“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’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.
I want to thank everyone who answered last week’s poll because it really helped me (and a bunch of other people) become more informed about where to start when recommending on-body carry for women.
Yes, no two women are exactly alike (no two men, either…), so there will always be a need for women (and men) who own guns to try things out for themselves and see what works for them. The difference is now I and a bunch of other people have a place to begin from when it comes to recommending on-body carry for women.
Neither of which is a cop.
Neither of which lives in a bad neighborhood.
Neither of which was expecting to use their gun that day.
Neither of which had to fire a shot to keep themselves safe.
Neither of them called the cops after they drew their guns.
One of them, a member of Reddit whom I met this year, had things work out alright for him.
I turn onto a smaller road that goes more directly to my house. There’s a car coming in the opposite direction and a lady walking by herself to my right on the sidewalk in kind of a hurry. All the sudden the head on vehicle makes a deliberate but sloppy swerve so that he’s now facing me and coming right at me. Being a smaller road neither of us are traveling fast and I manage to break hard enough to avoid a collision as I lay on my horn. His car makes a sound like he put the parking break on too fast, and out he comes yelling. The lady that was on my right is also yelling now, and it seems like they know each other because she’s screaming stuff like “Yeah okay, go ahead and get out of your car now! Go ahead!”.
Instead of yelling back at her though, he yells at me as he’s coming towards me and my truck. I panic a little bit and I was already shocked by his actions with his car, so I reach behind my seat where I grab hold of my .45. He gets to my truck and immediately pounds on my hood. “GET OUT OF MY WAY, THIS ISNT YOUR BUSINESS.” I don’t know what the f*** he’s talking about but now I officially feel like I’m backed in a bit of a corner here. I had already turned my cab light on, and as he approached my window I point the gun at him through the window, rolling it down enough for him to hear me yell over his ranting “BACK OFF. I DONT CARE WHAT YOUR DEAL IS, GO AWAY.”
Now realize that whole thing happens in probably less than ten seconds. I’m shaking and half way talking out of my ass, it’s all gut reaction at this point.
Immediately he backs off a bit but keeps yelling “Big guy with a gun huh? You aren’t a man…” As he’s walking away I take my chance to get the f*** out of there and turn out of there where he had previously been blocking me with himself. I look back once to see he’s now yelling at the women and pointing back to his car. I go straight home and sit in the drive way for a second to relax, and that was it.
He didn’t call the cops and it worked out for him, unlike the other person I know who drew his gun.
A friend’s boyfriend had an experience with someone who escalated a traffic altercation into full-on road rage. The other driver followed him, my friend stopped , and the other driver got out of his car. My friend was worried about if the other driver had a gun. My friend drew his gun, backed the other guy down, and drove off.
Even though he was in fear for his life, even though he tried de-escalation and it didn’t work, the fact is, the other guy got to set the narrative in the minds of law enforcement because he called the cops first.
The other guy called the cops and told them my friend’s boyfriend pulled a gun on him. The case didn’t go to court, my friend pleaded to a lesser charge and lost his right to own a gun for 3 years as part of the plea deal. Yes, he could have fought it in court and won outright, but the narrative was set by the other guy ,who called the cops first. Because of that, it was his job to fight an uphill battle against what the cops knew as “fact”and it just wasn’t a battle that could be won from a money/time perspective.
Lawyers cost insane amounts of money (get self-defense insurance, people!) and the amount of time and money needed to possibly clear himself was weighed against the amount of time and money needed to plea down and get it over with in three years, and that’s what won.
Bottom line, if (God Forbid) you use your gun defensively, be prepared to call the cops, and be prepared to spend money on a lawyer when you do. Prepare yourself by preparing yourself for talking to the cops, and prepare your wallet by buying some self-defense insurance before you’ll need it.
… because you can over-train for some things, but not for a violent armed encounter.
… because you want to survive a violent armed encounter.
… because your loved ones and friends want you to survive a violent armed encounter.
And the rest of the reasons I gave are over on The Personal Defense Network. Go check it out.
