Until I started doing Krav Maga, I never imagined I would buy and have my own firearms. I mean, I live in the city. I can’t really use it for self-defense as it is not stored at my house. I don’t hunt. I rarely go hiking deep enough in the wilderness to carry a gun for protection against animals, such as bears. Let’s not forget the legality issues of owning firearms in Canada.
Before joining Urban Tactics Krav Maga, I have had a small amount of shooting experience with various firearms. I have shot rifles at my friends’ and family’s farms, handguns at a range on a couple of occasions, and even an under and over shotgun. Through UTKM, I have gained my CFSC and undertook Level 1, 2, and 3 of their Tactical Shotgun Courses. Then, I surprised myself by considering to purchase my first firearm. What am I going to do with a gun?
Two reasons why I chose the shotgun
#1 Simplicity. Doesn’t everyone like simplicity? As far as I can tell, the shotgun is the simplest firearm, and that’s right down my alley. How simple, you ask? Well, mechanically it is pretty basic, and therefore less likely to jam or break. It is also simple to shoot: you point the dangerous end towards what you want to hit and squeeze the trigger. Pump the action, and repeat. Simple, right? I know, I know. I am ignoring plenty of important elements here, but you see what I am saying.
#2 It suits me. Shotguns fit my personality. Handguns are sexy, close-range weapons. Not my style. Rifles are high precision shooting machines. Me and precision? Not even close acquaintances. Shotguns are… simple. Just like a basic digital camera. You point and shoot.
Wait a second… Isn’t reason two basically the same as reason one? Yup. So… I bought a shotgun.
Tips for first time firearm buyers
First things first. Try out the gun you want, or something very similar, first before you make a decision. It sounds like common sense, but guess what? Common sense is not so common. If you want to buy a gun for the first time, like a sleek and sexy Glock 17, don’t go and shoot with a side-by-side shotgun. They are worlds apart! Some shooting ranges have firearms that you can “rent,” even if you don’t have your CFSC. Take my advice, go find the gun you like and give it a shot.
Second things second. Start with a non-restricted firearm, before stepping up to a restricted one. Say you want to buy a handgun. You have your CRFSC and your cash. Ready? Not quite. You need a permit to transport, which you will definitely be asked to present when you try to get that restricted firearm. Do you want to get flagged by the RCMP? Go right ahead and buy a restricted firearm first time around. If not, purchase a non-restricted firearm first and learn to use that, and then move on to the restricted firearms.
So why do I need a gun?
I don’t. BUT, I feel much more comfortable knowing how a shotgun operates, and being able to continually get more familiar with a shotgun. My shotgun! I know how to ensure the safety is engaged and how to eject the rounds. I am happier knowing that if I ever end up in a situation in which I have to disarm someone with a shotgun, I will be confident. Thus, my answer is I don’t need a firearm. I want one. And now, I have one.