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Is a gun necessary on a homestead? Is there any other solutions?

 
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Mother Jones did an article debunking 10 pro-gun myths.

Another group, Thetruthaboutguns, responded and debunked the Mother Jones article.

So, in fairness to both positions, here's the Mother Jones article:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check


And here's the response to the Mother Jones article:

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/05/foghorn/debunking-mother-jones-10-pro-gun-myths-shot/


I find the latter article more convincing and compelling, but both are worth reading to get a good overview of the discussion.


Where I live in rural michigan, handguns are used overwhelmingly for things that don't involve killing a person, so I would disagree with the assertion that handguns are only for killing people.

The low end estimates say defensive use of a gun happens 50,000 times per year in the US. Higher estimates range from 250,000 or higher. Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle.


"According to the FBI, in 2012, there were 8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the US, with 6,371 of those attributed to handguns. The Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S. in 2010."

Those numbers suggest that more violent crimes are prevented by guns, than murders are committed by them. This also suggests that it's not just some tv fantasy that a gun may successfully be used in self defense.

We could put a huge dent in gun violence by legalizing the use and possession of drugs, since more than half of all the gun violence is tied to gangs and the drug trade.

The number of guns in the US, and the number of citizens who now have a concealed carry permit have gone up dramatically in the last 20 years, yet violent crime in general and murders with guns in particular have steadily dropped in that same 20 years. That suggests there is not a positive causal relationship between gun ownership and being the victim of a violent crime.


 
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I wonder if this thread is something that belongs in The Ulcer Factory? It's definitely the kind of thing that can make people very angry.

Ernie Wisner wrote:Sort answer "NO" middle answer "it depends" long answer "what all these folks are saying"

A firearm is a tool like an ax or knife. not everyone has, wants or knows how to use an ax. its best if one who does not know how to use an ax, not use one till they can do so safely; this requires a bit of training.


I like this answer. I was thinking the other day about liability issues when it comes to wwoofers, interns and teaching workshops. I came to the conclusion that most homesteading activities are somewhat hazardous. There is ample opportunity to be cut, burned, impaled, poisoned, fined, bitten, crushed, etc. Caution and proper instruction are pretty important when using and storing a lot of things.

I own firearms and find them to be useful tools around the homestead, but I don't think they are a necessity. I can see how some people who are from places where firearms aren't common would think they are definitely not necessary and people who want them are crazy. On the other hand there are quite a few people out there who have never carried a knife and who think it is not only unnecessary but scary and crazy for a person to carry one around in their pocket. Sometimes I've had to go without a pocket knife, and it is usually possible to make do with keys, scissors, teeth and the like. A pocket knife is still an amazingly useful tool.

I think that most people are capable of being responsible firearm owners and that the chances of their owning a firearms will result in tragedy are pretty low. On the other hand, I think that the chances of being the victim of a violent attack are also pretty low. I wouldn't say that someone who decides to just play the odds and not do anything to prevent becoming a victim of a violent crime is being unreasonable or crazy, but I think it can be a good idea to take precautions.

A firearm can be a useful tool for self defense, but there are other weapons as alternatives. In some circumstances the alternative weapons aren't as good as firearms, in others they are better. I believe that good, rational people owning firearms is a good thing, but if a person has no interest in owning firearms for purposes other than self defense I think they probably shouldn't bother (not just "practical" purposes, but recreational shooting and collecting as well). My reasoning is that firearms are somewhat expensive, and if a person has no interest in or use for firearms other than defense they are likely to end up buried in the back of a closet where they aren't very useful for defense. I think most people who don't have any interest in firearms and are only interested in them for self defense would probably be better off with other weapons, such as pepper spray. I'm sure there are exceptions, there are some people out there who personally dislike firearms but have enough money and self discipline to keep in practice and keep their firearms well maintained and reasonably accessible.

Of course a firearm or other weapon is only one small part of an overall self defense plan. Dogs, fences, neighbors, alarms, motion lights, locks, verbal de-escalation and running shoes should all factor in where appropriate. A weapon is only to be used after other systems have failed. It's pretty much like a fire extinguisher; it's best to prevent a fire from happening in the first place, and once a fire is started there is a good chance the extinguisher will be of no use, but it still has a place.
 
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Theresa Whited wrote:Brad,

I will have a gun safe, I will take a conceal and carry class, I will learn my gun inside and out and shoot regularly to stay familiar and everything else we have spoken of. Just so we all know that there's not another "idiot with a gun".

I do believe the surveillance is the best protection. Unfortunately most of them are for computer users and that is sometimes hard for people in remote areas. The thing about is as long as you replace the batteries you can always delete old images and then if something did happen you would have it on the camera.



You're definitely on the right path here. Training and competency with the weapon will reduce many issues. Following the basic safety rules (http://training.nra.org/nra-gun-safety-rules.aspx) at all times keep it pretty difficult to have a negligent discharge. There are no accidental discharges that I've seen. Most can be traced to negligence on someone's part. Make time and budget to train at least monthly.

Surveillance is a great deterrent and there are some basic systems from big box stores (e.g. Sam's Club) or more complex options from places like SuperCircuits. They're not cheap, but 8 cameras will give you a lot of coverage and a lot of deterrence. I would respectfully disagree that it is protection. A camera is but a silent observer. It's proof in either a theft or a shooting, but it's not actually protecting you in the sense of "fear of your life."

