Should I get a gun for self-defense?

I agree that we should stay on topic, but I don’t think we’ve gotten far from it. All firearm experience is valuable. The more recreational shooting a new owner does, the more familiar & comfortable they will be in the event they have to use it.
Direct parallels no, but anyone who asks me if they should carry I
A, insist they accompany me to the range at least once.
B, recommend they come as often as possible.
In principle constitutional carry sounds great.
Thinking of these people with no experience walking around armed gives me pause…


Agree 100 percent with @jerzy. Once you own that firearm you must change your habits and life style. Everything you did that was stupid before you got the gun you can’t do anymore. If you want a firearm to protect yourself you have to train and become proficient with it. My situational awareness got better once I was issued my first service revolver when I was in law enforcement.


I used to think that dialing 911 would solve all problems. There was a time about 40 years ago where I would trust the police to get there and save the day. You know how it is said that when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Nowadays the way the police are being treated, it benefits everyone to own their own firearm and train with it.


Welcome to the family brother @John1184 and God bless you.

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Tactical Defense Institute’s motto is “Mindset, Tactics, and Shooting.”

I agree with the above posts that have said it slightly different ways. Mindset is number 1.

Tactics are number two.

Interesting that a firearm training school lists shooting last, isn’t it?

When I put the gun on, I pray I never have to use it. I then pray if I use it, I’m good enough to only hit the bad guy.

The last thing I ever want to do in life is see my wife or child die. The second to last thing in life I want to do is watch them watch me die. The third to last thing I ever want to do in life is shoot someone. I’ll only do number three to prevent one or two.

I’ve had my CCW permit for a long time. But the last three years I have trained more intensely (most of it at TDI). There are days I don’t want the pressure of carrying. It is a mindset change and an enormous responsibility. Guns are heavy and I don’t mean physically. If the gun owner to be hasn’t really faced those “demons,” he really should before he or she buys that gun or at least carries it.

I personally think too many people focus on the “sexy” aspects of the CCW lifestyle, but have never really thought through what that means. They get a gun out of emotional security and brag about what they will do with it. No joke a friend of mine bought a new XD. Said he bought two boxes of “shells” (his word, not mine), shot one box and was ready to be a carrying member of the church security team. I didn’t sign him up. After a church shooting several years ago, a friend of mine said he was buying a gun and carrying it to church whether he was legal or not. (Think that through—he doesn’t even own a gun, but is ready to risk felony charges and thinks he’s capable of responding to an active shooter.) To many, the gun is a talisman, magic wand, or lucky charm that keeps the demons at bay. They aren’t serious enough to see that it also invites a whole host of demons: what if I’m not good enough? Can I really do this? Will I be shot by LEO when they show up? What if this goes to court? What if the active shooter at my church is my friend’s kid? Shooting someone is a horrible thing. But many think they’re going to charge into the fray with their pea shooter of choice against the deranged guy with an AR or AK who might be wearing body armor and come out with the same number of holes in their body as they started with. Yet they’ve never trained with their gun and don’t even know the proper name for the ammunition or parts to the gun.

My great grandparents were murdered (before I was born). The killer comes up for parole about this time of the year. My great grandfather was a gunsmith. He had a house full of guns. With all due respect to him, it didn’t keep him and his wife alive. On the other hand, my uncle swallowed a bullet to end his own life. Neither incident was about the gun. Both sides of the political debate often focus on the gun. With all due respect, neither side has it quite right. No offense to any of you intended, quite the contrary.

Really thinking through all of this stuff has ruined my enjoyment of shooting. Trips to the range are mini rehearsals of my worst nightmare. Intense training at Tactical Defense Institute wasn’t fun for me even though it seemed to be for everyone else. It was days of facing demons and preparing for worst case scenarios. They did their best to make it fun as well as educational. It truly was great. I’m the one who spoiled it. Go train at TDI. It is worth it and they are phenomenal instructors. I drove 8 hours to get there and am looking for an opportunity to go back.

