Review of ‘Thank God I Had A Gun’ by Chris Bird

Posted: March 20, 2014 in Product Reviews
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I want to thank Chris Bird for providing me with a copy of the second edition of ‘Thank God I Had A Gun – True Accounts of Self-Defense’ in exchange for an honest review.

Given my background as an owner of a firearms-related business, a Texas CHL holder, and someone who works in the security business, it is easy to accept that I would be friendly to such a book. While I am certainly predisposed to agree with the ideas espoused in the book, my review is based on how well these ideas are presented to a general audience that may include less agreeable readers.

In his introduction to Virtual Tactical Academy, Austin Davis rightly stated that there are only two fundamental means by which human beings interact with one another. These mechanisms are reason and force. A person may be inherently unreasonable, yet as long as they attempt to use their personal version of reason in dealing with you, all you need to deal with them is an infinite amount of patience and an infinite amount of time. And, the option to simply walk away is always available.

If a person intends to use force, particularly deadly force, in dealing with you, then you will need some sort of tool to counter that approach. For many people, that tool is a firearm.

If you accept that rationale, then you may believe that Chris Bird’s book is largely preaching to the choir. After reading through the entire text, I strongly disagree. The sixteen stories of self-defense involve both genders and a wide variety of personal backgrounds. These are not stories of some Jason Bourne wannabe or highly trained security professional; the accounts in this book are snapshots from the lives of people with whom we can easily relate.

The individuals in this book are more than just familiar in some way. The incidents recorded in the book can be considered as proxies for thousands of similar events that take place every year across the country. This is a powerful message to take away from the book as we all have a tendency to succumb to the ‘it will never happen to me’ belief.

Each story follows a pattern of backstory followed by a description of the incident and then wraps up with an aftermath. The book is written in a simple, conversational style, almost as if you were attending a Chris Bird seminar. The combination of writing style and independence of each story makes the book very easy to read over the course of multiple sessions.

I really enjoyed the description of each incident as I am in the process of re-reading de Becker’s ‘The Gift of Fear’ at the time of this review. These real-life stories emphasize how quickly defensive situations can arise and how little time individuals may have to respond. The necessities of advance preparation and individual responsibility for one’s own defense are heavily emphasized throughout the text. I would go so far as to state that ‘The Gift of Fear’ and ‘Thank God I Had a Gun’ should be recommended reading for anyone currently carrying a firearm or considering a concealed handgun license.

I believe this book also has relevance for those who are hesitant to consider firearms as an option for their own defense. These stories vividly illustrate how fast a deadly-force encounter can occur. It is most often the case that when a person or persons decide to use deadly force in dealing with you that only a handful of seconds are available for a response. Even in instances where 911 can be contacted and officers are en-route, a person still may have no choice but to deal directly and immediately with a deadly encounter. Please read these stories carefully before deciding on the tools and actions in which you place your fate.

Our society is assaulted on an almost daily basis by obfuscations and outright lies about firearms and self-defense by a rabid media bent on promoting the agenda of the government elites. It is refreshing that Chris Bird has done such an excellent job in telling the stories that the media refuses to tell. I’ve always believed that not even the most fearful darkness can fully extinguish the light of truth. In this regard, ‘Thank God I Had A Gun’ serves as a beacon to everyone interested in the topic of self-defense, regardless of his or her prior disposition towards firearms.

I hope you consider this book for the careful read that it deserves and thanks for spending part of your day at Texas Gun Show Review.

– Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas

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