The rule of thumb for use of lethal force is "fear of your life". That is what will have to be proven in court. And if you shoot someone in regular times, you're going to end up in court. Even if you win a criminal complaint (if the state decides to prosecute), you may lose a civil one. And whenever someone goes to court, only the lawyers win. Massad Ayoub (of Backwoods Home Magazine renown) has a good article about post-shooting behavior. http://www.tactical-life.com/combat-handguns/after-a-shooting-what-to-reveal/

As for type of firearm, long guns are easier to control than handguns in most cases. They're accurate to longer distances and have many other uses. If you're dealing with livestock and have concerns about coyotes or other predators, you don't want to go after it with a handgun. You mentioned concealed carry, so a handgun is your best bet there. If you're going to be hunting for food, then it depends on your location as to the best rifle type.

These are all tools. They have their uses. You can achieve similar ends with different tools, but it may not be as effective as the right kind of firearm.

It may be worth your time to do a threat analysis of your area. You are concerned about something to have started down this path in the first place. What are your threats? How likely are they? How can you respond to them? What can you do to deter them? You don't need to answer them here, it's more of a worksheet/mental exercize to help you focus your efforts in the right directions.

Security, at the end of the day, is a series of layers. These layers slow down or deter someone until you can bring resources to respond to the threat. That may be calling the Sheriff. That may be setting yourself up in a defensive position. If someone crosses a fence or a gate, they can't say "I didn't realize it was someone's property". Post signs everywhere. Have less than lethal options on your person and in various places around your house. Know how to use them.

Good luck and remember the safety rules!
 
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Care of earth, care of people, return the surplus

 
Chadwick Holmes
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I understand this forum has less hippy types than your standard permaculture drum circle but wow!

Care of earth, care of people, return the surplus.

The metal and manufacturing is not sustainable ( not caring for earth)
False sense of power and heroism, unhealthy need to justify using it (not caring for people)
Hunting is so easy that one tends to over harvest ( potential to not return surplus or take more than fair share)
 
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I think if you have to ask the question then you most likely don't have any experience with firearms. If that is the case then get some training and ask the question again. I would prefer a flame thrower. There good for killing weeds! Just kidding. Your best defence is to never be alone. If you have a weapon available to you then you will decide at the particular moment wether or not to use it. I say get some training and practice frequently keep some guns like a glock,shotgun,22 and a rifle 308 AR15. You can always get rid of them or not use them. The day may come when you just wont ask the question..you will use it. At least you will have it. Simple!4
 
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michael kenney wrote:I think if you have to ask the question then you most likely don't have any experience with firearms. If that is the case then get some training and ask the question again. I would prefer a flame thrower. There good for killing weeds! Just kidding. Your best defence is to never be alone. If you have a weapon available to you then you will decide at the particular moment wether or not to use it. I say get some training and practice frequently keep some guns like a glock,shotgun,22 and a rifle 308 AR15. You can always get rid of them or not use them. The day may come when you just wont ask the question..you will use it. At least you will have it. Simple!4



Where are you? Somalia?
 
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A bit of feedback from me, a gun owner in a fairly remote area.

A) If you don't think you can shoot a person to death don't own a firearm for defense.

B) Always keep guns secured. I.E., locked up somewhere preferably with trigger locks. Kind of defeats the purpose of A unless you know someone is coming. But better to have them locked up than used on someone you don't want them used on or stolen. Along the lines of guns being stolen you probably want to be discreet about who knows you have guns.

C) If you use plan on using a gun for hunting purchase the right firearm and ammo. If you only want to shoot fowl then get a good shotgun and the right type of shot for the size of fowl you're shooting. If you are going after big game get a gun with the appropriate range and caliber for the area you are hunting in and the size of game you are hunting. Bigger game needs guns that have higher knockdown power.

D) GET TRAINED

E) Know and practice the 2 golden rules of having a firearm. 1) Every gun is loaded, even if you personally just unloaded it. 2) Never, ever, ever point a gun at something you aren't OK with shooting. Just don't. Guns have been known to go off and kill people when a gun was pointed at someone and people thought the safety was on and there was no ammo in it.

To summarize, if you own a gun don't be stupid. Always treat a gun like it can kill anything around you because it can. Follow all firearms laws and regulations in your area.

From a personal perspective, just because open carry is legal in your area doesn't mean it's a good idea to do. The more people there are around you the greater the chances are of the gun accidentally shooting somewhere, in the air or somewhere fairly benign or perhaps shooting someone or something you don't want to shoot.
 
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I see lots of good comments here, but I feel like the comment about whether or not to have a gun is almost a personal religious question is correct. It is one that is worth thinking through.

I see a few posts in this discussion sometimes veering dangerously close to the zombie apocalypse side of crazy while other times they're veering way into the 'I'm a happy bunny, I'm nice, so every else will be nice to me" variant of crazy.

The way I see it, a gun is a tool I can choose to have or not, depending on my situation, beliefs and attitude towards life. Part of the justification in my mind is just maintaining options. If someone came in my house right now, he'ld be way more likely to get a stick or bat applied vigorously about his person, because that is probably what I would be able to grab and use first. The gun is unloaded and stowed away. Like most of my other tools I don't keep them on me all the time. If the times and situation deteriorates, I will adjust accordingly.

The desire to be prepared for anything has some real historical validity. Cultural collapse (world wide, regional, or local) probably won't happen in your area in your lifetime, but eventually it will. No society I know has not seen collapse, invasion, war and wide spread civil unrest at some point. It seems to me that society and the world is growing less stable at a rapid rate. Part of that might be the internet. Bad news travels fast and far. Good news? Not so much. Even so, I think most people would agree that we live in a far different world than 50, 30 or even 10 years ago, and it's not done shifting (for better or worse).

