Safety and Training

Tactical Mistakes and Myths — One Author’s Observations

Next to food, clothing, and shelter, the need for self-defense is prominent in our genes. You did not make many missteps in ancient times and live to complain. Working as a peace officer, beginning 40 years ago, I did not have a cell phone, pepper gas, or instant backup, and lived through some hairy ordeals. I bear the scars from some, but then, the Scot-Irish are born with a broken nose and scars on their knuckles.

I am not saying that there are folks who do not know what they are doing today, far from it. It is more difficult to be a cop today than when I first started. There is good training and education, for those willing to put forth the effort. As for civilian shooters, there are good schools but few attend.

The primary problem is the unlimited fake news, bad advice, and downright bull chips—some of it published in major magazines. The writer who has never met a gun he didn’t like is one problem. There have always been more cheap guns than good guns. The one commenting on things he knows nothing about is another. Gun shop commandos are another problem. There are actually very knowledgeable shooters in some shops, but from all gun shops. Some of these commandos prey on the neophyte.

If someone doesn’t carry a gun professionally, their advice isn’t worthwhile. You would be surprised how many ‘big name’ editors who pose with concealed holsters and fire handguns have never carried a gun concealed outside of the studio. Those of us who do not believe in little green men, and ignored Y2K and other hoaxes are not impressed. I think a big problem with many concealed carry permit holders is that they carry situationally.

They bolt the hogleg on when they are going to make a night deposit at the bank or looking at a used car in a bad neighborhood, whatever that is. The odds are slim of having an armed confrontation, but the possibilities are endless. The criminal population, with few exceptions, doesn’t go about armed as a matter of course. They heel up just before committing a crime. Therefore, citizens must be constantly armed to deter such an attack. If you carry at all, never be unarmed—save when there are legal restrictions.

Mental preparation isn’t there with many folks. They are not prepared for the ‘tyranny of the moment.’ As a police instructor once told me, the gun isn’t there to keep you from getting your ass whipped; it is there to save your life or that of someone else. As the old saying goes, when the mouth writes a check the ass can’t cash take your medicine. The gun isn’t there to fire from the ground at a retreating man or to murder a teenager you have picked a fight with and ended up with your soft-self kissing the asphalt. Even if you manage to bluff the jury and spend your life savings on gaining an acquittal, there is something called Judgement Day. Believe, live it.

There are people who seriously believe that simply presenting the gun will cause an attacker to wilt away. Well, perhaps. The person motivated by profit, the panhandler on the street, and the hugger-mugger are among these. However, you are not supposed to draw down on them in the first place. They present no lethal threat.

You had better have physical up close and dirty skills to handle less lethal threats. If you jump straight for the gun, the outcome isn’t going to be in your favor, one way or the other. There are men who will feed your gun to you if you do not have the motivation to use it. The handgun is to save your life. In self-defense situations, the attacker is bent on taking your life for his own reasons, and perhaps bent on causing human suffering for the joy of it. He won’t run, and may not run ever after being shot.

I think, the know-it-all who acts as if his head was only made to hold his ears apart is a danger to himself and everyone around him as he regurgitates bad ideas. There is no shortage in the shooting world. Many are tactical hypochondriacs and carry a high-capacity pistol and two or three magazines. They also carry tactical knives, which are just folding knives. These knives are all the rage, and there are schools that teach how to fight with them. I think some training, as an ancillary to the gun, is useful but may be covered in a few hours.

On the other hand, if you can box, you can use a knife. Boxing is a very important skill. I have a pretty scary knife scar given me by someone else. I respect knives more than most. Just the same, a three-inch lock blade isn’t very tactical. Mine opens boxes and does routine chores and at one time a similar blade was useful in searches, moving aside filthy material in dope houses and rooting around in vehicles.

Smaller folding knives are not very useful for combat and you have to look long and hard to find an incident when they have been used. They are good to have for handgun retention and a fast swipe across the offender’s arm. They are only what they are. Don’t build a training program around such an ineffectual tool. Instead, devote valuable time to open hand and firearms skills.

A lot of folks engage in dubious training. I recently observed a video (I do university level research and consult with trainers with credentials but occasionally watch such things in a state of boredom. My blood pressure is perfect, and I cannot allow it to rise over such things) posted by a local shooting school. The owner has been to a lot of other schools and that is it. The student stood flat footed, squared to a target, with his hand on the gun. He moved the gun two or three times in the holster, the buzzer sounded, and he drew and fired. Not very impressive.

The proper technique is to keep the hands held high, and as the buzzer sounds the elbow shoots to the rear and the handgun is scooped out of the holster. The handgun is driven to the target. Cooper was teaching this a long time ago. Another favorite is the instructor who picks a girl out of the class and demonstrates throwing her to the ground. I think that a sparring partner needs to be your own size. It is also good to have a sparring partner trained in different disciplines. It makes for interesting training.

Quite a few shooters think they are a better shot than they really are, but no frame of reference because they have not been to shooting schools past earning their CWP, and they do not shoot in competition. I do not own a race gun, but IDPA is great fun and ideal for CWP holders. Very few shooters firing on the static range fire past seven yards. They fire at their own pace at targets they are squared to.

The prime shortcoming of most students is a lack of familiarity with the handgun. They stutter, attempting to rack the slide, load a magazine, work the slide lock, or unload the piece. God help them if they have a malfunction!

A big problem I have with a crowd of writers is the absolute hogwash that the small calibers are OK for personal defense. In my estimation—and I have much experience and formal education and decades of research behind my conclusions—the calibers below .38 Special and 9mm are practically useless. Never would I trust my life to a .32 Magnum or .380 ACP pistol. The .38 Special and 9mm Luger do not, and will never equal the .40 or .45. But they can be enough.

If you deploy the Buffalo Bore .38 Special 158-grain lead hollow point or the Buffalo Bore 9mm 115-grain +P or +P+, then you are as well-armed as you are likely to be with a handgun. But the larger calibers have the edge. That is physics.

The proper mindset is important. Recently, my dearly beloved and I set enjoying breakfast in Tryon, North Carolina. We were mulling over a cross-country drive and a travel book. I mentioned that while I am prepared, and make my living teaching and writing about personal defense, I felt that we could ride from the Outer Banks to Oregon and never have any trouble or a confrontation. This is because I have the mindset to spot trouble and know the warning signs. Situational awareness is important.

