Book Review: ''Thank God I had a Gun''

By Jim Irvine

Self defense stories are as unique as the individuals involved. I
have read hundreds of such stories and talked personally with many
individuals involved in life and death struggles. Most get no media
coverage, and the ones that do get covered are generally given only a
couple paragraphs that invoke questions, provide few answers and
often contain errors caused by the authors ignorance of the
subject. The result is that most find it "unbelievable" that such
encounters occur 2,500,000 times per year in our country.

In Chris Bird's latest book, "Thank God I had a Gun", he examines 14
encounters. The stories each share the theme that the intended
victim has a gun, but the settings, the actions taken by the
criminals and the intended victims as well as the attitude of the
police are very different. Some things are beyond our control, and
it's useful to learn from the experience of others.

From home invasions to armed robberies of businesses to road rage,
Bird covers a wide variety of situations. In some law enforcement
lauds the actions of the armed civilian, and in another charges the
victim with a crime. Included in this book is the story of Habib
Howard in his family's Toledo carryout, the Indiana Pizza Hut
delivery man who was fired for defending his life with a gun, and a
"Gun totin' Granny" who became a media darling appearing on Good
Morning American and Sean Hannity's radio show.

Click on 'Read More' for the entire review.

Bird tells each story in small sections. He starts by giving us some
general things to keep in mind for the story. Next we read about the
intended victim. This helps the reader understand the decisions made
as one is forced into life-threatening situations. Next comes "the
incident" where the details of the confrontation are
described. Instead of the one paragraph summaries we are used to
reading, Bird takes the time to expand on all the relevant
details. Because of the way each incident is set-up, the reader is
better able to place themselves in the shoes of the victim.

Perhaps the best part of this book is the next two sections; "the
aftermath" which describes the actions of the police, prosecutors,
and evidence that is discovered after the incident, but which was not
apparent to the victim at the time of the shooting. You don't know
what you don't know. Bird concludes each chapter with a section
titled "afterthoughts" where he summarizes lessons learned from this
particular conflict, sometimes giving the reader some alternative
actions that might have helped the stories victim.

Many things go into "being prepared" for a criminal
encounter. Knowledge and mindset are sometimes overlooked, but are
just as important as having the right tool ready at hand. Reading,
"Thank God I had a Gun" will help you become better prepared.

This book is interesting and easy to read. It provides the reader
with enough details that they are able to understand each incident
from the intended victim's perspective. The follow-up on what
happened after the shooting helps dispel many of the wild rumors
about what is likely to happen after using deadly force and gives
information that can help keep you out of jail. I recommend this
book for anyone who keeps or carries a gun for self-defense.

Bird is also the author of “The Concealed Handgun Manual.” His books can be purchased directly from him at Privateer Publications and are available from many other pro-gun organizations.

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