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the most basic and brutal physical security - home defense gun discussion

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  • the most basic and brutal physical security - home defense gun discussion

    so, two news stories hit the wires today. they almost perfectly illuminate the arguments that one sees on each side of the gun control debate. one is a hero type story of how an individual used proper training and quick thinking to thwart a violent home intrusion with a firearm. the other story is one in which a befuddled citizen, acting rather recklessly, fired upon and injured a family member (actually, two family members, in this case)

    Story Number One
    A deranged (and possibly drunk or drugged) man attempted to break into a Florida home at 3:30 AM. Present was the family's mother (who tried to slam the door on him), some other female relatives (daughters and i think a couple cousins), and a teenaged son (15 years old) who had been trained by his father to shoot. With the intruder bashing on the doors and windows and eventually gaining access to the home (by kicking in the door completely) the son loaded and readied both of his father's guns. first, the son struck him with a "warning" shot from one of the weapons. (possibly my favorite quote from one of the articles was from the boy who commented, "I shot one time to let him know he had to leave.") when this failed to stop the attack (and the first gun jammed) the boy switched to the second gun in the home and fired again. the assailant staggered off and was found by police, badly wounded but not killed, between nearby houses.
    Link #1 | Link #2 | Link #3

    Story Number Two
    A 92 year old grandmother in Tennessee heard the sounds of someone entering her home in the evening. She obtained her .357 and fired at the "intruders" as they came in the front door. it was not a burglar or criminal, however, but was instead her grandson Richard Duncan (36) and his wife Danielle Duncan (35 and a sherriff's Deputy) who had a key to the home and had been caring for the woman. ironically, despite being ill-prepared and (one would imagine) poorly trained for this sort of situation, she managed to hit both relatives with a single bullet. of course, that likely had more to do with their close proximity to one another and her firearm's big bore chambering.
    Link #1 | Link #2

    i can already see how the stories could be turned into press releases / talking points for the second amendment foundation or the million mom marchers.

    i'd personally like to hear how stories like this resonate with people here on these forums, some of whom i've shared trigger time with, many of whom i know have firearms in their homes. (of course, you don't have to get into such details in your posts)

    personally, i think that it's terrible when careless people (like the grandmother in the latter story) make bad decisions. i realize that in a home-intrusion event (real or merely perceived) adrenaline and anxiety can make judgment impaired (come on, though... for god's sake, they had a key. they had been caring for her. this tells me that there would have been no rukus and nothing out of the ordinary during their entry. use some common sense, lady!) but the former story shows how, with the right background and a few deep breaths, even a young person can act properly.

    i think the latter story highlights so incredibly plainly the fundamental rule of "be certain of your target and what is beyond it", the disregarding of which is the root cause of many unintentional shootings. (a very interesting question, however, would be for any people here who would grab a gun during a perceived intrusion attempt... do you have a light mounted to it? would you grab a flashlight? would you flick on a light switch to illuminate the "intruder" before taking off the safety, or would you maintain the cover and surprise element afforded by darkness?)

    the former story also highlights another issue about which i'd like to hear from gun owners (particularly people with families and children)... i somehow doubt that the father whose son was so quick-thinking had his guns locked up all that securely. even if he did, the son obviously had the key or combination, but many people (both gun-rights advocates and gun-control advocates) often chastise parents who would leave weapons within the reach of young people. i know that i, personally, cannot be 100% certain of what policies i would have in place if i had children. i waver in my opinion on this. growing up, my dad's gun case was locked and only he and my mom had keys, i did not. (come to think of it, she may not have even had a key since she didn't like guns... based on a narrowly-avoided unintentional shooting when they were newly-married*)

    how do (or, if commenting in a hypothetical sense, how "would") people here store their firearms in the home? what do you feel about home with children? does their age make a difference? if faced with a home intrusion situation, how would you react? have you ever practiced (from a starting position of being under the covers in a darkened room) getting up, readying a weapon, and taking a defensive position from which you could safely fire? how does illumination (either from weapon-mounted lights or in-home lights) and calling out with your voice come into play?

    i'll kick off with one quick comment... my shotgun didn't come with a light, but i wound up choosing to add one.

    p.s. - neither the assailant in the first story nor the relatives in the second story were fatally wounded. i suppose no mater where you fall ideologically, one can support and be pleased by those outcomes. no matter the shooter or the target, i'd wager it's usually a fine thing if a situation is diffused without people dying.


