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

 
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Firearms are tools in the hands of an educated homesteader. In addition to use as home defense (given the frequent comparative vulnerability of farm structures to theft or forcible entry) or for the dispatching of wild or domestic animals, the firearm is a versatile tool if appropriately selected. Just like any other dangerous tool it should be used with caution under appropriate circumstances and it is the user's responsibility for safe operation. And like many other dangerous tools there are few suitable substitutes that will do the same tasks as well or better.
 
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Location: Greater New Orleans, LA, USA
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No, a gun is not a necessity. If you hunt, you can easily use a bow and arrow. If you're looking for protection from other humans, you can get dogs. If you need to protect yourself from wild boars...well that might make a gun necessary until you can solve the issue in another way(there are some vicious wildlife after all). Generally speaking, guns just make whatever you're trying to do easier. There are always other methods, even if you think there aren't.

Besides, here in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, I was stopped by a land owner, blocked in with 2 vehicles, the hounds were released and he had a hand gun on his truck seat. He called the police and the police officer told the land owner off and that under these circumstances the police are to be called. I probably could have sued the pants off the land owner, but it was one of those strange circumstances where I could see his side...right and legal aren't necessarily the same thing. Yes, I had the legal authority to be on his land(and under orders to check the government facility on the land...it was a weird situation that I wasn't too happy with).

I guess I can see the point of having to put down animals as a legitimate reason for having a gun though. It really is a humane way of putting an animal out of its misery.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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It's also worth pointing out that a house and clothes are not technically necessary. You could move to the tropics and live in a lean-to.

But you're right--a gun is not a NECESSITY, but it does make a homesteader's life a lot more convenient. Like toilet paper, cell phones...the list goes on.

Edit: Just in case it's not clear the above is me being facetious--not argumentative. I just think that it's a good idea for a homesteader to at least have a good rifle for livestock and (in a secondary role) home defense.
 
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The previous owner of our 7 acres thought it would be fun to put out 5 or 6 feeding stations for squirrels, and also actively fed the racoons. Also, we have (or had anyway) a very healthy population of ground hogs, possums and just about up to our elbows in chipmunks.

They all contributed in decimating my first couple of gardens. I finally decided to go on the offensive and got my hunting license. Now, I can have a real possibility of raising sweet corn, and get some fruit off my fruit trees.

For those who have never lived with this many wild critters, and tried to garden, it's almost impossible. A gun seems to be the only efficient way to get the population down to something reasonable.


And bad guys really pay attention to shotguns.

Finest regards,

troy
 
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
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Steve Palmer wrote: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.



I think that is a fairly accurate assessment of things here Steve. What part of Mo are you from? I'm in Festus about a half hour south of St Louis.
 
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P Thickens wrote:

Tyler Ludens wrote:

Brad Davies wrote:If an attacker / robber / tresspasser



It is not legal to shoot someone for trespass in the US.



Depends on the circumstances and state. Every firearm owner should do her research before presuming to have a working weapon in the home.




we have the make my day law in oklahoma and if thay are in your house it is shoot to kill but im sure for tresspssers
 
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how bout a shotgun with beanbag like the riot control police use? or pepper spray and dog combo, and of course some sort of ingenious pepper spray traps in your windows and doors if someone breaks in, or motion detectors and spray traps? having a wwoofer live close to your house? putting bars on windows that can be opened only from inside when in emergencies?
 
pollinator
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If we take a step back from paranoia, we realise that perhaps there are reasons other than bad people for which to need a gun. We only have black bears in the areas I'm likely to buy land, and even then I'd hesitate to go anywhere in bear country if I was limited to bear spray. Has anyone on this thread ever actually tried to use bear spray on a bear? You know you need to hit the bear, preferably in the eyes, right? Probably as its charging? I wonder if any here realise how full of city shit these compromise positions must sound to someone who actually deals with this sort of stuff as a way of life as opposed to a hobby or academic curiosity. Do we realise that if a gun is required on a farm for an emergency, it is likely life and death? Also, I think its cruel to depend solely on dogs to protect against wild animals and, yes, the odd, unfortunate fool that would disregard "Beware of Dog" signs. I think it's irresponsible to employ dogs in such a manner without the ability to back them up at need. Imagine the outcome of a confrontation between even a pack of dogs and a lone, hungry bear (likely the only time they would attack a homestead full-on). Even in the best of cases, if it came to an actual fight, you would need the gun later to put crippled dogs down. And as to bad people, well, if I was coming onto someone's land to take what they had because I needed it, the first thing shot would be the pack of dogs charging towards me.

