Home Defense Firearms

A lot of email inquiries come in about choice of firearms for home defense. There are a lot of choices out there and a lot of things to consider. If I am to respond honestly, I will tell you that anytime anyone answers this question, they are merely giving their opinion. My answer here is only my opinion as well, so take it for what it is.

The answer is – whatever you are comfortable with.

If I try to give a blanket answer, it would be out of thinking my views are all that matters. An example. My Wife is a tiny person. If I left her with the only option of using my rifle (a Marlin 1895 lever-action 45-70 Govt), using the idea that anything you shoot with it is likely to just fall down and die, but ignoring her tiny stature, she would get knocked down the moment she pulls the trigger…not good.

So, the gun you will defend yourself with has to be, in my opinion, the one you shoot the best.

I love the idea of a shotgun for home defense, but they are not right for everyone. I have a love of the old Coach Guns, the double barrel side-by-side shotguns. If I ever find the right one, I guarantee it will be the external hammers version. With the internal hammers, if you keep it loaded, it is cocked. At least with the external hammers, you have that added safety.

AR-15 style rifles need to be considered as well. They don’t have the recoil issue, and with the right magazine, you would be able to handle the situation if you find your home invaded by a group, provided you don’t live in a State that doesn’t trust you with high capacity. If you like the AR style, they should be on your list to be considered for home defense.

If you want to consider a handgun instead of a long-gun, you will still need to go through the debate of stopping power vs. capacity. And which you are a better shot with. Personally, I love my S&W 686 SSR 357 magnum revolver. Stopping power it has, high capacity, not so much. And there is also the issue of over-penetration. The 357 will punch right through sheetrock and barely notice. I have a 9mm semi-auto (Walther Creed), lower stopping power but it holds 16 plus one in the chamber. And the deal is sealed by the fact that I am a much better shot with the Walther. So, in the interest of safety, I would grab the semi-auto if the need arises. I hope it never does.

And a final word on stopping power, you are not going to war. A person who has made the series of bad choices that it takes to reach a point of home invasion is certainly not a military-grade superman. I assure you, a single shot from a 9mm is enough to make most people stop doing whatever it was that made you shoot them in the first place.

So, there is my opinion. I know this does not narrow down the choices much, but go into a gun purchase with these ideas, as well as knowing that many gun ranges offer gun rentals, where you can try out a gun and see if it works for you. And if you are brand new to guns, most of them offer gun safety training as well as firearms training.

Ask questions, study, train, and go with your personal preference.


Caricatures of Characters

A while back I wrote a few posts on people assuming digital identities and from the safety of home, acting out in ways which were totally unlike their actual self. Lately, I have been concerned with another issue. This has to do with the way in which people are approaching real life, actual reality as if they were playing a part in a play or a movie.

In truth, I see this more as an issue on University campuses and at political rallies than anything I see happening in regular day-to-day life. And I have to admit, I only allow the relatively sane people to stay in my life in any meaningful way. If any of my extended Family were to start acting in the way we will be looking at here, I would give them one warning to knock it off, or they would have to go away.

There are people who are play-acting their entire life. They choose an ism and run with it. They are not trying to make the world better, they are trying to get attention through posturing their way through each day as a caricature of a character. Not really believing what they profess, they instead act the way they think a person would act if they truly believed these things. This is the only explanation I can come up with for the truly bizarre behavior of our society. These behaviors are not doing any good and they jeopardize your own safety.

Healthy well-adjusted people don’t show up at businesses with protest signs over non-issues, or drive cars into crowds of people over politics, or smash windows and burn cars over an election outcome, or become suddenly upset over statues that have been in the same  spot for a hundred years, or advocate genocide, or build entire worldviews around conspiracy theories.

The entire concept of finding your identity through a social cause is strange to me. I have no issue with believing in things and wanting a better world. I want a better world too. But keeping things in perspective allows me to stay sane. There are things that are under my control, things that I can influence, and things that are beyond my control. This understanding lets me not act like a lunatic every time that I don’t get my way.

