While it's fresh in my mind, I would like to say a few things about the Level II Personal Protection Course given last weekend (24-26 September) by Steve Silverman of Firearms Research & Instruction, Inc.. I had some reservations about taking this course, as my experience with firearms was limited to plinking, hunting, and range shooting. I talked with Steve, and after hearing about my background, he accepted me in the course. I knew that anything that I picked up in the course would be beneficial to me, and being a self-taught shooter, I was hoping to correct faults and break bad habits --- I was just hoping that I wouldn't embarrass myself too much.
As an instructor of high-intensity (4-day) computer courses, I know only too well how the quality of the instructor can make an intense short course either miserable or magnificent. Fortunately for me this turned out to be the latter! Steve showed me what I was doing wrong, told me how to correct it, and then saw to it that I did correct it. All the techniques that he taught were thoroughly and simply explained in a completely logical way. Sometimes optional methods were given, and the student was able to select the one they preferred(I found no reason to reject Steve's recommended methods). He thoroughly answered every question that I had(there weren't too many because he explained things so well).
The amount that I learned was beyond my expectations. I thought I would pick up some pointers and witness some impressive shooting, but little did I know that I would also be able to do some of these things myself. For example, I wouldn't have thought that I could hit a man-sized target at 112 yards with my 9MM three out of seven times, but I did. I just did what Steve told me to do and it happened. I also didn't think that I could consistently hit the torso at 50 yards with a Kahr MK9, but I did(Steve could consistently make head shots at that distance with it). I am still amazed at how well I can shoot at 25 yards in total darkness(well, I did have night sights).
In summary, I strongly recommend this course for anyone that owns a handgun and believes that they might someday have the need to use it to defend themselves. I certainly feel much more capable about defending myself with a gun than I did before I took this course. Thanks again, Steve!