So you have committed to adopting a firearm, purchased your first gun for "Self-Defense", now what? Have you taken everything into consideration? Do you have the education, understanding, background, and respect to use your firearm; especially pertaining to a Self-Defense scenario? Are you familiar with all the influences that entail Firearm Safety? Did you take the time to familiarize yourself with all the variant aspects of ammunition and how they are traditionally utilized? Do you have a proper locking safe, or similar way to both secure the firearm and hide it away from prying eyes? If not, that should be the first thing you address! Should you keep the weapon in a heavy duty safe? Well, what if you need the weapon in a hurry? But, you can't just simply toss it into a drawer like a pair of scissors either. Factor in the additional challenge of probably being under an inordinate amount of stress while trying to get to it, and you're probably beginning to see the dilemma facing most gun owners today. Find a good balance between safety and security, while still allowing yourself easy access to the weapon in case of an emergency.
The second item(s) on your agenda should be the proper accessory(s) to improve your new purchase. Will you be able to see your potential threat (both daylight and night-time conditions)? We strongly advise you to consider a high-quality set of tritium night sites (if not included with purchase), installed on your firearm (by a professional - Gunsmith). Why you ask? Think about why you purchased the firearm to begin with and then, where are you most likely to need to use it? That's right, probably your own home, and more than likely at night. Meaning in all likelihood, you should anticipate and be prepared for a low-light scenario which would preclude you from being able to see the standard sites that traditionally come with most modern weapons. If you're still in the market for a weapon, please consider buying one with night sights or getting them installed by the gun shop as a package deal.
The third accessory we strongly urge to acquire, is a durable and combat proven tactical flashlight or more commonly referred to as, a weapon-mounted light. Why? Same thinking and reasoning as the tritium night-sites, with the added benefit of being able to both widely illuminate any potentially under lit or darkened area, as well as having the ability to blind a potential threat as a Self-Defense approach.
Side Note: if your weapon has any sort of "Picatinny Rail" incorporated into the frame (lower-receiver, under the barrel), invest into a weapon light, which in essence is an investment into your sight!
These hands-free weapon mounted models of flashlights mount directly to your weapon, and allow you to open and close doors or accomplish similar tasks with a free hand. Seriously, invest into a weapon light if finances permit. It will mitigate the awkward fumbling that always seems to take place when trying to hold a flashlight, a weapon, and perform any sort of semi-complicated tasks requiring hand coordination.
So you now have your pistola, and modified with the latest high-tech bling you could find. Now what? By your bed, and within easy reach, you should keep your weapon housed in some sort of holster, a flashlight, a folding knife, and a cell phone that is fully charged. Make a realistic plan (meaning you regularly practice it) to hurriedly gather your family in one place. Emphasis on realistic! Seriously, keep it real folks, you're not superheroes. Try to do it in under 2 minutes. Practice keeping everyone quiet. The only person that should be talking (doing so as quietly as possible) is the person that will be on the phone with the 911 operator. Minimize distractions as much as possible, as they will only add to an already stressful situation. Your (or the person with the weapon) entire focus should be on the door or hallway that is leading to the room that you're in. Stay together, crouched behind the bed or other similar barricade (preferably bullet resistant), and keep yourself and family safe. Stay bunkered down. Don't move.
From both a logical as well as a tactical standpoint (unless you have an extensive training background), don't go looking for trouble. Gather your family in one room, and call 911. If you have little or no training, the absolute worst thing for you to do is try to confront an individual that is illegally in your domicile. You don't know what the invader is equipped with weapon wise, what their mindset is, or if they are jacked-up on crystal meth. Getting your weapon forcibly removed from your possession by this individual would be disastrous to both your safety, and the wellbeing of your family. Again, bunker down folks! Make them come to you.
Alright, so after evaluating everything we just covered, you probably don't feel comfortable just hiding in some room while some intruder burglarizes your home; especially after adopting a firearm to secure yourself and family if a situation like this ever presents itself! So, what are you going to do about it? Well for starters, get in touch with the nearest certified NRA or Law Enforcement trainer(s), sign up for a course or two (2). Don't be afraid to ask for credentials, in fact, we strongly encourage it (beware of imposters). If the instructor tries to feed you a line about, how they are a former SEAL or Delta Operator, or something similar, ask to see their DD 214 Form (Example Shown). If they try to tell you about it being classified and won't/ can't produce it, they are completely full of it. Anything on a DD 214 Form that is classified, will be redacted (have a black line through it rendering it unreadable). Walk away as fast as you can and find someone else in your demographic to train you. Seriously take your business elsewhere, as these posers traditionally pray on people's ignorance. The sooner we can collectively rid the shooting world of these pretenders, liars and cheats, the better off the industry will be.
Always check credentials… Period! Don't waste your money on foolish and unrealistic training, the objective is to get to know your weapon and its capabilities. Explore as many training facilities and Academy's as possible and don't shy away from traveling to other states and cities. In addition, sign your spouse up while you're at it, and do the class's together (Very Incorrigible).
Talk about some quality bonding to help strengthen your relationship and teach you to be able to rely on one another. Nothing brings a couple closer together than some good old fashioned, high adrenaline tactical training.
In closing, the DNA Tactical Team would just like to remind you that shooting is a form of martial art! That's right, shooting has the same stringent requirements for practicing as any form of Karate, Kung-Fu or Judo. It requires conditioning, accurate repetition and muscle memory, as well as needing to take the time to figure out what works (for you) and what doesn't. So get out there and practice. As often as you can or afford. Be dedicated to bettering yourself, and don't be afraid to step in and mentor friends and acquaintances that are "Gun Curious" as well. The more that we as the total shooting sports confederation dissipates the stigma and mystique behind guns and gun ownership, the better off we all are. An armed society is a polite society!