Self Defense – Theory and Practice

By John Farnam

380 Caliber handgun
Self Defense – Theory and Practice
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( “I used to have six theories on child-raising, but no children. Today, I have six children, and no theories!” ~ Anon

Theory vs Practice:

During the recent shooting incident in VA, a man walking his dog at a park near the baseball field told Fox News he heard uniformed police yelling at the perpetrator to “… put the gun down”

Immediately afterward, someone in the dugout, who was openly exposed to the perpetrator’s gunfire, screamed back:

“Just shoot him!”

Interesting the way theoretical police work, nonchalantly discussed by lawyers, politicians, and journalists (none of whom have ever worn a uniform, nor faced death directly, nor fired a shot in anger), instantly gives way to “pragmatic police work,” when it is THEIR LIVES that are about to end abruptly!

They apparently think THEIR LIVES are important!

In fact, our lives are important too, but many of them don’t see it that way, except during these rare “moments of clarity!”

Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) said after the shooting incident that he would start carrying a gun with him whenever he is in public.

“It’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward,” he declared.

I suspect the gun to which he referred is intended for his personal protection. That is, it’s there primarily to protect his life.

Many of us made that personal decision with regard to our lives long ago, but didn’t announce it to the media.

We think our lives are pretty important too!

At taxpayer expense, many politicians enjoy armed protection twenty-four hours a day. Because I own guns, I have continuous armed protection too (at my own expense)!

So, when VA’s Democrat governor piously tells me, “There are too many guns on the street,” I can only wonder how many guns are “too many.”

He obviously wants to eliminate mine, and keep his.

Thus, he is protected, and we’re defenseless. Lacking any recent “moments of clarity,” he is apparently okay with that. Having had more than one “moment of clarity,” that is not okay with me!

“Truth-tellers are not always palatable. There is a preference for candy bars.” ~ Gwendolyn Brooks


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

  • 36 thoughts on “Self Defense – Theory and Practice

    1. OK, I’m old and dense, but I see Gil being referred to here as “GFYG” – what the heck does GFYG stand for? Also does anyone know if he actually works for the VPC nuts, or is that just metaphorical usage?

    2. Come on Gil you can do better than that. When you’re on your knees begging to not be killed by some thug. You’ll think back to this day and wish you’d prepared better. As for war hope to never see it. You have no idea what it looks and feels like. If it does happen I can rest assured knowing that people like you will be the first to go. Leaving more resources for me and mine to live on.

            1. Gil, I believe the scenario that Darkman used qualifies.

              No one here, except you, comes up with the non-sense that you do, such as wanting to start another civil war, shooting someone over words, etc. It’s amusing that you believe you will get anyone here to agree with your foolishness, and promote your talking points as if we firearms owners have those beliefs. After getting torn down thousands of times, you still persist in posting your tripe. Most people learn from their mistakes, and it normally only takes one time.

              I guess you must enjoy being viewed as the lost child.

    3. “Theory versus Practice.”

      Mr. Farnum you could have ended the article right there with the two quotes and it would have been perfect illustration of them vs us thinking.

      1. Bet you ass Gil… Attack me and I will finish the fight with extreme prejudice. Regardless of Race Creed
        Color or Sexual Orientation. My life and the lives of my family before anybody else s PERIOD!!!

        1. @Dark, Yep, I agree with your assessment. You are only alive once. Even if the medics save you, you can hobble around crippled for a lot of painful years that could have been good years. Rather than an awful fate, I prefer self defense.

            1. There are those on here who feel that your comments are inappropriate for the content of the article. But seeing as you have a 1st amendment right to speak your drivel … we tolerate it. As for self defense – you seem comfortable leaving it in the hands of someone else – Good Luck with that.
              “Self defense is a primal law of Nature which I have not surrendered by compact to any other entity, nor would I if I could.” – John Adams

            2. As said you’re very unlikely to shoot someone dead and get do it legally. If you’re not a psychopath you’re not hoping for it to a common event either.. Then again if you are having war erupt then shooting others dead who would threaten you becomes common. It’s the same way most like to romance fighting in Word War 2 – you were the good guys fighting an obvious enemy.

            3. @VE OMC, patient of you to try. This quote for example “Bla, bla, and bla. I don’t know sic’em from come here. And I have never sweat the sweat of an honest workman, but I know better than you bla bla bla.” GFYG

            4. I really had decided not to comment to the VPC trolls but I really have to ask @Gil, does there ever come a point when your ignorance on this topic just overwhelms you or do you just slog through it?

            5. @VE Vet OMC, Anyone who knows even a modicum about war knows that war, even civil war, is about logistics not medals, and shooting is only the tip of the iceberg. So if some ignorant VPC liberal punk wants to revolt against the current administration… let them.

      2. No Gil,

        I was simply making the point, as it was made in the article, how instantly the defenseless want to deal – with dispatch, their perceived threats. And I dont see it as you do, that “self defense amounts to shooting others dead”, but simply stopping the threat being committed against you. That death occurs as a result of a self defense action, or in the case at issue, as the result of what the LEO’s on the scene did to prevent what could have been a far worse outcome, is unfortunate, but no fault of theirs. My apologies for the confusion.

