I’ve been writing variations on the idea that personal safety requires more than just a gun for at least a half-dozen years now. First was for the now defunct Tactical.com blog, then for Teamgunblogger, and now for Shooting Illustrated.
I honestly can’t understand people who think that just having a gun on them will solve all their self-defense needs. A gun is not a smartphone: You can’t install an app on your gun to make you good at wrestling a bad guy for your wallet and “improved situational awareness” is not downloadable content for a Glock. What CAN be upgraded and improved, however is you and your brain. You can learn to carry a flashlight. You can learn how to deal with the sketchy characters in your life. You can learn how to carry and use pepper spray. You can learn how to carry and use a tourniquet, because dying of blood loss or losing a loved one to blood loss sucks just as much if they (or you) died from a head shot.
In fact, it may suck a little more.
Don’t get me wrong… carry your guns, and carry them everywhere you can, because there may come a time when it is the only thing between you and something really, really awful. Thankfully, however, really, really awful things don’t happen to us every day, but regular ol’ awful things (like dark parking lots and pushy, creepy guys) happen to us quite frequently. Carry the things that may save your life, but also carry the things like a flashlight and a knife that make life a little bit easier to live.