Safety and Training

You’re Going To Be In A Gunfight Tomorrow! Are You Prepared?

Pick the right equipment

Let’s get to the crux of it—if you’re going to be in a gunfight and want to win, you have to have a gun. However, the truth is that many gun owners who get concealed-carry permits rarely carry a gun. I have heard the figure is less than one percent! Really? I could not find verification of that number; even if it is close to correct, I am very disappointed.

I ate dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant two nights ago and deliberately paid attention to each person who walked through the doors. I did not notice one who was likely armed. Granted, there could have been an incredibly smooth operator with a hidden gun in the place, but the skinny jeans and tight shirts on most guys and girls in the place quickly told me that it was very likely no one was armed.

Guns Are Uncomfortable

Graph showing which of Tom Givens students were in gunfight.
This data from Tom Givens shows the distances at which his students were engaged in gunfights. Givens has debriefed more than 60 students who have been engaged in shootings. Graph courtesy of Rangemaster Firearms Training Services.

Tom Givens, who founded Rangemaster Firearms Training Services out of Memphis, recently held an instructor-development course in the Chandler, Oklahoma area, and he offered a great insight about carrying guns.

It is much like an infant and shoes.

When an infant is born, the parents usually try to find the most comfortable shoes possible for the baby’s first pair. Unfortunately, after being born barefoot and living weeks to months that way, the first time the parents place shoes on those little feet, the baby throws a fit. It takes a few weeks for the baby to become accustomed to shoes, but it’s likely you are wearing shoes as you read this and have not thought about them all day.

Wearing a gun religiously is the same — at first, it sucks, and you might tend to whine about it. But after two or three weeks wearing the right gear, you pay no more attention to it than your shoes.

Start going armed!

Which Gun To Bring to Your Gunfight

If you knew with 100 percent certainty you were going to be in a gunfight tomorrow, would you prefer to fight with that J-frame lightweight revolver that has a really heavy double-action trigger pull, carried in your front pocket where it is very difficult to access? Don’t get me wrong: I know good revolvers have their place (as back-up guns, in my opinion), but think about what you will pick for your fight tomorrow with some logic.

If you knew you were going to a gunfight and your shooting hand might be injured, forcing you to shift the gun and shoot it with your support hand at an assailant holding your child, would you pick a handgun that was difficult to use with relative accuracy at speed? Would you pick a small pocket pistol with a very heavy, creepy double-action trigger pull for every shot that was also very difficult to manipulate under stress?

Or, instead, would you pick a medium-sized modern concealable semiautomatic with higher capacity and which was very reliable? Don’t you want to have one that you can operate at good speed with good accuracy and that was street proven?

Full sized or compact, either of these guns is going to be a solid choice.
Left: Full sized or compact, either of these guns is going to be a solid choice. Think about it — would you rather be fighting with a five-shot revolver with a heavy trigger pull or a good semi-auto with 13 rounds in it? Right: This is a $500 gun in a $15 holster. I hope you have spent the time and money to select your gear wisely. This holster and gun will be ripped off your body in seconds if a bad guy gets his hands on it. You get what you pay for!

I know my answer, and I can guess what yours might be if you know tomorrow’s gunfight is going to happen.  Both of us are probably going to pick the gun that gives us the most advantage. Most of the pocket pistols out there, as well as a large majority of the handguns sold at gun stores, and recommended by gun-store commandos, are probably not the ones you should pick in preparation for your gunfight tomorrow.

One more thing about gun selection: if you are a female and “the expert” told you to carry a revolver due to its simplicity and the fact your lower level of training dictates you need something simple, I want you to do two things. First, slap said “expert,” since he/she insulted you by saying that you could and would not train to a solid level of proficiency.

Second, do a little test. Shoot your revolver at a target five yards away with only one hand. Fire five shots as fast as you can get hits, one time with your gun hand and one time with your support hand (two separate strings of fire) into the center ring of an I.D.P.A. target. Count your hits in that circle. Then, go perform the same test with a high-quality, small-to-medium-sized semi-automatic like a Glock 26 or Glock 19 and see if your hit ratio and speed goes up significantly. I have had female students who could not even pull the trigger with their weak hand on their carry revolvers. Have you tried it with yours?

