Your choice to carry and own a gun for self-protection says that you are willing to take the life of someone if necessary in order to save your life or the lives of those you love. This is a very significant statement that has very serious ramifications. We of course don’t own a gun to “kill”, we own a gun to “defend”. Should that awful moment ever arise, could you use your gun on an attacker? You will have to answer this question for yourself.
Before you purchase a gun for self-protection you MUST fully consider the following questions: Do I believe that there are circumstances that make it acceptable to kill another human? Could I really aim my gun at another human being and pull the trigger? Would I be able to live with the emotional scars that may follow and perhaps even the social and legal ramifications? Can I spiritually reconcile this question with my faith?
In all honesty, if you are not willing to explore these questions and cannot answer yes to them and perhaps others that arise for you personally, you are not ready and should not own a gun for self-protection. This would put you and others at great risk. Perhaps you should consider some other less-lethal forms of self defense. You can see that answering the question could you use a gun? is an important part of the process you will need to go through. Read Do You Need A Gun?
Determine If You Could Use A Gun
The question and answer of whether or not you could use a gun for self-protection is a complex and very personal one. There are many things to consider, many which may be personal to you and your circumstances and not represented here. This article is a guide and start you on the process. Things such as your faith, or the potential for some very serious “aftermath” consequences of using a gun for self-protection or that of others are just a couple.
Take some time to think through some potential worst case scenarios and how you would react. Take the time to think about what your options are. Although difficult, walking through these scenes will give you an idea of how you would respond in such situations. What would you do if…? Could you use a gun on an attacker threatening harm to your child? Would you do anything to save your life or that of your child perhaps? This process also helps to create a series of plans of action that under great stress, you can default to and lower the risk of making poor decisions and perhaps injuring or killing yourself or an innocent bystander.
This important process needs to be done in depth and detail. The news, TV shows and movies on any given day can provide the scenes to provoke this exercise. Imagine yourself in these situations and explore what you would have done? What could you have done differently?
Once you have gone through this exercise in different situations such as in a parking lot, a home invasion, carjacking, sexual/violent attack or others, the next series of questions that must be answered are what tools do you need and how do you train to effectively and safely use them.
The Legal Issues Of Using A Gun
The legal issues of using your gun are complex and different from state to state. Explore your local laws to fully understand your rights and the laws that govern gun ownership and use in your state. The local and state laws governing the use of “lethal deadly force” must also be explored.
If someone breaks into your home, can you use a gun and shoot them even if they are not visibly armed? If someone attacks you in public, do you have a duty to retreat? Under what circumstances can you legally display your gun? Under what circumstances can you legally use your gun? Are there places where you cannot carry a gun? Can you travel across state lines with your gun? These are just a few of the questions you want to answer as you make the decision to use and own a gun. As you can see, the legal issues of using a gun are very complex and demand your further study.
Visit The Well Armed Woman Legal issues page
Neglecting to understand the legal issues including your rights and your risks is careless. You put others and yourself at risk, put the 2nd Amendment Rights of others in jeopardy and does not fit the definition or description of The Well Armed Woman. The better you understand the laws, the better equipped you will be to make quick decisions when under great stress.
Will You Be a Responsible Gun Owner?
I encourage you to spend some time thinking through the very serious questions raised in this article. Before proceeding with the purchasing of a gun, you should feel comfortable with your answers. Have a basic understanding of your local and state gun laws and go through some scenarios in your mind. Mentally prepare for what you should and would do in the event of a violent attack. Identifying your core “stance” or boundaries on what you are and are not willing to do will also help you with your decision and be able to answer the question, could you use a gun?
Read the next section of Step 1: Understanding The Laws
Begin reading the series here: Making the Decision Part 1: Do I Need a Gun?