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

 
Posts: 247
Location: Sierra Nevada mountain valley CA, & Nevada high desert
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Theresa, you've gotten a lot of answers,all good. I wouldn't be without one. There are some, out there, who don't want one, and some, who don't want you to have one. For sure someone who would cause harm for business or pleasure doesn't want you to have one, I'm using the word,you, journalistically. Good idea to get at least one and learn how to use it.

It's somewhat like having insurance, You're betting you'll need it, the insurance company is betting you won't and you're hoping they win.

If you have one, you won't need it.
 
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Ignorance of an object increases fear of an object, just as knowledge of it will instill respect. Familiarize yourself with guns...there are many ways to do so, starting with sporting goods shops and their helpful salesmen. Find someone who has experience or are even offering classes and avail yourself of that opportunity. Guns are certainly nothing to fear unless they are in the hands of the ignorant.

If you are moving to the country, there will come a day when you will need a gun...I guarantee it. No, not to fend off armed robbers...the percentages of that happening there are much less than where you come from. Guns are tools just like a chainsaw or lawnmower. If you live in the country, you will eventually need one of each because there are lots of trees, lots of grass and there are lots of creatures that may need to die....for one reason or another, they may need your quick response to end their suffering.

For instance, a deer got hung up in a barbed wire fence and hung by it's hoof all night. By the time I approached it, the leg was broken and wild animals had been attacking the defenseless animal. The most merciful thing to do is kill it but one wants a quick and clean kill. This is most readily completed with the use of a gun.

Best to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, just like anything else that is vital to survival.
 
gardener
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I figure i must be pretty young amongst this whole bunch. I have done a fair bit of shooting.

if you are in doubt take a hunters safety class or some other program that will let you get a feel for it. IMO any tool is dangerous in inexperienced hands.

But i will say one thing ad rest my peace. Do not get a firearm on someone else's word.....
 
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Theresa,
I have made a connection to where you are. I have it on pretty good authority, (my wife has lived near where you are), that the problem you have is on that is real similar to the one occurring in the meth capitol of the US which is just down the road from you about 3 hours. The locals really do not want to hurt you and would be really frightened by someone who, has a gun, who is a crazy city person who would shoot them for just being on your property. (legal or not) or you are somehow connected to the DEA, FBI, CIA, KGB or whatever 3 letter organisation you want to use. All of them are connected in some way so getting the word out that you are going to shoot the next person who comes on your property would be fairly effective. something else to keep in mind if there is nothing to steal they will leave you alone. Make all of the things you value not visible, if you look like you have something they will steal it and make sure your opinions of drug use is well known. We have had people who really worked pretty hard to "be friends" and came to our house just to have a look at our cabinets to see if we had any drugs they could steal. After finding out we dont bother with that stuff they really did not want to "be friends' so much any more. The meth addiction or other things they are on will make them brave to get the next dollar for the next high. Something else would be to make sure they think you have an arsenal of selected weapons that would kill with extreme prejudice any who would venture close to your well designed abode. All of this would not have to be true but they need to think that it is.

Unfortunately this will remain a problem that will never go away. My wife lived there more than 10 years ago and the problems in the rural areas have gotten worse as the time passes especially in the poorer counties in the midwest. You are an easy target since they view you as a "city slicker" so you will need to change the perception to crazy gun toten willing to shoot first and ask questions later person who would shoot them and have what is left prosecuted and turned over to the DEA. drawn, hung, quartered and sent to the four corners of the empire. If you need any help in the drawn and quartered department the wife and i may have a free weekend coming up.
 
pollinator
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If it's as bad as Steve says there, i'd skip the gun and use the money to buy some bus tickets to someplace better. That sounds like a helluva way to have to live. If you're going to enjoy homesteading you Need to be on good terms with your neighbours...they are your support network, your friends, the extra hand to have over when there's a big project, your community...Sure, it would be easy to ostracize yourself and convince everyone you're an unhinged violent nutcase on a hair trigger...but what kind of quality of life are you going to have hunkered down in your bunker all alone and isolated in the country?

It's hard enough for a newcomer to become part of a close knit rural community without going out of your way to alienate people. And i think there is a lot more security to be had in having good friends and neighbours around you than in having everyone nearby afraid to have anything to do with you.

