Virtually every day, you can read about some honest citizen faced with a violent criminal attack. Some of these attacks occur in the home, while others occur on the street, in the workplace, or in many locations that people visit when going about their daily lives. However, the one thing that 99.9 percent of these attacks have in common is that the citizen didn’t have any idea that the attack was going to occur.
That is the reason that so many of us shake our heads when we hear someone say that they have a defense gun for those times when they think that they need it. Closely akin to that is the person who says, “I’m only going to – fill in the blank – so I’ll just carry my little gun today.” But, frankly, what you have here is a person who is just fooling themselves or playing at personal defense.
The truth is that a handgun, any handgun, is really a poor defensive choice in an actual fight. It lacks the power, accuracy, and decisive fight-stopping characteristics of a rifle or shotgun. The handgun only really has two things going for it—it is easily carried and easily concealed. But, the most powerful handgun is absolutely useless when it’s left on the nightstand, and you walk into a gunfight down at the corner convenience store.
Once, when I was a detective sergeant, dispatch notified me of a bank-robbery alarm going off. As I ran down the hall, headed for the parking lot, I yelled at one of my detectives that we had a bank alarm and for him to come along. As I drove out of the parking lot, my detective informed me that he’d forgotten his pistol and that it was still in his desk drawer. He also remarked that he knew that I had two guns on, and he figured he could borrow one. I replied in a firmly negative manner and told him to hide behind the car until we got things in the bank sorted out. The result was that he never forgot his handgun after that—he didn’t forget it because he always had it on.
The simple fact is that I don’t have a crystal ball, and you don’t, either. We can’t predict when bad things will happen, and we can’t predict where they are going to happen. So if a person has gone to the trouble to get trained and obtain a carry license, he should carry that gun whenever and wherever he can legally do so. It’s just the smart thing to do.