Troll the intertubes for any amount of time and you’ll run across some truly horrendous advice where guns and self-defense are concerned. “Experts” whose wisdom, if followed, could get you arrested or killed.
Here are a few that come immediately to mind:
You don’t even need a gun to protect yourself and your family. That’s what the police are for.
This one should be self-evident. It’s a favorite of most civilian disarmament advocates.
Even in the best of circumstances, dialing 911 still leaves responding officers minutes away. A lot of very bad things can and do happen in that amount of time in personal and home defense situations. And if you live in a more rural area where LEOs are few and far between, you could wait a half hour or more.
Then there’s the fact that police have no legal duty to protect you. That’s right, in virtually every instance, you are your own first responder. Realize it and act accordingly.
The sound of a shotgun racking is all you need to scare off a bad guy.
Even if you don’t own a pump gun, you’ve heard the sound hundreds of times in TV shows and the movies (sometimes even when the actor is holding a semi-auto). But counting on a perp to abort a home invasion and run screaming into the night at the sound of you racking your 870 is, well, optimistic.
The potential attacker could be under the influence of something that impairs his judgement and the sound could alert him to your position in the house. Expecting the mere sound of racking the action to chase off a home invader and save you is dangerously naive. Don’t rely on Hollywood examples self-defense.
If you hear something suspicious outside your home, fire off a warning shot or two.
This is also known as the Biden approach. The doddering VP’s advice to his wife:
‘I said “Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here – walk out, put that double barrel shot gun and fire two blasts outside the house – I promise you whoever is coming in…”
There’s just one problem. In many (if not most) areas, warning shots are illegal. As our own John Boch put it,
(M)ake no mistake that discharging your firearm in a confrontation will constitute use of “deadly force” to police and prosecutors. If circumstances do not justify shooting a bad guy (or girl) between the eyes, then circumstances don’t justify a warning shot. Period.
Never mind the shotgun vs. AR debate or the fact that those two blasts could leave Joe’s poor put-upon wife out of ammo.
Out here in the real world, a warning shot from a gun owner could provoke return fire. And following ol’ Creepy Uncle Joe’s advice could also cost you thousand in legal fees, land you in prison and deprive you of your gun rights forever. If a prosecutor brings charges, a jury may acquit you, but do you really want to take that chance?
We could go on and on. There’s no shortage of jackwagons out there who are “experts” (just ask them) peddling self-defense advice who can’t wait to share that knowledge with you.
What’s the worst self-defense advice you’ve ever gotten?