How about your gear? Have you tested your carry holster or carry method hundreds, if not thousands, of times to see if it’s going to allow you to consistently present the handgun very quickly from the holster?  Have you taken it a step further and jumped up and down, then rolled around on the ground a little bit to see if your handgun is actually going to stay in your holster? Your fight tomorrow will be more dynamic than simply standing still and shooting, like you do on the range.

Training for Your Gunfight

Your fight is coming, have you trained for it? Have you properly prepared? To answer that question, we must look at how fights occur, and more important, we must look at how we’re going to be attacked.

Tom Givens of RangeMaster has gathered some of the most crucial data I’ve come across in 15 years of teaching. There’s a significant amount of information out there that show how assaults occur, how people were attacked, and what worked to end those fights. The Rangemaster data also indicate what ranges the shootings happened at, and how many rounds the participants fired.

As confirmation, Givens’ data reflects the reported distances at which FBI and DEA agents get into shootings. Generally speaking, uniformed officers get into closer-range fights.

In relation to your gunfight, it’s probably going to occur in about three seconds, at three yards, and around three shots will be fired by you. Have you spent the majority of you practice on your presentation from concealment? That’s how you’re going to be carrying, so you need to be practicing to draw and hit with 100 percent certainty and 100 percent consistency with as much speed as possible. Remember, you are responsible for each round you fire. For your gunfight tomorrow, are you confident that you have practiced enough to hit with all of your shots? If not, are you prepared to deal with the aftermath of shooting someone innocent, like a child?

How about your one-handed shooting? Statistics show that you’re highly likely to be injured and hit by a bullet in one of your arms. In addition, there is a significant amount of our normal daily duties that require one of our arms becoming occupied, so the likelihood of having to fire with one hand is a very good possibility.

Have you trained to control the recoil on your handgun, manage the trigger, and get accurate hits with one arm? I hope so, because I am pretty sure you might have to shoot like that in your gunfight tomorrow.

How About Movement?

It’s been demonstrated that movement will increase your success in a fight if you can move out of the way of flying bullets. Is that something you practice?

Obviously, a moving target is more difficult to hit, but more important, when you present a moving target, you surprise the attacker and get out of his line of sight. Have you practiced your presentation while moving off-line to the left or right? Getting successful hits while moving is different than doing a fast draw while standing still. Hey, you’re going to be in a gunfight tomorrow! Don’t you think that’s a skill you will want to have?

Your Fight Is Yours to Win — Or Lose

Ok, let me ask the blunt question: Did you recently spend some time and money on training and ammunition? Or did you drop big money all on a new surround-sound system and plasma TV for the fall football season? One choice would have prepared you for your gunfight tomorrow. And one didn’t.

Hey, you spent the money and time to get your carry permit, right? That card should be enough to get you through your gunfight, because the carry-permit training is so intensive. The carry course prepared you for the fight tomorrow, didn’t it?

Having a gun is one thing; carrying it daily is another. But are you prepared to use it? Think about it for a second. Any time in your life you expected something would happen to you, you remained relatively calm and comfortable because you were in your comfort zone.

Pick the right equipment
Left: Drawing fast is one thing, but movement while doing so is a skill everyone should possess. Have you worked on offline movement? Right: Carrying a gun might be uncomfortable at first, but after a few weeks, you will rarely ever notice the gun. You will want to find a carry holster that is comfortable and allows you to carry a gun you would want to fight with.

So, knowing you’re going to be in a gunfight tomorrow, wouldn’t you rather have this thought: “I knew this would happen, let’s take care of business.” Or, would you rather say: “Oh crap! I can’t believe this is happening to me!”

Do you want to make slow decisions in your gunfight tomorrow?