I have proven this theorem the past few years as we traveled in France and the Caribbean unarmed. While armed in the United States, I have had no trouble in some time. That is the mindset to foster. If the time comes, I am ready, but I will avoid it if possible. As for the reality of trouble, check the papers and news every day. It is there in abundance. I think too many shooters focus on the handgun and not the training. The skills you have will carry the day if you have a powerful and reliable handgun.

A final shortcoming I see, especially with the younger generation, is what seems an inability to discern quality. They see clone guns and poor copies and find them as desirable as the real thing. Beretta, Colt, GLOCK, and SIG did not win military and police contracts on a whim. These are service grade handguns. Take your time, study, use the logic ladder and consider the implications of a bad decision.

These were the observations of the author. What tactical mistakes and myths have you observed or experienced? Share your answers in the comment section.

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (71)

  1. Two thoughts.

    1) A defensive handgun is a last resort, for the average carrier. Avoidance, escape and evasion are much better alternatives than finding yourself in a deadly force situation with only a handgun and no back-up.

    2) Avoid sub-caliber handguns [less than .38spl or 9x19mm], especially low capacity ones, for non-professional EDC. The reason is simple. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to use deadly force in self defense, you want this force to be the most effective possible over a wide range of situations. In situations where you do not scope a hit to the central nervous system [brain or spine] you have to rely upon blood loss to neutralize thee threat from your opponent. Even a direct hit to the aorta or heart can take as ling as 10 seconds to render your opponent unconscious. A lot of damage can be done in 10 seconds. Blood loss relies upon three things; location, the size of the permanent wound channel and the number of wound channels. Bigger is better and more is better.

    Now, when discussing the larger, non-magnum calibers, there is little difference in effectiveness, in real world shootings, between the 9x19mm, .38spl, .40S&W, .41 (standard police load), .44spl .45 GAP and .45ACP. They all produce immediate one-shot stops about half the time and fail to immediately stop an attacker with three rounds in 15% of the cases.

    Capacity is becoming more of a factor, as well. In a situation where you are alone, facing multiple attackers and having no means of immediately summoning back-up, you have to be properly equipped. Assuming that you might have to engage three armed assailants, each of whom will require three rounds to stop his attack, you should have a firearm with at least nine rounds onboard. Survivors of gunfights have never been herd to complain that they have rounds left over. Also, it is a good idea to have additional rounds to reload the weapon. Even if you neutralize your assailants, they might have responding back, as well. And, there is always the possibility of a magazine failure, suchh as a broken magazine spring or a dropped magazine. Without a loaded, functional magazine, a pistol is simply a very, very short club.

  2. Ex LEO and pistol instructor here…..I disagree with the notion of only carryin 45 or 40. I carry a 380. It is very accurate, easy to shoot and with proper ammo very potent. Most events are at 10 yards of less, even at that distance…..a 40 or 45 will probably be a pass through and where will the bullet stop. So much emphasis in recent years is on penetration, it is important but over rated…IMO. I have carried on the job……45s, 40s, 38s and 357s………and I still only carry a 380. The circumstances that I could have encountered during work is completely different that what I would expect to happen now. No cars, windows, engine blocks, door frames or body armor to penetrate. So you carry your choice, but remember that you are not only concerned about the perpetrator in front of you, but anyone that could be injured from a bullet after it has done its job……..

  3. My passion for shooting started in the Boy Scouts and continues into my retirement, a total of over 50 years. I spend 35 years in law enforcement, 6 of which in charge of the firearms training program for a regional academy, department SWAT team and monthly quals. I ran a firearms training COMMITTEE because one person’s opinion is not enough. There ARE defensive firearms training experts in Law Enforcement, the Military, gun store owners, range masters and gun enthusiasts but none of these professions necessarily makes one an expert. With 35 years, specific responsibility for firearms training and 5 Gunsite classes under my belt I feel only qualified to steer you towards experts. Here is an accumulation of advice from others, much better versed than me.

    The author is right. There are a lot of “posers” out there. Do your homework, check the reviews. See who has been at it a long time. When it comes to weapons manipulation and basic shooting skills, experienced and competent instructors can help. Not everyone who shoots well can teach. When it comes to every day tactics in an urban environment, law enforcement does it daily. Some military have house to house experience in modern times but the rules of engagement are different. Survival is 3 pronged, physical (staying alive), psychological (mindset and aftermath), and legal. Win the civil suit and don’t go to jail.

    A couple of observations from the article and comments:
    IDPA, IPSIC, SASS and other shooting organizations are fun and will probably offer you shooting experiences potentially more realistic than a square range and paper. Understand, however, that if you are at all competitive, watch that you don’t develop a “gaming” mindset and teach yourself bad habits. Gaming and combat tactics and mindsets are not the same. Under stress, you are likely to do the things you practice.

    As to caliber and ammo. Read Martin Fackler, US Army Surgeon and expert on ballistics and the human body. Shot placement IS more important than caliber, however, there are diminishing returns when you get below a certain caliber. Although they can kill, handguns are generally NOT one shot man stoppers. As mentioned by others here, there are many examples of subjects taking multiple rounds and continuing their assault. Hitting the “apricot” (medula) is the only sure stop, but unlikely with a handgun against a moving target. Granted some people fall down from non-fatal wounds but you can’t count on it. A fully oxygenated brain can function for a few minutes, even with a .45 calibre hit to the heart at almost point blank range (happened to a former LEO partner), allowing the assault to continue. This is especially true for persons under the influence of drugs/alcohol, mentally ill and street hardened, highly motivated persons who can fight through pain or don’t feel it.

    Deep penetration and large holes are better than shallow, narrow ones.
    The more rapid, copious bleeding you cause, the faster they go into shock. Yes, a .22 can kill you, eventually, but you want the attacker to STOP as quickly as possible. Both the military and FBI have reverted back to 9mm because of the higher capacities meaning more rounds available to do the damage.

    Several studies have shown that .380 and smaller produce less penetration and smaller wound cavities than 9mm and above, especially when going through intermediate substances like clothing, glass etc. Not saying they can’t work, but probably less effective. Many assaults have been stopped with 9mm, .40 and .45 calibre weapons. There are a number of reasonably priced options for lightweight, subcompacts in these calibers. When choosing, pick the one that you can consistently get multiple rounds, rapidly, into a reasonable group, center mass. If you are shooting 4 inch groups, speed it up. Most gunfights take place at a distance of less than 9 feet. Mix up your distances but spend time where it counts.

