The Best Guns for Home Defense

by Brett on July 23, 2009 · 692 comments

in Gun Skills & Safety, Manly Skills, Tactical Skills

homedefense

Source Life

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jon at Armslist.comArmslist.com is an online firearms marketplace that helps users find buyers and sellers in their local market and effect transactions in the simplest way possible.

Disclaimer: This article is aimed at helping those who are not sure where to start their research process.  It is not a definitive guide to firearms purchases.  Some of the information is generalized and all readers should conduct further research before making any decision.

Nearly every American man has heard the story of the shootout at the OK Corral.  Wyatt Earp and his cohorts confronted a group of outlaw cowboys and emerged victorious.  While much myth and mystery surrounds the circumstances of this encounter, a few things are very clear.  Wyatt Earp was proficient with his Colt Peacemaker and Doc Holiday with the shotgun. While much has changed since the days of the Wild West, both the handgun and the shotgun remain top choices for clearing out ruffians who are encroaching on your territory. 

A man has always been the king of his castle and protector of his domain. When things go bump in the night, it’s your job to check on things. What should you grab when you head downstairs? Today we’ll the discuss the best guns for home defense as well as some of the pros and cons of each.

Training

gunsafetyGun safety training is essential for every man.

Before you even think about purchasing a gun, it is imperative that you are trained on how to properly use it. Remember: guns are a weapon. With the right to bear arms comes the heavy responsibility of handling them with the precaution and respect they deserve.

Moreover, a gun in the hands of man who doesn’t know what he’s doing with it is a liability to him and to his family. Regardless of what you purchase, you should frequent the firing range, take a firearms course, and attend or even partake in shooting events. All of these tasks will help you to learn to properly handle firearms.

Here are some resources to check out to get started:

Appleseed Project, a grassroots marksmanship program: http://www.appleseedinfo.org/

IDPA, Defensive Pistol shooting: http://www.idpa.com/

The Best Guns for Home Defense

Pump Action Shotgun

shotgun

Mossberg 500 – 12 Gauge Pump Shotgun

The general consensus in the firearms community is that the pump action shotgun is the top choice for home defense. They’re relatively easy to use and nearly impossible to break. More importantly, the sound of chambering a hot round into a pump action 12 gauge is sure to soil the britches of even the most hardened criminal.

The Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 are extremely popular choices in this category.  Both are proven to be extremely reliable for a reasonable price, beginning at around $200.

Ease of Use and Reliability

The pump action shotgun is a relatively simple weapon to use.  Shotgun shells are loaded into the gun, and the pump action chambers a round. Pulling the trigger fires the chambered round.  The next pump ejects the spent shell and loads another round into the chamber.  These attributes contribute to the pump action shotgun’s reliability.

Effectiveness

Shotguns are most commonly used to fire a number of projectiles, anywhere from roughly nine pellets used in 00 buckshot up to hundreds of bb sized pellets in bird shot.  At close range and with proper ammunition, shotguns can be extremely effective in defending you and your loved ones.

For more information on different types of shot and their ballistic qualities, refer to this article.

Verdict (out of 5)

Cost: 5

Ease of Use: 4

Reliability: 5

Effectiveness: 5

Bonus: (Sound of chambering a round)

Overall: 4.75

Revolver

revolver

Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Mag 4″, 6 round

The next best weapon for home defense is the revolver.  Revolvers are the simplest and most reliable of hand guns.  One of the major advantages of the revolver is its small size which allows for easy storage and access.  Also, another benefit of the revolver is its price. You can find quality revolvers for as little as a few hundred dollars.

Ease of Use & Reliability

Revolvers are produced in double action and single action varieties.  Single action revolvers require the user to pull back the hammer manually before firing the gun.  Most modern revolvers offer double action operation which alleviates the need to pull back the hammer before firing the weapon. While there are advantages to using a single-action revolver, the double-action revolver is the superior choice for home defense because of its ease of use. When an intruder has entered your home, you don’t want to have to think about cocking a gun.

Because of it’s simple design, the revolver is an extremely reliable weapon. Unlike semi-automatic weapons, it is nearly impossible for a revolver to jam. If there is a round in the cylinder of a double-action revolver, pulling the trigger will fire the gun.  Simple as that. This simplicity is an important factor for use in already stressful situations.

One drawback on revolvers, or any handgun for that matter, is the skill required to properly and effectively operate them. Don’t be fooled by your hours of playing Duck Hunt. Hitting a target, even if it’s just a few feet away, is deceptively difficult.

Effectiveness

Handguns are produced in a number of different calibers and the stopping power is dependent upon which round is used. Common choices are .38 Special (also available in a slightly stronger “+P” variety), .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45 Long Colt.  One advantage to buying a .357 revolver is that the owner can use .38 special, .38 special +P, or .357 magnum rounds as the gun accepts and safely fires all of them.  (Conversely, a .38 revolver cannot fire .357 magnum.)

It’s important to consider that larger caliber revolvers may be more difficult to fire accurately in quick succession.  Unfortunately, smaller caliber revolvers may lack the stopping power necessary to quickly incapacitate an attacker.

Visual comparison of common handgun cartridges. Left to right:

800px-Comparitive_handgun_rounds
1) 3 inch 12 ga magnum shotgun shell
2) AA battery (for size comparison)
3) .454 Casull
4) .45 Winchester Magnum
5) .44 Remington Magnum
6) .357 Magnum
7) .38 Special
8) .45 ACP
9) .38 Super
10) 9 mm Luger
11) .32 ACP
12) .22 LR

Verdict

Cost:4

Ease of Use: 3

Reliability: 5

Effectiveness: 3

Overall: 3.75

Semi-Automatic pistols

les_premierII

Les Baer Premier II 1911

Every AoM reader has seen these in movies and TV shows. They’re also the guns that most police officers carry. While semi-automatic pistols might be good for cops, they’re not a good choice for one’s first firearm purchase, at least not when home defense is the primary use. We’ll go into why that is further below.

Two iconic semi-automatic pistols are the 1911 variants and polymer pistols such as Glocks. The 1911 has seen action through two world wars and is still in use by US Special Operations and FBI HRT. Glocks have been heralded for their ease of use and reliability and have seen much use in law enforcement. Quality semi-automatic pistols can cost as little as a few hundred or as much as a few thousand.

Ease of Use and Reliability

The operation of a semi-automatic handgun is more complicated than a revolver.  An operator must become familiar with operating slide-stops and safeties, loading magazines, chambering rounds and clearing jams.  The additional actions involved make it less than ideal for those unfamiliar with hand guns.  This, combined with the skill required to accurately shoot a handgun, means that semi-automatic handguns are the least user friendly of the choices mentioned.

Because rounds are automatically loaded and the design is more complex, semi-automatic weapons are also more prone to jamming failures than revolvers.

Because of the semi-automatic handgun’s lower reliability and more complicated operation, first time purchasers should probably consider a shotgun or a revolver.

Effectiveness

As with revolvers, effectiveness varies drastically with caliber.  There are many different calibers for semi-automatic handguns. The most common are .380 ACP, 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.  The 9mm is perhaps the most popular caliber, in use by military and law enforcement around the world. The .40 S&W was created by the FBI to allow for additional stopping power over the 9mm.  The 45 ACP came about during the development of the 1911.

Verdict

Cost: 3

Ease of Use: 2

Reliability: 3

Effectiveness: 3

Overall: 2.75

Conclusion

This article is aimed at providing a starting place for those that lack prior knowledge of and experience with firearms.  Again, proper education, training, and practice are essential when deciding to purchase a gun.

For another take on what weapons are the best for home defense, see Primer Magazine’s article: Hero Training: Best Weapons for Home Defense.

What are your thoughts on the best guns for home defense? Do you prefer a baseball bat over a gun? Let us know in the comments.

{ 690 comments… read them below or add one }

401 Kevin November 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

One word, all right,maybe two…..taurus judge,………….410 buck shot

402 michelle November 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Hi,

I loved your site! Just wanted to mention a book I read, called “The Collapse of 2013″ by Hartland. Very, very patriotic and pro second amendment. I think you would enjoy it.

Michelle Chanlon

ps, I have a Ruger Mk11 and shoot CCI Stingers. Is that good for home protection? I am a range qualified shooter.

403 Angel O November 12, 2009 at 8:57 am

I disagree with the shotgun as a good home defense weapon. Especially the premise that the sound of a shotty being racked will scare criminals away! That’s just nonsense. For a really extensive discussion on what’s best for home use check out this link: http://lightfighter.net/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5436084761/m/290101534?r=290101534#290101534.

404 Ben November 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I don’t understand why there are so few moderate opinions about gun control.
First of all, all Europeans aren’t pussies and all Americans aren’t trigger-happy lunatics who are “programmed to kill.” Aren’t we adults? Are you all crazy or something?
Second of all, both sides argue “Well where do we draw the line?” I am always just shocked at how stupid this question is. The line is drawn already. Can you read? Do you live here and are aware of the laws? It’s drawn, and if either side had any sense they’d realize it’s a pretty reasonable compromise. We can have semi-auto guns as long as they fit certain, pretty loose criteria. No full-autos unless they are made before 1986 and the government is pretty sure you’re not crazy. We can have pistols and it’s up to the state to decide if we can walk around with them in our backpacks all day. The gun control debate more often sounds like a bunch of middle schoolers calling each other names.
Your statistics and hypothetical situations need to be taken with a grain of salt. What happens if you kid gets curious and finds a gun? I dunno, how old are they? Have you explained gun safety to them? Is your family generally pretty high intelligence and capable of learning things like “Hey, this is a gun, here’s what it does. Don’t touch it, okay?” I don’t mean that sarcastically. Some kids are just dumb, and won’t understand that kind of thing. If they are, you need to look at owning a firearm as a function of the likelihood of your kid finding it versus the likelihood of being attacked, and go from there. There isn’t a right answer for everyone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I just wish having an opinion in America didn’t mean sticking to your opinion and blindly dumping every other well-thought-out and intellectual piece of information out the window, or negating it with situational evidence (“having a gun is a bad idea because this many of this bad thing happens every this often” or “having a gun is a good idea because this many people defend this many people this many times every year”). Guns, politics, everything nowadays seems to stem from a complete failure on someone’s part to think for themselves. For me, myself, it makes sense to own a gun. That doesn’t mean it makes sense for everyone else, just like if my neighbor had legitimate reasons for not owning a gun, it doesn’t immediately mean that I should go out and sell mine. FFS, detach your balls from your opinions for once, there is very seldom one right and one wrong answer in a situation.