Earlier this month, I wrote a piece on concealed carry guns for women at Shooting Illustrated that’s proven to be quite popular with men and women alike. One of the consistent comments I’ve had about the article is that some of the guns that were a popular choice for concealed carry, like the NAA .22 Revolver and the Kel-Tec PMR30 are in “sub-optimal” calibers for personal defense.
Which begs the question, what is an “optimal caliber” for self-defense, and what happens if you go over or under it?
Well, that’s kinda like asking what is the best car: You’re going to get a lot of answers, and they all depend on the context. Most experts will tell you, though, that something in the range of 9mm-.45ACP range is where you want to be, and in that range, I personally prefer 9mm, but smart people disagree on this issue, so there is no “right choice”.
What happens when you chose a gun that’s in a smaller caliber, like .380 ACP or .22 Magnum? Well, you need to make up for the lighter, slower bullets in those guns by throwing out more of them at your target.
I carry a Kel-Tec P3AT in .380 ACP on a regular basis, and that is considered by some to be “sub-optimal” because it fires a lighter bullet at slower speeds than it’s bigger cousin, the 9mm. I make up for this fact by putting a laser sight on it to make sure my bullets go where I want them to. I don’t feel “undergunned” when I carry the P3AT, because I’ve practiced with that gun enough to know its limitations and can work around them. Is it my first choice in a defensive gun? No, if given the choice, I want to have a rifle with me if I can. Actually, I want a whole bunch of people with rifles with me (Like, say, a company of Marines) if *know* I’ll be getting into trouble on any given day.
But I don’t know that on any given day. All I know is that I can carry small, lightweight guns in small, lightweight calibers almost everywhere I go, which fulfills the first rule of a gunfight, namely, have a gun.
Having “enough gun” is something I’ll leave for another day.
Let’s talk for a moment about a few other options for personal defense that DON’T involve a firearm. If you work in a location that bans “weapons” such as most knives and all guns, there are still a lot of self-defense options available to you. Here’s some suggestions that I’ve found might work in more restrictive locations, but as always, these are suggestions, and use them at your own risk.
First off, use your brain, and don’t do dumb things in dumb places with dumb people.
Secondly, have a good, strong, bright flashlight with you, and use it whenever you go out at night. That mugger in the parking lot might pass you by and find an easier target if you walk out of your building shining a flashlight that could light up a small neighborhood. In addition to this, that flashlight makes a DANDY striking tool if (God forbid) the worst happens and you’re attacked.
Thirdly, just because you can’t have a gun or a knife with you doesn’t mean you’re unarmed. Some options for self-defense besides a flashlight might be:
- Keep a can of wasp spray in your desk. It’s nasty, nasty stuff and foams up very nicely, blocking the bad guy’s vision and impairing his breathing.
- Fire extinguishers. Like wasp spray, they block vision and impair breathing and are 100% innocuous.
- A hammer. No one will bat an eye if you have a hammer in your desk for small repairs or hanging pictures, but they make a heck of a weapon if needed. War hammers were the weapon of choice in Western Europe for hundreds of years, so they should work for you, too.
- Multitool blades. No, they’re not a Spyderco or Benchmade, yes, they are better than harsh language, and no one will freak if you have a pair of pliers, a bottle opener and a nail file near you.
But as I said at the start, the most powerful weapon you have (and the only one you really need) is what’s in-between your ears. Situational awareness, or paying attention to what you’re paying attention to, will help you avoid the trouble in the first place.
And no trouble is just the kind of trouble you want to have.
I REALLY want to hunt hogs from helicopters.
Why? Because I’d be in a low-flying helicopter, shooting a rifle, ridding the country of a loathsome invasive species that’s causing an ecological nightmare and harvesting my own organic, steroid-free, free-range bacon, all that the same time.
What’s not to love?
But that sort of thing has absolutely NOTHING to do with my life outside of the helicopter. Sure, it looks like too much fun for any one man to have, but useful for my day-to-day life? No way.
Which brings us around to firearms training.
As I see it, your first firearms class should be about the things you’re most likely to need, such as safe gun handling and storage. Using a gun a to defend your life is (thankfully) a very rare event, but safe gun handling is something you’ll need every time you pick up a gun.
Start your training off right with safety, because techniques may come and go, but safe gun handling never goes out of style.