Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ladies totin' guns

This isn't exactly one of those homesteading or survivalist blogs that focuses on stockpiling months worth of food (cough *Sharon*) or equipping the urban homestead with stacks of ammunition to ward off the zombies (cough *Survivor Man*). But, I did run across a blog the other day that brought up the whole concept of girls n' guns, which is a relatively foreign concept for me.

Unlike my redneck husband who grew up shooting shit in the backyard for sport, knows a Luger from a .44 Auto Mag and still laughs at me for thinking you shoot a gun with both index fingers, I know nothing about weaponry and, frankly, find them too frightening to have in the home. On one hand, I think it would be a fun skill to have - at a shooting range, where they are kept under lock and key.

So, I thought I'd ask you, my readers, if you think that having guns in the house for protection is important. Do you have any or do you have any plans for one? Are you concerned about societal collapse such that you would want to have some around? I'm just curious how much this is on your radar...

46 comments:

LatigoLiz said...

We have guns. I haven't shot them yet, but it's in my future. I have shot b b guns as a kid and pellet guns at the Puyallup Fair. I shot better than the hubby and son, thank you very much! I don't like the idea of them, but they are necessary in some circumstances. I also have girlfriends who pack and have concealed weapons permits.

Oh, and I have done paintball in the past. Loved it, despite the welts!

LatigoLiz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knutty knitter said...

I have a NZ title (from years back) in sport pistol and I would never, ever have a gun in the house without a very secure safe with them permanently inside. I like guns and shooting but not in the house.

In fact I never got a full license because I never wanted them in the house at all. My guns lived at the gun club only. (except the air pistol :)

In any case there is more harm done with loose guns than there is safety from having one. Pistols need a lot of practice to be accurate and any stressful situation is liable to make them totally useless except at point blank range and at that distance you can easily be overpowered before you get to use it quite apart from the fact that could you even do that to some other human being.

You'd be better off with a decent cell phone and a whistle.

viv in nz

Eva Elisabeth said...

In principle I'm not against owning a gun as long as the ownership is strictly controlled. If you commit a crime you loose it, if you don't attend annual safety classes where you prove you can use the gun competently and safely I don't think you need a gun. You should also be able to prove that you have adequate facilities in your home to secure firearms. If you have a history of mental illness such as serious depression or schizophrenia I really don't think gun ownership is for you. It's hard to draw those kinds of lines but I also think its very important to do so. Can you tell I have strong opinions on this subject :-) To finish up I don't think anyone needs a collection of automatic firearms in their house. Guns for sport and hunting is perfectly legitimate, the idea that some espouse that people should have a right to bear arms in order to defend themselves from their government is a bit weird, might have worked in the 18th or even 19th centuries, not so much anymore. P.S. I'm not American.

Kate said...

It's on my radar, but nowhere near the top of my list. We have a pellet gun that can take care of garden varmints, which was more of a concern. I didn't grow up around guns, and I'm very ambivalent about their presence in US culture. For a while DH was making noise about getting some, and I wasn't against it. He wants both self-defense and hunting guns. I only insisted we both go through gun safety courses first and identify a practice range we could use at least quarterly. He's been too busy to make that happen so far. I think I might enjoy hunting, but would find fulfilling my own rule about quarterly practice shooting tiresome, though I know from what little experience I do have at ranges that I'm a surprisingly good shot for someone who never practices.

Brad K. said...

While name-dropping, you left out Tam at View from the Porch.

A part of the "Patriot Games" novel (Tom Clancy - the book, that is) that comes to mind is where our hero takes his pistol to the firing range - and finds pleasure in the shooting, in the physical mastery of the shooting. Many people find a pleasure in shooting, either on the target range or with various alternatives (Tam's "bowling pins", Billll's Idle Mind goblin target matches). Cowboy Action Shooting, with 19th century period guns and costumes, is a growing sport.

I think that marksmanship and ability with firearms takes time to master. I think this is a skill that is important to be able to teach this to our children -- if they are called or choose to serve in the military or police in their future, a background can be life-saving. It is easier to teach a skill that might not be used, if you know how. Mastering the concentration and physical control aspects of shooting benefit other aspects of life, too. Like maybe playing a soprano recorder. . .

