Good Question.. and I had to get that out before I disagreed with one thing or another..
I'm of the opinion that determined willingness, (often called mindset) .. is critical to self defense....and necessary for even 'good' training to form good habits.
I'm moreso convinced that training sincerely (time & money invested, experienced instructors, LISTEN to feedback and adapt).. is VERY important to success in self defense.. but *second* in that *first* you have to make up your mind you're WILLING to do that Defend part.
most gun owners ( gun enthusiasts is more correct) have forgotten some things about HOW they decided to be responsible for their own self defense. .
if you've been a lifelong gun owner, you may never have actually decided to be responsible, it sort of grew up when you did.
many folks think of guns as talismans, nice word by the way.. and by MY standards, that beats nothing.. both to have a gun (with minimal foundation of training) and for the example it sets (for others lacking skills)...
yes, the training is critical. no, it isn't strictly required to WIN.. too many untrained folks have won, to prove that point in error.
what might not be evident is that CRIMINALS may be untrained.. they don't have to take tests.. there are certainly plenty of stupid ones, yes?
Yes, training is necessary. Yes, having a gun beats having a talisman.
That's *not* a reason to avoid gun ownership as long as you don't mistake ownership for skill.
There have been one heck of a lot of homicides committed by the untrained. . and SOME of those homicides were self defense, entirely legal and honorable.
Part of the reasons that gungrabbers get excited is how LITTLE training guns take, to be operated correctly.
Considering they've rejected personal responsibility for self defense and civic duty for defense of their family and neighborhood, it rubs their noses in it that they *could* confront the problem themselves if they only WOULD..
ANY level of training is a step in the right direction. A *badly* trained person who gets themself shot trying.. is more valuable to ME, the innocent bystander.. than an apathetic drone who doesn't care. .
I do NOT suggest anyone ignore training requirements, but I won't call them the big half. The big half is WILLING.. and we can work with that. It ain't very difficult once they're willing...
I wish I could agree as it would make the formula simpler.
However what we are talking about is increasing odds; no more, no less.
We are far past the "willing" point in this discussion, though I whole-heartedly concede that it is prerequisite.
IF willingness was indeed enough and it was easy from there, we would see much better performance in law enforcement shootings.
Thus I whole-heartedly disagree that it's not very hard once they're willing.
I've seen too many examples to believe otherwise.
We should not mistake good fortune for competence and rely on it for our safety.