This particular ramble was originally posted on my Facebook Page on Oct. 17, and with migrating this one over I now have my Blog here and my posts on Facebook on the same page. Once again this has been slightly edited from the original, but the basic drift of the article has not been changed.
For the past several weeks I have been rambling on about home defense with something of an emphasis on the use of one type of gun or another, based on the assumption that the ones reading my ramblings have honestly decided that they can, and will, kill to defend themselves and/or their loved ones. But what if you have asked yourself that most important of all questions of self-defense and found that you honestly cannot bring yourself to kill another human being even to save yourself or your family? If you can’t, and there is absolutely no shame in it if you can’t, but if you honestly cannot then accept right here and now that a gun is absolutely the last thing you should consider for defending yourself and your home. Yes, there are cases where just showing a gun (or racking a shell into a pump shotgun) has scared off a would be attacker, but in every case I’m familiar with the assailant was a thief who had absolutely no desire to get into it with someone and decided to exercise the better part of valor by beating a hasty retreat. Besides, these cases seem to be becoming fewer and farther between with each year. All too often, if a gun is brought into play, it will be used; the only real question is who is going to use it and who is it going to be used against. If you try to use the gun as some kind of magic totem that will keep evil away just by being waved around then, unless you are ridiculously lucky, it will most likely be taken away by your attacker and used on you; and I have trouble imaging anything more sad than being killed by your own gun. It’s especially true when your admitted inability to use a gun makes it something you should never have had in the first place.
But what do you do in that case? Do you just roll over and let yourself play victim? No, not necessarily. First off, as we discussed last week, there are plenty of things you can do to lessen the risk of an attacker picking your house for his or her shenanigans in the first place. And if they do decide to try their luck at your home, there are still a wide variety of weapons available to you that are not likely to result in death.
“Wait, hold on!” I hear some cry, “Weapons? I thought you were going to tell me how to defend myself without resorting to any nasty weapons!” Well, yes, you can try to defend yourself using some form of unarmed combat if you really wish. Hell, I’d even be willing to come out to teach you and a group of your friends the basics if you want to hire me to do a self-defense seminar for you; but let’s be honest here. The simple fact of the matter is that while I can teach you several tricks to make you a better fighter, and the basics that will help make you an effective fighter all in a one day seminar; the only real way to become an unarmed fighter in the first place is to fight. It doesn’t matter whether that fighting is done in back alleys and bar rooms or in a martial arts school under careful supervision and instruction. What I teach in my self-defense seminars is not how to fight but how to defend yourself long enough to get away when you’re out and about. If you want to learn to really fight, the type of fighting you need to defend your home, it will take much more than a one day seminar. Quite simply, it is much easier and quicker to learn to fight if you use some form of weapon.
So the question that needs to be asked is just what is a weapon anyway? Miriam-Webster defines a weapon as “something that is used for fighting or attacking someone or for defending yourself when someone is attacking you”. Yes, that includes those nasty guns of all shapes and size, as well as knifes, swords, and clubs; but it also includes things like pepper spray, stun guns, and Tasers, none of which are considered lethal. So how about it? Could you bring yourself to use a weapon that won't kill except in a freak accident? Or are you too much a pacifist to be able to bring yourself to do even that? Once again, there's no shame if you are. Ghandi was that way, and Christ himself said that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. Hell, if I'm going to be honest here, I came pretty close to being that way myself back in high school. Why am I not now? Mainly because of 30 plus years of being in the medical field, first as a paramedic where I was shot at several times, and then working at various Level 1 Trauma Centers where I routinely saw the worst that people can do to each other. Yet inspite of the fact that I could, and will, kill to protect my family, I still think the world would be a much better place if more people were innocent enough to be pacifists.
And so we come to what seems like a good place to pause for this week. So think about what I’ve said. Really think about it, just as you thought about whether or not you could bring yourself to kill to defend yourself and your family. In fact think it over 2 or 3 times. I’m not going anywhere and it really is an important question that you need to answer honestly for yourself if not for anyone else. Then, if you still want to learn, come back tomorrow and we’ll discuss those other options and weapons in greater detail.