Your Gun — Tactical Tool or Talisman?

Your Gun — Tactical Tool or Talisman?

As a Certified Firearms Instructor for 31 years and running, I can tell you that some things never change. One is that the majority of gun owners believe that the mere ownership of their gun will ward off the goblins that might come calling, as if training their attitude, mental preparedness and skills has nothing to do with winning. Is your gun a tactical tool or talisman — a rabbit’s foot — a good luck charm?

Gun ownership is skyrocketing… and why not? Our Federal Government seems to have a penchant for causing chaos here and abroad, while trying every legal (and sometimes illegal) tactic to take guns away from We The People. We are literally fearing WWIII due to weakness in our White House and strength in Russia and China, which are becoming fast friends. We can no longer even trust our FBI, ATF or Legislative Branch, not to mention the Executive Branch. Sorry for the political rant but the gun issue is clearly divided — one side supports ownership of them and the other is trying to take them away. Therefore, there is no such thing as a Democrat gun supporter.

That having been said, most people who take a FL CWL (carry permit) class from us never do any further training. Many never even shoot their gun again. Granted, our classes are very comprehensive and the best in the area, but we make no claim that they are the end-all for training. They are merely a sound beginning.

So what are they really thinking? Some are procrastinators and intend to get around to training some day (or year, decade, etc.). Some only took the class to satisfy a well-meaning spouse or adult child, and figure that getting the permit and gun will get them off their backs.

Many make the huge mistake of buying a gun before they get training. There are many gun types, and not everybody can function every kind of gun. Plus, some are less friendly to shoot and have unpleasant recoil or other characteristics. In just about every class we have a student who brings their own gun and cannot function it at even the basic level to finish the live fire portion. Whether they picked it out themselves or it was given to them by somebody who thought they were helping, they start off in a very defeating circumstance. Often, it was the one the salesperson at the gun store recommended for them. Add to that there is no way they intend to abandon the gun they may have spent $500-1,000 on, and have never shot.

Some figure that the odds of getting attacked are so small that they will probably never need to know how to use it anyway. This is true, but a gross misunderstanding of self-defense. We do not train because we are likely to be attacked, but because the consequences of being attacked are so horrific that they are an unacceptable risk at any level. Do you keep a fire extinguisher in the house? Are you planning on having a fire?

Some believe the Leftist lie that guns are evil, and that only cops should have guns, and they wonder why they ever agreed to get one. Seriously, they do not belong in the United States.

Some people feel guilty that they are actually planning to kill somebody. In some twisted form of logic they think that either they will die, which is OK, or they will live. If they live they will feel like they contributed nothing other than the bare minimum to another human being’s death, so that is OK, too.

Some have bought into the safe storage myths that have you keeping ammo, magazines and guns separate, and realize the futility of even having a gun in such a useless condition when needed. So why even bother? Is your gun a tactical tool or talisman?

Some believe the TV and movie depictions of gunfights. In actuality, most people do not die from a single gunshot wound to the torso. Approximately fewer than one in six dies from a shooting, single or multiple gunshots, across all calibers, eventually. Eventually means that when you are in a lethal fight, it matters much when the attacker is incapacitated. It is important that they are incapacitated immediately. Whether they die tomorrow or not is is little relevance to your survival. I once had a student with a 5-shot revolver who refused to load more than one cartridge in the gun. After all, one shot per person should be sufficient and she did not want to appear too anxious to kill somebody! Go ahead and try to top that one!

Some look at shooting and training as a hobby. Now I love shooting and training but not everybody does. All of that is irrelevant. It is like me asking you whether you like driving or not. If you do not like driving, would you do without a car, and either not go places or work around not being able to drive!? No, a normal response is that driving is a necessity for most everybody and it has nothing to do with liking it or not. I love driving. Some hate it. We all have cars.

Some people believe that the mere presentation of a gun will send the ghouls packing. A recent survey of prisoners found that one of the main reasons a predator will continue an attack is that the victim obviously is not familiar with their gun. Instead of running from you in fear, they run towards you. What do you suppose they have in mind? The majority of them admit they will use it on you if they can. By the way, not having it is not helpful either. You are in a lose/lose situation if you are in a home invasion or armed attack situation and you are unprepared.

Unprepared? You must be able to bring your gun into action in the dark. You need to be able to place shots on target under the worst of circumstances. You need to be able to reload under duress, shoot one handed if wounded, clear jams and much more. These are just a few of the skills you need. Is your gun a tactical tool or talisman?

You also need to be prepared mentally. Some of this is the decision you already have made that you will shoot, even though it may result in another human’s death, if you are reasonably threatened with grave bodily harm or death. Some of it is the will to survive and win, against all odds. Some of it is the confidence that you have the skill to deliver what is needed at the moment, supported by skills you earned spending time at the range.

Is your gun likely to bring you good luck? Sadly for most, it will only bring bad — not luck — but results from a serious lack of preparation. Is your gun a tactical tool or talisman?

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