Too often people equate target practice with self-defense, and while target practice is important, there are other skills that should be honed just as much as target practice.
Put Your Confidence in Yourself
I’m a firm believer in self-defense with the empty hand first. A person who is competent with their hands and feet are less likely to escalate a fight to a shooting match when a good attack with your bare hands would have sufficed. In a situation where a person has broken into your home and is robbing you, drawing a gun forces that person to use a similar weapon if he is carrying one. Had you been an effective martial artist you could have dealt with the situation without a gun having ever been drawn because the thief would not have felt the need to use a gun.
If your confidence is in a weapon and not your hands and feet, what happens if you drop your gun, it gets jammed, he takes your gun, or you just can’t get it out of the safe? You are defenseless. Even worse, you may have just given your assailant your own gun if you lose it in a fight. A gun should always be your last recourse. If you don’t know self-defense, it becomes your first choice. Using a gun tends to invite legal troubles. Maybe you have heard the saying, I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
Make it Your Last Resort during self-defense
I’d rather not have to worry about either of those outcomes. If you’re going to have a handgun in the home for self-defense there are some things you can do to stack the odds in your favor. Probably the most important is to use your gun only as a last resort. Draw your weapon only if you are certain that you or your loved ones are going to die if you don’t. Then that saying becomes true, it is better to be judged by 12 than having yourself or your loved ones carried by 6 pallbearers. Before you bring a firearm into the house for self-defense, it’s important to set the ground rules. Under what circumstances will you draw your weapon? This is an extremely vital point. Ambivalence kills. If you are wishy- washy your indecision is likely to get you killed. Decide under what set of circumstances you are going to draw your gun and then stick to them!
Don’t Point and Don’t Threaten
Do you really want to be in a gun battle in the dead of night with sleep in your eyes? The easiest way to ensure that you will be involved in a gun battle is to point your gun and threaten to shoot someone. That violates so many tenets of self-defense, chief among them, and the element of surprise. Don’t fight fair. If someone breaks into your home are they thinking about what is fair? If someone attacks you I guarantee they’re not worried about fairness and honor. If you draw your weapon and do not immediately shoot you are giving your thief the chance to draw his own weapon, and he’s not going to have the same ambivalence about whether to shoot you or not, not when you’re pointing a gun at him. While you’re pointing and threatening, you are also giving him the opportunity to disarm you. Make a commitment to yourself that you will only draw your gun as a life and death last resort, and then if you draw, you shoot.
If you can follow those simple rules you are less likely to have to worry about sitting in a courtroom justifying pulling the trigger. For that very reason many people will suggest that if you’re going to shoot, you kill. Like the saying goes, Dead men don’t tell tales.No one wants to deal with the guy you shot when he was breaking into your house, suing you after he gets out of the hospital. Don’t forget, for those and many other reasons, it’s far better to rely on your hands and feet than a hunk of metal that’s likely to get you into trouble.
Preston Cooper Is a professional blogger that provides information and advice on firearms. He writes for Fire Arms For You, the top online rifle store and online shotgun store.