        1. @Lorenzo, The confusion, if any, was intentional GFYG gets paid to put out such foolishness. For example: “… of people learn how to fight and calling it a self-defence article.” GFYG thinks that you can self defend without knowing how to fight.

          1. Provoking someone into a fight and incapacitating them or even killing them will get you serious jail time. Real self-defense courses are more concerned about not getting into serious altercations in the first place. Unsurprisingly rabid gun owners don’t like hearing about that part.

            1. Gil, you won’t find any rabid gun owners here, and you haven’t yet. There is at least one raving lunatic that posts on this site, but he is the one posting comments such as “Oh I see self-defense amounts to shooting others dead.”

              We view the same as a lost child, we try to comfort you as you struggle to find your way back home. But unlike the lost child, you are ungrateful and still confused when we show you the way back.

            2. Yeah right, another “self-defense” article where the solution is shoot someone or threaten to shoot them.

            3. Gil, not in the least, but, unlike you, we are not computer game Ninjas able to defend against rabid hordes of Leftists seeking to destroy your computer game world. We are just regular people, men, women, young, old, some weak, some strong, only seeking to live just, good, and peaceable lives.

              If you are able to successfully defend yourself disarmed, that’s great, but would your mother, wife or daughter fair as well? Shouldn’t they be able to use a tool or weapon that would enable them to not become victims?

              I find it interesting how all those opposed to armed self-defense always believe they are so capable of defending themselves from all comers while disarmed, regardless of what arms or size the assailant(s) might have or be or the number of assailants there are. And believe everyone else should be just as capable.

              If everyone was just as capable, wouldn’t a group of said people still be able to overpower one with similar abilities?

            4. @Gil – You might be interested to know that the required TX License to Carry training includes a mandatory 3 hours (out of 10) of verbal de-escalation and disengagement techniques, as well as some very clear legal instruction on the hazards of initiating or escalating an altercation that might ultimately get physical or even lead to gunplay.
              As an interesting corollary, a few years ago, a concealed carry forum asked the question, “What changed the most for you when you began to carry regularly?” They apparently expected a lot of wardrobe related comments, but what they got, was predominantly comments regarding how much less aggressive and more aware of the possibility of arguments getting out of hand people became when they stated carrying regularly. So, if you are thinking of those who regularly carry guns in public as wild yahoos who are looking for a gunfight, you are being taken in by an altogether inaccurate stereotype. You might want to sit down and talk to a few of us more.

            5. Why do you wtCu & co. worry about the rare random violent criminal in which your only choice was to shoot him dead? Never mind most altercations and crimes happen between people who know one another, even violent crime. As said if you’re idea of self-defense is shooting from the hip and killing someone in a moment’s notice then that’s what you’re going to do. Then you better have your attorney on the line because the cops aren’t probably going to write it off as justifiable.

            6. Gil, I am not worried about a rare, random crime, due to just that reason. I believe in personal responsibility, and know that if something bad were to occur, I would want to be prepared. Just as I don’t worry about a house fire or burglary. I know that those occur, too, but I have fire extinguishers and locks on my doors and windows. None of these things will completely prevent a bad event, but it helps. Just like you believe you are a computer Commando and can single-handedly take on the world and win.

            7. Au contraire you have to fantasize about the rare, violent event because as said it’ll be the few times you could shoot someone dead without facing consequences. Anyone who says shooting others is the magical way of keeping yourself safe is going to see people sent to jail or at least have angry people who built up an arsenal that they can’t legally use.

            8. Gil, I don’t have any fantasies about what life is like in the real world. Self-defense is not magical, it is what responsibility citizens use to keep their families and themselves safe, knowing that the police will not likely be able, and do not have a duty by law, as ruled by the courts, to protect you and yours.

              How helpful were the police to all those victims in London, recently? Did they worry about being victims of violence? Out of the thousands out that night, walking, in pubs, etc., who’d have imagined they’d end up as victims? No, chances are one will be safe, but do you really want to have that one time when self-defense is needed to be unprepared?

              We are here to guide you back to reality, but you need to be willing to take those first few steps. It’s not as scary as it may first seem.

            9. Or what about that guy who shot dead another guy because a bag of popcorn was thrown at him? It was self-defense, right? It could be argued the popcorn throwing guy engaged in assault and battery but chose an ineffective weapon hence the old guy had the right to self-defense.

            10. Gil, I wasn’t there, and I assume you weren’t, either, so we don’t know exactly what happened. I will let the court rule on that one.

              I know how I would react in similar circumstances, since I had dealt with others who have been confrontational in the past, none of which have ever turned violent; although I have to call the police once to deal with someone like that. I don’t believe in fighting, I don’t like physical confrontations and also avoid and/or de-escalate confrontations with people that get angry or otherwise emotionally upset. I have always been successful, except that time I had to call the police. That was in my younger days when I worked night shift at a convenience store and dealt with a lot of drunks and otherwise impaired people.

              Being calm and firm, giving choices between the right choice and explaining the consequences of the wrong choice, and being decisive helps.

              It also helps being smarter and less emotional than most. My one issue is dealing with stupid people, but even then I don’t get emotional nor violent, but their ignorance can tweak me a bit sometimes, but then I look at it as it’s their problem (being stupid), not mine.

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