|Despite the deadly
potential of guns, they are actually a poor option for personal
protection for most people. Guns are unnecessary in most
situations and their use in any situation can have serious
Some important factors to consider:
1. Carrying a concealed gun without a special permit is
illegal in virtually all jurisdictions in this country. Only
special federal law enforcement agency permits allow a person to
carry a concealed weapon from one state to another. Some
states allow permit holders to travel in any part of the state,
while others restrict carry only to the jurisdiction that issued the
permit. The laws vary widely from state to state. In
some states obtaining a concealed weapons permit is fairly easy,
while in others it’s virtually impossible.
2. The whole purpose of personal protection products is to
distract and disable the attacker and escape to get help. The
use of a gun in an assault could be considered “excessive force”
unless the victim could prove a life-threatening situation caused
the use of the firearm. Keep in mind that 80% of all assaults
in this country are committed without a weapon of any kind.
Using a gun on an unarmed person can get a victim in serious
trouble. Even if he/she is not charged or found guilty of a
crime he/she can find himself/herself on the losing end of a
3. Most people don’t know when to shoot and when not to
shoot. Police officers go through intensive training in
“shoot/no shoot” scenarios and even they sometimes get entangled in
4. Using a handgun may actually be less effective at
stopping an attacker than a good OC defense spray (Pepper Spray).
The choice of firearms and calibers is beyond the scope of most
individuals; even security experts and law enforcement professionals
don’t agree which is best, particularly in the area of “stopping
power.” Assailants have been known to kill or seriously injure
someone minutes, even hours after being shot with so-called “man
5. A handgun can be taken away from the intended victim and
used against them. While this also true of other protective
devices, the consequence aren’t as potentially deadly.
6. The psychological effects and emotional trauma of
shooting another person can be devastating. Even hardened
police officers are sometimes affected, particularly if the other
person is killed. Most people whose only objective is to
protect themselves are not ready or able to handle the intense
emotional aftermath of killing someone, and that’s always a very
real possibility when guns are used.
7. Due to the serious and deadly nature of shooting
someone, most people tend to hesitate before shooting. In many
instances that hesitation can and is used against the victim.
All self defense trainers stress that focused, swift action is
essential for successful self defense during an assault.
8. The presence of a gun almost always dramatically
escalates the potential for serious injury or death. An
assailant who did not plan to physically harm a victim may be forced
into striking quickly and viciously when threatened with a gun.
Once a gun is produced by the victim, its use is the only action
left. A gun is an all or nothing device.
9. Any time a firearm is used, there is the possibility
that an innocent person may be injured or killed. The person
discharging the firearm, justified or not, is almost held liable for
the consequences of a shooting regardless of how “accidental” it
might be. Again, no formal charges may be filed, but a civil
suit can be just as damaging to a person’s life.
10. There is always the possibility a child or juvenile
could get his/her hands on a firearm with tragic results.
Firearms have a legitimate, useful role in self protection and
home defense, but only if a person is fully trained and completely
understands the responsibility and consequences of using a gun for
that purpose. Most people simply do not need that level of
firepower, especially considering the effectiveness of modern self
defense devices available. Nor do most people have the
training or psychological toughness to use a gun for self protection
properly. Many experts agree that when the average citizen
arms himself/herself with a gun, it is a tragic situation and
resulting court case waiting to happen.
Written by Doug Lamb, Director of the American
The American Security Institute was founded to teach personal and
residential security to law-abiding citizens and security
professionals. ASI is dedicated to providing the best training
possible, and believes knowledge is the key to insuring the safety
and well-being of our citizens and our children. Our goal is
simply to leave those that follow a better, safer world in which to
Doug Lamb is one of the country’s leading
personal security consultants. He is a former officer with the
U.S. Treasury Department, industrial security specialist,
legal investigator, and teacher. As Director of ASI, Mr.
Lamb writes and lectures on personal security. He originally
developed his “Surviving the Mean Streets” classes as part of an
accredited 26-week professional development program for security
specialists and investigators.