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 when you go to a convenience store or an ATM after sunset. That is a good idea, but it is better to plan those trips for safer times of the day.
The obvious question is how will be 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 that the law of averages doesn’t apply to us. It is often too late to get our gun once that safe trip we planned turns out to be a dangerous trip. Part of our defense is admitting we are at risk.
“Give the robbers what they want and just be a good witness. Call the police and let them handle it.” Unfortunately, robbers do whatever gets them what they want in the shortest time possible. 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 on the shelf in my bedroom, so my family is safe.” We don’t have that time if the gun is two steps away and the robber is two steps behind us. He can get us before we are able to stop him. Imagine our family is at home and we hear glass breaking. Do 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 run to get the gun? Will you hesitate when you hear your family scream as you run toward your bedroom and your gun?
You really should keep that unleaded for safety. Should we keep our gun unloaded? That depends. We are obligated to prudently manage the risk of bringing a gun into our homes. 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.
source: Armed Defense Is Always a Matter of Time by Rob Morse, Slow Facts