The Family Must Be Part of the Personal Defense Plan.

Some years ago, a law enforcement acquaintance of mine was enjoying a day off at home when a party across the street turned into a fight. Seeing two men fighting in the yard across the street, my friend went out to tell them to knock it off. He was unarmed. One of the men pulled a large knife and came after the officer.

His wife, seeing what was going on, ran and got her husband’s guns, the big one and the small one … you know, the kind that have things that look like wheels in the middle. You would be correct in guessing that she got both guns because she didn’t know which one was loaded and didn’t know how to check them. She ran to her husband with a gun in each hand. He grabbed the big one, an Smith & Wesson Model 28, and promptly stopped the knife-wielder who was just about to stick him.

Sadly, this sort of ignorance exists in many families. They operate on the assumption that the man of the house should be the gun guy and take care of all defensive matters regarding the family. One trouble with that is that the man of the house will probably be the primary target and the first one to go down and out of the fight. And when this happens, there is no one else in the family to take his place.

The other obvious problem with this is that the man of the house may not be home when trouble arises. Or, he might be home while the other family members are out becoming a target.

The entire family becomes a harder target when everyone learns about the defense guns that are kept. They don’t need lengthy classes about all the different kinds of defensive firearms, though there is nothing wrong with this. But they definitely need to learn how to safely handle, load and unload the family’s guns. 

Too numerous to mention are the many cases of women successfully defending themselves when they have been the only adult in the house or household. But there are also quite a number of cases where young people have done the same in a successful and lawful manner.

I am often asked how one can tell if their sons or daughters are mature enough for this responsibility, and I will tell you that a parent can determine that better than I can. Enroll them in a suitable NRA shooting class or 4-H club, and you will soon have your answer.

The family unit is still the backbone of this country. To be admired are those families where all members work together for the common good, and I submit that each responsible member needs to have training in personal defense. It’s another way of working for the common good.

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