If you know how to use a firearm well, you can postpone the time you ever choose to carry concealed (i.e., protect your community and family - the FBI reports every state issuing concealed carry permits in the last five years saw a decrease in all types of crime), or make other use of any kind of weapon.

When seconds count, and the police are minutes away, is not the time to wish you knew how or had a weapon of some kind. One phrase used has really stuck with me. "Mass shootings happen in Disarmed Victim - gun free - zones." If my home were gun free, I would be seriously reluctant to let anyone know that.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

OK so I am a bit of a redneck. While I didn't grow up shooting things in the back yard, my father and grandfather insisted that we all know how to shoot a rifle and a gun and to use a knife. I do not believe in having them in my home. Knives are another story, but guns are a no go. I have children and to have a gun in the home is inviting disaster (although my GF's were never locked up and no one was silly enough to play with one). Here's my thought if I kept one I would have to lock it and the bullets up separately. "Excuse me intruder will you give me 10 minutes to get my gun and bullets and load it?"
If the world devolves into such a state of anarchy that guns are necessary I am leaving the city and heading for family land in the mountains, enough said.

Chile said...

Funny you should ask if it's on our radars since just yesterday I encountered a lady with a gun. A truck stalled out on the road in front of my house. I could hear her use the phone, and tell a passing driver that offered help, that someone was coming.

After a bit, though, I decided to take her some ice water since the temperature was about 100 degrees. As I headed out the door, another truck arrived and took a gas can out of the back.

I walked over and handed her the water. The man filling her tank was in the middle of saying, "...people aren't going to stop when you look scary carrying that gun..." At that point, I glanced down and noticed yes, she had a holstered gun on her hip. I'd registered that she was wearing shorts as I walked up but not that she was armed.

Did this make me fearful? No. Arizona is an open carry state so it is not terribly unusual to see people with guns, especially out in the sticks where I live now. Some carry for protection against criminals, some for snakes, and others probably for the macho factor. In her case, she told the guy that most people out here knew she had a nasty ex.

Katy said...

I grew up with shot guns in the house. I grew up watching my father clean guns on the kitchen table. I was taught how to shoot. My father is still in a shooting league and goes hunting all the time.

I will not have a gun in my house. Not now, not ever. I say this because I have never known someone who was killed by a gun in a house that did not keep guns. I do, however personally know three people who were killed by guns in their own guns, or guns of family memebers, in their own homes. Two by accident and one by suicide.

I get the pertection factor and if that's what you want to do than fine, just keep them locked.

Karine said...

I have never seen a real gun and never want to see one. For my safety, probably the first step would be to lock my door when I am in the house... but I don't. I live in a big city (Montreal, Canada) but I don't know of anyone owning a gun around here.

Kelsie said...

I live alone in a neighborhood that is nothing if not the ghetto. There have been rapes, home invasions, muggings, and shootings all within a block of my home. A few months ago, someone was stabbed to death in my front yard. After that, I took some lessons and my father bought me a revolver. A whistle and a cell phone isn't going to save me when I wake up in the middle of the night with someone standing at the foot of my bed, but the revolver in my bedside table just might. I used to think I didn't want anything to do with guns...funny how quickly I changed my mind. I don't think gun ownership defines any part of who I am. I just have one and know how to use it, kind of like how I have a guitar and know how to use it. :)

Anna Clark (and occasionally Casey Hook) said...

We had two guns in the house when I was growing up- a pistol and a 20-20 rifle. Both were used for shooting raccoons and such that had gotten in the to chickens. None of us children touched the guns until well into our teenhood, and then for target practice.

Turns out, my aim is (according to a military friend of mine) scary good. I enjoy hitting targets- the skill involved, and yes, I'm a bit of a show off, I suppose.

I won't have guns for self protection (I don't feel the need), nor for hunting (I don't feel comfortable eating an animal that may or may not have a prion disease). However, I will have them for target practice, and when some predator isn't deterred by the dogs. Perhaps also to help slaughter in livestock.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I don't allow my husband to keep his hunting rifles in the house. I'm not opposed to guns, but he's an active sleepwalker and I'm not looking for anything really bad to happen in the middle of the night. His sleepwalking incedents have made that a real fear for me. I do allow him to keep his bow and arrows in the house bthough.