The philosophy to treat others fairly and expect them to return the favor is good general life choice. Everyone knows that there are people that will just take advantage of the situation, but usually I've found even the 'iffy' people will rise to the occasion if they realize I trust them. Nobody wants to be the bad guy in their own story. I don't start out trusting them with my wife, children or large amounts of cash. I trust them with small things first, then adjust according to their behavior.

Even if you have a gun, that does not keep you from acting like a caring, generous human being. Possession of a gun is not likely change you.

If you choose to get a gun, depending on where you live, the gun might be quite low on your list of priorities. Housing, food, transportation and setting up your site initially(seeds, plants, trees, earthwork, fences (live or manmade), animals) will probably make great demands on your finances. Guns can be fairly expensive. By the time you get around to buying a gun, you will probably have a better idea of how much you need it than you do right now. Unless you are moving into a warzone or the migration path of rabid wild pigs, a gun really isn't at the top of the things you need. If you think a gun is at the top of your list (for safety reasons), you might want to find a different spot to settle.

If you are concerned about your safety in the meantime, a decent can of pepper spray (one that can shoot a good distance, you don't want to wait until they're on top of you) and a big stick might make you feel better. They are much cheaper, viewed as less lethal by the authorities and can still be effective on an aggressive dog or even a bear. A face full of pepper spray has a way of rearranging everyone's priorities. In a pinch, I suspect a can of wasp spray (the type that will shoot 30 feet) would probably have a similar effect, but I would go for the pepper spray.



 
Neil Layton
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Mick Fisch wrote:

Even if you have a gun, that does not keep you from acting like a caring, generous human being. Possession of a gun is not likely change you.




If you are a caring, generous human being, then why would you want something designed to kill in the first place? I have the impression most posters here are in the US, which was not, last time I looked, a war zone, and the only reason it looks like one from here is because of all the guns - which becomes a circular argument very quickly.

Sorry, I am genuinely mystified by this conversation. There seems to be these unstated assumptions that I'm just missing completely.

In this country the only people who have guns are a few gangsters, mostly in the big cities, and the kind of entitled rich nobs who enjoy killing things and are utterly indifferent to the way their activities skew land ownership, harm other sentient beings and wreck entire ecosystems. None of these are "caring, generous human beings".
 
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Dear Theresa Whited,
Just to let you know where I come from: I'm retired military, I'm a certified NRA pistol instructor, and presently a concealed carry permit holder. I am a father of 9 (yes - nine) children under the age of 15, and I have a gun on my person, or within reach 24/7, 365. I'll start by stating that you have some very valid concerns. I'd like to address them one by one:
1) A very high number of people got shot with their own gun. - Actually, not really. Yes this does happen, but statistics will show that most of the time this is intentional (Suicide). Most any other scenario in which this could occur is preventable by training, which is of the utmost importance.
2) Your more likely to get robbed just for the gun. - This may or may not be true, and I don't think there's a study or statistic out there that can prove or disprove this theory. It is true that guns are stolen when not properly stored. I've never been a big fan of people just keeping a loaded handgun under the seat of their vehicle, for this reason. The key here is: if you're likely to get robbed at all, 1) keep a gun on your person or within arms reach, and/or 2) keep it properly secured and possibly disabled (there are very simple ways to disable a firearm by removing parts of it, and storing them in a different location.
3) Kids killing kids with parents gun. - Also preventable via proper storage, and training (yes - train your children on guns at the appropriate level for the appropriate age). As I mentioned, I have a house full of both children and guns, but if a gun is not literally strapped to my (or my wife's) hip, it is secured in a safe, where my children cannot access it.
4) Killing someone - You are absolutely correct that when you choose to own or carry a gun for personal defense of yourself, your loved ones, and your property, you must square with the notion that you may have to kill someone one day. The hard reality of this is that if you refuse to accept this responsibility, the alternative may be that you (and possibly your family) can be raped, kidnapped, tortured, sold/trafficked, and/or murdered. There is a very excellent book called "On Combat" by Dave Grossman, which explains the semantics of having to kill another human being for a just reason.
This is totally 100% your choice. If you do choose to own a gun, please: get training, and continue to train.
 
Mick Fisch
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Neil,

You are correct, there are a lot of unspoken assumptions on this thread.

This is a discussion that is less logical than it is deeply emotional, on both sides it seems to me.

The reason the European, Japanese and Chinese governments have always tried to limit weapon ownership is because the aristocrats were originally a bunch of guys that enslaved the rest of the population and wanted to make damned sure that the majority (peasants) were not well armed because they had a really good idea where that would lead. Spain transplanted that same feudal setup to mexico and texas. The reason they failed to successfully expand into most of texas for several hundred years was because they actively tried to keep the peasants unarmed. The results were predictable when the Comanches came in. Once they opened it up to Americans (armed), the place was settled in a couple of decades (I won't get into the rights or wrongs, because it's foolish to apply 21st century rules to 19th, 18th or 17th century people, just like we probably wouldn't want to hear their opinions about how we behave).

