Permission vs. Skill

By Kellene Bishop

Photo: Galco Gunleather

Photo: Galco Gunleather

When I ask various people if they feel they are capable of stopping a charging drug-crazed assailant, or prevent a break-in attempt into their home by a lawless gang, or to save the life of a person being mugged, the response I hear all too often from both men and women is, “Oh yeah.  I have my concealed carry permit.”  Clearly some confuse Permission with Skill. 

A concealed carry permit does not ensure that you will be able to shoot straight, shoot fast, shoot accurately, and shoot to stop.  It only gives you Permission that you may have a loaded firearm nearby should you need to do so.  In most states, this Permission is not even necessary to protect your home, but the Skill sure is.

A concealed carry permit cannot save a life.  But Skill will never let you down when it really counts.

Permission merely tells you that someone who doesn’t even know you is willing to allow you the mostly unfettered access to the tools you need to protect yourself.  (Arguably a permission that should not even HAVE to be granted to mankind—in my opinion it’s an unalienable human right to defend oneself with effective tools. *heavy sigh*)  But Skill ensures that you know how to use life-saving tools. 

All the Permission in the world won’t save your life or the life of those you love.  
Only SKILL can accomplish this.

Permission does not provide you with sound firearm safety.
Skill ensures that a firearm is a purposed tool, not an accident waiting to happen.

Permission is regulated by government.
Skill is regulated by your access to experts and your willingness to apply a foundation of knowledge in order to protect your family.

Permission without Skill is barely worth the $30-$100 bucks you paid for it, and that you will continue to pay so long as you continue to renew. 
But the right kind of skill will last a lifetime.

Permission does not stop a would-be rapist.  
Only Skill can do that.

Permission does not protect you from an abusive husband, or an out of control ex-boyfriend.  Not even a protective order can do that. 
Only Skill can provide you with the safety and peace you ultimately seek.

So while I wholeheartedly support individuals in obtaining their concealed firearm permit, I implore you not to confuse it with Skill.  Spend the time and the money on acquiring Skill.  Remember, it’s worth a lifetime of confidence and peace.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.


15 Responses

  1. Kellene,

    This is an excellent and timely article on a very important subject…especially considering the unprecedented numbers of purchases and permit applications made by first-time gun owners in recent years. I agree…Permission and skill are two very different animals. One will help to keep you out of jail and the other will help to keep you out of a cemetary.

    To obtain “permission”, one must reside in a state that honors our Constitution and jump through a few hoops. To obtain actual “skill”, one must become completely familiar with their chosen protective weapon and PRACTICE. Go to the range as often as financially possible.

    Another very effective method is simple dry-fire practice. If we frequently go through our entire tactical response, from recognize to re-holster, we will be much more prepared when the real situation presents itself.

    It is a sad reality that many of us need to obtain “permission” to excersice our natural right to defend ourselves but obtaining that permission is a necessary step. Practice is also necessary if we are to be responsible as well as skilled gun owners. Permission and continued practice lead to confidence. We can be the best shot on the block but without practicing all aspects of the response to an active threat, we may panic and freeze or at the very least, we may waste precious seconds in hesitation. Confidence, obtained through practice, will greatly improve our chances of survival in a life-or-death self defense situation.

  2. Booyah great response! Very well said.

    • David,

      I am glad that you appreciate my response…but sadly, my response was censored and edited by the blog owner because they did not agree with a portion of the information. A free exchange of ideas and open debate are not possible when this is practiced. I understand that this is a privately run site and there are house-rules and such, but why allow and even encourage comments if they are going to be censored and edited to fit one person’s thought process? I am disappointed and saddened by this as I have been a strong supporter and believer of this site and the quality information provided here. I will be unable to post here in the future.

      God bless,


  3. Like I tell people – a gun is not a magic talisman that wards off evil. Or if it is, what makes you think you can use it without going to Hogwarts wizard school for 4 years like Harry did?

  4. I LOVE this blog. Not only is the writing great but the comments are great as well!

    • So glad to hear you like it! By the way, this particular article was the basis of a featured topic on NRA News Radio last Thursday night. Periodically you’ll hear me on there so tuen in hear always to get this stuff first hand! 🙂

  5. As you probably know, we have been having a little problem with “permission” here in Florida:

    • ooh. That just makes me mad! grrr… Well the only silver lining I see in this, is that it makes the UT Concealed Firearm Permit classes more valuable. While we’re still taking a while to issue them, noone has raided the coffers–yet.

  6. Turn around time here used to be MAX 90 days…now it can be up to 6 months

  7. Florida has reciprocity with 35 states, one of them being Utah. 🙂

    Take a look:

    • yeah, that’s my point. You can get just as many states with Utah as you can with Florida, I believe. But we don’t have a 6 mos. turn time…yet. *wink*

  8. They don’t call us the Gunshine State for nothing. 😉

  9. Like I learned in the Army train like you fight and fight like you train.

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