Self Defense


While self defense takes many forms such as taking common sense measures (see my post on Predators), other forms of self defense may or may not use a weapon. Some examples of self defense are using your telephone to call for help, using a home security system, using a dog (or dogs) as part of a defense system, using your body as a weapon (martial arts, kickboxing, etc), knives, swords, etc. Some ordinary objects may be used to strike an attacker and are referred to as bludgeons. Thus a ball bat could become a deadly weapon. Self defense is a very in depth topic which I could never cover in one post. Since I follow the books through the library, this post will mostly discuss guns used for self defense.

I live in an area of the country where guns are a way of life. They are used by the military, law enforcement, hunters, home owners, and as recreational target shooting just to name a few uses. I’m not particularly uncomfortable around guns because I have a healthy respect for them and know many very responsible gun owners. Although I’ve never personally been trained how to use a gun, my husband is a former soldier and an expert marksman. Being a gun owner does not necessarily mean a person is violent. In the majority of cases, gun owners want guns to prevent violence. In general its the misuse of guns that bothers me and it’s the reason that I believe in the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution which says:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Many people in Indiana have guns in their homes for protection. If your personal self defense plan involves a gun, then there is also a lot of responsibility to learn about your right to self defense. Whether you currently own a gun or are thinking of purchasing a gun for self defense, I highly recommend that you read Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense by Massad Ayoob.

Deadly Force

Massad Ayoob does a wonderful job of explaining how to properly defend your home and family with a firearm. There are many illustrative photos in his book so that there can be no doubt what he means as well as many very helpful suggested guidelines. One thing he says is a “must” is that if you choose to protect yourself and others as well as your home and property with a gun you should be trained in the proper use of firearms. Should the unthinkable happen and you are forced to fire your weapon, it will help you legally to have had that training. The author walks the reader through critical decision making and legalities of firing a weapon for the purposes of self defense.

Beyond guns, though, Massad Ayoob also talks about other methods of self defense such as reading body language and putting distance between yourself and a potential attacker if at all possible, the use of less than lethal weapons such as pepper spray, and billy clubs.

If you are a person who hasn’t made up your mind about guns for or against, I recommend that you and everyone else read USA Today’s Gun Control: Preventing Violence or Crushing Constitutional Rights? by Matt Doeden.

Gun Control

Gun Control is one book in a series called USA Today’s Debate: Voices and Perspectives. The authors vary according to subject matter. This book is small but packed with information both for and against stricter gun control. Written on about a 7th grade level, I think this would be a useful text for schools and would be great for a debate class or an in depth US Constitutional study. There are 107 pages excluding  a timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography, organization contact information, further information section, and index. There are many colorful photographs in the book as well as many thought provoking topics; far too much information for me to cover in one post. Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, there is something in this book that would be of interest to you. Also, I think it’s important to discover what “the other side” is saying. By thinking about an issue from all sides we gain reliable information that we may not have had before. More reliable information will either alter your opinion or reinforce it.

Have you made up your mind on the gun issue? Do you know any gun owners? Have you ever been trained in the use of firearms?


25 thoughts on “Self Defense

  1. I’m currently reading Deadly Force by Massad Ayoob! It’s a fantastic book and everything you shared about it is spot on. Something that a lot of people don’t do is look onto the legal side of self defense, and that’s where they run into trouble. Ayoob makes sure to inform the readers on the legal AND the physical side, as you have said. The picture with Adolf Hitler and his quote is important. More people need to see that. Good job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I think you have made Dewey Hop history by actually being the first to be currently reading the book(s) I mentioned in the post! Your claim to fame! LOL. I am glad to know that you are reading Deadly Force since it is such an excellent book!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for another interesting post!
    Yup my husband is a former solder too and it would be unwise to break into Terry the Quilting Husband’s house and it would not be a quilt he would meet the intruder with! I wish there was a perfect way to ensure psychos could not get guns and sane law abiding citizens could have access, that is the challenge. I am mixed on gun control. On one hand in my day to day life I feel all pacifist but if we suddenly had like the Zombie Apocalypse, I would be locked and loaded 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I don’t know, Terry the Quilting Husband could throw a quilt over an intruder, although I doubt that would be quite as effective!

