The choice to carry a gun each day is nothing more than an extension of a previous decision one has made in their life. This decision was that of self-preservation. The concept that my life, or your life, or the lives of those we care about is more valuable than the lives of criminals that would seek to do us harm.
Anyone that has made such a decision generally then takes steps to ensure they can prevail against a criminal attack. They acquire the tools and training and they develop a mindset and lifestyle that will allow them to avoid a fight if possible but win a fight if necessary. It’s only logical that handguns would come up in this evolution of tools and training. Handguns are easy to carry on your person and they are generally more efficient at ending a fight than a club, knife, or any less lethal weapon at stopping an attacker. In fact, the only things that usually perform better than handguns are rifles and shotguns.
Having said that, self-defense is not about guns. It’s not about knives, Krav Maga, pepper spray, or any other weapon you may choose. Self-defense is about problem solving. As the victim of an attack, it’s your job to recognize that you have been attacked and then instantly devise a strategy to win the fight. To win the fight, you must “solve” the “problem.”
Why, then, do so many people intentionally place obstacles between the attack and the win?
If you spend more than two minutes on social media browsing through the various thousands of gun related pages, groups, channels, etc., you are bound to find someone with a very firm and usually vocal opinion on why a carry gun should be equipped with an external safety device, why you should always carry in a level 2 retention holster, or why you shouldn’t carry a chambered round. These opinions are usually based on outdated or insufficient knowledge of self-defense.
Attackers wait until the most opportune moment to attack you. They have all of the advantages. They know when the attack will occur, how it will occur, whether or not they have accomplices, and to what ends they are willing to continue the attack. The methods, techniques, and tools you have chosen to carry and use may need to be employed in the span of a heartbeat. Purposely choosing to utilize methods, techniques, tools, equipment, etc. that require additional steps to employ is nothing more than placing yourself at further disadvantage in the fight.
It is akin to intentionally blocking the way out of your home just in case it catches fire.
Take some time this week to evaluate your skillset and the defensive tools you carry. I’ll give you a few hints on what to look for.
- Mastering a single technique to accomplish a specific task, such as a reload, is faster than learning several.
- Moving out of the way of an oncoming attack is faster than trying to use some kind of choreographed move against the attacker.
- Fixed blade knives are faster to employ than folding knives.
- A gun that fits your hand can be shot faster and more accurately than one that does not.
- A gun with a chambered round and no external safety device is faster to employ than an empty gun that has an on/off switch.
- A passive retention holster is faster to draw from than those with a button to push or a strap to remove in order to draw.
- A gun in a holster that is attached to your waistline is faster to employ than a gun in a purse, shoulder holster, or ankle holster.
- A gun that holds twelve rounds will shoot twelve rounds faster than a gun that holds six.
- Hits end fights faster than misses.
Self-defense should be an ever-evolving quest for the best technique, the best method, the best equipment, the best training, the best mindset, the best everything. It’s your job to find the best possible tools and techniques because the criminal attacks at your worst possible time. The moment a fight begins is a bad time to realize you are ill equipped to win.
Remove the obstacles that may lie between you and victory in a fight. Set aside the extraneous and inefficient methods you may have picked up over the years. Use your training resources wisely to develop the best skills possible. Choose your tools and learned skills carefully. Your life and the lives of those you care about depend on them.