Many folks carry a gun, knife, taser, or pepper spray with no experience on how to use them.
The problem is that just carrying a weapon is not enough to defend yourself, and as happened in many cases, the weapon can be used against you! It's very important that you train correctly in your weapon(s) of choice before you start carrying them around. Additionally, you should know when using a particular weapon could do more harm than good.
For example: Did you know that in a close-quarters altercation, a gun is NOT an ideal weapon to use?
That's because it takes too long to pull it out of your holster (or bag), load a bullet into the chamber, aim it, and shoot accurately, especially if the assailant is in grabbing distance of you. They can easily grab your gun, and if you don't know how to defend against that grab, you might find them using your gun on you.
Even trained law enforcement get into trouble when an assailant grabs the officers holster. One law enforcement officer told me how he took a beating because all he could do was hug his holster as two men tried to take his gun. He was lucky help came on time, many officers are not.
What about a knife?
On the other hand, knives are better for close-quarters combat, as they don't require lots of steps to use, and are easier to conceal as well as pull out for use. But do you have what it takes to stab someone, maybe repeatedly to stop them? (It's a lot more personal than shooting a gun.)
If you don't have what it takes and the assailant picks up on that, you just basically gave them your knife.
Pepper spray and tasers have their own issues too.
How far does your pepper spray work? How close do you need to be to an assailant for your taser to work? I've heard numerous stories of folks accidentally pepper spraying themselves along with their assailant, or attempting to taser the assailant, only to have the assailant use it on them.
Other concerns are:
Should I learn a little hand-to-hand fighting, before carrying a weapon? (I think it is imperative.)
How many weapons should you carry?
Should you carry them on your person? Or, in your car?
What are the best weapons to use for home defense?
What and where can you legally carry certain weapons?
That's why it is crucial to get trained in your weapons of choice.
Some places will offer courses in how to use the weapon they sell you (i.e. gun range classes), other places do not. I strongly recommend you get some training. If you want training in a particular weapon feel free to contact me for a lesson.
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Until next time, Stay Safe!
Author, The Short Fight