I personally have no interest in shooting a gun, but I am glad it's a skill hubby has, and I will allow him to take my son hunting when we agree he's old enough.

I have girlfriends who learned to shoot and have guns for protection, but I really feel they're unnecessary.

My dad had a hunting rifle and taught us to never point a gun, even a toy gun, at something you don't want to kill.

Greenpa said...

Leave it to Crunchy, to find a sleeping grizzly bear, and poke it with a stick to see if it's alive. :-)

It's a crazy polarizing topic. Mostly, people will scream at each other all day, and neither hear what the other one is saying, nor change their minds.

I won't scream; I'll just mention that we've always had long guns around, for food and vermin.

But I did just get a handgun permit; and everybody in the house is on board. Our situation, though, is not everyones. Knutty Liz- I envy you the world you have there, and am sure you're on the right track. Unfortunately; we just found out (via the papers) that a not-very-close neighbor has actually been running guns to drug mobs in Mexico; from here; for years.

Locking your door, for that kind of vermin, is just not going to be effective.

Anonymous said...

Anyone carrying a gun due to "nasty ex" or neighbors better think real hard about what using it would look like, feel like (think long term PTSD) and the legal consequences.

Self defense shooting is not likely to be neat and tidy like target shooting or even hunting.

Greenpa said...

Anonymous: "Self defense shooting is not likely to be neat and tidy like target shooting or even hunting."

Absolutely, totally, unequivocally, true.

You had better also, however, think long and hard on the alternative outcomes.

Issa said...

Having a gun doesn't factor into worries about societal collapse for me, nor do I think it's "important" particularly. But I do think about self-reliance and self-protection in general ways, and I like to have a variety of tools on hand that meet these ideas. I have several fire extinguishers in my home, I have a well-stocked first aid kit, am trained in first aid, I keep headlamp flashlights in strategic locations, I keep emergency water, and I own a gun. It's not that I think it's particularly likely that I'll need to use it - I don't expect to need the fire extinguishers, either, and I'm usually only getting into the first aid kit for Tylenol - but I like to have good tools on hand for many possibilities.

Azulao said...

Heh. I think a BIG fire extinguisher might make a dandy self-defense weapon! In fact I may look into that....

I would like to know more about guns. I think it would be fun to know how to shoot targets; I used to really enjoy archery. However, looking at pictures of guns makes me feel slightly ill; they are so obviously meant to hurt people. Ambivalent would describe my attitude nicely.

I do hope that a military friend of mine will pack some heat when she takes off for a solo cross-country road trip in the near future. That just seems reasonable to me.

Cynthia in Denver said...

As a female law enforcement agent, I advocate law abiding citizens to learn how to use a gun and even owning them. I have seen first hand homeowners protect themselves by just showing or racking a bullet in the chamber (sound effect). One instance was a home invasion, another was a home burglary. These weren't in ghetto home areas, they were in decent upscale areas. The counties out west are vast, and police response can be as far away as 45 minutes! Nobody here is advocating gun owners go nuts and have daily shoot outs. Even if guns were outlawed in the US, the criminal would still get the guns on black market, and they in turn terrorize society. Nobody here is requiring the reluctant to get a gun, you're not required to own one. I am only saying, it is ok to own a gun if you learn how to use it. It is ok to have that protection for yourself and your family. It isn't an apocalyptic thing where criminals control towns; as I mentioned earlier, I've seen burgs and invasions in the suburbs in this day and age.

The Nurturing Pirate said...

Actually Greenpa, I've been impressed by the lack of polarizing comments (save one). And by the number of gun owners.

In terms of gun viewpoints in our house... DH: Yes, Me: and emphatic NO! So... yes, we have guns in the house (a rifle and a pistol). With two kids, DH was very concerned about having a top-notch safe for them, so that appeases me (somewhat). According to him, I have an irrational fear of them, which may be true.

I don't agree with DH that they will be useful in a home invasion situation (hello, they're LOCKED UP), but if society does degenerate, I'll be glad that he has them.

We both have also taken martial arts classes.

