We started TeamGunBlogger because we weren’t seeing the gun industry talk to today’s gun owners. There are thousands (if not millions) of gun owners who didn’t buy a gun to go hunting, they bought a gun for personal protection and/or competition.
While not in the gun-manufacturing business themselves, the NRA is finally catching on to this fact, and has rolled out NRA Freestyle TV.
While they’ve got their own page and video player, but to me, it’s their YouTube channel that matters to me, because that’s where people from outside the gun culture will find their videos and have the opportunity to what gun ownership is really like.
Like this one.
The message (aside from the fact that Jack Reacher’s fight coordinators screwed up) is that no, you can’t use the movies or the media as your guide to what owning and safely using a gun is all about. It’s subtle, but it allows people like you and me to counter the narrative that guns kill people.
Funny, I own a bunch of them, and all I’ve killed with my guns is some tasty quail and a few coyotes. It’s almost as if my guns respond to my will, and not the other way around or something.
We already know that’s true. It’s time for the rest of America to know it too.
A few months ago, I mentioned that I carry in my home just like I carry outside of my home. Yes, I have a quick-access gun safe and I use it at night to store my CCW gun, but day in, day out, I keep my carry gun on me except when I’m wrestling with my sons or some other activity.
Why? Because it’s faster to engage a threat with a gun on my hip or in my pocket is faster than any off-body storage method, that’s why.
This one, to be honest, has me searching for other means to secure that shotgun, which is the gun I have in my house for when everything else has gone wrong.
Not a big fan of how this one turned out, partly because Jaci is not familiar with a Mossie 500, and partly because I wasn’t happy with how that lock operates. GunVault doesn’t make this lock anymore, and I think I know why..
I’m not a big fan of leaving loaded guns lying around the house because it’s kinda like leaving the bleach jug in the refrigerator next to the milk jug: Something bad is going to happen, it’s not a question of IF, it’s only a question of WHEN.
So we decided to test things to find out if a gun safe safe is a better alternative to leaving your gun in a nightstand drawer, and the results really surprised us.
A few notes about this test:
- Jaci and Robert are almost identically-skilled as shooters
- They used guns they were familiar with
- Robert was not familiar with how to use that gun safe because we wanted to simulate the stress of figuring out how to open it correctly under stress
- The shots were so close together, the shot timer app on my phone couldn’t tell them apart.
I was a professional advertising photographer for ten years, and to getting the shot meant I carried a gadget bag full of expensive cameras on my shoulder in some pretty shady areas full of pretty shady people. That gadget bag drew attention to me and said to the criminal element “Look, here’s a bunch of expensive stuff you can fence quickly: STEAL IT!”
And I never once considered carrying a self-defense weapon in my gadget bag: It’s what the crooks want, why would I just add to the stuff they get to steal by putting a weapon in there with my lights and lenses?
Same with a purse: It’s what the crooks want and one of the things you want to defend, so keeping the means to defend yourself inside the thing you’re to defend.
It’s like freezing your diet plan inside a tub of vanilla ice cream: You’re going to get into more trouble getting to it than you are using it.
Video courtesy of Kathy Jackson, who recommends on-body carry, and so do I.
Good question. Buyer’s remorse is a real and dangerous thing, and guns aren’t cheap. Buying the wrong gun means that something that could be used to provide hours of fun, enjoyment and practical self-defense ends up unused, unloaded and under your bed, never seeing the light of day or a proper gun range. Because there are so many types of guns and so many things you can do with them, we’re going to talk about defensive firearms like a small service pistol or shotgun.
So how do know if you’ve bought the right gun?
- Does the gun do what you wanted?
If you’ve bought a .22 rifle for self-defense, you’ve maybe made a poor choice. Chances are, however, if you’ve followed the advice of a competent gun store clerk (or read this blog…), you’ve got the gun you need.
- Do you enjoy shooting the gun?
This question causes quite a lot of controversy because there’s more than one person who will say “Who cares if it’s easy to shoot? You should get a gun you trust to save your life, even if it feels like a porcupine in your hand and recoils like a freight train!”
The thing is, they’re not wrong, but they’re not right. If you’re not comfortable shooting your new gun on a regular basis, you’re not going to be comfortable practicing with it or training with it, and that means you’re not going to be comfortable using it to defend yourself on the worst day of your life.
- Can you buy the accessories you want for it?
As someone who has a natural affinity for CZ firearms, (not the biggest brand of guns out there), I deal with this every time I want to add something to my gun. I love my CZ’s, but I accept the fact that there will be more available accessories for a Glock or M&P pistol.
- Is your gun reliable?
This is the big one. An unreliable firearm is not a defensive tool, it’s at best an occasional plaything. All gun manufacturers will tell you their guns are reliable, but how do you know for sure the gun you bought will work when you need it the most?
Fortunately, Todd Green of PistolTraining.com has set up a forum when gun owners answer a simple question: Can your gun shoot 2000 rounds in a row without a hiccup? Go check it out and if your gun is listed, you can be confident you have a reliable gun.
No matter what, the key to being comfortable with your new gun is safely using it and learning to rely on it to defend your life or the lives of our loved ones if, God forbid, you might need it.
Stop for a moment: Do you know where your house keys are? Where your cell phone is or your wallet? Are they in the same place they normally are? Probably.
We carry our daily “must have” items in the same place all the time because we don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for them if we need them.
The same thing is true for your defensive firearm. If (God forbid) you’ll need it, you’ll need it rightthisverysecond and not want to pause for a moment to reflect where it might be. This is why once you’ve decided on where to carry your pistol, you’ll want to carry in that position as often as possible and not move it to another location or yourself or somewhere else.
For example, through trial and (some) error, I’ve found that I prefer to carry my CCW gun in an Inside The Waistband (IWB) holster, specifically in a hybrid Kydex/leather holster of some kind, positioned at about 3:30 on the same side as my strong hand. I usually carry either a Smith and Wesson Shield or a CZ P07 in that position, but if I can’t carry on my waist because of what I’m wearing or where I’m going, I carry a pocket .380, a Kel-Tec P3AT in a pocket holster in my pants on my strong hand side. My extra magazine (and you DO carry spare ammo, don’t you?) is either in a mag pouch on my waist or in a nifty little pocket pouch that keeps my ammo separate from the flotsam and jetsam in my pockets.
Take a moment to think about where your carry gun is right now. If you’re not sure, or if it’s not close by, it’s not going to be much help when you’ll need it most.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Owning a firearm for personal defense is the most grown-up decision you’ll make in your life because you realize that an armed representative of the state (a cop) will not be there when you need one and you are, and always will be, your own first responder.
I agree with Rob Pincus: The government shouldn’t mandate training as a pre-requisite to gun ownership, anymore than they should mandate J-School classes before owning a typewriter. It’s the duty of responsible people to set up and advocate responsible actions for anyone wanting to own a gun, and training is definitely a part of that equation.
BTW, for more info on Combat Focus Shooting in Arizona, check out Phoenix Firearms Training.