Updated: Dec 23, 2022
As firearms and self-defense instructors, we tend to focus a lot of our YouTube broadcasts on firearms issues. Clearly, a pistol on your hip or your night stand is a potent self-defense tool; however, we believe it is a mistake to think that it is the only tool, or the best tool available. Depending on the situation, there are other tools available that are vastly superior to going to guns on the attacker.
Here are a couple of concepts that anyone should keep in mind as you start down the road towards self-defense competency.
The only way to a gun fight is not to have it.
You will prevail in 100% of the violent confrontations that you avoid.
Quoting Benjamin Franklin, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Never has that quote been more spot on than when the topic of personal protection and self-defense is being discussed. It may seem strange that a self-defense and firearms instructors who never leave the house without a pistol and at least one edged weapon would say this, but it is absolutely true. The guns and knives we carry or have on our night stand are there as the tools of last resort. To be used only to stop an attack that could "result in death or grievous injury".
So, if my gun, my knife, my fist, my feet, and anything else I can strike my attacker with is not my most potent weapon, what is?
When we train people to defend themselves, we spend a lot of time trying to help them wrap their heads around the realities of self-defense. Avoidance of dangerous situations or people who appear to present a threat should be a primary concern. Almost any responsible adult knows there are certain places in most American cities that going to particularly after dark is not a great idea. If you must travel to any area like that, don't go alone! A single person in that environment is a juicy target; whereas, three or four people in that same environment, probably is not.
Are You an Easy Target? Be situationally aware! We have all seen people who wander through life with earbuds in their ears and their noses in their phones. The fact that they don't walk out into traffic and get hit by a car seems like a miracle.
You need to be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention, and if something does not seem quite right, understand that it probably isn't. Everyone has had something happen in their lives, after they say to themselves, "I should have known better". The fact is, you DID know better. What you experienced was called normally bias. Normalcy bias is a cognitive bias which leads people to disbelieve or minimize threat warnings that they receive. Consequently, individuals underestimate the likelihood of a disaster when it might disastrously affect them.
Remember, without engaging your most powerful weapon in your self-defense arsenal, your brain, any other weapons you may have will become much less effective.
Don't be Paranoid, Be Prepared!