A Few Good Rules

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I’m constantly looking to see what others are saying about my areas of expertise. So I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that I find a lot of junk out there, along with the good information I find. Not everyone writing on a subject is an expert, or for that matter, even knowledgeable about the subject they’re writing about. You and I need to sift through what we read, bouncing it off of other sources that we trust.

The real problem here is that some people write things that could be out-and-out dangerous. For example, there are those who make it sound like just about anything is an excuse to draw your gun and be ready to defend yourself. But while the act of drawing a gun could cause a criminal to flee (it does so in 70% of the cases), it could also cause them to escalate things to the next level, something we want to try and avoid.

There’s a very tricky balance here; the balance between protecting ourselves and not becoming a victim and that of turning someone else into a victim. When bullets start flying, we never know who will be the one who ends up getting hit. You might be an expert shot, but that other guy probably isn’t.

Personally, that’s not a chance I want to take. So, while I carry concealed every day, I try to avoid drawing my firearm or even letting others know I have it. In my mind, that gun is a tool of last resort, after I’ve tried everything else to resolve the situation by every other means at my disposal.

I see this as “being the adult in the room.” Any criminal, as far as I’m concerned, is proving their immaturity by being a criminal. So if I lower myself to their level and make it a personal confrontation, aren’t I being immature too? Better to find a more peaceful way to resolve the issue. The gun is always there as a “Plan B” if I need it.

An added benefit to this is that it affects how I think. When I’m confronted by things that make me mad, my immediate reaction isn’t to reach for my gun. In fact, when I’m mad, I don’t even think about my gun. Rather, I think about how to resolve the issue. That keeps me from becoming the problem, rather than a solution. I’ve had enough opportunities to prove to myself that this is my normal reaction.

So, when do I draw my gun? When there’s no other option. I’ve done that twice in my life, and thank God, in both cases, the criminals decided to flee. While I would shoot if I had to and shoot to kill, I’d rather not have to live with that on my conscience.

Let me give you my rules for using a gun in self-defense. I realize this list is a bit long, but I’ve thought about this for a long time and have tried to make my list cover everything. These are the rules I live by; and so far, they’ve never failed me:

Avoid drawing a gun, until you really need a gun. The exception is if it looks like you are going to need it and you can draw it, while keeping it hidden. That gives you a tactical advantage.

  1. Never draw a gun in self-defense, while you are angry. Get rid of the anger first, so that you can control your trigger and aim properly.
  2. Never draw a gun (except as mentioned in #1 above) unless you’re planning on using it. Don’t try and scare the bad guy with it.
  3. When you draw your gun, make it a complete draw, so that you are lined up on your target. Then, give them a moment to wet their pants and flee.
  4. Always check the background (in that moment you’re giving them to wet their pants).
  5. Never shoot, unless it is to kill. If you try and wound them, you’re likely to miss and you’re responsible for whatever that bullet does.
  6. Once you start shooting, keep shooting until they’re down or going down; then stop. Don’t shoot one more shot than necessary.
  7. Once they’re down, make sure they’re disarmed (kick their gun away).
  8. Reload immediately, before holstering your gun.
  9. Be the first one to call the police. Report it; then get off the line. Don’t admit to anything.
  10. Be prepared to render first-aid.

Like I said, I hope to never draw a gun again, except on the shooting range. But if I ever have to, those are the rules I’ll use. I’ve made them a part of my being, so that I can follow them, without even thinking about it; just like keeping my powder dry and my survival gear close at hand.

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