What if you get shot? Are you mentally prepared to deal with the consequences of actually getting shot? If you have done your research, you would find a significant number of handgun wounds are not life threatening and allow the person shot to go home after appropriate medical treatment. When your gunfight occurs tomorrow, obviously you don’t want to get shot. But the possibility exists that in a gunfight, you might get shot. If that happens, do you want your mentality to be surprise, anguish, or paralyzing fear?

Or would you rather prepare your mind so that your response is anger instead, one where you get pissed off that you got shot, and you hunker down and return accurate fire, destroying your opponent? The point is, if you expect the possibility of getting shot, it won’t be a surprise. Whether you live or die depends on how you react to it at that moment.

How about your family? Does your wife or husband have any clue whatsoever what you’re going to do — and what you expect them to do after a bad man jumps out of the shadows and points a gun at you? It’s going to happen tomorrow, somewhere.

Will they expect you to give up your wallet? Or draw your handgun and shoot? Or will you move off-line aggressively and draw? Will your loved ones know to move, and if so, what direction will they go? Will they stay in the line of fire, or move laterally, and hopefully to a safer spot? Do your children know what you will do and what they should do when a bad thing happens tomorrow?

Your gunfight is coming. Are you ready? Share your plans in the comment section.

[mseeklander]

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 (35)

  1. Well I did read an article at one time that said the best self defense handgun you have is the one you have on you at the time you need it. So the author basically was saying whether you have a 22 cal or a 357 mag you have to make do with what you have. Makes sense to me.

    1. Agreed.

      When I can carry what I want it’s a full sized .45, either a Glock 21 or an XD. But there are times, when I have to absolutely be very low profile, and all I can manage is Kel Tec .32 with a laser and hollow points concealed in a belt carrier that looks like a smart phone case.

      You make do with what you have so practice and be proficient with all your guns. You never know when it might be all you have at hand.

  2. OK, folks, before you jump me, I didn’t mean it is all BS. I was concerned about fight avoidance and weapon selection. The info on training, movement, etc. looks sound. And I live in a carry state. No permit required.

  3. All BS. If I KNOW there is to be a fight, I stay home. Or I want my 12 gauge. Otherwise there are many trade offs. A Glock 19 is great, but there is nothing wrong with a J frame. An LCP (or baby Browning .25) is far better than nothing. Training and practice are essential. Know the law.

  4. Enjoyed your reply and had a good laugh. Tell the wife that its always better to be on trial for shooting someone than them being on trial for shooting you. LOL

    1. Thanks! I read your response to my wife and she grinned and said, “Yup, those doggone, white Republican males strike again.”

      BTW, she’s an excellent shot and swears by her Beretta 92. I know, it’s not state of the art, but she regularly punches the heart circle out at combat ranges, so I’m not going to argue with her about it.

    1. @dprato:

      Thanks for the link. I feel very sorry for the officer, but I think he gave the guy too many chances, he got too emotional, and because of that he couldn’t hit a clear target. This really was educational for me, and it may surpass any possible physical drill I could do (you were correct about the mental aspect)……..although I still will do the drills because I love the Arizona desert, and the fun of seeing what’s going on with other people over at the popular desert shooting spot.

      BTW here’s a tip for anyone going into a secluded area for target practice, who may have found problems (like I did) finding verifiable targets. I went to the 99 Cent Store and bought a bunch of rectangular aluminum turkey basting pans. They are light, they are shaped like “center mass”, and they seem easy to prop up. I bought some masking tape too, so 1 pan can go a few rounds.

  5. While I understand the benefits of a varied practice regimen most self defense situations don’t require many of the things you have suggested. Most situations occur within 15 feet or less at a stationary target. All of these folks who make light of shooting at stationary targets often describe routines more suited to the military. More important than all of that is commitment to the task. If you get a good case of diarrhea while you are running, hiding, rolling on the ground or whatever during an actual incident its probably because you have not properly prepared yourself mentally to do what needs to be done. I think some of the things that folks like yourself suggest is more akin to a gun battle than using your weapon in self defense. Just one person’s opinion.