Let me be completely clear. I am Canadian. I have no desire to adopt NRA-style politics; we are reasonable, and have no need of such. I love dogs, as you can probably guess from my stance. This is not about handguns in cities, guns and gang violence, or good ideas about the right to stand up for one's rights and beliefs taken to reactionary extremes. When a farmer's orchard or food forest is being ripped apart for the fruit at the top of the trees because the bear is hungry, the farmer needs his rifle or shotgun. If no one has ever been closer than spitting distance to a wild bear except in a zoo (I have, twice, and the one in the garbage dump by my cottage was only a little less scary for being half-stuck in the green waste dumpster, not like the one I met picking blueberries on a trip in eastern Ontario. Both times were around late July, and so they were well fed, otherwise the one in the woods would have eaten well) I don't think that any have a basis for opinion other than wishful thinking. If there are farmers who can post to this thread who regularly deal with bear problems, with or without firearms, I would love to hear their sides. Otherwise, this sounds like some very idealistic wishful thinking mixed with equal quantities of paranoia.

As an addendum, traps can be set, and they can range from the pepper bombs mentioned, to traditional snares, deadfalls, spring traps with spikes and such, you get the idea. I plan on having a diversity of foraging animals and lots of small children running around my property; I challenge anyone to find a way to make traps and such work in a safe and predictable manner in such a scenario; why do you think we don't line our properties with proximity claymores?

Have a nice day

-CK
 
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I grew up in Idaho, been close enough to bear, moose, elk, cougars, and even deer that were pissed off enough to try and hurt somebody. Guns are why the children with us (including me at about age 5, running from a moose) are all still safe and sound. Ok, my dad may have been able to scare those animals off with something else, but he also may not have been able to. Wild animals are wild, that means unpredictable. I also agree with the responsibility of proper gun care though, where I grew up we all took a hunter safety course as soon as we were old enough. I still remember all I learned in that course, still have my target from the test day too!
 
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Location: Olympia, Washington
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Chris, I might have agreed with you at one time, but statistics show it is safer to carry bear spray--50% of those who defend themselves with a gun get injured. I'd rather have two cans of bear spray and an air horn. Better yet, a Karelian bear dog.
USGS bear safety

As a woman who lives alone, I am more than happy to have a gun on hand, but only for human problems. I suppose it would come in handy to put down a suffering animal. No bears at my current place, but I've worked in bear country. Where black bears are hunted, they usually flee from humans, like most animals. Where I was working in roadless areas of Alaska, accessible pretty much only by helicopter, the black bears were unfamiliar with people and more likely to follow them or tree them.
 
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A gun is a highly specialized TOOL. Like all specialized tools--sometimes the job can be done with more common tools, sometimes it can't.

I have had to put down injured animals without a gun. I am not doing that again.

 
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R Scott wrote:A gun is a highly specialized TOOL. Like all specialized tools--sometimes the job can be done with more common tools, sometimes it can't.

I have had to put down injured animals without a gun. I am not doing that again.



That is correct. I've noticed that if you didn't grow up with guns then the thought of gun ownership is freighted with all kinds of conflicted meanings. When is the last time you agonized over buying an electric drill? A gun is just a rapid, long range hole driller.

I use guns all the time on our farm. I put down animals to be culled. I kill predators. I shoot squirrels that are robbing the orchard. I've shot hundreds of animals over the course of my life; mostly cull chickens. At some point you see death on a farm for what it is: necessary and something that should occur instantaneously. Guns give you the means to accomplish this.

Yes, a gun is necessary on a farm where livestock is raised.
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
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Again, I'd relegate dogs to a preventative stance. I wouldn't send any dog in after a bear, moose, deer, whatever. I think it's inhumane. I doubt the smartest dog would be able to do a risk assessment in the same way a human could; I won't kill my dogs to save on bullets. In fact, I find it morally deplorable to throw away life like that, or to give the dirty work to an animal who will sell its life selflessly for love of and loyalty to its owner.