405 Dave D November 25, 2009 at 12:15 am

Don’t listen to people like Angel O, they are those types like to indulge in survivalist armed to the teeth fantasies. The shotgun has proven itself to be a great home defense weapon since the 1800′s.

406 adanamo December 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Take away the guns, and only the criminals will have them. Did you ever think about that??? Ya know I guess I could use my phone for self defense but personally my throwing arm is a little weak and i think my 12 ga with the 3 1/2 inch BB shell sitting in the chamber is much more accurate, and could probably do more damage.

407 Anonymous December 14, 2009 at 12:31 am

My choice of home defense, AK47 with bayonet, although shotguns are very effective, some may not want to fire a shotgun indoors, as they are a spread shot and will hit surrounding valuables, whereas a rifle such as an AK47 will only hit the area aimed at and not damage surrounding objects, you have more control of what is hit. An AK47 with 30 rd. magazine clip will destroy any intruder, also, if you run out off ammo or if the guns jam (AKs never jam) you always have the bayonet at the end of your gun to jab into the intruder.

408 Paully December 14, 2009 at 1:59 am

Either a handgun or a shotgun will do the job if you know how to use it, but just make sure you have some lighting system with it. There’s been a lot of accidents from a family member arriving home unexpectedly.

409 drchicago0 December 20, 2009 at 10:23 am

have some problems with the two top picks: shotgun and revolver. I am not a gun expert and am not really interested in guns except for protection. I bought a shotgun a couple of years ago for home protection, and then in about one hour realized it was useless. Why? Because of safety issues. I have kids and other people running around my house all the time, so it dawned on me that I would have to keep the gun and ammo in separate places or lock them up, or both. If an intruder came in, by the time I could get the gun loaded and ready to fire, we’d all be dead meat. Same with a revolver. A local gunshop owner recommended a semi-automatic, because you can keep a loaded clip in a nearbye lock box, slip it into the pistal handle, and you’re ready. I’d like to hear some comments and thoughts on the safety/ease of use issue. This is just practical stuff, but maybe I’m missing something.

410 Mike December 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Anonymous – if you need 30 rounds to stop an intruder, work on your aim or move out of downtown Baghdad. Also, an AK round has amazing penetrating power. We don’t want to shoot through walls and kill someone else do we? The right gun is dependent on each person’s situation. Do you live alone or with kids? Are you in a house in the country, suburbs or in an apartment? Do you have time/money to commit to learning to shoot well and remaining proficient? Do you have the knowledge to teach your household about gun safety? Trained professionals have a hard time hitting a target less than 10 feet away in stressful situations – are you willing to practice a lot? Do you know the laws of where you live? Are you willing to kill a human being? You may only wound, but there is no difference in the justification for killing and wounding. “If you’re not justified to kill, then you’re not justified to wound.”

The right choice for you will take a great deal of research and soul searching. You can’t trust the opinions of posters to these forums – you never know the level of experience and knowledge of the poster.

411 D Larson December 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I disagree with the shotgun, or any gun that is too long to be carried on the person. A gun at home does you no good. What if you come home and the intruder is pointing your shotgun at you! Buy a Glock, .38 Snub, Kel Tec or whatever you feel comfortable carrying an shooting. Then get a carry permit and always have it on you. A gun at home does you no good. If you think you will lock it up in a safe to keep the intruder from getting it, then you will not be able to retrieve it in time either. Get a carry gun, get training, and carry it!

412 Anonymous December 30, 2009 at 1:09 am

I agree that your choice of self defense is all depending on your situation and needs. For my needs, an AK47 serves me fine, where as others may want something different. It all depends on the person and his/her needs. That is the best response to someone looking for the best home defense item.

413 kevindsingleton December 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm

What a bunch of pansies. Some of you need more than a web site to increase your manliness.

414 Shawn December 30, 2009 at 2:29 pm

The best gun for HD is the AR15.

Glad I live in a free country, and have a set.

415 anonGorilla December 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm

There are so many limp wristed punks commenting here it makes me want to vomit. Considering how many kill crazy muslims are populating different areas of the planet now you’d better get familiar with guns and how to use them. You can all wish that guns were never invented (and gun powder) all you want but that’s not practical. The reality is that one section of this world is gearing up to kill all the other non-believing sections of the world and take it’s resources. Sharia law is getting alot of press in the UK lately. Get ready to hand over your country.

416 ErSwnn January 1, 2010 at 11:56 am

If you equate owning a gun to manliness your a wuss from the get go. Otherwise my daughter and wife would be swinging some big testicles. Now if your equating the ability to defend yourself and loved ones by any means necessary, manliness abounds. Pardon my brashness here but I’m not in the mood to pussyfoot around…to the ones who think a cell phone is a defensive tactic….your idiots. An old saying goes well here. “When seconds count, the cops will be there in minutes.” If your wife or child are being assualted who do you want there…..someone with a cellphone or someone with a gun? If you say cellphone I say your hung like a hampster. Human history and nature has a strong element of violence. Nothing is going to change that….ever. The only viable option is equal or greater violence. When done for purely self-defensive reasons it is a morally acceptable. For me it is unacceptable to allow myself to be a target without the means to counter a threat. It’s a violent and dangerous world we live in gentleman. I’m sure there are those among you who feel my viewpoint is severe. Too bad. This is how I see it. If your willing to die on your knees, have at it. I’m responding to a threat.

417 Justin January 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Protecting your family is your duty as a man and a father. Recently, in my home state, a mans family was raped and murdered in front of him. Sure, the odds of this happening to anyone is astronomical, but it does happen.

I would rather have a gun and not need one then need a gun and not have one. I am a responsible adult and my kids wont be able to get anywhere near my firearms.

418 Anonymous January 2, 2010 at 12:15 am

ErSwnn, right on. I agree with you. Guns that keep the world free (if they are in the right hands, such as hands of civilians). So that citizens may be able to defend themselves from tyranical governments.

419 dkines January 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm

ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS ARTICLE!!! I have about 10 guns and plan on getting more. GREAT JOB AOM!! keep it up!!

420 Jon January 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I agree that calling the police is the best solution before shooting the guy breaking into your place but in large cities, like Los Angeles, there is often a delay in the response from the LAPD, Culver City PD, Santa Monica PD, LA Sheriffs, whoever answers the call.

It is not out of their own apathy but they are overburdened as police force. Policing cities that are dense and spread out is difficult. Within the 10-15 minutes it may take police to respond you may be called upon to protect yourself. I will concede that owning a gun is treating a symptom of an overtaxed police system but until then I’d like to have ways to protect myself until the police do arrive.

A few criticisms of the article: Starting with a discussion of the OK Corral was in bad taste. It only furthers the stereotype of gun owners as cowboys who have itchy trigger fingers. I think that most people would hope they would never have to use their firearms for their intended purpose: shooting an intruder.

Where was the discussion of gun safety and security? There are ways to own a gun safely in a household with children. There are gun safety courses that impart the ability to use a gun correctly and safely while instilling a sense of respect for what you hold in your hands.

Where was the discussion of the legal liability involved with shooting someone? In California, for example, you don’t have free reign to shoot any and every intruder who enters your home. In fact, you open yourself up to legal liability if you do manage to shoot someone. Does there need to be a 50-state discussion of home security jurisprudence? No.

The article is great at introducing which firearms may be the most useful for home security but it neglects to include a discussion of the responsibilities of owning a gun and that is the most important part of owning a gun.

421 Jon January 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Jon,

As the author of this article I feel compelled to respond to your comment.

The responsibilities of owning a gun fall under a broad umbrella called “personal responsibility.” You may not be familiar with this term as many educators, bureaucrats and general proponents of the nanny-state have tried to eliminate it from modern society.

When a chef writes an article about the tools you should buy to cut foods in the kitchen, he/she won’t go into much detail explaining how to prevent from injuring oneself or preventing children from accessing and injuring themselves with the products. That would fall under a slightly different umbrella called “common sense” which is also shrinking in modern society.

A brief review of these topics and an understanding of the shrinking modern attention span should shed light on why I didn’t open such a large can of worms in an article such as this.

A comprehensive review of each state’s legal history with regard to self defense is a good idea for another article. I doubt this is the right website to host it, but there are many others that would welcome such an article.

Thanks for the response, glad you enjoyed the article.
-Jon

422 James January 2, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Oddly enough our (United States) Founders actually wanted the citizenry to own firearms primarily so we could defend ourselves from our own government if it became too overbearing.

Criminal defense and defense against invaders is well and good, but the sentinel effect it has on our political leaders is what the Founders really wanted. You can read the writings of Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, George Mason, Patrick Henry, and others and see that this is so.

It’s not about actively killing people. You foreigners need to understand that in America our primary military is not our Army, Navy, or Air Force. It is the armed People, the vaunted militia of the Second Amendment. According to the Founders, the citizen-soldiers of our nation are to outnumber and out gun our standing military so that it may never be used as a club to subject us to the whims of tyrants.

We’re unique. A new breed of nation. The Japanese left us alone at the beginning of World War II because of our militia. They feared to invade the American mainland because they our citizen soldiery was the most formidable military we have. That enabled us to spend our resources saving Europe from Nazi domination.

One might not be too wildly speculating if he said that we would not have been able to expend those resources without our citizen soldiery, and that consequently we would not have been able to enter the European theater.

I shan’t give up my firearms. I enjoy them and use them to ensure the safety of myself, my family, my State, my country, and their respective rights. I also appreciate this article and hope that this blog will continue to recognize firearms as manly (They are! As has been stated, many firearms are so powerful the majority of the fairer sex finds them difficult to handle.) and publish more articles on them.

423 EV January 3, 2010 at 12:06 am

guns are amazing bit of technology and for all you gun haters out there, ask your Grandpa how he feels about guns, I’m sure he’ll tell you that he and his gun were very intimate buring WWII, Korea, Nam etc. First of all humans have had a general disdain for other unlike them since the dawn of time. We were killing each other off brutally well before the invention of guns. Guns are not the problem, the stagnant nature of human social and civic development is the problem. Guns have many uses, gathering food (if you need to), winning battles against NAZI’s and COMMIES, enforcing laws and last but not least, protecting your family from people who hold no regard for human life. When some one breaks into your home and they have a gun to your head and your wife is laying in bed next to you with a bullet in her chest, I’m sure you’ll hate yourself for being such a liberal jackass. Not to mention when youre on a city bus and some jihadist jumps screaming “for Allah,” (no disrespect to peaceful and kind muslims everywhere) I bet you’ll wish you had a bullet to put between his eyes. I would gladly end the life of some scum bag in order to save my own life and the lives of many other innocents, thank you guns. I love and applaud guns, and hope they keep making them safer for good guys and harder to use for bad guys. Thanks for the article and by the way, I love my remmington. And for all international people who can’t own guns for whatever reason, too bad for you, this is an AMERICAN publication so either shut your mouth and deal with it, or move to America and revel in the joy of the 2nd amendment. Actually anyone who doesn’t like guns should just go learn ballet and stay the hell out of america.

