License to Carry Test

Today I finally went in to take the LTC (License to Carry) class, written test, and firearm accuracy test. It took the better part of the day to get everything done, and I want to share some of the insights I had today as things progressed.

It was actually just a few years ago that I decided to purchase a gun. I was starting from a base of knowing nothing, and never having fired anything more powerful than an air-gun previously. Longtime readers of this blog know that my accuracy started out as nothing even resembling accuracy. One friend called it “questionable grouping” in a moment of nearly unfathomable kindness.

But I approached it the same way I have everything I ever learned in the martial arts, with time and training. The real meaning of kung fu, so central to my life for so many years, is hard work. I trained, and studied, and tried to apply all of the advice that people offered.

Some things worked and some didn’t, probably due to my own misapplication of advice, but I kept at it. I slowly got better.

In Texas, to pass the proficiency test, you need to score at least 175 of a possible 250 points. I was nervous about this, and it was a factor in why I kept putting it off. Every time that I got better, I became more convinced that this was possible. Today I shot 230 of the 250 possible points. And I had a near perfect score until they set the target at the farthest distance. That was when I started shooting the silhouette in the shoulder and groin.

I can honestly compare the feeling to that of passing the Black Belt test the first time. Hard work pays off. If there is something you want to achieve, put in the hours and make it happen. Just like anything worth achieving, shooting well takes time and practice. One small example is the way in which our fingers tend to want to work together, and it takes time to create the muscle memory that allows you to properly grip a gun without “accidentally” squeezing the trigger. I put “accidentally” in quotes because it is more negligent than “accident”.

I have to throw out a big thanks to the people who helped me along the way, all of the advice was appreciated. More time spent in practice is ahead for me, but right now I just want to enjoy the feeling of a major goal accomplished. Thanks for sharing the ride!