This will be the first of many threads that will (I hope) help the forum viewers with the myriad of issues and myths that are associated with the world of firearm self-defense. Please feel free to add any thoughts. I am by no means a master of anything. I am still learning every day, but I still feel that I have a responsibility to share my meager 21 years of total firearm experience with you all in the hopes of helping someone that may need it.
To start, being a responsible defender requires more than purchasing a firearm and getting a piece of paper from the Sheriff stating that you are allowed to carry the firearm. You must maintain the proper mindset at all times. An important first thought to remember is you must conform your lifestyle around the firearm 100% of the time. To help you with this, here is a simple mental thought that I use.
"I am a human being no matter what, and I have a responsibility to act as such at all times.
Have I lost any of you yet? Some of you may be wondering what that has to do with putting a few rounds center of mass into a scumbag. I'll tell you.
Owning and carrying a firearm will give you a sense of power and bravado. Sometimes this happens without you noticing it. You feel that you can better handle any situation, and in regards to self-defense, that may be true. The one thing that people forget is the utter destructive power they posses when carrying a concealed weapon. You must become a "sheep dog" in a sense. You must be well-mannered, meek, and soft spoken when you carry a firearm. You must also tell yourself that your firearm will not clear your holster until there is no other possible alternative. Once you draw your firearm, there is no going back...no rewind...no "do-over".
This mindset has more to do with your own personal morals, and not so much with proper training. I will cover some ideas on training in later threads. You must remember that you are human 100% of the time, so you must act human 100% of the time. Be swift and decisive if the time comes to "clear leather", but do everything in your power to avoid that moment.
On that note, you must never put the concept of compassion to the side. It's easy to say "He tried to kill me, let him die". You have all heard the saying "You are responsible for every round you fire". That is true. You are also responsible for everything those rounds touch. Once you decide to fire rounds into another human being, you are responsible for that human being. That means providing first aid (CPR, rescue breathing, etc...) to that person until authorities arrive. Most likely the threat will end up dying, but the important thing is you trying to avoid that. When the bad guy is lying on the ground, coughing up blood, breathing heavily, and writhing around in a slowly growing pool of his own blood, they are no longer a threat, they are a human being that you are now responsible for, and you must act accordingly.
Be confident, be prepared, and never hesitate at the crucial moment. With that, always remember you are a human being, and you have a duty to act as such 100% of the time.
God bless, and stay safe and protected.
More threads to follow.............