MYTH #1: AShotgun is the best firearm choice for Home Defense.
This is a very prevalent opinion even among seasoned gun owners & trainers.If your hunkered down in a safe room in a static location with only one entry point,then the Shotgun makes a pretty decent choice although I even just still might opt for a handgun. The reasons why & advantages of the handgun are for it's mobility,compactness & maneuverability.Shotguns have a very low ammunition capacity and are generally hard & slow to reload & are essentially a specialized weapon for special purposes with their own niche use in tactical applications.If you have Children or other Families members in the Home,you might have to round them up or otherwise go to them during a home invasion scenario and a long-gun simply isn't practical since it's unwieldy and really takes two hands to operate effectively.With a handgun,you can open or lock/un-lock doors, carry a child and navigate the enclosed spaces & confines of a home much more effective than with a long gun as well as be able to use cover & concealment more effectively and fire from them.You'll be harder to be disarmed and you will be able to change firing positions much quicker to get shots off where you might need them if surprised, there are more than one intruder or just due to the dynamics of real-world defense.If you have to flee your home, the handgun easily goes with you without interfering much with mobility.And consider everyday tasks such as answering your front door,checking the mail or things such as mowing the grass or talking to a neighbor etc.Do you really plan on carrying a shotgun around with you?
Military & SWAT Entry teams operate in groups and engage in armed conflict & high risk situations voluntarily.Those scenarios & Civilian Self-Defense do have many things in common,but are two different topics,so don't look solely to Military & SWAT Tactics in building your Self-Defense skill set & personal armory.I love my 870, but it's not my 24/7 go-to gun and I don't recommend it be your either.
MYTH #2: If you use a knife to defend yourself, you need a really big knife
A big knife is indeed a better defensive weapon than a smaller one,but not a requisite for effective self-defense and often times illegal.Fixed blade knives are also better than folders,but often times are illegal & can get you in legal trouble.At least a 4" Blade is often recommended as the minimum in length for a fighting knife,but is not legal in many jurisdictions or at the least consider a "deadly weapon" if used in an unlawful manner.A three inch folder(Spydeco Delica) is what I usually carry for mainly for legal considerations,but also convenience and comfort. When used as a pure stabbing weapon,a three inch blade is not ideal for reaching vital organs and it's overall depth of penetration,but as we are more interested in STOPPING the threat rather than KILLING.
Our focus is KNIFE STOPPING POWER which consists of disabling & crippling "stopping" cuts rather than killing cuts and a 3" Folder can accomplish these very well.We want to stop the attackers ability to harm or hurt us as quickly as possible.Hacking away and simply stabbing randomly is messy & often takes a long time to be effective(to stop the attack).Better to use stopping cuts that end the fight or his ability to do you harm and which also will not likely be fatal.Stopping cuts are achieved largely through the act of cutting strategic muscles & muscle attachments to destroy the attackers mobility and/or ability to harm you.Michael Janich has pioneered much of this method and he has a lot of wonderful instructional material out there.His Dvd Martial Blade Concepts is a wonderful place to start.
MYTH #3: I carry a gun, so I will be able to defend myself.
Scores of people get a CCW and carry a gun without giving a second thought to getting any type of training or they will take a beginner/introduction course that focuses on how to handle,hold,clean and some fundamental shooting methods and then call it good.Women will often get a snubnose .38 Special and throw it in their purse thinking they will be able to take care of any threats.The problem is real-world attacks happen suddenly,violently & there is often very little time to react let alone reach into a purse and retrieve a gun.And even if the gun is drawn,you must not get disarmed & maintain control of it & then deliver fight stopping shots if warranted.Attackers & Rapists won't announce from across the street or parking lot that they have targeted you as their victim.They will try to ambush you when your most vulnerable & unaware trying to never give you the chance to mount any counter-measures.So,you must be vigilant,always be aware of what's going on around you as well as get training in not only how to shoot your gun,but how to draw it when under attack & maintain control of it.