OK, here’s the caveat: I can make the case that .001% of the gun carriers out there are exceptions to the statement in the title. Got it. I’ll also argue that the there’s a 99.99% chance you’re not in that .01%; I’m certainly not. Moving on…
Train as you fight is one of the pithy cliches that you hear in this business. It’s one of the pithy cliches that are true and valuable to heed. Yet I’d make the case that almost no one does. Let’s arbitrarily define a reasonably serious shooter as one that shoots – again arbitrarily – 1000 rounds a year. Right off the bat that eliminates 98% of gun owners. Of the remaining 2% of “serious” shooters, I’d bet that no more than 2% of that 2% actually engage in realistic scenario training, and even less on a regular basis. The shame is that we can so easily now what with airsoft, blueguns, video simulators, and so on.
Yet even that 2% of 2% I bet doesn’t train realistically for home defense…and in fact they really can’t. That’s because the home defense scenario that is probably most likely, or at least is the one we all imagine, is a home invasion or violent break-in at night. You know, when you have to access your bedside gun as you’re suddenly woken up by the fracas. If you were to train this scenario realistically, you’d have to recruit buddies to break into your house during some number of random and unknown nights over the next year or so, and you’d have to have all your guns out of the house or locked up out of the bedroom so you didn’t accidentally shoot one of them. This is impossible to do.
So what we all do – at least the 2% of the 2% that cares about such things – is to mimic this situation as best we can in a controlled environment now and then, store a loaded gun somewhere that we can access in the bedroom…and, really, hope for the best.
Now recall that when violently awakened out of a sound sleep, you are a stumbling, bumbling, vision-impaired, judgement-impaired, jittery bundle of jacked-up nerves. Do you really want to be responsible for a short, light pistol trigger under those circumstances…circumstances that you can’t train under and haven’t?
Isn’t a 10-pound long DA revolver trigger soooo much safer?
I can hear the testosterone-addled whining now:
- I shoot so much better with my pistol! No doubt, but we’re talking room length engagements here, and you have no business having a gun by your bed if you can’t shoot well at those distances with, yes, a revolver. Actually, you have no business having a gun, period.
- But capacity! Well, if you have to worry about a whole gang of BGs well enough trained not to skedaddle after they start getting shot, I suppose you have a point. But if you really have to worry about a team of BGs who are figurin’ on a gunfight from the get go, then you have a problem that you can’t solve alone with any firearm. I’d also have to point out that you’ve probably made some pretty poor life choices to get into that spot (with some exceptions).*
- Ah always ma rifle handy in ma bedroom to shoot them bad fellers! Ahhh…I think you’re making my point for me.
Remember: the safety of you, your family, and even your neighbor’s kid coming into the wrong house late, tired, and possibly drunk — but not intending you harm, is paramount. (If you doubt that last – and if you have a gun you really should be better educated – then consult your lawyer.)
*Someone is going to raise the example of the late-night restaurant owner who brings home cash from the day’s sales because the banks are closed at that hour. But really: there are better ways to deal with that cash.