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Mike Weisser (courtesy YouTube)

“I have absolutely no issue with anyone pushing guns as a means of self-defense; what offends me is the notion that guns represent the only or even the most effective way to respond to a possible or actual criminal event. It’s not true, and there is no evidence-based research that proves it to be the case.” – Mike Weisser in The NRA’s Favorite Doctor Is At It Again [via]

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  1. So what exactly is more effective than stopping an attacker (excuse the pun) dead in thier tracks? Possibly ( and from experience) without even firing a shot or doing more than proving that you are ready able and willing to defend yourself

    • Not being attacked in the first place.

      Avoiding a confrontation is the best defense. If you can’t avoid it, guns are the best option, except a few special cases.

    • I imagine he’d probably go for the classic combination fetal position and hysterically praying to Obama for protection.

      • Concealment and carry of either an Abrams tank or a group of personal Ninjas is a bit problematic.

        Getting the GBU to 30,000 ft introduces it’s own set of challenges for the individual.

        I’ll stick to an EDC firearm. Tool for the job and all that…

  2. Whoa whoa whoa…

    Everybody just remember that criminal is just a good old boy about to turn his life around. You just need to calmly talk to him and remind him of the new path he’s moving on to..

    Can’t keep it up unicorns, fairy dust and wishful thinking are not going to work. The great equalizer will.

  3. “… there is no evidence-based research that proves it to be the case”

    That’s nice dear.

    Our rights are subject to evidence-based research.

    • This is a guy that would also claim that there is “piles of research” (mostly pre-dating 1492) indicating that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the earth, that smoke from our backyard grills is causing global warming, that Chuck Norris’s tears cure cancer……. oh wait, that last one is true.

    • Its ok, I immediately read that in my “sarcasm” voice.

      BTW, the quoted statement is progressive-speak for, “if you ignore all the anecdotal evidence.”

  4. It’s not true, and there is no evidence-based research that proves it to be the case.

    And the evidence to prove the inverse exists where??? Oh that’s right…

  5. There are states where a gun is pretty much the only means. States that highly regulate or even prohibit pepper spray and states that ban less-lethal ammunition for peasant use.

    When I require the same expensive course, the same expensive permit to carry either pepper spray or a gun ala MA why would I go with the pepper spray?
    When it is unlawful for me to load a shotgun with rubber pellets ala CT why wouldn’t I load it up with buckshot?

    Morons like the Gun Guy here always conveniently forget that their utopic states more often than not prohibit the residents of said states to use anything other than a lethal gun for self defense.

  6. “…what offends me is the notion that guns represent the only or even the most effective way to respond to a possible or actual criminal event.”

    Yeah, well, what offends me, Mikey, is you. FLAME DELETED.

  7. Really? So Mike… if you’re the victim of a criminal attack – what’s the first thing you’re going to do?

    Dial 911 right? Call for the “guns”… If the first thing you’re going to do is call for a guy with a gun… Well, let’s just leave that there shall we?

  8. i didnt read the article, i dont give clicks to huffpo.

    my guess is he only finds self defense “permissible” within the confines of ones home, and that sturdy doors with good locks, an alarm system, and maybe a dog are more effective ways to “respond to a possible or actual criminal event”. none of these are “responses”, of course, but playing a shell game with words is nothing new to these folks. and he may even be right. i agree with the notion that keeping a home invader out in the first place is preferable to an armed struggle inside my domicile, but if those prudent measures fail, and they certainly could if a person was malicious and determined enough, what then?

  9. “Criminal event” is a pretty broad category, so I agree guns aren’t the best way to deal with most of them, like say DUI, or shoplifting, or check fraud.

    But the people whose profession it is to deal with criminal events on a daily basis are routinely equipped with guns for a reason.

  10. From the source research:


    Compared to other protective actions, the National Crime Victimization Surveys provide little evidence that SDGU is uniquely beneficial in reducing the likelihood of injury or property loss.

    They just REALLY don’t get the purpose of self-defense. If I get injured, and my property is lost AND I got away from a situation where I felt the need to defend my life with a gun, then that is a WIN.

  11. Please cite an official NRA policy where in they state that guns are the only self defense option in all cases.

    If you can’t, please take your straw man and go home.

  12. I volunteered to get Tased with a police-grade X26 with a fresh battery pack on a training day. I was shot from behind, and one of the probes struck me in the right buttock. I got a tremendous jolt for about a 1/2 second, which caused all of my skeletal muscles to contract, including my butt. That contraction ripped the lower probe out of my right buttock, rendering the Taser shot ineffective.

    That close range shot form a new Taser X26 with a 25′ cartridge and a fresh battery pack was completely ineffective at incapacitating me.

