Gun collecting is an interesting and honorable hobby. I am particularly envious of those who have collections of old Winchesters and Colts, especially those with historical connections. My own collection, while I thoroughly enjoy it, is more of an assortment of using guns. But a collection of any sort is of value if the owner values it and gets enjoyment from it.
We live in the best of worlds when it comes to today’s choices in defensive guns and gear. It wasn’t too many years ago that those of us who bet our lives on our guns had to make do with a rather limited assortment that was available. We had to adapt to what was available. However, today just about any shooter can find defensive guns and gear that truly suit his or her particular needs.
The mistake among defensive shooters, however, is to think that guns and gear can make up for training and tactics. Owning something doesn’t make me an expert in its use. Put another way, owning the best defensive guns and gear won't guarantee you win the fight if you don’t know how to use it efficiently. On the other hand, people who know how to fight to defend themselves and their family can get the job done with equipment that others would view as being old fashioned.
The person who is serious about his personal defense should really see the selection of defensive gear and the accumulation of neat guns as two different things. One’s primary focus probably ought to be on obtaining defensive guns and gear that suit his of her particular needs. Equally important is budgeting time and money to get the best defensive training available. The lucky devils who still have money left over can continue to enjoy collecting whatever guns might strike their fancy. It’s just that acquiring life-saving skills ought to have priority.
Recently, I posted a column discussing the books of Chris Bird and Robert A. Waters, which you can read here. These told story after story about regular folks who used, for the most part, very ordinary guns to save their own lives and those of their loved ones. While some of the gun choices made me cringe, it is apparent that training, tactics and general fighting skills are what saved the day for these people.
I suppose that it is really all about perspective and keeping things in focus. I have finally reached a stage where I can forego the purchase of a new gun because I accept the fact that it is time for me to spend the time and money to get further training. When I take the time to get training and work on tactics, I realize that this might help me stay alive long enough to attend a few more gun shows and gather up a few more neat guns. Think about it.