Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You Carry A Gun?

By Dave Dargo

I carry a gun everyday.  The gun I carry is usually a 1911 .45 ACP, either a Wilson Combat or a Gunsite Service Pistol made by Colt.

Carrying a pistol requires commitment.  A commitment to training, safety, awareness and preparation are all required if one is going to carry a pistol.  Although we all have the right to "keep and bear arms" I strongly believe that anyone who keeps or bears a gun has a personal responsibility to know themselves and be properly educated and trained before exercising the right.

What does it mean to know yourself?

If you are ever faced with bodily harm you are going to respond in one of a number of ways:
  • Freeze - you may be so surprised that you will simply freeze and be incapable of action.  Everyone can expect to freeze momentarily through that split-second of situational evaluation, but freezing becomes a problem when it continues beyond that moment.
  • Submit - submission is often taught as an appropriate response to an attacker.  Just give the attacker what they want and hope they don't hurt you.  Studies, however, show that you are less likely to be hurt when using a firearm for self-defense than if you submit.
  • Posture - Puff up and use words, sounds and gestures to attempt to dominate and intimidate your attacker.
  • Flight - Running away can be a very effective strategy when dealing with an attacker - if employed tactically.
  • Fight - A person may initially have any of the four responses above before deciding to fight.  Fighting is not always a weighed and considered decision, many times it is just a natural reaction.
Do you know your natural reaction?  You can actually train and learn what you are likely to do or, perhaps, you've found yourself in situations where you've already learned your natural reaction to a critical situation.

What about education?

Are you aware of the laws in your locality?  Where are you permitted to carry a concealed firearm?  Are you allowed to have a beer when carrying a gun?  Do you have to keep the gun concealed or can you wear it openly?  What happens if you start an argument with someone that escalates while you're carrying a gun?

All of these questions, and many more, are important to have answered before you ever start to carry a gun.

Finally, what about training?

Can you reliably, effectively and with purpose and confidence draw your gun from its carry position and, if necessary, deliver a shot to where its needed?  Shooting for self-defense is very different from shooting for target practice or marksmanship competitions.  You have to decide before you pick up that gun if you're capable of using deadly-force to save yourself or your family members, or perhaps, even a perfect stranger.

There's a lot more to cover about carrying a gun which will be covered in later posts.  I take the responsibility very seriously and train and practice every day.  You will need a similar commitment if you decide to carry a gun.

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