My thanks to Miguel at Gun Free Zone for republishing this gem from an earlier Facebook conversation.
A couple years ago I was working security at a bar in northern Virginia. I overheard a table of college kids arguing about gun rights and gun control and it was getting far too emotional so I did what any sane combat veteran would do and attempted to exfiltrate. I must not have withdrawn as surreptitiously as I intended, because I was stopped in my tracks when a 5-foot-nothing brunette seemingly leapt in front of me and blurted out “excuse me, can you help us?”
I’m sure I must have looked irritated as I cycled through the possible quips and excuses I considered available to me but being uncertain that she wasn’t some Senator’s daughter, I caved: “What’s up?”
She basically leads me to this table of 2 other females (probably both named Karen) and a very soft looking male.
Becky: “So, we were just talking about current events and, you know. So, you look like you’re probably in the military, right? Like the Army?”
(When you accuse someone of being in the military you probably don’t need to give an example.)
Me: “Similar.. yea”
Becky: “Right. Okay. So, do you think civilians should be allowed to own guns?”
Me: “Most of us. Yes.”
Becky: (clearly not happy with my answer) “Okay, so, why do you think you need a gun?”
(At this point it’s almost 2am and I’ve just given up on patience. Hold my beer.)
(With intentionally overt condescension): “Oh, honey, I don’t. I don’t need a gun.”
Becky stares at me blankly, so I continue, but with a more serious tone:
“I could follow you home, walk up your driveway, and beat you to death with the daily newspaper.
I could choke you to death with that purse.
I could take a credit card, break it in half, and cut your throat open with it.
With enough time and effort I could beat your boyfriend here with a rolled up pair of socks.
I could probably dream up six dozen other ways I could easily end your life if you gave me an hour or so.
If I wanted to, I could wrap my hand around that beer mug and kill all four of you before you could make it to the exit. The worst part is, in your utopian little fantasyland, there ain’t a thing any of you could do about it.
I don’t need a gun.
You need a gun.
You need a gun because of men like me.”
When teaching disabled shooters, as I did for many years, I used to emphasize that point. You don't need a gun because of you: you need it because of the weirdos, whackos and just plain evil people out there. They make it necessary, not some inner twisted Rambo-like fixation in ourselves. However, some people just can't seem to grasp that reality.
Tangentially related to that subject, I have nothing against the 9mm. Luger and .38 Special cartridges. I own and carry several firearms that shoot them, and I have confidence that, properly applied, they'll do a decent job of self-defense. However, I've recently heard of several cases (close to double figures) where individuals who were drunk or hopped-up on some or other illegal narcotic(s) exhibited extreme reluctance to stop attacking someone. Although hit several times in vital organs by 9mm. or .38 Special rounds, injuries severe enough that should have been stopped in their tracks, they kept up the attack until blood loss caused them to fall down. In the process, they inflicted severe injury on their victims.
No matter how popular smaller rounds may be, let's not forget that bigger, heavier, faster rounds do get the job done with greater reliability than their lesser brethren, particularly when the latter are fired out of short barrels that don't allow them to gain sufficient velocity to be sure of expansion and/or penetration. I wrote some time ago about "Defensive ammunition when you can't use hollowpoints". The criteria I used in that article also apply to situations where your carry gun can't get a smaller round moving fast enough to guarantee its expansion. That's why I carry Buffalo Bore full wadcutter .38 Special rounds in my snubbies chambered for that cartridge. They don't have to expand to carve a full-caliber wound channel, which is actually better performance than most .38 hollowpoints will deliver out of sub-2" barrels.
When dealing with drunk or drugged opponents, there's a very strong case to be made for bigger, heavier bullets, even at the expense of carrying them in a slightly larger, heavier, harder-to-conceal handgun. I continue to carry .44 Special snubbies on a regular basis in my winter coat pockets, and I have great confidence in that round. I'm also seriously considering whether it isn't time to re-evaluate the hard-kicking (but also hard-hitting) 10mm. Auto round. It has heavy recoil in carry-size guns, which puts off many shooters; but when dealing with hopped-up attackers, who may be wrapped in thick winter clothing, there's a lot to be said for its performance on impact. I'll be putting the round through its paces in a forthcoming test, to see whether it's harder for me to handle in my 60's than it was in my 40's, particularly in compact carry guns. I'll let you know what I find.