The current anti-gun administration doesn’t want you to know it, but it is estimated that honest citizens use guns to defend themselves something on the order of 2 million times a year. They are so concerned about this that the FBI has been accused of doctoring their yearly statistics to reflect a much lower number. Yet, an authority like Dr. John Lott is quite comfortable putting the number of defensive gun uses at around two million a year. With the current trend in some of our bigger cities toward ignoring social unrest, the figure could even be higher.
One of the reasons for this is that some usage of defensive firearms does not get reported. The farmer who, hearing a noise at night, takes his shotgun to investigate may not even see the crooks, but they see him and decide to beat feet. The citizen who, when confronted by potential bad guys, just says, “I have a gun, leave me alone,” without displaying the gun or having an actual confrontation, may not even report it. Or, the crooks may be considering a potential victim only to have one of their group inform them that he is pretty sure that the person is a gun owner and shooter. In all of those kinds of cases the private ownership of firearms can be credited with avoiding death or serious bodily injury.
So, while I am not usually a supporter of New Year’s resolutions, it might be time for us to think about improving our defensive skills. The fact is, all of us have room for improvement, from the old lawman who has seen the elephant a time or two right on down to the citizen who got his or her first defensive gun for Christmas.
Shooting skills, like any hand-eye coordination, are quickly diminishing skills. If we don’t practice, we begin to lose the edge. And, if we really get bad about skipping practice, it can go downhill in a big hurry. This also applies to training; I’ve been at this business for fifty years and still pick up some little helpful tidbit in every class I attend
The same thing goes for continually trying to find ways to make ourselves and our homes harder targets. It wouldn’t hurt to see what’s new out there in terms of more durable locks and better video surveillance systems. And, right in line with that, it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and start scheduling those family discussions on personal defense.
New Year’s resolutions? Yeah. You are responsible for your own safety; what are you going to do about it?