    Lastly, back to legal. Call me all the names you want but all of my concealed weapons have tac lights. I don’t want to shoot someone based on mistaken identity or mis-identification of threat cue. Survival is physical, psychological and legal. Avoid a deadly force encounter if at all possible without putting yourself or another at risk. Take nothing at face value; try it for yourself in a safe environment. If you are my age, have arthritic knees and cannot squat for long periods of time, the car door may not work. You will eventually stand up like the guy in the picture, exposing your head and torso. When you think you’ve got it down, try some force on force training (paint ball/simunitions) and see how easy it is to get hit and how NOT behind cover you really are.

    Take qualified training classes, practice and be safe!

  4. I SLAPPED a guy with a .45 once. Other than THAT one time, I have NO respect for pistols as SELF-DEFENSE.

    Yes, I have ONE. It’s ALWAYS loaded, cocked, and ready. And no, it’s NOT a slow-slow super-ex-expensive Semi-stupid auto. Like YOURS. for instance.

    If I EVER need a firearm for my defense, it must be as quick as my eye and my hand, and I will kill you while you are touching the slide..

    If you’re hanging with ME, keep your hands away from your True Love on your belt.

  5. I thought the article was going good till I hit this part ” If someone doesn’t carry a gun professionally, their advice isn’t worthwhile “.

    I actually stopped reading and closed the tab. I did come back later and give it a chance and finish reading. It’s still a good article.. but basically the author just blanket dismissed anyone’s advice who is not military or law enforcement. I simply don’t agree with that.
    Many civilian shooters log more range time and hours training with firearms in a month than many LEO’s rack up in a year. That’s a generalization, as there are civilian carriers that never practice, and LEO’s that practice often. I’m going off the experience and observations from the group I shoot with, and the LEO’s I personally know.

  6. I agree that having a gun is better than not having a gun. I also belive that a 380cal is great for self defense, with frequent dry fire practice and range practice as well. I know that having just one pistol is probably better, because you force yourself to shoot it, clean it, and practice alot more than someone who has a few pistols.
    So you carry it with more confidence, where law allows of course.
    So train, in hand combat, and add other things as well.
    Just my two cents worth.
    Carry on.

  7. Im still trying to understand the value of shooting an entire mag of watered down 9mm (115gr non+p) into targets less than 15yds away for time. Isnt that one of the perks of 9mm, to have more capacity? Why are they training to blow their load on the first threat the see.

  8. I frequently read the articles on the CTD blog and usually enjoy then. I was not impressed with this article. I was a firearms instructor for many years and other than the importance of situational awareness I disagree with most of what was said. I carry a 9mm daily and occasionally a .380 and feel adequately armed. This is the first time I have ever felt compelled to comment.

  9. Not sure how the idea that evey law enforcement officer is supposed to be a firearms expert. The author never claimed that was so. My take was the author was conveying his opinion based on a life time of experience. We should listen and with a open mind, learn from his personal experience.

    Some take offence with certain general statements, like that of a 9mm being inferior to other calibers. Then there are commits critical of the idea that you need to be able to defend yourself in a hand to hand situation even though your packing your bad ass .380 pistol.

    Look some of you are confused…
    Fact, you can kill anything or anyone with a .22 caliber round if you can put the bullet in the right place.
    Fact, police don’t arm their officers with the best caliber to kill with, they choose a caliber that will subdue the suspect. They can not use reload ammo nor things like ++P ammo.
    Fact, the standard 9mm and 38 special ammo are basically the same, buy a reloading manual, read some before you embarrass yourself.

    One other note that you might want to consider, if you load your pistol with hot ammo that is designed to better kill a man, you may open yourself up for a legal nightmare if you do shoot someone.

    Now for my personal opinion, even a sharp pointed stick is better than nothing if you find yourself in a dark alley. What I carry concealed varies with how I dress for the time of year. A Beretta .32 Tomcat in my back pocket at times, Kimber Micro 9, and a Paraordance .45 subcompact holstered are my usual choices.
    If you try some steal targets that you can knock over, you want need to do much more research to discover that a standard 9mm hollow point round is pale in comparison to a .45 ACP hollow point round’s authority over the targets.
    Dahaaa…… 115 grain 9mm can not stand equal to a 230 grain .45 ACP when it comes to knock you off your but stopping power. And yes 10mm is even better and so are some others, the point is if you want to increase your odds of stopping a attacker with one shot try to carry nothing smaller then the 9mm, but understand it’s limits.

    The last thing I wish to comment on is gun and self-defense training. I prefer to set up real life situation that one could find ones self in. A argument in a parking lot with one and with more than one attackers. A woman with kids and packages being attached in a parking lot. Car jacking situations, these and others types of scenario are how I train students.

    Training is just not how to point and shoot a gun, it’s how to avoid and survive a variety of situations. One eye opening scenario is showing a student that having a gun can get you hurt if your not able to draw it and bring it into the fight because you were not able to defend yourself long enough to hold off a attacker enough to draw your gun and safly bring it into the fight.

    I advise you to get yourself a toy gun of some type and have someone grab for your toy gun as you try drawing it and at the same time have your attacker stab you with their pretend pocket knife. Real fast you may change your.mind on the need to get some basic self-defense training.

    We all can learn from others if we keep a open mind and listen to what others have to say. When it comes to self-defense, we should pick what best suits our own situations, our own handicaps in life you might say. Self-defense is not a one answer fits all type of scenario, you should do what you find is best for you and your most comfortable with.

    1. “115 grain 9mm can not stand equal to a 230 grain .45 ACP when it comes to knock you off your but stopping power”

      I’ll provide some actual data for you, rather than an undefinable term that sounds nifty.
      There’s a 115gr 9mm+P HP with roughly 430 ft/lbs of energy.
      There’s a 230gr .45ACP HP with roughly 400 ft/lbs of energy.
      400 is less than 430, in actual measurable energy. If the projectile doesn’t pass through, all of that energy will be transferred. Physics.