    I’ve been CS gassed and OC sprayed multiple times as a Marine 0311, during police training, and in miscellaneous training classes I’ve taken. It hurts, but neither one will stopped me. You get used to the stuff. In fact, I’d rather get pepper sprayed than listen to a speech by Hillary, Obama, or Bloomberg.

    I’ve been punched and kicked by suspects in the “beautiful” LA metropolitan area. Those haven’t taken me out of the fought. Since there were witnesses to those incidents, I was able to file additional charges against the people who’ve hit me.

    When it comes to guns, I’ve never once volunteered to be shot. While a single handgun round may not incapacitate me, I have no desire to find out. I definitely don’t ever want to be shot with a 5.56, .308, or a 12 gauge round. Body armor may help, or it might not.

    So I’m a 1-person case study that “other means” of self defense like people punches, kicks, CS gas, pepper spray, and Tasers are not effective at stopping an assailant.

  13. The problem with non firearm means of defense is that when you wake up in the middle of the night to find a burglar rummaging through your stuff there’s a very good chance that the burglar will not be a thumb sucking beta male. If you confront him with a putter he’s not likely to flee in fear. He’s much more likely to grab that putter out of your hands and beat the crap out of you with it. So if you’re going to confront a burglar with a putter you’d better be ready to instantly muster every ounce of malice and violence possible. You’re going to have to find something within yourself you didn’t know existed.

    When you confront a burglar with a firearm it is instantly understood that you are challenging him to a fight to the death and he is at a distinct disadvantage. If he is high on bath salts and takes you up on your challenge the level of exertion required to pull a trigger is nowhere near the level required to beat someone unconscious with a putter. And this is assuming that you’re a physically fit, reasonably large man. If you’re old, physically disabled or small in stature the putter is just a tool to hand the burglar to beat you with.

  14. Little Mikey knows the big secret, there is a more effective alternative to the use of a firearm in “an actual criminal event”. I know what the secret is. Little Mikey simply values the lives of violent criminals who beat, rob, rape and murder the innocent. It is easy when you know how.

    • “Little Mikey simply values the lives of violent criminals who beat, rob, rape and murder MORE THAN the innocent.”

      fixed it for you. 😉

  15. I tell anyone that the firearms is the quickest means of self defense to learn to competence. Hand to hand martial arts may be less lethal and more socially acceptable but the time and physical effort to master to competency is tremendous and not feasible for the average parent. I’ve got a wife, young children, and full time job to juggle my time and trying to master judo or whatever isn’t going to happen. Also, I’m not a big guy, my weight maxes out under 160 and my “fighting weight” is closer to 140, so I’m not eager to go toe to toe with a bad guy. I’m going to try to get my family and myself to safety, call the police, anything within reason to not confront said bad guy. That being said, if no other option is evident I will throw down to protect my family, up to and including stopping the threat.

    • I studied Hapkido for a few years with a local instructor. While I do see value in training in the martial arts, it does take time and dedication to develop and maintain skill with the various techniques. As with any means of self defensive, you need to be able to react to an attack in a split second. That means frequent continual training. It seemed to me that in order to be prepared with the best techniques for any given counter attack, I felt I had a long way to go to have that at my disposal on a muscle memory level. It’s just as important to train continually with a handgun but not near as difficult to reach competence and have confidence that your training will be there when you need it.

    • I wonder what his store inventory looks like. Limited to duck/fudd shotguns, lever action rifles, cap n ball revolvers, “collectible” $4000+ bling?

  16. I often find myself unwantingly carrying only a pocket knife. Should the situation go fubar I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a lot more injuries and fatalities than if I had a gun. With a gun I have options. With a knife, I’m fully committed.

  17. Mike, how about you get your own evidence based research? Go into a high crime area and hang around until you get mugged. Then try whatever method of self defense you choose besides a firearm. Find out just how effective your other choices are. Then report back to us. That is, if you are still alive or able to speak or write.

  18. A few days ago, a woman in her early 20’s walked into my store and was looking for some pepper-spray. She told me about a very traumatic experience, and asked if any of the sprays would “put a 180lb man on the ground”.
    I told her that to my knowledge, there is no OC/CS spray on the market that will do such a thing, and that a pistol is a much better bet if she wants to drop an attacker.

    “But I don’t want to really hurt or kill him!”

    I tried explaining to her that if someone is truly intent on causing great bodily harm, pepper-spray could distact & slow them down, but may also only enrage them further; that OC/CS might stop an attack temporarily and she’d need to have a good escape/barricade plan until the cops arrive.

    “Well, I’m not going to run away from that asshole!”

    I asked her about where she lived, and if she had any neighbors or family that would be able to come to her aid immediately if the guy who attacked her previously decided to come back. The girl admitted she lived alone with her kid about 15 miles outside of our little town, and the closest neighbor was over a mile down the road. At that point it dawned on her that there was no way anyone would be able to help her in time, and pepper-spray couldn’t be counted on to ensure her safety.
    But this customer still couldn’t wrap her head around the idea of possibly having to kill someone to stop an attack, and as a final resort used the “think of your daughter’s safety” line. Almost instantly I saw the Mama Bear instinct behind her eyes, “Yeah, he’d be a dead man!”

