Many people call it personal protection, while others say carrying a weapon is a public service.
The shooting in Newtown, Conn. has inspired some people to pick up a firearm for the first time, so they can be prepared to help others.
Some of these students have been using firearms since they were kids.
Joe doesn't even own a gun, but he started taking this firearms course because he would like to protect others.
"You may encounter a situation where others need your help."
"I was walking out of a convenience store and there was a pregnant woman. And all of a sudden another rolled up and ran after him and another guy got out there with a bat."
The potential for violence, Joe says, is the reason he decided to get training.
"The sheep says gosh I wish I hadn't been there, and the protector says gosh I wish I could have been there."
Instructor Jeff Prather says this beginner course isn't for recreational shooting. It's the first step to learning how to react to a threat.
"A whole lot of things happen that people don't understand, physiologically
and psychologically, when you're put in a lethal force situation," he said.
With more training, Joe believes he'll be able to carry with confidence. "It's about accepting the responsibility of training and using that firearm to preserve life."
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