How good is good enough? How good do you really have to be to survive a self-defense shooting. It’s one of those things the industry talks about frequently and frankly, nobody knows for sure. There are too many factors.
There are some things we do know with some certainty and so let’s outline them here.
Baseline Skills-The Basics
First, a person needs to have exceptional Baseline Skills. Baseline skills are things like manual of arms, safe gun handling, and safety rules. Manual of arms is knowing your gun, its operation, and safe handling characteristics. I see many people who fail in this area and they carry a self-defense handgun concealed every day. Many bad things happen both under stress and normally when a gun is not handled properly for the manual of arms of that particular firearm. We have all seen what can happen when safe handling procedures are ignored and the safety rules are tossed out the window when a person handles a gun improperly. I think it was Bruce Lee who stated “Expertise is the Basics Mastered“.
When Deadly Force is Justified
Second, a person needs to know when you can legally use your gun in self-defense. People do not spend enough time on this topic. I always have stories told to me even after they have taken my class that are not proper uses of firearms and then they don’t understand how they could be wrong. Read Andrew Branca’s book on the Law of Self Defense or take one of his online classes. How good is good enough? You will find out when you have drawn your gun in an inappropriate situation and now you’re the one in trouble.
Carry A Gun Loaded and Concealed
Third, learn to carry a gun loaded and concealed. Many people think they can carry a gun unchambered and they will be able to load the gun if they need it. This has been disproven so many times that I can’t believe people still think this. Most self-defense encounters happen in close quarters and there is no time to load a pistol. Let alone the fact that under pressure the unpracticed person will probably foul the procedure anyway. Concealed means concealed. Learn to carry that gun so no one knows you have it.
Rapid Access and Rapid Hits
Forth, rapid access and rapid hits on target in the proper place are the name of the game. The problem is drawing from a holster efficiently and putting shots on target accurately are skills that people do not have. Frankly, this is where Youtube and Google University let you down. These skills can not be learned from a youtube video. They need to be taught to you by someone who can observe that you are doing it correctly. Only one in one hundred instructors are qualified to teach these skills.
Most NRA pistol instructors do not have the training to teach it to you. A trained individual needs to be able to access the gun from concealment and put shots on target in an anatomically proper spot approximately 6-8 inches in diameter in less than 2 seconds at 7 yards.
Here is the real problem. Most people spend more time worrying about the gear than the fundamentals. In this country, we see it all the time. The greatest new cell phone hits the market and everyone has to have it. That new gadget that makes life so much easier is very popular right now, let’s get one!. Most people don’t use a tenth of their cellphones capability and gear for your concealed handgun doesn’t make you a better shooter or gun handler.
Get back to the basics that’s how you will survive a self-defense encounter. How good is good enough? Be good with the gear you own and learn to be safe with that gear. Learn how to put shots on target in the time frame needed to survive. Remember smooth is fast.