Attacked in the night

Ever heard of “defensive gun use porn”? It’s a term to describe a genre of stories where good guys use their guns to beat the bad guys. Such stories are a staple of many firearms-centric blogs and news sites, and they serve not so much an educational role as they do a cheerleading one.

You’ll notice you don’t see a lot of that here. On the odd occasion I’ll share a success story where there is a lesson to be learned, but it’s not about the success itself — it’s about what we can learn from it.

DGU porn, in contrast, offers no lesson beyond showing the gun as a desirable thing to have and use. It’s really more a celebration of the possession and wielding of the firearm than it is the survival of the victim. It exists to sell the idea of an always-armed lifestyle and to reinforce the correctness of that choice to those already invested.

I don’t think these stories are necessary, and most importantly I think they perpetuate some bad ideas.

What stops a bad guy with a gun?

DGU porn’s big attraction is the gun itself; it is the reason for the stories. By design, it not-so-subtly tells the reader that the gun is the only thing which kept the protagonist of the story from losing his or her life; “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun!”

There’s one little thing about that notion: it’s just not true. Even against someone with a rifle, otherwise unarmed people have prevailed — and it’s not a statistical fluke, either. Whether wielded by good guy or attacker, the gun is not a magic wand which cuts down everything and everyone within sight of the person wielding it. Telling people otherwise, overtly or covertly, may lead them to despair and inaction when they’re faced with someone more heavily armed than they are.

As I’m fond of saying, don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you CAN do. DGU porn tells people that if they don’t have a gun they can’t do anything, and that’s just not true. In reality, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy or gal who’s made the decision to not be a victim. Period.

Would I rather have the efficient gun when I’m faced with an armed attacker? Of course. Am I helpless without it? Of course not. DGU porn tries to convince people they are helpless without their gun, and I think that’s counter-productive to their overall safety.

Prevention is better than shooting

Another mistaken notion that these stories perpetuate is that engaging a bad guy is always the best solution. Many of them feature “good” guys whose actions necessitated the use of the gun, whether by introducing it into a scene where it wasn’t really necessary or by using it inappropriately. These are all stories of engagement, of using the gun, rather than stories about how the crime was averted through locks, alarms, a good sense of threat awareness, and listening to your inner feelings of danger.

After all, stories about how external house lighting scared off potential home invaders just isn’t sexy. They don’t sell gun magazines or gun blog articles. They also don’t remind the reader that prevention is always better than engagement, because in any defensive encounter there is a greater-than-zero chance that the good guy will lose. You don’t hear that in those stories, do you?

Keep things in perspective

One of my major issues with DGU porn is that, rather than empower people, it scares them into believing that there is a bad guy around every corner. These stories try to convince you that the world is a dangerous place and that the gun is the only way you’ll ever survive it.

I agree the world is a dangerous place. It’s just not as dangerous as some want to believe. If today is typical in this country, 44 people will be murdered. That sounds bad, but it means 323,999,956 Americans  won’t be killed. Our murder rate, no matter what it is, is too high — but it’s very low compared to about half of the rest of the world.

The huge, vast, overwhelming majority of people in this country today will go to work, come home, enjoy their life and not face a situation where the use of lethal force is even remotely appropriate (let alone justifiable).

Yes, evil exists and may visit you, in the same way that fire exists and may visit you. This is why we have defensive guns (and fire extinguishers.) But it isn’t as pervasive as the DGU porn would lead you to believe.

I tell you this not so you’ll become complacent, but so that you can put things into proper perspective. You’re quite unlikely to need to use your gun today, in the same way that you’re unlikely to need to use your fire extinguisher. But you should have both and you should know how to use both in case you’re in the statistical minority who will need them. There is a line between being paranoid and being complacent, but as it happen’s it’s a pretty wide line where you can live comfortably.

What I can’t figure out is why there isn’t fire extinguisher use porn.

You don’t need external validation

Defensive gun use porn is nothing more than preaching to the already-converted choir. In the final analysis, if you’ve made an adult, rational decision to have a defensive firearm — whether in your home or to carry in public — I don’t believe you need cheerleaders for that decision. You don’t need me, or anyone else, giving you constant external validation that your choice was a good one.

If you know your decision was rational, made out of sincere concern for your personal safety and the protection of your loved ones, you don’t need me to keep telling you that. And if you do need such constant chatter to re-sell you on your own decision, maybe it really wasn’t the right one in the first place.

– Grant

P.S.: If you’ve made the decision to have a revolver for concealed carry or home defense, my Threat-Centered Revolver course is the one that teaches you how to use it efficiently and effectively! My next class is in Phoenix March 17th & 18th, and because of a pair of cancellations we have spots open for you. If you’d like to attend please register right away!
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