8 things you should think about before carrying a gun.

It often strikes me funny the conversations that I frequently have as a firearms instructor with other people.  My job as a firearms instructor, or at least what I believe to be my job, is to create an environment that will fulfill the needs of all people to be protected.  Whether that protection is from the government, someone you know or the possibility of randomly being a victim.  I, however, find that my efforts to fulfill those needs do not always line up with what most people see as being needed.  What I mean by that is I meet a lot of people who do not think that they need training in order to learn how to defend themselves or they believe that their previous experiences of being around firearms their whole life is a sufficient amount of information and skill to provide them with the ability to defend themselves effectively.  I am here to tell you that I was one of those people, until I started to train to be a firearms instructor and learned that self-defense skills, tactics and shooting is a completely different world.

This does not mean that you have to be an instructor or spend every spare hour you have training and thinking about how to protect yourself but it does mean that if you are one of these people that say, “I don’t need all that or I have been around firearms my whole life and I can protect myself”, then you are in trouble.

It is this false sense of security about our abilities or knowledge about “violence” that get us most in trouble in situations where we need skills not empty words and vibrato to save us.  Enough said.

Thing Number 1 that you need to think about is: ( in the spirit of Dr. Suess I will name these sections, thing 1-8

Learning both armed and unarmed self-defense techniques.  Will you always have your firearm with you?  Will it always be readily accessible in seconds?  The FBI has statistics that let us know the average gun fight is within 3 feet of each participant.  Three feet is arms length distance.  It may very well be that you will have to first know how to get out of an arm grab before you can access your weapon.

Thing 2

Learn the basic laws of your home State.  In our world of lawyers and lawsuits, it is extremely important that you know what the laws are and when it is appropriate according to the law to use self-defense.  Also, knowing the law can help you understand better your right to carry.

Thing 3

Know your enemy.  Take a class on criminal behavior.  Criminals do not have the same moral restrictions that normal people posses.  You need to learn that these nasty people do not have a problem with hurting or killing you.  It does not even cross their mind twice.

Thing 4

Learn how to avoid these situations through tactics.  Knowing how to shoot someone or kicking them where it hurts is fantastic but why be in that situation if you don’t have to be.  Staying out of those types of situations is as easy as learning a few tactics and maybe making some changes in lifestyle.  But change is good, right?

Thing 5

Take a tactical shooting course. Yes, I know, you have been around firearms your whole life.  But you haven’t been in scary stressful situations with firearm your whole life.  You need to learn how to deal with your firearm when you are losing functionality and thought because you are so scared of what might happen next.

Thing 6

Choose the appropriate firearm.  While I respect the history behind Grandpa’s lever action rifle or the shotgun that has been in the family for years, that doesn’t mean that is the appropriate gun to protect you and your family.  Women be careful with this one because I know a lot of guys who think they are helping by picking out your firearm but do much more harm than good.  A firearm should be chosen by the person using it and should be as close as possible to fulfilling all the needs that that weapon should provide.

Thing 7

Choose a good instructor.  You wouldn’t go sky diving with an instructor who had only been around parachutes their whole life but had never jumped out of a plane, right?  Well let’s hope not.  So make sure that your instructor really knows their stuff and that they are experience in the type of training that they are offering.  This does not mean they have to be law enforcement or military and in fact sometimes that is just a façade to get customer to take their classes.   Do some homework.

Thing 8

Practice.  Once you learn the skills, use them as much as you can.  That way they will become second nature and you won’t have to think in a self-defense situation when someone is running at you with a knife, “know what did my instructor tell me to do?”


Your life is the most important thing you own.  It is not crazy or unreasonable to seek out training to make sure that you continue to live.  It is also not a bad investment of your money, either.  We buy life insurance policies to make sure that our family won’t be left with nothing in case we die.  But wouldn’t it be better to put some of that money it to being proactive and making sure that we can stick around to be with our families.  I believe it is.


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