Our instructors spend so much time teaching students about the fundamentals of firearms operation and safety, the importance of practice and how to carry with confidence. So, why do they choose to carry when they’re not at Bristlecone? We asked some of our instructors this question and here’s what they said: “I carry to protect my family, myself, and others who cannot defend themselves. One of the reasons I carry is that when seconds matter, the police are … minutes away.” -Steve Hartel, Firearms Instructor “I have had a CCW since 1973, when I turned 21. I have always carried for protection. I worked as a Police Officer for many years and have really seen how much crime occurs on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the Police can’t be everywhere. I have taught Self-Defense and firearms classes for many years to help people be able to defend themselves. With these crazy times that we are living in, it is all too necessary. More and more dangerous people are on the streets. I carry to protect my wife and children, and as a retired Police Officer and SWAT operator, I still feel a responsibility to the public. I feel that my extensive tactical training could be a life saver to the public, and I take that responsibility very seriously.” -Frank Greenberg, Firearms Instructor “I personally carry in public because I know that it is impossible for police to get to you in the event of an armed robbery, assault or many other incidents that happen on a daily basis. Because of this, I carry to protect myself and my wife. I choose not to be a victim or at least try to be the master of my own destiny. However, I mainly carry because I spend a lot of time in the backcountry where I encounter a lot of wildlife. When you’re in a remote area, you cannot get help in a reasonable amount of time. I have run in to a lot of Moose in the backcountry and had two notable experiences in one day in the Lost Creek Wilderness. Two years ago, my wife and I were backpacking there. We woke up early, packed up camp and started to hike out. We were in a small clearing (McCurdy Park) and walked over a small rise where we came face to face with a large bull moose. We were no more than 75 feet from it when we stopped. The moose was startled and took what I felt was a defensive stance and stood its ground. This was a rather uncomfortable position to be in, so I drew my gun just in case. Unfortunately, we were in a clearing with no trees to get behind. We slowly walked backwards and the moose slowly came toward us. We eventually made it to the tree line and the moose stopped following us. We made a large bound around the moose and eventually made it back to the trail and continued on. The exact same scenario happened again 7 miles later! Both of these encounters happened miles from the trailhead and our vehicle. At the end of the day, I was able to deescalate the situation and all concerned, including the moose, were fine. However, it was a good feeling knowing that if that moose had charged, I would have been able to defend my wife and myself because I was carrying.” -Lee Royse, Firearms Instructor You can read more about all of our instructors and check out the classes they teach here.