- Jan 23, 2014
To add to @Kola_CT excellent reply - just because you train or have a firearm does not mean you will automatically win/survive an dangerous situation but can improve your chances anywhere between 1 and 100%.I'm just wondering by going through all your replies, how many of you guys have been a victim of an assault or robbery or any such that you know what your reaction in such a situation would be like? Just my 2 cents that you need to test your reaction sometimes.
A knife is a great tool for close quarters in the right hands - if you have not trained with a knife, rather don't carry as you will likely escalate a situation and end up on the receiving end of it.
A firearm is a ranged equalizing weapon that even someone who is immobile (elderly/in a wheelchair) or weak (like my late 49kg wife) could use against multiple aggressors. (which is most likely the case in SA context)
9mm is considered the minimum for self defense - with premium hollow point ammo (yes they are legal otherwise they would not be sold in gun shops)
Penetration depends heavily on clothing/etc. (eg. a thick denim jacket will not stop a round but can slow it down enough to cause little damage)
Then there is shot placement - a spine or brain shot could be instant disablement but in the heat of the moment getting even a few shots onto a target that is actively avoiding not getting shot whilst you are extremely stressed and full of adrenaline will be difficult for even the best marksman who is used to shoot at stationary paper targets.
Lastly - unless you hit spine/brain (which is highly unlikely) an aggressor goes down due to blood loss which explains why some get shot 10+ times and still run away/ continue their unlawful attack. Hence the reason handguns are most effective. Most 9mm medium frame handguns will have 15-19 rounds in a magazine (+1 if you carry loaded) and most importantly can be reloaded in 3-5 seconds if well trained allowing someone to put 20-60 rounds towards multiple targets in 1 minute or less.
Pepper guns can only do a fraction of this with much less reliability and virtually no stopping power.
Personally, have had to draw my firearm twice in 9 years of every day carry.
In the first instance we were in an underground garage offloading IT equipment when we got rushed by 5 guys. Fortunately I was behind the vehicle and was able to drawn in time which stopped their advance after which they decided to rather leave empty handed. (they were unarmed and we got lucky)
The second instance was when I was confronted with 2 uninvited guests both armed with knives in the middle of the night. They had broken through a window and had just climbed through into our lounge. If I had not been armed and able to persuade them to leave I do not now what would have happened to me, my 49kg wife or our then 3month old daughter. (I must admit that me standing in only my underwear was possible the main reason they left rather quickly and are probably still recovering from the psychological damage inflicted)
While some will say I should have shot them, I was able to diffuse the situation without loss of life which to me is the best possible outcome.
I have no desire to take a life - but will defend the ones I love with any tool at my disposal.