In the US the right to bear arms has almost a religious note, as it probably once did to William Wallace and his buddies. They lost their fight, so the US received lots of dislocated Scots when the gentry decided there was more money in sheep than in crofters. So now the only hunting in Scotland is by the upper 1%. Americans have always been a little distrustful of the government and a little impatient at any perceived imposition on our rights, partly because of what happened in Europe. Might not make sense to you, but there it is. I will note that there are many places in the US where there are still large predators and that shooting animals (either in protection of your stock or as food in themselves) is by far the most likely use for any rifle, as has been noted many times on this thread. In the US guns are widely owned and used in hunting, not mostly by the top 1% but by the working class.

I've known people who had a deeply held conviction that it is morally wrong to kill anything at all. They may present facts and figures to support their arguments. Refuting these facts will accomplish nothing, because the basis of their argument is not based on logic, it is an emotional or maybe religious statement. I just have to accept that that is what they believe and move on.

I've known people that had a deeply held conviction that we should eat meat. While they could give me facts and figures in the end it to generally comes down to a similar emotional/religious statement. I just accept their belief and move on.

We're kind of in the same place in this thread. There are good reasons given by both sides, but I don't think the logical reasons given are the always the root basis of the beliefs. Maybe we need to settle down and move on.



 
Tyler Miller
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There is definitely an emotional and cultural element to people's perceptions of firearms, including my own view of them.

It's not weird to me that nice people own weapons. Where I'm from, everyone owns weapons. I would guess that the rate of firearm ownership in my area is higher than the rate of automobile ownership, the rate of cell phone ownership, the rate of TV ownership or the rate of computer ownership. Nice people own guns, but that's like saying nice people own ovens. Good people don't own guns to go around committing evil acts, they own guns to protect themselves and others from becoming victims of evil acts. An argument can definitely be made that if everyone gave up their guns those looking to do evil wouldn't have the means to do so, but most of us firearms owners don't believe that making it illegal to own firearms will do much to stop evildoers from getting them.

Hunting is also a very common activity where I live. Not just rich people hunt, most people do and the less money a person has the more important hunting tends to become. Lots of public land to hunt on around here.

I can see how someone who lives in a place where only gangsters and rich trophy hunters own firearms would have a very negative view of firearms.

I have an admittedly biased view of firearms. I have lots of happy memories of shooting cans and clay pigeons with friends and family. My grandmother started teaching me how to shoot at a young age. When I see an image of a rifle my first thought is how fun it would be to go out plinking with my father. I can see how someone who didn't have those same experiences as me might see an image of a rifle and think of people being murdered.
 
Neil Layton
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I think some people have this really skewed view of Scottish history. I mean, I probably have this skewed view of the US, but let's just say it's difficult to connect William Wallace with the Proscription Acts and with the Clearances.

In answer to the original question, those of us who come from countries without guns show that it's perfectly possible to live on a homestead without a gun without needing to worry about marauding hordes coming to murder you in your bed and take the TV. Most hunters are seen here as highly entitled at best, and dangerously odd in the head at worst - I think these are the kinds of people most likely to hurt me, because they have shown themselves to be indifferent to suffering.

Guns and ammunition are, I understand, expensive, so even if the poor did want to hunt to eat it would probably be too expensive an initial outlay.

At that point, I have to ask "solution to what?" Those smallholders I know might have a dog, even several, as a companion, and the dog might bark, but would be about as dangerous as a wet sponge. One or two can look intimidating to someone who doesn't know dog body language, or who gets their idea from those TV shows that show a dog with body language that says "let's play: please get this rope off so we can nut together" dubbed with a soundtrack that says "I'm going to kill you".

I don't have the highest view of most of humanity, but I've never felt paranoid enough to feel any need to carry any sort of weapon, or even have one handy in the house. There are things that could be incidentally used as weapons around, but they have other primary functions, such as chopping wood, hammering nails and making dinner.
 
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lots of opinions I see the original post is from 4 years ago I am sure the OP has made her mind up by now

I shoot , I carry . my recommendations .
if you are going to have a gun use it join a gun club or set up a set of berms so you can practice on your own land and practice .
a gun is only useful if you are comfortable with its use .
get a good front open gun safe ( one for your ammo one for your gun ) and replace the key lock with a push button real estate lock practice your combination in the light and the dark if you need your weapon time is crucial , also practice loading and unloading
a hand gun is much easier to carry and you will not be prepared if the weapon is not something you can carry comfortably
a laser is a valuable addition , I added an aftermarket one my pistol that goes on as soon as I grab the grip . at night or when some one is charging you you do not have to use the sights
I may never draw my weapon on any thing other than a target , I am fine with that I know if I have to I can .
 
Neil Layton
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Susan Doyon wrote:lots of opinions I see the original post is from 4 years ago I am sure the OP has made her mind up by now

I shoot , I carry . my recommendations .
if you are going to have a gun use it join a gun club or set up a set of berms so you can practice on your own land and practice .
a gun is only useful if you are comfortable with its use .
get a good front open gun safe ( one for your ammo one for your gun ) and replace the key lock with a push button real estate lock practice your combination in the light and the dark if you need your weapon time is crucial , also practice loading and unloading
a hand gun is much easier to carry and you will not be prepared if the weapon is not something you can carry comfortably
a laser is a valuable addition , I added an aftermarket one my pistol that goes on as soon as I grab the grip . at night or when some one is charging you you do not have to use the sights
I may never draw my weapon on any thing other than a target , I am fine with that I know if I have to I can .



What for?? That's what I don't get. I can see you might have real concerns in some countries in the developing world with drug gangs and so on, at least if they are growing drugs near you, or if you'd decided to try smallholding in Somalia, but even in those countries with really high per capita murder rates they tend to be concentrated in the cities.