    We ended up talking for a while; she’d grown up in the city with parents who were vehemently anti-gun/violence, and the thought of buying a gun to protect herself wa never an option. But when she realized that in order to protect her child she had to protect herself first, that pacifistic upbringing fell by the wayside in a hurry.

    • “Almost instantly I saw the Mama Bear instinct behind her eyes,”

      If it’s truly an instinct, why was it so hard for you to wake up?

      My point is that all this “social engineering” may well be changing the very nature of the human species.

      What if our neighbors are not just ACTING more compliant, but becoming so?

        • @Richard in WA: Perhaps, but I was thinking more along the lines of the time traveler. Although not without his own biases and paradigm, he can see the strengths and weaknesses of both paradigms; Morlock and Eloi.

        • Richard in WA says:
          August 14, 2015 at 12:25
          Does that make us (the independent-minded) the Morlocks?

          I refuse to eat a libtard.

      • I had the same thought. At the time I gave her the benefit of the doubt; it *was* a pretty ugly & violent story, and maybe she was so focused on her own traumatic memories, she forgot about even having a child… as unfathomable as that is to most of us here.

        Then again…. other than when actively talking to me her attention was firmly planted on her iPhone and she seemed rather oblivious to everything else. The girl didn’t run into anything while walking around, but she definitely had the “smartphone-shuffle”. That obliviousness alone made me wonder about the wisdom of suggesting pistol ownership later.

        But I couldn’t sell her a little can of OC/CS and let her leave, secure in the belief that it would stop an attack, put a violent man on the ground, and that the cops would come to her aid in time.

    • The Taser is better than pepper spray, but I definitely agree with you that handguns and firearms are the best. Maybe you could start with the Taser having limited range and capacity 15′ for C2 and 35′ for X2 and X3. The C2 and X26 are single shots, the X2 and X3 hold 2 and 3, respectively. Tasers are also pricey – the C2 with laser sights run the same cost as a reliable subcompact – about $349. The X2 is $900 plus. Cartridges run roughly $25/apiece and the lithium batteries don’t last forever.

      I’ve had guys miss or have disconnects with our old X26’s and new X2’s. Our department uses the 25′ cartridges with laser sights. Thankfully most of those incidents were only against fleeing or not ridiculously violent felony suspects. Some even got away after the Taser shots failed.

  19. I’m going to start a blog and call myself “Common Sense Steve” and tell everyone I’m espousing support for gun control while doing exactly the opposite.

    “Mike the Gun Guy” looks like he’s never pulled a trigger in his life.

    • ““Mike the Gun Guy” looks like he’s never pulled a trigger in his life.”

      Weisser used to own a gun store.

      In Massachusetts, no less!

  20. I can’t completely disagree with the portion of his statement that a gun isn’t always the best choice in every scenario. I’m not rocking the fanny pack, but I always like the have a less-lethal option on the belt when I’m carrying. We as civilians can carry Tasers in Michigan if you have a CPL, but I don’t carry one myself. I do always have a can of pepper on me in addition to my firearm. The life crushing results of a DGU, even one that is completely justifiable, isn’t something that should be my only option when something is getting crazy. If I’m at a bar and some drunk is picking a fight, do I really want to shoot that man? I’d rather run away, but given the opportunity to not kill someone, I’d rather not.

    • Well, AVOIDANCE is arguably the BEST choice, but not one we always have available to us. Sometimes, trouble finds us.

      What if that trouble is such that MW’s alternative means just won’t work? What then?

      I don’t carry a gun to solve all my problems, nor even to solve every “crime” I might encounter/witness/be victim of. Technically, I witness ‘crimes’ every single day and don’t even THINK about shooting the “perp.” (That is, if you drive America’s roads and DON’T see a crime, you are lucky).

      The gun is for “imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.” It’s a specific tool with a specific purpose.

  21. “It’s not true, and there is no evidence-based research that proves it to be the case.”

    Maybe so, but there’s also no evidence-based research that proves it not to be the case. And our rights trump your feeling that this may be so. Even if there were research to that effect, our rights trump that as well.

        • “I have a battleaxe in the house; her name is Katie, and when she’s in a bad mood….”

          You suddenly become polite, apologetic and attentive? 🙂

  22. Apparently Mr. Weiss is offended by phantasms, as nowhere in his article does he provide a quote of anyone claiming that “guns represent the only or even the most effective way to respond to a possible or actual criminal event.”

    In here, in training, in books and videos everywhere, in your own experience, you always see and here about situational awareness, perimeter defense and conflict management skills as being superior techniques, in most cases, to deployment of a firearm. Awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation prevent and repel many more potential and even some actual crimes than firearms do.

