Thank God I Had a Gun : Book Review

Reviews written by Philip Van Cleave:
book by Chris Bird : ISBN 978-0-9835901-5-6

Thank God I had a Gun
Thank God I had a Gun
Philip Van Cleave

Virginia – -( Like “Surviving a Mass Killer Rampage,” “Thank God I had a Gun” provides a lot of detailed information. In this case it is about real-life self-defense cases.

Using actual events from the news, the book covers what led up to the shooting, the shooting itself, and the aftermath, including interactions with the police and the courts. Each case also has Mr. Bird’s thoughts about the shooting.

I found that Mr. Bird’s writing style made the book one of those that you keep thinking, “I’ll put it down after the next page.” Which then becomes, “Well, maybe just one more page…

Much of the detail provided in the book comes from one-on-one interviews with the victim by Mr. Bird, so this is not just a rehash of what was reported in the media.

“Thank God I had a Gun” provides an excellent way to learn from other people’s experiences. It forces you to think about important things, such as:

  • What could the victim have done differently, if anything, given the way things unfolded?
  • Could the victim have reasonably avoided the attack altogether?
  • What would have been the best and safest way to interact with the police when they showed up following the event?

The more scenarios you work through in your mind, the better prepared you will be for any kind of similar event, should it happen to you.

In real life, there are no “do overs” for mistakes made in a life and death struggle. The more prepared you are, the better.

Thank God I had a Gun” is easily purchased on Amazon.

  • Reviews coming later this year: The War on Guns – Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies – by John Lott
  • Showdown – The Looming Crisis Over Gun Control – by Lenden Eakin
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James A. Farmer

Firearms in America I’m amazed at the persistent anti-gun sentiment of both Patti Morey and Tom Dimitre (see Nov. 11 letters). However, instead of attacking them personally, which is non-productive, I instead refer back to my own letter in the Nov. 12 Medford Mail Tribune: “Gun accidents are preventable.” In the letter, I allude to Chris Bird’s authoritative book, “The Concealed Handgun Manual: How To Choose, Carry, and Shoot A Gun in Self Defense.” This same gun writer and small arms authority also is author of “Thank God I Had A Gun.” Of course, it’s unfortunate the victims of so… Read more »


Yeah right, if people were really concerned with shooting in self-defense they would have to wait for an unlikely scenario where someone is hell-bent on attacking them without provocation. In reality gun-toting “heroes” are looking to provoke someone into an altercation, shoot them and claim self-defense.

Wild Bill

@VPC Gil, First you say that it is “…an unlikely scenario where someone is hell-bent on attacking someone…” Then you opine, in your very next sentence, that there these huge numbers of someones “looking to provoke some one into an altercation” Surely you can see the contradictory nature of your argument. If there were any truth to your hypothetical people would use some other weapon to provoke someone into an altercation, and then stab or club them and claim self defense. But we do not see that happening. I think that you should hurry on down to your Soros Propaganda… Read more »


How brave this site is to include examples of non-self-defense such shooting someone over throwing popcorn or shooting someone because you thought they might have been try to steal your car.

Heed the Call-up

Yes, they do provide teachable moments, exactly for that reason; so that we can learn, not only what to do, but also what not to do. It also shows how even someone with good intentions can run afoul of the law. That is why we are here, to learn and discuss these examples to become better citizens. We are law-abiding and want to remain so. It also shows that when carrying one can’t allow one’s emotions to get in the way of reason, and even doing everything right, you may still get arrested, charged, and even sued. It makes the… Read more »

Roy D.

Well Gil, my “event” happened on May 15, 2013. The only reason the thug didn’t catch a bullet is that I pocket carried my LCP that day instead of carrying my G-19. When I was in the process of chambering a round he said, “Oh shit, he gots a gun!” Then he proceeded to unass the area very quickly. The threat was gone and he didn’t get shot. He is still under court supervision. Go sell crazy somewhere else Gil, we’re full up around here.


Hey gil,
Does ur mommie ever let u go to the mooovies? At least it’s dark like ur basement. And my surefire is going to take out ur night vision before I lose a size 13 shoe. Right where it counts. OK, coffee’s done. Lights out!


Gil, you are an idiotic moron. The fool who did that is a retired Tampa, FL cop, and he didn’t get away with it. By the way, the theater was posted as a gun free zone.

Pistol Pete

I agree with you and (by the way there are moron born every day )


Should be more accurate in putting a man shooting dead another man for throwing popcorn on the cover.


Ignorant Alpha hotel !

Wild Bill

@Gil the VPC shill, I suppose that is the Violence Policy Center’s official and intentional mischaracterization.

Heed the Call-up

Wild Bill, do you believe they would employ someone with such poor grammar and writing skill, not to mention his poor logic and reasoning skills. A shill, yes, but for the VPC? Although, you might be right, that could be the best they could get. Who else would work for them, but someone incapable of being employed anywhere else?

I am still laughing at his “shooting dead politicians”. That has got to be one of his best comments yet. His part two here is a poor construct of the first, ill-conceived and executed, like many sequels.

Wild Bill

@Heed, Yes, It is hard to believe that this hard core unemployable could be hired by anyone, but one of the others who post here that have really good computer skills tracked a Gil post to the VPC.


Many of Founders’ generation were duellists and would fought to the death over the matters of personal honor.

Wild Bill

@Gil, Well, you will never be in that position. No fortitude, no honor, and no knowledge of weapons.