Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: David Nash and Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: February 16, 2021
Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: David Nash and Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense

books library (Custom)Today I share the next author interview in the Backdoor Survival Winter Book Festival.  David Nash, the author of Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense shares his answers to my questions and is also providing one of my readers with a free copy of his book.

Before we begin, I would like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.  “Donna” has won a copy of An Operations Manual For Humankind – The Complete Compendium Of Natural Health.  Congratulations! I have contacted you by email with instructions for claiming your prize.

Here is Donna’s answer to  “What is the one human trait that you feel will be the most important in a survival (SHTF) situation?”

The most important trait to have under crisis pressure is a clear, calm mind that can problem solve creatively.

Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.


David Nash BookTell me about your book, Understanding the USE of Handguns for Self-Defense. What is it about?

Well Gaye, as a firearm instructor, I constantly heard the same basic questions over and over, so I wrote a basic common sense manual that addressed what I knew to be things new shooters wanted to know.

We don’t just cover HOW to shoot a handgun, you can learn that almost anywhere.  We focused on WHEN to shoot a gun, how to select a firearm, and the moral and social questions that need to be thought about before someone buys a gun for the purpose of self-defense.

What type of research did you have to do while writing Understanding the USE of Handguns for Self-Defense?

I read the classics, books by Cooper, Ayoob, Elmer Keith, and I took classes myself, NRA instructor and training counselor courses, as well as Law Enforcement firearm classes, as well as some courses and research on critical incident stress, and what happens to you mentally, when confronted with life altering situation.

All that helped, but what really makes my book different is the experience I gained teaching handgun permits to couples where the husband “just needs a handgun permit, and already is an expert, but his wife is scared of guns”.

By learning to deal with the husband and the wife as separate individuals with two entirely different needs really helped shape this book.

How long did it take to write?

It did not take very long to write, less than a month to get everything on paper, but I had a very well formed idea when I actually put pen to paper. However, once the book was written, it took me several years of editing to turn technically accurate into easy to read.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading “Understanding the USE of Handguns for Self-Defense”.

The message of this book is that Shooting is not a gift or an art – it is a skill, and those willing to acquire that skill are able to leverage that to ensure a level playing field. A 115 pound woman does not have to be afraid of a 250 pound man, and an elderly gentleman does not have to be the victim of a teenage thug.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am a full time emergency management planner, firearms instructor, and owner of a self-reliance school that teaches that firearms are only one piece of the preparedness puzzle.

Guns are tools, and the more skills and knowledge I acquire the more efficient I become with my tools, and the less I have to rely on any particular one.

Do you have plans for another book?

I do, actually.  I just submitted the manuscript for “52 projects for Self Reliance” to Skyhorse Publishing. It is scheduled to be released in the fall, and is filled with some of my best “prepper” projects written with simple instructions.  So if you want to learn to purify water, make cheese, or build a generator out of a lawnmower then this book is definitely worth looking at.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Guns are a large part of my life, but they are not the only thing I do.

If your readers have an interest in DIY preparedness projects, firearms, use of force, simple gunsmithing, or want to read about the self-reliance mindset, they can visit my Shepherd School website at or visit my YouTube channel with over 1 million views at


owl reading bookA copy of David’s book, Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense has been reserved for one lucky reader. 

To win a copy, please leave a comment indicating the reason why you would like to win a copy of this book.  (You will find the comments section at the very bottom of this article.)

Now how easy is that?  The deadline is 6:00 AM PDT next Friday. A winner will be selected at random using tools on the website.


In closing this week, I want to reflect on something David said above about dealing with people as separate individuals with entirely different sets of needs.  This is something to keep in mind if – as a prepper – you are dealing with a reluctant spouse, partner or family member.

Often times it is best to step back and analyze the reluctant person’s unique needs before gently guiding them along their own special path toward preparedness.  By making their preparedness effort personal and meaningful, you just might find that in a short period time, you will have an willing helper and a fully engaged participant in your prepping adventure.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item: Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense This book is a priceless education for new handgun owners and an important refresher for the more experienced. Chapters include tips for selecting the right gun, an exploration of shooting techniques, guidance on developing an “armed” mindset, crucial advice for dealing with law enforcement and a lot more.

Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Winter Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone. Also, some of these books are Kindle e-books but you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.

The Backdoor Survival Winter Reading List – Non-Fiction

The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning (Author Charlie Palmer)

Rapid Fire!: Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations (Author Max Velocity)

Lanterns, Lamps and Candles (Author Ron Brown)

An Operations Manual For Humankind – The Complete Compendium Of Natural Health: (Author: Paul Patrick Robinson)

Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense (Author David Nash)

Where There Is No Doctor (Authors David Werner, Jane Maxwell, Carol Thuman)

Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook: (Author James Talmadge Stevens)

How to Live on $10,000 a Year – Or Less – Newly Revised for 2013 (Author George Ure)

Barbed Wire, Barricades, and Bunkers: The Free Citizen’s Guide to Fortifying the Home Retreat (Author F.J. Bohan)

The Prepper’s Pantry: Building and Thriving with Food Storage (Author Anne Lang)

The Truth About Simple Unhooked Living (Author Estar Holmes)

The Backdoor Survival Winter Reading List – Fiction

Preppers Road March (Author Ron Foster)

BUG OUT! Preppers on the move! (Author Ron Foster)

The Light In The Lake: The Survival Lake Retreat (Author Ron Foster)

Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises: (Author Max Velocity)

Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival (Author Joe Nobody)

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22 Responses to “Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: David Nash and Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense”

  1. I’ve carried a handgun every day for 37 years. Yet, I continue to learn, practice and change the way I do things. My wife, who is less of an enthusiast, would benefit from this book even more.

