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The Handgun – An Essential Tool for Self-Defense

We live in uncertain times and we all know that we can’t be dependent on the police or government to adequately protect us.  It’s best to stick to the method of self-defense that our ancestors used – Do It Yourself.  The absolutely most practical and useful tool for self-defense is the handgun.

The key advantage of the handgun is that it’s practical.  There are much better weapons for defending yourself.  A rifle or shotgun will always offer more protection than a handgun.  The reason why handguns are so practical is that it’s not always feasible to reach for a rifle.  When you need it quickly, or there’s a surprise attack, a handgun in easy reach will get the job done.  It’s also handy because it’s concealable.

Folks who have never fired a gun before will be surprised at the kick even a tiny pistol can have.  In the movies, people pick up pistols and start shooting without taking aim, like it’s a water pistol.  Those of us with a little experience know that it takes quite a bit of skill to shoot a handgun effectively.  Even those of us with years of rifle hunting experience can find it a bit tricky to hit a target with a pistol.

Training is essential.  The best training is to take a course with a certified instructor, but for various reasons (including cost), this is not always a great option.  If you’ve got the money, this is the way to go; if you’re on a budget, there are other options.

One great course that’s very reasonable is the NRA’s Education and Training Division.  This is a training course that is required in order to get a handgun permit.  Even if you’re not going to get the permit, this is a great course for the basics of shooting and safety.  Even if you’ve got some experience shooting, this course is an excellent refresher in basic technique.

A wonderful way to learn about handguns with little cost involved is to go shooting with friends.  If you’ve got a friend with a little more experience than you, an afternoon at the shooting range can be a training course all by itself.  It can be especially educational if you’ve got a friend who has law enforcement or military experience.  Just remember that just because somebody loves guns, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know anything about shooting.  There are some nuts out there.

Books and DVDs are also great for learning about handguns, but in order to get the most out of them, you should have some basic training first.  After you’ve taken a course and spent some time target-shooting, these materials will do you some good.  Two highly recommended books on handguns are Tactical Pistol Shooting: Your Guide to Tactics & Techniques that Work by Erik Lawrence and Mike Pannone and Jim Grover’s Defensive Shooting Series.

The handgun is the easiest and most practical tool for defending you and your family.  Before it will do you any good, you’ve got to know how to use it.  If you don’t have the funds to train with a certified instructor, do it yourself and learn the essentials of shooting technique and safety.

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