TracyKM said...

We have a fairly casual attitude towards guns in Canada, but there are quite strict laws actually. One time, while bobbing in the warm ocean while on a Caribbean cruise, I overheard two couples talking. It was quite obvious one couple was Canadian (I had caught something about the gun registry),and the other couple said they were from Colorado. The American wife was STUNNED that we "couldn't carry a gun for personal protection". She saw it as a breach of personal freedom, even though she never carried a gun. We see it as saying we live in a country where we don't NEED to carry "lethal personal protection".
My dad was a hunter, did his own re-loading, target practice, kept a gun under the bed (before the law changes). We knew to never touch them and he lead by example (they were used only for intended purposes, at the range or in the woods). I don't fear guns, but I don't think I need one either. However, if I ever move to the country like they did, I'll be making sure to learn how to use something!

Greenpa said...

Nurturing Pirate: "According to him, I have an irrational fear of them, which may be true. "

You can mention, if you wish, that I think some good irrational fear of them is highly rational. :-)

"I don't agree with DH that they will be useful in a home invasion situation (hello, they're LOCKED UP), "

Yeah, you better hope you're a really light sleeper, and can work the combination, or find the key, in nothing flat in the dark. :-)

"but if society does degenerate, I'll be glad that he has them. "

Well, there ya go. If the immediate situation is dangerous- then he takes them out of the safe. My own preference, with kids- would be to then carry it; all day, and sleep on it at night. And smack the kids' hands if they insist on being stupid.

"We both have also taken martial arts classes."

Highly recommended, including for kids, as soon as they can. What they'll really learn is; how to fall, how to evade hits and grabs, and that they're too little to actually fight; they need to run. Spice teaches women's self defense classes, including for school kids.

Greenpa said...

Just a tad more; Smidgen, now five, is at that point where she is asking; "Daddy, are dragons real?"

And, "Daddy, are bad guys real?"

They are, of course; and it's incredibly important that kids know that.

And it's difficult. And hard to explain. And you have to make sure they don't wind up terrified.

And you have to do it.

Jen C. said...

We do not have any guns in the house, nor do we ever intend to. DH and I have no desire to hunt for sport and I agree with those who say their guns wouldn't be of real use for self protection because they're locked up and have no bullets in them. We lock our door at night and are lucky enough to live in a town with a very low crime rate. (Yes, I realize that doesn't mean there isn't crime and it can't happen to us.)

What we do have is mace and kitchen knives. I got the mace in college since I lived in a town with gang wars, and if my roommates weren't home I'd put a kitchen knife in my nightstand. I have also taken a self-defense class.

By the way, I've been reading your blog for some time now and I have to say I love your blog.

Jennie said...

I have a couple of shotguns that I use to hunt. I would like a handgun at some point, and hubby is on board with it, because I'd like to learn how to fire one and maintain it and the best way to do that is to own one.
I don't think I need one for protection here in Iowa, but times have not always been so peaceful and as history is cyclical I think it's reasonable to assume that times like that will come about again. Hopefully they won't come in my lifetime, but I'd like to be prepared in case they do.

Water Barrels and a bike trailer for my son are way above a handgun on the list of things-to-buy. (but, it is on the list.)

It is occasionally good for comedic value, showing up at a gun range in rural Iowa with my guns and no hubby. :-D "Are you meeting someone here?" "Do you need help?" "whatcha got there little lady?"
I only wish I was good enough to shoot circles around them, but maybe someday.. :-D

Anonymous said...

We have fake weapons on walls as decoration. Though it does make me ponder why so many at church have made paintballing (immediately after service) a popular church activity.

I'm thinking it's cause they heard my joke about tagging the kids who egged my truck by sitting on my front porch with a paintball gun and just waiting... maybe.

Liz said...

We do have a few guns. I don't really believe they are necessary. They mostly are collector items belonging to my husband. Personally I'm pretty neutral when it comes to guns.

Carolina said...

Similar to others here... I think being able to shoot to hunt food is a very useful skill, both right now and even more so in the future. I think shooting targets or clays sounds like fun, and would like to try it.

