Neither Victim Nor Slave

Imagine that, G-d forbid, you are being attacked by a criminal. What would you do?

Call the police? The police may be too far, overwhelmed, or otherwise unable to come. Anyone who has been in a violent confrontation knows that things happen in split seconds. It’s naive to assume that you will have the time to call the police or that your attacker will afford you this luxury. You may be frozen, stunned, and too scared to even think straight, let alone to remember to make a call. And even if you are able to call, you may not have the time to wait for help because anything can happen while you are waiting.

What most people don’t realize is that police protection is a myth which costs lives. Everyone should read “Dial 911 and Die” which is a compilation of real-life stories that uncover the sobering truth: the police officers have no obligation to protect you as an individual. Suffice it to quote, “courts held that the policemen as individuals, and the city police, enjoyed governmental immunity and could not be sued for failing to stop the fight or protect the bystander. The officers owed a duty to protect “the public generally” but not to protect any particular individual….officers…”had to be given a wide degree of discretion” in deciding what to do…even if their discretion was to sit idly in their police car.” In other words, the police do not have to protect ordinary private citizens from criminal attacks, and the law and the courts absolve the police from any such liability. In short, you better rely on yourself.

Use pepper spray? Pepper spray may not work on a criminal who is drunk or under the influence of drugs. Any self-defense instructor will tell you to keep as much distance between you and the attacker as possible, but pepper spray requires that you approach closer which is unsafe. If you are indoors, you may be affected by contamination, and if you are outdoors, the wind may blow the gas into your own face. Pepper spray doesn’t work instantly, it takes some time to stop the attacker, and this is the time that you, the victim, don’t have. In short, I would not recommend betting your life on a can of spice.

Use martial arts techniques? This may help, but not always. I am a strong proponent of learning martial arts for fitness, pain tolerance, discipline, and self-defense. But martial arts skills may not be enough against a big strong attacker or several attackers. Besides, relying on martial arts alone may not protect your loved ones if they are being attacked together with you.

Scream for help? This choice is even less reliable than calling the police. Other people may believe that someone else will take responsibility to help you or they may be unwilling to intervene because of concerns for their own safety. The bystander effect is a well-known phenomenon which confirms that onlookers are unlikely to offer you any help; they would rather watch and take photos as I’ve seen happening in many real-life reports of accidents and crime. You will be lucky if someone helps you but you should never count on it. It’s better to assume that you are one-on-one with your attacker and to act on this assumption.

Plead for mercy? This choice is the least reliable. If your pleas are ignored, as will most likely happen, will you give in? Then consider this: you are probably not alone in this world, you have a family. What will happen to them if you are harmed, how will they cope with it? What if your kids or other loved ones are being attacked with you or held hostage? Even if you don’t value enough your own life, you have a responsibility to protect your family and to fight for the sake of your loved ones. You cannot afford to bet your or your family’s safety on the mercy of a person who has already decided to hurt you. You have no choice but to actively resist.

But What Will You Fight With?

The only option left is to use a gun. Yes, the gun – the most hated object among the liberal American Left, yet the most reliable and effective self-defense tool, a blessing that ensures preservation of life. A gun is your ultimate friend that will stay with you and will not run away if you are in danger. It allows you to keep some distance between you and your attacker, which improves your safety. And when you and your loved ones come out alive and safe, you will be thankful to no one but to your gun.

Compared to the other options, using a gun is the most reliable and intuitive way to defend yourself. While no option can guarantee you absolute protection, self-defense with a firearm greatly increases your chances of getting out safe and alive.

Are You Worried About Using Lethal Force?

Here are some things for you to consider:

Guns are not as lethal as commonly believed. In fact, my martial arts instructor once told me that knives were much more dangerous than guns because knives were easier to obtain, more concealable, and because more damage could be done with knives in close-range confrontations. Despite what they show in the movies, guns very rarely kill with one shot; to do that requires high precision which most of the victims do not achieve due to stress and lack of time. Unless you are shooting point-blank with high-caliber ammunition, firing a gun does not always lead to murder as long as you are able to stop the attack and retreat safely.

Avoidance is a priority. Lethal force should be used only as the last resort when you have no other ways of escaping immediate danger. You must first take all possible measures to avoid escalating the confrontation. If you are attacked on the street, try to run away. If your home is being broken into and if you have the ability and time to retreat to a safe place, you should do so and then call the police. If you can end the attack by tossing your wallet at a street robber without letting them too close, you should do that. Money and property may be sacrificed in cases when it helps you avoid escalation of violence and guarantees the safety of you and your family.

You may not have to use your gun. If you are physically and psychologically prepared to resist, it shows. Your attacker may run away when they see your gun and when they sense your resolve to defend yourself because, after all, most criminals are cowards by nature and would prefer easy prey rather than risking their lives. But you must train regularly in order for such physical preparedness and mental confidence to become your second nature.

Shoot to stop. If you have no other choice but to fire your gun, you should intend neither to kill nor to scare by shooting in the air or in the feet. You only intention must be to stop the attacker and gain a chance to retreat safely. It may not always be possible to stop the attack after only one shot because you may miss or because, under adrenaline, your attacker may not even feel the pain and may proceed with the attack. So if your first shot fails to stop the criminal, you must shoot as many times as necessary.