      If physics didn’t work this way, we wouldn’t arm our soldiers with a rifle firing a tiny 55gr projectile that has roughly 3x the energy of either. This all varies greatly with ammunition and firearm, but many 9mm(+P) loads carry far more energy than a .45ACP. That being the case, the ability to carry more rounds, with less recoil and easier followup makes 9mm a fine choice for self defense.

      Shot placement is king, however. So you are completely correct that training, fitness and mindset are all extremely (if not more) important than caliber. However, trying to push these things on people with an ignorance of ballistics doesn’t help your point.

      Lastly, saying +P ammo will prove you are trying to kill someone is equally ignorant. The point of any firearm in a true self defense situation is to stop the attack. By your mindset we should all be carrying .22 LR to poke holes in attackers but not kill them. Firearms work by transferring kinetic energy into a target, causing damage. More kinetic energy means more damage. A well designed faster projectile (or a larger one) will transfer more energy.

      People should carry what they can comfortable shoot and control. For me that’s a 9mm+P 65gr projectile carrying ~60 more ft/lbs of energy than your .45ACP HP round and producing far less recoil than a regular 115gr 9mm round.

    2. Your funny, wish we could share a few beers and solve the world’s problems.
      Not fair to compare hopped up 9mm rounds to standard 45 ACP. A standard 9mm 115 grain bullet at 1150 feet per second can not compare to a 180 grain 45 ACP round at the same 1150 feet per second.. yes we could dig around and both find some hopped up rounds so we can discuss the extreme end of what’s out there to feed or guns but you should note that most 9mm pistols can not shoot +P nor ++P ammo.

      Your understanding of why the military might choose a particular bullet over another is some what flawed. If the military choose to kill as many enemy soldiers as they could they would chosen hollow Point bullets instead of the Full metal jacket rounds they use. A high velocity round does its damage because of the high velocity instead of its projectile performance. I’ve killed deer with the 5.56 fmj round and turned the deer’s heart and lungs into a jello looking liquid with zero effect on the projectile itself. The rapid lose of blood/blood pressure dropped the deer in its tracks. I have killed deer with the same heart lung shot with .45 ACP and 38 super rounds and even .44 mag rounds. Up close enough the hand guns do the job with a well placed shot, but at and beyond 45 yards the bullets slow to the point that they can pass thru the deer’s chest performing no better than a sword with little tissue damage.
      During the excitement of a confrontation that turns life and death, exact bullet placement can’t be guaranteed. I never have argued that the 9mm is not up for the job just that it’s no better than a 38 special and you would be better served with a bigger round if you can carry it comfortably and conceal it in the process.
      And as far as legal concerns on your weapon choice and type of ammo you load in your gun I suggest you do some research. You can’t carry nunchucks, knives with blades over 3 inches, not even a baseball bat in your car, plus a big list of other weapons without risking legal trouble. In some states the projectile loaded in your bullets could get you in trouble if you were to shoot someone with them. Altering ammunition for the better purpose of kill another human being would surely make a bunch of lawyers happy to go after you in every which way. I only mention the subject of hopped up ammo as a caution to others to think about the legal ramifications of some of the ammo that is out there for sale.
      Like I said, I carry a 9mm with 115gr hollow points at times, but I also no the limits of the gun and it’s ammo I carry.

      While I can make head shoots all day long with my 9mm Kimber Micro I rather have the 45 ACP up close where there would not be any type of normal aiming.
      Just my thoughts on the matter…

  10. These are all good opinions. I value and applaud the author’s hard-earned experiences.

    True, many formal training programs are not very good. The FBI has significantly improved their training, but the reality is that single person, known distance, paper target based training is low fidelity with poor transfer. In police shooting, the decision to shoot is critically important. Which is why there might be “don’t shoot” targets. Sorry, guy with the flashlight.

    Just look at the shot-to-hit ratio in police and military shooting (realizing military tactics dramatically skew that data).

    In the Pat Roger’s military study, “expert” shooters could not hit one moving target. Zero.

    Or look at some “expert” guidance on defending your home against an intruder. “Turn off all the lights and hunt the intruder with a flashlight.” Now you know how folks shoot their children who snuck out to canoodle.

    I am glad the Army has moved to 3 position shooting vs just sitting in a concrete foxhole. Maybe someday the range with look like an accurate defensive perimeter. Maybe someday they’ll move to maneuver shooting as teams against moving shoot-back targets (Simunition of course). True, cost is an issue, but I agree with GEN(R) Scales that Infantry does almost all the shooting and they deserve the best high-fidelity training possible.

    These same points will be bouncing around well into the next century. When I worked in a gun store, I can’t tell you how many folks wanted a gun with 6 bullets (why do I have to buy a whole box?). Or ‘experts’ who told me you can’t miss with a shotgun… or that a shotgun has a 36″ spread at ten feet.

    Remember, Ph/Pk is a 2 factor formula. Why are so many more folks wounded than killed? Look at human anatomy…… if you don’t hit a major artery, the spine, or the brain…..and 2 of those are armored… why do you you think a slightly larger hole will make a huge difference?

    Sure, I like my 1911 a lot. Carrying it every day? Ouch.

  11. I recently learned by personal experience, very few civilians(individuals without combat experience) are EVER prepared for the first armed confrontation! No matter how many fist fights you’ve won or lost, what classes were taken, or personal decisions made, you don’t know how you’re going to react until it happens! Knowing the transitional point between a whoopin and a killin is not possible for the novice! I witnessed a fist fight turn deadly!! One man got his throat slit across his carotid and never saw it coming!! 2.5 inch blade pocket knife BTW. Point is, no matter what training, title, or past experience you have, you can never be fully prepared to defend yourself against someone who has planned to harm, or kill you!

    1. The military interviewed combat shooters who said things like “I need a bigger caliber because this gun is no good.” Why? “I shot center mass at an running enemy soldier at 200 yards and he kept on running.”

      My theory is that hundreds/thousands of hours watching TV/movie shootings creates the unconscious memory/expectation that people who get shot are violently knocked up in the air and back 5 feet to collapse immediately dead. But only Bad Guys. Good guys only ever get hit in the shoulder.

      Obviously, most of the hunters here realize that a moving target means you have to lead……. which requires a lot of practice. But the military has not historically trained moving targets…. or bullet drop. I was trained in 1970 to shoot center mass at 500m targets. Hmmm, the 556 drops 45 inches or so at 500m.

      Then folks want full auto because they think more rounds means higher Ph/Pk. Or that it suppresses Bad Guys. Sigh.

