Editor’s Note: The following is a post 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.
- Ep. 1 Should I Shoot? When Lethal Force Can Be Used
- Ep. 2 Should I Shoot? Why You Need a Lawyer Now
- Ep. 3 Should I Shoot? ‘What Gun Should I Get?’
- Ep. 4 Should I Shoot? Probable Cause
- Ep. 5 Should I Shoot? What If the Crook has a Gun Pointed at the Clerk?
- Ep. 6 Should I Shoot? What Gun Should I Get Part II
If you have read the previous two installments of “Should I Shoot?” (see links above), you might be saying, “Sammy hasn’t even come close to answering the question, ‘Should I shoot?’” Unless I can find a way to get into your shoes and be you when the decision has to be made, I won’t be telling you what to do and when to do it.
My goal is to get you thinking inside and outside of the box about all things related to personal defense. I want you to be the most prepared you can be to handle anything life might throw at you. No plan survives first contact, so I want you to have many plans for as many different scenarios as possible. Most importantly, I want you to have the training and skill sets to be flexible so you can adjust on the fly and, ultimately, prevail.
The one question I get asked more than any other is, “I want a gun for home defense and concealed carry — what do you recommend?”
Every person who asks the question is surprised how I answer. My first non-answer is, “How many fire extinguishers do you have in your home?,” and the second is, “What is your level of first-aid training? Are you current in your CPR training?”
By my second question, the person is usually staring at me with his or her mouth open and eyebrows raised. I’ve done this enough times to know what he or she is thinking: “Sammy must be deaf because I didn’t ask about fire extinguishers or first aid.”
I’m probing for the level of preparedness the person in question currently employs in the event of common household crises and, in the process, getting him or her to think dynamically. Why fire extinguishers? Well, a fire in the home (in a “normal” neighborhood) is way more likely to happen than having to repel armed intruders. We have several extinguishers in my house so one is nearby if the need for one arises (and it has).
I stay current on first aid and CPR and I also keep up my basic trauma training — specifically for gunshot and stab wounds. Injuries in the home are a fact of life. Serious wounds need immediate treatment. How long will it take the ambulance to arrive? My wife and kids have also been schooled up. Everyone knows where the trauma kit is. We are a team here and everyone has to be able to be a part of the solution.
By the time I get through the fire extinguisher and first aid, my interrogator has all kinds of other questions, and that’s exactly what I want to happen. The dialog expands in many different directions, ranging from home-defense planning and strategies to “fortification of the castle.” Proper storage of firearms in the home, training (this topic is huge and revisited often) and mindset as it applies to using deadly force to defend yourself and your family are a few other angles that come up often — and we haven’t even gotten to the point where we talk about the original question, “What gun should I get?”
Have no fear… get there we will.
For more critical information on the use of deadly force and other firearms and self-defense topics, visit www.uscca.com/GunsAmerica.