I'd honestly much rather have some stuff stolen off my place periodically and let it go than to have to live like that. Seriously, if it's that bad I'd really question if it was worth living there... If you showed up in my part of the world with the attitude Steve is recommending, I wouldn't have anything to do with you and neither would any of the other good people out here, you'd just miss out on so many friendships and when you needed a hand you'd be screwed.....why bother being in the country at all? you could live like that in the suburbs...
 
richard valley
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I transplanted an apple tree, last week, where it can take advantage of the gray water. Hope it takes hold.
 
Jay Green
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: Well, I am always dismayed and upset at the level of fear that is out there. Maybe I am blessed to live in a really special place, but I don't think my situation is that uncommon...i'm homesteading in the country and I have a great community of farm neighbours and zero concern about protecting my place, or violence or installing surveillance. I don't even have a lock on my door. IMHO this is about a sort of survivalist fantasy that seems common among those cloistered in suburbia and watching too much sensationalized television. It's a sad way of viewing the world and really it should be left behind in the city because it's not that helpful.

Having said that...yes, you do need a gun if you are homesteading. You will probably use it reluctantly, and hate having to use it, but there will be times when it's unavoidable... predators, porcupines that won't move on, terminally ill or injured livestock or pets when you are a long way from the nearest vet...etc, etc... maybe even a deer to supplement the food...and you will learn a lot about yourself and living and dying and mortality and respect...

Learn how to use it safely and teach your kids responsibly, and Always treat it like it's loaded...

A smaller hunting rifle / carbine is the gun i find most need of in a homestead situation. Shotguns are for hunting ducks...or if loaded with slugs they are an effective last resort close range defense gun if you are spending a lot of time in camp in serious bear country, they aren't that great for the applications i mentioned...

i hope you can find a quiet place to breathe some clean air and get to know your neighbours...



Very well spoken! For the past 6 years I've left the front door key in the front door lock...and I live 20 yards off a main country road. I'm a single woman also and the dogs are in the back, contained to guarding the livestock.

Before that I'd always lived way back in a holler...there's really no safer place to live. Your neighbors are all nosy and know instantly if someone strange has been at your place and, if they can see your house, they are usually watching with binoculars.

Another thing to remember, anywhere you may live.... don't keep anything at your house that you can't afford to lose. Anyone is welcome to anything in my house and I have nothing that anyone would want to steal. I'm always amazed when city folks feel scared to live in the country and feel more secure in the city...safety in numbers, perhaps?

Two guns that are indispensable for country living...a .22 rifle and a shotgun. You don't really need a handgun or rifle, you can kill a deer as easily with a slug from a shotgun than you can with a rifle.
 
richard valley
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Your choice of indespensables is undisputable.
 
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Jay Green wrote:

If you are moving to the country, there will come a day when you will need a gun...I guarantee it. No, not to fend off armed robbers...the percentages of that happening there are much less than where you come from. Guns are tools just like a chainsaw or lawnmower. If you live in the country, you will eventually need one of each because there are lots of trees, lots of grass and there are lots of creatures that may need to die....for one reason or another, they may need your quick response to end their suffering.

For instance, a deer got hung up in a barbed wire fence and hung by it's hoof all night. By the time I approached it, the leg was broken and wild animals had been attacking the defenseless animal. The most merciful thing to do is kill it but one wants a quick and clean kill. This is most readily completed with the use of a gun.

Best to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, just like anything else that is vital to survival.



I was planning on keeping my powder dry and not saying anything on this thread (even though it was of great interest to me). However, I feel compelled to make two points and then one comment:

1. Well said Jay Green on the (infrequent but necessary) need to put animals down. When I slaughter anything bigger than a chicken, I am going to put one well placed .22LR round into the animal's head. It is as close to an "off" switch for the central nervous system of that animal as there can be. I HATE to see animals suffer. I have been around some real hacks when they slaughter, and it completely turns my stomach to think of that animal having to suffer because of their ignorance, poor planning, whatever. When the time comes to do the needful, you OWE it to that animal for it to be quick. "Nature is not sentimental" (Geoff Lawton), yet as stewards of our own livestock and stewards of the earth at large we are responsible to do the right thing when need be. To answer the original question, do you need a gun to homestead, "yes." It is like a chainsaw, a noisy powerful tool that can hurt you, but is necessary for certain tasks and demands your respect and proper training.

