Your responsibility to be ready for the fight (that probably isn’t going to happen) never ends

Lighten up, Francis. It’s great to train and take your self defense seriously, but I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to make your entire lifestyle revolve around always being ready for a fight that probably isn’t going to happen.


A good friend of mine recently said “Not every gun has to be for jumping out of an airplane with a knife in your teeth” which is pretty good advice right there. It’s all about balance. I’ll pull a parallel example from the world of fitness. It is a perfectly acceptable and laudable goal to run a marathon or bench four plates or have a perfect six pack. It’s also a perfectly reasonable goal to work out just to be healthier but still have pizza and beer, because pizza and beer is delicious. The guy who wants to run a 5k under 21 minutes and trains obssesively for that is going to have a different definition of “success” than the guy who wants to run a 5k under 35 minutes because it’s good for him.

So hey. Maybe you don’t have to make your entire life about being ready for the fight. Maybe you could take up fishing, or playing video games or something. All of these are acceptable hobbies and uses of your time. Or, if you really are serious about the whole Sheepdoge (Such awareness) mentality, that’s cool too. Just…don’t force your lifestyle choices on other people. Because not everyone wants to press 4 plates or do 100 pushups. Some people just want to be healthier and fitter.

The dangerous slippery slope of this argument is when it’s used to justify not training at all. Of course we don’t want that, because carrying a gun is actually serious business, and if you carry a gun to defend your life, you should probably know how to use it reasonably well. So get some training, and shoot some matches. But if you can only make it to one class a year and shoot a match every other month, that doesn’t make you a terrible person. Those of us that do this professionally (shoot/train/etc) sometimes get tunnel vision on how much we want to shoot and train, and then we go telling everyone else that you should be shooting 1,000 rounds a month and traveling to matches. If that doesn’t blow you skirt up, don’t worry about it.

Get some training. Learn to use your gun well. But don’t stress out if you don’t find yourself constantly obsessing about your EDC or scanning for threats in the mall. Just enjoy that ice cream cone, because ice cream is delicious. The maybe tomorrow don’t eat ice cream and do some dry fire, and go for a run.


  1. Frankie says relax. Everyone thinks they need to be a super ninja when it comes to gear but they often neglect training, even dry fire which is free.

  2. Dry fire isn’t free. It takes time, and that time might cut into the super ninjas’ Titanfall playing time.

    1. Or even more importantly, into my wife, daughter, and “clean up the house so the wife stays sane” time.

  3. One of the problems in the gun community is that everyone’s talking from a different perspective-and that’s shaped by local cultural mores and laws, which differ by region. Hence the e-feuds about right to carry, CCW, and the minutiae thereof.

    Practical example-I’m a gun owner in South Dakota. Training around concealed carry makes sense in practice because my state recognizes the RKBA and CCW is not only legal, its also culturally encouraged. I recently returned from a trip to LA, where shooting requires an expensive range membership , and CCW only applies to multi-millionaires on Sheriff Baca’s donation list.

    For the average LA resident, owning a concealable handgun is essentially for kicks, because they’re not legally allowed to carry anything deadlier then an iPad outside of their residence. Even if CCW were magically authorized tomorrow, there’d be no place in urban LA to practice besides a few limited and expensive facilities. One can’t just find a rural field in Beverly Hills and run some FAST drills.

    So what happens when a gun owner from LA posts on a forum that CCW isn’t the end of the world, and a guy from Kentucky with a double shoulder holster for his two Glock 20s reads it?

    Forum padlocks, that’s what. Funny thing is both viewpoints are correct-for their areas, and circumstances. For all the corniness “COEXIST” stickers call to mind, we all could use a little more solidarity and less absolutist vitriol.

    That was longer then I intended, but I hope the point is noted .


  4. Yes, the political climate for gun owners is less than ideal in Southern California, but a decent outdoor range is less than an hour away with fairly reasonable fees. And thanks to recent Ninth Circuit decisions, CCW for normal folks may not be far away and already coming for some counties.

    Caleb: great article. I have met far too many firearms instructors and shooters that are so wrapped up in the seriousness of it all that they have forgotten the reason why we do all of this in the first place: it’s fun!

    1. You know….If you lose some wieght ….you will be able to carry more ammo faster…..just sayin……

  5. My coworkers are all looking at me funny over “Sheepdoge.” Funniest thing you’ve said this year.

  6. “For the fight that never comes”? Unless of course society does goes “south”,”things go bad”,”Stuff Hits The Fan”. Then I figure “the fight that DOES come” goes up by at least 50% ,if not more. Once I get a side arm and shot gun and whatever. I figure I’ll practice at least once every 2 weeks. Go to a tactical (or semitactical) training every 9 months to a year.
    (yup those seminars ARE exspensive). And have fun living my life……..I used to be a Cub Scout another lifetime ago,their motto is……Always be prepared……..

  7. I train, take classes and put rounds downrange. I am also an instructor who carries a gun everyday. I don’t do all these things because I am paranoid, I do them so that I can live my life without fear and take the time to stop and smell the roses. I am able to enjoy life, because I have the confidence to know I can defend myself and my family.

    So I agree, go to the range and just plink, because shooting is fun. Take up other hobby’s and fish if you want to. I do these things too, I just always have a gun on me when I do these things too. Because all the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on training, is crap, if I didn’t learn the first lesson of armed self defense, 1. Have a Gun.

    Just as with everything about living an armed lifestyle is a compromise. You can still go out and have a few drinks with the wife over a nice dinner. At which time, I leave the gun at home in the safe. But for the most part, whatever I am doing, it’s better to do so armed and that’s not being a gun nut, it’s living that armed lifestyle.

    Michael Bane, producer and host of the hit t.v show, “The Best Defense” on Outdoor Channel, says it best.
    “Don’t go stupid places, with Stupid people and do Stupid things”. I think that’s great advice. Common sense and being aware of whats going on around you (situational awareness), goes a lot farther than living life in tactical Ninja mode.

    Chad Hendrix
    Biloxi, MS

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