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#1 Re: News » On Self Defense » 2013-11-18 14:03:00

Here is my advice to you on owning a gun: do not carry a gun unless you are absolutely sure you are mentally prepared to use it.  I have lots more advice below, but I think that's by far the most important.

If you buy a gun, you need to develop a plan around the gun.  Your plan should include a plan for both training and also a plan for securing of the gun itself.  A great first step would be to take the NRA pistol course.  It covers many aspects such as: mentally preparing yourself to use deadly force, what you can expect to experience after using deadly force, secure storage, proper handling, proper stance, etc, etc. The course will also cover all applicable federal and state laws.  You want to make certain that you are always in compliance with the law.  It's a very technical course, and I definitely learned more then I anticipated from the course.  When I signed up for the course, I never thought it would cover so much of the psychology of carrying a gun, and the impact that it has on a person after a gun is used to defend.

I was very glad to read that you were already thinking about secure storage.  You need to have secure storage for two reasons: so that your kids can not get a hold of it, and also so that an intruder can not steal it.  You should go to a shooting range periodically and practice.  It's not just target practice.  But practice so that you know what to expect when the gun goes "bang".  How much force to pull the trigger, how much recoil will you feel, how loud it is, etc, etc.  You also need to practice targeting the gun.  You need to continually practice lining the sights up.  Lining the sights up is very difficult in the beginning.  I can't imagine trying to get them lined up without any practice at all.  You will be far too stressed to line up the sights correctly, which means your bullets are not going where you want them to go.  Only through constant repetitiveness of bringing the sights to target, will your reflexes be able to do it automatically when stressed out under threat of attack.

You will need to talk to the rest of your family about owning a gun.  Going to a shooting range and teaching your kids gun safety is a great father - son and father - daughter activity.  You and your wife will need to decide together, who in your family is qualified to carry a gun.  Once at the appropriate age, all members of your family should take the NRA course.  I won't suggest an appropriate age, as that's between you and your family.  Proper training and understanding about the gun, it's purpose, the acceptable times and places for handling are far better and more effective then the security that you provide a gun.  Although both are necessary.

I am a strong proponent of the second amendment and our right to bear arms.  I think it's very unfortunate that gun ownership seems to be so slanted towards men.  I wish more women would seek out the training and also have a desire to carry firearms.  A 200lb man attacking a 100lb woman is not a fair fight.  There is nothing more equalizing then the woman carrying a gun, and having the training, the discipline and the mindset to use it to defend herself.  A mean, powerful dog attacking you and your small children is not a fair fight either.  I have no desire to engage any fight with any person or animal.  If I am forced to engage by the other party, the last thing that I want is a fair fight.  I am going to win.  No doubt or hesitation in my mind about it.

I'll posit one more theory before I sign off:  I think carrying a gun can also become an excellent deterrent.  Humans and animals, including big scary dogs, have a sense of things.  They have an intuition.  I don't know that dogs can literally smell fear.  But I do believe that they can sense or perceive fear, and also sense or perceive confidence.  If you are properly trained, and you have properly prepared yourself mentally to defend yourself or your family, it is likely that you will become more fearless of these animals and situations.  I believe that fearlessness may act as a deterrence against attack.  Both from humans and animals.

I am very sorry that a few individuals have coerced you to move from your home.  I hope there were other variables that are influencing your decision to move.  I hope the decision was not made by a few bullies.

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