2. I am always saddened when I see discussion about taking the life of another human being. I am certain that no one has discussed this as a trivial matter. Personally it is altogether different for me. I have been in three theaters of combat, and I have been in situations where the exchange of bullets was very likely, but through divine providence it never took place. I consider myself very fortunate to have never had to do that, but the hours that you spend with that implement in your hand makes you think of what the flow chart must be. Make no mistake about it, taking a life is a very serious thing. I believe it comes down to a moral decision where you know that you must be correct in what you are doing for the right reasons or else it is a possibility that ought not to be considered at all and another course of action must be developed.

Comment: A .22LR revolver is quite handy for the above mentioned reasons regarding animals, and a shotgun (with the right shells) will likely take care of anything larger (vermin, pests, predators or game). Both of these could be purchased for less than $500 if you look around. I also think that one rifle capable of shooting a sporting game round is a good idea as well if your budget allows.

HOWEVER, Theresa if you are keeping a firearm to protect yourself from someone taking your life or causing grievous bodily harm, then what would be the deterrent from them taking your crops or livestock? Taking something from someone that they have earned/produced is equal to stealing the time it took them to earn/produce that item away from the finite total days they will live on this earth. If a person is outright murdered, all of the time of their life is taken at once. A firearm is not going to change the moral fiber of your geographical location. It seems heart breaking to live in a place where that is possible. The courage that it takes to pull the trigger to take another's life (in self defense) is far greater than the courage needed to live your dream somewhere else where it is far less likely to ever need to do that in the first place.

Best of luck to you.

Wilson
 
richard valley
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Tools are good to have no mater where you live.
 
Steve Palmer
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Sorry to say it guys but it is or becoming that bad in parts of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois but there is hope, it is not too hard to find the good people. Most have little hope in those depressed areas of the world. They were sold a bill of goods years ago by our Dept. of Agriculture to stop growing anything and raise cattle plus plant kentucky 31 fescue all over the place. It was not known that that stuff is almost worthless as a cattle forage or as the locals say a cow can stand belly deep in it and starve to death. As an added bonus for them the mines have closed which was a good source of work, coal, lead, and iron ore either played out or were closed due to pollution problems. Unless you have attached yourself to the government teat in corrections or other stuff what do you have, not very much. You cannot blame someone for finding anything to make the pain of reality go away even if will kill you. Most of the agencies in these areas just look the other way because there is no treatment or there is no one to send to even try to fix it. The rural counties in Missouri where i live have a tax base that is so low that that are lucky to even have the funds for a sheriff and a couple of deputies. It really pays to do the research on the place you have chosen to start a new life with a homestead, some of the places out there are not "city folk" friendly.

 
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I sometimes carry a gun when I'm on my property in northern Maine, but it's not people that I'm concerned about. People in northern Maine pretty much respect other people's property and, while I have had people stop to introduce themselves or to talk when I'm near the road, I have yet to see anyone trespassing on my property, nor have my cameras picked up anyone. I sometimes carry a gun because of the bears, although I'm not particularly worried about them either. My wildlife cameras have picked up at least four different bears, particularly during mating season, but black bears are unlikely to allow me to see them in person, let alone attack me. Unusual things do happen though, so I sometimes feel more comfortable carrying a gun if I'm going to go far off into the woods. Oddly enough though, my cameras pick up far more bears nearer to the road than deep into the woods, but I try not to allow logic to have absolute control over my actions. I can't imagine ever having to use my gun on a bear, let alone a person.
 
richard valley
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Ken, I can imagine having deal with a bear. We have a good deal of problems with bear in the mountains. For a long time they were protected, when a problem bear was caught he was released elsewhere where he would again be a problem.
We had one doe taken, another mortally wounded. He haunted us for 10 days. We were afraid to let the children out of the house. I slept in the barn overhead but he would just strumb the fence, he knew I was in there, when I came in he would be over the fence. He's a good bear now.
An electric fence has done wonders and a light so I can see, to make a good bear, if rain shorts the fence.

They break into homes with people inside. One lady and her child were called for help trapped in her house while a bear trashed her home. The sherrif came the bear wouldn't leave, he shot the bear. Nut were calling his wife, saying they were going to kill the family for shooting the bear.

I use to like them but they're no fun any more.
 
