If you carry or are considering carrying a firearm for self defense, you owe it to yourself to learn more than just the basics. Take a firearms safety course or a concealed weapon class, read a couple of good books on the subject and talk with friends who carry. However, be aware that bad information is as readily available as good. Start at the NRA site. Read Combat Shooting by Massad Ayoob. If you have any friends who are police officers, solicit their advice. Do your research. A typical Concealed carry course is now eight hours long. That’s just enough to cover the bare basics. You need a lot more to learn how to face a life threatening situation.
Handguns are not a talisman you wear to ward off evil. They require knowledge and preparation. You have the 2nd amendment right to carry a gun. However, with that great power comes great responsibility. Take it seriously.
Four Rules of Firearms Safety
1. Always regard and handle any firearm as though it is loaded, at all times.
2. Always keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you have made the decision to shoot.
3. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
4. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond.
Rules for Concealed Carry
2. Know when you can use your gun. A criminal adversary must have, or reasonably appear to have the opportunity, ability and intent to commit hostile action.
3. If you can escape without becoming more vulnerable, do so. Flee if you can, fight only as a last resort.
4. Display your gun, expect to be arrested. Don’t be surprised to find the police taking your handgun from you at gunpoint. You have a deadly weapon and they will ensure everyone’s safety before worrying about what happened and why you had a gun drawn. Ask yourself, “is it worth it?” before you draw. Keep your concealed weapon concealed until you are absolutely ready to use it.
Massad Ayoob is an expert on handguns and how to use them defensively. He provides some sound advice for anyone who carries in his article The 10 Commandments of Concealed Carry. One of the most important things he teaches is, “Deadly force is justified only when undertaken to prevent imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent.”
The Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network provides a great little pamphlet that covers some of the key legal factors every gun owner should know. You can order their pamphlet for free or read it on-line.
For more information specifically about women and firearms check out these two links:
The content on their pages seemed good when I posted these links but they post new information all the time. If you find anything on either site that concerns you, please let me know.