This is the most common question I get. It is not a question I am obligated to answer, but if the person is sincerely asking I have no problem taking the time to answer and educate. Unfortunately with every sentence I get out, I am usually met with a regurgitated slogan founded by junk science.
I will give you one example of such a slogan – “But don’t you know that you are nine times more likely to be injured or killed with your own gun?!?!?” That one is my favorite. I generally respond by citing published studies such as the U.S. Department of Justice Survey released in 1994, “Guns in America,” that have consistently shown that incidents of DEFENSIVE firearm uses that result with a crime being stopped ( usually without a shot fired ) number anywhere from 800,000 to 1.5 million times a year. As opposed to about 11,000 homicides. They must have used common core math to arrive at that “Nine times more likely to be a victim” figure. Typical Junk science.
I try to direct them to www.gunssavelives.net so they can read about all of the incidents of successful self defense, incidents that rarely get any coverage in the media. The lack of coverage of positive outcomes of firearms usage, coupled with the prevailing mentality that the Huffington Post and ABC news actually stick to real facts, fuels the gross misinformation out there on firearms facts. Another little gem of information – the study ordered by President Obama has thus far shown that the figures stated in the early 1990s still stand. The study is not finished, and it probably never will be. If it is not finished, it does not have to be mass released and reported on, right? No outfit with an agenda of gun control and altering the 2nd Amendment is going to want to see those results, I guarantee you.
I could spend pages of text refuting all of the other media favorites , such as the made up class of firearms called “assault weapons” that are just regular civilian version rifles with black plastic furniture (standard accessories) that do nothing to increase their lethality FOR REAL. But to stay on topic, I will explain why I want guns in my house, stored safely, but available for me if I need them. To properly answer the question I should explain how I became interested in firearms in the first place.
I have been passionate about training in self defense since 2000. I have trained in Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but training in these two disciplines has been sidelined at various times in my life over the last 14 years. Injuries, pregnancy, surgeries have at times rendered me unable to use the training I spent so much time and sweat learning and praticing over the years. Which brings me to the *why* of guns, for me at least.
I may not always be able to rely on physical skill for self defense. In fact I no longer WANT to get physical with an attacker if I do not have to. Maybe it is age and the loss of that sense of being invincible via a Karate chop , maybe it is becoming a mother, but I do not want to get to the point where an attacker is on top of me before I try to defend myself.
Add to that an incident where I called 911 for my baby and nobody came. Add to that the best response times for 911 are 8 minutes give or take. That is a LONG time to be enduring an attack. Plenty of time for you to suffer worse than just being “attacked”. If I have to call 911 because someone is breaking into my house I also want a gun in my hand in case I have to use it.. just as if I was trapped by fire waiting for the fire department, I would want a fire extinguisher in my hand so I could make my escape route clear. It is a tool of self preservation, all the same.
As they say, the cops are minutes away when seconds count.
My attacker(s) may be armed when he (they) kicks down my door or breaks my window. My attacker may be bigger and stronger to the point where having to grapple with him physically is only a last resort. In other words, my best chance of survival might start with using a firearm to neutralize him (or scare him away) before we are physically fighting. Bad guys have guns and knives. Martial arts techniques do not always work ( no matter what the instructor says), especially if the attacker is twice your size. If they are high on certain drugs, having their eyes scratched or their privates kicked may not drop them or stop them in their tracks.
If I am using my firearms training to neutralize the threat my chances are better than if I was not armed…if it progresses to using the Krav Maga I have learned, my chances just went down a few notches because this person is now ON me. If I am using my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or grappling skills that I have learned, it means I am on the ground in a last ditch effort to save my life and possibly my children’s lives. I am not minimizing any part of my training. All of these skills are important. There is hierarchy though and it starts with me not being touched by someone who wants to harm me and my children.
TRUE self defense is a tool box. Have multiple tools.
— Sandra Muldoon