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1. Beginners should buy beginner’s guns.
We’re happy you’ve decided to take responsibility for your own protection and are looking for a concealed-carry pistol. However, most small pocket pistols are not for first-time gun owners: They’re hard to control because they pack a powerful punch in a small package and are not easy guns to shoot on a regular basis. Sure, they’re easy to carry around and have enough firepower to stop the threat, but that power and small size makes them very unpleasant guns for practice and training. All the firepower in the world does you little good if you can’t hit the target.
2. You’re not as good a shot as you think you are, especially under stress.
Yes, you may go the range each week and punch a nice, ragged hole in the target with careful, aimed shots. This sort of thing definitely helps, but unless you mix some kind of real or artificial stress into your firearms practice, the adrenaline dump you’ll feel when the proverbial stuff hits the proverbial fan will come a complete surprise to you and have a profound effect on your accuracy.
3. Which gun is best for your wife/girlfriend/daughter? Let her decide for herself.
Most indoor ranges have a wide selection of guns available to rent and professional instructors who can help find a gun that suits them best. A snub-nosed .38 with pink grips might be the best gun for your wife, but let your wife come to that decision, not you.
4. Guns are not talismans of self-protection.
Access to a firearm does not make someone safe: What makes someone safe is access to a firearm and the will and skill to use it effectively. If you’re going to buy a gun, make the commitment to learn how to use it, and then make sure it’s stored in some way that’s safe and easily accessible when you need it. If you carry concealed, get a good quality holster that covers the trigger and a rigid gun belt to keep gun and holster in the same place all the time. If you keep a gun in your home, store it in a way that keeps it safe from unauthorized access. Underneath your bed, unloaded, in its original box is neither safe nor easily accessible.
5. Safety first, second, and last.
We thank you for bringing in your gun for cleaning or gunsmithing work, but if you haven’t visually and physically checked to see if your gun is unloaded before you entered our store, please allow us to take care of clearing it and unloading it for you. Also, while I’m sure that the pistol on your hip is God’s gift to self-protection, I don’t need to see it right now. Please keep it in your holster while you’re in my store. Thank you.
6. Stop believing the myths.
No, snakeshot in a .38 is not the last word in defensive firepower. Racking a pump-action shotgun will not make a determined attacker run away in fear. A .22 Long Rifle may or may not be the preferred caliber for assassins around the world, but you’re not a professional hit man, so carry something with a little more punch behind it. By the same token, carry something you can shoot rapidly and accurately. If you’re hoping for a one-stop shot, you’re certain to be disappointed. And if you carry, please carry with one in the chamber and the appropriate safeties engaged.Published in