By Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated
Sometimes, gun enthusiasts get all bogged down arguing about which is the best defensive pistol, the best caliber, the best ammo and the smartest way to carry. When we run out of those topics, we can always fall back on whether the Weaver Stance or the Isosceles Stance is best.
Now, these are all things that defensive shooters have to work out for themselves. But I would suggest to you that these discussion topics are way down the list of important things to consider when your desire to to stay alive. Right off the top of my head, here are three things that are more important than all of the topics listed above.
Although we are never as aware of our surroundings as we ought to be, it is a goal that we have to continually strive for. By being aware and alert, we can see potential trouble brewing before it ends up in our lap. We are also aware of the closest exits and the closest cover. The more aware we are, the more time we have to make defensive decisions that might help us avoid having to use deadly force to protect ourselves.
Because we are paying attention, we observe trouble starting in the restaurant just as our meal is being served. And we know just what to do. We simply get up and leave. Outside, away from the trouble, we may call the police or take other action as responsible citizens. But our primary goal is to just get away from the trouble.
There also may be parts of our town that are not considered safe to be in after dark. I cringe when I hear a person say, “By god, I’ve got a pistol permit and I’ll go where I darned well want to!” That sort of macho thinking just leads to trouble. And just because we are a good guy with a pistol permit doesn’t mean that we can’t be shot, killed, arrested or sued.
Road rage? Because we are dedicated to avoiding trouble, we don’t engage, we don’t argue, and we get away if at all possible. Some might call that chicken – I call it smart thinking.
I have often told defensive shooters, “Don’t tell me what you carry – show me what you can do with it.” Your ability to draw quickly and to hit accurately and quickly trumps any argument about guns, calibers, and ammo. We develop a high level of skill by getting good training (yes, I know that you’ve been shooting for years – sign up for a good defensive class anyway) and then religiously practicing what we’ve been taught.
Guns, ammo, and holsters, are equipment, not religious artifacts. If that new Whiz-Bang Special works for you, that’s great. But, if it doesn’t, get rid of it and get something that works. Personal defense is about living, not being part of the latest fad.
I’m glad that we have so much good defensive gear to choose from. I’m glad that you folks go out and buy it, because that gives us something to write about. But just be sure to keep things in proper perspective. Personal defense is about living.