Let’s face it; part of being self sufficient is being able to defend yourself. No one likes to think about the possibilities of someone doing them harm but the fact is none of us are exempt from danger and the world is full of misguided souls. My personal choice for protection is a good old fashioned pistol. Sure it’s a good idea to know some martial arts or other fighting techniques. And sure, there are plenty of other weapons one can use for self-defense but nothing beats the power and easy use of a semiautomatic handgun.

I wasn’t raised around firearms and self-defense was never really talked about in our house. I guess, like many families, we just assumed nothing bad would ever happen to us because we’re good people. Or maybe we never really thought about it at all. At any rate, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I ever held a gun. Guns were scary to me and I never imagined that one day, not only would I own a gun, but I would also enjoy target shooting and learn how to take apart my pistol and clean it.

My first experience shooting was a project for a Women’s Study course I was taking in college. The goal of the project was to engage in an un-lady-like activity. Well, this was right up my alley!  I was so excited that I was having a hard time deciding which un-lady-like thing to report on first. But then I thought back to earlier in the semester when my professor told us how she had been assaulted once in a parking lot and that got me to thinkin’ about how the heck I would defend myself if, God forbid, some misguided soul tried to hurt me. Bingo! I knew exactly what I was gonna to do for that project. Get a gun and learn to shoot it. And so I did. And I got an A.

Now that I know how to safely handle a gun, there’s no doubt in my mind it’s the most effective means of self-defense available. And it’s a great feeling to know I don’t have to rely on someone else to come to my rescue.

The thing is though, nobody’s ever truly self sufficient. We need each other if we’re gonna make a go of this republic. So go ahead and learn to shoot if you haven’t already but don’t forget to introduce yourself to the neighbors, lean on a truck or two and share a few minutes face to face with the folks most likely to save your ass when the shit hits the fan.