This is a question I get asked the most, some many people ask me how I made the decision to own/carry a gun so I’m going to go through my experience of owning and carrying a gun.
I would say making the decision to own a gun is a life-changing decision. You are making the decision to do whatever it takes to protect yourself and those you love. There is a lot of responsibility to own a gun and there are other ways to protect yourself (stun gun, pepper spray, pocket knife) but I will say I think a gun is the most effective way. The reason I don’t like the other options is that I never want someone to get close enough to touch me, a gun protects me from a distance which is what I like. However, your personal protection is up to you.
Step 1. Educate yourself on gun laws where you live. This is a really important step because each state has different laws and it can get extremely confusing and frustrating. The app that I use for state gun laws is called “Concealed Carry” this will not only help you if you travel a lot with your gun but will also help you understand the laws of the state you live in.
Step 2. Deciding what you want a gun for. Do you want it just for home protection? Do you want to carry your gun for personal protection? Once you establish what you want the gun for then you can figure out what gun you should get.
Step 3. Deciding what gun to get. The first gun I ever got was a Smith & Wesson .380 revolver. When I got my first gun I was not old enough to carry so a revolver was perfect for me. You want a gun that can effectively shoot and stop an attacker and of course one that you are comfortable with so you need to consider what type, caliber, and size gun you want.
Before I go on, my best piece of advice is to go to a shooting range and shoot a few different guns: types, calibers, size and figure out which is more comfortable for you. I’m going to give you the most basic information.
Type: Semi-automatic v Revolver:
I love my revolver and would actually prefer a revolver over a semi-automatic but revolvers are a little too bulky for me to carry personally. I am more comfortable carrying a semi-automatic than a revolver but when I am at home my revolver is my go to.
A revolver is a pretty simple gun. Revolvers have a cylinder with multiple chambers, I believe most hold 5 or 6 rounds. Revolvers have 3 different actions types.
The pros of a revolver are they are reliable, they are simple so it’s hard for much to go wrong and are very accurate.
A semi-automatic gun is much easier to conceal because it is slimmer and not quite as heavy as a revolver. Semi-automatics have a magazine rather than a cylinder and can hold more rounds of ammo and can shoot multiple rounds pretty quickly. However, they are not as simple as revolvers.
I’m not going to go through the action types but if you guys want a post on that I would be happy to do it!
While in college I had a .22 handgun which I think was great for me at the time and having a gun at all is better than not having a gun but I do not think that a .22 is the most effective gun for stopping an attacker. I would say the best caliber handgun for home defense would be a .40 or a 9mm. I think the best caliber for a carry handgun would be .380 or 9mm. But like I said, this is all up to what you are comfortable with.
Step 4. Gun safety. Owning a gun/carrying a gun should not be taken lightly and gun safety is the most important. I would recommend gun training if you’ve never been around guns or taking a safety course. A couple of basic rules that I go by are:
Never have your finger on the trigger unless you are about to shoot.
Always assume that all guns are loaded.
I don’t live with small children or kids and I never have. I’ve always lived with people who are trained in guns so while I always store my gun in a safe place, I’ve never really had to worry about my gun ending up in the wrong hands. So if you have or live with small children definitely keep your guns locked up and out of their reach. One of the biggest things I learned in training is that every bullet that comes from your gun is your responsibility.
Step 5. Lastly, practice. Practice the proper way to hold your gun, practice loading and unloading your gun, practice shooting your gun over and over, practice carrying your gun, practice drawing your gun, practice sighting your gun. Practice makes perfect and when you’re in a situation where you need to use your gun you will be going off of muscle memory so practicing is extremely important. Every day before I put my gun on me I practice drawing my gun.