I am a pretty thoughtful person. No I don’t mean I am particularly nice, I mean that I tend to think about the things I believe. I don’t just say I am for or against anything. I think it through and base my choice on what I consider to be logical and rational arguments. Now I have no illusions here. Sometimes despite my careful consideration I make the totally wrong choice. It has happened plenty and I just accept it, switch sides, and move on. In fact at this point I am fairly often going over things that I thought I had long ago dissected beyond any further analysis and concluded I would never change.
Years ago I decided that 1000 rounds of 9mm ammo was plenty to keep on hand. More than I would ever shoot in a day, and it was cheap, and easy to buy if you needed more. Besides if something stupid every happened, say SWAT kicked in the wrong door and searched my house. I did not want to be the loon that the news reported had 5000 rounds of ammo. That sounded crazy. Then Obama, and Sandyhook happened. I missed a class last year because it called for a 1200 rounds minimum and I neither had nor could I get it. Time to realign. I now and forever more will have plenty of ammo.
When I started carrying (a long long time ago) I carried a Berretta 92, and I was one of the “If I can’t solve a problem with 16 rounds then I am in trouble,” crowd. That seemed totally reasonable to me, and I was very conscious of the fact that some people did not like guns and I did not want to be one of those over the top crazies they were worried about. I had my logical reasonable arguments and I could defend them. It took years, and lots of good instructors, and tons of training, to finally make me understand that this was a poor choice. Guns are machines and like all machines they fail. The magazine is a fairly common failure point and what’s more it is a very easy fix. All cars have a spare tire for this exact reason. It is a common failure point and it is easy to fix with a spare. So I started carrying a spare magazine. An extra 15 rounds was just a bonus. Whatever.
A few months ago ISIS reared its head. Yes terrorism has been around for a time, but it does seem to be advancing in its sophistication. In any case it was enough to cause me to check my alignment. Again I have always resisted anything that seemed over the top to me. I like moderation, and I came from that “solve it with 16 rounds” mindset. However looking at the things that are happening and, if not likely are quite possible, I decided that it was time for me to change again. I now carry three spare magazines. Videos of motorcycle gangs with thirty or forty members bashing in a families car window. A hundred teens running through a parking lot and beating people to unconsciousness, or five terrorist, domestic or foreign that converge on a mall. All of these are things that have happened, and could happen again. In any of those situations it would be pretty easy to realize that sixteen or even thirty rounds are not nearly enough. I may never need more than two rounds, but I bet if I was hunkered down in the mall where five or six guys with AK’s just walked in and started moving through shooting whatever moved I would be happy to have all I could get.
I am not saying that my choices are what you should do. I am just saying that from time to time you might want to look at what you have always considered adequate. Maybe you do need a concealed handgun license? Maybe a weekend training class for the gun you just threw in your purse and have carried around for years but never shot would be a good idea. Finally, for those of us that do have training. Maybe we are in the greatest jeopardy. It is pretty easy to start thinking that what we think is totally informed and therefore correct. If you only consider your own arguments over and over you will always decide that you are right. Open yourself up to other arguments. Take other instructors classes. Don’t ever stop learning.