424 RL January 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Maybe if you lived on a ranch or a remote area… Using an AK as a home defense weapon even when your next door neighbor is 100 feet away is a very bad idea.

“Anonymous December 30, 2009 at 1:09 am
I agree that your choice of self defense is all depending on your situation and needs. For my needs, an AK47 serves me fine, where as others may want something different. It all depends on the person and his/her needs. That is the best response to someone looking for the best home defense item.”

425 RL January 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Yes. A handgun in the hands of a properly trained individual is a lot better than a rape-alarm. Training is the key word. Every person has the right to defend themselves and their loved ones from harm, regardless of whether that method is a knife, pepper spray, or firearm. Unfortunately, sometimes pepper spray or a knife will not work against an assailant who is bigger and stronger than you.

I really would like to know how would those posting comments condemning the use or ownership of firearms defend themselves or their loved ones? …by calling the police who are minutes away? Would you allow yourself or a loved one to be assaulted or killed for your belief that firearms should only be in the possession of the police or military?

Hayley November 1, 2009 at 10:04 am
Real interesting to see all these strong opinions on gun ownership – maybe I should start an ‘artofgirliness’ blog to see which kind of gun us girls should be packing. Gotta be a better deterrent than a rape alarm.

426 James January 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm

For home defense, a lady should learn to use a short barreled shotgun of the highest gauge she can comfortably handle. 20 gauge is about the smallest you want to use, however. Smaller than that and you’re not going to pack enough punch. Pump action or semi-automatic loaded with .00 or .000 buckshot will give you enough firepower to take down a few men if you place your shots well.

For defense of the person in public, I would recommend a revolver chambered in .38 caliber +P or .357 magnum if you can become comfortable with the power and recoil. Alternatively, an automatic handgun chambered in 9mm +P is also powerful enough to kill someone and the recoil is very manageable. In any handgun you should load jacketed hollow-point +P rounds (JHP +P) for defense. They travel faster and expand more than full metal jacket (FMJ) rounds.

Your analysis is correct! A firearm is much more deterring than a rape alarm. The report of a gunshot does two things. One, it raises the stakes for your would-be aggressor. Rape with the chance of escape or mere incarceration is one thing. Rape with a high chance of being gunned down and bleeding to death in the street is an entirely different prospect. Two, gunfire is more effective at getting attention than a rape alarm.

427 Sergant January 6, 2010 at 10:14 am

It’s Ruger, I guess.

428 T. James January 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I stumbled upon this article completely by accident and I am amazed at the various responses. I want to start by pointing out that in the us nearly 59million people live in a rural area. If someone breaks into your home it isn’t a few minutes until the deputy shows up it could be as much as 10, 15, 20 minutes or even longer.

Anyone familiar with the true crime novel “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote knows that 10 minutes is more than enough time for home intruders to murder your entire family.

In a much earlier response someone quoted Ghandi as saying that nothing was worth killing for… Apparently Ghandi never had to sit and watch as his wife/ daughter was raped and then murdered by a home invader.

The saddest thing is that most of the gun deaths that occur in the U.S. occur in urban areas and are gang related. As an advocate of responsible legal gun ownership I wish to point out that cities in states which permit concealed carry of a gun have overall lower gun crime numbers than those states which do not permit concealed carry and even more specifically cities which have outright bans on handgun ownership. When a criminal is faced with the fact that any potential victim might be armed they are more likely to think twice about committing a crime than a criminal in a city which has banned handguns.

Guns are not glorious, they are not manly, they are not toys.

What they are is a deterrent, a very convincing and very powerful deterrent.

If you live somewhere where the police can respond within a minute or two then by all means call them and wait. I, however, will never stand by and watch as a home invader rapes my child and murders my family.

I empathize deeply with those who are anti-gun, however, firearm deaths are overwhelmingly the result of criminals battling other criminals. I live in a major city where people are caught in the crossfire of gang battles nearly every day. My city has a long-standing ban on handguns. Handguns are overwhelmingly the type of firearm used in homicides in the city. Our mayor is staunchly anti handgun but has also said that there should be a shotgun in every umbrella stand. A shotgun in the hands of a responsible and properly trained homeowner is an amazing deterrent. Very few criminals will stay to fight upon hearing the sound of a 12-gauge cartridge being chambered. it’s as simple as that.

Until all guns are taken out of the hands of all criminals in the US I will always be a gun owner. Thomas Jefferson himself once said that the beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be necessary until someone attempts to take it away. Lastly and in my eyes most importantly, the Constitution of the United States of America REQUIRES the population to overthrow our government in the instance that it has become tyrannical, by force if necessary. The second amendment was added to the constitution to ensure that Americans would never again succumb to tyrannical rule. Imagine a government, which knows full well that the majority or it’s citizens are gun owners, attempting martial law or despotic rule. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

429 Graham Jones January 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Are you kidding me? This article got an extremely undue reception. The proliferation of legal firearms reduces crime and fatality, that it a statistically proven fact. A robber or other intruder will be very deterred from entering or breaking into a home if he knows that homeowners in the area can and do own firearms, why do think crime rates in places with less gun control are so low and higher in other places, as for Europe where I imagine a lot of you live, firearms can still be obtained with relative ease illegally so you disarm the people who need to defend themselves and don’t effect those who would use the firearms maliciously. This is a great post.

430 Joe January 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I’m surprised to see so many “men” here are against guns. Every man must have a gun. You’re supposed to be a protector, you’re supposed to stand up and in times of crisis, be it a simple home invasion or defending civil liberties, if the need arises.

Bad guys don’t care about laws, they can get guns with no problem. By not arming yourself, you become a silly victim, that puts in jeopardy yourself and those who are around you by not being able to repel serious threats.

There was a story that I remember reading about not too long ago. A few armed robbers broke into a backdoor of a house (and it was not a rural area, it was downtown). There was a man and his girlfriend at that place. The man was unarmed and didn’t have any guns at his house. The men simply walked in, pointed a gun at him, tied him up and started raping his girlfriend. Then took valuables and left.

Now, what kind of man allows this to happen? A girlie one. If he had a shotgun, a simple slide lock sound would most likely send these burglars running for dear life, no need to even fire.

If you want to see what’s really going on in the world, read some crime reports, find a website that shows crime in your local neighborhood (google crime maps or something). Watch some videos of stabbings, assaults, robberies. After tasting a bit of reality and looking past your little sheltered bubble, you may realize that you’re not as safe as you think you are. And if shit hits the fan and you’re bare handed… then outcome can be just about anything.

431 Greg January 11, 2010 at 2:10 am

Damn, this turned into a heated discussion in a hurry. Clearly it is a pretty touchy subject. My take is pretty much in line with the international view: I see little need to own a firearm. If somebody comes into your home planning to kill you, then having a gun probably won’t help too much considering they probably have one too and have used it before against a person. In short, they won’t hesitate to shoot you and you will hesitate to shoot them, aka you die. Personally, I would not fire at another person unless there was a gun aimed at me, and by then it’s too late, and having a gun at that point makes the situation about as dangerous as possible.

Plus, the vast majority of home invasions are by people who don’t want to hurt you, they just want your stuff. While this is wrong and illegal, it is not a crime punishable by death, and you have no right to execute them for their crime. Talk your way out of the situation, don’t open fire.

How about an article about how to talk yourself out of a dangerous situation instead of how to properly arm yourself to kill another human? It’s a lot more manly to diffuse a dangerous situation than to escalate it to its most violent conclusion in my honest opinion.

432 2balkane January 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm

First let me say that I love the site, the style, the info etc….GREAT JOB and keep up the GREAT WORK! Secondly, If I do not like (or am surprised) by some content, I can turn it off or click on something else. If I am scarred for life by the content I would probably choose not to visit again. For “christsake” people, deal with it and move on, if you like it STAY, if you do not like the content GO, it is ultimately your CHOICE.

On firearms information specifically……I’m surprised there are not MORE firearms related articles on this FINE website! What is more manly than providing food for your family that YOU have hunted, prepared, and put on the table? Firearms are not just used to kill people.

Thanks again for a GREAT and INFORMATIVE site. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!

433 Josh January 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

lol at all these comments about picking up a phone and calling the cops, and having a gun will get u shot quicker. u guys have fun when someone breaks in and is popping ur families heads off one by one while u wait for the cops to get there

434 Robert January 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm

OK, i have read many of you say if a intruder sees you have a gun he will shoot you. why do you have a gun and just stand there. you have a gun for a reason. use it if someone is going to hurt you or your family. you dont buy a gun to look at it. self defence means useing the firearm to protect your family and yourself. And storing it in you house, lock it up. if it has a combo lock and you are the only on with the combo and never keep the ammo with the gun. simple. And your kids should know to not touch things that arent theres. well i guess im the only one that teachs there kid to listen to their parents. im done talking to you people.

435 Ryan January 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

Anyone who wants to blame guns for violence might as well blame marilyn manson for the columbine shootings. Maybe you have heard this redundant ’bout, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” And all of you opposing this guy’s blog (which I found on google searching for a good gun for home defense) about guns… go back to listening to your techno music and wearing your banana yellow shorts, riding your scooter. I know plenty of people from your countries (where you can’t get these weapons) who will throwdown and accept the world we live in. Feast or be eaten.

436 John January 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Great post, the anti-gun commenters simply don’t know what they’re talking about. If someone breaks into your house, and you call the police, it could be 20-30 minutes before they arrive, you could very well be dead or your loved ones raped in that time.

I am by no means a gun expert, but I think the maneuverability of the shotgun should have been addressed. A handgun is easier to draw and maneuver around a house. If you’re moving around a corner with a shotgun, it’s easier for the assailant to grab the barrel. But great article, don’t let the anti’s get you down.

437 Alexander January 25, 2010 at 6:45 am

@ John
In ideal circumstances (which not everyone has) you’d be able to gather everyone you need to defend in one room, with the gun aimed at the door, so maneuverability doesn’t come into it.

I think the article as a whole is too harsh on semi-automatic firearms, since they are more than reliable enough to defend the home, if properly lubricated. Of course, every pistol owner should practice clearing a jam until they have it down pat. Semi-automatic carbines are also viable, since they actually penetrate less than buckshot through walls, but also expand well and have a higher magazine capacity.

