Hammers & Nails
The Law of the Instrument (“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail,” as stated by Abraham Maslow in 1966) has a very relevant application in the world of self-defense. Today, in free states, self-defense is often interpreted as the use of a firearm. As firearms make a small lady just about as effective as a large man when proper technique is utilized, this makes the firearm an incredible equalizer and fundamental to adequate self-defense.
The Great Equalizer
On account of firearms being such a great equalizer, the barrier to entry for proficiency being surprisingly low with proper instruction, and American culture (U-S-A! U-S-A!) they have largely supplanted the historical tradition of self-defense being well-versed in multiple disciplines, or disciplines that employ a variety of tools. The firearm has become our martial art. But it is a weak martial art due to its singular focus and capability.
Have You Seen a Leatherman M9?
The firearm, particularly the handgun, is not an ideal tool for blocking a strike. The firearm is largely ineffective at countering a rear choke or a bear hug. The firearm cannot be aware of its surroundings, it cannot decide friend from foe, nor can it deescalate a hostile or confused assailant (in fact, it will often do the opposite!). The firearm has one function: using physical application of Science™ to stop a threat. Gerber nor Leatherman have yet to produce a firearm. Ergo, the gun is not a multi-tool.
Fill Your Toolbox!
In keeping with the esteemed Mr. Maslow’s proposition, this means that we need to increase and diversify the amount and types of tools in our toolbox. This does take time, and effort, and a degree of dedication that can be difficult to summon in our 30-second infomercial lifestyles. However, much like you do not have to attend 12 years of medical school to learn how to be healthy nor do you need to spend the same amount of time banging on your engine to figure out your car, you can heed the advice of qualified experts to reduce your personal burden in acquiring these tools.
Train To Prevail!
Simply put – guns are amazing at doing their job. But it is our jobs as our own first line of defense to make sure we are sufficiently prepared. Stuff your toolbox to the brim. And when it can’t hold anymore? Make your friends into your battle buddies – they can learn the skills you can’t.