posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 03:55 PM
Self defense: What does it mean?
Well, self defense to me means "Do what it takes to survive." The line doesn't start and stop with owning a gun. There are many things to consider
about self defense besides the weapons aspect. This is my personal philosophy of self defense.
1. Avoid dangerous places and situations.
This is your very first line of defense. There's nothing in this world that will get you out of more sticky situations than not getting into
them. Depending on where you live, you might manage to avoid a dangerous place or situation every single day. Every day... compared to however
many times you have to use a gun for defense. I just can't stress enough that if you want to stay safe, you need to stay out of trouble. Don't
wander down dark alleys. Don't loiter in dangerous neighborhoods - don't even go there, if it can be avoided. Don't hang out with dangerous people.
People who tend to commit criminal behavior also tend to attract it. Don't confront violent people if there isn't a darn good reason to do so.
Common sense things like this can keep you out of a world of trouble.
2. Always be aware of your surroundings.
Sometimes, a situation that looked safe will just go bad. Maybe you parked in a well-lit area of a parking lot, and when you came back for your car
the light was out. Even if you try to avoid trouble, sometimes it just manages to find you. Being able to see trouble coming and walk away before it
arrives is a key issue of self defense. Once again, you're protecting yourself from harm by getting out of harm's way.
3. Know how to resolve conflict.
Not all violence is about people trying to get something out of you. Sometimes a dangerous situation will present itself in the form of conflict.
Maybe somebody at the bar seemed like an okay guy, until he accidentally bumped into you and spilled his drink on your shoes. Now Mr. Okay Guy is
blaming you for bumping him, and he's ready to pummel you. Apologizing and buying the guy a new drink will go a long way towards avoiding a drunken
brawl. Instead of getting a few black eyes and possibly ending up in jail, you could end up making a new friend. It's not worth getting in trouble
and putting yourself in danger over something as petty as a spilled drink.
4. Be ready to surrender and run away.
While you always have the right to be safe, you don't always have the right to use force to protect your safety. It's not right to shoot somebody
because they tried to pick your pocket - the guy might be a thief, but he's not a killer and doesn't deserve to be killed. I'm not suggesting you
should let somebody walk into your house, pick up your television, and walk out the door with it. I'm just saying that sometimes the better option is
to just give a robber your wallet and run. You have to use your judgement on this one though. Does it look like he's going to kill you even if you
cooperate? Is he asking for too much? Does he want something from you, or does he want to hurt you? You have to learn how to read people. If the other
guy gets your wallet, you can cancel your credit cards and call the police later. If the guy takes your life, your game is over.
5. Be prepared for the conflict before it happens.
It's not enough just to have a gun. You have to have it with you when you need it. You have to get into the "Kill or be killed" mindset. When
you're going toe-to-toe with a violent criminal is NOT the time to decide whether or not you're going to feel bad about your actions later. If
you've already made it through the other four steps, and they've saved your life, then that's great. If they haven't saved your life yet, that
means they have all failed and they are not going to help you. Only the will to act and survive will save you now, and you need to act accordingly.
In addition to the mental abilities, you need the skills. You have to be able to use that gun effectively. That means knowing more than just how to
point it and pull the trigger. You need to be able to aim, shoot, assess, and aim and shoot again. You might even need to reload - quickly. You need
to know how to clear a jam, and you need to know what you can expect from yourself and your gun. Can you hit a target at 5 yards? 10? 20? And most
importantly, you need to be able to do all of this while under duress. What your brain can do on a range is not the same as what your body can
do in a life or death situation.
And finally... if you have a gun, keep it legal. You have the mental mindset. You have the physical skill. Before you even get any of that, just get
the legal paperwork. It's not worth the trouble you can get in for skipping it. Have the permits you need, even if you're opposed to the idea of the
permit. You don't want to carry a felony weapons charge for the rest of your life just because you slacked on some paperwork.