Kari Gunnlaugsson
pollinator
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Theresa, I hope I haven't been too discouraging, and I hope that Steve is only partly right in his outlook...I hope you'll find the good that is there, and keep the bad safely at bay, and love your place and homesteading. I've lived in the inner city too, and I've often found the strongest and best community in the midst of the most desperate and hopeless neighbourhoods.
 
Ken Anderson
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richard valley wrote:Ken, I can imagine having deal with a bear. We have a good deal of problems with bear in the mountains. For a long time they were protected, when a problem bear was caught he was released elsewhere where he would again be a problem.
We had one doe taken, another mortally wounded. He haunted us for 10 days. We were afraid to let the children out of the house. I slept in the barn overhead but he would just strumb the fence, he knew I was in there, when I came in he would be over the fence. He's a good bear now.
An electric fence has done wonders and a light so I can see, to make a good bear, if rain shorts the fence.

They break into homes with people inside. One lady and her child were called for help trapped in her house while a bear trashed her home. The sherrif came the bear wouldn't leave, he shot the bear. Nut were calling his wife, saying they were going to kill the family for shooting the bear.

I use to like them but they're no fun any more.



Richard, I wanted to continue the conversation but realized that it had more to do with bears than with guns, so I didn't want to take this thread off-topic. I have created another one at Living with Bears.
 
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I know Missouri just came up as the meth capitol again this year. I have smelled someone cooking while I was rock hunting. Unfortunately I know more about dangerous drugs than I do guns from the city. I agree totally that its not so much just getting robbed its being caught between a meth head and a means for the next hit that makes him much stronger than I. I am friends with the local dea here in St. Clair, MO because I know my best bet is knowing the local law and they know me. I have teenagers and their friends tend to know where the drugs are before the law. I also agree that just like the city, there are good people and bad people where ever you are. I have lived in some very close neighborhoods that stuck together and we were happy kids playing in the streets all night and such. There where a lot of troubled youth in the city including me and we stuck together to keep from the gangs and guns. I have a big heart when it comes to people with bad circumstance that may just need a little help.

I grew up in North County, was born in Ironton MO, spent summers on a farm in Monitcello IL, and a family farm in Lonedell MO. I'm not just a city girl my fathers side is knee deep in drugs to the point where I have had police follow me just for my last name. I won't move because I already really enjoy my gardening, canning, neighbor who tells me where I can get sawdust, rock, and supplies afford ably. I know this area has good families that have been trying to get the meth out. It was my neighbors that pushed out the meth head on my property 3 years ago. I will inform the law when I smell someone cooking and I will get a gun and stay for my neighbors. It is a case where I would not be where I am with out my neighbors help digging my foundation with a tractor and dropping my mound of rock for building. Actually I don't think anyone has helped me like these folks have especially in the city. Its worth owning a gun and standing up for a safe place to live. The city is a good example of how bad neighbor hoods turn around all the time into nice places to live without having to move.

Thanks for all the ideas and advice on gun ownership, I have learned tons in this thread:)
 
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Theresa Whited wrote:What could you keep handy to protect yourself? A bat, a shovel, my pop likes brass knuckles. What ever it is you keep under your bed or by the door (that is not a gun) just in case, lets hear it.



I sleep much more soundly with my trusty machete tucked discreetly between my mattress and bedframe, easily accessible at arm's length.
 
Steve Palmer
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Theresa, I think you are getting it. You will need the tools but they do not define you. Knowing safe firearm handling is a skill in the same realm as safely operating a lawn mower or chain saw. I am glad to see you understand what we Missourians have to deal with. In the area of the world where you are, there are some old timers who can be of very good help when it comes to homesteading. They will not understand the terms we use on this forum but they will understand the principles. They practiced permaculture in the past because that is how it was done. They will just call it farming.

My family are all gun owners and I cannot remember a time where they ever pointed a gun at anyone in self protection unless they served in the military, the difference was the guns were 16 inches in diameter or mounted on a jet aircraft. They live in Missouri, Iowa, Michigan and Arkansas. Not one of them fear guns and this is probably why none of them has had to think about shooting someone, there is a confidence that comes from being able to protect yourself and feed yourself, you will not owe anyone any apologies.
 
pollinator
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: Well, I am always dismayed and upset at the level of fear that is out there. Maybe I am blessed to live in a really special place, but I don't think my situation is that uncommon...i'm homesteading in the country and I have a great community of farm neighbours and zero concern about protecting my place, or violence or installing surveillance. I don't even have a lock on my door. IMHO this is about a sort of survivalist fantasy that seems common among those cloistered in suburbia and watching too much sensationalized television. It's a sad way of viewing the world and really it should be left behind in the city because it's not that helpful.