I don't think guns are valuable for their arguable/hypothetical usefulness as a means of self-defense, currently. Will they be useful in the future? Perhaps. But I don't think that every Joe or Jane Blow on this planet deserves to own or have access to a gun, and the pro-gun culture in the U.S. scares the crap out of me- it creates and will continue to create a society that has deluded itself into thinking that all they need is a gun, and no safety education, no mental health evaluation, no training, no annual or regular test of skill, in order to be "safe".

Sonja said...

I'm european, German. We have a totally different attitude towards guns. Ownership is very restricted, and we had a couple of cases where students who had severe mental problems took their parents legally owned guns and murdered students and teachers at their schools. So, even if the people who own the gun are checked by the police and mentally ok, children are dead now because other people in those households knew how to open the gun safes too. I'm totally against guns in private households.

I always hear that line about Self Protection from many Americans, and it's just different here. I'm not saying one doesn't need to self protect here, obviously there are more than enough crimes in Germany too, but even our criminals don't carry as many guns as Americans seem to do.

"Even if guns were outlawed in the US, the criminal would still get the guns on black market, and they in turn terrorize society."

See, some of 'our' criminals have guns, but the society itself does not feel terrorized. There is way less fear in the atmosphere. I guess it's all down to cultural differences, but if I felt so terrorized that I'd consider carrying a gun, I sure would move. I simply don't want to live in a society that is so loaded with violence.

Anna said...

I think that I would wear a gun with my lingere while making dinner and doing the dishes... Love the picture! I don't have a clue how to shoot a gun, but have always had a hunting rifle or handgun in the house from my husband and stepfather. I think it's a good thing to have and am thinking about getting a gun to take care of the raccoons, and know how to use. My husband thinks there will be some sort of societal collapse and we'll be able to subsist until someone runs us out of here. I just want to get the raccoons who threaten our chickens... If he won't kill them maybe I'll have to!

Aydan said...

I've been toying with the idea of getting registered and buying a gun ever since I turned old enough to do so. I know how to shoot, and the protection factor would be nice. When you're short and petite like me, guns are a good force equalizer: I have pepper spray and a knife, too, but it's not the same at all.

Stone Fence Farm said...

We've got 'em. We practice a lot. I'm a certified NRA pistol instructor. Husband is certified gun-geek.

I think it's important to know how to use a gun and be comfortable if you are going to own one. A safe is essential for when you ain't packin'.

Brad K. said...

@ Anna,

I consider the ability to protect livestock from wild life predators a basic responsibility of livestock ownership. I also think it is important to be able to put down, in a manner safe for me, my friends and neighbors at need, any animal that needs it, from disease or injury. Sometimes the vet is just too unavailable to assume that the worst won't happen.

@ Sonja,

One gun ownership, and maybe gun motivation, issue seems to be prominent by its absence - that is, as protection of home, community, and nation from external threats and internal tyrants. I believe that the US second amendment, requiring that the population be left armed, actually reduces the chances that there will be a societal collapse.

As far as guns and children, we know how many injuries and deaths arise from fire, yet we accept cigarette lighters and matches in the home. We know how many families are impacted by the tragedies of near-drownings and drownings, yet we think nothing of Wal-Mart and others selling pools for home use with no registration, no background check, no certification of skill and knowledge of safe use.

Your arguments about using legally registered weapons by unauthorized people is tragic - yet we continue to establish gun-free zones where mass shootings are more likely. We don't ban private auto ownership just because some get stolen, or because some drivers attempt to drive while sleepy, under the influence, or when emotionally stressed. What we do is identify risk factors, and try to keep each other and the next generation informed about safety and responsibility.

Eastern Europe and the peoples of the former USSR have shown us, over the last century or more, that gun ownership is about national and cultural issues as well as personal hunting and defense needs. Other examples include Asia, Africa, and South America.

Banning in-flight firearms on 9/11 sure didn't solve any problems. One former presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, opined that "you cannot legislate morality." Morals and responsibility are what families teach their children.

The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution does not make it legal to fire on a government official. But it does preserve the ability to - and prevents the rise of tyrants confident of the *inability* of the American people to resist. That means that some portion of the citizenry must remain armed, and responsible.

Robj98168 said...