In reasonably stable developed countries I just don't see what you'd use one for.
 
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I must admit coming from the same back ground as you Neil I ask myself the same question . Why ? Now I have hunted in the past and may do again in the future at such a time I may have to get a gun . It's for killing things but at the moment I don't. And live in a relatively crime free area and not in a community ruled by fear of crime I am fairly confident in the ability of the police to arrive should I ring them , they have guns if required . It's what I pay taxes for maybe that's the real issue .

David
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Americans like to pretend they live in some third world post apocalyptic gang land, we go to work in an office dressed in a silk suit, in cars no more than five years old that have all the options, we can live years without touching the actual dirt ground.

Our life is so safe that there is a primitive us that wants the chance of danger, so we make it up, those druggies are gone rob me any min, the gangs want to take our women, when really the druggies know your stuff has no value and the gangs don't want your 45 yr old wife.

But if I can walk around with a gun I can pretend for just a moment that something exiting might just happen, to break up the monotony of the city hellscape of boredom.

The funniest part is we send our kids to war and scar them when we have these types running around unhappy, paranoid and privileged to be able to pretend that something might happen.

Problem is when something happens it's not good, jail, injury to oneself, injury or death of loved ones, dealing with the fact that you killed your neighbors kid or your nephew. Whether through jail or downward spiral of depression they offten lose their families, now living in a hell wishing for the boredom of the privileged city life.
 
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I know many think that times are different now and many feel that they need to have personal protection. At 65, I still don't feel the need myself....we've lived in the back woods of arkansas until recently and all without a gun. We don't lock our house, all of our slaughtering was done without a gun, I hitched all over without a gun, I've done a lot of hiking without a gun, we raised two sons without a gun.........most of the scary situations I've been involved in would have ended in tragedy if a gun were involved.

And if the 'need' for a gun stems from fear... I'm one who thinks that the more that we fear the more likely we will attract those things that we fear.....

And separate from homestead use, I don't feel safer knowing that more and more of my fellow humans are 'carrying' in public, in fact I have the opposite feelings when I go to an 'event' somewhere and assume that many are there prepared to shoot something at the drop of a hat.


 
Troy Rhodes
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One out of six women in the US will be sexually assaulted at some point in their life.

https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

The numbers in Canada are similar:

http://www.sexassault.ca/statistics.htm


The numbers in the UK are a bit worse:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jan/10/sex-crimes-analysis-england-wales



This is not a one in a million, quit worrying it's all in your imagination kind of problem. These are real people. Real victims. Literally millions of them.

If a woman has a weapon, the odds improve drastically. Here's a quote from a recent paper:

I wish to single out one particular subtype of physical resistance: Use of a weapon, and especially a firearm, is statistically a woman's best means of resistance, greatly enhancing her odds of escaping both rape and injury, compared to any other strategy of physical or verbal resistance...


Second, raw data from the 1979-1985 installments of the Justice Department's annual National Crime Victim Survey show that when a woman resists a stranger rape with a gun, the probability of completion was 0.1 percent and of victim injury 0.0 percent, compared to 31 percent and 40 percent, respectively, for all stranger rapes (Kleck, Social Problems, 1990).

Third, a recent paper (Southwick, Journal of Criminal Justice, 2000) analyzed victim resistance to violent crimes generally, with robbery, aggravated assault and rape considered together. Women who resisted with a gun were 2.5 times more likely to escape without injury than those who did not resist and 4 times more likely to escape uninjured than those who resisted with any means other than a gun. Similarly, their property losses in a robbery were reduced more than six-fold and almost three-fold, respectively, compared to the other categories of resistance strategy.


https://www.gunowners.org/wv26.htm


One in five or six women seems like something not be ignored or dismissed.



A gun is not required. Physical resistance (especially with training), pepper spray, eye gouging, there are lots of techniques that can be used. Pick one. Get training.

But a gun does work in the majority of cases. I'm not saying you have to have one, but don't take away my wife's ability and right to have it if she wants it.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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No one is taking anyone's rights to guns.

Statistics of victims are great, when you add guns you add gunshot victims as well......

My advice is to move away from the cities they are high rape/crime centers, the gun is not required if you live in a place where you don't have to worry that your wife will be raped.

Again if you live in a place where this is a real concern and not suburban paranoia then I ask "why are you living there?" Seriously, you are free to move, then you don't have to go through the pain of taking a life.....

Any marines or army rangers wanna talk about your experience with dealing with killing? How it effects your whole life, how it's not what the average citizen thinks they are getting into?
 
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Theresa Whited wrote:
I will have a gun safe, I will take a conceal and carry class, I will learn my gun inside and out and shoot regularly to stay familiar and everything else we have spoken of.
...
It was my neighbor who said "get a shotgun" and she is a mature, kind person. I'm not sure why this is so controversial or why anyone would be negative. The topic isn't about gun control or ownership it is simply your advice on how to protect your homestead. I'm a little shocked that there are such intense feelings about this. No one has much to say about surveillance? or is that a different topic?



