a handful of people. I lightly touched him on the shoulder, after him shooting the XD, followed by the LCR, and he stood back, placing the firearm back onto the table. "That was terrible!" I said. "You cannot possibly expect to carry a pistol, let alone hit an intended target the way you're shooting that thing. Stand back and I will demonstrate a few things." I proceeded to hit a tight group in the center and set his gun down. I wanted to test the firearm before I made my case. "It's not the LCR, Brother. It's you! You need to work on some things before you ever decide to carry again." "Ok", my friend said. We worked during the session focusing upon dry firing while we ensured that he had some proper fundamentals such as stance, balance, grip, grip pressure, trigger techniques, aiming, cadence, control, breathing, etc. Upon the conclusion of dry firing, I said, "Ok, let's see how things go this time". He proceeded to fire all 5 shots into the black than the haphazard mess that he demonstrated just a few moments before. I said, "Much better. I feel safer that you can actually aim and shoot. However, there are many things to learn still." Over the next few months, he and I went to the range and shot. We practiced controlled pairs, strong handed technique, weak handed technique, shooting different targets, etc. He became competent but he's still far from what I considered "Safe" or "Good to Go". I moved away, and I check on him from time to time. I advised him to take some basic and intermediate courses, as well as tactical-oriented classes. My point and then some: 1) Owning a gun doesn't impart magical powers. You still need to develop the foundation to shoot. Targets don't shoot back. You need to be able to shoot and adapt to a situation to win the game of survival. You need to be able to shoot under pressure. Shoot while moving, shoot while prone, whatever. 2) Concealed carry takes a level of responsibility that goes beyond the basic techniques. One must prepare for many different scenarios and be able to shoot in a methodical manner. Your course in Concealed Firearms courses gives guidelines on WHERE to carry. In most cases, it doesn't cover HOW TO CARRY. In almost all cases it never covers WHEN TO DRAW AND FIRE IN SELF DEFENSE. Educate yourself on the laws of concealed carry. Educate yourself in the laws of self defense. Learn in courses (live or DVD) or through reading to ingrain your situational awareness of the environment. 3) Concealed carry does not mean you've just lowered your threshold to justify deadly force. You must live to a higher standard. You must make the opportunity to educate yourself. Take a course from an expert about legal aspects of WHEN to shoot. 4) Disregard misconceptions and myths. There are a lot to deal with. Believe me, I've been reading the same kind of things perpetuated on a weekly basis on numerous gun and knife forums. Who knows, I may have propagated some myself, early in my own training/life/experience. Learn the facts. Understand the controversy of our rights to bear arms, our privilege to carry, our obligation to learn and improve, and our duty to protect our self or our loved one. I do not claim to be an expert. I am a student in the game of survival. There is much to learn given my relatively newer entry into this lifestyle. I suggest you determine the path of learning to incorporate all aspects to be a safer citizen and safer family member or loved one.