Gun sales are brisk, to say the least, due to the chaotic times we are living in. Many of those who are now buying guns are doing so for the first time. Occasionally I’ll be asked for my opinion about the best gun for home defense, or what I carry concealed, or what I would recommend for the first-time gun owner. I’m no gun expert, but here are some of my thoughts and opinions on those matters, based on my personal knowledge and experience with firearms. After all, I’ve carried a gun for more than forty years.
Using a Gun in Self-defense
It’s important to consider the consequences you might face if ever you are put in the dreadful position of having to use a gun to protect yourself or your loved ones: legal action and civil liabilities chief among them.
You need to have intimate knowledge of the local, state, and federal laws that govern the possession and use of firearms. Does your state have a “Stand Your Ground law?” Are you aware of the “Castle Doctrine?”
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution says simply: “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Arguments over exactly what these simple words do and do not guarantee have existed for a long time and still do. Each state has its own laws that regulate what types of firearms you can legally possess, if and how you might be able to carry them, and when you can and cannot use them to defend yourself or others. These are just the basics of what you need to know and understand before you decide if owning a firearm for self-defense is right for you. I encourage you to seek professional legal advice before choosing to arm yourself.
I also highly recommend that you obtain professional instruction in the use of firearms and firearm safety.
The Current Climate
It is imperative that you understand the current phenomenon in this country wherein lawlessness is being tolerated, ignored, and even encouraged by certain segments of our government. Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens who have acted in self-defense are having their lives ruined by activist prosecutors and courts, the agenda-driven biased media, and the unruly and often violent mobs who are working on their behalf—the radical wing of the Marxist-driven leftists.
A great example of this would be the McCloskeys, the couple in St. Louis who armed themselves when an unruly mob broke into their private community, and which was no doubt intent on destroying property and terrorizing residents. We’ve seen how these mobs easily turn violent, and we’ve seen countless videos of innocent people being beaten, shot, and sometimes killed without any provocation.
The couple was right to arm themselves and stand their ground, yet the local authorities and much of the populace—because they are being groomed to do so by news headlines that are only partially true—are viewing them as the villains. The cops invaded their home with an unjust search warrant on behalf of the corrupt, Soros-funded leftist prosecutor, Kimberly Gardner, and they seized the rifle with which the man had armed himself because he feared for his life. He has now been charged with a felony for arming himself and standing his ground in order to protect life and property.
Other sobering examples would include the many cops who have been fired, arrested, jailed, and charged with murder, absent due process. Our justice system is no longer a reliable institution for the law-abiding citizenry; rather, it has been eroded into a third world-like political weapon. When SWAT teams storm the home of an otherwise law-abiding American who stood accused of white-collar crime—on the one side—and then on the other side, the director of the IRS uses her position to punish political opponents and is never even charged, you know what our government has become. When men are killed by federal agency snipers for occupying a building in the middle of the desert, yet cities throughout America are handed over to bloodthirsty mobs and the police are told to stand down, you know what you will be up against should the time ever come to defend yourselves.
In other words, these are scary times we’re living in, and it’s a good time to arm yourselves if you haven’t yet done so. Be prepared for the worst while praying for peace and stability in our country.
Home Defense Gun
The best home defense weapon by far—especially for those who haven’t had much training or experience with firearms, and who are not likely to spend time training at the range—is the shotgun. It is the original point and click interface, and at close quarters you would have a difficult time missing your target.
I recommend a 12-gauge, something with a short barrel. A pump model is the simplest if you aren’t a gun person. Besides, the unmistakable sound of chambering a round will deter most potential intruders.
Concealed Carry Gun
For concealed carry, there are several considerations. First, if your gun is too large or too heavy, you’re not going to want to carry it. Anything on your person is better than whatever you left in the car. I am a Glock guy, but that’s also like being a Dodge guy—which I am–as opposed to a Ford guy. In other words, I’m not here to argue that Glock is better than H&K or Sig Sauer or even Smith & Wesson—okay, wait, yes, I do have to argue that they are far better than S&W. However, it’s a personal preference. What I really like about the Glock, and what you might like as well, is that there is nothing to remember. Pull the trigger—that’s it. The only safety mechanism on a Glock is on the trigger itself, and it is automatically released when you depress it to fire the weapon. With that in mind, make sure you carry your Glock in a good holster that protects that trigger guard so that the hairbrush in your purse doesn’t set it off. I like the Sticky holsters best.
