The Problem With Guns

Why guns are not the most effective self defense tools

Disclaimer:
I am not a lawyer and am not dispensing legal advice in any way, shape or form in this article. To clarify any legal aspects of self defense with a gun or without a gun please consult a qualified attorney.

Guns can be an important part of a complete self defense arsenal. However, when it comes to utilizing a gun in a self defense situation the window of opportunity is very small and narrow. If you are caught by surprise by a physically determined attacker at less than 21 feet you can choose to spend your crucial couple of seconds between awareness and fighting contact drawing your weapon or you can get moving and have your hands and body ready to receive and dispatch the incoming attacker. It is possible but very difficult to do both at 21 feet or greater but at a distance of less than 12 feet the attacker will definitely make it to you before your weapon is engaged even against the fastest gun draws which means it is useless to draw your weapon and be virtually physically undefended from the attackers assault. Once the physical fight has begun if you manage to draw your weapon and the attacker is busy pounding you then you may never get the chance to fire or worse yet the attacker may actually knock the gun out of your hand or take the gun away from you because your hands are busy drawing the weapon instead of physically defending you.

If an armed attacker who is 25 feet away from you has a gun pointed right at you and is threatening and demanding do you have time to draw your weapon, point it at the attacker and shoot? If the attacker has any kind of bead on you the answer is no. While you are trying to draw the weapon they are pulling the trigger. So, even if you have a better, bigger gun with hotter ammunition and you have a lot of training in how to shoot (by itself without a lot of other physical training) it will not do you any good in this situation. In this kind of situation you need to know where, when and how to tactically move your body and how to draw and shoot while moving and by the way if they are running at you when you start moving the fight could become one where you are better off to move with your hands free and unencumbered as opposed to trying to draw your firearm when you should be running like hell.

Now, unfortunately there is another problem. If you can disengage from the attacker and get distance and they don’t charge at you can you draw your weapon and / or shoot. The answer is no. If you so much as show your weapon and you had any ability to retreat, run away, disengage etc you are now in violation of the law that in many states will get you a minimum 5 year sentence. If you shoot at the unarmed WOULD BE assailant then you could go to jail on murder or attempted murder charges. How about when someone is calling you every name in the book and telling you that they would like to beat your a** and knock you silly and witnesses are present? You can not draw your weapon then either. They are verbally threatening to fist fight you and calling you names. This does not constitute lethal force and when you draw your firearm you have now turned a domestic squabble into a lethal force situation and you are responsible.

So, when can I draw my firearm? When they have lethal force ability and are bringing it against you in some manner. Do you think the average criminal will tell you they are doing this? The average person finds out that there is this level of problem at the point when they are being attacked. So, when can you utilize the firearm? In reality not very often because most of the time either there is not enough provocation to legally justify it or the attack has already begun. The types of situations where a firearm can be utilized are a home security situation where someone is breaking in while you are home and they are making it obvious that they are going to try to kill you and a car jacking where you see them coming with firearms and you have the time (if you are that lucky) to see them coming and do not have a way to drive out of it. By the way make sure to familiarize yourself with your states laws regarding Duty to Retreat and always call 911 if you can. For instance in your home if someone is breaking in or trying to break in and you have the ability to dial 911 and you don’t but then shoot them and it is obvious that it took them a couple of minutes to tear your door off its frame then you could be tried for murder because you simply waited for the attacker with your firearm in hand and did nothing to get outside help from the proper authorities. You get the idea.

I am not saying that I am happy with all of this. I am all for the proposition that a criminal attacker gets what they deserve. But, I am a law abiding citizen and in teaching proper and excellent self defense would be remiss in my duties if I did not explain the situation and someone reacts or responds poorly because they have not been exposed to the way the law works in this regard.

I look forward to your feedback and discussion. I know there is a lot more to this and the purpose of this article is just to get the basic education out there and get the discussion started. Because of the brevity of this article I indeed may need to clarify some of what I have stated here as I have presented a very limited amount of situations and of course there are thousands of possibilities and variables that need to be considered. However, my main theme point is that out of 50 random average situations/disputes/fights/altercations/arguments etc you will be quite lucky to find 1 that allows for the drawing of a weapon while also allowing the time necessary to draw and engage that weapon against a serious and determined attacker who attacks with little or no warning at a time that is most opportune for them and really sucks for you.