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Carrying A Handgun is a Huge Decision
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Carrying A Handgun is a Huge Decision

When you decide to buy a handgun for self defense it isn’t something you should treat lightly. You should give it a lot of thought and self-analysis. Choosing to go armed in our society is to choose to take on a large responsibility. Whether you are a private citizen or a Law Enforcement Officer you assume that load. An armed citizen that is not really prepared to deal with the harsh realities of a deadly encounter puts him or her self in an even greater threat to themselves and others than if you were totally unarmed.

In Texas we have very liberal laws regarding handguns. This is good and bad. The bad is that you don’t have to know how to use it to have it and carry it. Trainers for CHL usually offer zero in the way of proficiency testing. It’s not their job. It’s your job. Real security can only be acquired with proper training.

Trainers for CHL usually offer zero in the way of proficiency testing. It’s not their job. It’s your job. Real security can only be acquired with proper training.

Having the hardware is not enough unless you have the software. Like so many neophyte pistoleros I went through my own Inspector Gadget stage early in my quest to be responsibly armed. You will soon discover that what type of handgun you use, while important, is way less of a priority than you once thought. You can’t buy what is really the most important, you have to discipline yourself to work at it.

Having the right mindset is the most crucial of your survival priorities. If you are unaware of what’s going on around you then even world class skill will not keep you from losing the fight. You have to be able to recognize danger, be aware of what’s going on and not have your face buried in your phone or daydreaming. If you have a gun and are not willing to pull the trigger it results in your attacker having an opportunity to use it against you or someone else.

Add to your list a thing called tactics. These are strategies you put to work ahead of or during an event to put your opponent at a disadvantage. The use of cover, movement, control of light, knowing where the exits are will be all part of it. A person with mediocre skills who uses tactics with be the one who lives a lot longer than a superb shooter who has none.

Skill with a gun includes practical marksmanship and gun handling is a third priority. You need to hone in your shooting skills to a level that you can strike your attacker with a center mass blow before he gets to you. You will be working from behind the curve as the attacker made the first aggressive move on you. Gun skills such as loading, drawing, clearing stoppages must all be reflexive so they can be performed during high stress where your vision goes to tunnel mode and your fine motor skills go to crap because of the fear reflex.

At the range it is 75% skill and 25% mental. When in a combat situation it will be 25% skill and 75% mental. Your skills had better be there. The skills you gain at a training class on Saturday will be 20% gone when you wake up Monday. If you don’t discipline yourself to regular dry fire practice times and trips to the range consistently you will soon rejoin the ranks of the wannabes.

At the range it is 75% skill and 25% mental. When in a combat situation it will be 25% skill and 75% mental. Your skills had better be there.

I can tell you that if I haven’t shot and drilled for a week before a competition that my marksmanship will be off enough to take me out of contention. Would a golfer take a week off the range? You may say, “Hey, I’m not competing”. Yes, you are. You are competing against the attack you were concerned enough about to buy the gun in the first place. Competing against a person who maybe has won all his previous gun fights when he meets you. There is no second place award in a gun fight. One lives, one usually dies. That’s who you are completing against. Choose to be prepared or leave the gun at home.

Finally, the large issue of training. There is no way you can stand in the lineup at your local gun range and practice more than stationary marksmanship. Some won’t even let you shoot faster than 1 second a shot. This is not a training range, it’s a shooting range.

You need to either have a great back 40, great friends with back 40s or join a range with bays that allow you to freely try stuff out and practice the movement, drawing and action you’ll learn in class. The range we will be using will be excellent if you live close enough. There are ranges in Waxahachie, Carrollton and Collin Co. that you can join that will allow you those liberties. You will have to demonstrate you can shoot and are competent. There may be waiting lists.

When you buy a gun with the decision to carry every day, you are making a lifestyle decision. How you dress and conduct yourself should never be the same. This is my war against “scary carry”. People who carry without a clue about the use of real force, the determination to win their battle at all costs and the determination to hone skills that can get the job done. Bad people don’t think like you do. They are mean and ruthless. You have to meet that with explosive force on force and mentally ready to do so or you will loose. Pulling the trigger will haunt you the rest of your life, but you’ll be alive to be haunted.

See you at the range!

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