On a more pragmatic tone, I suppose one's own safety is a personal concern; you are free to take as many chances on half-measures as you care to, as long as it doesn't interfere with what I need to do to ensure my safety and that of my family. As to pepper spray, good luck. I'm sure there are those who can use it effectively. I have practiced a couple of times in controlled circumstances. It is hard enough to hit a stationary target that won't kill you if you miss; I am not going to try that with an angry moving target that will get even more irritated if any spray should, by sheerest chance, I assure you, get its way into the thing's eyes.

If your design plan is successful, it will complicate itself, as opposed to simplifying, according to Geoff Lawton in a recent podcast, 195 unless I miss my guess. That means that things you don't expect or don't plan to include will likely include themselves in your system. Keeping in mind that most permaculture systems will have as a primary objective the production of food for human and animal consumption, wild animals of all sizes will be drawn to the area. It may simply be a matter of needing to off dozens of squirrels and raccoons for the sake of keeping your fruit harvest, and if I didn't need to see returns of any kind off the property, I might not use a gun. I might use a bow (I've always been a fairly good shot, but a Bear compound at 125 lbs shoots so straight you might as well be using a crossbow), but only if I wanted to hone my skills. I might get all my youngest family members to have at them with sling shots. Hell, I might string snares in all the fruit trees, and gather a harvest of strange fruit for the chickens and/or pigs. But I think that if things need removal and the only way is killing, a gun seems more humane.

I don't understand why this is even a topic of such debate. I love the earlier power drill simile. It is quite apt, as you would also never let a child play with such a tool, for fear of the consequences. In fact, I don't know of any other tools with such an availability of training and support for new operators, nor can you go to a drilling range to hone your skills in a controlled environment. Nor does one look for alternatives to a tool that does an exemplary job under the circumstances for which it was designed; a power drill is perfectly safe if one doesn't try to perform brain surgery with it (at least without training).

To be honest, I'm not a fan of firearms. As I mentioned, I like bows. You have to try really hard to hurt yourself in a meaningful way with one (you can do so through ignorance, but usually only pinches and broken skin barring mechanical failure, and woe betide you should you forget your arm guard), and there is no accidental firing, as you have to draw first. The only place I would feel firearms would be better is in a home invasion scenario, or if you happen to literally bump into an ornery bruin (or moose or anything that could spit or slit me for annoying it). I simply feel that half-measures and wishful thinking are a poor substitute for a reasonably cheap and effective tool.

I really hope everyone on this thread keeps in mind that we're talking about guns on the homestead, not in the heart of an urban centre, where in my humble opinion they serve no purpose other than to take human life. But in a rural setting, I feel guns are a necessity.

-CK
 
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:I also wanted a rifle because we have had several situations with dogs going after our chickens and foxes as well. We haven't had to shoot a dog so far, and I hope we never do.



Check your state laws. Even if they are 'going after your livestock' you may be charged with animal abuse if you shoot a dog. In many states you are required to call the warden. If you get convicted of animal abuse they make take away your right to own animals, both pets and livestock. You could get listed in an online offenders list coming to a web server near you. All bad. Actually shooting the dog is probably not necessary so be cautious.

Not only that, but a dog that is 'going after the livestock' may be a trained herding dog that is working on herding them together and you miss-interpret what they are doing and think they are attacking. Just because you see dog 'chasing' livestock does not mean it was out to kill it.
 
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I grew up in Black Bear country and my family still lives there. A black bear would be the least of my worries if I moved back. They really have absolutely no interest in being actively aggressive towards humans. A bird feeder, yes. Humans, no.
 
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A gun is just a rapid, long range hole driller.



Excellent! And so true. I love this phrase and may borrow it from time to time!
 
LaLena MaeRee
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George's mention about not growing up around guns and fearing them reminded me of when I was in high school and my little sister was in junior high, she had a friend get shot at a party. The party was a bunch of unsupervised kids who had all grown up not around guns, and apparently got their hands on 1 and were just checking it out when it shot the kid who was throwing the party. He is still alive today because the kid who accidentally shot him stayed, everyone else ran like hell of course, out of fear. I wonder if that would have happened with kids who didn't have gun curiosity because they grew up around them the way my siblings and I did. We all had our own guns by the time we were teens and had been shooting (supervised) since childhood, I can't speak for my brother and sister but I would have never messed with a gun when dad wasn't around, because I had been taught better by being around guns from childhood. Like many others mentioned it is just another tool, and homesteads need tools. I am pretty sure I have seen more injuries from things like shovels, and I have been around guns more than I have shovels, although both quite a bit.
 