  12. While an opinion of ‘hogwash” that anything less than a .38 or 9mm is useless is in fact an opinion, there are other opinions.

    First, many European nations have used the .32 for handguns for both military and police until recently as some have started to transition to 9mm. Many decades of use, suggests the .32 is more than capable. The .380, which is also known as a 9mm short, is a versatile and usable round, and with the modern ammunition, more than capable, and with the size and weight of the firearms both are valid for self defense.

    Second, anyone who says ‘hogwash’ and ‘anything below a .38 or 9mm is worthless raises questions of credibility.

    Third, while there might be years of experience, and there are indeed many who have limited knowledge and some who try to speak to subjects they are not well versed in, writing an article stating what was stated by the author is a display of false superiority claiming they are so superior, and only they know anything, and others are ignorant and only those who carry professionally should have any respect.

    1. Hmm— I suppose Bill Jordan, Elmer Keith, Skeeter Skelton, Fitz Fitzgerald, Chic Gaylord and quite a few others were wrong as well.

  13. “Beyond any doubt, the single worst source of firearms or self-defense information is your average police officer followed closely be most members of the military.”

    So true!! After working in, and managing a gun store with an Indoor Range, this statement is one of the most true statements I’ve read in a long time. And their shooting skills are just as bad most of the time, unfortunately. And I’ve seen attitude be a big issue as well. Scary thing is, is that most gun stores actually look to hire these people. They think just because they’ve done these jobs that somehow they know about guns, and from my experience that is sooo far from the truth!
    I got lucky and had several really good guys working for me that were ex-military. They knew guns they knew ballistics, and they knew how to shoot. You put all that on top of their military experience and they really have a lot to bring to the table, in that case having that experience was was a help.

  14. Carrying a 45 or 9mm in a pocket is most cases is not feasible. 1st rule of thumb is to have a gun with you. My S&W 380 fits very well in a pocket and is very well concealed. And you don’t have to worry about it being accidentally revealed. Would I like to carry bigger, sure. But most times, especially summer in t-shirts or no shirt, I still have my gun with me. 6 years as a cop in the military and shooting sports, I feel confident I can hit my target. A gun vs no gun, no matter the caliber, is better than nothing.
    There have been plenty of deaths caused by smaller caliber’s.

  15. One thing the author is right about: everyone absolutely needs some physical self-defense skills. When one of my Krav Maga students says “I’ll just carry a gun – I have a permit.” I have them put a training gun in their waistband, stand 3 feet from me and draw and say “bang” when they see me move. Every single time, my same-side hand is pinning their “gun” to their side while my other hand is simulating strikes to their nose and throat followed by simulated knee strikes to their groin. I also demonstrate the 21-foot rule to show them that taking a gun to a knife fight is no guarantee of survival.

    1. Some time ago my open hands instructor said just getting a .357 is lazy. Work on the all around defense.

      There are times when you cannot deploy a weapon.

      What then?

  16. “But the larger calibers have the edge. That is physics.”

    That statement cracks me up. I love the guys that swear by .45 ACP, but don’t actually understand the physics. The physics are that bigger is better, but faster is more better. That being the case, there are plenty of available 9mm rounds that have more energy than the typical HP .45 ACP that so many people swear by. They are also less expensive, have less recoil and smaller to carry.

    You sort of acknowledge the physics by linking to such a round, but then go on to make the statement above, which is becoming less true as time goes on. The FBI moved back to 9mm not for one reason, but for several.

  17. There are some truly good points here but a lot of negativity and painting with a broad brush. As former LEO I know that many police officers are barely competent with firearms and not the greatest at the defensive mindset – many others are and many others somewhere in between…just too broad of a group to sum up so easy.

  18. For an article purporting to dispel myths, this is one of the worst articles I have ever read, and it spews some of the worst myths imaginable.

    Larger caliber is better, is bullshit.
    Use hand to hand whenever possible, is bull.

    All this article is gonna do is get a neophyte killed trying to fight hand to hand because he didn’t pull his 44 Magnum, which he couldn’t handle in the first place.

    The reality is that guns tilt the balance in favor of people who CAN’T defend themselves hand to hand. Women, small men, disabled etc. Telling someone to ignore their weapon and fight hand to hand because it seems like a non lethal situation is incredibly dangerous advice.

    Treat every situation as if it’s a lethal situation, because it is. Period. End of story.

    This article reeks of a wannabe UFC fighter giving bad advice.

    1. Go ahead and jump straight up the ladder of force

      or force continuum as I taught it.

      See where it gets you.
      Maybe in cuffs.

      That is a point I made. As a cop if I made that decision I support I would have shot perhaps 114 people the last 30 years.

      True disparity of forces applies to my mother and the disabled. To a grown man it is not applicable. .

    2. Enjoyed your comment, but must disagree a little on disparity of force. Many reading this have enjoyed careers in the military and law enforcement. Now, older and disabled, and every person reading this will be,we can no longer go the ground with the young guys. Today, I simply could not do open hand defense that many commenting here say is “tactically” critical. I spent 23 years 9 months in the military, much in specialized units, and do not recall people using the word tactical, until after I retired. Even today, when I see guns and tactics in the same paragraph, I consider it a marketing term. My point is the disparity of force that we all learned in law enforcement, changes when you get old or disabled. I disagree with your comment that it does not exist for any grown man. It really all depends on what your jury believes.

  19. As someone who spent the last 16 years of a thirty year career as a firearms instructor for a 900 officer P.D. I can tell you that the average police officer isn’t nearly as good with his handgun a the average IDPA match shooter. Those shooters’ firearms skill level is usually head and shoulders above the average police officer. Those I did instruct did manage to survive numerous situations using their issue 9mm pistols to the sorrow, and in many cases the demise, of the perpetrators.

    1. Thanks for reading.

      This varies from agency to agency. We do not all have the LAPD budget of course, but some shoot four times a year rather than one.


  20. “This is because I have the mindset to spot trouble and know the warning signs. Situational awareness is important.”

    The only word I’d change is “important” to “critical.” You can have all the training in the world, and if you’re not critically aware of what’s going on around you, no gun, cheap or expensive, is going to matter. I’d also add to the author’s thoughts about situational awareness the best advice I ever got when it comes to carrying a firearm: “don’t go anywhere WITH a firearm that you wouldn’t go to without one.