    1. @dprato:

      I understand your opinion about 15 feet and self defense, but I just want to have fun and enjoy my gun hobby and enjoy the outdoors too. Since I’m not a hunter, doing drills is something I think can be lots of fun. And yes, it will prepare me for a gunfight like the author suggests that we at least think about.

      When I see a guy at the range with his AR-15 clamped into a stationary holder, or a guy shooting his Glock at the 5 yard target (trust me I see so many of these instances), these are things that just don’t register with me. I need more realism and more action.

      Hey, BTW, I’d really appreciate it if you could send us a way to find that video of the “cop who panicked”. I’d like to see that and learn from it. Thanks in advance.

  6. @faultroy Wow, that was long winded. Tell you what you go to the urban city with you’re compass, map, and dressed as a nun…and I’ll stick to my Glock. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel safer and stand a better chance of surviving if things go badly.

  7. @faultroy:

    “Based on the data, you shouldn’t be looking to your local Gun Academy Super Duper “Expert Operator.” but to your local Catholic Church to hook you up with a couple of Nuns that can teach you how to be safe when the going gets rough.”

    Just hook me up with a nun who carries a 1911 .45 ACP with extra mags under her habit and who has qualified as NRA expert and I’ll feel VERY safe indeed. 🙂 Yes indeedy!

  8. I found your post to be interesting along with being long winded and I think you have overstated your point of view. While I do agree that being aware of ones surroundings and avoiding confrontation are certainly valid self defense strategies, the reality is that is not always possible. I noticed you did not quote any statistics particularly those with regard to rape, home intrusions, assaults or the number of times police use “their” firearms to enforce the law.

    While it is true that most firearm confrontations take place in fairly close proximity to aggressor and defender the truth of the matter is most of the time people are so emotionally charged that they miss their target. However, there are numerous cases throughout the year where people have successfully defended themselves against potential assaults and home intrusions.

    Suggesting to a woman that has been raped that she go see a Catholic nun for advice on how she could avoid it would not seem appropriate in many situations in which the woman was in fact minding her own business and some pervert attacked her.

    Additionally, as important as practice may or may not be the more important factor is commitment to the task. There is an old saying in firearm circles that “slow is fast”. That is, it is more important to stay calm and implement your training and get off one or two good shots rather than getting all hyped up and spraying bullets (for which you are responsible) all over the place.

    I am a believer that most effective philosophies need to be somewhere in the middle. I think knowledge of your firearm, ability to load, aim and shoot it are the basic essentials. I believe everyone should legally own a firearm. We now have over 5 million women who have Conceal and Carry permits and I would like to see that number closer to 100%. FBI statistics show that as gun ownership has increased violent crime has decreased. If every woman was packing I am certain that violent crime against women would decline dramatically.

    All that being said, I have been around firearms for over 40 years. I have never once had a firearm incident or had the need to use one to protect myself or others. I do believe however, that I am well prepared and more importantly absolutely committed to do what I need to do if the need should ever arise.

    Just another opinion and point of view.

  9. Good article, and while I believe it to be accurate, I certainly don’t believe it to be true.

    We need to define a few terms: 1) Gunfight…according to the dictionary, a “gunfight” is an AGREED UPON confrontation between two people using firearms.

    The average civilian will and SHOULD never be in a gunfight.

    There is a reason we have police which are given special powers granted by the state and federal government to engage in these practices, and they are very limited in what they can and cannot do.

    “Altercation.” This is another term for a confrontation that has gone beyond merely exchanging words. It usually gets physical.

    If the article is accurate, and I believe it is, then the reality is that the way 99.9 % of the public trains is completely wrong.

    Most people use their guns to shoot at targets using their sights. If civilian carry is supposed to be used ONLY for DEFENSIVE training, than the trainers are teaching ALL the wrong techniques.

    This reminds me of the same argument we are currently having in the survival community.

    Most of the “Survival Gurus” in their training demand that you follow military procedures and carry everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink.

    However, indigenous people rarely do this and are able to survive very well by merely doing what comes natural and living off the land.

    They really don’t need specialized rucksacks, “battle gear” nor “tactical gear” etc.