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The gun topic is certainly a controversial one. I live in Los Angeles and spent 20 years in the security business and am well versed in guns. Based on my experience, I would suggest the following.
1) Work with local law enforcement. Hold a community meeting, invite them to attend and explain your issues. They will help if given an understanding of the situation.
2) Less than lethal weapons are great unless you need a lethal weapon
3) Guns are unfortunately a necessary evil in many places. Take classes, buy something that you are comfortable with and keep it in a lockbox. This is a handgun requirement in California.
 
pollinator
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When I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, about half the people (mostly the ones who were too out of shape to actually hike themselves) asked "so what kind of firearm do you carry back there?" This is laughable, as it is a huge waste of space and weight that you would never be able to use ethically and effectively on an animal or person while hiking (if you see a cougar it is not hunting you). I also believe if I have to kill someone I want to do it with my bare hands. Also, many of the "quickest draws in the west" died from gunfire anyhow, or because they were arrogant because of their guns (which don't stop bullets). Get a great pyrenees or a mix thereof, a good one that loves you will know the intentions of anyone on your property, greet them appropriately, and let them know you are the last target they want to bother.
 
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A gun is not a necessity any more than a hammer is. Both can be used constructively or destructively. I personally carry as does my wife and both of my twin 10 year old daughters have BB guns. (They want a pink camo shotgun at the local ranch store, but momma bear says they aren't old enough yet and I tend to agree with her.) Everyone in the house is trained on all aspects of safety, cleaning, maintenance and firing of all guns we keep. A gun in the hands of a responsible owner is simply a tool. Personally, I'd rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
 
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Location: Porter, Indiana
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As the second month of winter is drawing to a close in Northwest Indiana, my rabbit trapping program is in full swing to help protect protect the young fruit trees that will be put in after the ground thaws. Since after 4-5 years .22 ammo is still a bit hard to find, I had been trying out neck dislocation as a means of putting down the rabbits that have been caught in the cage traps. While the dislocation method is certainly effective, I have to say that I much prefer using a .22 on them while they are in the cage so their last moments of existence don't involve panicked struggling as a giant glove coming down and pulling them out of the cage.

So, for me at least, while not a completely necessary item, it's nice to have a rifle around. On the flip side, I've never cared much for handguns.
 
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Have you been robbed in your current rural location? If you have, you have a neighbor or at least neighbor kid problem. That is serious. To steal a concept from Robert Louis Stevenson "there are country folks, and then there are the other country folks". Just like in the city, it's the people in the neighborhood who make it nice place to live or a warzone. If you are living near thieves or drug addicts you need to either leave, get them to leave, or convince them to leave you the hell alone. Most folks are decent, reasonably considerate and willing to help. Then there are the others. Chances are they won't change. If your site has been setting abandoned for a while, (like you only come out during the weekend or an occasional visit) it may not be quite as bad. Your simple presence might be all that is needed. If someone is used to robbing it though, I would get dogs and maybe ask around to figure out who it is and confront them.

You can homestead without a gun. You can also homestead without a shovel, an axe or a hoe. Whether it makes sense depends on where you are living. If you are in an area where there are bear, boar, or packs of feral dogs a gun is a good idea, not so much for your own protection but more for protection of your property. If you're in an area where you aren't going to see anything bigger than a rabbit you might be able to dispense with it. If you have larger animals, a gun is handy for putting animals down, but if you have nothing bigger than a chicken or rabbit you can get back. Seems to me you fixated on the worst case scenario. Short of a zombie apocalypse, you will probably never have any need to worry about using it on a human, but there are lots of other things that may need to be shot.

To someone looking for trouble at night the most terrifying sound in the world is probably the sound of pump shotgun chambering a round. Maybe the only thing that would be as frightening, would to suddenly hear deep growls/snarls coming from a couple of dogs in the dark. If the intruder takes it any further in either case, he's obviously lost all sense of self preservation and isn't going to last long.

