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Voodoo Gun Owners and Superstitious Self-Defense

November 26, 2016

firearmsclassinstructionWe make two large mistakes about self-defense. Some of us think guns are good, and some of us think guns are bad. Both viewpoints, as I’ll describe them here, are wrong.

There is no place for superstition in self-defense. The people who think guns are bad don’t read this blog, so let’s talk about our superstitious friends who think guns are good. It sounds silly when I describe our actions in such unflattering terms, but we all know many of these voodoo gun owners.

These gun owners think guns will protect them. These guys go buy another gun if an anti-gun politician says guns are bad, yet they won’t join the NRA to support pro-gun politicians. They go buy another gun if there is a violent crime in their neighborhood, yet they never stop to take a training class.  They don’t know how much they don’t know.

You’ve seen your old neighbor, Mrs. Grundy, who goes to the store late at night and thinks she is safe because the dusty gun in her purse will protect her. She hasn’t fired her gun in years and never took a training class. Sigh. The gun stored up on your closet shelf won’t protect you either. It can’t.

I’m going to be blunt: a gun isn’t magic. An inert lump of metal doesn’t project an invisible force field that repels criminals. Your skills turn a firearm into a tool for self-defense. Only your ingrained habits can help you when you need to defend those you love. You build those habits through study and practice.

Marksmanship and gun handling teaches you what to do with your hands. Protecting your family means going to class. Practice means exercising the drills you were taught. It means carrying every day so you know how to live with your gun. You need to get some firearms training, but that isn’t all you need.

Self-defense training teaches you what to do with your mind. You won’t see potential risks unfold unless you know where to look. Developing a library of habits that help you see and avoid danger is the most important training you can get. If you’ve been attacked, then please tell me if I’m wrong.

Let’s go one step further. You won’t be able to defend your family if the police take away your firearms and arrest you. You have to learn about your local laws so you can obey them. You don’t want to give the government an excuse to disarm you.

Like playing an instrument, you can’t learn this in an hour. It takes time and consistent practice.

Let me set the level of expectations for you. Developing self-defense skills takes time.  First, you’re told what to do by an instructor. Next, you’re shown what to do. You watch other students trying to put their new skills into practice. A skilled instructor watches your performance and gives you feedback.

Now you know what it feels like to do the right thing. Now you can practice on your own and eventually make it a procedural skill you don’t have to think about. Fortunately for all of us, there are great teachers out there and learning new skills is fun.

Let’s get rid of the excuses. The hunter’s safety course you had when you were a teenager isn’t what you need for self-defense. The military training you had 10 years ago isn’t second nature any longer. The course you took three years ago — and haven’t touched your firearm since — well, that course isn’t doing you much good today.

We won’t know the time and place when danger decides to hunt us. Let’s prepare now so you we can surprise danger, rather than the other way around.

This article was first published at Second Call Defense

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich.. permalink
    November 28, 2016 11:01 am

    Dear NRA…..
    Stop “negotiating” excuses to INFRINGE on OUR RIGHTS.

    If there must be background checks, let’s try this idea…
    Are there any ‘legislators’ that are interested in a Constitutional Background Check?

    Since SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means exactly that..

    Let’s try a “Background Check” that DOES NOT INFRINGE on anybodies RIGHTS…
    A FULL, IN DEPTH background check for ALL Politicians, Bureaucrats, and ALL government employees, and set MINIMAL INTELLIGENCE, JOB SKILLS AND CHARACTER QUALITIES that must be met before they can run for office, be appointed or hired.

    That way, WE, THE PEOPLE, get a much better class of politicians and bureaucrats, as well as EMPLOYEES that can be trained to do the jobs they are being hired for.

    Any bets on how hard the political class will fight to prevent it?

    THAT would be a Background Check that nearly ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS will support and I don’t much care if the illegals and their sycophants don’t like the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 29, 2016 6:04 am

      Great rant, Rich. Wish it had something to do with the article I wrote.

      Liked by 1 person

    • November 30, 2016 9:20 am

      I agree that there is room for disagreements in the political positions of such groups as NRA and GOA. No one person will ever be exactly in sync with either group. That is part of why the groups are effective in that politics are not a one time event. But a journey.
      However, not sure why you singled out that issue as a comment on this article.
      I have two strong feelings/thoughts on the issue of the article.
      1) We all need self defense training, both more intense and more often, including practice. I go to practice once a week and take classes several times a year, still not sure that is enough.
      2) Training, practice, certification and gun ownership requirements need to be kept out of government rules. No government or organization can know what kind or amount of such training that I need, that is my decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Keith permalink
    February 1, 2017 9:56 am

    Really good informative article. I too am disturbed that so many in our camp think guns are a magic potion. Training is necessary I agree. The reality is that the training you describe is beyond the means or physical ability of a large number of gun owners. Are there less than ideal but somewhat adequate options to gain some knowledge?


    • February 1, 2017 1:17 pm

      Yes.. and no. Give a listen to the self defense gun stories podcast. Nothing is hard. Everything is demanding of the new student.


    • February 1, 2017 7:34 pm

      Keith, I was thinking about what you said, “beyond their means”. Do they lack time, opportunity, money, or ability?


      • Keith permalink
        February 1, 2017 7:35 pm

        All three in some cases. Thanks for your reply!

        Liked by 1 person


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