Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weapon of Choice: Nut Up or Shut Up

by Allison Pang

No, I don't actually own a Hello Kitty Glock. I *do* own a regular Glock .26, though. (Among many other firearms, but I keep the Glock for concealed carry purposes.)

I actually wouldn't ever keep a pink gun in the house with the kids. Even though we keep them well locked up, anything that looks that much like a toy is bound to be trouble somewhere down the road, and truthfully, the only real purpose of a personal firearm is to kill someone.

And don't get me started on the concept of self-defense. A gun may be the great equalizer, but it's not for self-defense. Not really. The moment you pull it out of the holster and aim it at someone, you have to be one hundred percent mentally prepared to fire it. And kill someone.Stories of guns being used against their owners are almost always because the owner hesitated. And no, you *don't* aim for the leg. You're lucky your brain is rational enough to aim for the chest, let along a skinny limb when your hands are shaking because the adrenaline has set in and you've got tunnel vision. Rule Number One? If you don't think you can actually kill someone with a gun, don't carry one.

Rule Number Two: Double Tap.

Not really. Just that guns in real life are very different than what you see in the movies. Recoil plays a very large factor (something you rarely see on TV. Notice how the actor's hands don't move up as they fire? That's crap. Your hands are going to jerk a bit, particularly if you're not used to firing it. It's going to screw up your aim. Anticipating the recoil is *also* going to screw up your aim.).

Rule Number Three: Know Your Gun

Semi-automatic vs revolver, for example. They work differently. So many people think it's just a simple equation of point and shoot, but there are so many factors involved, particularly when you're in a stressful situation. Does your gun have a safety? Will you remember to take it off in a moment of panic? Do you carry a round in the chamber? Will you remember to rack the slide if you don't? (In the case of pistols, anyway.) Can you change the magazine? What do you do if a round gets stuck in the chamber?

Guns can be heavy. Small fingers, particularly women's, may have a harder time with some firearms when it comes to loading bullets into a magazine. (The coils can be pretty stiff, particularly if it's new.) Larger guns can be harder to fire if your fingers are short, as well. What I'm getting at is to make sure the gun fits your hand.

And of course, Rule Number Four is safety. However you choose to enforce that in your home, make sure you keep your firearms out of the reach of children, above all else.

Clearly there is more to gun ownership than those four things, but that 's a pretty good start if you're new to the world of firearms. (But go do your research, please.)

I also carry a Masters Of Defense tactical talon knife, known as the Lady Hawk. Knife fighting is a skill which I do not possess, and as noted earlier this week, stabbing someone is an extremely personal way of killing.

I like this knife because it was specifically designed by a woman for women who don't know how to fight with knives. It's small enough to palm, it folds out with a simple press of my thumb over a nub. Even if I flail randomly at you with it, I'm going to probably cut you pretty bad. If you grab my wrist, the curved edge of the blade allows me to gouge you anyway.

And then there's physical hand to hand combat. Before my back screwed everything up, I did kickboxing for several years. I had a lovely uppercut and and a double round-house kick that worked very nicely. However, to be perfectly honest, martial arts aren't really all that useful for the average fight. Ninety percent of most fights are going to end up on the ground anyway, so if you're looking to take classes for self defense purposes, skip the jumping-spinning-crescent kicks (which look impressive but aren't that hard to block..or step out of the way of) and try for a good jujitsu class. (Mixed Martial Arts classes are very popular for that reason.)

<-- This was my kickboxing instructor by the way. :)

And thus endeth the lecture.


  1. Great post, Allison. Those tips are very important--I've actually been considering getting my permit to carry a handgun, so this is great info! Though, since I have no kids, perhaps a "Hello, Kitty" handgun is in order :-p

  2. Love that knife! Might have to get myself one of those.

  3. I don't know. There's something wicked about shooting some thug with a Hello Kitty gun. Insult and injury in one package? Sounds like the gun for me.

    I don't currently have a handgun, but with the way the world's going, I'm seriously considering it.

  4. Awesome knife. I prefer blades myself. I don't carry anything in my purse (i'm home most of the time, honestly), but our house has little surprises all over the place. My husband and I both took some martial arts back in the day with weapons and without, Sean fights rapier... so sword and staff work for us.

    While I'm personally against firearms (you do what you want, but I'd rather not keep a gun and there are several reasons for that), I've been wanting to go to a shooting range and fire several types for writerly research. And, when the zombie apocalypse happens, I want to be ready.

  5. Yep. Good rules, all.

    Man. I drew short lots in the sensei pool. My old sensei never looked like THAT. :-S

  6. Aaaannnnd there it is! Fat Boy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" and the awesomeness that is Walken.

    I did mention that when the Zombie Apocalypse happens, we're all heading to your place, right?

  7. WOW!!!! Ok, I've heard that song and seen that infectious video with Walken, just didn't know what the song/artist was. :-D This was an excellent post, Allison! Especially the part about the recoil. I had surgery on my wrist a few years back and when I go to the firing range, that's my biggest problem. I /anticipate/ the recoil because I know it's gonna hurt. Hopefully I can work on that this summer!

  8. I am getting educated this week. Great post.

  9. A Glock? Really? Life is too short to carry an ugly gun. ;) Glock is an excellent weapon because it takes all kinds of abuse and keeps right on firing. The joke is that you can fire gravel through that gun and it will still fire...still. I'm awfully fond of Barettas.