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It’s Not About the Gun

Concealed carry isn’t just about lugging a gun around with you. In fact, at its most basic level, it isn’t about carrying a gun at all. Carrying a gun is just something we do so that we’re able to do the thing that’s actually important to us.

Protecting yourself is the actual root of concealed carry. It’s the whole reason we do this thing. People who are not interested in protecting themselves from physical threats will not often carry a concealed firearm on an ordinary day. At its core, concealed carry is all about self defense.

This means that defensive handgun instructors who never talk to their students about how crimes happen, or about criminals and their victims, or about the legal limits of self-defense are really missing the boat. It would be like hiring a basketball coach who talked a lot about buying a basketball and taught her players how to throw free throws, but who never said a word about the rules of the game. A good basketball coach would help her players learn many skills they might need in order to play the game.

There’s a lot more to playing basketball than just having a basketball and knowing¬† how to land a free throw, and there’s a lot more to protecting yourself from violent crime than just having a gun and knowing how to hit a paper target.

Learning to shoot can be a hoot! But it’s not the entire game.

One Response to It’s Not About the Gun

  1. Bill says:

    Cathy:

    “This means that defensive handgun instructors who never talk to their students about how crimes happen, or about criminals and their victims, or about the legal limits of self-defense are really missing the boat.”

    It would seem to me that the failure to include all of these issues as PRIMARY issues, with gun handling and firing expertise as (not quite) secondary skills aren’t defensive handgun instructors at all. At best they are teaching combat handgun. At worst they’re teaching basic pistol marksmanship.

    Our mantra is that “The most successful gunfight you’ll ever have is the once you DIDN’T have because you avoided/deterred/de-escalated the situation.”

    Knowing how to defend yourself is critical information and a hard-won skill. But 1000 times more useful for most people is knowing how to never NEED to defend yourself, which frankly covers the odds better.

    It’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll ever need to use a gun in self-defense if you’re doing all the right things.

    If you’re NOT doing the right things, the need to use that gun goes way up in terms of sheer odds.

    I look at carrying my gun the same way I view fire insurance. Since I don’t engage in high-risk behaviors, keep a fire extinguisher in the house and live in a home with recent, good wiring, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever NEED my fire insurance. But stuff DOES happen. Even when you’re doing all the right things. Which is why I pay for the insurance.

    But knowing not to smoke inside, using a fireproof, fixed buttcan, not using old space heaters without a circuit breaker and having a fire extinguisher do a lot more to make my odds of not losing out to a housefire good than all the fire-insurance in the world.

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