Having said that...yes, you do need a gun if you are homesteading. You will probably use it reluctantly, and hate having to use it, but there will be times when it's unavoidable... predators, porcupines that won't move on, terminally ill or injured livestock or pets when you are a long way from the nearest vet...etc, etc... maybe even a deer to supplement the food...and you will learn a lot about yourself and living and dying and mortality and respect...

Learn how to use it safely and teach your kids responsibly, and Always treat it like it's loaded...

A smaller hunting rifle / carbine is the gun i find most need of in a homestead situation. Shotguns are for hunting ducks...or if loaded with slugs they are an effective last resort close range defense gun if you are spending a lot of time in camp in serious bear country, they aren't that great for the applications i mentioned...

i hope you can find a quiet place to breathe some clean air and get to know your neighbours...



I am clapping loudly and hurraying for this response! I was just about to quit reading and say this myself, so it was nice to see someone else get there first.

What IS everyone so scared about these days that they feel the need to be constantly on guard and defensive? We have lived on our little homestead for 20 years -- in what most of the people in this county refer to as the "wild west" -- where we have meth labs, pot growers and high speed car chases with shootouts -- even though we are in the middle of the boonies, right smack dab agains a few thousand acres of national forest (with bears, mountain lions, bobcats, etc. by the way). Yet I have never felt afraid walking around on our property or in the forest by myself at any time of the day or night. It simply never occurs to me to worry to that extent. I'm too busy enjoying the beauty around me or too busy dealing with my animals, garden, building projects and so forth.

We have never locked a door -- even when we have been gone for a few days at a time. In fact, our policy is that if someone needs something we have (which is not much) so bad they need to steal it, then they probably needed it more than we did. Since I have no intention of shooting anyone under any circumstances (mainly because I don't think I could -- it just isn't me) I would be a fool to pretend I would. My dad was a cop, but he never wore his gun. He always said that if you carry a gun you should be prepared to kill, and he didn't think he wanted, or needed, to do that. (Most people just looked at him and decided he was not to be messed with. He really didn't need the gun.) Anyway, I'm like that. I can get very angry but still have no desire to do bodily harm. However, if you mess with someone I care about, (including my much loved animals) you are the one who is going to need the gun -- not me.

It is my experience that people who act afraid and defensive look like victims. Victims get victimized because criminals are basically cowards and bullies. If you don't act, or look like a victim, people give you a wide berth. There are too many easier targets out there!

I also wanted to say that though I will never shoot a gun at another person or wild animal, we do keep a shotgun. It was my husband's grandfather's shotgun, so it has heirloom value. However, we would have gotten rid of it a long time ago despite the sentimental value, except that, as Kari says, a homestead may have other reasons to need a gun. We have had to put down several goats over the years when they were in pain from illness or injuries, and at least a couple of our dogs. (The nearest vet is over an hour away.) I do not want any creature to suffer, so for a quick death to ease suffering, a gun is an indispensible homestead tool. That is the ONLY reason we have one on the premises.

Anyway, that is just my two cents. We don't have those silly yard lights that you can see 10 miles away either. I prefer moonlight in the country -- its why I moved here. If you like lights, you should really be in a city. There are plenty of them there.
 
pollinator
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Hi everybody,

I think everyone who've pointed out the essential difference in perspective between urban gun issues and rural gun issues are spot on. I personally don't think guns should be carried at all in urban environments. Just break down the range of any firearm you could fire in a city and look at how many people could accidentally be shot in such a densely populated place. I think that in urban environments we really need to look at other options for self-defense.

In a rural setting, however, a gun is a necessary tool. A seventh generation farmer in the Ottawa Valley where my family had property in the past had to keep one by the front door, not because he was paranoid of intruders, human ones at least, but because if he didn't shoot them, the bears would tear apart his apple trees. Big omnivores can do LOTS of damage.

I think it is important to remember what an emotional issue gun ownership can be. People are often not as noble as they ought to be, and bears are worse.