Sricky business, this gun thang. First off, I would like to say that I am a member of the NRA, but am not. I was, but since they went off the deep end on gun control and gun rights... let's just say we parted company. I think as an org. that teaches gun safety they are good. Second... I would like to say that I hunt for meat, but I don't.
Third- I think that if you at the least don't have a gun lock let alone a gun safe in your home and you have children, IMO you are a damn fool.
Fourth, if they let my nutso neighbor have a gun then I say I should have the right to bear sharks with freakin laser beams mounted on their head an a moat.

Old Wise One said...

30 years law enforcement and firearms instructor. My basic answer is if you are not willing to get advanced training, don't carry a firearm. Without advanced training by the time you realize they have a gun it it too late for you to outdraw them. However, as long as the bad guy thinks you may have a gun the safer you are.

Mike
Baton Rouge

Brad K. said...

@ Robj98168,

Um, as far as I know, the moat is OK right now, dig away. Be prepared to put up a 4' fence with child-proof locks and gates.

As for the laser sharks, you may need to demonstrate that the shark isn't harmed by the moat environment, or is harmed by attaching and energizing the laser. If anything or anyone is harmed by the shark or laser, you would likely be held accountable just as if you kept an aggressive, untrained pit bull dog that caused injury or death.

Otherwise, you can probably proceed in the morning.

Under American law, though, I think you are probably bound to assume your neighbor isn't going to injure you - until he/she displays reckless or aggressive action -- just as you are assumed to be responsible with your car, your bread knife, your garden hoe, and other objects that can and have been used to cause injury or death.

At the least, if the neighborhood knows your crazy neighbor has a gun, you might find the neighborhood kids and thugs are a bit more circumspect about harassments and robberies on your street.

As for hunting - hunting for food is only sustainable when the number of animals harvested is equal to or less than the number of excess animals produced in the wild each year. Currently a very small percentage of gun owners take more than one or two deer or other animals a year. If every gun owner thought they were going to live by hunting - first you depopulate the wild animals, then no one gets to hunt anymore. Moderation in all things is the key.

As for wanting to be a member of the NRA for the safety and other functions - great. As for not wanting to be involved with the political activism, and the way some folks keep the option open for you or my kids to own and use a firearm - your choice. Keep in mind that a weapon is what you use to change your enemy's mind (presumably you use other tactics on your friends, family, and neighbors), be it stout broom handle, sugar (probably a slow method), or marbles on the floor.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I grew up in rural Vermont where hunting is a way of life, not only for sport but for survival. (Venison was a staple in our diet.)

Personally, though, I am the only one in my family who never learned how to handle a gun as I've always had an innate aversion to them. To be perfectly honest, bringing my daughters to my parents' house causes me significant anxiety because of the presence of guns in their home and their casual relationship to them. I would never say that it was wrong for them to have guns, however.

Mary said...

Having guns around the house for protection is not important to me, but my SO has one. I'm not worried about societal collapse. As far as home intruders, I'll stick with my pepper spray, baseball bat, kitchen knives, and, now that it's been mentioned, fire extinguisher. We also have two dogs. And a lot of yard and garden implements that not only could take out some body, but could help dispose of the evidence.

Amy Manning said...

I'm not a fan of guns. But my husband is. We had to come to many comprimises regarding the guns... the coolest one being the bedside safe for the revolver. You use your fingers to punch in a quick code and it opens the safe so you can have it at a moment's notice.

I hate that other people have guns. There is just too much irresponsible behaviour.

There have been two times that I have actually been glad that they are around. The first one when dealing with a crazy neighbor pounding on our door threatening. He had it out, just in case they did something really stupid, until the police arrived.

We moved shortly after the neighbor incident. We are now in the country and have many chickens and ducks. Several of our animals have gotten murdered from a particularly vicious raccoon. When we finally caught the raccoon, that was the second time I was glad for the gun (though I hate what we had to do!).

Now, my husband feels strongly that I need to learn how to use it just in case a weirdo come knocking on our door. Sigh. I guess he is right.

Brad K. said...

Amy Manning,

Now, my husband feels strongly that I need to learn how to use it just in case a weirdo come knocking on our door. Sigh. I guess he is right.