A few thoughts.
  • Surveillance is a deterrent, not a defense. This means that it will deter some folks, and it won't affect others. Surveillance won't do anything for a coyote, for example. It is just a passive system that will record what the coyote does to your chickens.
  • Defense in depth is a good idea. This means that you discourage as much as possible with lights, gravel, fences, surveillance systems, sharp thorny plants, etc.. However, as I stated before, this isn't going to stop a truely motivated person or creature.
  • What are you protecting? What are you protecting it from? If you are protecting your livestock from a predator, a rifle is probably the best bet. If you are protecting yourself, a pistol on your person is the best bet.
  • A gun safe is a good idea, however it means you have to get to your gun safe and open it before you can use your weapon. This won't work for home invasions, sudden predator attacks, etc. In my opinion, your defense weapon is safest if it is on your person all the time. The only time it should go into a safe is when you're going to sleep for the night. In that instance, if should be a quick access safe next to your bed. This goes double if you have kids in the house, as they will try to open a shiny safe.
  • I echo what others have said, though: If you are not willing to use a gun to defend yourself or your livestock, then don't get one. You have to be willing to use it for it to be of any value. Otherwise it will be a liability.
  • I think the reason this came across as controversial, excluding the fact that it is about guns, is because you started the thread with a list of questionable negatives about gun ownership. For example "I grew up in the city and even owning a gun is dangerous." Now I am not passing a value judgement or anything, just trying to indicate that this may be where some of the negativity came from. In my experience, growing up in the city, a gun would make you safer, but that is my personal take.


  • I hope the above helps. Good luck in your deliberations and thank you for considering it as seriously as you are.

     
    Troy Rhodes
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    "Again if you live in a place where this is a real concern and not suburban paranoia then I ask "why are you living there?" Seriously, you are free to move, then you don't have to go through the pain of taking a life..... "


    There is no "safe" place that guarantees you or your family will never be the victim of violence.

    In the US, big cities have gangs and drugs, and many rural places, methamphetamine has become a scourge.


    Again, 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, and no specific location can give an ironclad guarantee.

    There are also people who don't want to relocate, or can't relocate. I'm not going to blame a rape victim for living in the wrong neighborhood. It also happens in perfectly nice neighborhoods too.

    1 in 6 is not a fevered imagination kind of problem. Women getting raped on campus, or near campus is an epidemic right now. Should they not go to college?

    Absolutely, they should reduce their risk as much as they can, but there is no strategy that guarantees one will never face the problem.
     
    pollinator
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    Troy Rhodes wrote:Again, 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, and no specific location can give an ironclad guarantee.

    There are also people who don't want to relocate, or can't relocate. I'm not going to blame a rape victim for living in the wrong neighborhood. It also happens in perfectly nice neighborhoods too.

    1 in 6 is not a fevered imagination kind of problem. Women getting raped on campus, or near campus is an epidemic right now. Should they not go to college?

    Absolutely, they should reduce their risk as much as they can, but there is no strategy that guarantees one will never face the problem.



    You and others keep bringing up rape, but I think that's misleading.

    80% of female rape victims are under 30. Most of those are in their teens. Almost half of all rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. These aren't situations where a stranger jumps out of an alley or breaks into your house and a gun is going to help. I don't think anyone here thinks it's a good idea for drunken teenagers to carry guns to parties. Like someone said above, "no one wants your 45 year old wife."
     
    Derek Brewer
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    Jan White wrote:Like someone said above, "no one wants your 45 year old wife."


    Respectfully, my aunt was raped at 50 in an elevator, and she is not what you would consider a "looker". My mother also works with a lot of elderly (65-70+ year old) patients who have this happen in nursing homes and other care facilities. It may not be in the majority of situations, but it absolutely does happen.
     
    Jan White
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    Derek Brewer wrote:

    Jan White wrote:Like someone said above, "no one wants your 45 year old wife."


    Respectfully, my aunt was raped at 50 in an elevator, and she is not what you would consider a "looker". My mother also works with a lot of elderly (65-70+ year old) patients who have this happen in nursing homes and other care facilities. It may not be in the majority of situations, but it absolutely does happen.



    Yes, I'm sorry. That was not a tactful thing to say at all. I don't seem to have the option anymore, but if a moderator would like to delete that sentence from my last post, please do.

    Rape is generally not about sexual attraction, and I was not at all meaning that it can't happen to someone outside of the most common situations. It was just a poor way to say that the argument that getting a gun is a good idea because rape is so common is a red herring and appeal to emotion.
     
    steward
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    I am wondering if we cannot summarize all the arguments in this very long thread and see if someone has something new to add, rather than rehashing what's already been said, in ways that increasingly drift toward insulting one another and risk pushing the thread into the cider press. It seems to me that there is a matrix to various answers to the original question:

    DOES A GUN BELONG ON A HOMESTEAD?

    --------- Pro | Con ----------------

    Feelings F-p | F-c
    -----------------------------------------------
    Thoughts T-p | T-c

    Note: any argument in the Feelings category CANNOT be contradicted, not even with an argument in the Thoughts category because Feelings are not Facts. If I feel like eating ice cream today, you cannot say I am wrong for feeling that way. We enforce that with the BE NICE rule, but it is an immutable condition of humanity. One cannot rationalize away the validity of someone else's right to their feelings.

    Now I am going to list all the arguments I can extract from the thread in 15 minutes (which is all the time I have to spend on this, feel free to append any I miss).

    F-p arguments
    I am afraid of x and believe I can use a gun to avoid it (directly or on behalf of others)
    Guns are cool pieces of machinery to admire and collect
    Guns are fun to play with, I like the experience of shooting them
    I believe I have a right to them and want to own them to express how important that right is
    I have them because it is expected of me (local cultural standards)

    F-c arguments
    Guns use too many resources to produce and operate
    I do not perceive a danger to myself that I would resolve with a gun
    I am morally opposed to killing under any circumstances I can imagine that would involve my use of a gun.
    I don't like how I feel when I carry a gun (ex: need for heightened safety awareness)
    The process for legally owning a gun in my jurisdiction is more pain than I wish to submit to
    Guns have high risks that I do not care to expose myself to.

