Self-Defense: Persistent Myths

As some of you may already know, Sheriff Jim is on safari somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. He’ll be back in the land of the big PX sometime ’round the end of the month. In the meantime we bring you some of his recent columns from Shooting Illustrated.

Persistent myths about self-defense. Sheriff Jim WilsonIt is absolutely amazing the way some myths about self-defense continue to get passed around year after year and generation after generation.

Just about the time it appears they have been proven false and dismissed, the same stuff pops up again. Part of this is probably due to the fact there are always new people who finally realize they need to do something about their personal safety and begin seeking answers. Unfortunately, it is also due to the tendency of some people to pass on advice they have heard, but never took the time to find out if it is really true. Since it sounds cool, it must be right.

This is one of the many reasons why defensive shooters need to receive professional training. With a good, professional instructor, it is remarkable how many of these myths quickly fall by the wayside and are replaced by cold, hard facts. Let’s look at three of the old self-defense myths that just won’t die and discuss the truths they conceal.

1. Hit him anywhere with a .45 and it will knock him down.
This myth probably started with the advent of the .45 Colt, back in the 1870s, but it has been repeated most often when people refer to the .45 ACP. Nowadays, you will hear it touted regarding the .44 Mag., the .41 Mag., the .40 S&W or whatever new pistol cartridge that has just been introduced.

The truth was only discovered way back in 1687, when Sir Isaac Newton published his third law of motion. Newton simply stated that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if a bullet shot from a handgun was so powerful that it could actually knock a person down, it would also knock the shooter down.

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