How Many Guns?
I was asked the other day how many guns I had.
I sat and pondered that question for a moment. At first attempting to find the number, but then thinking: “Why does it matter?”
Is it about the number of firearms one has?
For me, no, it’s not!
I’m an odd sort of person in that regard. I’m not a gun collector, per se. I don’t have a burning desire to spend money on something that goes beyond the utility of the item. It seems silly to me.
Guns fit that philosophy of utility perfectly. At this point in my life, I have firearms for one main reason, self-defense. A tool in my self-defense toolbox. I found the firearms that work for me in different sorts of defense scenarios locked in to those three or four. I have one, maybe two left that need to be added to the inventory for different scenarios. That will be it. And, by the way, they will be the simplest version of the that weapon that fulfills its defense purpose. Take my LTC class and find out why.
This is not some “super discipline” I have acquired, but partly my up bringing (post-depression parents), age, and experience. I don’t see the need to purchase several expensive, tricked out guns, then put them in a gun-safe and rarely see them after that. In my mind; “What a waste!” But that’s just me…
Part of this attitude has a lot to do with my current experience as a firearms instructor. I teach defensive use of a firearm. That means that I need to be teaching the “best practice” for self-defense uses of firearms. That would be the thing that is most likely to keep my students alive if she or he suddenly realized the fight was on. My mission as instructor is to help you find the pistol that fits your hand and will align with your current lifestyle. Sex plays into the formula. Geography plays into the formula. Lifestyle certainly plays into the formula. These things matter because they add variables to the decision tree.
The thing is: best practice is finding “the gun” to carry. What does that mean?
Some people (instructors included) want to carry different guns for different events. This leads to problems for many reasons, but the most important one is practice.
For us to be super effective with our firearm in a critical defense situation we need to perform at a near sub-conscious level. Which means developing the muscle memory developed in consistent practice with the same tool, in the same manner, over thousands of repetitions! Think of any sport, the pros practice the same moves countless times over extended periods of time. Thousands of “at-bats” in baseball, serves in tennis, shots in basketball and so on.
We change the gun, the holster, position of the holster, the ammunition, or sights and we have created a different practice set! Do you have time to run another thousand practice cycles with the new set up!?
I don’t and this is what I do!
I try to get my students to understand that we are training for an event that does not occur often, but when it does it will be violent and occur very rapidly. Our hands need to respond automatically, while our brains remain engaged to stay in rational thought. Otherwise, we are distracted by fumbling with the weapon when at that moment we need to be moving offline from the attack and considering our other best options.
Therefore, changing size of weapon from winter to summer because your clothes tend to change, adds a practice set. Changing which holster you are using from IWB (inside waist band) to shoulder holster (or vis-versa) because you’ve gone from suit to shorts changes the practice set. Changing purses, or the restraint systems on the holster. Adding (or removing) mechanical safety (gun changes). All these things create different practice sets!
The research that I do to perfect my teaching of defensive use of firearms (DUF) dictates that I find the most efficient and consistent way to teach my students to prevail in the fight. Most of my students have a life that merely includes a chance of an incident occurring. They must be prepared for the incident and be as efficient in handling it as possible given the circumstances. No extra steps – is best, but not always possible. But let us reduce the variables by choosing the correct tool(s) and practicing to that set.
So back to the number of guns that I possess. I inherited some from my dad, and past most on to my son. It took some time to find the right pistol for my daily carry, I use the couple of others I passed on as training tools for my students. The firearms that I possess are the ones that I train with for my perceived personal defense scenarios, and a few special firearms handed down to me from my father.
If you have chosen to carry for defense, be serious about why you carry and train to that.
It’s a LifeStyle!