    I’ve had an Indiana License to Carry since 1973. Maybe I’m unique, although I suspect not, but I’ve had 3 occasions in my life where I felt I had to draw my weapon. Two were imminent threats while the third was a questionable character waiting in the glass vestibule outside my office with his hands in his pockets. I approached the locked glass office door with my gun in my hand, and the guy left in a hurry. No shots were fired in any of the three incidents.

  21. First, Mr. Roberts, thanks for your service as a law enforcement officer. Next, it is refreshing to hear some common sense to conceal carry. Readers would benefit greatly if they would learn from your experience and observations.
    We have seen the odds increase on being involved in a gun related situation over the last 30 years, but luckily most of us will never be forced to use a firearm to defend ourselves.
    I am a firearm instructor and I have a boat load of complaints about how other instructors train conceal carry students. I spend a big part of my time trying to educate students and anyone else that will listen on the legal side of carrying a weapon concealed. There are a lot of people in prison today with the attitude of some of the people who responded to this article.
    You are only justified to use deadly force to defend yourself or others as a last resort when you believe your life or someone elses is threatend to the point that you believe a death will resort if you don’t use deadly force to defend yourself or others.
    While I subscribe to the ideal the best gun to defend yourself is the one you have with you at the time, I like the author Mr. Roberts , find 9mm and 38 specials and all calibers smaller lacking in authority when your life is in the balance. In another written article I responded to, I stated that you needed to weight you attacker down with lead if you used a 9mm or smaller caliber. The 9mm, if you will compare the reload data is nothing but a siimi-auto 38 special. When I was younger and growing up in South Florida, a man robbed a gas station and doing so fired his 38 special at the gas station attendant. The bullet past through a large window but failed to penetrate the attendants thin jacket. A 9mm is not my first choice caliber to defend ones self, but I do carry a Kimber Micro 9 when my attire does not easily conceal a larger gun. A quality accurate handgun capable of head shots at 40 yards in my hands, being a 9mm or larger is my choice for concealed carry, even if I still voice my preference for the 38super, 357sig or the 45acp.
    I prefer to avoid situations that put me in a place that could turn dangerous. I teach others how to identify possible threats before they advance to a point that they can not be avoided. Your better served to learn to read your environment and what’s going on around you and how others re-act towards you and then adjust your response accordingly.
    I have a martial arts background and learned to practice certain types of responses to particular types of attack. I believe that type of practiced response is best used in your firearms defence training. I preach you never draw your weapon unless you fully believe you must draw it and discharge it to defend yourself. I preach practicing with and with out ammo the drawing and discharging of the firearm to the point that it becomes a reflex. If you practice to the point that it becomes a auto reflex you want hesitate to discharge your weapon when your life depends on your quick reaction.
    One more thing that needs addressed is that belief, you are armed and you don’t need to heed the advise that people like Mr.Roberts and I try to pass along. Your bad to the bone with your bad ass pistol.
    Demonstrating how to avoid a situation that can quickly get out of control, I was able to pull a knife close a twenty foot distance and take a 350 pound man off balance as I stabbed him repeatably and then took him to the ground while he was trying all along to draw his concealed handgun. His sole focus was on drawing his pistol when it should have been defending himself from someone who weighed less than half of what he did.
    In closing, I subject we all reread Mr.Roberts fine article and adjust the type of training that we do so if that one in a million chance comes crashing down on us that we will better avoid it or at least survive it.

    1. Sir,

      Excellent post. I am always looking to learn from those such as yourself. Thanks for the appraisal of my work. I am certain that those that attend your training have profited.
      You are right about wrong attitudes landing folks in prison, including more than a few cops.

  22. You lost me as soon as you told your audience, many of whom will not know better, that +P+ is an option for 9mm. No one, in my view, should EVER recommend a round for which there is no approved pressure standard. That also goes for recommending even +P for ammunition for which there is no +P standard, such as .40 S&W “+P”.

    Really bad advice.

    1. You probably need to pass this information all to the many Federal Agencies and especially western agencies that asked for the development of the +P+ and which have used it for many years with excellent results.

  23. Excellent points made in these comments. I liked reading them. I agree with a lot of the article but comes off a bit like you must train with larry vickers and connor mcgregor to be able to defend yourself. I have attended local classes, never completed and still carry every day. I hope its enough but you never know.

    1. Keep practicing and it will be good enough.

      I suppose perhaps I came off heavy handed. Let me tell you beyond a question– I care about good guys and girls and want them to survive!

      Keep practicing. You are good enough when you lived to old age.
      If you never use the gun the personal development is well worth the time!]

  24. Arrogance comes in many forms, some in unguided innocence, some in the form of professional prophet. I believe this article arrives clothed as the latter. Having spent 16 years in the role of having “all the responsibility and none of the authority” ,the world of private security, I have seen a large number of “professionals” that were supposed to have to knowledge and skills but obviously did not. And I have been subjected to many of the un-knowing that professed to having said knowledge. I have come to reaiize that those who have the most to say about themselves usually have the least to talk about. Case in point here.

  25. The author made a great point about carrying all the time. I was home on leave and was going to a party with some good friends and the ONE time I left my weapon at home…for no good reason this guy started waving around a .45 in the living room of the house we were at.
    “Time to go.” That’s what I told my friends. Anyway, these gangsters were focused on us and I didn’t know why…we had never seen them, before that night. A beer bottle whizzed by my head and trouble was brewing. I opened my truck door and hoped beyond hope that My lack of a weapon was just a delusion as I felt the area where I kept my firearm hidden in my truck. Nope! Nothing…and these guys were advancing on us with malicious intent. It was not looking good. Then a few nosy neighbors began to turn on their porch lights and these malcontents thought twice about making a scene.
    We got out of there, unscathed. Lucky us.
    “When you least expect trouble…expect it!”

  26. Despite the disagreements with your article and writting style I for one thank you for sharing. I apreciate benefitting from your experience and thought. Even if disagreements exist there are many pearls of wisdom.
    Thank you for adding to our collective repetorie.

