I have been involved with the firearms training community for about 7 years at this point (a flash in the pan compared to my friends). I followed the usual progression that people go through when they get into firearms. First, I was obsessed with the guns themselves. I would buy the gun rags and drool over the newest promises of ‘knockdown power’ and bought into the caliber wars. Then, I realized that you can’t buy skill and “the Way is in training”. I found some very influential forums and people and started my apprenticeship under several trainers in the southeast. I delved into the shooting sports and improved my execution of the mechanical aspects of shooting. I began my journey into developing a robust mindset and becoming comfortable with doing the violence that I was preparing for with the shooting skills I was honing. Soon thereafter, I came to realize that shooting isn’t the only problem. There’s tactics, the legal system, hand to hand fighting in a weapons based environment, less lethal options, positioning problems, working with a partner, avoidance, deterrence and deescalation of criminal actors, and on and on. These topics have consumed my training time in the last five years. Well, about two years ago, there was an added complication. A baby boy. I played it cool, but really I was just lost in a sea of questions beyond the usual ones that most dads have.
How do I protect him and my wife?
How do I need to change my tactics and procedures to account for this little helpless guy?
What do I need to change in order to keep guns available to me, and unavailable to him?
What will I do if I see a crime unfolding in front of me and he is with me?
What will I do if I have to deal with a crime directed at me and he is with me?
How can I prepare for those possibilities?
Will my home defense plans change? How?
What drills do I need to practice that account for having a child with me?
How will I introduce him to guns one day?
There are a million questions. I couldn’t find a one stop shop for such things so I say, “if not me, then who”. This blog is an attempt to answer these questions for myself and others by looking at actual defensive gun uses, borrowing (and citing) other writings on the subject, asking other dads in my situation, and thinking rationally on the subject.
Let’s see where this goes.