DVD Review: Defensive Firearms Myths and Misconceptions.

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In my ongoing review of new DVDs from the Personal Defense Network, I come across one that’s interesting and a little different from the rest of PDN’s offerings. This one deals with what you know that you probably shouldn’t!

Defensive Firearms Myths and Misconceptions
Presented by Rob Pincus

Do you know what a “negative target” is? It’s a cardboard target with shapes cut out of it; you’re expected to shoot into the holes created by those shapes, and if you hit the cardboard it’s a sign that you missed your target. A lot of people are very intimidated or confused by them, which is why some trainers are very enamored with them. They teach you what not to hit, as much as they teach you what *to* hit.

This DVD can be thought of in the same way as a negative target. It’s a somewhat unusual DVD for the Personal Defense Network because it doesn’t deal with what you should be learning; rather, it deals with what you shouldn’t.

If you’ve been around the defensive shooting field for any length of time and have taken the trouble to educate yourself beyond the average (which isn’t really asking all that much!), you’ve likely run across information which you know to be false or at least misconstrued.

For instance: we all know, or we all should know, that the old saw about shooting someone in your yard, dragging him back into the house and sticking a knife in his hand is a very good way to get sent to prison. As forensic investigation techniques have improved we’ve developed ways of finding out that someone wasn’t killed where they were supposed to have been killed, and at the same time our legal system has evolved to get to the truth more consistently than it has at any time in our past.
The result is that you can’t get away with doing that sort of thing, and if you try you’ll serve hard time. That makes the advice, if it was ever offered, false on its face and should be debunked by everyone who hears it.

Debunking defensive shooting myths is what this DVD is all about. Hosted by Rob Pincus, it attempts to shed light on some of the misunderstandings, outdated information, context mismatches, speculations, and simply incorrect ideas that exist in the defensive shooting world.

It’s reasonable to ask, of course, why such a DVD even needs to be made. Why not leave well enough alone? Pincus makes the case that operating on the information contained in these myths and misconceptions uses resources (time, energy, money, ammunition) that could be used for good (factual) training and practice.

I’ll add that believing some myths can actually harm you, in that they may be ineffective (don’t stop the threat) or even contrary to legal realities — leaving you at the mercy of the justice system.

That latter point is illustrated by the first myth Pincus tackles: castle doctrine and “stand your ground” laws. I’ve written about these in the past, and there is a lot of information for you to find on the internet, but not understanding these laws and what they really mean might leave you doing time in prison. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just shoot someone out of blind fear and invoke “stand your ground”; the shooting has to be justified to the same standards that any other shooting does. What, then, do these laws accomplish? Watch the DVD and find out.

Pincus tackles a bunch of other prevalent myths and misconceptions: being a “good shooter” is all it takes to prevail against an attacker; it’s a good idea to switch hands on a pistol when shooting around weak side cover; the ankle holster is a good choice for concealed carry; absorbing recoil makes you a faster shooter; empty chamber carry is good for the Israelis, so it’s good for CCW; appendix carry is dangerous; you should drop to kneeling when reloading; racking a shotgun scares away burglars; snubnose revolvers aren’t accurate; the 1911 is the best defensive handgun made; the “speed rock” is a great contact shooting technique; you always need a good sight picture; and the idea that you don’t really need to train for defensive shooting.

Defensive Firearms Myths and Misconceptions is available from the I.C.E. Training Store.

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-

Disclosure: This DVD was supplied by the Personal Defense Network for review. I am affiliated with PDN as a contributor and have taught with Rob Pincus in the past. I receive no compensation should you purchase this DVD.

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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