Means and Skills: The Winning Combination

I recently saw this interesting quote on social media: “Willingness is a state of mind. Readiness is a state of fact.” While this may apply to many situations, it is critically important to the armed citizen, so I call it the winning combination.

To be truly effective in one’s own defense, the armed citizen needs to accept the fact that evil and violence do, in fact, exist. They also need to understand that it can happen anywhere, not just in the big cities, but even in the little suburban or rural community. And criminal violence does not respect age, gender, or social status. It can happen to anyone. So, the citizen realizes they are a potential target, regardless of their station in life. It exists, and we can’t run away from it.

We reach a point where we realize that we—each of us—must handle our own safety. Since we really have no choice, we reach a point where we’re willing to deal with criminal violence head-on. We don’t go looking for trouble but, when visited upon us, we will deal with it in a decisive manner.

But willingness by itself is not enough. We have to have the skill to carry out our defensive plan in an effective manner. For that reason, we budget our time and resources in order to get professional training. Professional training increases our ability to deal with the criminal as nothing else can. Then, we take the time—make the time to practice what we’re taught. And, because shooting and fighting skills quickly diminish, training and subsequent practice become a part of our continuing education. 

Personal defense is not about what one might have done on one particular occasion. It is all about what one can do most of the time, on demand. This has to do with our fighting and shooting skills and our willingness to deal with a criminal attack when it comes to us.

Personal defense is a way of life, not a hobby. And willingness and readiness are equal parts of the recipe for survival.

A version of this article was featured in Shooting Illustrated.

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