Even when you’re a well-known fixture in New Jersey’s Second Amendment community, you’re impressed by who turns out for the New Jersey SAFE Conference.
Having appeared at the first NJ SAFE in 2015 as attendee and in 2016 as an exhibitor, “my biggest takeaways have been the opportunities to speak with 2A ‘celebrities’ who are far more accessible than people realize,” says Sean Fisher, president of firearms and preparedness specialists Black Bag Resources of Nazareth, Pa.
Now leading a company that fully tests the tactical equipment it supplies and will even demonstrate at a customer’s home, Fisher began his foray into firearms at age 4.
“My father taught me basic marksmanship and firearms safety. Guns weren’t taboo in our house growing up, so it was just a natural part of life. I continued shooting in the Boy Scouts and Sea Cadets, hunted with my father, and I was eager to purchase my first firearms as an adult when I turned 18.”
In 2012, Gun For Hire founder Anthony Colandro officially conferred Fisher’s NRA instructor credentials.
“With all the skills I build with students, I hammer on safety the most,” Fisher says. “Whether it’s with a new shooter or one who is experienced, I constantly reinforce good habits when it comes to maintaining the smallest possible margin of error.”
Of course, thanks to questionable depictions of firearms use in entertainment and other media, there are plenty of bad habits he must correct.
“Often, the new student has seen something online or on television, and as an instructor I have to dispel a myth or slow the student’s pace without reducing their enthusiasm,” Fisher explains. “You have to walk before you can run, and I encourage students to build strong foundations before attempting to advance. Taking on an advanced course without solid fundamentals prevents a student from taking full advantage of the material and can be discouraging if they don’t perform well.
Then there are the intermediate or advanced students who might display “what I refer to as ‘brand loyalty.’ The student was taught in another class, or saw something online, that there is only one ‘right way’ and can be resistant to new material or a different technique if it doesn’t align exactly with what they were taught previously. I’ve been involved with firearms long enough to see trends come and go and techniques fall in and out of favor.”
Fisher also emphasizes a case-by-case approach. “There are situations that dictate different responses, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. I encourage experienced students to add more variety and develop their own preferences.”
Outside the classroom or training ground, a gathering of hundreds of fellow firearms enthusiasts is an ideal place to share tips and tricks, broaden one’s perspective and affirm one’s commitment to the 2A community.
Not only does NJ SAFE provide a bonding experience for some of the most important 2A advocates and firearms owners all abilities, but “it offers a huge educational opportunity to the general public. I’d like to see more of the folks that are new to shooting and 2A rights and activism, as well as people who have no previous involvement, take advantage of all that NJ SafeCon brings forward.”
What’s the best way to participate at NJ SAFE?
“You just have to show up, be polite, and you can get face to face with any of the great people involved in protecting our Second Amendment civil rights.”