Thirty years ago I was single, fairly fit and…well…thirty years younger. Back then I didn’t feel the need for a a firearm for self-defense. I had years of martial arts training under my belt and I had a baseball bat. Even though I lived in one of the highest crime areas of the city this was all I thought I needed to defend myself. A few years later, with a wife and kids to protect, I decided that they were too important to not take every possible advantage I purchased and learned how to use firearms.
Fast forward to 2015.
I am married but the kids have married and moved out (mostly) and I’m…well…thirty years older. I have an office job that has me behind a desk all day and my metabolism has slowed. As a result I have put on quite a bit of weight and it is a struggle to stay in anything resembling decent shape. Several physical injuries and conditions make that challenge even tougher.
OK, enough whining. What does this have to do with self-defense?
Over the last month or so I have read and heard a lot of the leaders in the self-defense community spouting some variation of the statement that if you are overweight and out of shape you’re not serious about self -defense. I have seen several posts on FezBook or InstantGram that belittle someone’s knowledge of firearms because they were overweight.
Well guys, I have news for you. Fat, old and out of shape people have a right to self-defense as well. Just because we don’t spend our lives at the gym doesn’t mean we are any less serious, any less knowledgeable or any less entitled to the right to defend ourselves.
I have recognize for years that in a physical confrontation I am at a disadvantage. No matter how much time I spend in the gym or dojo that will not change. That is precisely the reason that I carry a firearm (and a knife or two). That is exactly the reason I spend time training and practicing with those weapons. That is exactly the reason why I study and try and learn as much as I can on the topic. No matter how much I work out I will never again have the physical edge on a nineteen year old gang banger. Knowledge and skill with the proper tools is the only edge I can hope to have against such an opponent.
Don’t get me wrong. I know I need to exercise and be in the best physical condition possible and not only for self-defense reasons. The simple matter is that the firearm is an equalizer. With a firearm in her hand my petite 110 lb daughter is the combative equal of a 200 lb male attacker. That is the point of the firearm…