The reasons for people getting into firearms are endless. Some folks might say they were raised around firearms from birth while others might say they were first introduced via the military. From experience however; most people do not wake up one morning and decide to go purchase a gun or rifle. The aforementioned examples are the majority in my opinion, but there are those people that have a different story like myself; traumatic experiences of helplessness or unpreparedness.
Here’s a little background without going into too many details. The scenario was this… 3 years ago a fight broke out at a family gathering and I wrapped up the “inebriated bad guy” and instructed him to leave letting him know not to swing at me or else. I let him go after he complied and he proceeded to pick his belongings up off the ground. That’s when I noticed one of his belongings was a pistol (holstered). Then he proceeded to shout and rant waving said pistol around but still holstered. Scary right? Well it was definitely an eye-opening experience considering I and the others at the function were all unarmed. Needless to say law enforcement was called and they picked him up down the street and confiscated the firearm and booked him. Quite luckily the situation played out the way it did for it could have gone very wrong, very quickly. Some of you reading this may say that being scared is the wrong reason for buying a firearm and I completely agree with you. But, to be quite honest I was not scared just woken up a bit. It was after that day I vowed to myself that I would NOT have myself or my family or others around me be found in a situation where I would be ill prepared. And that’s where the researching about firearms started and the point of this blog.
Whatever your reason; as a rookie it is very important to remember that you are not buying a firearm to go and avenge your attacker or perpetrator. You are buying a tool to be better prepared for when or if such an event were to occur, hopefully it does not. A lot of people I have talked to buy a gun, say they have a gun therefore they are safe, and keep in stowed away in the closet. WRONG IDEA FOLKS. Just because you have a gun does not mean you are safe or a pro with it. Just like anything else in life, practice makes you more effective.
Here is my guide to the rookie firearms consumer.
1. Ask yourself this: What is my main purpose for the firearm? Once you can answer that question with the utmost certainty then you can start looking for the “right” tool. What I mean by this is if you want to just protect your house then most likely a shotgun will suffice. But if you want to protect yourself when out and about than most likely a handgun is the choice especially if you are want to conceal.
2. Research: Luckily the internet exists so find out what sort of firearms there are, prices, calibers, reviews, and even videos as well as testimonials.
3. Show and tell: Go to your local gun store(s) and handle the firearms and ask questions, lots of questions. You want to be sure the firearm fits YOU so handle them all if you have too and narrow it down.
4. Test fire: This one is a little more difficult but some shooting ranges rent out guns that you can test fire. It’s like test driving a car.
5. Sleep on it: Do not make rash decisions and do not be pressured into buying a gun. Try and work with a gun store that does not pay their employees on commission. Sleep on it and go back after you have had time to think it over.
6. Invest: Make the purchase and know that you have just made an investment and not just any purchase. Be proud and don’t be stupid.
7. Practice, practice, practice: Get some training, and continue to practice with your firearm. Find a range or join a shooting club or go with another responsible gun owner and practice, practice, practice. Practice holstering drills and trigger control. Buy some snap caps that will allow you to practice your fundamentals and malfunctions drills. Just remember to keep practicing. Once you feel you do not need any more practice, then practice some more. You should never stop practicing. I think I have drilled this home pretty good.
The list of guidelines has helped me with every gun purchase I have made and hopefully they will help you as well. Remember, be safe, be prepared, and stay vigilant.