I stole this from Kathy Jackson. If she got it from someone else, I don't remember who it was, so I'm crediting her...Now, do I think it would be awesome if lots of people got super serious about self-defense? Hell, yes I do. But that's for the next post...
So, imagine this island. The dry land starts at the beach and gently slopes upward. The farther inland you go, the higher the ground gets, but the steeper the slope becomes. Most of it only requires a pair of shoes, but if you keep going inland and upward, the slopes get steeper and eventually you may need specialized gear and training. But the climbing is fun, and some people buy the shoes and ropes and pitons and make a hobby of it.
Just putting your shoes on and walking off the beach will probably save you from 90% of the tsunamis that are going to come along. If you're way up on the mountain, it's going to take a really rare world-ender of a tsunami to affect you. How much time and money do you feel like spending mountain climbing? If you're doing it out of a pure risk-benefit calculus as opposed to because you just like mountain climbing, probably not a ton.
Similarly, I remember when the "zombie apocalypse" thing started rearing its head among survivalists (now called "preppers") some twenty years ago as basically a shorthand joke: "If you're prepared for the dead to rise from their graves and walk the earth in search of human brains, then a week without power after a hurricane should be a doddle."
This constant assertion that if people haven't taken a refresher Tactical Disruptive Combat Pistol III every year, shoot IDPA once a month, and carry a Roland Special with a two spare mags, a handheld light, a blowout kit, and a BUG, then they just aren't serious about self-protection is actively counterproductive in the wider shooting world.
"Putting on your shoes and walking off the beach" is carrying a gun...any gun...daily, getting at least a basic half-day class in when and how it may legally be used, and getting to the range with it at least twice a year to maintain some basic level of comfort with its use. If somebody does that, they are SO FAR ahead of the curve, statistically speaking. The majority of gun owners don't have carry permits. The majority of the ones who do, don't carry on anything like a regular basis.
If somebody's debating whether or not they can work an NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home class and daily carry of a P3AT into their budget and lifestyle, and you tell them that they might as well not even bother unless they're willing to dump a few thousand dollars and so much time that they'll have to give up one of their existing hobbies, like bass fishing or golf, then guess what they're not going to do?
Now in here, it's a different story because we're all a bunch of gun dorks who think this stuff is fun and it is our hobby. But sometimes we get into a lot of ego defense in trying to make our expenditure of vast amounts of time and money seem absolutely necessary for survival. (Most of us even acknowledge this with the whole "killed on the streets" joke.)
[We] repeatedly cite Tom Givens' database (which is in fact a gold mine of data.) Ask Tom how many of those sixty-some people were what you'd call "hobbyists" and how many had been to just a basic CCW or his introductory pistol class.