  2. The more we read and learn the better off we will be whatever the topic. Even though we have always had firearm around a refresher on these topics would be well worth the read time. Like other such reading material, it will circulate through our kids and grandkids.

  3. I need this book to help guide discussions with my wife. Although she is not a shooter, she is in favor of self-defense in the home. Our dialogue almost always revolves around the “shoot-no shoot” part of the process and the aftermath of a shooting. Our agreement is to become a good witness when you’re in the parking lot at a shopping center where a crime is being committed, not to become a civilian peace officer. Would like to see more discussion on this via this book.

  4. My husband took an extensive gun safety course last summer and has shared some of what he learned with me. He really wants me to also take the course but I don’t feel comfortable enough to do it. This book would provide much needed Information I am sure would build my confidence.

  5. Julia: You could start with a small handgun on the kitchen table–seriously. Start talking with your now-safe husband about safety. Then just pick up the gun in a safe manner. Get to know the heft, the feel, and after a bit and with close attention to the 4 basic safety rules, dry-fire the gun. The range and live ammunition may be a ways off for you but once you realize it’s an inert lump of metal that you can learn to control, you’ll be fine. After that it gets to be fun!

    • There are some guns you shouldn’t dry-fire. I was unfortunate enough to get one of them as my first handgun.

  6. Even though throughout growing up, my father had hunting guns and such that I was around, I do get nervous just handling one. I believe I would benefit from learning more about the handlings of a firearm and knowing more I believe I would become more comfortable in handling one.

  7. I am pretty new to guns. About a year ago, I took the training necessary to get my CCW permit, but do not regularly carry. I am interested in learning more about mindset.

  8. My wife and I are mostly self-taught in the area of firearms and we highly value any solid information we can get our hands on. This would be a welcome addition to our prepping bookshelf. Thanks.

  9. I went through 3 years in the Army during the Vietnam War, but all I was taught was how to handle a rifle. Nothing on a pistol. I have had a pistol in the house since the 60’s, but I still have the same box of ammo. Now with my prepping , I have purchased a newer pistol and it would be swell to know what to do with it.

  10. My whole family have shot guns for a long time. I stayed home while they went to the range. I was afraid of guns and convinced myself that I would never enjoy firearms. Even my son, a Marine armorer, could not convince me. Now at 63 and a new as a new prepper, I am learning to shoot! This old lady could use any and all tools to become a confident gun owner.

  11. Dear Gaye. I appreciate being entered to win a copy of the latest book in review. I believe that I can always learn more about any topic, and this is a very important topic. I’m 51 and have been shooting since I was 23. But ammo is expensive and recently there is little of it on the shelves. Reading this book could help maximize range time while using less ammo. And I would also like to read the book to find out whether there is anything faulty in my thought-process or technique. I’m sure I can learn something worthwhile.

  12. I would so love to win this book so as to give it to my son in law and daughter. They have just embarked on their journey of owning a gun for the first time.

  13. I am new to prepping and need more information on self-defense. Being on disability ,from broken back makes prepping and self-defense more difficult. I am always trying to get more information. I never was very interested in hand guns until recently with all the changes going on lately I need to get all the information I can

  14. Don: I’m in the same situation and came up with a great resource in Concealed Carry Magazine. There’s an article aimed at (sorry for that pun) how to train and carry if you have arthritis (for example). Very reliable information in the gun world.

  15. My wife and I have added handguns to our preps in the last year. She has no prior experience and I have only what I’ve picked up along the way hear and there. This would be most helpful for us. We are in need of better training and this would help us along. Thanks for all the great info, free e-books and awesome give aways.

  16. I’m a novice shooter with a husband who will be working with me to improve my skill level. This book sounds well-researched and comprehensive. It should be a great resource for filling in any gaps in my understanding.

  17. Gaye,

    I see a lot of posts here from people who may be considering using firearms for self defense, and who say that they were self-trained, taught in the Army a couple of decades ago, taken firearms safety courses, etc., and frankly, this concerns me very much. Bluntly and for the record, using a firearm in a self-defense situation is unique to most of our experiences and hopefully will remain so. It is a life changing experience which could have devastating consequences for both the shooter and his/her family. It is also totally different than any of the shooting sports, “practical pistol” included. If you intend to carry or possibly use a firearm in a defensive manner, then you owe it to yourself, your family and society in general to get the best possible training SPECIFICALLY AIMED AT THE DEFENSIVE USE OF FIREARMS. Documented training, by a reputable school or organization such as the NRA. There are several good private schools out there also, but “buyer beware”; you are not looking for another ‘how to shoot’ class, but when to shoot and what to do afterward. And ‘afterward’ is the key, “…anything you say can be used against you in a court of law…”.

    If there is any question about the seriousness of this subject, I highly recommend listening to the following interview with Massad Ayoob. It will quickly lower testosterone levels among your male readers, and have a chilling effect on the ladies:


    Now, I’m not suggesting that you never consider using a firearm for defense, just be very well aware of the seriousness of the consequences. You should also have less [than] lethal options available to use if you can.

    Just keep in mind that a firearm gives you half the power of God.


  18. I’m just getting into this prepper mindset, because I see a need to do that. I’m starting from scratch, and any information I can gather to help my learning curve would be greatly welcomed. I’m a sponge for this type of info. Even basic stuff (to most others) is useful for building a foundation I can build upon. Of course part of this preparation is home defense, which I’d want to do even if I don’t do any of the other stuff – it is that important to me.

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