Firearm or Tomahawk?

A news story from my former home state of Vermont last week highlighted how a homeowner successfully used a tomahawk to fight back against a homeless man armed with a rifle who broke into his house. Major kudus to the homeowner for using the tools at his immediate disposal. However, I question the media outlets that choose to publish this story, but never report on successful, law-abiding citizens using firearms to defend themselves.

Granted this was an interesting story due to the unusual choice of self-defense weapon. There are scattered stories every year from around the country of people defending themselves with everything from a katana to a frying pan. Again, major kudos for anyone who takes care of business with whatever they have at hand. The problem I have with these unique news stories is they are used by the anti-gun extremists to prove the point that the average citizen does not need firearms.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for using improvised weaponry in a pinch when your life is on the line. But is that really what you want to bet your life on? Sure, some very highly trained people can slay their enemy with a MRE spoon, but there aren’t a lot of instructors training the proper use of a modern tomahawk for self-defense.

For many law-abiding citizens in this country, the home defensive weapon of choice is a firearm. The right choice between a handgun, rifle and shotgun depends on a number of factors, but a firearm allows even someone with a very small stature to effectively defend themselves from the largest home invader or invaders.

There are an estimated 350 million legally owned firearms in the United States. With record sales in 2015 and 2016, that number continues to grow. And while the number of criminal uses of firearms is closely tracked and often exaggerated by the media and gun control lobby, the number of defensive uses of firearms barely gets a mention. The gun banners contend defensive firearms use does not happen at all or the incidents are statistically insignificant. However, the best estimates indicate there are between one to two million lawful defensive uses of firearms — outnumbering felonious uses by 30 to 80 to one. In the majority of lawful defensive firearms uses, the firearm is not even discharged.

I will admit that a firearm is not always going to be the best defensive choice for everyone. While I have seen men, women and children (yes, under adult supervision) of all sizes, in all physical conditions, from professional athletes to those confined to wheelchairs, use firearms effectively, there are some who simply may not have the physical strength or agility to use one safely.

There are also those who do not wish to use firearms because they do not want to take a life. They would prefer to use a “less deadly” option such as a knife or bat. While I would never criticize or disparage anyone who does not wish to take another human life, I would also point out that knives or baseball bats are considered deadly weapons and are just as capable of taking a life as a firearm. In fact, they are used far more often to kill in this country than the so-called “assault weapons” the gun banners are trying to outlaw.

My point for all this is simple. Your choice of what you defend your home and family with, or what you use to defend your life and the lives of your family outside your home, should be yours and yours alone. You should be able to choose the tool that best meets your needs, which you can train with and be confident in using in every situation.

Your choice should NOT be made for you by someone who believes you should use a tomahawk instead of a firearm.


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