    * i've only heard the story once or twice, but i recall it as follows... my dad came home late and (not wanting to wake my mom, whom he thought was asleep) he didn't turn on any lights downstairs. in the darkness, he bumped a table and broke a lamp. (which made the sounds of breaking glass) he didn't call out to my mom (still thinking she was asleep) to say it was him who made the clatter. she was not asleep. in fact, she was just out of the shower (and still in a towel... which, say what you will about equality and gender neutrality, that is a damn scary position for anyone, particularly a female) and heard the shatter, no follow-up call, and saw no light from downstairs. she uncased and loaded one of his service pistols and had it at the ready as he came up into the bedroom. thankfully, even in her state of panic and with minimal light, she didn't fire and realized it was him. (she may have called out his name questioningly one time and gotten a response) so, all ended ok and i got lucky there and eventually went on to be conceived and born. after that, however, my mom was pretty done with firearms.
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; May 24, 2006, 10:29.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Well, I have a couple of thoughts on the subject (suprise, suprise).

    1. Do not have a firearm for defense if you are not confident in your ability to use it if the time comes. Having a firearm for defense and not having the constitution to use it will only end in your death.

    2. Know the 4 basic rules of firearm safety and practice them till they become reflex.
    a. Be aware of your target and whats beyond
    b. Always treat every firearm as if it was loaded*
    c. Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to (or are unwilling to) destroy
    d. Always keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to shoot

    3. Keep your guns locked up, with the exception of one you plan on using for defense. I have a pretty considerable collection. There is no reason for me to keep them all under the bed. With the exception of the pistol I carry and the shotgun I keep for home defense, the rest of my guns are locked up in a safe. I dont have children, so theres no safety issue, but theres no point in leaving guns around for no reason. If someone breaks into my house, I dont want them running off with my collection. Remember, guns are a terrific means of personal defense, but you have to be home to use them. When you are not home, they are just something else that can be stolen by a criminal fuckhead.

    4. If you have children, keep your guns out of reach and locked up. Hiding them in your sock drawer will not work**. Once your children are old enough to understand the concepts, teach them about your guns. Make sure they understand the 4 rules of firearm safety, that they are to NEVER play with them, and that if they ever find one they need to leave the area and tell an adult***.

    5. If you are going to keep a weapon for defense, be intelligent about it. When I get asked 'what should I get for home defense' I tell people to go buy a Remmington 870 pump action shotgun. They are cheap, easy to operate, and effective. It's stupid and negligent to keep an AR-15 loaded up with SS109 as your 'home defense' gun, as if you ever have to use it you will overpenetrate and end up putting lead into other rooms of your home or your neighbors. Just yesterday a cop up here in Forks, WA fired his weapon (9mm pistol) at an armed suspect. He missed several shots and one of them ended up going through the side of a home and into a 5 year olds closet a half mile away. No one was hurt, but people forget, bullets go where you point them and not where you want them. Your target may be at 8 feet, but your round could be lethal out to a mile. Also, understand the circumstances in which you may use your firearm for defense. Most likely it will be late, it will be dark, and you will be half asleep. Do you want something that takes precise aim? A shotgun solves that problem for you. And to the people who say 'ya, and racking the shotgun alone may scare off an attacker', it might but dont even for a second pick that shotgun up if you dont have the confidence you can take it a step further if you need to. Yes, everyone knows that 'shotgun racking' sound, and for a lot of people it would say 'fuck, hes got a gun, I better run'. But remember, those sane rational people may not be the ones breaking into your home with ill intent at 3am on a Wednesday night.

    6. Practice, practice, practice. You are only as good as your training. When bad, dangerous, situations happen we revert back to our 'reptile brain'. You will react on autopilot and go with ingrained habits. If you have to think about it, that means you wont DO it when the SHTF. Just about anywhere (even in Kalifornia) has training programs. Check your local yellow pages, ask at the local range, hit the NRA directory up for instructors in your area. Take a training class. Learn your weapon, learn to use it properly, and most important for defense, learn the laws of self defense in your areas. In some states you can blast any SOB that sets foot on your property, in others its the exact opposite. In some places you can wake up to an armed intruder standing over your bed who hands you a written affidavit stating that his intention is to murder your with the knife he is holding, and some bleeding heart DA will still try to charge you with murder for shooting him.