    If you want to prevent 99% of survival situations, all you need to do is bring a compass and a map and actually LOOK at the compass and and map and be mindful of where you are. If you always know where you are, then you CAN’T get lost.

    IF you realize that your clothes are the first line of defense in a survival situation, and you bring a coat with you, it’s almost impossible to get into a survival situation unless you are doing something like taking an airplane trip or are on the ocean.

    It’s the same with dangerous “gunfight” situations. If you use your head, you’re not going to get into a confrontation.

    If you live in a bombed out inner city slum with incredibly high crime, drugs and violence, rather than spending all your time practicing for a “gunfight,” maybe you should invest all your activity in moving. That way you won’t have to get into a ” gunfight.”

    If you live in a nice neighborhood and are just the average citizen, you really only need to know how to load, pull and fire your pistol. You don’t need to even practice hitting a target because according to the article, the overwhelming majority of “gunfights,” happen within a few feet.

    I’ve always believed that in order to make concealed carry real, we shouldn’t be letting “expert operators” teaching concealed carry, but rather Roman Catholic Nuns that work in high crime areas every single day.

    They are much more efficient and adept in dealing with the criminal element than’ “expert operators” who really are teaching skills to civilians that 1) they have no business knowing, 2) will never need.

    You don’t see Nuns packing heat nor attending the tony Gucci premier Gun Academies to learn to be safe.

    And curiously for all the work that Nuns do in seedy desperate drug and crime infested areas, you don’t hear of them being mowed down by legions of murderous Criminal Savages.

    And the funny thing is that statistically, these Nuns have 1,000 TIMES more interactions with the Criminal element than these “super gurus.”

    I wonder why that is?

    Could it be that they know something the average gun toting Gun Guru DOESN”T know?

    It certainly appears that way….based on the data.

    Statistically, with just shy of 1 million law enforcement personnel dealing with all manner of societal dysfunction and criminality we had only 44 violent deaths of police officers in the USA for 2013.

    Let me repeat that (and you can google this for verification) almost 1 million men and women in law enforcement and 44 deaths due to a “gun related ” confrontation.

    Based on the data, you shouldn’t be looking to your local Gun Academy Super Duper “Expert Operator.” but to your local Catholic Church to hook you up with a couple of Nuns that can teach you how to be safe when the going gets rough.

    1. I know some Nuns. They are really great people. They get attacked, robbed and raped just like all the rest of us. I havae listened to the stories of the no longer with us sisters that were raped and murdered. It happened here in the US by an illegal imigrant who ened up being deported afterward. Not much justice there. Not my story to tell more details than that but you can many years later still feel the traumatization of the sisters in that community. They got some guns and training after that and a couple other incidents happened with people breaking into their convent. Also the men in the congregation put on several large training days for them to shoot varius weapons. So you keep thinking that all nuns don’t have guns and try to break in to their convent after dark and you might get a nasty suprise. I’m sure not all of them do have guns but I for sure know some that do have them.

      There are bad people out there that just don’t care what you believe, what you are, or who you are. They are equal opportunity bad guys and everyone has an equal opportunity to be assaulted by them.

      Even the cops will tell you that they get there after the crime happens. So the conclusion I take from that is you need to be able to protect yourself untill they get there. Which means a gun with lots of bullets in it and the training to use it. A gun is the great equalizers as Samuel Colt once stated. A little woman can pull a trigger just as well as a a 6ft 250lb guy. Or in my case a 6ft 190 lb guy with bad knees, bad back, and arthritis can use one to stop a young in shape guy that hand to hand could tie me into a knot. (sucks to have to say that but I have to be honest withmyself that I am not all that I used to be in my younger days)

    2. Faultroy’s comment was humorous, but very flawed. Audeojude’s reply was spot on, exactly how I believe.

      My feeling about this topic is to be more ready for a gunfight than the average gun owner, you need to practice AWAY from the gun ranges. There are too many rules at the gun ranges, for good reason though. But seriously, if I own an AK with a slide fire stock (and I do), I want to practice with it on my hip. My gun range makes you sit at a table with a slide fire stock. Same with my AK pistol. But it’s not just hip shooting, it’s all kinds of shooting, all positions, hiding behind barriers, running and finding cover and re-acquiring your targets. I mean you can really have fun and exercise and get to know your weapons much better at the same time!!