I believe that in almost all cases a couple of dogs are the best general protection. You don't need an attack dog. You want a dog with a good instinct to protect it's pack (that's you) and area (including your animals), at least average size . There's a big difference and that and an attack dog. If you have someone you don't trust, don't introduce the dog to them, you don't want them on the dogs list of 'ok' people. The dogs will pick up on your attitudes pretty well.

A couple of dogs on your property will often do a pretty good job of keeping the deer and rabbits out of you garden. They will also deal with coyotes and other dogs. Get a male and female because the male usually won't go after a female, the female darn sure will. Some areas might have stupid rules about you shooting a stray dog on your property attacking your livestock, but if your dogs get a dog on your property, who's to say who started the fight?

We had a dog of indeterminate ancestry (kind of a shepherd/husky mix) who was sure everyone was there just to see her. Everyone in the neighborhood knew her and liked her. She was just the friendliest dog you would ever see. One day a guy came walking up our driveway (which was strange, because he wasn't a neighbor and we lived to far off the the track for random walkers. He knocked on the door and when my wife cracked the door to answer it (something about the guy seemed to be off to her) the dog was standing next to her and the dog turned into a snarling, threatening monster. The guy never said a word. He turned around and left immediately. As far as I'm concerned the dog earned several years of keep that day.

I've had friends with similar experiences. Bad guys are like good guys in one thing. None of us want to get chewed on. A determined man can handle one dog, often at the cost of getting chewed on some, but two dogs are too much. When you focus on one, the other will get you.

If someone is bent on trouble, a couple of moderately large dogs looking at them, even if the dogs aren't obviously hostile will give them pause. Some people advocate a smaller dog also because they are often more alert than the really big dogs (little dog is the trigger, big dog is the bullet).

You might want to train them to eat only from their bowl though. A determined thief might poison them.

 
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Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada
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Theresa Whited wrote:There are a lot of dangers but everything I know about guns says its more dangerous to own one than not. I do realize that a lot of people are not responsible enough to own a gun and guns don't kill people (but that is thier only use to kill something).

You stated "their only use to kill something". I know people who do nothing but target shoot at the range or shoot skeet and trap just for the sport of it. They don't even hunt. So, the only time their gun or rifle has the cable or trigger lock off of AND ammunition is loaded is on the firing line. There are other uses for a firearm beside killing something.

Here in Canada, even for police, it is not legal to store your firearm loaded. The ammunition has to be stored separate from the firearm. The firearm has to be secure and locked. The only time they can be stored together is if they are stored in a secure cabinet or safe. Aside from that unless you have a special permit or it is part of your job, such as police, it is illegal to transport firearms loaded. However, while transporting it or storing it you can have loaded magazines. They just can't be in the gun. In addition to that in Canada owning a firearms is a privilege not a right. So we have to attain a license. Part of that is a day and a half training course on the safe handling, transportation, use and storage of a firearm. If you want to own a handgun or other restricted firearm it is an additional half day. I think that even with it being a right to own one, as it is in the US, people should still have to undergo a safety training course.

Here is a link to a quick news report with a little experiment on children with a fire.

http://fox17.com/news/nation-world/experiment-shows-differences-between-children-with-guns-in-the-home-and-those-without

As to your other comment "everything I know about guns says it's more dangerous to own one then not". That statement can apply to anything from a rubber band with a paper clip, kitchen knives, an ax, a chisel, a hammer, a bow and arrow and any number of other things. As with anything it comes down to training and knowledge.

 
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Ok, my whole family is police and military, I grew up around guns, big guns small guns, guns just for work, guns just for play. The whole while responsible use and storage and care were ensured and taught. We would go to the shooting range, I've gone hunting a lot, and as kids we took them out and shot things without permission.

Ok so let me tell you what is likely never going to happen as a gun owner, your family is not going to get killed and raped, you aren't going to have some guy bust in the house with classic movie bad guy apparel. The chances of theses things happening in a way that you can react to are so very small. Then if you can react you will be caught off guard and fumble while that person is unlocked and pre loaded, you will be much more likely to get shot going for a gun than complying. So, even in a a senario that has near impossible odds, getting the properly stored gun is unwise.

Ok, now that we looked at the reality of you being a hero against some masked marauder, let's look at should you have one, for other reasons.

