If you are training in a martial art or self-defense system for the purpose of learning to defend yourself or a loved one against violence, then congratulations on taking that first step towards personal responsibility. If you are not including firearms training in your routine, then you are failing miserably at achieving your goal. Sorry about that. Listen, you don’t have to like guns, you don’t have to ever plan on owning a gun, you can completely DESPISE guns…but you HAVE to train to use them or you might as well quit trying to learn self-defense.
Let me explain….
This first one should be obvious if you are training in a martial art or self-defense system already; there is a good chance that your chosen system will at some point teach weapons defenses and disarms. It’s likely that will include gun disarms. Now, I’m not here to argue the merit of gun disarms or the efficacy of any given systems technique, but rather I will ask the question…” you’ve made a gun disarm congratulations….now what?” Well, you may have to use it, that’s what.
Here’s a simple parallel from the Martial Arts world; Do you train in knife defenses and disarms? Don’t you also work on using that knife as a defensive tool? It’s the same with a stick or club, I’m sure you get the point (pun intended). So why not the gun? The handgun is a far more intricate tool than a stick or a knife.
If you are successful in a gun-disarm attempt, do you HONESTLY think that the bad guy is going to throw his hands in the air and give up? That would be living in fantasy land for sure. I can show you literally dozens of videos of real gun disarms and attempts at disarms, and 99% of the time the bad guy wants his gun back and will fight for it! The other 1% of the time he runs. What do you think will happen if he gets his gun back from you? Think about it. This is the reality of today’s world.
So, aside from the fact that you may be training in gun-disarms and therefore should be training in how to effectively use it as a tool, let’s just look at some other simple facts;
FACT: Statistics show that 40-45% of homes in the U.S. have a gun.
FACT: 2012 Gallup Polling says that 47% of adults in the U.S. report owning a gun. (how many don’t report?)
FACT: There are an estimated 270 million total guns in the US. That’s an average of 89 firearms for every 100 residents
You don’t have to like to swim to know that you should learn to because at some point in your life you are going to be around a body of water. Whether you know it or not, you have been around a person with a gun at some point, and you will again. That doesn’t mean that you are likely to be assaulted by a person with a gun; it just means that if you are assaulted or a victim of a crime, there’s as much of a possibility as a gun being involved as there is a knife or blunt object.
(In Colorado in 2011, out of 10,277 reported aggravated assaults 2,217 were committed with guns, 2,254 with knives, and 3,165 with other weapons, and 2,641 with “personal weapons”. Source FBI.gov)
FACT: Approximately half of all robberies, about a quarter of all assaults, and roughly a twelfth of all rapes/sexual assaults involved an armed assailant.
So again, if you have or are going to make a decision to take classes and learn self-defense, you should be dedicating equal time to weapons defenses as well as unarmed attacks. You should also be spending equal time training to use the very weapon you’ve disarmed, and about a quarter of that time should be spent on proper handgun training.
Let’s say you are in your house or a public area and during an assault or robbery attempt you make a successful gun disarm. Now let’s say you have to use the gun that you just took as a tool for self-defense and in defense of others. With so many innocent people around, perhaps members of your own family just behind the wall, don’t think you can just start pulling the trigger and the problem will be solved. First of all, the gun may be in a malfunctioning state because of the struggle that just happened. But what if it does fire, who is behind the wall, behind the bad guy, who might accidentally also get shot if you haven’t trained properly? It’s not magic…it’s logic, you need some training.
Of course I haven’t discussed the fact that YOU yourself may choose to carry a gun for self-protection and self-defense. If you don’t spend time properly training with that gun, how to use it, how to access it, and how to PROTECT it, then you should immediately turn yourself in as a danger to the community.
NOT JUST ANY TRAINING WILL DO
I came across an old article (a couple of years old) in a popular industry magazine written by a respected firearms instructor…and I was appalled at what I saw.
Now, understand that this particular instructor can probably run a handgun like very few in the world can, definitely shoot circles around me I’m sure. But the point (another pun) of the articles pictorial instruction set was about making a defense against a knife attack and then accessing your own gun for close quarters shooting. For now I’ll ignore that fact that most people, if carrying a handgun, will be doing so CONCEALED and not just have it sitting on their hip or back exposed and easily accessed. Instead I’m focusing on the facts that 1) the knife defense itself had no chance in hell of working in real life, and 2) regardless of what defense you make, the defense should carry through to a place where the attacker cannot again immediately engage in an ongoing attack, which would then give you time to access your firearm…First and foremost that probably means creating distance between yourself and the attacker. I had thought that this was universally known, I was wrong.
Just trapping the arm and shooting at close quarters is one option, I get it, I really do. But it’s the LEAST desirable option.
Why? Because bullets aren’t magical. People don’t just fall down in real life when shot. They generally continue to attack. Especially if they are shot in the torso somewhere (the main aim point of close quarters shooting). So making a poor or ineffective knife defense probably means you’re trading stabs for shots. Not cool in my book. Even if you do make a decent initial defense against the knife, unless you have FANTASTIC control of that knife wielding arm you can expect to get stabbed while you’re shooting. The ‘control’ shown in the article was nothing short of ridiculous. You cannot control someone’s arm by simply holding their wrist out in space. It’s just not going to happen. There must, MUST, be a corresponding simultaneous counter attack. (see my blog post ‘the point about knives’).
So to my point that not just any training will do, simply seeking out the top Expert in shooting and the top Expert in Self-Defense won’t work. You need to find training from people who understand BOTH PRACTICAL firearms AND reality based self-defense. Those are not easy to come by, but if you come by Colorado, we can help you out.
Stay safe out there, and keep it real.