Thoughts On Owning a Firearm


Some ask, why own a firearm?  Why not?  First things first.  If you wish to own a firearm, the first thing you must do is decide if you can use it against someone.  Are you mentally prepared to take a human life?  If not, then DO NOT purchase a firearm; it is a waste of your time and money.  Keep in mind there is a difference between murdering and killing someone.  I had the fine privilege of listening to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (author of On Killing) speak in 2007 and he addressed this very issue as it related to soldiers and police officers.  The accurate translation of the good book says, “Thou shalt not murder.”   It did NOT say, “Thall shalt not kill.”  Don’t take our word for it—look it up!  There should be no moral dilemma when it comes to protecting yourself and your family. 


Once this decision is made, go find a good firearms instructor and discuss weapons with him.  Talk with several and pick the one(s) you like.  You should consider the firearms instructor’s recommendation on the appropriate firearm, but if you find that you do not like the recommendation, you will not carry it.  One of the most important things you can do once you procure the gun is to begin carrying it daily and become comfortable with it.  Buy an excellent belt and holstering system.  DO NOT buy a cheap system. . .it will fail you!  If you are going to do this, do it right.  The holster and the belt are just as important as the firearm.  Any GALCO product is a great place to start:


In addition to carrying the weapon daily, I would suggest you practice your stance as well as drawing and presenting the weapon before you ever even set foot on the range and start shooting.  If you cannot get your firearm out of the holster and pointing at the threat, then it serves no purpose.  Buy yourself a blue or red training firearm and do drills everyday.  Practice drawing while standing, kneeling, sitting, and in any other position which you think you might find yourself.  Practically speaking, you should complete 20 hours of practice before ever shooting a firearm.  Firearm deployment and handling are two the most important skills that you can learn in the dry-fire environment.  Once you reach the 20 hour mark, it is time to practice these same skills with your real weapon.  Make sure your firearm is safely cleared and empty.  The feeling will be different because of the weight of the weapon.  JUST DO IT.  Spend another 20 hours before launching the first round down range.


I cannot stress enough learning realistic empty-hand self-defense techniques.  The first step is to defend yourself.  What if you cannot get to the firearm right away?  Once you have stopped or deflected the initial assault, then you can deploy your weapon system.  It is so important that you learn realistic techniques that have been pressured-tested.  For simplicity’s sake, WWII combatives are great.  Learn them well and they will serve you in a crisis situation.  Practice deploying the firearm after the initial assault.  Deployment must be fast, so practice, practice and practice some more.


Okay, now it is time to learn to actually shoot the weapon.  My recommendation is to train with no less than three different firearms instructors.  Find a civilian NRA instructor, a police firearms instructor, and a SWAT firearms instructor, and train with all of them.  Listen and learn.  They will all teach you differently, but that is advantageous to you.  If you are fortunate enough to find a Federal Air Marshal firearms instructor, seize the opportunity to train with him.  FAMs know concealed carry, they are expert close-range shooters and they are truly the most highly skilled firearms instructors in the Federal Government.


For the first couple of months, try to shoot at least 400 rounds per month.  Do not just launch lead down range.  Use the drills that all the instructors taught you and practice them religiously.  Accuracy is final!  It is your duty to learn to shoot as accurately as possible.  A good standard is to draw and fire three rounds in 5 seconds at 5 yards.  Your target is a 3X5 index card.  Once you accomplish this, your skills are sound.  But don’t get lazy.  Keep practicing—you want these skills sharp if race day ever comes. 




  1. Couple of questions for you:

    1. How does one go about finding a police firearms instructor and a SWAT firearms instructor if you are not actually in the policing business?

    2. What are your thoughts on the utility of training with AirSoft weapons? Either as a prelude to training with real firearms or as a means of combining tactical firearms training with hand-to-hand combat (assuming of course that you will be wearing requisite protective gear)?

    TDA had some posts related to this topic at:


    • Hey BK,

      Thanks so much for the questions. I’m consulting with the head Gutterfighting instructor (also a cop!) to answer your questions properly!

  2. Here is my two cents worth: if you do not personally know a law enforcement officer, I am sure you have a friend that does. Once you find that officer, ask them to introduce you to their training officer. The training officer will certainly know a SWAT or Police Firearms Instructor that teaches on the side. If they want too much money, find someone else. Most firearms instructors will charge you their current overtime rate or a little more. They usually have access to a range and equipment. This is a great place to start. Another place to look is your local shooting clubs; the good instructors usually shoot in a couple of matches per year to test their skills. Befriend them and they will most likely help.

    As far as Air Soft goes, that is a great alternative and excellent place to start combining shooting and fighting together. I prefer marking cartridges like simunitions but they are obviously more expensive and are not always available to civilians. My only suggestion is keep it realistic. Sometimes when we conduct Air Soft or marking cartridge scenarios, reality is often overlooked. Example: walls stop marking cartridges and Air Soft pellets but they do not stop bullets.

    These are obviously my opinions. Thanks. Happy training!

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