Many of you enjoy the fun aspects of firearms more than I have and do. God bless you for it. Seriously. Keep having fun. There are times that I do enjoy it. But as often as not, I’m a reluctant concealed carry holder. What I’m trying to prevent by putting on that gun are horrific things to contemplate. It’s not a game to me.

When someone wants to know if they should buy a gun to defend themselves, the above is what they should think through.

This is just one man’s opinion. Thanks for the opportunity to share.



June is National Safety Month. Check out this free downloadable Firearm Safety guide (linked below) which emphasizes firearm safety around children. Someone from this community shared a portable safe resource, so I got one, and already used it when I visited a family member; I asked for permission to carry while in their home Vs. keep in locked in my portable safe which I brought with me; They preferred I keep it in the safe, so I did. They had small children about so I was respectful but also glad I did not have to lock it up in my car’s lock box:


The answer is always yes!


I look at it in a whole different perspective: I watch the news every night and there are 2-3 maybe more stories about people getting killed every single day because they didn’t have the means of protecting themself. This problem is getting worst and worst and maybe it’s the area you live in, but I also hear a lot about areas that people say “things like this don’t happen in this neighborhood. This is a quiet neighborhood”.
So whether it’s a gun, mace, whatever; at least take a self-defense or a self-awareness training class to keep your guard up whereas other people don’t. Someday your life may depend on it.


I think you have every thing right and I agree with you.


I have a good number of conceal carry firearms that I employ, but my wife is not as comfortable with firearms as I am… She keeps a Byrna launcher in her purse or near her person… Its a pellet gun that fires Tear gas or pepper spray projectiles in a .62 Cal ball. The effective range is 62 feet… good enough for a deterrent. I have one as well. It’s a good less than lethal option.


Welcome to the family brother @Andrew199 you are blessed to be here.

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The question is intertwined in several areas of ideas or discussions. My main question to a person considering a firearm is asking the first 2 parts. Have you ever fired one before? If the answer is yes, asked if they know what it was or what it looked like.
The second question would be have you done any research on anything that might strike your interest. If they say yes, asked what they’re looking into. If they say no, then asked them for a day when you can join them to take them to different stores / shops to see what type of firearm they may be most comfortable with or able to function more easily. There are several considerations in this topic area alone.
Between the day of the shopping idea …
I would asked them to read the state laws regarding ownership of a firearm and determine the different levels of legal ownership.
I would encourage a first timer to be trained in a professional facility by a person they do not know on a personal basis. This eliminates any ideations of blame if something goes wrong at some point and have them concentrate their efforts by being judged by a person they may have to “prove” their abilities to. Some states require this anyway.
As for the question “Would you ever be willing to kill someone?”, is not a question I would asked in such a manner.
I would rephrase that question. “ Are you willing to defend your life or another person’s life if the time came?”
Pending on how they would answer would not only determine my perception of them but also my future affiliation with them. They are either callous, unsure, or grow extremely concerned with such a question. It is one that they will have weigh their mind while considering if they will follow through with a commitment to own / train / develop skills / or deploy that firearm if & when the need arises.
I would also encourage anyone a first timer or seasoned collector to (re) visit past / current news stories in the area where the person lives to get an idea about how the law looks at shooting situations should the need ever become a reality to defend.
I would also encourage any firearms owner to keep a current copy of the state laws regarding the gun laws in the areas they live. They are forever changing and need new print outs. Check you state laws at least twice a month. I do… just me though.
Lastly, … Make sure a first time owner understands the severity of penalty for falsifying information on a ATF 4473 Form.
Some people believe they can lie or fall through the cracks. That might be truth both ways, but help them understand what happens when it catches up to them.
Why all of this? It’s a mutual responsibility and at every turn the government is looking for every opportunity to not only imply but enforce “mass punishment” for firearms owners every time there’s a shooting not considered “justified.”
We as a community have a mutual responsibility to assist by whatever means necessary whatsoever.
This is what will continue to separate us from the criminal elements & define us as a responsibly safe / solid community.
These are just my opinions. It is what I have already done several times with people I know.
I have received much appreciation from these people for my guidances and earned their respect.
I’m a Retired SSG US ARMY. Advisement is always a consideration.