  27. It is well said; ‘situational awareness is vital.’ Hand to hand combat, at least for me is out of the question, though I learned it in the military, I am 71, in extremely bad health, bad heart and all. I carry a 1911 in .45 ACP and go by the adage; “If it ain’t big, it ain’t shit!”, espoused once by Elmer Keith. As a, now deceased friend, once said; “I have killed before and am absolutely sure that I am able to do again. So there’ the mind set. So, in conclusion; ‘If you cannot kill without hesitation, or remorse, you’ll only get yourself (and perhaps others,) killed.

  28. Its unfortunate when former police officers write an article like this that is negative and makes the reader think that they feek they are the only ones worthy of carrying a gun and because they have years of experience they know everything there is to know about people and their use of firearms and their capabilities. So in that vain I would like to respond, not point by point but with some basic principles that I believe in.

    First, I do believe that a person’s mental mindset is critical in any encounter with a firearm and whenever I have had the occasion to teach someone to shoot I have told them if they don’t feel comfortable using a firearm after they try shooting one, then they should not own one because it probably won’t do them any good to have it. If you don’t have the will to use it against another human being all the training and
    practice will be for naught. Case in point search Vietnam veteran kills police officer and here is a classic case of a trained police officer making every mistake in the book and getting himself killed. So you don’t have to be a civilian to handle a situation poorly.

    Second, the best gun and caliber you can have in a self defense situation is the one you have with you at the time you need it. People have to be comfortable with the firearm they select and a well placed shot with a small caliber weapon can be more effective than a poorly place shot with a larger caliber weapon as suggested by the author.

    Third, a former police officer should not make the mistake of assuming their experiences on the job dictates what happens most often in real life self defense situations. Several things come to mind from reading real life scenarios on the NRA Armed Citizen column over a long period of time. Most self defense situations don’t involve the need for a fast draw, they are not synonymous with a gun battle where you have to hide behind an object and engage in an all out shoot out, they take place at relatively short distances, and people use all kinds of guns and calibers successfully to defeat their attackers. Additionally, the old, weak and infirm are not going to get into a boxing match in most cases where they can prevail with an attacker and these are the people predators like to try to take advantage of.

    As far as the type of gun one buys, I have the Glock, H&K, Walther, XD9, Sig, M&P, (all the major brand names) but I also have Taurus, Bersa, Grand Power, KelTec, Cannik etc. I have news for the author, they all shoot well, are reliable and are accurate. All have been purchased for less than $600 because I research my firearms carefully and wait until I can get them for a good price. Most of them are 9mm and the others 380 auto. I would be confident with any of them in a self defense situation and in fact carry all of them at one time or another.

    In closing I would just like to add that former Law Enforcement and Military do not enhance the firearm dialogue when they take the attitude that because they have a different type of experience that makes them an authority on firearms and more importantly people. There are plenty of supposedly well trained professionals who screw up equally as bad as any civilian. Case in point the video of a police officer teaching firearm safety in crowded classroom and shooting himself in the foot because he failed to check his weapon to see if it was loaded. So please there incompetent people in all walks of life and former police and military are not exempt from being careless or foolish. So go easy on the attitude and give us something useful and constructive when you write these articles. Just sayin’

    1. Thanks, at 74 I no longer box, and with health issues, can’t outrun you, either. Don’t Carry in the exam room, but hopefully can defend office. I have been shot in combat, and are willing to shoot to protect those and what I love.
      What I fear most are “Red Flag” and universal background check laws that threaten the ability of those who read columns such as these to help protect themselves and others.

    2. As a former this, that and a few other things, I just wanted to say well said. Your points are valid and should be considered when former military/police train “civilians” in weapons and self-defense.

      I’ve had many situations personally and professionally that after retrospective analysis, and taking a situation through all it’s possible outcomes showed me that my setup, equipment or decisions needed adjusting from conventional or professional ways I was trained. As a civilian carrying concealed I neither have the same purpose, intent, equipment , authorities as I do on the battle space or in a law enforcement capacity. The different statuses are totally different and that must be recognized. I would rather have a keltec 380 with Lehigh defense rounds in my coat pocket that I could almost instantly with one hand, and almost no effort while walking my dog in winter, over a glock 23 on my hip, under my winter coat that is zipped up and takes twice as long to access, while wearing gloves and having one hand on the dog leash. In my experience, many situations happen extremely fast and close. Add in the fact unlike in a military or law enforcement status as a civilian most times that weapon has to remain concealed until the very second it needs to be used. That already puts you behind the eight ball.

      Too many things to ramble about, but just wanted to say good post. Your points are valid. Also that the attitudes of many instructors and firearms experts turns a lot of people off from seeking training. How do I know? Because many people seeking for me to train have said as much.

    3. yep
      a lot of folks show up at a class and want to things their way and tell the instructor how it is going to be

      Thanks for reading.


    4. I agree with everyone of your points except one. Both the author and you place police officers in a category separate from “civilians”. Police officers are civilians and should never lose sight of that important fact.

    5. If you reread the first sentence of my comment you will see that I was referring primarily to former police officers who write these articles based on their opinions and experiences. They have a tendency to think of themselves and their fellow police officers as somehow being different from the rest of us. Not me and I think my comments indicate that fairly clearly.

    6. YEP

      A cop has no more right or need to be armed than anyone else, his need is simply more apparent.

      At least that is what I learned earning my degree.

    7. Ok first of all, this comment is almost as long as the article. Secondly, a police officer encounters self defense situations on a much more frequent basis than the average citizen and they meet a lot of people, from a lot of different walks of life. Does this make them the authority on weapons and self defense training? No, but it makes them much more experienced and better equipped to recognize gaps in someone’s training. I do not believe this author was trying to judge anyone or give “attitude,” I just think he’d made some observations over the years and wanted to pass some info on to some less experienced shooters. If you aren’t one of those people, read another article instead of trashing an article for petty reasons.

      Yes, a well placed shot in a smaller caliber can be more effective.
      Yes, companies other than the big names make good weapons.
      And yes, experienced shooters make (sometimes fatal) mistakes all the time.

      None of that invalidates anything in this article.

    8. Thanks for agreeing with my petty arguments. Let me remind you that this is America and we are all entitled to our opinions. I stick with everything I said and as you pointed out my facts are correct. I have 4 relatives who have been or are involved in law enforcement so I am not unfamiliar with the types of experiences they have had.. You have a good day and perhaps next time you can offer something constructive of your own.

    9. Agreed. Of the LEO’s I know, none of them even own a personal firearm… that means their firearm ‘experience’ is limited to their range qualification each year..

