Everyone has eaten to the point of being miserable, but you have really outdone yourself this time. “jeeze hun, I’m pregnant, but your are the one that’s acting like you are eating for two!” your wife jokes as you gingerly leave the steakhouse. It was your Christmas party after all, and when they tell you its an open bar, and as much prime rib as you can eat, you’re going to take advantage of it. The whole evening had been a real escape from the normal day-to-day, Christmas had already passed, the kids have already forgotten the name of their elf on the shelf, and Mom and Dad finally have a night to themselves. But as you clear the last street light on your way through the parking lot that feeling hits you. You know the one, it feels like a wet, stinking blanket is suddenly suffocating you. “What the hell is going on” you think to yourself. You have felt this before but it was almost always directly after you had been scared… Close miss in a car wreck, that time you had got “a little turned around” in the woods, but why are you feeling it now? In a moment you realize what is happening. As the large shadow materializes from no where, you right hand searches desperately in your deep trouser pocket. “Where do you think your going” a gruff voice barks. At the same time your fingers find what they were searching for, your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. “Are you def? I said where do you think you are going” the voice grows more agitated. Now you can actually make out the shape that is harassing you. He is a large man, much larger then yourself. Probably six and a half feet tall, and somewhere between 250 and 300 pounds. It’s not his size that continues to worry you though, it is the fact that he is growing ever more hostile with you, and he has a large object in his hand. “Have I caught this guy breaking into cars, and now he wants to know what I have seen? Or has he been waiting this whole time for someone to walk past the protection of light so that he could rough them up for a few bucks?” you think to yourself. Then in a flash that question is answered for you. With surprising speed he bolts toward your wife, and you can tell from his intensity that he means business. In one fluid motion your pistol clears your pocket. No words are spoken as a lightning fast matched pair of pink edged holes appear dead center on the angry mans sternum as his body collapses. “Are you alright” you ask your wife as she runs to your embrace. Then it happens, the slumped over man stands back up, looks down at his bloody wounds and starts to laugh, ” a .380, you thought you would stop me with a itty bitty .380?” he exclaims as he continues towards you. Remembering the old Navy Captain who was in the South Pacific in World War II’s mantra, “Shoot until they change direction, change shape or catch on fire” you level your weapon, squeeze the trigger 4 more times, combat reload and put 7 more rounds of 90 grain Hornady FTX critical defense ammo directly in the same spot as the first two, but the assailant just keeps coming…
No wait, that’s not the story that I wanted to tell… it was the ” And that bull Elk stood broadside at 53 yards, I shot it 10 times (two whole mags worth) with 180 gr. Nosler Partitions and it just ran away, didn’t even slow it down. That gun will shoot, bumble bees of a daisy at 100 paces without even nicking a petal all day long…” No wait it was the ” You only shoot Canadian geese when their flying away from you ya know? Goose feathers are so tough that your shot will just bounce off of them if you hit them any other way (…shot bounced off their feathers like hail stones…) . If you shoot them when they are flying away, your shot gets between the feathers and will actually kill em… Everyone knows that.” We have all heard the same stories, some more detailed and elaborate than others, but they all have about the same gist. No matter what the case is, somebody knows a guy that can either prove or disprove anything. It does not matter if times have changed, technology has advanced, or if there is undeniable evidence that unequivocally proves the idea wrong. Because they know someone who will tell you different (truth and misinformation be damned). So what does this bring us to, you might ask? Just a little thing that I like to call “Reality”. “Reality” for those of you that you don’t know, is this weird place that only exists for people who believe in it, and are willing to experience it on their own. Do I believe that a .380 acp is the “perfect” self-defense caliber? Not a chance, but that’s not because I don’t believe it works, it’s because I believe that with my personal size and stature, I can carry something that can work better. If I wanted a pistol that I could hide while I’m wearing swim trunks or a wrestling singlet I would definitely carry one of the new micro sized .380’s. Why? Because all of the new research into better projectiles, better velocities, and better penetration tests tell me so. Do I think that a 300 pound dude can just soak up 15 rounds (two 7 round magazines and one in the pipe) of quality personal defense .380 ammo center mass and just keep attacking? I believe that just about as much as I believe that elk stand still for 2 magazines worth of shooting, that 180 gr. Partition .308 Winchester ammo can’t kill elk, and that goose feathers are bullet proof. Something inside my brain, be it from decompositional reasoning, or just plain ol’ “seeing is believing” interpretations, tells me that all of these generalities are false. Are their exceptions? You bet! But I don’t validate exceptions to establish my rules.
“Reality” is a strange place for those of you who decide to adventure there. No matter how much you learn, and how deep you explore, you will still have those that challenge your proof and facts. When someone scoffs at your .380 “mouse gun” saying it “isn’t big enough to do anything”, it would be pretty easy to explain to a rational person that it is in fact the same size as a 9 mm. With reasonable loads it penetrates enough to pass the FBI’s penetration tests, and even the ones that open more aggressively still penetrate close to 10 inches, and how many people have a distance greater than 10 inches from sternum to spine anyways? But the kind of people who downplay any “extra” holes being placed in their body tend to not be of the rational mindset anyways. While you’re at it, tell them that .308 bullets only kill elk when you hit them, and if they really want to push the point about goose feathers being bullet proof, go ahead and make them some body armour out of two pillows and a comforter for Christmas next year. You will come out smelling like a rose on the deal and it will save you the argument. We live in such an instant society, where knowledge and proof is plainly displayed everywhere, and still it boggles me that people knowingly perpetuate fallacies. But when I really think about it, it doesn’t surprise me. We have children that have never thrown a baseball, but they are World champions at it on the Wii, people will spend hours on an exercise bike, but the idea of riding an actual bicycle on an actual road is completely foreign to them. Have you seen the video of Virtual Ice fishing, people are spending literally thousands of dollars, to pretend to drill holes in ice and pretend to catch perch for Gods sake! Why not just go do it? If that’s the world you choose to be a part of, you can keep your virtual reality, I will just stay in my happy little place where we seek knowledge and truth, and participate in the opposite of virtual reality.
-Grant Willoughby 01/07/2018-