02 January 2013

Part 5: Personal Protection

Part 5: Personal protection. Here's a quiz: who's responsible for your personal safety? The police? Mom/dad/brother/sister/spouse/non-gender-specific significant other? A sign outside that says "No guns?"

Answer (and you may not like to hear this): Nobody. Nobody but YOU.

I get asked all the time about my opinion on what kind of gun someone should buy for personal protection. My answer is always, "what's your plan?" After a blank look, I explain. Scenario: you're in the study, working from home, when you hear the back door getting kicked in. What's your plan? Scenario: you're asleep in bed, and hear a window break downstairs. What's your plan?

If you can't answer simple questions like this, then a weapon isn't going to do you much good. Of course, I recommend having a firearm for personal protection, but if you don't learn how to safely use it, learn the laws of your state regarding deadly force, and have a plan for the unthinkable, you're not really preparing for anything.

Go take a Concealed Handgun Licensing course, even if you don't own a firearm. Learn the laws of your state, it's very educational, and a lot of myths get dispelled when you learn them. For example, I've heard people giving sage advice about how if you shoot someone in your yard, drag them inside. Tampering with a crime scene is lousy advice. Go learn the law.

Learn basic gun safety. Learn basic gun safety. Learn basic gun safety.

Learn how to shoot from a qualified shooting instructor. Virtually anyone who has been shooting IDPA or USPSA for a while can offer you fundamental training on how to safely operate a firearm. Beware of poseurs who charge exorbitant amounts for "Basic" pistol training. Ask around - if they've got a good reputation, you'll get good recommendations.

Have a plan. Practice it, even if you feel silly doing it. Where is your mobile phone while you're sleeping? It should be right next to your bed. Where is a firearm if you need it in an emergency, and is it ready to be used? A gun locked in a safe with no ammo in the mag is useless.

Police fill out reports after a crime has been committed. They are not chartered with your personal protection. You need to recognize that your personal protections is your responsibility, and take it seriously.

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