I conclude my introduction posts on the skills I plan to tackle for the 13-in-13 Challenge run by 13Skills.com as I discuss two topics that revolve around the topic of Protection – Handgun Permit and Shooting. I’ve somewhat dreaded writing this article as the tragic events of December 14th in Newtown, CT have created a national divide on the topics of gun control and gun ownership. You can very easily see where I stand on the issue since my intention is to acquire a handgun permit and learn proper shooting techniques. However, I do not want this post to turn into a gun rights/gun control debate. I’m solely going to talk about what I plan on doing, why I plan on doing it and what steps I’ll take to get there.
Hurricane Sandy was an interesting situation for many reasons. I’ve talked a lot about how the power outage we experienced exposed the need we have for backup power, heat, food and so on. The twelve days we spent in the dark also revealed a need for some kind of home protection. During this time, cell phone coverage was spotty at best and if we had needed police assistance for any reason, it would have been a 50/50 shot of getting through to 911.
Before you think I’m overreacting, hear me out. I live in a nice neighborhood. There’s no crime – hell, the weekend police log in the newspaper usually only includes broken windows, knocked down fences and missing/destroyed mailboxes. And, for the most part, the power outage during the hurricane didn’t change that. There were instances, however, where we’d have scenarios of cars we didn’t know – and by we, I mean anyone in the neighborhood – would stop on the block for an abnormal amount of time and then leave. It almost felt like someone was doing reconnaissance on the block. Nothing happened, but I definitely felt like my family was in possible danger at times.
These situations got me thinking about useless my baseball bat or pocketknife was if someone really wanted to make a run at my house and/or family. I decided that it was time to make sure that I could properly defend my home in case something went south. Interestingly enough, this moment of clarity coincided with a previous trip to the range with some coworkers. I was invited to come shoot clay pigeons with a group of guys that I work with and really enjoyed myself. Thoughts of self-defense aside, I simply enjoyed the sport of clay shooting. It was relaxing and a good stress relief. Both of these circumstances culminated with my decision to go about legally obtaining a firearm and learning how to use it.
Much like with my previously identified skills, I plan to utilize a lot of education up front and then implement. I will put in my paperwork for a handgun permit which is required, by the New York county I live in, to handle a handgun, not to mention purchase one. Once I receive my permit, I will take a handgun safety class to learn how to properly handle one. At that point, I will consider purchasing one. I will also continue my trips to the range with my coworkers and learn more about long gun (rifle and shotgun) use through them.
That’s about as far as I’m going to go with these two skills. I’m not going to define my measurable goals – be assured that I do have them – or write much more about them for many reasons. First, I don’t want this blog to be a haven for gun rights/gun control discussions. I have my political leanings, but I don’t want to deter from the major premise of this blog with them. Second, the more I talk about what I’m doing or what firearms I may acquire, the more I endanger what’s considered the operational security (military term I’ve learned at work) of my household. I really don’t want my personal choices for home defense to be public knowledge.
So, that concludes the introductions to the 13-in-13 Challenge skills I will be pursuing in 2013. Did you like this series? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting my intended workout plan and goals for January. The next few weeks will contain posts about the other topics I’ve addressed – any progress I’ve made and any future plans I have. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on my progress, so please feel free to post your comments at the bottom of these posts and join us on our social media platforms.