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I prefer using my wits and experience to first avoid, and then get out of difficult situations when confronted. Looking to call 911 is an option, but not viable when someone can pull the trigger before you press the first digit. It makes no difference if the 911 response time is 3 minutes or 45 minutes, the response time of a bullet is milliseconds.

An ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure. Using a gun in self-defense should indeed be a last resort. If you can get away, do it. Better yet if you can avoid going INTO situations where you're likely to be victimized then do that.

That last bit of advice often gets advocates of it in trouble. I work on a college campus, it isn't at all odd to see female students jogging around town in the dark, alone, perhaps with earbuds in their ears. Yes, it's a free country and all but if they were to jog past the wrong dude (as has happened every now and again)... it can turn out quite badly indeed. Not that they asked for an attack or anything but they put themselves into a situation where the odds of such an attack were higher than need be. There are Rec Buildings they can run in, or run in groups and don't obscure one of their senses while doing it.

But even if you do everything right (live in a safe neighborhood, are aware of your surroundings, etc.) you're at best lowering your odds of a violent encounter, not eliminating them unfortunately. Those odds never become zero. I'd put Ann Arbor up there with any urban area on the planet in terms of safety (it's one of the top places in the country to raise a family for a reason)... but I certainly know about defensive gun uses even here. While firearms should be a last resort they have to be an option in order for them to be that last resort.

Trust me, I'd be perfectly happy to never have to draw my gun. You're risking prison (regardless of the laws on the books) if you do so. The question is whether it is worth the risk at that moment. If it's a choice between risking prison or my life... well, there's only one option.

This is what any good firearms instructor should be teaching their students too, by the way. Mine certainly did. He wasn't the cheapest one out there but you get what you pay for often in life. This is what the NRA designed course teaches if the instructor adheres to it, not some "shoot first and ask questions later" ideology.
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