-CK
 
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Theresa Whited wrote:Awesome, I didn't know the legalities of tresspassing and I will check my state and fed laws on owning and concealing or if anyone has the fed laws that would be great here. I do know that if they are in your home that's a different set of laws. What I am getting is everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is telling me "you better get a gun, your going need a gun". For example lets say I have had the feeling someone is watching me, at this time all I have is simple sheathed knife (whole other subject) but it is on my hip and some pepper spray next to it might at least let a trespasser know that I am aware. A decent size dog by my side highly trained would be a big plus. If I am in my home and the dogs going crazy that might be a case where I would be more likely to shoot to kill if they enter. What I like about the dog idea is in case I'm not home but if they are committed they simply shoot the dog that I love. Thats when I thought of the bees because you can't just kill bees and they are easy to keep and good for the environment. Next step, Bear traps...ha whats the law if you severely injure someone that trespasses.



I own four firearms. 2 9mm handguns, a 12 gauge and a 25-06 hunting rifle. We have six cans of pepper spray in cars, by the door, etc. I also have two surveillance cameras just in case.

I think that a 12 g is too much for you to handle comfortably. Even with a good recoil pad, it isn't something I look forward to shooting. BUT a 20 gauge is every bit as effective as a home defense round, a little lighter, and half the kick. If I could do it over again, I might go with the 20 over the 12.
That said, a 9mm is a perfectly good handgun round. It will probably stop the assailant. On the other hand, the shotgun will definitely stop the assailant. The shotgun ends the conflict if you hit the target.

But, here you are in the country. I agree that you do need a gun. In this case, a shotgun with 00 buck should do, most likely for an invasion of wild dogs/coyotes. I have a buddy that had to fight coyotes off of his chickens and goats one night. He only had bird shot, so his kill count was zero. He nearly ran out of ammo before they gave up. Could this happen to you??? Probably not, but better to be prepared and not need it.

This is just my humble opinion, but I would obtain at least three firearms, in the following order. Shotgun, Pistol, and a 22. If you ever might hunt, add a 243 hunting rifle.

First off, you are right about getting training on it all and keeping the firearms safe. The best way to do this is to train the kids as well, and then lock up the firearms that aren't on your person.

Best of luck to you...


 
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I don't believe that owning a firearm is a bad thing although it CAN be if you do it incorrectly. By that, I mean, I own 4 guns of varying sizes and have a concealment license. I've been trained in their useage as well. I was taught that if you're going to carry a firearm, you have to be prepared to use it or don't carry it. There are lots of reasons to carry a firearm here in Montana. If you're going to own a firearm, get trained, use it correctly and follow your state laws!
 
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Location: West Virginia
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A lot of good people are in prison for having wrong assumptions about gun laws and when to use a firearm against a person in any fashion. Wether to kill, stop or scare off. I'm not against firearms but handguns are only good for one purpose and that is to kill people. The first handgun was not made for hunting but to kill people. It has always been its primary purpose. People were doing just fine hunting and killing before the firearm though. A sherrif deputy in the county next to me is going to jail for discharging his firearm in the presence and direction of his own son even though he was trained and an officer of the law with no intention of shooting his son, i.e.- he was just showing off.

I support the advice of previous posters that if you are apprehensive about fireams not to own one. If you want one, get trained by a professional not your uncle Moe. A lot of people have been robbed in their home while owning a firearm simply because they had to pass through the area occupied by the intruder to get to the gun or the key to the lockbox. Most people will be so overcome by paralyzing fear with an intruder in their home at night that remembering a combination or loading a gun goes out the window.

The most important thing is that you shouldn't let anyone you don't implicitly trust or can't keep their mouth shut know you have a firearm on your person or in your home. When a person intent on doing you harm knows you are armed it only escalates a minor conflict to where deadly force is usually the only option a person thinks they have left.

Also, deterring an intruder wether in the city or in the country is easier and safer than getting them out of your home once they are in it. I don't mean putting up a "protected by Smith & Wesson" sticker in your window either because the kind of person who will break into your home knowing you have weapons is the kind of person who will kill you before you have time to react in most circumstances. A dog, an alarm sticker, an actual alarm or a locked door and window usually staves off burglaries because the theif just looks for an easier target.

