Why We Broke Away From The NRA
Prepare To Act has been teaching pistol permit courses since 2012, during which time we’ve had hundreds of people come through our doors. And we’ve had hundreds more call or contact us through, Facebook and email. They all had questions and each expressed their own concerns and worries of committing to take a permit class.
Our goal has always been to create a learning environment that is welcoming, clean, professional and not intimidating, at all. In 2016 my staff and I wrote our own lesson plan, creating an original pistol permit program that only Prepare To Act offers. Following state guidelines, we wrote the program and submitted it to the Connecticut State Police Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. Once they received all the required information, that reviewed, vetted and approved our curriculum. We’ve taught nothing since.
For years the NRA Basic Pistol Permit Course was the only program offered in the State, in that case across the country. After careful review and teaching the program for a couple years, my staff and I realized we had so many problems with the way this course was structured.
1. It was cookie cutter, the NRA program that was offered in Connecticut, if you traveled to any other part of the country you would take the exact same course. That doesn’t work here in Connecticut, because we in Connecticut have some of the strictest and difficult to understand firearms laws in the country.
2. Absolutely anyone can become an NRA pistol instructor. Pay them a fee, take an eight hour course in someone’s basement or garage, fire off a couple rounds and wahlah, you can now teach the world how to be safe with a gun.
3. The entire way the NRA program was set up saturated the market with un-qualified, un-experienced, novice firearms instructors. Courses popped up everywhere, garage’s, basements, church’s, storefronts. I even heard of one company that was allowing their students to fire live rounds down basement stairs into a mattress. True story.
4. The NRA Basic Pistol Permit Course was extremely boring and covered exactly what the title said, just the basic’s. It was designed with the belief that everyone learns the same way. With no variations, or room to “stray,” they forced you to teach a certain way, even supplying the instructor with a very bland powerpoint presentation.
5. They were expensive, in 2016 the NRA had a brainstorm, “let’s make more money from this phenomenon of pistol permit applicants.” They built a computer program and required, you, the end user, to take an on-line portion of the pistol permit course. Following that computer course, you then had to find a physical organization to do your live fire exercises. Which of course charged additional fees.
Here is what, among other things, set Prepare To Act apart from the rest of the fly-by-nights out there instructing.
1. Safety – Our Pistol Permit Program was built on this principle. We understand that the majority of you interested in obtaining your pistol permit most likely have limited firearm experience. The story’s you have heard most likely revolve around people getting hurt, or accidental discharge’s resulting in injury or worse, death. The goal of not only this program, but all of our programs, is to change that mindset and thought process.
2. Experience – Prepare To Act was founded by Chris Marciano, who now is a 21 year police veteran. His goal from the very beginning was offering next level training programs that cover all facets of personal safety. From the very beginning and to this day, Prepare To Act has and will continue to hire instructor’s and staff who have real life experience. Our lead firearms instructor, Tina Perrone is, among other things, a retired Connecticut State Trooper, Certified Sig Sauer Firearms Instructor and Krav Maga Instructor. In other words, all of our instructors know more than the basics because they’ve spent their lives doing more to be more.
3. Empathy - Defined – The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. As we identified our purpose and mission at Prepare To Act we immediately recognized what we did not want to be, intimidating, abrupt or overly aggressive. Take those words and find their opposites and 0that’s what Prepare To Act is.
4. Confidence – Our course, our business and our purpose is to teach you the confidence you need to be able to not only handle a firearm, but to handle yourself properly too. In all of our courses we stress Presence Of Mind, in fact, it’s the foundation to which we train on. The ability to process a situation, assess it, and handle it the best way you can, comes with clarity, focus and confidence. Confidence with firearms comes as most things do, repetition, education and training. The more you handle the firearm the better and more comfortable you will be to use it. And by use it, we mean enjoy it, make it a hobby, a stress reliever, have fun with it. We don’t solely train to defend life or property, we train to allow you to learn about the hobby of firearm use, respect the power of a firearm and embrace the idea of self-protection.
As we talk about self-protection, it comes with a deep understanding of who you are and what you can do that fits your “make-up.” Your cannot become who you are not deep inside of you. I’m scared of heights, I’ll be honest, I’d be a terrible Fire Jumper or military member that is forced to jump from a plane, umm, no thanks. Snakes? Nope, not them either, someone else can be a snake wrangler. I’ve learned to know my limitations, I have a tremendous amount of respect for firemen, I love the idea of being a firefighter, but, I never committed to it. If I had I know that I would enjoy it.
I am supporter of firearms possession by well educated, mature, law abiding, mentally stable community members across the country. If you’ve gotten this far it means you are seriously interested and curious about taking a pistol permit class. We are excited about that and want you to be comfortable, understand that at the completion of our course, you will be able to apply for your Connecticut Pistol Permit. You will not be qualified to become a Navy Seal and attack the enemy. Why? Because we all need to know our limits. For the purpose of our Pistol Permit Class, your limits will be that of a new firearms user that will be taught from the letter “A,” to it’s completion and the letter “Z.”