  29. I normally wouldn’t comment on the poor editing, but since there is so much conjecture and judgement, I can only say WOW.

    FYI…who am I? Well….I grew up in Miami in the crazy 80’s and 90’s. Never started something I couldn’t finish, so I agree with the author there. But times have a changed. I was wrong, despite going pretty much undefeated in the streets.

    I wasn’t the guy that would bash your head in, wasn’t looking to permanently hurt you, disfigure you. Just an ass whoopin…

    I’ve seen some unfortunate fights where this wasn’t the case. Well, father time has caught up with me and those days. I don’t seek altercations. But if you attempt “BODILY HARM” regardless of no intent to kill, I do not have to try to figure out your intentions and you may be met with LETHAL consequences.

    1. Everyone I know that has fought quite a few fights has lost some as well if they are honest.

      A point well taken– if you like to fight leave the gun at home

  30. Diid the author really state that my handgun was not to be used to protect myself from someone assulting me for profit (robbing me), or a “hugger-mugger” (i have never seen one)? Or to keep from getti g my “ass whupped”? I am not waiting till I am bloody on the ground in hopes the assault is not an attempted homicide. And His characterization of the Treyvon Martin shooting is offensive. The author may rely on his years of police ecperience but I will rely on my own.

    1. I think that the point is that those motivated by profit will usually flee at the point of a gun. The bad ones need to be shot. As for hugger muggers some of the are very very nice looking women. They are a step above the high glass call girl and bump into you — you smell the perfume, see the hair and they are gone, often with your wallet. Ran in several in Paris and also Rome, but the ones in NYC are good too.
      I think the point is — the gun is a last resort to save your life or someone elses not to enforce your will
      As for that unfortunate shooting— that guy had assaulted two peace officers and resisted arrest in the past, his dad, a judge, made it all go away. That he ended up shooting someone was inevitable.

  31. 99% great article! But the other 1% is a serious problem. That 1% comes when the author says: “If someone doesn’t carry a gun professionally, their advice isn’t worthwhile.” From the rest of the article, it seems that this sentence might not be what the author meant but I seriously worry that the author did mean what he said and doesn’t understand just how wrong he is.

    “Professionally” has only one accepted meaning today — it means doing something for payment. The only people carrying professionally are military, police, and few armed guards. Being paid to carry a gun has NOTHING to do with the skill or knowledge of the individual. The author’s assertion that anyone who isn’t being paid to carry a gun is automatically worthless is inherently inaccurate. More importantly, it strongly implies that advice from anyone who IS being paid to carry a gun is somehow magically blessed.

    The vast majority of people who do “carry a gun professionally” know almost nothing about guns or self-defense and even less about training others on those topics. Beyond any doubt, the single worst source of firearms or self-defense information is your average police officer followed closely be most members of the military.

    The notion that “professional” experience automatically equates to competence is a widespread misconception — this misconception is why we have so many trainers whose bio brags about their years in the military and/or with a police department. Keep in mind that the average police officer or soldier will go an entire career without ever firing their weapon outside a training range.

    Yes, most good instructors do have “professional” experience, but so so most bad instructors — and there are far more bad instructors than good ones.

    1. ok I see your point. However after 23 years and a degree in Criminal Justice, here is the deal —- you see so many things — and by see I mean arrive just after they have occurred– you have a good idea of what happens on the street. Now there are cops that are not professional that is true. And those in Podunk towns just never gain much experience– but quite a few officers gain excellent experience.
      Do you want a guy that has been to a lot of schools or who has been involved in the end game of personal defense and MOST importantly who knows the criminal element? They are not folks like us that have had a bad day, far from it. Would you want a bright young guy out of med school or a doctor with gray hair? Or a young attorney that is just out of Harvard and smart of an old guy that has actually tried cases? Just food for thought.

    2. Read my comment as we both think much alike. Amen for calling it as you see it and you are correct “professionals” have no lock on competence.

    3. Agreed.. when I READ ” If someone doesn’t carry a gun professionally, their advice isn’t worthwhile” the article lost a bunch of credibility for me..

  32. My one perspective is that a hand gun is not protection from harm. It is an offensive weapon that the user will hope to use to kill an opponent before the user is killed. I am less willing to kill even bad people to save my own life than I once was and so I no longer do the edc regimen that I did in the past. When I did live with an everyday carry firearm I saw threats in every crow,, I constantly played scenarios and thought of scripts to use in the event of an attack. Now I mostly carry in bear country when berry picking, fishing and scouting prior to hunting. I think that far too many writers sell the idea that if only you have the right gun you can win without injury against the scary bad guys that surround us. Most people who carry daily should statistically never have cause to fire that weapon at a person. Most people who are in a firefight will get injured. When I draw my weapon I am expecting to get shot and to have to deal with that outcome.

    I have much less stress since I ceased to carry daily, which is odd given that a much younger me was made calmer knowing that he had the capacity to defend himself. Knowing that I had deadly force at hands reach made it easier to accept insults and disrespect that the unarrmed youthful me would have felt obligated to flight over. Maturity, age,, and humility have served to make me much more willing to recognize others as having equal value to myself.

    I agree with all points made by the author of this article, except that the gun is protection. That is just the culture of gun writers, the fundamental falicy of the industry. Know that you and those that you love may well be harmed. Carry in the hope that you can stop an attacker sooner than later. Practice trauma first aid. By all means if you choose to carry know your tools.

    1. Your logic evades me. The handgun is for defense and to save your life. A howitzer or perhaps a rocket is offensive, some argument may be made for a proper long gun to execute a felony warrant.
      Perhaps you need to lave this channel and write for Peloisi or the Klintons.
      I hope your decision only impacts yourself and no one depends on you for protection.
      If this is a personal decision well you are in good company with the great swordsman and warrior Miyanoto Musahi. In later years he wore only wooden swords by choice.

    2. don’t feed the trolls. I am not paranoid about fire but I have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. I carry to protect myself, my family. A firearm carried by a law abiding citizen is defensive, for protection. Its only offensive for bad guys….

  33. There’s always the guy or gal who will question your need to carry, or why do you carry when you’re just going to …?

    Not to be flippant; I try to get the point across that gun fights are not usually scheduled. You cannot predict when or where you may need to defend yourself, or another, from death or serious bodily harm.

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