Col. Jeff Cooper once wrote that “owning a gun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician”.
From Wyatt Earp to Rex Applegate to Charles Askins to Bill Jordan to Jim Cirillo to Jeff Cooper to Tom Givens — the message is consistent: under stress you will do what you’ve trained and practiced to do.
There’s more than 100 years of history, writing and study on the topic of fighting with handguns. Those that study it seriously all come to the same conclusions. That might be important.
Your right to carry and even just having a gun isn’t going to save your life in a real situation. Either you have trained and practiced realistically with the gear you carry, or you haven’t.
Here’s a simple test: set up one IDPA target at 5 yards. Draw from concealment and fire 5 rounds, in 5 seconds, make a group no bigger than 5″. 5 in 5 in 5 at 5. Bonus points if you can do it in low light.
It’s not about lowering the standards to make it cheaper to get a license, finding ways to avoid taking training classes, or finding the smallest, lightest, feeblest, hard-to-shoot carry gun you can find.
None of things will keep you alive. A shooting situation is a pass/fail test. Just as with all other types of tests, those that prepare usually out score those that do not.
The right to carry is worthless if you don’t have the skill and equipment to back it up. As the great Texas lawman and real world gunfighter Bill Jordan famously observed, there is no second place winner.