I’d also point out that treating the sound of racking the shotgun slide as an added bonus is foolish in the extreme, since it not only potentially tells your intruder where you are, but also that you have a gun. Further, if you keep your shotgun with a shell in the chamber (you should) you’ve just extracted a shell for no real benefit.

438 Ronny January 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I totally agree with this article!

Along with my CCW License, I carry the Glock 23 which I believe to be one of the best self-defensive pistols. It is .40 cal and inbetween the 9mm and the 45 cal. The 40 actually has more velocity than the 45, meaning it will get there faster and actually apply more shock to your attacker. The 45 can make a nice hole, but if you do not get it to the correct location of the body, that person will still be able to continue to shoot back.

The second amendment gives us Americans the RIGHT to protect ourselves and if you read it yourself, you will see the number ONE reason is to protect yourself from our government. Without the American citizen armed, the governing elitists will have full control over you as they have and continue to implement.

Buy a gun, get licensed and trained and if you have kids, train them also as that will likely stop any accidents from occurring within the home. Their curiosity will be put to rest.

Be a Man… Take a stand for your rights… Get and stay armed!
It is a proven fact that when the criminals know you have a gun, they will much less likely to try anything with you.

439 MrLogical January 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Facts:
1) When seconds count, the police will be minutes away.
2) More guns = fewer crimes.
3) The best criminal is a dead criminal.
4) The Second Amendment is still intact – at least for now.

440 John January 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I was raised to believe “it is better to have one (a gun) and not need it than to need one and not have it”. I have no issue with the laws/viewpoints found in other countries, but here in the US, if you don’t have one, you may well be found wanting! This country is saturated with illegal weapons. It is by far easier in my state to buy one on the street that to buy one in a gun shop. It’s unfortunate, but true… if we make guns a crime, only criminals will have guns.

441 Chris January 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I can’t comprehend how people in other countries can be so ignorant and completely hypocritical. In the U.K. there are more stabbing deaths per capita than any country in the world. Do they ban knives? No! Anyone who says the undertones of this article are disturbing need to understand the context in which it is written. The article is assuming that you have made the responsible decision and are going to protect your family or yourself with the use of firearms. You see in this country we established something called a Constitution after we kicked your ass in the Revolutionary War. Read the Second Amendment bonehead, then read the rest of the amendments and realize how sensible they actually are. Accidents happen, but that doesn’t outway our need to carry firearms.
This is not a political opinion, anyone who says the risk of self-injury is greater than the risk of getting killed by a robber needs to stop reading bullshit erroneous statistics that only take into account demographics catered to the study. Either that or invite a burglar into your house for tea and crumpets and sea if he doesn’t shoot your ass? or in your case stab you with a giant machete. Focus on reality people, burglars don’t want to be caught so what do they do they cover up the evidence. All you foreigner morons should be banned from this discussion as you have no fucking clue what your talking about. Go read general laws from any state about gun control and you’ll understand that you can’t just buy a gun at your corner drug store with your cigarettes. These laws govern storage, handling, registration, licensing, which guns are allowed to be owned. How much ammo can be carried in the gun. And by the way most states except for a few require a license to purchase carry and possess. Before you say stupid shit get a clue first.

442 Chris January 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

By the way if you get a handgun get a glock best one out there.

443 JSM January 31, 2010 at 8:14 am

Great article with some very level-headed advice. I was shocked to read some of the anti-gun comments in this blog. So shocked that I stopped reading for a moment to thank God I live in a free country and not the socialistic detention camp that some European countries have become.

As far as accidental deaths from firearms, last year I saw a reckless driver overturn their SUV and completely smash flat a compact car with 4 occupants, killing them all. The highway is the most dangerous place you can be, with driving the leading cause of unnatural death. As a matter of fact, almost everyone personally knows someone who has been killed or seriously injured in a car accident, yet few people personally know someone who has been killed with a firearm. Yet no one is screaming for the banning of cars or stricter controls on driving. (By the way, an average of 250,000 children are injured every year in the United States from car accidents, with 2,000 of them being fatal injuries. Where’s the outcry and foaming-at-the-mouth screaming that firearms always get?)

444 American Lineman January 31, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I skimmed over the article, and from the parts I read, I thought it was a fine article. All these responses about it being disapointing and terrorable and blah blah blah, what? Really? Where I live, very few people DONT own a firearm. It’s part of my culture, and most of my friends as well, we all grew up hunting and handling firearms together. I dont know about laws on firearm ownership in other countries, but just having a firearm in my bed room gives me a sense of security.

445 Jason January 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Wow guys, being a man isn’t all about learning to shave and tying a proper tie. As a man you have the responsibility to protect your family from any threat that may come, whether it’s a natural disaster, disease, or an intruder in your home. Someone who has just invaded your home is a sociopath and not going to be open to reason or discussion. And making a phone call to the police, when an intruder is in your house, is too little too late. You need to think about that. Even when the police arrive, they will more than likely surround your house and try to convince the intruder to come out. The scene of the police bursting in at the last minute and making a “rescue shot” that saves your family is a Hollywood myth. Fortunately I live in a state that allows me to own a gun and legally allows me to use it to defend my home. If you are not allowed the same rights, I’m sorry … but you still have a responsibility to defend your home and family with whatever means you have. Self-defense is one of those unpleasant facts of life that you have to be prepared to deal with. A man who isn’t prepared to take every measure to protect his home and family isn’t fulfilling his role.

446 Skyler February 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

Ok. Everyone complaining about guns and how dangerous they are…. CALM DOWN!!!! If you did indeed read the article you would have read that GUN SAFETY is a vital part of the article. It explains basic use and reliability of guns. Yes guns are weapons and should have a safe to be put in. People get too sensitive. If you ban guns you know who will still have them? Criminals… Drugs are banned. who has them sells them hmmmmm criminals. So before you get on your high horse about how dangerous guns use a little c.s. and calm down. Guns are great and great for defense heaven forbid you ever have to use one, but the peace of mind is important.

447 Shawn February 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Are yal serious…… There is nothing wrong with owning a gun and if you think a phone is the best home defence, well I hope the bad guy that breaks in to your house and does what ever he does laughes at you. That’s pretty much what will happen, it will take the police at least 3+ mins to get there if there is one in the area. That is alot of time for alot of things to happen, I’m not saying go buy a gun. Everyone is has the right to voice their own, and own a gun if they qualify. Never bring a phone to a gun fight.

448 bill February 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

WOW. isn’t this America, we have the right to bare arms. Just because some of you mambsy pamsbys have never seen a gun doesn’t mean people shouldn’t have the right to own one. I served in the Marines for four years, I did what I did so you ass holes could have the rights that you deserve. Get a life and a set of balls.

449 Blake February 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I personally don’t see how anyone with a family wouldn’t have a gun in their home. I’m sorry, I don’t care who you are but if you come in my house to mess with any of my family, you’re not going to leave. A man’s main job is protection of his family. If you don’t think it’s necessary to protect your wife, girlfriend, parents, children or whoever it may be at any cost… then you’re not a man. Period.

450 Jessie February 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I am a career criminal who started out breaking into cars during my teenage years to support my drug addiction. Then I moved on to burgurlizing homes since there were higher value items in the homes than there were in the vehicles. I was a little hesitant to break into homes at first. Not because the resident will call the police, but in fear of the occupant being there and doing something to me. The police will take a while, but a really big guy or a gun owner would stop me instantly. With the police I have a chance to do my dirty work and get away. Then I realized that I was in California and the gun laws were very strict. The probability of the resident being huge or owning a gun was slim. Committing crimes in California was easy. I guess that is why there is so much crime there. Unfortunately, long after committing the actual crimes the police found me and I served time on different occasions. I eventually received two strikes, so I moved from California to Alaska to prevent a third strike and a life sentence. Cautiously I only break into cars now. Alaska has a right to carry law and most citizens use their rights there. Committing crimes in Alaska is tough; I guess that is why their crime rate is a lot lower than that of states with strict gun laws. Weird isn’t it?

451 Ian February 7, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I found this to be a fairly informative article, with a great deal of sound advice. I do have some qualms with it though.

Of these qualms, perhaps my biggest qualm is the exclusion of defensive carbines. There are several long guns available in both rifle and pistol calibers that make excellent defensive firearms in the home. Of course, one must consider the bulk of the weapon and the caliber when electing to make use of a defensive carbine (as well as the terrain and environment surrounding one’s home). In addition to my Sig P220R (.45ACP) and my Smith & Wesson M&P9 (9x19mm Parabellum) I have an AR15 for home defense. The AR is a reasonably compact weapon, and the 5.56mm round is actually far less likely to over-penetrate an assailant or multiple walls in a home due to its high velocity and frangible design than 9mm. There is a reason that SWAT teams have transitioned away from the 9mm MP-5 and taken up the M-4, and it isn’t simply due to armed criminals in body armor. Additionally, it is difficult to argue with having 30 rounds of potent ammunition on tap if, God forbid, one encounters multiple home invaders.

Which brings me to my next point. While a revolver is certainly an excellent choice for home defense (I have one myself), it is very limited in ammunition capacity, and reloading can be a rather involved process should it be required under fire. If you choose to use a revolver, it would be wise have loaded speed-loaders ready.

The biggest advantage of a semi-automatic pistol is the ammunition capacity. Most have at least 8 rounds on tap (like the P220 or M1911A1 and clones), and some may have up to 20 rounds available in one magazine (like variants of the Sig Sauer P226 and CZ 75). This is advantageous if you are facing multiple attackers, or if your foe is particularly tenacious. Further, reloading a semi-auto is generally easier than a revolver; drop the spent magazine and insert a new mag, and tug the slide back to release it and chamber a new round. A skilled pistol shooter can accomplish this in 2 or 3 seconds.

Additionally, some, like me are licensed to carry a concealed pistol when out in public. That adds an additional consideration to one’s firearms purchase, namely “will I be able to conceal and carry this firearm with me for long periods of time”. This adds further considerations like size, shape, weight, capacity, caliber, sights, and reliability to the equation and is a subject worthy of an article of its own.

452 Chuck Haggard February 8, 2010 at 5:50 am

Many posts ago Nick talked about the comments referencing Nazis as being stupid. Well Nick, before the blitz England was begging for guns to be used to fight off the planned Nazi invasion, as they had not nearly enough guns available to accomplish this task. Americans being good hearted towards our English cousins sent thousands of guns (many of them privately owned) over the pond to help the effort.
The fact that they ended up not being used against Nazi infantry is only due (to paint with a broad brush) to the incompetence of Herman Goering and the very manly use of Hurricanes and Spitfires armed with,,,,,, you guessed it, machine guns!

