Gun for Beginners: The Totality of Circumstances, Reasonable Person Standard

One of the most vexing questions facing a concealed carrier: when should I pull my gun? Too early and you’re looking at a brandishing charge. Too late and you’re dead. Same goes for firing your firearm – except the penalty for early withdrawal would be jail time. Generally speaking, you can threaten or use lethal force when you or other innocent life face an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm. “Death” is death. “Grievous bodily harm” means serious injury; not a slap in the face. But what do the words “imminent” and “credible” mean? This you need to know . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Move THEN Shoot

This video illustrates an important indeed life-or-death point we’ve made in this series numerous times: moving is your first priority in a self-defense situation. If you don’t “get off the X” (as the gun gurus like to say), X marks the spot. The place where you, the target, can be taken out. Stay on the X and the bad guys will thank you – in their own special way – for not forcing them to have to work so damn hard to kill you dead.  To move instinctively – which is the fastest way to do anything – you have to overcome . . .

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Guns for Beginners: How to Defend Against A Gun – For Realz! [VIDEO NSFW]

In this video – as in all of these disarm videos – the bad guy holds the gun steady, well within the good guy’s reach. In this situation, even someone who hasn’t studied under Wing Chun Tai Chi JKD Master Wong has a pretty good chance of stopping the bad guy from shooting him – provided they apply the recommended speed, surprise and violence of action. A skilled, determined good guy might even be able to take away the bad guy’s gun and use it against him. Problem: unless the defender incapacitates his antagonist and/or high-tails it out of there (always a good strategy), the good guy will face a vicious counterattack. That said, the biggest problem anyone in this scenario faces is . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Three Things They Don’t Teach You In Your Concealed Carry Class

I oppose mandatory firearms training. It violates our Second Amendment protection against government infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. That said, I’ve been impressed with the instruction rammed down my metaphorical throat. Tedious yes, but comprehensive; instructors cover everything from how a gun works to the legal use of deadly force to anger management and firearms retention (added in Texas for licensed open carry). Plus live fire! But the classes don’t cover everything. Here are three things they don’t teach you in a concealed carry class . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Know the Difference Between Cover and Concealment

Cover is any object that protects you from gunfire. Concealment is an object that hides you from an aggressor. Question: if you were in the Stop ‘N Rob (notice the bars “protecting” the employees) where’s cover or concealment? Concealment would be the shelves in the middle of the store. Cover? Nope. There ain’t none – as the employees discovered. Three things about that . . .

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Noir Takes a Newbie Shooting [VIDEO]

Gun guru and firearms fashionista Colion Noir shares the commonly held belief that hands-on experience with firearms is the key to “converting” anti-gun rights voters to a pro-gun rights position. And proves it above. Well, not entirely. But it’s a valiant, entertaining effort. And his initial point – that kids need basic firearms education – is well taken. As we’ve said before, the NRA needs to move beyond Eddie Eagle to introduce . . .

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What I Carry and Why: Tyler Kee’s M&P 9


[ED: In response to reader requests, this is part of a series of posts by TTAG writers revealing their choice of carry guns.]

I’ve been writing about guns longer than I’ve been carrying one so most of my “What I Carry” journey has been hashed out here over the last four years. I don’t have a fancy rocking chair, I don’t even own a 1911, and only recently did I buy a new truck. As it goes, my carry gun is utilitarian down to its core. Before I get to what I carry today, I think it might be fun to talk about what I don’t carry and why . . .

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Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions: Why Do You Carry A Gun? Edition

It happened the other day, again, in the locker room. “Why do you carry a gun?” a random guy asked as I placed my EDC in my locker. “So that good things can happen to bad people,” I replied. I thought it was clever, being in the Bible Belt and all. He didn’t get it. I could have trotted out the old warhorse, “Because a policeman’s too heavy to carry,” but I didn’t want to get into an argument with the protein shake-swilling Schwarzenegger listening in. Anyway, with licensed open carry coming to Texas, I’ve been thinking about snappy answers to that inevitable question. Here’s what I’ve got so far . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Three Things You Should Ask Yourself Before Purchasing Your First Self-Defense Gun

Smith & Wesson 642 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Millions of Americans are exercising their right to keep and bear arms for self-defense by buying a gun to keep and (let’s hope) bear. It’s not an easy transition. Newbies face a farrago of firearms choices: type of gun, caliber, storage, holsters and more. Like any journey, there are some natural steps in the progression from non-gun owner to gun owner. Here are three practical questions all first-time gun buyers should ask themselves . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Be Careful Out There, Especially When You Call 911

“The man who shot two alleged attackers in what Battle Creek police say was self-defense told 24 Hour News 8 that the planned Craigslist deal that brought him to the area seemed normal at first until he and his father were jumped.” There’s a problem right there. Two innocent men meet two strangers for a transaction involving large amounts of cash. At night. What’s wrong with that picture? I’m not victim blaming. I’m simply pointing out that . . .

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Self-Defense Tip: Don’t Rely Entirely on Your Gun

Karen Dolley (courtesy

“The 43-year-old woman said she awoke around midnight to the voice of a man in her house near 10th Street and Emerson Avenue on Indianapolis’ Eastside,” Indiana’s reports. “[Karen Dolley, above] leapt out of bed, turned on the lights and saw him standing in her living room, she said. Then her instincts kicked in. Dolley, standing 5-foot-6, said she immediately attacked, punching him about 10 times and cornering him in her bedroom.” I think this would be a good point to highlight the fact that Ms. Dolley is known as Foul Morguean – in professional roller derby. So . . .

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