Self-defense: martial arts vs. firearms

Well, I was going to avoid discussing this option of self defense, but I guess it needs to be aired somewhat.

I have too many children in my life to have guns around my environment. Not worth the risk to me. Securing guns from children can of course be done, but that may make them harder to acquire when needed for self defense. I've heard the, train the children properly arguments and that probably helps in a lot of cases, but there are exceptions and, as I've stated, I don't want a member of my family, or friend of a member of my family, to be one of them. This gets me to the essential thing about a firearm - the darn bullet moves too fast to be taken back or pulled and God help the person who squeezed the trigger in error or in the heat of anger. The damage done is so devasraring and largely unmatched by punches, kicks, throws, locks etc.

Then there are the personal experiences that mold our perceptions. A cruel step father with a gun obsession. A co-worker who murdered his ex wife with a pistol in front of his little girl robbing her of both a mother and father in an instant. He languishes in a NH jail and has not a chance of getting out until he nears 60. He was a big advocate for guns as a self defense response. He used to make fun of my martial arts interests saying nothing could stand up to his weapons - he was tragically right. Then there was the instance of one of my neighbors guns which was locked up and somewhat secured being gotten at by his son and some other boys and used to shoot up another neighbors siding and electric box - no big deal, but the owner was an older woman and it terrified her, and made her fearful of the neighborhood for quite some time.

Now do these kinds of incidents make responsible gun owners all wrong? No. This is my personal choice based on my personal experience and my own particular way of reasoning. In my little town, I'm surrounded by armed neighbors, whom I'm sure are mostly good decent people who's experiences have taught them different lessons and put them on different paths then the one I travel.

I have found, over the years, that a good number of people in the martial arts are there because they don't want to rely on firearms in self defense.

Am I and such people at a disadvantage against armed thugs, no question, certainly, but it's a conscious choice and worth the risk to us I guess.

I hope this is acceptable to all, those who train with firearms for self defense and those that don't. I don't want to offend anyone here in this discussion.

Donald Wj Macmillan
(What is the best Martial Art for Self Defense?)