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Armed Defense is always a Matter of Time

February 2, 2022

I know that you’re way smarter than this, but I keep hearing new gun owners get bad advice. We hear it everywhere, from the news to the lunch counter. I’m not criticizing either source because I suspect they are simply repeating something they’ve heard. This is important because we can invent all sorts of complicated schemes as we plan our defense. It is easy to forget that time controls almost everything as we defend ourselves. Eventually, we remember that the bad guys arrive with a plan. We get to defend ourselves, our family, and our friends with what’s physically within reach and mentally within reach. Let’s look at some common suggestions and see how they measure against the clock.

“I only carry a firearm when I’m going someplace dangerous”

Maybe this means you’ll carry if you go to a convenience store or an ATM after sunset. That is good advice, but it is better advice to plan those trips for safer times of the day. The obvious question is how we will know if this is a dangerous place ahead of time. People have been attacked at every hour and in every location. It is dangerous for us to think the law of averages doesn’t apply to us. It is often too late to get our gun once the safe trip we planned turned out to be a dangerous journey after all. Part of our defense is admitting we are at risk.

Give the robbers what they want and just be a good witness, then call the police and let them handle it

Robbers do whatever gets them what they want in the shortest time. Criminals use violence because it works. The robbers don’t really care if that means issuing verbal threats, hitting us, stabbing us, or shooting us. We can hope that the criminals will be satisfied with what we hand them, but that is asking for mercy from the merciless. I’ve never heard a good reason to leave the degree of violence up to the robbers.

Being a good witness may sound smart, but we’re too busy to call for help while we’re being attacked. After the robbers have left, then we can go find someone who has a cell phone and ask them to call 911 for us because the robber took our phone. Since the robbers are long gone, this isn’t a priority call for the police.

Some police departments won’t even take a report if the robber took less than a thousand dollars and if we didn’t need medical treatment. If they do come out, the average police response time is a little over 11 minutes. The police will give us a case number and ask us to file the report in the next few days. The police usually catch up with the robber after he has committed about 20 crimes. If that schedule works for you then by all means be a “good witness”.

Calling yourself a “good witness” certainly feels better than saying you were a “good victim.” I think it is safer to be an armed defender.

“I have a gun up on the shelf in my bedroom so my family is safe.”

Feeling safe is different than being safe. An acquaintance in town got out of bed to find a stranger in her home. She screamed when she saw him and the stranger ran out the front door. I asked her how long it would take for her to get her gun off the top shelf, load the gun, and put the gun between herself and her attacker. We don’t have that time if the gun is two steps away and the robber is two steps behind usu. He can get us before we are able to stop him.

Now imagine we have our family at home. We hear glass breaking and we walk into the center of our home unarmed. Are we going to take our eyes off the intruders and turn our back on our family as we run to get our gun? Maybe that is the only option we’ve left ourself. If so, then let’s make that ugly decision now rather than freeze or stutter when we have intruders in our home.

Will you hesitate when you hear your family scream as you run toward your bedroom and your gun?

“You really should keep that unloaded for safety”

Should our self-defense gun be unloaded? That depends. Everybody has an opinion so please be careful where you take advise on armed defense. How many hundreds of hours of instruction has your advisor taken? How many self-defense incidents have they studied? How many classes have they taught?

Several very respected trainers said it clearly, “If a gun wasn’t dangerous then it wouldn’t be useful.” We are obligated to prudently manage that risk as we bring a gun into our home. Leaving an unloaded gun in the open is neither safe for children to be around nor is it effective for immediate defense. Fortunately, we have better choices.

We have centuries of experience with firearms. We learned how to carry guns on our body. We learned how to store personal firearms safely while they remain accessible for an authorized adult. We learned how to use small firearms for armed defense in our home and in public. We have access to that great body of knowledge, and how we teach today is different than the way we taught even a few years ago.

These are self-defense skills my grandmother could master, particularly because grandma was willing to ask questions and listen to the answers.


This article was first published at Second Call Defense with my permission. If you like it then please leave a comment, a rating, and share it with a friend. RM

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2022 7:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Howie's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elon Muskox permalink
    February 3, 2022 12:11 pm

    Often it isn’t the case that a good person went looking for trouble and found it, but that a bad person went in search of trouble and found them.

    And it’s a poor plan for self-defense that depends on your attacker allowing you to finish making preparations to protect yourself. You should always have your defensive weapon as near ready to employ in an instant as possible.

    Whenever this topic of carrying all the time comes up, I always ask, “Is there a spare tire in the trunk of the car you came here in? And if so, is that because you were expecting to get a puncture on your way over?”

    The obvious implication is that we carry spare tires everywhere. We’ve made it a habit because we’re not willing to endure the consequences of having a flat tire and not having a spare.

    Then my follow-on questions are, what’s the worst can happen to you if you have a flat and no spare? Worst case you might have to walk to where there’s a telephone, or where you can get cell signal.

    But what’s the worst can happen to you if you find yourself genuinely in need of a gun but don’t have one? Obviously, that lack could get you seriously dead.

    So how do you not view carrying a firearm each time you go out as essential to your ability to maintain life and liberty as you do a spare tire?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ol' Jim, hisself permalink
    February 3, 2022 12:45 pm

    If I am awake, I am carrying (except in the shower)!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff Dege permalink
    February 3, 2022 7:45 pm

    If they’re standing over your bed before you’re aware, that you have a gun in the nightstand won’t be of much help.

    Guns are _not_ a complete solution. They have their place, but they’re only a part of the solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. February 6, 2022 8:51 pm

    In my very first Permit to Carry class the instructor told us to always carry. Why have a PTC if your not going to? Working as a street medic, I learned quickly that your world can go to shit anytime, anyplace.


  6. Nolan Parker permalink
    February 14, 2022 12:11 am

    “I only carry a firearm when I’m going someplace dangerous”

    Jeff Cooper was asked
    If you knew you were going to get in a gunfight, what gun would you carry.

    I’d stay home.

    If you don’t know who Col. Jeff Cooper was,, learn



  1. Armed Defense is always a Matter of Time — SlowFacts – Freedom Is Just Another Word…

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