If we study self-defense for very long, we’ll see that robbers practice and plan ahead. The sooner we interrupt their plans the better. Right there is where training and practice can give us an advantage. It is too late to start your home study course in self-defense once you’re being attacked. The people who trained for self-defense chose better options than those who had to learn through on-the-spot, in-the-moment, on-the-job training. Good training before the fact can help us avoid being attacked in the first place. I like that.. a lot!
We are most likely to be attacked when we are away from home. That means the arsenal in our gun safe is useless most of the time. Think about that for a minute. What we have on our body right now is what we will use to win or lose a self-defense encounter. It is unlikely that we will have time to go to our car or safe room and get our gun, cell phone, flashlight, and trauma kit. That is why criminals attack people who are, for example, on jogging trails.This brings up the importance of "everyday carry" or EDC. Clearly, if you could, you would carry with you everything you think you might need and more. But carrying the entire contents of our houses and garages around on our backs is not going to work. Therefore, having the most effective tools, and knowing how to use them is the next best thing. In order to figure out what you need for EDC, you first need to assess your risk. It is unlikely, though not impossible, that you will face a team of assassins who definitely want you dead. On the other hand, you may have small children in tow, and may be exiting a store with your goods, while keeping an eye on the kids so they don't run out into traffic, searching for your car, and fending off insistent requests to go to McDonald's, when you notice a man watching you intently. If your situational awareness is good, you may notice two others who seem to be out there with no apparent reason to be. Your weapons and training should revolve around what you believe is likely.
What gun you carry, what mode of carrying it, what ammunition and what other gear you might carry are all personal choices based on the risks you potentially face. I can not tell you what to buy, and in any case, all these things are likely to change as you grow in knowledge and experience.
Let’s say that we’ve thought about protecting our self and our family, and we decided to buy a gun. That helps a little. Suppose we’ve even gone to the local shooting range and practiced a few times. That is better. Unfortunately, in a real attack we will not get the sort of shot we practiced. The criminal will be moving. We should be moving too. Innocent people will be moving everywhere. In reality, the situation is a chaotic mess, but it will feel like less of a mess with training and practice.
Lots of people defend themselves every day, but here is the bad news. You and I perform at the ability we demonstrated on our bad training days. Fortunately, that seems to be good enough most of the time. An attack is a chaotic situation for both the defender AND the attacker.I will also point out that you can get very good training through the US Concealed Carry Association. Just subscribing to the magazine can deliver a lot of good information. Note that I have no financial interest in USCCA, just appreciate the information. You can also find good hands-on training close to home, though you need to vet the trainers to ensure they know whereof they speak. If you can get involved in an International Defensive Pistol Association club and practice with those folks, while nothing prepares you for the real thing, this may be the closest you will get.
If you have to defend yourself (and I pray you never will,) it will change you, so meditate on that now. If you are a Christian, realize that you must be fierce in your defense, but you can not hate those why tried to kill you. It is a hard lesson, and a thin line.