      Being a former soldier, I’m sure he is well trained in the use of firearms and quite responsible.

      I would be much the same as you–more pacifist when things are “right” but under the right conditions I would also be “locked and loaded!”


  3. Excellent and balanced post. I grew up with guns, have a gun club down the street, but I’m afraid of them, especially of owning them. I got rid of my father’s three guns after he died. I’m the type who wouldn’t know where the gun and ammunition were, and the assailant would grow old and die waiting for me to defend myself. Also, nervous–and especially untrained–people do not know how to aim and would likely shoot something like the family dog or the heirloom lamp. Then their are those who are shot with their own guns. Give me a kitchen knife or knitting needle, plus my talent for primal screaming, and we’ll call it even.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not think guns are for everyone and I certainly respect your choice. I also believe there are many, many other ways to defend your home that don’t involve firearms.

      You make some excellent points about nervous and untrained people. Both are reasons that gun owners should go through training!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I thoroughly believe in the right to bear arms!
    Both my ex’s have them. One conceal carries. Properly trained gun owners prevent violence, in my opinion.
    I do not own a gun, because of my 2 grand daughters. But I was trained how to shoot, and how to properly handle a weapon.
    Safety first!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you that properly trained gun owners prevent violence. I think many people fear what they don’t understand thus the need for education. Some people (like yourself) ARE educated but choose not to have guns and I respect that choice. I personally do not own a gun either, but I defend someone else’s right to bear arms.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I personally have been raised with guns in the home. I feel very safe around them, but part of that comes with the proper training. If there is even a small doubt about how you would feel about guns in your house I would say not to have them. It is something that has to be monitored constantly. Now that I am having my own kid, I have to enforce and follow those same rules, that I was brought up with.

    About every home in this area has a gun in it for hunting, self defense, or both. Most people in this area take safety courses. I try to stay up on regulations, on how and where I am able to carry concealed, but I also have taken hunter safety courses.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Gladly!
        -First and foremost, the best way to keep everyone safe is to know where they are and have them locked up.
        -If you are going to have guns in the home, you need to make sure that at an early age kids understand the severity and seriousness of guns.
        -Right along with that, education is key.
        -They need to know and understand fully that you should treat every gun like it is loaded
        -Never aim a gun, ever, at anything you don’t intend to kill.
        -Same goes for the trigger, never put your finger on the trigger at all unless you are ready to shoot the gun.
        -Depending on the person, you would want to make sure that the guns and ammo are in different locations, still locked.

        That is just a few, but the balance is tough for sure. You want to have everything separate and locked away, but at the same time you want to be able to get them all fast if there was an intruder. It is a tough topic, everyone is different and so are their situations.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My brothers were all in the military and the youngest (12 years older than me) was one of the Marines in the family. He started my sister and me with handguns when I was about 8. We have guns at home and very strict rules about them when the grand kids visit. When they’re not here I have mine next to the bed, loaded and ready. We also have two dogs. One is an Anatolian Shepherd, 32″ at the shoulder and over 100 pounds and a Pit/Boxer mix. After locked doors and windows they’re the first line of defense. But I live in a “stand your ground” state and I’ll do what I have to to protect my family and myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have always believed the issue regarding gun possession should focus on the word RESPONSIBILITY. If a person CHOOSES to own a gun, they MUST LEARN (in my opinion) through formal training how and when it becomes acceptable to use it. This message can become confusing when a weapon that can end a life is also used for recreational entertainment.

    I am not a fan of government control over many individual rights, but a BALANCE must be achieved to prevent unnecessary harm to ourselves and the society in which we live.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Responsibility is a definite must! I totally agree that gun owners need to be trained and learn how to use their weapon appropriately.

      I’m not sure, though, that the issue is confused when a weapon is used recreationally. The gun owner still needs to be trained how to handle his/her firearm appropriately and safely.

      What are your proposals to achieve balance?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The point I intended to make (which I did quite poorly) was that defensive use and recreational use should require the same intensive training and education to make certain both situations produce the most responsible outcome.

    Personally, I believe certified classes should be mandated for licensure. To prescribe medication, an education and license is required. To take a life (potentially, human or animal) should mandate education followed by a licensing exam.

    Just my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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