      So, being in Arizona, you can do things like this in the desert. I had a place in Buckeye Arizona where I did drills at a couple times, but it was closed by the State Of Arizona Land Dept. So I want to make my first trip to Table Mesa Road, an infamous shooting area north of Phoenix, to do some serious drills and practicing.

      Trying to add a little humor to this, here’s a video from Table Mesa Road of people trying to do drills, but it’s pretty weak, pretty silly. Make sure to skip ahead to minute 11:25 for what NOT to do in your drills.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5tp4AGvcEQ

      Here’s another Table Mesa video that exemplifies how I need to be careful who I’m shooting next to.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvh-X0le4pg

  10. You can practice all you want but if you are not committed to the task you better not pull your gun at all because you are gonna get killed. If anyone saw the video with the cop who panicked when confronted by a man he stopped for a traffic violation and then wound up being executed because he missed most of his shots and then couldn’t reload his weapon fast enough so the guy walked over and shot him while he begged for his life. It is probably more important to be mentally prepared for anything. Practice alone is not going to do it.

    1. Good article. Many civilian to civilian shootouts don’t involve much movement, but everything in the article still applies. The recent successful defense by an armed pharmacist against an armed robber in WVa is an example. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d5c_1424394365.

      The good guy drew fast, shot three times from around 10 feet or so, and killed the robber. As the Army training says; train hard, fight easy.

      My EDC is a full sized XD.45 with hollow points in a quality Crossbreed IWB holster. I also carry a subcompact 9mm as a back-up on the opposite side with an extra mag for each on opposing sides. That way if I lose the use of one arm, I still have a gun on my functional side. If I lose both arms . . . well, I guess I’ll just have to bite him to death. 😉

      I’ve carried for so long now that I don;t even notice the gun there any more, it’s just part of me by now.

    2. 100% correct, Brother.

      I’ve had this conversation with my wife. Don’t worry, just act. You can cry or throw up when it’s over. But at least you’ll be the one whose alive to get the shakes, and the other guy will be the one causing us to have to buy a new carpet.

  11. Considering that I don’t have anything smaller than a couple of heavy .357s, don’t own any semi-autos, other than .22 rimfires, and would like to anticipate being ready in case I am held up, carjacked, etc., just what decision should be made as to how heavy a semi-automatic I should plan on buying?

    There are pros and cons to carrying either a lighter and smaller 9mm or a larger 1911 45ACP (which I would prefer to carry, if it weren’t for the fact that it is harder to conceal because of its size) Right now, I am looking at the Ruger LC9s with the extended magazine that allows for my larger hand to help prevent barrel flip.

  12. What an incredible responsibility it is to carry a firearm. Yet the ONLY one’s that feel that way are the law abiding, criminals could give a damn less. As an Illinoisan who has taken the mandatory 16hr class and has spent a lot of time at the range leading up to obtaining my CCW permit all I can say is I need to practice more and train more. I cant hope that if God forbid, I am in a gunfight, the person I will be defending myself against is a worse shot than I, or has not trained as well or as much as I.

  13. Am I ready for my gunfight. No. I do practice as much as I can. I feel fairly confident about my accuracy, both with 2 hands, and 1 hand, either right or left. I try to practice moving, and drawing and firing from awkward positions such as on my back, on my belly, and from behind cover. I don’t really have anyplace where I can actually do that with live fire. My wife is actually a better shot than I am, but she never has her gun with her. I don’t think she would be very good in an actual emergency anyway. I hope I would be. I’m sure I would have to guide her to cover. It’s something I’m counting on if the situation ever occurs. I carry 2 guns most of the time. A Diamondback db9 in my front pocket almost always, even at work, and most other times either a Glock 19 or 26 in the waist at 4 o’clock. I also always have a knife. I spend a lot of time and money preparing for a bad situation. I hope every minute and dollar is wasted.

