I was a commercial advertising photographer for 15 years, and it always seemed that once somebody found out what I did for a living (usually guys) the next question would inevitably be, “Hey, so what’s a good camera for me” or “How do I take better pictures?”
My answers to these questions were true, but rarely pleasing. A good camera is the the one you currently own, as long as you have it with you and you know how to use it, and the secret to taking better pictures is taking LOTS of them and learn from your mistakes. “Well,” I’d say, “how many rolls of film do you shoot each week?”
Their eyes would glaze over, and you could see the gears of their mind slip as they grappled with the idea of shooting *a* roll of film a week just for practice, much less multiple rolls of film. For the record, my favorite camera wasn’t the Hassies or Sinars I owned, it was my little Olympus XA because I could carry it all the time and have it ready for when great photos happened right in front of me. Is there a connection between that and personal defense? You betcha.
Craftsmanship and intent of purpose makes the difference between taking pictures and making a photograph. I’ve had some lucky shots in my time, but I’ve found that that the harder I work, the more great photos I take (like the shot that starts off this post).
Same thing with pistol shooting. When I mention to friends and acquaintances that my hobby is practical pistol competitions, I get asked “Y’know, I was thinking about getting a gun for home defense, and…,”(and yes, it’s usually guys that ask this question as well).
A pistol is not a talisman against attackers, just like buying the latest and greatest camera ain’t gonna make you Galen Rowell. Attitude, practice and dedication (and a whole lot of natural skill) are what make good photographers and good pistol shooters.
Being interested in defending your family against attack is a very good thing, but first start with the basics:Is the exterior of your home well-lit? Is there anything about your house that would discourage an intruder and send him somewhere else? Do you practice the Cooper Color Code or something similar when you’re out and about? No amount of firepower will make up for somebody getting the drop on you, and there’s not a pistol in the world that deters home invasions like an alarm company sign on your front lawn.
The type of hardware you use is secondary (if not tertiary) to having the right attitude and state of mind, because the best gunfight is the one you DIDN’T get into.
Stay safe. Have fun. And carry your gun, because it’s a lighter burden than regret.
Reprinted with permission from TeamGunBlogger.com.