Having priorities helps too. I have a Family that I need to provide for, so that means I have to fulfill my work obligations first. Maybe I really think it is wrong that the bakery across the street specializes in a custard made with real platypus eggs and platypus milk, and while I am extremely curious as to how that custard would taste, I think it is just wrong. And I feel obligated to protest that store and drive him out of business, but I have to go to work.

My job is how I feed my Family. In all honesty, I find my identity, my self-actualization, who I really am, in my Family. I don’t need a cause. And I think that if these full-time protesters were ever to reassess their priorities, they might find a life that is pretty awesome. I can promise that if they never take a good look at their priorities, they will have a lot of regrets in their later years.

It is really important to allow yourself to be happy. And it is wonderful to know when you are happy. There are enough people in the world looking for something to be mad about. Such people will never find joy in life until they get past that mindset. A good starting point is to be nice to people. This will make those around you happier, and you will find yourself becoming happy as well.

Life is short, and the ride gets rocky often enough without adding to the problems everyone has to face. Anytime that the option is available, be nice.


On Bullying

There have been several highly publicized news stories on people who were bullied and ended up committing suicide, even one that I read was only 10 years old. There was also a viral video online of a parent interviewing her crying son on the subject of his experiences of being bullied. I am going to look at the topic here today, and I hope this helps in some small way if any of you are or know someone who is going through bullying.

Although it might be hard to imagine when looking at a six-and-a-half foot tall, 255 lbs. 6th Degree Black Belt, but I was bullied in my youth. In middle school, it started, and in high school, it only grew worse.

In retrospect, I think the hardest part about the experience was the feeling of isolation. I had friends, but for the most part, none of them lifted a finger to stop what was happening. No one got involved to help me. This does have long-term consequences for the bullied. To this day I only count a very few people as true friends. In general, there are trust issues that a person who was bullied will carry with them. It comes with the territory.

My story changed when I reached a point of being strong enough to fight back. I trained, grew strong and confident, and I solved my issue on my own and was immune to bullies from that point on.

And I never looked back.

Kids today, they don’t have that as an option. When we, as a society, label all violence as wrong, we hinder the ability of the bullied to stand up for themselves. And then we end up where we are now – wringing our hands over what shall we do about the problem of bullying? 

It sounds good to say violence is never the answer. I understand that. I understand the knee-jerk reaction that we should teach our kids to never be violent. I get it. And I will grant that living in a world completely free of all violence would be awesome! But that isn’t the world we live in. It will not be the world we live in anytime soon. There are a lot of bad people in this world, people who would kill you for your shoes, or over words, or over political differences. Hell, I’ve had death threats and I’m a lovable little nobody! There are crazy insane people out there. Thankfully they are outnumbered by those who would never hurt you, but this does not change the base fact that you need to be prepared and able to use violence to stop the bad people when the occasion arises.

Currently, the option of fighting back has been taken off of the table for our youth. What is left is the harder road of understanding that bullying ends. The bully will eventually get bored and find someone else to bully. Sadly, this does not end the actual bullying, it merely changes the victim. But under our current societal structure, this is how things work. The bullied person would do well to find a group to be a part of. Martial arts classes are great, but so is the wrestling team, or even a chess club. Find a group of friends who have a shared interest with you. Spend time with people who understand you and you can build trust with. Report the bully over and over to anyone with authority. Even when you do not like the system you are working in, you still need to follow the rules. There are ways to make the bully leave you alone. Keep working until something is done. It isn’t easy, but you can do it. Know that you are not the only one to experience it. And don’t opt for a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

In closing, if you know someone who is being bullied, please take the step of notifying someone. Many times, the act of asking for help is not within the field of view for the person being bullied. They see only the constant attack and cannot see the way to make the attacker stop. If you are a friend, be a friend. Help someone.