While learning how to protect yourself with a handgun was not required for your black belt, it was offered to high ranking students who had achieved the rank of green belt or above. The primary prerequisite for beginning this training was that you had already demonstrated the ability to protect yourself with your hands and feet, hence the green belt or above requirement, and here’s why.
Where’s your Confidence?
If you’re in a situation where you cannot run away and you have to protect yourself or your loved ones and you have a gun, most people only have one choice in this scenario. Shoot the gun or get wounded and maybe killed. On the other hand, if you know how to protect yourself with your hands and feet you suddenly have a second option that may be more desirable than the first.
Things go wrong in fights. Guns jam, ammo misfires, you might miss, run out of bullets, or even drop your weapon. All of these things are common and could very well happen to you if you choose to use a gun to protect yourself. If in a self-defense situation and any one of those things happen your gun just becomes a piece of useless metal and you are back to using your hands and feet or begging your assailant for mercy.
For those reasons, I am a firm believer than one should have confidence in his hands and feet as well as a gun. If you can defend yourself without drawing a gun you may not have to use it and that puts you in a different situation that may be more to your liking. Pulling a gun on someone who is robbing you for example just ups the ante all the way to the top. Maybe that person had a gun and left it stuffed in his waist band because he felt he didn’t have to use it to keep the upper hand. If you draw your gun you leave him with little choice but to draw his weapon to defend himself against you. Rather than a simple robbery you are now in a fight for your life.
If you are competent with unarmed combat and you drop your gun or for some reason it will no longer fire, you still have deadly weapons to fall back on. Having confidence in your ability as a person to protect yourself gives you more confidence when it comes to firearms should you choose to use one?
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…
Too many people who use a firearm in self-defense are too ambivalent about it. You have to be decisive. Before you ever bring a gun home you must decide under what set of circumstances you will use that gun. Will you draw it during a simple home invasion or robbery out on the street? What about a carjacking scenario? Do you intend to use your weapon on an unarmed mugger or will he have to have a knife or gun drawn first? Are you willing to shoot first? Would you shoot a man who just wants your stash of cash in the coffee can and your gold and diamond jewelry? Not knowing what to do, or when you would do it causes hesitation, ambivalence, and that causes unnecessary deaths.
One of the biggest mistakes people with guns make is to threaten their assailant(s). Threatening means you have not made up your mind what to do. It also gives your attacker more chances to get at you. If you’re going to draw your weapon don’t give the other guy a chance to hurt you.
If you’re confident in using your hands and feet to protect you, chances are you’ll never have to use your gun. Using a gun not only invites trouble with your aggressor, it also invites legal trouble that you may not be prepared to deal with. Perhaps the safest thing to do in terms of using a gun for self-defense is to only draw your weapon when you’re convinced that you or your loved ones will surely die if you don’t use it. Then it’s better to use it, right? After that, the old west saying really rings true.
“I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.”
However, you can only do that when your confidence is in something other than the piece of metal in your hands. After you have decided when you would use a gun then you can buy with confidence knowing that the likelihood of shooting someone unwarranted will indeed be very low.
Owning a gun for the purpose of self-defense is a big responsibility to take upon yourself. Remember, buying the gun is just the beginning. Now you have to learn how to shoot it. Showing up at a range and learning how to hit the target is a good start, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much to learn from grasping your weapon, the presentation, acquiring a site, and finally pulling the trigger. There’s a lot to it, and if you really want to learn it’s a good idea to seek out a qualified instructor. He will teach you the physical and mental preparation that goes into being able to defend yourself with a handgun.