I continue to be astonished at the misconceptions regarding gun efficacy, among both progressives and conservatives. Perhaps because people can't differentiate between trash entertainments ("The Waddling Dead") and reality, the assumption is that anyone can pick up a handgun or rifle and hit their target. In reality, most people can't even clear a stoppage, never mind hit something that's moving. Sure, it's easy to hit someone in a target-rich environment like a crowd when no one is threatening the shooter, but in CQB it's a very different proposition indeed. Close-up, in a rapidly evolving kinetic situation, the skills & drills you depend on must have been practiced literally thousands of times under a wide range of adverse conditions. Amateurs think they can shoot because they can hit static paper targets; professionals practice for real-world fuckups. And going to a controlled range is perhaps the worst possible preparation because they won’t let you practice draw-and-fire, won’t let you fall, roll, and move. Won’t let someone Taser you before you attempt to engage multiple targets (nothing like a zap of 50,000 volts to get the epinephrine going like it will do when you’re scared/angry). And you know what is happening in a range; in real life things move fast and you’re always one step behind.

You’ll also find that a gun, no matter how impressive it appears to be in junk entertainments, is not a magic amulet. If you want to protect your family, invest in high-quality ballistic vests and smoke grenades. Practice with your gun endlessly (each magazine should contain at least one dummy round so clearance drills become muscle-memory; you perform them automatically without thinking). Move — static operators are dead operators. Guns are just tools. Buying a lathe doesn’t turn you into a craftsman; buying a car doesn’t mean you can drive. Unless you spend hundreds, even thousands of hours acquiring the skills to use your tools they are just inert lumps.

The good news is that most of the obese waddling neofascists you may confront don’t have skills & drills worth spitting on. Even ex-mil tend to be rubbish unless they are ex-SF. But without proper preparation and planning, everything will go to shit in real life and your gun, your magic talisman of TV greatness, won’t be of any use at all.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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