I am frequently asked about the best weapon for self-defense, whether people should buy pepper spray, a taser or a gun. It's a hard question to answer.
But, I do tell people whatever weapon they choose, it needs to fit with their personality and they need to be prepared to use it and be well trained in it.
I have some friends who should never own a gun, because in their heart of hearts, they know they could never take a life, even if their own was in danger. Hesitation could lead to someone taking the gun away and using it against you.
We had a man just this week in Tulsa who had his gun taken away. The police report said two men broke into his condo and he grabbed his gun and fired two shots. His shots missed the target and hit his mattress instead. The men took away his gun, tied him up, beat him and stabbed him with a machete.
On the flip side, we had a business owner who shot two armed robbers as they were breaking into his restaurant and holding a gun on his nephew. He said when he heard his nephew yell for help, he instinctively grabbed his gun and fired two shots. He hit each robber one time.
I have interviewed several people who've been forced to shoot someone in self-defense. They all seem to have one thing in common, their matter-of-fact, deliberate approach. They didn't want to do it, didn't relish it, but, were unapologetic about saving a life and all said they would do it again, if necessary.
I interviewed the man who was standing in a Tulsa grocery store check-out line when he saw a robbery of the store manager go down right in front of him. He pulled out his gun and fired and hit the robber, who had a long criminal history. Even though his actions were legally right and he felt, morally right, it was still hard for him to talk to about it. What impressed me was in that split second, he was very thorough in his decision making. He thought about where his bullet could go if it missed the robber and where bullets might go if the robber returned fired.
I have interviewed many people lately who are fed up with criminals, fed up with those who take rather than earn, fed up with people who put no value on life.
Whether you buy pepper spray, purchase a taser, get a gun or take a self-defense class, I think it's important to understand we are each responsible for our own safety, no one else It's critical to have a plan, practice that plan and be well trained in our choice. Being prepared is the most important step in being safe.