If you choose to carry a revolver, a .38 is the most common caliber, and if you use good ammunition, it is sufficient for most self-defense scenarios.
I don’t care for open carry unless there are no other options. I wrote about that extensively here. The short version is, I don’t ever want to forfeit the element of surprise. If I have to clear leather on someone, I want it to be a very big surprise to that person.
As far as the caliber of gun you choose for concealed carry, you can’t go wrong with 9mm. With the technology of modern ammunition, a good 9mm bullet is more than sufficient to do the job. I am a fan of the .45 auto, but to carry one concealed is more difficult and you forfeit the number of rounds you’ll have loaded in the gun, in most cases. I will, however, warn you against .25 auto, .32 auto, and even .380 auto pistols. I know some will argue, but I have seen people shot by those caliber guns and not even require a trip to the ER.
I know that someone reading this is going to roll their eyes, but I can tell you about a gangster who was shot in the head by a .25 auto and the bullet didn’t penetrate his skull; rather, it stayed beneath the skin and traveled from the side of his head to the back, where it stopped and stayed as a lump on his melon. He refused medical treatment, and when I asked who the shooters were, his homeboy standing with him said, “It’s ah’ight, we’ll take care of it.”
A 9mm is also a good home defense weapon for those who choose to train and maintain their proficiency. Ammunition is plentiful (for now, but you saw what happened with toilet paper), and not unduly expensive. It doesn’t have a lot of kick.
The Right Gun for You
Make sure to do some research and testing so that you don’t buy a gun that you are unhappy with—too small, top-heavy, grip too large for your hand, et cetera. There are gun ranges where you can rent different guns to test during your shooting session, and you could also get some instruction from professional staff.
Lastly, I want to tell you about my newest Glock, a Model 48. This is the latest model by Glock, designed for Canadians because the Model 19 isn’t legal there; its barrel is too short and its 15-round capacity magazine too large. (Insert eye roll for the Canadians.)
At any rate, the Model 48 sports a 4.17-inch barrel and a 10-round magazine, making it rather sleek, slim, and sexy. I named mine “Wanda,” and I took her to the beauty shop for a makeover. I had the slide refinished with Cerakote in “Flat Dark Earth,” and outfitted with Trijicon night sights.
But most importantly, the G48 feels great in my hands, it’s easy to conceal (even in shorts), and it shoots better than any of the other Glocks I’ve owned of various models and calibers. It replaced my Model 43 for concealed carry.
The G43 is small and easy to conceal, has a six-round capacity magazine, and isn’t nearly as nice to shoot as the G48. Honestly, anyone who likes Glock should go out and try one—they are remarkable. Also, where legal, you can purchase aftermarket 15-round magazines for the G48.
Now pay attention, ladies: you can have your Glock custom Cerakoted Tiffany blue or give it a Louis Vuitton theme—the possibilities are endless!
Go try some guns and get one or several while you still can—your life may someday depend on it.
* * *
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will share it with your family and friends.
Totally agree about the legal liability insurance I never carried it when I was working but I’ve carried the insurance since I retired
I signed up yesterday.
I was a firearms/use of force instructor for twenty years as a collateral duty, and my primary home defense weapon is a 20″ barrel pump action 12 gauge loaded with 3″ magnum OO buck. My concealed carry firearm is a Sig P-239 loaded with .357 Sig.
Thank you, John. I always appreciate expert opinions.
Great stuff pard.
One thing I would recommend is that every civilian that is prepared to use a firearm for self defense join the NRA. Not only will you have access to their legal defense, they most likely are the ONLY entity with the resources and legal clout that will be in your corner and fight for your rights.
Good advice, Deedub, but also refer to Jon’s comment on the same topic.
NRA membership doesn’t include legal defense. There are a number of groups that sell legal representation in the event of a gun-related criminal case. Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network is one.
Danny, I’m a gun owner and also volunteer for my local PD, but I have to disagree with you on the McCloskey’s. They certainly have a right to arm themselves and stand their ground. But waiving their guns around and pointing them at the protesters was over the top. Holding their weapons aimed up or down, standing immobile on their porch, should be intimidating enough.
I wouldn’t take their guns away, but some fine or punishment is in order, IMHO.