Your and your family’s lives are more important. If your conscience makes you worried about using lethal force on your attacker, think about this: the person in front of you wants to cause death or physical harm to you or to your loved ones. If you are sorry for the criminal who is already guilty of attempting to hurt you, who will feel sorry for you and for your loved ones who are the innocent victims?

Training and Practice

Are you worried that your gun will be taken away and used against you? Using a gun can be risky for you, but so can anything else you use to protect yourself. Quality instruction and regular practice will cement your skills so that even under stress you will handle the situation properly and minimize risk to yourself. In addition to the basic safety class that may be required in your state as part of your firearms license application, you should take at least a few more classes to learn how to carry a gun safely so it’s not stolen from you (tip: never just slide it in your pocket or purse or tuck it behind your back!), how to properly position yourself when you are holding the gun, and how to control your gun with confidence. In Massachusetts I highly recommend Aware, especially their “Responsible Use of Lethal Force” class where you will learn how to overcome “cultural conditioning and prejudice against “fighting back,” the mental, moral, legal, and ethical issues involved in using firearms for defense, advantages women have in violent confrontations, safety, tactics, what to say to an attacker, how to hold someone at gunpoint, how to interact with the police afterward, consequences of using a firearm, and much, much more.” Their another class “Defensive Handgun” will teach you “tactics for real-life encounters, shooting behind cover, shooting at multiple targets, and more.” I can personally attest that both of these classes are fun and very informative. If you are more adventurous, there a greater variety of classes offered at the Sig Sauer Academy in neighboring New Hampshire. You must also learn about safe storage and handling of firearms so you can avoid tragic accidents involving yourself or your household members. In addition to occasional classes, you should practice target shooting regularly at a range.

Too busy? If you think that training is tedious and time-consuming, consider this: we are required to invest time and money into life-saving safety precautions such as regular maintenance and inspections for our cars or radon testing and installation and maintenance of smoke detectors for our homes. Self-defense with a gun may one day save your life, so learning to do it is just another safety precaution which is well worth the investment of a few hours of your time, especially when you discover that shooting classes and range practice can be lots of fun.

Think it will never happen to you? Even though you may be smart enough to avoid risky situations, it’s naive to think that you will never face a threat of violence. People today use more drugs and mind-altering medications than ever before, so the risk of facing pill-induced violence has increased. No one in the world is protected from random crime, terrorist incidents, and mass shootings. Despite what President Obama said, mass violence does happen in other countries too. Gun ownership is similar to insurance: you invest money hoping that nothing bad will happen but you want to be prepared just in case.

Criminals, not guns, are the problem…

Can a gun fire by itself? No, someone has to fire it. We are quick to blame inanimate objects like guns or Confederate flags for our problems because we are too afraid or too politically correct to deal with the real problem: the criminals who hijack and misuse these objects to harm others.

We are all worried about the chilling rise in public mass shootings and we are quick to blame gun ownership for this, but we ignoring the real problem: most of the shooters were on antidepressants or other kinds of medications. If we want to reduce the mass shooting rates, how about we start with the cause, not the tool? How about we get our young people off of mind-altering medications which are in many cases over-prescribed or even entirely unnecessary? How about we diminish their sense of boredom and uselessness that usually causes them to take antidepressants in the first place, by encouraging parents to be more involved with their families and by radically reforming the school system so that instead of boredom and drilling it teaches kids some responsibility and purpose in life? Let’s try that for a start and see what happens.

When gun control advocates say that banning guns will solve the problem of violence, they are making a big mistake for two reasons:

Guns are not the only tools of violence. It’s even easier to commit crime and murder with other objects such as cars, kitchen knives, baseball bats, poison, or handmade explosives, and there are numerous examples of horrific acts of mass violence committed with these objects.

Law-abiding citizens will be left defenseless. If there is a law banning guns, criminals will always find a way to break that law (that’s why they are called “criminals”), and the ones who will be left defenseless are the citizens who abide the law.

We must keep in mind that all these politicians and other prominent figures who promote strict gun control and who urge the general public to do the same have armed bodyguards and enjoy close relationship with the police which guarantees them priority protection. So the gun control they advocate for will not affect them as much as it will affect you when you are left on your own to face a criminal on the street.

… while gun ownership is part of the solution…

Using a gun is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from mortal danger, and there are millions of real-life cases when people did just that. And since we touched on the problem of mass shootings, consider this: however chaotic and scary the situation can be, there is a chance for a student, a teacher, or another gun owner to use their weapon to stop the attacker and save lives like it happened during the Pearl High School shooting. The bitter irony is that if schools weren’t gun-free zones, there would have been more happy endings like this. Gun control advocates think that people are unpredictable and that banning guns from everyone is the only way to keep everyone safe. Indeed, people are unpredictable, so I think that individuals carrying guns is the only way to protect the innocent from the evil individuals.

…and a part of your freedom.

Throughout history the freedom to carry arms was denied only to slaves; carrying swords, rapiers, and guns has always been a sign of freedom and nobility. The same remains true today: in any country, be it in Europe or in Asia, gun prohibition is the surest sign of an oppressive government, with more and more prohibitions to follow. There is something about gun ownership that makes any control-craving government nervous, and it’s because responsible gun owners are unlikely to be herded into a crowd of helpless and obedient victims. Gun ownership and ability to defend yourself gives you individual liberty, dignity, and control over your life.