What Is the Paradox of Self-Defense?

The majority of those who prepare for the worst have no desire to be involved in such activities. Do you really believe I want to be trading shots with some idiot who thinks he should be able to take what he wants from those of us who work for what we have? I do not. Every morning when I put my gun into the holster, I hope I don’t have to use it.

But as Lt. Col. Dave Grossman says, “Hope is not a strategy.” We cannot simply hope that evil people will never find us. We must prepare for the worst of all scenarios. We must do so thoughtfully and we must do so with the full knowledge that our actions are the epitome of the double-edged sword. In a fight to defend an innocent life, we may be forced to harm another. The person who attacks us might die as a result of our reaction to his aggressive action.

This strange dichotomy is something we attempt to come to terms with as we get deeper and deeper into the concealed carry lifestyle. Most people should be asking the “big” question before purchasing a gun. You know the “big” question, don’t you? Can you do it? Can you pull the trigger if you need to?

All of us answer in the affirmative before we drop a wad of cash on the gun counter and start down the road toward concealed carry confidence. We all believe we can do it. And that mindset is the most important thing. You have to be willing to use force long before you will ever be able to use force. Yet the only way you will ever be willing to do so is to convince yourself that you are able to do so. The best way to do that is to gain confidence in your understanding that what you are doing is legally and morally correct. This is the foundation of your training: You must know you are doing the right thing.

Starting with that commitment, you can move forward, building the skills you need to survive an encounter and learning the rules that will keep you within the bounds of the law. You will study and you will train and you will repeat those sequences again and again. All the while, you will be hoping you never have to use your skills.

If you are like the average American gun owner, you will get through your entire life without ever using your gun in self-defense. Chances are pretty good you will never be forced to test your skills, your knowledge of the law and your decision-making ability. But that does not mean your training and your study will be wasted. On the contrary, it means your investment of time and money has provided the exact return you had hoped for. The best fight is the one you are not in.

But we don’t train for the probability. We train for the possibility. We train for that one day we hope will never come. None of us wants to use the skills we have worked so hard to hone. I think that is the right way to approach this lifestyle.

You'd do anything to protect your family.But did you know... You're still vulnerable to criminal charges and financial ruin…even if you did everything right? Your USCCA Membership arms you with the self-defense education, training, and legal protection you need to protect your family with confidence. Because, after all, doing the right thing shouldn't cost you everything...

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