This is simply akin to religion, some believe very powerfully in each camp, don't own guns people have great reasons why, own guns folks have "some" good reasons why, there is no person who can choose your religion for you, and no one can choose this camp for you either, it is arrived at by inner reflection and thought.

"Some" only because I thing gun owners site some pretty weak arguments for guns, when there are some good ones available.

I own lots of guns, some family guns, some that are super long range, none get used really. That is the most likely outcome of your gun, to sit unused after a year.

Ok, so my thought regarding permaculture and guns....

The metal and shell casing metal and powder are high carbon foot items
Care of earth....hunting may be taking more than fair share, that's not for me to decide, but there is some caring in dispatching injured large animals
There are other tools that do most of these jobs better and aren't as dangerous around unskilled hands

And let's not forget you are throwing lead all over your design!


 
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Location: Lizemores, WV
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I think that presence is more important to deter human intrusion than a gun. If you aren't home, it won't matter if you have a gun. Dogs help, and so do visible cameras. A thief who is looking for a few bucks to score some drugs is looking for soft targets. Things sitting outside are more likely to go missing, gas cans, RE batteries - assuming you keep those outside -, copper pipes, wires, etc. Anyone who comes into your house while you are at home is a whole other category of intruder. Dogs help. My dogs let me know when anyone gets too close to the property. They wouldn't hurt anyone. They'd be as likely to run from an intruder as anything else, but folks don't know that.

I have a shotgun, long rifle, and a revolver. I spent twenty years in the Navy, so am comfortable around firearms. The shotgun was a gift, the rifle was to help me get my marksmanship scores up for work. I had some wild dogs come at me once, so picked up the revolver because I don't like to look like I'm on patrol when taking a walk around the property. I don't like to kill things, so hopefully the sound will be sufficient to deter the buggers should I see them again. We also have coyotes on the property that get pretty brave at times, going through trash, and worrying my animals.

I did have a frank discussion with the people who were suspected of doing most of the thieving around here. I explained, in no uncertain terms, my stance on crime and firearms, as well as the castle doctrine as it applies in our state. I haven't had many of the problems that some of my neighbors have with things turning up missing. I'd much rather people think I'm trigger happy than that they make a poor decision regarding unauthorized entry into my home.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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For me personally the castle doctrine is a troublesome and made in erroneous thinking.

What that says to me is....I don't want to loose my TV, in order for me to keep that, you will loose your life......

 
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While using a gun, stick, or tire iron to defend one's self, spouse, and children might be a scary thought, there is one saying that IS true.wish I had been the author of it "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away". If being a victim is an acceptable option for you and yours, then that is your choice....but is it your children's choice? There are people out there that won't hesitate to take advantage of your passive attitude...Not that you are wrong, they are.....but that won't shield you from their violence....If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything!
 
pollinator
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I have a question.

Why is it that in all those countries not already awash with firearms, almost nobody would even think to ask this question?

It's not something I'd even consider.

Seriously, you don't need guns. People here get along just fine without them.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Success rates of defending yourself with your hands and mind far outweigh the rates of using any weapon.

If this is a real issue where you live please ask yourself if this is where you want to live, I live in an Amish town, we don't leave our doors unlocked we literally leave our doors open airing out the house when we leave. I went to buy milk from an Amish friend yesterday his barn, leather shop with thousands in tools, and three house doors were wide open, I yelled in and left. I can guarantee that he came home to nothing missing, and you would too.

Sometimes we think everyone is after our stuff when it just isn't true, for the most part no one wants your crap! In the areas of urban cities where it is true your standard of living is so low that i beg you to move, life can be so much better, it really can.
 
Russell Scott
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Actually I do live in a violent town. Caused by drugs and poverty. If, in the unbelievable event that causes good people to turn bad , you might be surprised to witness the violence and inhumane acts people will commit. I have been witness to race riots in the very early 70's, that caused friend to turn against friend because of color.....Do you honestly believe that won't happen if it comes to people wanting or needing food? "But I will share my food" will be said. But tell your family, that because of your believing that people are good, that all of your food was taken by the bad men (and or women) that do not live by the same ideals. Now, not that I believe it will come to that, but I have seen what people will do in normal situations, I hope I never see what they are capable of in a bad one.
 
