“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
– Robert A. Heinlein
“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
– James 3:5-6, NIV
In general, I’m not a fan of “Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking” defensive gun uses, because each one is unique and may or may not apply to our daily lives. However, this happened less than a mile from my old house, and because I lived in that neighborhood and know that store, it’s more applicable to my life, and maybe I can help others as well.
A man who shot and killed another man inside a suburban Phoenix Walmart opened fire in self-defense, Chandler police said Monday.
According to Chandler police, Cyle Wayne Quadlin, 25, shot Kriston Charles Belinte Chee, 36, following a fight at a service counter Sunday afternoon.
Detectives reviewing surveillance video report the two men fought in the store before the shooting Sunday afternoon.
Quadlin told police he pulled his gun in self-defense.
“Mr. Quadlin was losing the fight and indicated he ‘was in fear for his life,’ so he pulled his gun and shot Mr. Belinte Chee,” police said in a statement.
Belinte Chee was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. Investigators said the pair did not know each other before the shooting.
Authorities said Quadlin remained at the store for a little while following the shooting and then fled. Police found him after a family member called authorities to report his whereabouts.
This fight started with a heated argument and escalated into deadly force. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When you carry a gun, you gain the ability to defend yourself against violent lethal force, but you give up the “right” to get angry at another person’s words. I cannot emphasis that enough: If you’re the hot-temepered type, get your anger under control before you carry a gun, or don’t carry one at all. A man died in this incident and another’s life is forever changed because tempers flared and things got out of control. Learn to walk away from fight before it happens, because the easiest way to win a fist is never starting it.
I have two wonderful sons. They’re the reason why I own guns. I know that there won’t be a cop around when I need one, because crooks are really, really good at finding opportunities to attack people when there’s not cops around.
That’s why they’re called “crooks” and not “convicted, locked-up criminals”.
One of my priorities is making sure my kids know that guns are dangerous things and should not be played with. Before I bought my first gun for home defense, I bought and installed a quick-access safe to store it in, and I also ordered the free Eddie The Eagle DVD from the NRA.
Why that DVD? Because it’s excellent, and the NRA is the world’s largest firearms training organization, that’s why. If you have kids, you need to have them watch it, because it works.
How do I know that?
A few months ago, we were cleaning out the trunk of my car, and my sons found a few loose shotgun shells rattling around the trunk. My youngest son immediately stopped what he was doing and asked me what I wanted them to do. He knew to “STOP! – Don’t Touch – Leave the Area- Tell an Adult.” when he saw that ammo because they learned it from the NRA’s DVD.
Look around the room you’re in right now: Chances are, if you’re in a building that’s been built in the last 30 years, there’s either a smoke detector, fire alarm or a fire extinguisher within a few feet of where you are. This is a good thing, because losing everything in a fire just sucks. Our society recognizes this, and mandates the installation of such things to protect our health and safety. (As an aside, if you have a gun in your home, you probably should have a fire extinguisher as well, because the fire department takes just as long (or longer) to get to your home as the police department does).
But what are the odds of a fire happening in your home compared to the odds of you being a victim of a violent crime in your home?
The answers may surprise you.
According to the CDC, in 2009, someone died in a fire every 175 minutes, and someone was injured in a fire every 31 minutes. A scary thought indeed, which is why all those smoke detectors make sense. But if those odds makes you nervous, the chances of you being a victim of a violent crime should freak you right out.
- A burglary is committed once every 10 seconds
- Violent crimes happen once every 20 seconds
- One of out five homes will experience a break-in
So why is protecting one’s family and property with a smoke detector something that the government encourages (and even mandates) yet protecting one’s family and property by means of a firearm something that the government discourages (and even bans)?
You’re not paranoid for wanting to own and carry a gun. You’re just better at math than most people.
So you’ve decided to carry a gun on a regular basis. Good. Deciding to take care of your personal safety yourself is one of the most important decisions you can make, because you are, and always will be, your own first responder. Carrying a pistol with you, concealed or not, creates options in defense of your life that you just cannot have without having a firearm on you.
But a gun is not enough. In fact, a pistol is just the end of the journey, because chances are you’re not going to need it, thank God.
So what should you have with you besides your gun?
- A Flashlight. We spend half our lives in the dark, a flashlight isn’t just a good idea, it’s an aboslute necessity. In the past, I relied on the flashlight app on my iPhone, but after some testing, I found the flashlight app just isn’t anywhere near as powerful as even the smallest dedicated flashlight. After filting around with a few different lights, I’ve settled on a Streamlight Microstream, and I absolutely love it. Why?
- It’s small, which means you’ll carry it with you more often
- It’s BRIGHT for it’s size, brighter than a AA Maglite, and bright enough to light up a doorway from across the street.
- It’s cheap, so you won’t be heartbroken if you misplace it
- It’s rugged. Mine has survived two trips through the washing machine and the dryer (don’t ask why) with no issues whatsoever
- It takes one AAA battery, which means you can find spare batteries for it everywhere, and if you want the longer-lived (and more expensive) lithium batteries, they’re also available.
- A Knife. Quick! Open up that clamshell plastic packaging without a sharp object, I dare you! Oh, what’s that you say, you can’t quite lever out the jammed paper in the photocopier? And now you’ve ripped the “easy open tab” off your microwavable entree, and you’re faced with the prospect of an unintentional day-long fast or a jaunt outside of the office for lukewarm, lackluster fast food. Knives make too much sense not to have one on you, and I understand they’re a pretty decent self-defense tool as well (sarcasm). As I work in an office and I don’t want to carry something that screams “TACTICAL!”, I usually have a CRKT Pazoda unobtrusively clipped to my pants pocket. It’s small, lightweight, sharp and doesn’t stick up over the pocket much at all.
- Extra Ammo. Make a quick list of everything that can go wrong with a modern semi-automatic pistol. No, go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now, how many of the items on your list are related to the pistol’s magazine? And you don’t carry a spare magazine on you because….?
I use a Blackhawk! Single Mag Pouch when I carry my CZ P07, and it works like a charm. I’m not planning on shooting 32 rounds of 9mm in a defensive situation, but I figure if something goes wrong with my gun and I have to reload, I can.
- A Smartphone. We can have the “I just want my phone to be a phone and make phone calls” discussion some other time, but the fact is a smartphone allows you to have a Red Cross First Aid Guide and an Emergency Radio Scanner and a GPS and a weather alert radio and a whole bunch of other useful information at your fingertips. Plus, we now know that when an emergency happens and the cell phone towers are overloaded with traffic, text messages can go out when phone calls can’t (pdf link). A smartphone also has a camera to document what happened for the police and/or insurance companies, and you can always play Angry Birds on it while you wait for the other first responders to respond…
What other items should a well-prepared person have on them besides their gun?