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A Primer on Firearms
By James Anderson
© 2024 James LaFond
APR/25/24
Mr. LaFond writes very little on the subject of firearms, being a poor shot and rightly noting the disproportionate legal response to their use, especially by individuals of the honky persuasion. It is still critical to have some knowledge of them if you want to survive in the mean modern world.
This is for two reasons: one, that they are ubiquitous and cannot be avoided and two, they are the greatest equalizer of men in single combat; bullets know no weight class.
Whether or not one should consider carrying a firearm is dependent on personal circumstances. By carrying, you are opening yourself up, willingly or not, to a much higher potential escalation of consequences to any altercation. Even one in which you do not produce your firearm may end in your death by shooting, if your foe incapacitates you and takes your weapon or manages to wrestle it away from you.
Further, the correct and effective use of a firearm requires frequent training and is a highly perishable skill. At an absolute minimum you should shoot live ammunition once a month, dry-firing (practice without any ammo in the gun) should be done for a few minutes daily, as well as practice drawing, reloading, and manipulating the weapon. Carrying a firearm without training makes you a danger to yourself.
Another consideration is the legal repercussions for the area in which you live, which in some places make the use of firearms in self defense equal if not more severe than if used for murder (do not discount the court of the mob either, who will do their best to destroy you if you shoot the wrong color of person in self defense). Still it is better to be alive and face legal action than dead.
Finally consider the areas you frequent, the routes you often take, the proliferation of firearms in your society and related factors. Are you often in small spaces with ample cover and means of escape? Are you in highly populated areas with greater risk of mass shooting? Do many people have guns (legal or otherwise) around you? Do you interact with the criminal part of the population frequently or are you likely to get in trouble with the law? Are you physically smaller or infirm or otherwise at a disadvantage in a standard fight? These are all important factors to consider when deciding the relative value of carrying a firearm. What disadvantages are you assuming by accepting a greater combat advantage?
Whether or not you choose to carry you should understand the basics of firearms. There is a huge amount of information available on this subject, so much that there is no need to go into it here. If you have access to this article, a simple google search will produce a wealth of information.
A few (curated) video primers on firearms and their use:
What I will do here is briefly list general principles of dealing with firearms and surviving if faced by one. The two keys to remember are cover and distance. Generally, the more solid cover and distance you can put between yourself and an opponent with a firearm the better.
Practice this by scanning when you are out, what routes of escape do I have? What is the cover there like? Are bullets able to penetrate or ricochet around them (remember, bullets can and will penetrate cars, the engine block and wheel wells are the safest places). If cover is sparse, is there concealment? If come upon in close quarters by a firearm, your options are very limited. Situational awareness is your greatest tool. I would strongly advise against attempting to grapple an opponent with a firearm unless you have no other choice. If this is the case, keep both hands on the firearm and maintain control of the muzzle at all costs.
You can also practice looking around for who may have a gun. Is their clothing baggy or tight? Where would they keep it? Do they have a bag? Do they look like someone who would help or hurt you? Do they keep touching a certain part of their clothes, or adjusting their waistline? All things to look out for.
Cover and distance. These principles apply if you are carrying a firearm as well, for yourself and the opponent.
The arguments about which type of gun to use for self defense are similar to arguments about which style of a particular martial art is superior. The answer is whatever you are most proficient in. The best gun is the gun you have and the gun you train with. If carrying is feasible for you, practice, and practice often.
Can you reload it? Can you clear a jam? Can you do it quickly, with your off hand, when you’re tired, on the move, in the dark, upside down, and under water? You have to drill until it becomes second nature. To those that say reloading is unlikely: if you’re drawing a gun you’re in a shitty situation, who says it can’t get shittier?
Further, you are unlikely to be very accurate your first time firing a weapon under duress. You will sink to your lowest level of training. For this reason training accuracy is crucial, but so is training instinctive aiming and extreme close quarters shooting. What if they are so close you can’t bring the sights up to your eye? You have to know how to shoot at close range from the hip.
Another unique challenge with firearm training is target discretion. It is much harder to accidentally stab someone than to shoot them. It is critical to practice positive target ID to ensure you don’t accidentally smoke some innocent bystander. Lord knows they’ll come after you for shooting a criminal; imagine shooting a civilian by mistake!
Hopefully I have not scared anyone off from training with firearms. Yes, it is a big commitment. But one that could save your life. Keep training for other kinds of close quarters self defense and you will be one hard to kill motherfucker.
I can’t repeat enough, as with everything, train often. You won’t need it until you do.
Read more at: Jamesrandersen.com
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Don Quotays     Apr 27, 2024

Excellent primer on this topic.

I would caution readers that there is as much BS out there on this subject as there is with martial arts. Be discerning.
James Andersen     Apr 30, 2024

I have to back up Don on this! Part of why I wrote this was to help wade through some of the nonsense. Be careful who you listen to.
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