A couple of weeks ago I offered some advice on how to select a pistol for self-defense purposes. Finding a handgun that “works” for its user is an important decision, but perhaps more important is the decision one makes before choosing to use a firearm for self-protection.
A self-defense firearm is a tool of last resort. Before deciding that a gun will be part of one’s options to protect themselves and their families, or other innocents, I suggest that the following questions be considered and honestly answered.
- Am I prepared to take the life of another human being to save my own life or the life of another innocent?
- Will my religion permit me to take a life in self-defense?
- Does my own personal moral code and standards permit me to take a life in defense of myself or other innocents?
- Am I prepared to be judged by family, friends, neighbors, and my community if I must use lethal force to defend myself?
These questions deserve extremely serious thought and consideration. In reality, each of us is the only one who can answer them, and then only for ourselves. While advice from family, friends, firearms instructors, attorneys, and even perhaps clergy can help one with the decision; the decision to arm oneself is unique and individual to each of us. It is not a choice to be taken lightly.
A firearms tragedy is forever. When the trigger is pressed and the bullet leaves the gun, it cannot be taken back. My family and I know and live daily with the loss of a loved one who died from a gunshot wound. While our loss was the result of an accident, that loss is still tragic, painful, and forever, both for us and the family of the person who fired the shot. Everything for us changed that day nearly 30 years ago.
Guns are tools. Good people will understand the great responsibility that comes with owning and using a firearm for self-protection. Get proper instruction, follow the law, train, and prepare the encounter that all of us hope never comes.
Be safe and good shooting.