Guns for Beginners: Keep a Shooting Diary

The NRA tip above – keep a shooting diary – doesn’t mention the purpose of the exercise: CYA. If you’re ever involved in a defensive gun use (DGU), you could be subject to intense prosecutorial scrutiny. If they really want to nail you – a possibility that usually depends on the firearms-freedom friendliness of your particular location – your antagonists will sell you to the judge and/or jury as . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Eliminate Unnecessary Gun-Handling

John Farnham writes:

Ft Collins, CO –-( An armed civilian in his 20s, on volunteer guard duty, unintentionally fired a shot from his AR in OH. Unnecessary Gun-Handling. Fortunately, the muzzle was pointed downward at the time, and the single errant bullet hit the pavement. It made a divot, but caused no additional damage nor injuries. The incident took place outside a military recruiting center. Someone apparently had asked to look at his AR. The voluntary guard, while attempting to comply with the person’s request, was in the process of “unloading” his rifle when the negligent discharge (ND) occurred . . .

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Guns for Beginners: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Thomas McCary (courtesy

“Thomas McCary [above] was arguing with a woman around 8 p.m. Sunday night,” reports. “When the woman’s brother, Patrick Ewing, approached, McCary pulled out a .38-caliber handgun and fired three shots at him. Ewing didn’t get hit, but he did get his own gun and returned fire, wounding McCary in the leg. Ewing had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Injured, McCary went into his house . . .” At that point it’s safe to say that many people would consider themselves relatively safe. Wounded attacker skulks off. Call the cops, keep a wary eye out, but generally let your guard down. It’s a natural tendency . . .

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Guns for Beginners: ALWAYS Call the Police


“The motorist said he was stopped at a red light on 1st Ave and S. Lander Street, next to a black Ford Expedition,” reports. “When the light turned green, a third car blew through the intersection, cutting off the victim and the Expedition. The victim honked at the third car as it sped away, and continued on. Moments later, the victim told police the driver of the Expedition pulled alongside him and displayed a handgun.” Really? Did the Ford driver really brandish his firearm simply because another vehicle honked at him? And did this happen then? . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Three Reasons Not to Carry A Back-Up Gun

Robert Farago's everyday carry complement (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Over at, B. Gil Horman provides readers with 3 Arguments In Favor of Back-up Guns. BGH reckons you need a backup gun in case “the first gun goes click instead of bang” or “a primary defensive gun is not accessible.” What’s more, “additional guns can be used to arm other responsible adults.” I can’t argue with his logic – except to say that you can also make a good case for carrying around a back-up pair of underwear. And a spare pair of glasses. And an umbrella. It’s a question of comfort, risk analysis and priorities. Here’s why I don’t carry a back-up gun . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Beware of Beginners!

Veronica Lewis (courtesy (1)

“A woman brought a hammer to a firearms lesson and then tried to kill her instructor by shooting him in the face with a revolver,” the AP reports from her trial. “Lewis fired three shots at [Darryl] Montague, striking him twice in the jaw and once in the abdomen, Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said. [Veronica Lewis, above] fled, and she gave a false phone number when she was apprehended, he said. Lewis lives in a community therapeutic residence, a state-regulated home that provides short-term treatment to people with problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse or mental illness.” There’s an important lesson here . . .

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Guns for Beginners: NEVER Shoot to Kill


The correct expression is “shoot to stop the threat.” That’s what you’re trying to do when you perforate a perp. You are NOT trying to commit homicide, however justifiable that goal may be. Even if you’re aiming at the bad guy’s head or shooting him or her point-blank. You are shooting to stop the threat. To make a violent attacker – or potential violent attacker – cease and desist. And you’re only doing so when you or other innocent life face an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily injury. If you use the word “kill” in a firearms-related comment on the Internet, to friends or acquaintances with loose lips or, God forbid, to the police, you are . . .

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Guns for Beginners: How to Maintain Your Concealed Carry Pistols


By James England via

Modern firearms are usually made to exacting standards. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Hi-Point or a Kimber, the modern manufacturing process usually takes out a lot of guesswork as to how a pistol should operate. The most common fault with a concealed carry pistol will be a failure to fire. Supposed “accidental” (negligent) discharges, though oft cited in the news, are truly only common when someone is negligently using his or her firearm. This is usually operator error – not mechanical error . . .

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Guns for Beginners: Don’t Off-Body Carry


To date, TTAG has posted some 23k posts. In that time, we’ve attempted not to repeat ourselves. Of course, we have. The anti-gunners keep trotting-out the same reasons to infringe on your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. We keep shooting them down. Much of our self-defense advice – including our ever-expanding Guns for Beginners posts – covers familiar ground, starting with the four rules of gun safety. I, personally, have railed against off-body carry for years. Without apology, understanding the importance of this topic, I’m going to do so again here, inspired by this tragic tale [via] . . .

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Guns For Beginners: “Paranoia” Is Your Friend

What if you were the subject of this walk/drive-by shooting [starts at 1:20]? It’s hardly likely. I can’t find any details on the incident save‘s recap of what we see, but I think their title of the YouTube video makes it safe to assume we’re looking at a criminal-on-criminal beef. Even so, the incident highlights the simple fact that violent events happen very quickly. Which underscores the importance of what anti-gunners call “paranoia” and what gun gurus call situational awareness. Here’s the thing . . .

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