    T-p arguments
    Guns are a tool in my toolbag to do x that I cannot do any other way
    Guns are a requirement of my profession

    T-c arguments
    I am not willing or able to spend the time and/or money develop the skillset or environment for responsible gun ownership
    I am not allowed to own guns.

    My personal decision-making matrix looked like this:

    F-p
    Guns are fun to play with (I am an excellent shot)
    I worry that I will have an animal in pain and the nearest vet is +1 hour away.
    My personal security in an isolated rural environment depends one me.
    F-c
    I don't like how I feel when I have to split my focus while carrying
    I am not interested in hunting.
    T-p
    I cannot personally kill a wounded goat with other methods available to me. Coyotes and mountain lions are frequent in my local area.
    I spend a great deal of time alone here. (This fact has influenced many other decisions, like the fact that I never leave the house without a cell phone in case I injure myself).
    T-c
    Getting proper training and equipment is expensive and not my preferred way to spend household income


    I could (and often should) make a matrix like that for most any large decision (like whether to own an automobile). Any one of you, looking at my matrix might make a different decision than I have. And then say something shifts: a meth house opens up on my street and I feel more at risk, I suddenly take up an interest in wild duck cuisine, a small child moves into my house, I suffer a stroke and cannot safely shoot any more. The reasons can and do change. Who am I to tell you that your analysis of your matrix is wrong? Who are you to tell me my analysis of my matrix is wrong?

    Do you have any arguments to add to the general matrix? Can you reverse engineer your own decision matrix? Has it changed over time?
     
    gardener
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    It would seem that many of the posters here are getting off the track of this thread, which is the relevance of having a gun on a homestead. Note the title of this thread please, "Is A Gun Necessary On a Homestead?" is the question up for discussion.
    Not is it moral or what are the statistics or any of the other myriad of answers I've read here. Those are new topics and should be in separate threads elsewhere on the site.

    My take on the topic of this thread is; No they are not necessary, but when a wild animal comes for your food animals how do you propose to remedy the situation?

    Sure you have options for this,
    1. you can put up a full perimeter, electric fence just like the Military tends to do at certain bases.
    2. you can let the wild animal take one or more of your food animals, then replace the missing stock knowing that the event will indeed take place again and again.
    3. you can realize that you should protect your animals and try non lethal methods of scaring off the predator(s). Loud poppers etc.
    4. you can bite the proverbial bullet and use a gun to terminate the predator.

    This topic is all about the personal choice of protection on your land. It is not about shooting people, unless said people come on to your land with the intent of doing you personal harm and these persons showed up wielding a weapon. That would be the only scenario many of the comments would come into play.

    Where we live, there are some dangers every day.
    We have packs of feral dogs, dropped off by owners who no longer want them, these dogs can and have attacked people on their land in our area.
    We have a large pack of Coyotes in the area, they do attack and kill livestock, not every night but often enough that we have a group who hunt coyotes when a land owner makes the call to them.
    We have large cats in the area.
    So far we do not have any black bears, but they are moving our way and will eventually arrive.
    Given this set of circumstances, a projectile type weapon makes good sense.
    My wife and I both carry pistols, since a dog pack has come up and circled her, it would be non prudent to go weaponless.
    We also have rifles at easy reach since they are far better for longer distances.
    So far, we have not had to draw a weapon many times (I did have to shoot at a pit bull that threated my wife by going into attack mode, it was the last time she did not have a pistol on her person on our land).

    It is, as always, a personal choice, each person should do the research and come to a fully informed decision about being armed on their land or not.
     
    Tyler Miller
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    I like your matrix, Ann.

    I think a T-c argument would be "There are viable alternatives to guns."

    Bryan, I would add livestock guardian dogs to your list of options. Also, alternative lethal weapons (crossbows, slingshots, pitchforks, etc.).

    There are also a lot of techniques that might be specific to the particular predator. For instance, ravens like to eat young chicks, but they seem to be scared of black plastic trash bags flapping in the breeze. (I need to find a more environmentally friendly solution than trash bags. Maybe I could dye a windsock black, it would be less likely to shred than the trash bag.)

    Like most of us, I don't enjoy killing animals. I want to try to design systems where I am less likely to have to. I own firearms, but every time I resort to having to kill a nuisance animal I feel like I've failed as a designer. Of course, many non-firearm solutions are no more moral. Getting a couple livestock guardian dogs that kill a coyote is no better than shooting the coyote, but it may be more effective and the person might rather have dogs than guns for other reasons.
     
    steward
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    Another scenario where owning a gun on a homestead comes into play is when it is time to slaughter livestock (larger than a chicken or rabbit), or to humanely put down an animal that is injured/ill.

    We are not discussing urban centers, elevators, parking lots, etc. This is not the forum to discuss urban issues.

     
    Ann Torrence
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    John Polk wrote:Another scenario where owning a gun on a homestead comes into play is when it is time to slaughter livestock (larger than a chicken or rabbit), or to humanely put down an animal that is injured/ill.


    I mentally included that in

    T-p arguments
    Guns are a tool in my toolbag to do x that I cannot do any other way


    I suppose if one could get access to large animal veterinary sedatives then it wouldn't fit under that category. Most of us in the US don't have a DEA license to possess those things, much less the ability to buy them.

