Self-Defense Advice: Consider Your Sources
By Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated
I have gotten to the point where I seldom visit online gun forums, blogs or comments sections. The simple reason is that I have seen a huge amount of bad advice offered about personal defense and firearms. Some of that advice, in fact, is downright dangerous.
The latest piece of dangerous advice was shared with me by a shooting buddy. The nameless “expert” on this particular forum was suggesting that the best defense handgun is a single-action revolver, carried in the holster with the hammer cocked. Yes, with the hammer cocked.
It appears that this particular scribe believes that this technique is very fast and accurate. I would suggest that it can be so fast that the shot may be made before the gun is even out of the holster. In which case, something more than band aids would likely be in order. I won’t belabor the point because anyone who knows anything at all about handguns can see how foolish and dangerous such a practice would be.
Another piece of internet advice that got a lot of mileage was the suggestion that people should carry their semi-automatic pistols with an empty chamber. This was touted as the proper technique because some military organizations required it, ignoring the whole issue of response time. While I understand that some folks, for one reason or another, may not feel safe carrying with a loaded chamber, the obvious solution is to carry a double-action revolver or just get some professional training with a semi-automatic pistol.
While I understand the entertainment value of the various forums and blogs, folks should keep in mind that personal defense is a serious business with serious consequences. It may be difficult to get sympathy from a jury when you tell them that you got your advice and guidance from “Bubba” on some random blog. When I want to check on a defensive technique, I go to known experts in the field, people like Rich Grassi, Claude Werner, Dave Spaulding, Grant Cunningham, Ken Campbell at Gunsite Academy or Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch, to name just a few of the real experts who are out there. Many of these experts even have their own web pages to check out.
Internet columns and print articles published from reputable sources are much different when we submit them to editors who not only check our punctuation and grammar but also read the article to make sure that what we have said is clear and reasonable. Often, this second set of eyes causes us to rewrite something to try to make sure that the reader understands what we are really trying to get at. Our pieces are often submitted to legal advisers to further assure that our material is within legal bounds as well. It makes for extra work, but we feel that we have this responsibility to our readers.
Seeking advice and information that helps us to better defend ourselves is a smart thing to do. However, the defensive shooter is well advised to consider the source of the information and to make every effort to use only the best sources. You might want to keep in mind that Ol’ Bubba, who advocates carrying a cocked single-action revolver in your holster, is probably not going to be available to testify in your defense.
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