Being a firearms instructor, a career police officer, former SWAT guy, former military, a hunter and outdoors man, I have an interest an quite a bit of training with firearms. I find some of the technical information in the article subjective or inaccurate, but the article is mostly well written, and I welcomed seeing it in a non-gun venue.

As to the various Hoplophobic comments directed towards this article, you gentlemen need some therapy to deal with the irrational fears you harbor towards an inanimate object.

Particularly amusing are the comments from folks with no gun knowledge, from a non-gun culture, towards what may or may not happen in a self defense situation involving guns.

As a career street cop I can strongly echo the comments about realistic response times and what one can expect from the police, and their inability to defend folks from criminal assault.

Comments such as “Plus, the vast majority of home invasions are by people who don’t want to hurt you, they just want your stuff. While this is wrong and illegal, it is not a crime punishable by death, and you have no right to execute them for their crime. Talk your way out of the situation, don’t open fire” are so completely off base as to make me wonder what planet the poster lives on.

I’ll give you a clue Greg, most home invasions involve extreme violence and physical assault of the victims, often involve sexual assault, and you are in the hands of very high end criminals as to whether you live or die.
No thanks. Kick my door in=get shot. Col. Jeff Cooper was very correct is stating “The proper response to an armed robbery is a shot armed robber”.

It is in fact a manly trait to provide both for the common defense and for the defense of one’s self and family, using the best tolls for this job just makes sense.

One of the advantages of being a street cop is the amount of personal experience that validates or invalidates the information and/or BS being put out via various studies, etc.
The whole “you are more likely to be shot if you own a gun” and similar BS is so far from the truth it falls in to “The Big Lie” category.

453 George in Ca February 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

If an armed intruder breaks into your home and you call 911 the police will come and take pictures of you and your families bodies. People who trade freedom for security get neither. Yeah, thanks, but I’ll keep my shotgun and 9mm semiauto safely available.

454 Mark Walker February 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I enjoyed the article and the concise technical references and found the information useful in directing my additional purchases for home defense…in addition to my 9mm.

What amazed me was the degree of whinning about the article and the references to manhood. Japan postponed invasion plans of the US west coast during WWII due to the known numbers of citizens with guns. My father once stopped a naked man trying to break in to a neighbors home (lone wife and two young daughters) with a single shot of my 22 cal. over his head. This was in a really nice upscale neighborhood. Arrested and charged he was later released with just probation. Let your imagination complete this scene had it not been for an armed neighbor willing to get involved. Note too, more children die in pools than by guns. Don’t think for a moment that a phone call to 911 is going to save you if a criminal so desires to invade your home. Stop thinking that the government has the ability to always protect you; that is your obligation. Like the Boy Scouts’ motto: Be prepared. For when you need a gun is no time to be wishing you had one. And last, it is really stupid to show up to a gunfight with just a knife. Gun control is safely securing one’s gun when not in use and being able to hit your target when desired.

455 Jason February 11, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Only read down through the first couple of posts when I came across Tom’s post. Tom, you do realize this is a website called “Art of Manliness”, right?!?!? If you’re not interested in defense and/or protection, your probably more comfortable checking out, or starting, the art of wussiness website. Some times men need to be prepared to do the things that women won’t. If you align yourself more to the beliefs and actions of a woman, you have that right. In which case, your probably a democrat, and as such, should revert to the initial suggestion and start the art of wussiness website.

Jason

456 michael February 11, 2010 at 11:17 pm

what a bunch of pansies talking about ” if someone breaks into your house, just try to call the cops”. Hate to tell you, but if someone steps foot inside my house at night, your getting two in the chest and two in the head. Also, I would really hate to live somewhere where “you go straight to jail” if you shoot someone regardless of the circumstances. Where I’m from, you get a pat on the back and the sheriff buys you a beer on Friday night. Just so you know, I’m a lawyer by trade.

457 Jeff February 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Wow, over 6 months worth of comments both pro and con. Personally, I liked the original article and the comments it has generated. What most people fail to realise is that different cultures have different beliefs about the availability of, and use of lethal force. Presently, I live in Texas and the gun laws are extremely biased towards the owner/protector and not the criminal. If a criminal breaks into your house–you have every right to shoot him. Don’t get me wrong, I do not feel the need to willfully kill somebody trying to steal my DVD player, but if me or my family’s lives are threatened, I like the current law here. I do however understand the international view and the rigid gun laws there. I lived and worked in Europe (as part of the US military) for over a decade. I belonged to several Rod & Gun clubs and competed in numerous shooting events all over (Britian, Belgium, France, and Germany). I was allowed to keep my guns, ammo, powder, etc at my residence (rules are alot different now). While in Europe, the entire criminal culture is different than in the United States. I never felt the need to have a firearm for protection there. I felt safe being alone in the biggest cities at every hour, day or night, walking or driving, and in my house. Police response there is professional beyond reproach and almost immediate. Bystanders are almost everywhere and they do the right thing and get involved by calling the police, answering questions, and filling out reports–and sometimes physically attempting to stop the criminal. The culture is very different than from a big city in the US. Here, in Dallas, I hear on the news at least once a week about someone getting murdered, hundreds of robberies/thefts–and those are only the “most noteable and news worthy”, there are many more. In Europe, I never once heard of a handgun related murder in 10 years–I was in some big cities also, Frankfurt, GE, Kaiserslautern, etc. The criminal element is completely different as well. There are very few violent criminals there. Most of the crimes I heard of or experienced were minor robberies/thefts–most of which were commited by illegal immigrants. Mostly, its smashed car windows and stolen stereos there–none of the “gun-in-your-face” hand me your wallet, occupied home robbery, or car-jackings we have here. I have read on here some people berating our overseas friends for their beliefs in not needing guns. I believe the old saying “When in Rome, Do as the Romans do”, should apply. Over there, few criminals have guns–and even fewer of them would actually use them in the commission of a crime. Here, on the other hand, is a completely different story. We have some of the most hardened and violent types of criminals armed with guns they are not afraid to use to get what they want. To these criminals, you are an obstacle in the way of their goal and they will use that gun as a tool to remove you.

Some people have different beliefs in the use of lethal force; that it is unethical or immoral. I have often thought about this myself, even after I spent a career bearing arms in military action. Personally, I would rather have a gun, be highly trained in its use, and use my own morals to actually pull the trigger. I have had four seperate incidents (non-military) where I had had a gun directed at me by a criminal. On three of those, I did not have a gun. Those were some of the worst moments of my entire life. I had nightmares for weeks after the events had occured. I had total feelings of depravity, submission, guilt, and symptoms of PTSD. Believe me, I harbored no thoughts that would make you feel like a man. I would keep running over and over in my head what I could have done, what I should have done, why was I even there, etc. Most people will never know or understand the fear a gun in your face brings.

The one time I had a gun pulled on me and I was armed, I felt so empowered (this was before I had ever been in combat). In the nation’s capitol I was lost and refueling my car when I was approached by five rough looking characters I beleived to be gang-bangers. I immediately quit refueling and got in the car. As they approached, I could see once of them appeared to be hiding pistol under his shirt. My first thought was to drive away, but in my haste to get in the car, my keys were in my pocket and I couldn’t get my hand in my pocket with the bolstered sports car seats. I reached under my seat and grabed my 45 auto, flipped the safety off, had it trained on the one with the gun before he was ever consciously aware I had a gun. Even as he began to pull his out from his shirt, he never really looked at me, he kept looking all around and at his buddies. Time seemed to slow down, and I was mentally prepared to kill him, finger on the trigger, trigger slack taken up, and told myself to pull the trigger before his arm came horizontal in my direction. He was 6″ outside my rolled down window when he began to pull the gun. With my left arm I grabbed his forearm and held it (with his gun pointing down) against the side of my car. In my right hand I still had the 45 trained on him–and that is when he noticed my 45. He tried to pull back and my right elbow went against the car horn and startled him enough to drop his gun and run back behind the island pumps with his buddies. I got my keys out and sped away. I often think about this incident and how lucky I was. My assailant was not very experienced. This could have turned out completely different. What if I did not have a gun? What if they were more expienced? Would they have only stolen my money, my car? Would they have caused me bodily harm? If this happened to me today, I know the outcome would have been different. The second I could confirm the individual acosting me had a gun, I would have pulled the trigger and double-tapped him and began scanning the others for possible threats. Today, I would not hesitate against an armed assailant as I did back then. Now, if the guy broke into my house, even though the law says I can shoot him, I would only do so if he posed a credible threat to me or my family. If he was armed–without thought I would double-tap two centermass. If he was unarmed and just “caught”, and trying to run away, I would probably (having the advantage) just let him go and notify the police. Even though I have the right to kill them, my morals tell me I shouldn’t if they do not pose a direct threat and are only trying to get away. I like Texas law the way it is though–it is my choice to use lethal force.

I am sure some of the foreign readers might have a little culture shock by my actions and my desire for self protection. Here, I believe it is a necessary evil. Our police do not respond in a timely manner–they will not show up at all for vehicle accidents under $10K ,w/o injury, minor break-ins, vehicle robberies, etc–they take the report over the phone and tell you to claim it on your insurance. Criminals here actually believe they will never get caught–and become more and more daring in crimes with witnesses and hightened violence. There is a large part of the population that has a loss of faith in the police and legal system, they do not want to get involved and fear retaliation by the criminals. Bystanders and witnesses disappear–claim they didn’t see anything and let the crooks get away. Here, guns are easy to get–it is actually easier (and cheaper) to buy one on the blackmarket than to get one legally. Times have changed; it used to be that a criminal wouldn’t shoot and kill you if they got away with what they wanted–that is not true anymore. I especially like the earlier post from the career criminal that moved from California (where they have tough gun laws), to Alaska (where everybody has a gun)–he changed his robbery tactics from home invasion (where the good stuff was), to breaking into cars, because he feared getting shot and killed.

I would rather have a gun and and be prepared both mentally and physically to use it and hope I never need it, rather than need it and not be prepared. I am an Optimist at heart–I hope it never happens. But, I am a Pecimist by action–I plan for the worst.

Good, thought provoking article, Kudos to the author and all of the bloggers.

458 Rajan February 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I Can’t believe the comments by these emasculated European and Canadian men above me. One of the most important aspects of manliness is self-reliance. Any man who cares about his family should own a firearm. Especially if you live in an area where the police might not be able to respond quickly.

