By Rob Morse
The news right now is enough to frighten anyone. I’m hearing Pro-Palestinian protesters say they wanted to kill Jews. I expected that from extremists overseas but I didn’t expect to hear it here in the US.
I take those threats seriously. I hope you do too. I’m hearing a lot of people talk about gun ownership and armed self-defense who’d never given either one much thought before. Unless you’ve studied armed self-defense for a while, there’s a lot for you to learn in order to defend yourself and your family. I want to label some of the steppingstones ahead of you because like most noobs, you don’t know what you don’t know.
I can tell you now that just buying a gun won’t make you safe anymore than buying a violin will make you a musician. It takes study, training, and practice.
People who study and train for armed self-defense have better options and tend to make better choices. Learning how to protect yourself and your family will greatly increase your odds of surviving a violent attack. The good news is that the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.
You don’t have to be a Navy SEAL to protect yourself and your family. Armed amateurs are amazing for their speed and accuracy. I document their success every week and they’re worth reading as inspiration and to help you think through scenarios you might find yourself facing.
You may be anxious right now, but please give yourself time. A self-defense program is a lot like a fitness class. You can’t read three books on armed defense over a weekend and make much of a difference. In contrast, you can study and practice a little every evening and you’ll change the odds in a significant way after only a month.
We asked some of the best self-defense instructors for their advice a few years ago during the riots of 2020. Here is a free video series we made from their answers.
Here’s some basic Q and A that we hope with help . . .
- How do I protect my family at home?
- Let’s start with the easy solutions and go from there. Own a firearm. Learn to use it. Develop and practice a home defense plan.
- How do I bring a gun into my home?
- Begin this conversation early. Talk to other gun owners. Do online research.
- How do I find the gun that fits me?
- You try them on for size. Go to a local range that sells and rents guns. Talk to the people there. They’re usually very helpful. That’s a good place to start.
- How do I learn to handle lethal tools safely?
- The same way you’d learn to handle any other dangerous equipment. Do your homework. Learn from someone who knows how and can teach you to be safe and effective.
- How do I learn to shoot accurately?
- Take lessons from a good trainer and then practice on your own. A lot.
- How do I store a firearm at home so it is both safe and effective?
- You need a gun safe. You don’t have to spend a lot. It just needs to be secure and keep your gun(s) away from people who shouldn’t have access to it.
- How do I find a good instructor?
- You select a firearms instructor the same way you find any other professional service provider. DO some online research. Ask for recommendations from people you know.
- How do I carry a firearm in my home?
- Having a lethal tool on your hip takes training and practice. Get some training on safe and effective everyday carry. Then start slowly.
- How do I carry a firearm in public?
- Take a concealed carry class so you can safely and legally carry a firearm on the street. Most local ranges give concealed carry classes or can recommend people who do.
- How do I learn the legal use of lethal force?
- There are classes for that too. A lot of concealed carry training includes the basics on the legal aspects of carrying and using a gun for self-defense.
- What is a home safety plan and where would I learn to make one?
- It starts with a class on armed defense in the home, but it doesn’t end there.
- Now that I can carry a firearm safely, how do I learn to fight with a gun?
- Go beyond concealed carry training and learn how to be effective with the gun you’re carrying.
- What does the rest of my family need to know about personal safety?
- You need to practice your defense plans because everyone is involved.
- How do I learn about trauma care?
- We are more likely to need and use a medical kit than a gun. Learn how.
Those are a series of simple questions, but the answers come in layers of complexity and proficiency. You might want to seek out a first answer to all of them before you pursue better answers to any of them. Welcome to Armed America.
This article originally appeared at Slow Facts Blog and is reprinted here with permission.