Today I was talking with a colleague at work, and he mentioned he was planning to buy his wife a gun for self defense. I waited for him to ask my opinion, but he didn't, so I asked what kind of gun he was planning to buy.
"Oh, a .22, of course." He then went on the explain that it was perfect for his wife - lightweight, low recoil, inexpensive to buy and to practice, and deadly.
"After all, there was that woman in Duluth last week who used one to kill that home invader."
He was referring to this story, which I wrote about last week. It's probably been the most talked about shooting topic for me with non-shooters, in the past week.
What I wanted to say was, "Okay, that worked for her, because it was the one she had at the time, but it's not the one I would pick, if I could pick ahead of time, which is what we're doing." But I didn't.
Instead, we talked about the best way to make a .22 a viable self defense weapon. Whoever uses it has to be able to deliver a lot of shots to vulnerable areas of the attacker's body. We're probably talking about 8 or 10 shots to center of mass. Or being willing to make head shots.
I left him with the task of finding out if his wife was willing to do what it took to make a .22 work. Could she make head shots, or would she be able to hold her ground and make multiple shots to other areas, like the pelvic area?
Thanks to a woman who did what she had to do, I've changed the way I see self defense handguns. Would I pick a .22 for myself as a self defense gun? Probably not. But, if I'm ever in a situation where my Buck Mark is the only gun I have to use, at least I know what to do. And, more importantly, I know it can be done.