  14. Unfortunately, my family disapproves of my carrying a firearm. I have to keep it concealed even from them. So discussing actions for them should a gunfight break out just ain’t happening. Last time my “other” knew I was carrying, she didn’t speak to me for 2 months. Not going to go there with her again. So what she doesn’t know, won’t hurt me. I wish I could prepare her, but she just isn’t hearing it. Same for my daughter who believes 911 will save her. I’m tired of walking around with a blue face from trying to convince them (talking until I’m blue in the face…for those who didn’t get it.). Guess I’ll just have to take my chances. Domestic tranquility does play into the equation.

  15. I often fantasize about living outside of California, where self-defense and methods with which to survive home invasion and other types of attacks are viewed as being some sort of conservative plot against the homeless, the disadvantaged youth and drug addicts who have been “victimized” by society.

  16. My days of wearing “skinny” anything are long past. So no matter what I’m wearing (short of swimwear) my clothes allow me to carry something every day up to and including a full size pistol.

  17. All great points i myself have become accustomed to carry 3 firearms most times never less than 2 w/e i leave my house to go anywhere .When i got my permit in Ohio which i had 1 in tenn and fla as well even tho i was an ex military veteran was still required due to my discharge being over 7 yrs ago to take the basic urban nra pistol course which required shooting 300rds of 45 acp for that class .
    I then took an additional class for urban pistol combat which we shot another 300 rounds at the s.t.a.r.t facility in Ohio. I am a reloader so i shoot many rounds from many positions during the warm months here with these handguns along with others .I do not think 1 handgun is enough you just never know and if my strong right hand is injured my two back ups 9×18 mak,32 naa autoloader. mak on ankle 32 naa in pocket holster on weak hand side. Both are light and easy to fire with my weaker hand ,also shoot those back ups with the weaker hand to get used to it Just in case .
    Biggest thing is situaTional awareness,choice of seating,where are the exits ,etc. BE AWAREand observe. And i carry 2 back up mags for my 45 colt officers main carry handgun. Am i ready for a real gunfight ?NO are we ever? i like to say i am prepared and trained and still train enough to give me a better fighting chance of living and hopefully saving other lives if need be from anyone wanting to do harm to unarmed people like some monsters roaming our streets at this time in history be prepared ,carry two handguns at least ,practice,practice ,practice. All the drills mentioned in article it helps.Just having a handgun and a permit is not nearly enough it is a huge commitment and a right you cannot abuse or waste. And you have to commit to it and make it a standard part of daily life and be smart get insured with an attorney on hand and advice and bail like the association i belong to it is a 4 ever life changing event if you ever have to defend yourself with any handgun or weapon and you will need legal advice and insurance my 27.00 a month dues are a small price to pay for piece of mind if i ever god forbid i have to take another human life in self defense. .BTW i also never leave home without a knife as well.its the last ditch but i have it on me at all times.

  18. I carry at least 90% of the time, including at work where it is forbidden by company policy. I’ll get fired if I use it, but I will hopefully be alive to tell the tale. The only exceptions to me are crossing state lines when I would become an instant felon by doing so. The other is responding to emergency calls at the fire department, when it gets secured in my truck. I have carried for many years, so I am very comfortable with the largest of my handguns I can conceal, depending on the season and my clothing. None of our friends we go out with ever know, only my wife does and she keeps it to herself, and I doubt anyone is going to look at me and be able to tell I am carrying. I try to maintain total situational awareness and constantly assess everyone in my immediate vicinity for threats. We stay in well lit public areas and out of crowds. Carrying a firearm is one thing, staying out of potential situations where I might be forced to use it is my preference.

  19. As one of my CHL instructors put it, If you know that you are going to be in a gun fight tomorrow, don’t show up.

  20. Totally and completely.

    I’ve had the training, experience and the gear to hopefully be the one standing and not horizontal.

    Never take a knife

  21. Very good point about what our loved ones will do when the incident occurs . We’ll be having this conversation next time we talk . Today .

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