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The Best Defense by Robert A. Waters

This book recounts true stories of intended victims who defend themselves with firearms. It is a must-read book for the millions of Americans who already own firearms, or those who intend to buy, or even think of buying, a gun for self-defense or home and family protection.

In addition to the fascinating human interest stories contained in this book, heroic tales of individual citizens defending themselves with firearms (as well as interesting stories of shop owners, bankers, etc. defending themselves in the workplace), it also has cliffhanging stories of citizens defending themselves and their families against serial killers and sundry vicious predators, stalkers, etc.

While these easy to read chapters make gripping stories, they also provide didactic lessons in citizen self-protection, factual information on why law-abiding citizens must be capable of protecting themselves and their families from vicious predators and criminals, because, as these stories clearly demonstrate, the police simply cannot be there to protect every citizen every time a crime occurs. Here are some of the very valuable lessons we learn:

  1. Why a father (and sometimes a mother) must be capable of defending her home and family.
  2. Why a private citizen may need heavy firepower with high capacity magazines and even the use of semiautomatic, so-called assault weapons to protect not only himself/herself but even assist the police in times of crisis.
  3. Why a woman defending herself against a robber in her own home may need a high caliber gun to protect herself from a much larger and determined assailant.
  4. Why a couple doing business in a thriving community and tourist city like Orlando, Florida, may be unexpectedly attacked by thugs and have to defend themselves to protect their lives and businesses, even protect customers.
  5. Why concealed carry laws are needed in states that don’t have them, and national concealed carry reciprocity should be a national priority.
  6. Why proper gun training and safety may be lifesaving.

The dramatic denouement chapter, “The Last Ride of the Dixie Mafia” keeps you at the edge of your seat, but you might already be there from the preceding chapters.

The book should be read not only by all citizens who own firearms for self- and family protection, but also by those who don’t — particularly, gun-banning politicians who believe the Second Amendment is outdated and intended only for duck hunters. After ten years, I still remember some of the dramatic episodes. Get this book and read it! I am reading both of his newer books — Guns Save Lives and Guns and Self-Defense — as well.

Reviewed by Dr. Miguel A. Faria

Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is Associate Editor in Chief in socioeconomics, politics, medicine, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International (SNI).  He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His recently released book is America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey Into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements (2019).

Copyright ©2020 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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3 thoughts on “The Best Defense by Robert A. Waters”

  1. As an aside, warning shots are interesting. They often fire straight up into the air as a celebratory custom in many of the Muslim countries of the Middle East. We saw Saddam doing this with a shotgun occasionally, probably to project an aura of authority to the population. However, it is done oftentimes with a pistol, and I recall reading about a case in Turkey. This was the case of a young boy, and the Journal of Military Medicine had a short report on what had happened. His father had fired a celebratory shot, and unfortunately it ultimately landed on the boy’s head, killing him instantly.
    So long as the bullet is traveling upwards, it is decelerating, as it is traveling against gravity. When the kinetic energy of the bullet is spent, it starts to fall, but this time it’s accelerating with the help of gravity. It is also tumbling. If it hits a human body, it is capable of tremendous destruction.— Dr Adam Bogart.
    Myth Busters did a comprehensive test in a dry lake bed. The destabilized round returning from on high is falling sideways. It’s terminal velocity at near sea level is sufficient to penetrate about 1/2” of lakebed. They calculated the force was insufficient to guarantee penetration of the skull. Still stupid to shoot at anything you are not willing to destroy. — John Snell.
    John Snell, interesting. Of course, this was the skull of a child, maybe 4 or 5 years old, with most of the sutures non-united. Did they prove it was falling sideways for the entire time on the way down? Also, whether the velocity of the bullet falling ever equals or exceeds the velocity of the bullet exiting the gun barrel depends on what kind of gun, as well as the friction generated when the bullet encounters air resistance. If the bullet is always falling on its side, than it is presenting more surface area to the air, and would be slowed down more than if it fell the in same position it was in as it exited the gun.— Dr Adam Bogart (FB exchange, May 17, 2021)

  2. The child of course is a tragic special case, and again, negligent discharge occurs whenever you fire at anything you did not intend to destroy. As for the bullet behavior, even with very high twist rates and heavy for caliber bullets they tend to destabilize at ranges well under their maximum altitude when fired upward. Once destabilized the bullet (speaking of G1 to G7 profiles – [pointed (G1) and pointed boat tail (G7)], will always turn its nose away from the line of travel and rather quickly assume a maximum drag attitude.
    The most likely bullet shape (G0-round ball) experiences significant drag on it’s upward trajectory, and even if that is discounted (simply dropping the lead ball from the maximum altitude achieved), drag will eventually equal G (Gravitational acceleration) and that velocity is always only a small fraction of muzzle velocity. — John Snell

  3. Well, fortunately for us, there is air, and it has enough density to, for example, balance a falling human (spread eagle posture) against gravity at roughly 120 mph. Without air resistance a feather and a cannon ball fall at the same speed (DaVinci at Pizza).
    The keyhole you reference is familiar to shooters too. It is a snapshot of the aspect of the bullet at the moment of penetration (for us its a paper target mostly). As an example – I had a 32 grain 204 Ruger load that would not stabilize. It did not group tightly, and it was easy to see the bullets had been very close to fully sideways at the moment they passed through the paper. Given the bullets were moving at nearly 4,000 fps at the muzzle of a 26” 1:12 twist barrel the rotational velocity would have been about 4,000 rpm. Monkey brain says that should stabilize – target says “Oh no you didn’t!”

    Your observation about ricochets is accurate, as the deformation of the bullet due to impact often moves it’s center of rotation outside of its body (the bullet tumbles one way or another). The trajectory of such bullets no longer conforms to that of any G shape projectile and drag increases exponentially as a result. Typically such bullets ‘fall out of the air’ much sooner than a bullet that does not ricochet because of increased drag.

    Forces operating on bullets can all be viewed as accelerations. The highest velocity a bullet will achieve is at the moment it leaves the barrel and its line of travel from that point to impact is governed by the gravity and drag primarily. (There are a myriad of other forces we account for as range increases, and velocity decreases when precision prediction is required). In that analysis simple air resistance can be viewed as a vector in direct opposition to the initial line of flight. It is the reason the trajectory is a curve, and that to hit distant targets requires adjusting the departure angle upward to compensate.

    Sorry to get all down in the weeds – you sort of tickled my retirement project’s reason to exist. Describing interior and exterior ballistics truthfully for non physicist shooters. If ever you have questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Contact data is on my website.— John Snell

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