Russell Scott
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http://krqe.com/2015/08/20/neighbors-albuquerque-couple-terrorized-in-home-invasion/ Not that this is a daily occurrence in every city every day, but do you want your family to be the 1 in a million. With all the info available on the net, do some research....cityrating.com or clrsearch.com will both give crime stats for almost any city......might be informative
 
D.W. Bayless
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Police response time where I live is about 45 minutes. Theft is common. Although home invasions are rare, they aren't exactly unheard of. While I wouldn't shoot anyone over a TV, if someone attempts to come in my house whilst I'm at home, I must assume that it is more than my TV at risk.
 
pollinator
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Here in the Netherlands we aren't allowed to own guns. Only some people with special permits, who are trained well (police) are allowed to carry a gun when they're doing their work.
Also hunters are only allowed to carry a rifle if they have a permit and are trained.

I feel safe here. I think that is a 'feeling' and it depends on your way of thinking (positive thoughts)
 
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Weapons are just like any other tool, you need to learn how to use them. Dogs work very well to keep unwanted people away. I have both we have big cats here and dogs alone are no match.
 
Neil Layton
pollinator
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Mitch Hebert wrote:Weapons are just like any other tool, you need to learn how to use them. Dogs work very well to keep unwanted people away. I have both we have big cats here and dogs alone are no match.



Many of my tools could, I suppose, be used in a pinch as weapons, but that is not their primary function. I would not keep as dog on the basis of its primary function being to keep others away (although I did consider rescuing a dog partly as mutual company, and partly as conversation starter when out for walks).

The primary function of my hatchet is to chop wood. The primary function of my kitchen knife is to make dinner. I have never had cause to even consider to threaten to use them for other purposes.

The primary function of a gun is to kill. Big difference.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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We are always in risk of something, if I lived in fear my house would be full of solutions to imagined problems.

You are far more likely to get killed or injured trying to get your gun, or weapon.

learning self defense that does not require weapons is much more useable as you can use it without having to always have your fear pacifier handy.

My whole family is police, they all say this, you are more likely to be shot and possibly killed trying to go get your gun....

A better solution is self defense with disarming a combatant training.

I have seen violence, no worries there, I just choose to live my life instead of allowing myself to be bullied by paranoia.
 
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It would be Cool if there was a statistic on this thread.

All I can add is my own choice.

With 5 goats and 4 egg-layers in a five foot fenced pasture on an acre residential lot 3 miles from city center, 300,000 metro population: I have a dog and a gun.

Gun used 24 times. Cage-free eggs come at a high cost, so did a try for a second goat.

Use of gun went to zero with addition of dog.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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I have guns, but not for killing a man who is in a hard time in life, they are family heirlooms, former work guns, and that's about it, and they are locked up so tight I couldn't use them as " protection"

If something is after my goats or chickens they will meet the bow and arrow, as both are in range of my windows, but this weapon again is not for men.

If you come to my house in a bad time in your life, you will be disarmed and neutralized, then hopefully fed a sandwich and sent on your way, I have been there...


If you are so ready to kill a man for coming into a house then I know that you have not had to do that before.....I pray that you have the strength to live with the decision if you ever do kill, and I beg you to change your mind. It is not an action that should be talked about as if the invader looses that fight, when this happens you loose as well, possibly loose your mind, then with that goes your family, your wife remarries your kids grow distant. The things that you think you are tough enough to protect because you bought a $300 gun are the very things you stand to loose. That's the real story.
 
Russell Scott
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If someone believes that self defense will save there life against a gun, get away from the tv. Even most "stupid" criminals will not allow anyone within 5' of them, making self-defense tactics useless.As a trained weapon owner, I promise you that, in a life threatening situation, I can fire a lethal shot before someone invades my "personal" space.Now, as stated, I won't use deadly force for a tv, stereo or possession.....but if I am in fear of my life,or the life of a loved one, my mantra is....you bought the ticket, you take the ride....and yes, I do have a concealed carry permit, and know the responsibility of such.
 
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I don't really have a homestead. I do have about a 1/4 acre in an urban area which I'd rather not have people wandering on my property. So I like living fences. The kind of fences that preferably have more than one use. Around the perimeter of my property I plant things that people might not like walking through and provide food. Stinging nettles are great. Other ones would be plants with thorns like roses, raspberries, and blackberries. I haven't made any effort to cultivate poison ivy but that might be a deterrent.
 
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