I wasn’t there, but what I’ve seen on the news seems justified to me given that a hostile crowd had already tresspassed and clearly–as evidenced by the acts of these mobs throughout the country–had intentions to destroy property and injure or kill innocent civilians. I can tell you that if a mob comes onto my property, I’ll make sure they see nothing but the business end of my weapon.
One other point, I don’t know the law in St. Louis, but in CA where I was a cop, brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner applies only to the aggressor. In other words, if you are justified in using force to protect yourself, you are not required to be polite about it.
If someone broke into your home, would you point your gun at them or keep it pointed down?
Excellent Blog Danny
I agree with one of your readers that having some sort of insurance is prudent. Since retirement I’ve used two different insurance programs designed to protect financially should a shooting occur.
The first insurance that I used was offered through the NRA. The insurance was good, but limited in that they offer you a list of attorney’s to choose from and coverage was capped at 1.15 million. I had the maximum limits set at 1 million liability and 150k attorneys fees.
A friend from the range staff later introduced me to USCCA. The switch to USCCA was easy. 2.25 million in coverage for a little less than the competition. They also allow you to choose an attorney of your choice. Both were priced at around 500 a year for max coverage.
Given the fact that we no longer have county council or the county’s financial backing, buying insurance was a no brainer.
Once again another timely blog with great critical information. Thanks for all you do.
Jon, that’s great information. Thank you. I think you had mentioned that insurance to me before, and I am going to look into it. Great information though for all of those who read this blog. Thank you!
Danny, I watched all the videos I could find and it looked like protestors were on the sidewalk. However if they broke the gate into the development, the sidewalk is probably private property. Reports say the homeowners were verbally threatened. Guess we have to be in their shoes to judge. To answer your question, if someone broke into my home, my gun would be pointed down, because that’s where their body would be laying.
That’s a great answer, Dean.
As far as where the protesters were, there is no disputing that they broke into and trespassed onto private property. Mr. McCloskey does state that they were threatening him and that he was in fear of his safety, so that is truly where the ass meets the saddle, in my professional opinion.
Thank you for the dialogue, sir. Stay safe and vigilant.
The crowd was gathered at McCloskeys house because they (McCloskey) acted provocatively. They gave the invading crowd what they wanted: a target. Had they remained on their porch and not engaged the crowd verbally and then brandished their weapons, they wouldn’t have been charged. Moreover, the crowd wouldn’t have gone into a frenzy and increased the chances of someone being hurt or killed. A crowd gathering outside on the fringes of one’s property is nothing like a person invading your home. Castle doctrine essentially says you can defend against a home invader with deadly force. You cannot shoot someone merely for trespassing onto your front yard, where there is no threat to your safety or life.
I have conceal carried more than 25 years and own a few handguns, rifle and a shotgun. Definitely a law enforcement supporter, and don’t try to do their job. But, I do carry everywhere it is legal to do so. I carry as insurance, in case I have to defend myself or others. No other reason.
I respectfully disagree on the McCloskeys.
Anyone who had watched–as they certainly had–the destruction of these mobs, burning down buildings, beating, and killing–would have complete justification in protecting their property. You don’t have to wait until a Molotov cocktail comes through the window when you already know their intent. Also, the mob had broken into private property before the couple armed themselves and appeared outside of their home to protect it. The prosecutor who charged them should be disbarred. It is a completely political move, one meant to appease the mobs. As Americans, we can not live under mob rule. I would do the same as they did.
As for qualifications, I have investigated thousands of criminal cases and presented many of those cases to the district attorney for filing. I’ve been involved in private security, law enforcement, private investigation (and consulting) continuously since 1980. I’d argue the McCloskey’s position with anyone in any forum, judicial or otherwise.
Thank you for your comments.
Good stuff. I’d also recommend a CCW class it gets you vetted in case of a law enforcement contact it can help. Some folks actually get CCW insurance
Great point, Mike. See, this is why I hired you to be my training officer. (;
I think you blog will be very helpful to many of your readers. The most important thing about owning a firearm is to KNOW HOW AND WHEN TO USE IT. I’m a firm believer if more people carried guns we would have fewer street crimes. I recommend that if you carry or even own a gun, contact your insurance company and obtain a Umbrella Policy which you will need if you ever are forced to use your weapon. These policies are inexpensive and will go along ways should you ever need an attorney.
Danny, Thanks again for your blog, but if they every take away you guns, I WILL BE KING (think that one over). lol
Haha “they” won’t ever take my guns, Kay. Rest assured. (;
Then I guess there will be two Kings.