The issue isn't as clear as whether to confront the weirdo armed, or plan to avoid having weirdos at the door (support the local police, buy guns for all the neighbors, choose a "safe" neighborhood and move anytime a burglar or other weirdo invades, whatever). There is also the situation where your husband confronts the weirdo - and would be safer if you were ready and able to back him up. We gather into groups - families, communities, nations - to more effectively secure ourselves against dangers. And, do note that one recommendation for home defense is the shotgun, not a handgun - the danger of rounds hitting someone in the background are more limited, with the limited range of effect of a shotgun, and the longer barrel and wider pattern help when the target is closer than is comfortable, and you are stressed - as in, facing a weirdo.

But you are right, you have to decide beforehand if you are willing to defend your home and loved ones.

As for the varmints, remember that a gun isn't the only tool. The lowly pitch fork and hammer work on a possum raiding a chicken nest; I watched my grandpa (missing one hand in a corn picker accident) take after a rabid skunk with a baseball bat (the danger to Grandpa scared all of us more than the skunk). Cutting and spearing tools worked long before we learned about gunpowder and guns. Donkeys, geese, dogs, and fences are other, partial, answers to predators.

I recall my uncle relating how, as a young man, he found how badly a shotgun load of rock salt stung, one night while raiding watermelons. (Please don't try this at home - the rock salt, that is, not the watermelon. Raising watermelon is a good idea; a cell phone to report burglaries is preferred at the moment.) I think my uncle's story occurred during hungry years during or just after WWII. Lawyers went to different schools, back then.

FernWise said...

I love guns, love shooting/target practice, worked at a gun shop summers when I was in school.

But my husband and son are very anti-gun, so don't own any and if I did I'd not be able to have them in the house.

They won't let me use incense inside, either. Le sigh.....

Tressa said...

I think gun ownership is a personal thing. I am a gun owner with both US Army and police training. My husband and I have a nice collection of various guns and both know how to use them. Our guns are kept locked in our bedroom (we have a deadbolt on the door) because we have kids. We do think about societal collapse and possibly needing to defend our home/ food supply. Also to use guns and ammo as currency if needed. As far as home defense… a shotgun if you have training. A well trained dog works best though. Most intruders do not want to mess with a dog. If you do not know how to use a gun, you should not have one. Guns are very dangerous if in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to use them. The adage of never pointing a gun at something you don’t intend to shoot should be law if you have guns. The gun laws in this country keep the honest people honest. They do not apply to criminals. I live in Illinois (some of the strictest laws in the states) and the bad guys still get guns and use them. I would like to see concealed carry here too, but I know that the government thinks they can control criminals with laws.

Condo Blues said...

I have swords. They are stage weapons but they are indeed real although not sharpened because that voids the warranty on most of our swords.

Allie said...

I have a sling shot. With lots of marbles and stuff to for it.

I used to have guns, but I just find it to be too much effort on my part (given my insane school/work schedule) to remain a good enough shot for it to be worth keeping them.

My neighbours, on the other hand, have billions of guns. I have all the food. In an emergency, we can just share.

Thistle said...

Oh, you Americans and your "right to bear arms"... it's at once silly and totally frightening. Here in Canada, nobody has a gun unless it's a cop or a hunter out in the middle of nowhere (and in that case it's usually some antique rifle) and we're all doing just fine. I'd never even SEEN a real gun, let alone touched one, until I went to Miami and visited a shooting range (they had posters of Osama Bin Laden and Martha Stewart that you could fire at... my mom got Osama right between the eyes on the first shot). Really, though, NOBODY needs a gun unless they're a cop. That's my opinion.

Stef said...

I always think this is an interesting subject. So many opinions! I really agree with Eva Elisabeth.
My fiance is in the Army so we have guns in our apartment and when I moved in I was totally against it and wanted nothing to do with them. He took me to the gun range and I shot a couple of times and stopped after a couple of rounds because it scared me. But then I was invited to an all woman's firearm class and now I am begging to get my own S&W! I live in Tacoma so I think having a gun in your house is a good thing as long as your educated on using it and have a safe and secure place to store it. I think every woman should learn how to properly shoot a gun and learn firearm safety skills. Very Very Important!

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