As for using mace on a tresspasser, if all they are diong is passing through on your outside property it is still a jailable assault offense; wether the tresspasser decides to push the prosecution is another matter.

Having a long-gun on a homestead is a good idea though, not for defense but to make the hunting and putting down of animals easier. If you are not keen on guns there are other humane ways to do these things.

Even a whole town, armed to the teeth with legal to own firearms, will not help against a wayward Government though. The government has more resources, more men, airpower and more weapons that will kill you from a distance further away than your guns will reach. That being said, it is still noble to die for what you believe in if living for it isn't an option.
 
Posts: 114
Location: Tyler Texas
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Theresa Whited wrote:1 A very high number of people got shot with their own gun.
2 Your more likely to get robbed just for the gun.
3 Kids killing kids with parents gun.



1. Be well trained and dont do stupid things.
2. Houses in the country where the owners did not have guns got robbed because other would use their guns.
3. Be good parents and home school.

I grew up in the country where kids shot soda cans in the school parking lot during the lunch hour with the principal watching for 'safety'. I dont know of a single person that was ever shot in my home town and most of us all owned and carried guns. Here at my homestead having some kind if gun really makes it easier to deal with snakes, coons, hawks, coyotes, skunks, and other things that threaten my garden and livestock. Even if its just a good 1250 feet per second .22 cal air rifle; I would say having a gun is very nice to have. I would hate to try and club a skunk that was killing my chickens.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
steward
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A gun is needed on a homestead. I had a possum - big un - get into my chicken coop one night , just tried to massacre my birds. Did not stop at one - probably was going to let them get softer for a few days . By the time I ran in to get my shotgun and back , it killed 4. I have found possums very easy to entice into live trap , but raccoons are too smart for that. Once you have either one focused on your birds , they won't stop coming back . A shotgun is your best bet. I have had many more problems with my neighbors dogs , but I won't start a war with them over chickens. Used to be an understanding about chicken killing dogs , not anymore. Every neighbor that has promised to pay me for my loss has never done so. Oh , well. I will not shoot raptors , illegal , and I think they are too beautiful . They don't seem to return so habitually , and they don't take my full sized birds. Just have to protect my little ones for a bit longer. As far as human predators , unless you are held by religous oath to pure pacifism and held to allow others to do violence to you , then a shotgun can come in handy. One Christmas morning at 3am - just me, my two beautiful women - wife and daughter- were sleeping and I heard a loud knock on door. Some guy in a hoody wanting a ride to next town. Bull - I told him he better get the hell out and he starts arguing - I am way out in the sticks - So I cocked the shotgun real loud and repeated myself - Ran like a whitetail deer. If I had been working nightshift , who knows ? I called cops one time for an urgent matter - 45 minutes it took a state trooper to get here. As far as handguns - 22cal. is very easy to handle and actually one of the deadliest rounds. Even if you don't kill an intruder, no one is going to be thinking of rape with a piece of hot lead in their belly.
 
steward
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The previous post got me thinking. While I believe some kind of gun(s) is/are needed on a
homestead, "live traps" is a whole different matter.
IMHO, live traps have no place on a homestead. If you are not willing to kill 'it', learn to live with 'it'.

Too often, some 'kind hearted' soul, rather than killing a problem, merely traps it and then gives 'it'
to somebody else down the road.
Then, the other person loses a few chickens until they kill 'it'.
To live in the country, one must learn to kill the occasional problem, or learn to live with their surroundings.

In many states it is illegal to relocate a trapped animal off of your property.
Traps are made to capture animals for skinning.

 
master pollinator
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I can't shoot a cat, but I can live trap a cat and call Animal Control. But then, I might not live on a "homestead."


 
Chris Kott
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If you shoot all the cats, what will the coyotes eat?

-CK
 
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P Thickens wrote:* Dogs are one of the best options! They make great rodent-killers, means you can put a good sign up that will make intruders want to go elsewhere, and they're good friends. Make sure you can control your dog!



Agreed. Dogs are even more important than guns. Dogs are like guns with brains. They work 24/7 guarding, killing pests and any predators too foolish to not heed the warning signs and stay out of our fields. The dogs herd the livestock and keep it in the places it should be. I also have guns but if I had to pick one or the other I want dogs first, a pack.

