Too often, especially on social media, we hear people touting defensive techniques and opinions that, upon further examination, simply don’t hold water. In short, it turns out that they have come up with some bogus notions about personal defense to cover up their own shortcomings. They’ve developed what I call a defensive crutch.
One example would be the claim that some defense guns don’t hold enough ammunition. Many, if not most citizen-involved self-defense shootings may be resolved with the ammunition that the citizen has in his or her weapon. Our internet experts will, however, claim that you should never carry a defense gun that doesn’t hold at least X–number of rounds. Armed citizens, of course, should be free to carry however many rounds of ammunition that they want to and think they might need. In fact, there are certain situations where having more ammunition could turn out to be vital. The mistake is to believe that lots of ammunition will make up for the lack of professional training or paying due attention to the need to improve one’s marksmanship skills. When that is the underlying motive, the whole concept becomes a defensive crutch.
Another comment that makes me chuckle is the claim that people use their pistol only to fight their way to a rifle or shotgun. Again, studying citizen-involved gunfights, the fight is nearly always over before a person would have time to get to that long gun. We know that when people deploy a long gun, their chances of survival go way up. But that long gun is going to have to be pretty close–within reach–or the fight will be over. It would behoove that particular defensive shooter to spend more time improving his or her skills with a defensive handgun. And, of course, the worst defensive crutch belongs to those who don’t always carry their handgun but put it on when they think they will need it. All I can say is that their crystal ball must work better than mine does.
In fact, we never know when or where a criminal attack will come. Armed citizens are smart to wear their defensive handgun whenever and wherever they can legally do so. And it is further well-advised to avoid those places where such carry is prohibited. To think that we can predict the time and place of a criminal attack is another of those defensive crutches that we should avoid.
Readers will likely think of other examples of the defensive crutch that they have heard. The main thing is for each of us to examine our own defensive plan and get rid of those defensive crutches that have a nasty way of sneaking in. Proper professional training and then practicing what we have learned will go a long way toward developing a useful personal-defense plan and avoiding defensive crutches.