Editor’s Note: The following is post is from Sammy Reese, a former Marine Corps Artillery Officer and retired police officer from California. He is a part-time range master for the police department he retired from as well as a life-long martial artist and combatives coach.
Check out the last five episodes in this series:
- Ep. 20 Should I Shoot? Why You Must Learn to Use As Many Firearms As Possible
- Ep. 21 Should I Shoot? To Kill or Not To Kill A Dog
- Ep. 22 Should I Shoot? Do You Draw While Engaged in a Physical Altercation?
- Ep. 23 Should I Shoot? Are You as Prepared as You Can Be?
- Ep. 24 Should I Shoot? You Have Legal Justification to Shoot, But Do You Have To?
I had some down time the other day before a meeting so I took a look at the comment section from a few of the earlier “Should I Shoot?” columns. I’ve been writing long enough to know not everyone is of the same opinions, and we all look at things from our own experiences and perspectives. I had a CO in the USMC who liked to say reality is in the eye of the beholder.
I spend a lot of time teaching various shooting packages and combatives. In almost every class, I come away with some new skill or learning a new perspective that came from a student. I also spend quite a bit of time as a student in various classes. Some of the techniques that are taught don’t work for me, but I put them in my toolbox because I might come across someone who they will work for. I’m not sure who I stole the following quote from, but I use it quite a bit: “The mind is like a parachute — it only works if it’s open.” I’m often guilty of being stubborn (just ask my wife), but it’s only to my detriment most of the time.
The column about handguns for bears and types of defensive tools for dogs really got some folks fired up (no pun intended). The intent of the column was to give folks some options when faced with an aggressive dog. I’m a dog guy, well a critter guy, you could say. I don’t have cats because the wife is allergic, but everywhere I go, they love me, same with dogs. The two lying on the floor of my office as I type this are what some readers call family or the furry kids.
Pets are a huge part of our lives. I understand the protective nature we have for them. The intent, as I said, was to deal with an aggressive dog that you believe is going to hurt or is, in fact, attacking you — not the little ankle biter who ripped my uniform pants or your Collie. The comments took a turn for the worse when the thought of someone shooting their dog would cause them to shoot the person who did it and the challenges of gunfights. Let me try to get this topic back on the rails so none of you end up in prison for murder.
Let’s all take a deep breath and try to take the emotion out of the question, which was originally, “What gun should I get to defend myself against an attacking dog?” I won’t repeat the column, but I gave a few options for less-lethal tools and covered using a firearm. If your dog isn’t aggressive and attacking people who are walking or running down your street, then you have nothing to worry about. If your dog is, maybe it’s time to build a fence. The age-old statement of “Can’t we all just get along?” will never happen, but please don’t give up your freedom by making a life-altering decision while full of emotion.
For more critical information on the use of deadly force and other firearms and self-defense topics, visit www.uscca.com/GunsAmerica.