By Clint Smith, American Handgunner
Social media is a big deal these days, with the amount of data and exchangeable information more than one could have ever imagined 25 years ago. Wife Heidi does a Facebook thing for Thunder Ranch that tens of thousands of people can see, and comment on, in a matter of hours. We took advantage of this resource to ask some questions we think might be interesting to readers.
So, with friend-Frank’s help, Heidi formatted the following questions and posted them. Within about 24 hours we had a bit over 900 responses, then tabulated our findings. Once the dust settled we found we learned quite a lot.
What You Said
Note: All answers are in percentages of the total number who responded, which averaged close to 900 or so. Numbers may not add up to 100 percent due to some takers not filling the survey out completely.
1. Do you carry a handgun for defense more than 8 hours a day?
Yes: 68 percent No: 32 percent
2. Do you carry a semi-auto more than a revolver?
Yes: 89 No: 10
3. Do you use/carry a .45-caliber handgun?
Yes: 53 No: 47
4. Do you carry a 9mm handgun?
Yes: 52 No: 48
5. Do you carry a .40-caliber handgun?
Yes: 29 No: 71
6. Do you carry your handgun in a holster?
Yes: 96 No: 4
7. Do you carry your handgun in an inside-the-waistband holster?
Yes: 64 No: 35
8.Do you carry spare ammunition when you
carry concealed? Yes: 77 No: 23
9. Do you carry a flashlight on your person daily?
Yes: 56 No: 43
10. Do you carry a knife on your person daily?
Yes: 87 No: 13
11. Have you ever had formal training with firearms, taught in the private sector?
Yes: 73 No: 27
12. Do you own a shotgun or rifle?
Yes: 96 No: 4
13. Do you shoot once or more a month?
Yes: 82 No: 18
14. Did you shoot more than 500 rounds in the last year in training or practice?
Yes: 83 No: 17
15. Do you have a fire extinguisher in your house?
Yes: 88 No: 12
16. Do you have a first aid kit above the level of band-aids in your home?
Yes: 93 No: 7
17. Have you ever taken first aid or CPR training?
Yes: 90 No: 10
18. In theory, is there less than a 10-minute police response time to your home if you dialed 911?
Yes: 64 No: 36
19. Have you or a member of your family attended a local firearms training class?
Yes: 50 No: 50
20. Do you have a weapon light for your pistol — not a laser — but a light?
Yes: 43 No: 57
Food for Thought
Handguns are in essence tools of convenience and not tools noted for effectiveness. Auto pistols are the rage, but for decades many people defended themselves with revolvers — and still do. The smaller the gun, the easier to hide, and the harder they are to shoot well. Do you carry a gun because it’s easy to hide it — or to defend yourself? The holster question shouldn’t be required. If you are smart enough to carry a gun, you should be smart enough to put it in a proper holster.
I carry spare ammo to reload and for mechanical malfunctions. A light and a knife should go with you without question daily, for a thousand obvious reasons. If you knew there was going to be a fight in your home, would you prefer a handgun or a shotgun/rifle — this should answer itself.
Practice, because firearms skills are perishable, and the number of rounds often fired over time doesn’t determine how well you can shoot, or better yet fight. You’re more likely to die from a home fire than be killed by an intruder. Buy several fire extinguishers and stage them. The assumption if there is a fight everyone will get shot — but you — is a thought, but not truthful, and a good first aid kit and training is important. Will the police come to your aid? You’ll have to decide if it’s true and make proper plans.
The gun-light thing is important because problems often occur in low light. A light on the weapon is used to find the light switch on the wall, and I would prefer to die than to shoot one of my kids down a hallway because I was in the dark and scared and not sure what I was about to pull the trigger on.
Personally I’m not a big Facebook guy, being of the old school who believes it may not always be best to air your laundry in public. But this little experiment did yield some good info for all of us, in spite of my opinion of social media. And bluntly, it’s nice to see there are those out there in the world having the nuts and guts to protect their families — and we are willing to do it. Be safe.