459 Sean February 18, 2010 at 2:16 am

I read this article as a former owner of a .38 special S&W. I gave the weapon away b/c of a girlfriend’s concerns. Now several years later I am a husband and father. I want to be able to protect my family during the time an intruder attempts to infiltrate my domicile and when the police arrive. Normal respose time in my area is about 9 minutes; enough time to cause serious damage to my family even if they are only bringing along a few friends, never the less a weapon. My only qualm with this blog was that one important aspect was ignored, ease and safety of accesibility. Of course a shotgun is ideal. You can fire a shotgun down a hallway and create enough cover to move your family to safety but where do you store it?

I am appreciative of this article b/c I will once again purchase a .38 instead of a .9 that I was tempted to buy. I am comfortable with a simple jam of a semi but my wife isn’t. I can easily keep a revolver in a safe under my bed that is easily accesible and easily fired. I am also a safety freak which is why I use a safe that uses a fingerprint scan for entry. It is not only safer for the kids but it is quicker when needed, especially in the dark. Thanks for the thoughts.

460 joe February 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Well written and useful description.

461 Chris February 22, 2010 at 2:25 am

Hi this is the first time that I have ever thought about commenting on a blog. I must say that the only thing that that might help our European friends understand the situations that we fellow Americans are talking about is to watch the British film Clockwork Orange. The portion of the movie that I am referring to is Breaking and entering. Now I will not go into detail about what happens If you have seen the movie you understand why. If you put yourself in the husbands shoes and could stop that from happining to you wife just by having training and owning a firearm would you still rather not have one? I can only think about one thing to do with a firearm in that scenario. I have been trained by both civilian and military. Not to be confused with someone who has bought a firearm off of a whim or someone inspired by the movies. These things do happen.

462 James February 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

Great article Brett. I suppose it’s not for everyone. The way things are today, in practically any country, the “bad” guys are much more prepared to take what you cherish than you are to prevent it from happening. My wife and I are looking at purchasing a handgun and shotgun for home defense. We are going to take classes provided at the local range, and familiarize ourselves greatly with both weapons before safely securing them in our home. We have worked hard to create the family and environment we have, and I’ll be damned if someone with no regard for property or life is going to come into our home to try and take that away. Yes, a phone is a very useful tool when defending your home. I want to be able to call the police to come get the dead idiot off my floor.

463 Greg Norton March 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Are you kidding me people??? Use your second amendment right or loose it!!!

464 Patrick March 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I think it’s funny how when it comes to firearms we always reference statistics about accidental deaths as a reason to keep them out of peoples hands. Our approach as a culture in the U.S. tends to focus on regulation it seems from my perspective. How privileged we are to live in a society where we don’t have to worry as much about crime like you might find of the streets of Afghanistan right now. At the same time though we as a culture shouldn’t alienate our own population by limiting our rights simply because the need is diminished. While completely different issues compare our approach to an issue like teen pregnancy compared to gun control. To address the issue of teen pregnancy we push education in our schools and other public forums. To address the issue of accidental weapons fatalities we push regulation. Could deaths be prevented by taking all the guns out of peoples hands? sure. Is that something that we should do to our population? probably not. Education is a powerful tool that we don’t push with firearms because it give the appearance that education is promotion to own a weapon. I think we need to re-examine the way upon which we address issues in America. We need to stop preventing people from making choices with new laws, rather we should punish the unjust actions with harsher penalties. Am I concerned that If I own a gun it will accidently go off and kill someone? heck no, thats why I keep it locked and unloaded. Am I worried about the guys in the city next to me who have illegal weapons? yes! and no regulations are going to keep guns out of their hands, yet when they are arrested for it they are out in a few weeks.

For those looking for a useful tip when it comes to home defense. If your going to use a shotgun DON’T use 00 buckshot. Buckshot can go through multiple walls and that might injure a family member elsewhere in the house. Birdshot is just as lethal and can only really penetrate through 1 wall. I doubt your intruders will be wearing any body armor!

465 ron March 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Well, I landed here while considering the possibility of a gun purchase for home defense. I may or may not actually buy one, but I at least learned something useful here. What would have been my first choice, a semi-auto, would have been the worst and most complicated choice for me to make. Useful to know, whether I decide to buy, or not.

466 Antonio March 6, 2010 at 12:53 am

Well… I guess I will give my “Latino gentleman” view concerning fire arms. I grew up in a Latin American country where the sole idea of having a gun was considered BRUTAL and almost CRIMINAL. Not to mention that obtaining the permit to have a gun was nearly impossible. Well, what was (and is) quite interesting is that the BAD GUYS (usually FAR LEFT extremist such as MRTA, Shinning Path, Las FARC, etc) always seem to have guns and of course being the cowards they are… well, they tried not to face the regular military… see, the military HAS GUNS … they always attacked the civilians who they KNEW HAD NO GUNS, like my grandmother and uncles. One night, a column of 20 “heroic guerrilleros,” product of the wonderful ideas spread by Che Guevara, Castro, Marx, Mao, and so on, went into my grandmother’s finca (farm), raped one of my aunts, executed two of the workers, robbed them of all of their provisions for the winter, and slaughtered ALL of their animals for meat… this, after being harassed for hours by these “heroes de la revolucion popular.”

So, what is your point Antonio??? Well, I always wondered if the story would have been different IF my uncles and their workers would have been armed? They knew that this guerrilla party was coming eventually… but they just sat there… scared, powerless, unable to do anything to defend themselves… They knew that if they escaped, that they would be hunted down, like others were… so they just waited for their turn to be abused.

Because of this environment of violence I had the BLESSING to be sent by my parents to the US, and was able to become an American, learn about the 2nd amendment of the American Constitution, an became to the realization that it WAS OK for me to use a tool (in this case a gun), train with it (just as you would with a soccer ball, or a drill), and defend my life, my beautiful wife’s, and my neighbors’ if need be. Since that moment of AWAKENING and CLARITY, I have promised myself that I will not be my uncles, and that I will use the RIGHTS that my “paternal” country allows in order NOT to be a defenseless victim.

In my experience in the “1st world” (15 years) I have encountered that people born in “rich countries” believe that violence like the one I described above WILL NEVER happen “here.” People believe that EVIL is a monopoly of the poor countries in the Tropics, Africa, or the Middle East. Think again friend, think again! CIVILIZATION IS UNNATURAL. It is a man made environment that is as fragile as the citizens willing to defend it.

By the way, I own a Mossberg 500. It is a very, very nice gun. I train with it often. If you are planning on buying a home defense gun, BUY THIS ONE! Pistols, revolvers, and rifles are for people that train often AND who ALSO have a cool head under stress. A shot gun allows you to not be an outstanding marksman and still hit your target even if you got out of bed, it is dark, and you are afraid (which is normal). This is in NO WAY excuse to avoid constant training with your weapon, proper upkeep, and preparing before hand for a home invasion. I advice that you get the 181/2 inch barrel. It is simply fantastic for close quarters, allowing you to clear corners with relative comfort. Also, install a weapon light on your gun, preferably one with a remote switch. In a home invasion you could have only a few minutes to be weapons ready. It is very nice, I say this from experience, to have your flashlight and gun ready to go without wasting precious time. This is of course the opinion of a civilian who knows some about guns, but who takes his RGHT to bear arms seriously.

I hope not to have “stirred the pot” with this comment. However, I feel gentleman understand that this matters require bluntness and sincerity. I just wanted to bring a little bit of the CRUDE REALITY of my experience to the conversation, considering that we are talking about our lives and property.

Many blessings to all…

467 Bryan March 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

A very interesting article with very interesting comments. Just a few thoughts.

First, I do not currently own a gun, but I am researching and considering whether or not I would like to get one for home defense/recreational shooting. However, my father owns guns and told me a few things that I thought were interesting:
1. Regarding safety of family/children with guns: We were taught (as children) that dad owned guns and they were dangerous. They were locked up so the only time we saw them was when he took them out, and even then we were afraid to touch them (Because we were taught to respect them). Similarly he locked away his pistols…
2. Regarding practicality with them being locked away: my father said he PRACTICED regularly (although he said not as much now that the kids are older) retrieving his revolver (his rifles and shotguns were locked away in the basement) from a lockbox he had (he didn’t tell me where, but suspect his bedroom) and loading it. He said he was able to do this in about 30 seconds. I think like any weapon (I’m a martial artist who practices with blunt and edged weapons too), you need to practice it to be proficient with it.
3. Regarding using guns for home defense: He shared that he never wanted to be in a situation where an intruder had a gun and he didn’t. He said he never worried about stuff being stolen, but he did worry about someone who meant to do harm to us and my mother. He gave me two pieces of advice if I decided to get a gun: 1) Train to use the gun proficiently – including basic gun safety and competitions (and gun storage and retrieval) 2) Be prepared to kill someone. Owning a gun is a serious deal and it’s not a toy.

My conclusions: Before talking to my father, I too was one who said I’d never own a gun. However, after having my house (in a nice neighborhood) broken into and reflecting my role as the protector of my family, I am reconsidering my stance. However, I’ve been doing my homework and talking to gun-owning friends as well as my father and will make an informed and well-researched decision. If I do decide to own one, I plan on practicing and becoming quite proficient with it as well as communicating about gun safety to my wife and children when the time comes.

Anyways I did appreciate this article, and I would like to see some articles on gun safety for those of us who can legally own guns.

468 PROUD GUN OWNER March 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

To all who disagree with owning a firearm hear me out, this man has obviously said YOU HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO USE IT, USE CAUTION. imagine a man comes in your house or meets you on the street with a gun, he is going to kill you and rob you if you don’t do something, but he is at distance so you can’t physically get the gun away before he shoots you, this happened to my father in law who has a carry permit, he pulled the gun and the dude ran, no one was hurt, it’s not about killing someone it’s about scaring them into submission, defending yourself, if they are caught off gaurd and have a gun in THEIR face they will probably leave. You can say it will never happen to me, but how many people has it happened to that say the same.
What if that man comes into your house with a gun, you freeze because you have no way to defend yourself, he backs you into a corner with the gun pointed at your face while he rapes your wife, you’ll wish you had a gun, yeah its a bit harsh, but how many people do you think it happens to?
I am not saying buy a gun to kill someone, buy it and handle it with caution, take it to a range, get familiar with it, and if you have to pull it hope you don’t have to use it, if you do use it, do it because your life or your family is in danger. I have guns that I take to the range because fireing a gun while smoking a cigar and drinking an IBC root beer is my favorite way to relax, it is a great streass relief, if you haven’t tried it do it, you’ll love it, but i do have one by the bed just incase someone wants to come into my house with the intention to kill and or steal. the moral is keep it safe, don’t buy just to kill, they can be relaxing and fun.

