I’m new to this forum, but after reading some of the posts, I wanted to make a few comments on some of the posts. I’m not trying to start a flame, but I think we have a responsibility to post answers that help to protect our right to carry and gun responsibilities overall, and protect those that are new to our sport and have their best interests in mind.
When I took my CCW training seven years ago, I was lucky enough to take it from one of the co-authors of the bill in Minnesota. The main thing I walked away from that class with was the idea that you never want to shoot someone unless you really have to, and I have a greater respect for guns and when not to use them than I did before (and I’ve been hunting all my life). Some of the questions from beginners on which gun to chose and which caliber are answered with comments that really don’t reflect the correct attitude on guns. Comment like” two in the head and one in the chest” (or whatever) don’t do much for someone who is really considering carrying a handgun and to me sound too much like cowboy antics. My advise would be don't worry so much about the caliber, just find a gun that's reliable and you're comfortable shooting.
I’ve carried for seven years and never pulled my gun. Never want to either. Shooting someone is the last thing I ever want to do. Even if I’m in the clear and it’s a clean shoot, I’m going to spend 20K in lawyer fees clearing/protecting myself. Carrying a gun is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. That said, I have no qualms about protecting my family with lethal force if needed.
One scenario- you’re in the parking ramp in a big city and you see three guys abducting a girl and pulling her in into a van. Sounds like it’s time to spring into action huh? OR- is it the girls’ brother and a couple friends taking her (unwillingly) off to treatment? Think how bad that one could go! A night out with the Mrs. At your favorite restaurant could become a two hour headache if you’re playing John Wayne with your CCW. Say the waitress see your sidearm and thinks it a something other than what it is and calls the police….. Your night out with the wife turns into a couple hour ordeal at the station. You walk away clean, but your night is ruined.
One suggestion- if you’re going to carry a gun, get the name and number of a good lawyer from your trainer that knows the gun laws and supports the cause. Ask him what you should do if you ever need to protect yourself, and what to do afterwards.
When under stress the body does funny things. It’s not like shooting at a paper target at the range. Whether it’s a 9mm, .40 or a 45 ACP, you’ll be lucky to get one in the zone from 10 feet away if you’re not trained and aware of your surroundings. I’ve worked with people who have shot all their lives and decide to get their permits and go to the range with me and are amazed at how bad they shoot. One friend of mine went to the range with me for some practice before his class and was a real poor shot from the start. We were starting at fifteen feet and he wasn’t even hitting the paper. He finally started at five feet and started walking his way backwards. He wasn’t a newb- he was in Viet Nam for a tour and was in the field and saw combat.
I’ll get of my soapbox now. Thanks for letting me speak my mind.