And so here we are at Friday already. Lord but this week just seems to have flown by! But it is indeedy deed Friday which must mean it's time for me to ramble on about self defense. Now my original plans for this day in the wake of my resurrecting my blog from the dust bin was to do a piece on shooting drills, but considering some of the conversations I've been having on Facebook this week I think instead I'll revisit something I take about way back when I first started this site. And that is whether a gun is the right choice for you as a means of self defense.
Now wait a minute you're saying. Of course a gun is the right choice for self defense! What else's there? Quite a lot actually, but even if there wasn't it still doesn't follow that a gun of any type is automatically the right choice for everyone. First off, a gun is not some kind of superior magic wand that will somehow make the bad guys disappear the minute you take it out and wave it around. To be effective, you have to be willing to take that heavy, noisy, greasy, hunk of metal and polymer and use it to put holes in another human being; often at disturbingly short distances. You also have to except the fact that all too often just wounding the bad guy is not going to stop the threat, and even if it were when the adrenalin is pumping fine shooting skills are going to go right out the window unless you practice for a couple of hours every single day, day in and out. This means that to be sure you're going to hit your attacker and stop him as a threat, you're going to have to shoot for the center of mass; aka the torso. And if you do that, then you have to be ready to accept that you might kill him whether you mean to or not! All of which means when you cut to the chase is that before you even start to consider buying that gun you'd better have a long heart to heart with yourself and decide once and for all if you are not only willing to kill if necessary to protect yourself and your family, but if you can kill to protect yourself and your family! No, don't laugh. I'm completely serious here. This is not as easy a question to answer as some would have you think. There are serious mental, emotional, ethical, and legal issues involved here; and if you're not completely honest with yourself right now you will come to regret it should you ever need to use that gun you're dead set on buying. I know that Second Amendment activists the country over are telling you that you must have a gun and stand up for your Second Amendment rights, and I'll agree with standing up for your rights. But some people simply cannot kill, not even to save their loved ones. Hell, back when I first started as a paramedic back in the dark ages I wouldn't have been able to kill someone no matter what was at stake. Admittedly, 30+ years of seeing people routinely do the worst things they can to their fellow human beings changed that for me; but that's me. You might not be there yet, and if you aren't that's okay. That's even more than okay actually. The world would be a much better place if everyone were like that and don't you ever let anyone make you feel bad if you can't kill to protect yourself. But at the same time, if you honestly can't kill to protect yourself and your loved ones then a gun is the absolute worst thing you could ever buy for self defense. Buy a baseball bat, or an axe handle, or a knife, or even a hunk of rock; but don't you ever buy a gun and think you're going to use it to defend yourself. If you can't tell yourself with total honesty that you could kill someone if push came to shove, then the first time you try to defend yourself with that fancy new gun of yours you're going to freeze up. And once you do that, then the bad guy is going to have no trouble taking your fancy new gun away from you and using it to fill you full of holes; nor will he hesitate to do just that. After all, if he really cared he wouldn't be breaking the law in the first place; but he does care enough to know he definitely does NOT want to go to prison, and the easiest way to be sure that he doesn't go is to make sure you are not around to tell the police who he is. Besides, his gun is likely a piece of crap, so why not replace it with a much nicer one like yours? Don't believe me about that last part? Go down to your local police department and get one of the officers to show you the guns they've confiscated from the various criminals they lock up.
So take your time. Think long and hard about my question to you. You have time after all. Yes,yes, I know the Democrats have manage to force the Republicans to talk about gun control. But even if they were all on the same page (which they most certainly are not) it couldn't happen over night. It will be a least a couple of weeks before it even gets to the point where the Senate can vote on it, and from there it has to go to the House before Obama gets a chance at signing it. So take your time and think well. Then, if you honestly decide you can take a life to defend your own, and only then should you go and buy that gun you've got your eye on.