469 military member and gun supporter March 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Being in the Air Force and living in Virginia, i find it a comfort to have a gun in my place of residence. No, i have never had a need to use it outside of a range…Yes, i feel that my wife, son, and myself are all safer knowing it is on the premises. Guns are a handy tool when it comes to defending yourself. in the first couple posts someone mentioned a phone is a better weapon than a gun, but what if your phone is not within reach? what if an intruder has malicious intent? i have ever right to defend myself in absence of the police. being that i am getting ready to deploy i plan on training my wife how to use my handgun before i leave. i also plan on getting a conceal and carry permit when i return from the desert. once again not to feel more powerful or manly because i carry a weapon, but to protect myself and my family in the case that someone decides to threaten me. very good article!!

470 Iowa Criminal Justice College Student March 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I read that many people beleive that having a gun makes you more vulnerable to being shot. Or that criminals should just be allowed to take you belongings while you cower in the closet. It’s disturbing to me. I also can not beleive that you would be charged with anything for shooting a armed intruder that came into your house, especially if you have a family. In fact technically you dont even have to be in danger, you just have to have a reasonable belief at the time that you or your family is in immediate danger.
One thing is for sure you should not pull a gun on an intruder unless you are an experienced and accurate shooter. Second if your not willing to pull the trigger using a gun will get you shot! Third, you should always call the police, but police are a reactive force. Which means that most of the time the crime has already been commited by the time they get there. In the right hands a gun can be your savior, in the wrong hands it will get you killed. The judgement is up to the individual.

471 mike rooney March 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

thanks for the words of Robert, Nick Pacific, Duucfho and others..If you’re manly, you protect you and yours. Men use the right tool for the right job! The police (by their own words!) are not there to prevent crime but to clean up afterwards…Mike PS I’ve been on the receiving end of a home invasion, thankfully my (armed) roommate was awake!

472 bob March 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I just wanted to throw in my two cents. This article is talking about self defense. In saying self defense it does not mean that you are shooting to kill. No one ever said that when you shoot a firearm you have to shoot the intruder in the face or directly to the chest. Self defense could be plainly shooting the intruder in the arm or leg. It is up to the person using the weapon whether to shoot to kill, or to scare.

473 Jeff March 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm

@ Morgan – You said, “I’m personally of the opinion sure there are other and better ways and means to protect your family, ”

Morgan, please share what you think the other and better ways are.

474 KT March 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Just my two cents:

I searched “Home Defense” and this site came up. I’m a woman that lives alone half the time (my husband is a firefighter and is gone for 24 hr shifts). We bought our first-ever gun last night: a 12 gauge shotgun. After reading this article, my next purchase will be a revolver.

Up until a couple of days ago, I “hated” guns. I was afraid of them and thought having one in the house would increase the chances of one of us accidentally getting killed. But the other night, my husband was gone and the dogs started going crazy at the front door–barking, growling, scratching–very uncharacteristic of them, and it scared the daylights out of me. All I had was a bat to defend myself, and my only exits would put me running through the hub of the house in clear view of all hallways, windows, and doorways. What if someone broke in? I would have to get VERY close to get a swing in and I’d have to pray I landed it well enough to incapacitate the person.

BUT: What if I missed? What if they grabbed it out of my hands? What if there was another person behind that one with a gun? Quite frankly, my “hatred” toward guns was eclipsed by my fear of home invasion/rape/death.

We came up with a plan if the situation ever arises. Grab my cell phone, run to where the gun is, rack it, and dial 911 while I sit and wait. Like you said, if the sound of chambering a round isn’t enough to scare the person off, I know I at least have a chance at whatever they’re bringing to the table.

I still don’t “like” guns, nor do I feel more American for having one. But I can finally sleep a little better at night knowing I’m giving myself a fighting chance.

475 JS March 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

You guys have got to be kidding me.
Why own a gun ?

Wake up !
To protect you and yours from critters like
rabid animals, snakes, criminal human types,
government gone bad and invasions…like
“why did japan NOT attack the USA in WW2 .
Remember, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

Congrats on this article and keep up the good work !

476 Ryan March 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm

As a 17 year old male in the midwest, I’m fairly familiar with firearms. Hunting is a very common rite of passage in this part of the world, and the overwhelming seriousness and weight that goes along with the term ‘firearms’ is suitable enough for me to feel safe when around someone with a firearm. Proper responsibility is practiced, and more often than not. We can’t make everyone in this country abide by the laws, but taking weapons out of the hands of civilians entirely only means criminals have an upper hand. Most murders committed in this country with firearms are not with legally purchased weapons anyway, so why assume that LAW has anything to do with the reality of the situation? I find it ironic that there are readers from Europe chastising American’s for their acceptance of firearms in society, especially when Europe is home to countries that (fairly recently) refused freedom to countries simply seeking freedom through peaceful protest (read up on Ghandhi boys). The CRUSADES originated in what is now the UK, and the US is being shamed for owning firearms for protection? A part of the world most notorious for bringing death and destruction into humanity has no business labeling a free country for practicing it’s own rights. Just because we didn’t use blades to end people’s lives painfully and slowly doesn’t mean we’re barbaric. Oh…wait…

477 Larry March 16, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I think Tom (Tom July 23, 2009 at 4:27 am Why have a gun in your home at all?) needs to man up a quite bit more. This website is, after all, the Art of Manliness, not the art of being a wuss. Why have a gut at all? To protect your home and your family. That being said, My go-to home defender is a Mossberg 500 12-GA. Bad guys beware.

478 Joe March 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm

To the UK readers who spoke out against guns: if you and your family are confronted by a single armed man, or two unarmed men, good luck. Real men are ready to protect their family. Maybe your lady will step up to the plate since you obviously have zero balls and zero sense.

479 Nick March 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm

What the hell are you guys talking about, their is nothing wrong with owning a gun, it has nothing to do with being “manly” either. Why do you think women carry guns in their purses? For protection dumb ass. Criminials illegally carry guns all the time, putting you in harms way, what is so damn wrong about legally getting a weapon yourself to protect yourself, family, property, etc.
everyone should own a gun, especially with such a high crime rate, and anyone who says otherways is a unintelligent baffoon. We live in an unsafe world, get realistic!

and that one fact: “Everyday, 8 children and teens in the U.S. die of gun violence” that some idiot commented is probably the dumbest and most inaccurate fact i have ever heard.

480 Barack Obama March 19, 2010 at 1:10 am

Europeans are pussies

481 Paul March 20, 2010 at 8:15 am

I have to say I appreciate this article as it gave me some insight on what I’m going to purchase next. I’m doing research as I will be buying a gun for home defense. I have two young daughters who last night were in tears as we cleaned up their ransacked bedroom and glass from one of their beds from the rock that was thrown through the window as a “test” to see if anyone was home. Luckily we were not but our home was completely searched, all money, jewelry and some electronics were taken. All of you who said “pick up the phone” what are your experiences? Do you have a wife and kids?. Do you realize that the average response time is ten minutes for the cops to arrive and can be longer? I appreciate our police and the awesome tough job they do every day but they can only move so fast. The criminals would have time to kill us, fix a quick meal, and be five minutes down the road. Just sit and watch the clock for ten minutes….and then imagine hiding from a criminal for that amount of time. Yes I agree that you should have a security system and call the cops first but I will gladly kill anyone entering or even attempting to enter my home at this point and will gladly spend my life in prison if necessary to protect my wife and kids. I have now lived it and experienced a night of “sleeping” in a home where the night before several people just went through and took cash out of my thirteen yr old daughters dresser drawer. My ten yr old daughters clothes pulled out of her dresser, her pillow case used to load our belongings. Her pillow was on the floor with no pillowcase. My ten yr old daughter would have been showered with broken glass if we would have been home sleeping. Who knows what would have happened if we were here! I’m buying a gun today!

482 Howie55 March 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm

well … i have been readin these comments for quite some time now prob half an hour or more ….every boddy belives and feels thing to be right in a different way … now im turning 21 years old on monday march 22nd .. i have an older brother who is 2 years older than man . he doesnt live at hom any more and my father works midnight shift … i live in alil town with not much crime at all .. but it is also “in the sticks” where alot of people hunt and fish … its away of enjoyin nature and all of that … my thoughts are it is a good article and people should have guns in there homes to protect what is theirs and what they worked to get … if obama wants to take away guns .. whos going to have them?? only the bad people that want to do harm .. thats how i see it … back to earlier in my comments … its me, my 12 year old brother, and my mom in my house at nights …. not im not sayin im not manly or that im a badass … but what if someone breaks into my house at 3 in the morn. while im sound alseep?? … what if there is 2 of them and they have guns and i only have my fists??? … looks like i loss and they get everything if they want it right??… well maybe if i wasnt a gun owner but what i can see right now there is a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge in my room .. plus a 270 WSM also … but by the time i loaded those i might be bleedin on the floor …. well looks like if someone was to break into my house .. they will be lookin down the barrel of my springfield 40 cal. and not getin a damn thing from me or my fam. …

.”manly” or not .. i will own a gun to protect whats mine!

483 Robutmike March 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Attention anti-gun pacifists. This is why you own a gun for home defense http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/01/connecticut.petit.slayings/index.html

I don’t know what country you live in, but where I live, it would take a while for the cops to get to my home, by that time, my wife and I could be dead or tied up and being tortured. I detest killing of any kind, but the fact remains we live in a harsh world. Sometimes it really is kill or be killed.

Imagine a scenario where multiple armed men break into your home in the middle of the night and its just you between them and your wife and kids. This isn’t a rare occurrence in this country, it happens all the time. Now imagine you don’t have a gun to stop them. Now imagine you don’t know kung fu or have any real weapons. You could take it a step further and imagine they are armed with guns too. The point is, a gun is an equalizer. It can and WILL save your life and the lives of your loved ones if used responsibly.

Sure you may get lucky and NEVER have to use your gun. That would be ideal. However, if you ever need one, take it from me – you will be glad that you have it.

