If you have a handgun or are
thinking about purchasing one and have never been taught by someone
knowledgeable of handguns AND who can provide good instruction the answer is,
yes. You need at least a basic pistol class.
If you have some experience shooting, know how
to handle handguns safely but are not happy with how well you shoot you may
benefit from a refresher on the basics and the integrated act of firing one
well aimed shot.
If you have a handgun and are thinking of including it in your personal
protection strategy at home or have already done so and have not received solid
instruction in how to use one in self-defense then the answer is yes
again. You need to learn how to apply defensive shooting techniques that
are not often addressed in basic pistol courses.
If you plan to carry in public and you have not been taught how to do that
safely and how to safely get the pistol out of the holster and hit what you
need to hit and nothing else then the answer again is yes.
With respect to defensive shooting courses, all of the ones offered by the NRA
and my own include content beyond just shooting and presentation skills.
Considerable time is spent in those courses addressing how you can avoid
situations in which you might have to actually shoot in self-defense. The
only gunfight you really win is the one you can safely avoid.
Larry Mudgett of Marksmanship Matters has taken the time to address the subject of the need for training. In that posting he addresses many of the
reasons that people give for NOT taking pistol instruction and has kindly
granted me permission to link to his website. You can click here to see if your favorite is among them. The appearance of this link does
not imply an endorsement of me or my courses.
Where you get your training is, of course entirely up to you. I
hope that after you have reviewed my qualifications and the content and price
of my courses that you will decide to allow me to be your instructor however if
you decide not to take one of my courses please find another qualified
instructor. You will be safer and more comfortable and competent when
handling and shooting pistols if someone teaches you the safe and correct way
to do that.