There was a news story where they were interviewing criminals and the perps overwhelmingly said they would rather go up against a homeowner with a gun than a dog because the homeowner probably wouldn't shoot them but they never knew what the dog would do.

Best option, have both, train the dogs and learn to use the guns. Both are tools. Excellent tools.

Cheers,

-Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
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Chris Kott
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I'm with you, Walter. I'd like to know what you'd get charged with, though, if a pack of farm dogs was to kill an intruder, even armed and dangerous. I'd hate to condemn a dog to death just because it did its job. Still, it goes with Sepp Holzer's philosophy of getting the animals to do the work animals can do, and dogs will catch animal intruders humans probably wouldn't ever even see.

-CK
 
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Location: Central Texas
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Theresa Whited wrote:
I grew up in the city and even owning a gun is dangerous.



Owning a gun in the city and owning a gun in the country have two very different meanings. A gun in the city is there to kill someone else. Many people who live in the city all their life fear guns, because the only thing they have connected guns to is murder.

A gun in the country, while it could certainly be there for protection from humans, has so many other uses. I've shot a lame calf that couldn't stand up for months, rabid skunks and other mammals that wander onto the property, and of course deer for food. In a city the very rare rabid animal would have animal control to come pick it up in minutes, or a lame animal would be euthanized. I'm not going to sit around waiting for someone to come out to my property and take care of something I am perfectly capable of handling quickly, efficiently, and cheaply.

I grew up in the country and live in the country now. I've always been surrounded by guns and have been taught how to use them responsibly and safely. My grandfather made and sold bullets and pistols. When I'd go to his house he'd have several pistols lying on the coffee table. Nobody ever picked one up and shot anybody with it because everyone was taught to respect them, not fear them.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Chris Kott wrote:I'm with you, Walter. I'd like to know what you'd get charged with, though, if a pack of farm dogs was to kill an intruder, even armed and dangerous. I'd hate to condemn a dog to death just because it did its job.



The statues specifically discuss that working dogs are at large to protect their crops, livestock etc.

Most of all, the dogs act as a deterrent. Predators stay back away from us mostly for the simple reason that the dogs are here. The dogs mark their territorial boundaries with their visual presence, barking, howling, growling and scent. A rational being stays away from them. An irrational being is likely sick such as rabid or on illegal drugs, neither of which should be on our property. The dogs are vaccinated and our first defense. This makes it so I rarely have to back them up with a gun.
 
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Location: Springdale, WA USA - Cold Mediterranean Climate
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Theresa Whited wrote:3 Kids killing kids with parents gun.

We just had a Spokane police officer's 9 year old girl shoot herself with his service revolver. This is probably an example of irresponsible gun ownership. You need to take your kid to the gun range by about four and help them shoot the gun so they get familiar with guns and teach them gun safety, including don't handle a gun without supervision. If you just hide it away from the kids, then it becomes the forbidden fruit to a kid that is clueless about guns in all ways. If your kid still shoots someone in spite of the training, then you have different problem, the gun is just a symptom.
 
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
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Hey Theresa,

New guy on the forum here. It has always interested me how there is a very different view of firearms between urban and rural people. Not that its good or bad just different experiences shape peoples views in different ways. I grew up with a house full of guns and was actively shooting as a kid. My dad was the local gunsmith. I have over 30 in my home half of which are handguns. I am almost always armed unless I am going somewhere that my CCW isn't allowed like the bank or police station. Both of my girls compete on shooting teams (no killing something is not the only use or purpose for a gun). There is a lot of propaganda that gets bantered around on all sides of the gun ownership issue. But I will tell you that business of a woman is more likely to have her gun taken away and used on her only applies to people who are not willing to protect themselves and it applies equally to men and women. That principle also applies to ANY defensive weapon be it a baseball bat, knife , etc.

As with anything that has a potential danger, precautions should be taken. That goes for everything from an automobile to the drain cleaner under the kitchen sink. Safety is always your first goal. Before you totally rule out owning a firearm I would suggest you take a couple training courses and learn how to use one properly and safely. I suspect that once you learn to use one properly and confidently some of your fears will dissipate. Unfortunately, the world we live in sometimes presents situations in which we are forced to protect ourselves. It may be an intruder with harmful intent it may be a stray dog with rabies. A firearm is a practical way to protect yourself in those situations.

My two cents,

Ray
 
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