484 Ace March 22, 2010 at 2:59 am

I’ve never visited this site before and would typically have no call to do so… My wife wants a gun for home defense and a google search lead me here… after reading a large number of comments, I felt obligated to share my perspective… the first point I would like to make is that our constitution defends and protects our right to keep and bear arms… the founding fathers of this country knew that a standing army, especially in times of peace, would lead to the pursuit of imperialism… “A standing army we shall have to execute the execrable commands of tyranny” Patrick Henry… they knew that the best way to protect our country from invasion as well as from imperialism was to have a well armed state militia… THAT is the purpose of the second amendment… it is also likely the reason that you limeys have such a hard time understanding our gun culture over here on this side of the pond… you had, and lost, your empire… why do you think the puritans left England in the first place? they hated the Empire!!! what is so unfortunate is that the U.S. is becoming the next great empire in spite of all our founders have done to prevent it… we still maintain bases in Germany, Japan, Vietnam, etc., etc., etc…. do those places really pose a threat to us? do we really need to maintain them? … I digress… bottom line is, when you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns… the city in which I currently reside is going through some financial woes, like many other American cities… we did not have a 4th of July show the last two years and our parks and rec. centers are being systematically closed… our city buses are being parked and/or sold and routes are being shortened or removed… we’ve lost a third of our police force and now the city is removing street lamps county-wide except for intersections… over the last five years the response time for emergency services (fire, medical, police) has dropped from about two and a half minutes to roughly twenty minutes… the lady across the street from me got robbed at gun-point in her home about a year before I moved into this neighborhood… I live in a $250k home in a nice suburb… most of my neighbors are retired military… it can happen to anyone at any time… be prepared! it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it… I have a security system, two large dogs, six hunting rifles, two shot guns, and a pistol… my house is lit up year round like a x-mas tree on Dec.24th… I won’t let ANYTHING happen to my family!!!

I refuse to be a victim!

485 Ryan USA March 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm

What a bunch of weak people that read this. Owning a weapon is very manly and complaining about guns proves you really should be learning the art of manliness. Sissy liberals just because your scared of weapons because of your complete lack of faith in mankind, doesn’t mean that those of us who are confident in our abilities and intelligent enough to safely handle a firearm shouldn’t use one… This was a very entertaining article, keep it up.

486 Michelle March 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I have to say there are a lot of overly judgmental people on here. Owning a gun in no way makes you more manly. And what I want to no is, why isn’t anyone discussing women owning guns? I ran into this web site looking for helpful advise on best beginner guns to buy for my own use! Yes I am a female and I live in Texas, and I am not hill billy in any way. Almost everyone in Texas owns a gun – men, women and children. I don’t have a man to protect me and I believe that every women that live alone should own a gun. Now if anyone has any suggestions on a gun I should buy for myself I would love to see their posts. I need a light weight gun, easy to load and use and perfect for a petite female with small hands. Take in mind, I’m no wimp. I wear a hard hat and steel toed boots to work just like the big boys!

487 BRIAN 305 March 23, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I LIVE IN MIAMI,FLORIDA…..DADE COUNTY…I OWN A 1911-A1 SPRINGFIELD STAINLESS STEEL SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOL.I BOUGHT THE PISTOL FOR TWO REASONS PLINKERING(TARGET SHOOTING) & HOME DEFENCE.2ND AMENDMENT..RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS.THE PISTOL DOES NOT MAKE ME TOUGH..
IM 6’4 250LBS IRISH-RUSSIAN MIX.I THINK IM TOUGH ENOUGH.MY 1911 MAKES MY HOME SAFE.
P.S. 4TH GENERATION MARINE SEMPER FI

488 Chris-Tx March 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Ok, my thought to all of the people here that don’t own guns or are against owning them is that I can definately see why you hybrid driving, tofu eating, cubicle monkeys would be wasting your company’s hard earned government stimlus on searching for advice on how to become manly. Here’s some free advice for you… Stop spending so much time learning about your apparant lost testosterone, and start supporting your God given privelage to be an American Citizen. Oh… and to the people who think if owning a gun leads to kids blowing thier brains out… GET OFF YOUR ASS AND TEACH OUR YOUNGER GENERATION ABOUT PROPER GUN SAFETY!!!!!!! There is nobody to blame if your kid shoots themselves but YOU!!! Swallow and accept it!!!

489 Chris-Tx March 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm

oh yeah… I have a 2 yr old son that practices better gun safety than I do most of the time, because I taught him well…

Proud owner of a Tristar Tactical Cobra 12 ga, and a Steyer M40 .40s&w.

490 BoostGear.com March 24, 2010 at 2:27 am

Proud owner of several weapons. .45, 9mm, .357 six shooter, several shotguns (for upland bird hunting) and a few rifles, also for larger game hunting.

Plain and simple we are BoostGear.com are huge gun safety advocates. We are also huge advocates of protecting our family and personal property. For all of you who wish guns were made illegal in the United States, I feel just as strongly about them remaining in the hands of the people.

491 Mike - NC March 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Very well written and in perfect order, though I think I would exchange the revolver plus lots of trigger time for the shotgun if only because there is no extra step to shooting the revolver – pull trigger, boom. Shotgun – remember to push the safety off (did I chamber a round?) then pull trigger – see what I mean?
Everyone, in America at this time, has a choice towards gun ownership. Just you remember that the choice was asserted by people willing to own and use their firearms, without that, you would not be allowed to breathe with out asking “May I?”.

Semper Fi!!

492 Dennis March 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I live in a nice suburban neighborhood in the eastern US. Violent crime is not common here, as it is in the city, but one night in the last year an intruder broke into a nearby home (within a mile of ours) and killed three members of a family with his knife. Even more recently, intruders intent on robbery broke into another home in my immediate neighborhood, tied up and duct-taped the family members, beat them, and threatened their lives while wielding hatchets. The only reason they likely were not killed is that their teen-aged daughter managed to hide in a closet with a cell phone and call the police, who then arrived and arrested the men. And not terribly long ago, nor far from here, a guy saw fit to walk into a one-room schoolhouse and shoot numerous young Amish girls, for no apparent reason. Now, I’m not especially fond of guns, or of violence generally, and I certainly would not want to have to shoot or kill someone. But I would take up arms in defence of my country, of my family — and of my neighbors if called for, and I would do so unapologetically. I hope I never have to use it, but I rest a bit more comfortably knowing that I have a gun available to defend my family and myself if the need arises. And while I don’t think this makes me more or less of a man, I thank God I have the freedom to choose.

493 Garry March 27, 2010 at 9:45 am

Better to have one and not need it then to need it and not have it.

494 Sam March 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

I am really disheartened to read the foolish (yes foolish) words of people who claim that gun ownership is negative. I agree that gun ownership does not make someone more of a man, and if someone owns a gun to validate their masculinity, then that is sad. However, for responsible gun owners such as myself (A disabled veteran with years of firearm training and experience), gun ownership allows me the freedom from fear. Nobody can break into my home (a phone is not the best defense, as someone inaptly suggested), and not encounter my .357 magnum revolver. Nobody can be harmed in my presence because I am legally armed in public. I am an animal lover, I do not hunt, however, if a situation occurs in which game must be hunted, i.e. Hurricane Katrina, Chilean and Hatian earthquakes, I can provide sustenance for myself and others with my rifles. I do not expect foreigners to understand or appreciate the beauty of the 2nd amendment, just as I do not presume to criticize their laws and their citizens. I am a proud gun owner. I am a law abiding citizen. I have fought to preserve the freedom of the American people, and I carry a gun to preserve the safety of my community. I will never be in a situation where a madman has control over a crowd. So many deaths could have been prevented if someone like me and the people who believe in what i believe, the belief of personal protection, was there to end the miserable life of a murdering miscreant. I am a 24 yr old proud owner of an S&W model 10 (.38), a Springfield XD40 subcompact (.40), an S&W model 27-2 (.357 magnum), a Beretta PX4 Storm (.40), a Mossberg 500, a Browning .22 ATD, and a Remington 30-06. I have over 3000 rounds in my home, and I am prepared.

I pray for peace, but I am prepared for the worst. I put my faith in God, and I put my faith in my preparation.

495 Kevin March 31, 2010 at 3:17 am

The website name says ” The Art of Manliness”, but based on the words of so many of the above forum posters, it is apparent that the M in TAoM should be redesignated to Metrosexual….

Number 1: The reason that firearms are available in the USA (thankfully so) is due to our forefathers realizing a need for the use of deadly force to protect freedom(s), as they had begun the lethal fight to establish their own.

Number 2: Based on the constitution of the USA, which by the way is not applicable to you metrosexuals that live in socialist or communist countries, people continue to be allowed to own guns so that they do not get reverted back to the socialist and communist countries rule that they very very recently fought and died to be rid of.

Number 3: The child deaths that you so gallantly quote are based on underage (under 18 years old statistics) and only show that the use of illegal weapons hase increased in the minority communities by younger and younger children participating in the exact activities that we law abiding citizens need protection from in the USA… There are by no means 8 (or even 4) children dying daily by the acccidental use of their non-minority registered gun owner parents or other family members’ guns being left lying around.

Number 4: WE ARE THE USA AND YOU ARE NOT… HAVING A GUN IS MANLY AND YOU CANNOT HAVE ONE SO YOU MAKE EXCUSES TO CRITICIZE HAVING THEM. I WILL HAVE MY FREEDOM IN THE END. YOU WILL HAVE YOUR GOVERNMENT ELITES TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO. LIVE FREE OR DIE.

496 Kevin March 31, 2010 at 3:20 am

Sorry for the so-called double post, but YOU DON”T NEED AN EXCUSE OR JSUTIFICACTION TO OWN A GUN (or twenty) GO USA!!!!

497 Kevin March 31, 2010 at 3:21 am

and don’t post drunk… humbly submitted and correctly spelled :) and oh yeah GO USA

498 Kevin March 31, 2010 at 3:30 am

@Sam: I love you as a fellow American and patriot, but I am not sure the Katrina, Haiti, Chile localized situations warranted game hunting for survival… Love ya bro, but you made me spit beer thru my nose… :)

499 Kevin March 31, 2010 at 3:37 am

And, yes this is post number 5 in like 10 minutes, but I re-read Chris TX’s post about hybrids and tofu, and it is now posted on the wall at work (where, by the way we talk about gay all day, even though we aren’t, smack each other in the balls, hug each other, etc.. etc… etc… because we are manly and share a bond)… and oh by the way, at least 3 of these guys have over THIRTY personal weapons at home, and oh my Lord Jesus have little children that haven’t even been killed by them. Love ya Chris. GB Texas!

500 Steve April 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Wow! Remarkable! I just happened across this blog and skimmed some of the responses … I cannot fathom the hatred for firearms by some people. Guns don’t kill people … idiots who don’t know how to use them do … or bad guys intent on claiming something that is not theirs can. The best way to stop people who have made the choice to harm you is to be prepared to stop them yourself. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away … a phone is not going to be a reliable defense. Furthermore, a gun does not make one manly, but I think every guy should know how to use firearms (at least disarm firearms). I own firearms … I feel much safer knowing that I know how to defend myself if I need to … and, I hope I never need to. Better to be prepared than to be a victim.

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