posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 03:37 PM
I am not “into” guns so to speak and have never owned anything but air rifles (as a kid). I have fired a semi-automatic a couple of times, but
overall guns haven’t been a part of me and my family’s lives.
Then you'd better decide whether or not you want to invest the time to be so. Because a gun is like a driver's license or any other 'must practice
and study continuously to be good' _commitment_ to becoming competent with a potentially bystander-lethal tool.
In both owning, cleaning and employment you can never afford to spend less than a couple hours every second week getting to the range, buying the
ammo, shooting at both 10 and 30ft, coming home and cleaning the piece.
All of which must be taught to you by a professional.
Indeed, since there is no mediocre which suffices in gun safety and most handgun accidents end up being owners or owners relatives killing themselves,
THE VERY FIRST question which you should expect a reputable gunshop owner to ask you in deciding whether HE is 'good enough' to train you must be:
"Do You Have The Time?"
If s/he doesn't show enough interest in your safety to make this inquiry, first, walk away.
Anyways, every day I am starting to think I should own a handgun more and more as the world is seemingly going to pieces. Something that I can keep
tucked away, safe from my kids and family but handy in case something goes down.
1. Move to a Safer Neighborhood.
Honestly, your money is insured in an investment portfolio or even a savings account beyond any hope of a night time robbery to steal it. A better
house is equally a leverage of APPRECIATING property value after purchase. Things that a gun can never be.
2. Get an Alarm System.
Short of a coked up fool, most robbers will choose to run when the klaxon goes off, the lights come on and ADT calls up to say they are sending the
cops. Indeed, just the 'sticker shock' of a labelled window or door alone will keep most from bothering you. Even if you buy a weapon, it is
better to have an alarm to front-end cue your response since you _never_ want to start defending against an intruder, bleery eyed and half asleep, as
s/he comes through your bedroom door and you reach for the nightstand.
Want something that I can take to the range just a few times a year to keep in practice, and something that would stop an intruder with the first hit.
A gun that’s reliable as well.
Almost any gun will 'stop an intruder' with the first hit, even if the instinct is simply shock-bloody-fingers-owie-run! rather than physical
The question is whether or not you can MAKE that initial 'center mass' event happen in an unexpected situation. While keeping in mind the locations
of your kids bedrooms and possibly your neighbors if you miss.
Everything that is downrange of you is not 'a freebie miss' and practicing a few times a year is often worse than nothing for the sense of false
confidence it instills in an amateur.
Good shooters can /feel it/ when they are off their mark by more than about a week's worth of absent range time. The muscles don't lock to a steady
hold the same way and the eye doesn't lay to a common (dominant) center on the sights like it should.
If you want to own a gun, you must realize that you are going to likely be spending a minimum 20-30 bucks a month at a decent range, to stay in the
groove. This after forking over upwards of 100 dollars _beyond purchase price_ to have a good firearms instructor teach you the basics of safe
employment of your weapon.
If losing your expanded cable channels due to a new mandatory hobby is seemingly more than it's worth, you probably don't need an HDW.
What are your suggestions?
Not that simple.
Is a secondary potential user going to be female or male? Do they or you work out or otherwise have good forearm and upper torso strength? Do either
of you need glasses to see anything beyond your arms reach? Do you have kids that might come "Daddy!" ing in the night because they are scared or
need a glass of water?
Really, irrespective of your principle-shooter physical capabilities, your first instinct must be to protect your loved ones from each other and
If you've just had an incident which put you on edge, discuss things with your family as to whether a gun would make everyone feel better or worse.
If the uniform response is "We don't know!?", take a small vacation, even if it's just to a theme park for a day. Release the built up adrenal
response and come home looking for an answer. Because it HAS TO BE a commitment from _everyone_ old enough to understand how dangerous a recourse
this can be in the family group.
Their "I have a pistol, but I don't want you to look for it or play with it." understanding and your trust in their ability not to be curiouis
about an 'unknown' must be the first step to making the decision to own any gun.
THEN, if you feel you still need a home defense weapon, my recommendation (unisex, 40 year old near sighted asthmatic invalid) would be for a simple
revolver with a 4" or 6" barrel in a .32 or .38 caliber class.
Six shots are more than sufficient in any but a gangland environment.
They never jam on a weakened clip spring or a poorly cleaned action. They never fail to eject properly or to come off safe because you forgot that
element of their use.
And most importantly, you ALWAYS know whether a revolver is empty or loaded, safe or not, with one press-to-flip of the cylinder release.
A revolver is also going to be _vastly_ more accurate in an amateur's hands if only because you don't have the variable pull strength and distance
of a double action letoff hitting detente and the subsequent slide ejection sequence effect on sight picture recapture and finger safety.
I find being able to manually crank the hammer back for each round to get maximum release sensitivity on minimum barrel rise with _certain safety_
between each shot gives most people a 50% increase in accuracy due to a more honest mechanical understanding of 'what's going to happen next'.
The ONLY thing which a semi brings to the fight is 8-12 shots vs. 6. And that just doesn't mean diddly on a first round hit basis of engagement
decision with a single, unarmored, opponent.
Especially if you have kids, to go along with this weapon, I recommend both a lockbox and a trigger lock AND separately located and secured
speedloaders not less than 10ft away in a different piece of furniture (kids have been known to defeat one locked drawer directly with a stolen key
and then go to the one next-ammo-over from behind which is why dual-keying, same-storage locaiton, alone doesn't always work).
Obviously, this is going to make the gun nearly worthless in a night time quick-response need, but if you are gone for significant periods of the day
and your mate needs it, it is better than 5-15 minutes waiting for cops.
Anything less, especially with kids in the house, is more a tragedy waiting to happen than anything positively reinforcing to your safety condition or
Only real live gun owners need apply, I am not interested in all the “speculation” from people who don’t actually shoot guns.
As an alternative to lethal weaponeering, why not a dazzler or a tazer or a good solid baseball bat? All of these devices may be purchased without
license and without the same degree of fear of a child 'bypassing your best intentions' to kill themselves or someone else. They are additionally
often cheaper and can be purchased with variable licensing requirements at the security shops that seem to be popping up at every strip mall as well
A pistol bullet will leave the muzzle at anywhere from 650-850fps. A magnum can take this up to 1,200fps or more. That's 2-3 'plies' of wallboard
at 12ft room spacing or up to five panes of glass.
Especially in an urban environment, you just _cannot_ afford to miss with that kind of capability.
If you cannot imagine what your son or daughter's chest looks like as a 5th mile per second projectile the diameter of your pinky fingernail goes
through it, you aren't thinking sufficiently about whether you need a handgun enough to be more than 'into' it.