Whenever there is a mass shooting, either by wackos or by terrorists, the immediate response from the left is to posture for more gun laws. In direct response to political posturing that threatens the Second Amendment, the people of America go out and buy more guns.
I applaud those who wish to protect themselves and their loved ones buy purchasing a gun. That said, I want to offer a warning, yes, a warning to those who are considering buying a gun.
1) Take gun safety training.
I strongly encourage you to take gun safety training. Guns are tools, albeit deadly ones. Treat guns with respect and they will serve you in the purpose they were intended, to help defend you in a deadly situation. Remember the basic rules of gun safety:
- Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
- Never point your gun at anything you don't want to destroy.
- Be sure of your target and beyond.
2) Shoot at the range. All the time.
One of the scariest (yes, scariest) things I can think of is someone buying a gun, strapping it on, and feeling secure in having a gun with them, at the same time never having fired the gun. You must know how to fire your gun - not just any gun - the gun you just bought to carry with you. For example, I prefer shooting a full-sized 9 mm, or S&W 40, or a .45 ACP to shooting a .38 Special revolver with a 3" barrel. Why? Because the little revolver kicks like a mule and the muzzle flash burns my hand. Hence, I carry a larger gun. I enjoy shooting it at the range and am comfortable with it.
If you're not used to shooting your gun, get used to it. Shoot it at the range. Go to the range regularly to get the feel of the gun. Take the time to learn how to shoot your gun accurately.
3) Take a tactical shooting class.
There's a world of difference between shooting a handgun at the range and drawing and shooting under pressure of deadly contact. Take a tactical shooting class to become familiar with stance, drawing, aiming, and firing. Learn how to move and take cover. Learn how to double tap. Learn how to reload. Especially learn how to stay away from situations where you may need a gun.
4) Take the responsibility seriously.
Carrying a weapon means that you have a responsibility to protect the Second Amendment in a grown-up and responsible manner. Don't take the decision to carry a weapon lightly. When you carry a handgun you have the onus to recognize a potentially dangerous situation, to protect yourself and those around you.
Remember that if you should ever draw and fire a weapon in self defense, you will be responsible for the consequences of your actions. If you shoot yourself accidentally, you'll wind up with a large and messy hole in your body. If you shoot your friend accidentally, you'll go to jail. If you shoot an innocent bystander, you'll go to jail. If you shoot a dangerous perp, you'll be the hero.
5) Get a good holster.
Do not ever stuff a gun in your pocket or down your pants. That's a one way ticket to disaster. Get a good holster, making sure you can actually wear the thing. Comfortable holsters are your best friend when carrying a gun. There's a holster I can recommend from Crossbreed. If you carry a handgun in your purse or bag, get a good holster that covers the muzzle of the gun and keeps it clean.
6) Learn the law.
Learn the laws for carrying a gun. Here are a few things to consider:
- Better safe than sorry with a police officer. Know the law when it comes to interacting with the police.
- Here's an article from Guns & Ammo that outlines the basics.
- Learn and know the places where you cannot carry a weapon, for example, bars, school campuses, police stations, and many government buildings.
Take care out there, and enjoy and respect your new gun.