    That said, sometimes firearms are necessary. Although there are very few problems which even can be solved with a firearm, those that can be are often solved very effectively with a firearm.

    Take that, Mr. Weiss.

  23. How about the fact that violent crimes rise after any country passes strict firearms restrictions? Or the fact that one can draw a gun long after arthritis prevents them from performing several of the martial arts techniques they trained inwhen they were younger?

    Either way, we do have evidence based research that show guns to be a net benefit to society, so this “gun guy” can go buy some lube and sick it.

  24. This guy just talks himself in circles. Total Fraud. Tries to act like a ‘gun guy’ so he can play his game with HuffPo. The only ones he has fooled are the HuffPo sheep. I don’t even care to hear what he has to say. His words carry no integrity. He’s a SHILL.

  25. I couldn’t even get thru the first sentence of this anti-gun shill because of his ad-hominems and blatant vindictive hatred of the anti’s favorite scapegoat, the NRA.

  26. In my experience, harsh language is the most effective at ending murderous attacks by bad people. In fact, there was that one time when I stopped a rape attempt by yelling “stop that, you bad person,” using my command voice. The perpetrator immediately terminated his attack and apologized to his victim.

    If something like that happens again, I’m going to use persuasion, but next time I’ll do it without sticking my .40 cal pistol in the BG’s ear.

  27. Context can be important. Weisser does not appear to be a successful business owner. His shop has a 2 star Yelp rating , a bait-and-switch complaint on AR15.COM, dropped by some brands, and other behaviors and consequences.

    A proven technique (at least for a while) plays to the culture of outrage – the stock-in-trade of HuffPo. At this point in his life, there doesn’t seem much else he can do. Or let the truth get in the way of a good story.

  28. I guess off-topic, but the included picture of him between the Statue of Liberty makes him appear to be a front sight post.

    I’m not sure what that means, or why the heck I even bring it up…..

  29. It’s a matter of matching or exceeding the force. Sure, running is a great strategy, distance, flee, but what if you can’t? If the bad guy has a stick, you need a stick.

    But because you are being ambushed, so how would you ever know what is coming? Underestimation can easily result in your death. Why improve the odds in the assailants favor?

    Weisser is taking the wrong approach. He would better to be offended by not thinking ahead to understand you are up against ambush.

  30. The gun is the best form of self defense for most situations. It is a good idea to have other options and training (knives, empty hands, etc.) in the event that you are caught without a gun (gfz, slave state, foreign country, etc), but guns are still the best.

  31. There’s a strawman argument if I ever saw one.

    Carrying around a busload of secret service agents is better than just having a gun… but not all of us have that ability.

  32. Well, it didn’t take Mike Weissner long to establish his creds:

    1. Opening with disrespectful ad hominem comments that simply indict Mike as a lefty jerk, a typical Alinksyite troll with an agenda. I wonder who else hates the NRA and has threatened to destroy it, ends justify means mistruths, vs address the facts, and is willing to spend $50M to vilify opponents, spread misinformation, and diversions from the topic at hand?

    2. Ignorance of the facts- Mike not only lies by ommission, leaving out the facts of the articles he cites, but even more disgusting, he lies by commission, misrepresenting the points and conclusion of the authorities he cites, as a quick read of the facts in the articles linked shows in both – Dr Wintermutes and Dr Wheeler were respectful, on point, and fact based.

    Something Mike the Gun Troll is not. He deserves only scorn, and shame.

    3. Writing for HuffPo is pay-to-play…HuffPo gets the Talking Points Memo of the Day about what the progressive Elite thinks the Little People need to know, and dutifully puts out the word they are looking for x, y, z. Mike dutifully responds with the agitprop du jour. It doesnt take a rocket science to see the same tired tropes and discredited memes, repeated over and over.

    Mike the Gun Troll For Hire about defensive use of handguns: “It’s not true, and there is no evidence-based research that proves it to be the case.”
    Shannon Watts, PR for Fake Moms Demanding Action: “This has never happened. Data shows it doesnt happen”

    If its in PuffHo’s, you know its just more clickbait for revenue, propaganda meat for the Useful Idiots-
    Read “Trust Me I’m Lying”, by writer Ryan Holiday.

  33. There are times and situations when a gun is not the most effective means of self defense. I have learned a few unarmed-defense techniques in preparation for the times when a gun might not be the best tool. However, there are also times/situations when a gun is the best tool. I carry a gun so that I will be prepared for those times.

    Mr. Weisser would take my gun away from me when I need it, because there may be times when I will not need it. This, of course, is a ridiculous idea, and anyone who falls for it is an idiot.

    • Bingo.
      A 2# fire extinguisher may not always be the best tool to fight fires with, but I have one in the kitchen anyway. How on earth am I better off without it?


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