Thursday, November 14, 2013

Daily Briefing For Thursday, November 14, 2013

Eleven Hours Later...

I sat through the CHL instructor renewal class yesterday.  It was a long day to say the least.

A few observations from the class:

  • DPS continues to raise the qualifications of instructors.  This has received mix reviews among CHL instructors.  Having heard some of the horror stories, and having seen some of the instructors in class and on the range, there needs to be more scrutiny in certifying instructors.
  • Instructors will continue to struggle to get the necessary material covered in the new 4 to 6 hour format. 
  • NO VIDEOS MAY BE SHOWN IN CLASS, unless they are on the DPS-approved YouTube channel.  This is a big disappointment, as there is a lot of great material out there on DVD and YouTube from which students could learn.
  • The paperwork requirements for instructors has been reduced slightly.  We'll take it anyway we can get it.
  • DPS emphasized that the CHL class is not a basic handgun class.  I get that.  But here's the reality that any CHL instructor who teaches courses on even a semi-regular basis will tell you: you will have a lot of inexperienced shooters - some of whom have never fired a handgun - in your classes.  I've had brand new shooters take my Glock 34 and shoot well above the instructor certification level during the proficiency test.  I've had experienced shooters struggle to keep their guns working or to break above 200. 

    The reality is that CHL classes will often continue to be an introductory level class for new shooters.  While some will object to that, I'm of the mindset that my novice shooters in my CHL class are leaving with more knowledge about handgun safety and use, the law of self defense, and situational awareness than before the class.  I have to think that's a good thing.

First Steps In Building a Bug Out Bag

Here's an excellent video for you to review. 

Summer Workshop Ideas

I mentioned in my last blog that I working to develop a day long workshop on preparedness.  Unlike the upcoming conference, this would be a more hands-on event whereby attendees could build simple projects and play with the gear to give them some ideas of what aspect of their plan they might want to work on next.

Some subjects I'm considering include:

  • Ham radio demonstration
  • Solar power demonstration
  • Solar cooking demonstration
  • Spreadsheet for creating a food storage plan
  • Building a Berkey water filtration clone
  • Basics of reloading ammo
If you have suggestions, I'd like to hear them


  1. No videos shown in class? Can you elaborate? I don't recall them saying that during my class. I think we aren't allowed to "teach by video", but I didn't think it was a blanket "no video" policy.

    As for the time and "beginner" notion. I think the material can be covered in 4-6 hours... .we just have to become better about time management and the structuring of our classroom lecture. You have to learn what to keep, what to cull, and keep the class on track. It will be a challenge, but I think it's do-able.

    I also think this better enables instructors to offer more variety in their classes. I think it can be a business opportunity. I mean, before it was 10-15 in the classroom. That took the whole day, often it pushed the class to a 2 day thing so you could have enough range time, and well you know how it goes. It's a long thing and you didn't necessarily have time to address what may be needed on the range.

    Now I think you have such an opportunity. It may still be a whole long day, or broken into two days, but I think it can provide the opportunity for more range time to work on fundamentals and so on. Yes DPS is right - CHL class is NOT a place to learn to shoot, it's a place to learn law. But I think instructors could use this as opportunity to offer different flavors of class, where you could have a class that's pure CHL, then another that's CHL-learning-to-shoot combo, or whatever.

    - Hsoi

  2. We were told you couldn't show videos in class. I wasn't sure if this meant for the entire class or if the 20% rule still applied. So I made a point of asking one of the instructors during a break: "Can we show videos in class?" Answer: unless it's on the YouTube channel of approved videos, you cannot. They may start approving other videos in the future, or even giving instructors the leeway to choose their own, but as of yesterday, the answer was "no."