    We once had a cat throw a blood clot that paralyzed its lower extremities. The pain as the clot breaks up is apparently like torture. If it had recovered, it would have continued to produce them more and more frequently. Those 30-45 minutes of trying to find a vet in the middle of the night to do the euthanasia changed my feelings on gun ownership, to say the least. Once you have an animal you can't lift into the back of your car, you take on an entirely higher level of responsibility to ensure a decent end if necessary, IMO.
     
    master pollinator
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    I have used a weapon in self defense three times. One rock, one vehicle and one bat. The vehicle did not connect. The rock and bat did. I did not report it to any authority. In each case, I immediately left the area. I'm quite paranoid about being punished for defending myself.
    .....
    It's been mentioned that those who defend themselves will somehow be overcome with remorse or grief. I'm not built that way. I have absolutely no regard for those who would attack someone who has not threatened them in any way. My only concern is in preventing harm to myself in these situations. It's been several years since any of this happened.
    .....
    I don't have a gun, and I don't think that I need one.
     
    Chadwick Holmes
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    If you can shoot a man and watch him die, without remorse, than I will be praying for you.......

    Again most citizens don't know what is involved, sometimes it gets you two years later, but it has a way of getting you sometime in life. This isn't throwing a rock at someone, I know well trained ex Army Scout Rangers who break down fairly often, who cry themselves to sleep, who have suicidal thoughts, who lash out at family violently.....not one or two but many.....strong warrior men who can't take the consequence of the actions. It is real, it hurts, it is human to have this issue, if you didn't I would worry about your sanity, and stability.
     
    Ann Torrence
    steward
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    I suppose we could fit Chadwick's point under:

    F-c
    I prefer not to experience the negative emotions that could result from using a gun in a self-defense situation.

    I did not include that idea in the matrix, thanks for the contribution.
     
    steward
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    Just like a shovel is not required on a homestead, neither are firearms... With that disclaimer in place...

    I believe that a homestead should have at least four guns:

    1- A pistol routinely carried either openly or concealed by every adult on the homestead.
    2- A 22 rifle for dealing with small animals like skunks, rabbits, etc.
    3- A long-range high-powered scoped rifle for dealing with big game and feral dogs.
    4- A shotgun for hunting fowl, and for dealing with predators at close range.

    I choose to open carry just about everywhere I go. For the most part, people are so worried about their own lives and concerns that they don't even notice. The few that do notice don't seem to care. I have never used a firearm in anger, and don't have any reason to believe that I ever will. I have never had anyone tell me, "Thank you for being disarmed." I frequently have people say things to me like, "Thank you for wearing your gun today." I carry Israeli style to greatly reduce the likelihood of accidental discharge. Sure, it's a bit slower to draw, but I have no reason to believe that I'll be in the kind of situation where speed matters. I use firearms most commonly for dealing with predators or injured animals: A dog that's been run over, and the injuries are so bad that it will never recover. A deer hung up in a fence, with it's guts hanging out. The pack of wild dogs that's killing as much livestock as possible, and would take my kids too if they got the chance.

    About half of the meat that I eat is wild-harvested big game. It's hard to eat that without firearms. I eat a good amount of locally-raised ruminants. Firearms seem like the easiest and safest way to start the butchering process.

    To help normalize the idea of open-carry, here's a few photos of me, doing my day to day chores. The firearm is inconspicuous.





     
    Dale Hodgins
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    I've stabbed myself with a concealed pen. Just about anything carried in my pockets or strapped to me, like a hammer, has injured me in some small way.
    .....
    Another issue for me, is falling asleep. Many times, I have fallen asleep on a bus, in a park or in front of the TV when the kids were little. Had I been wearing a gun, it could have been removed at these times. To me, it would be a huge burden, to have to be on all of the time.
    .....
    As a side note, I'm sure that if I wore a side arm, I would spend far too much time fantasizing about different situations that might give me an excuse to use it.
     
    Bryant RedHawk
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    hau Tyler, I have LGD's on the farm, they don't stand a chance against the Coyotes (got a count and the pack is 20 strong).
    I also have bows, they do not work well when you are walking with shovels or down on your knees in gardens or working with the hogs.

    Now let me add here that I am ex-team 1, scout sniper trained as well.
    As I mentioned it is all a matter of personal choice and that choice should be made after you have done the homework.

    farming is not for the weak willed, it is hard work and comes with many hard choices.

    I like to hunt, we get some of our meat from deer, and that is where my bow comes in, I don't gun hunt for sport, that would be unfair to the four legs since I can hit a dime at 1000m with my "hunting" rifle.
     
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    Perhaps the Easterners and Europeans should get a dose of reality. I shudder at the thought of some of the commenters trying to survive in more of a wild environment. We have coyotes, wolves, brown bear, black bear, grizzly bear, mountain lion, lynx and bobcat, not to mention rabid skunks and sometimes even packs of wild dogs. If these were to predate on livestock then I hope they would see the usefulness of a gun. The real concern is of the two legged variety. We are about 45 minutes away from any law enforcement response. What does a responsible person do when the lives of others are at stake? He arms himself and is prepared to defend lives. He is not a self appointed Rambo. He is a responsible gun owner who doesn't have to wait for the police to come out and investigate after the act. He can stop the crime before it has been committed. The type of people that don't get this are usually the victims. Better a sheep dog than a sheep. There are wolves out there and our European cousins are starting to relearn that the hard way.
     
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