    7. Dont live in fear. Guns are a fun hobby and a good means of self defense. But if you find yourself living in an armed compound constantly vigilant for the bad guys, you might want to think about finding a hobby.

    * Just Monday a very well trained friend of mine had a negligent discharge in his garage. Someone had put his rifle away with a live round in its chamber. He didnt follow basic safety practices and clear the chamber before dropping the hammer. It was a split second oversight on his part, and with all his training, something he should have never done, but he did it. It could have cost him or a family member dearly, but luckily in this case he can just chalk it up to being a dumbass.

    **Back in elementry school a friend of mine's father kept his gun in the nightstand. My friend one day said to me 'My dad has the James Bond gun, wanna see it?' (walther PPK/S). He took it out and started showing it to me. I had been around guns a few times at this early stage of my life and I told him to put it down because it might be loaded. He said 'I'll take the clip out' and removed the magazine. A split second later the gun went off, missing me by several feet, and putting a hole in his parents bedroom wall. See, much like my trained friend, he didnt clear the chamber to make sure there wasnt one in the pipe. His father had never taught him anything more about guns than that he had the same one James Bond carried. Ya, thats not going to spark a 10 year olds imagination is it?

    ***http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/

    I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

    Comment


    • #3
      As a gun respecting, but not a 'gun nut' in a province of gun-nuts, I'll drop my $0.02 CAN into this.

      I think it all comes down to a few things:

      1. The responsibility of the individual(s) with access to the weapons. Are they locked up in a reasonable and safe manner, are they responsible enough to know what deadly force entails.

      2. The training of the shooter. Are they capable of knowing what is behind thier target and of identifying friend or foe (see Deviants parents close call)

      3. The persons disposition. Are they a 'shoot first' kind of person, or is the firearm a last resort. Personally, I'd rather have a bat in one hand and a firearm in the other. Bat for primary, firearm as a last resort. A wanged head is easier to attend to and forgive in case of accident than a missing one.

      4. The area and *percieved* danger. Is there a real risk of a violent crime, or are you just being driven by the media fear machine to believe thiers bad people sneaking around in the shadows. Personally, I'm in a very safe area. Yes there are break-ins, but the thieves are smart enough to know how to check to see if no-ones home, or if they are'nt, they make so much noise that they are freaked out that someones home and take off. I can see in a high crime area where the local coke heads have AK-47's, being a bit more nervous, but if your out in the burbs, You have to be a bit mroe realistic.

      5. Have you taken adeqite perimeter security into account? The perception that I have is that alot of gun accidents are against people with keys who are coming home late/drunk/whatever and trying to be quiet.

      A thief/rapist/nutjob usually does'nt have a key and makes a fair bit of noise coming in. Personally, anyone trying to kick in the door, I'd hear them when they bounce off of it and go down the stairs backwards and can suitibly assess the situation and know that it's probobly not the cat or a family member. Same with windows, a clear plastic coating that prevents shattering will probobly bounce the brick back at thier head and give you ample time to arm yourself/call cops/etc. Reacting with an insturment of deadly force only leaves you one option, and if your wrong, it ain't pretty.

      In both of the above cases, you can see what I mean. In the first case, the guy tried to kick in the door, then throw a bike through a window. Definate signs that it was not a friendly target, and presumably provided enough warning and time for junior to unlock dads guns and protect everyone.

      The second shows that when it's a friendly target, having deadly force as your only option can get really messy. Had she had a bat things would have been a bit less ugly. Good thing she was a bad shot. Had she been younger and trained to kill, it would be a much more messy situation (literally and figurativly).

      *Side note: If Granny was 92 and being taken care of an (presumably) on medication, why the hell were there loaded firearms in her house? An episode of dymentia, plus lack of medication, plus firearms. Scary shit really.

      Personally, I don't ever see myself having a firearm in the house for home defense (I'm not saying I might not ever have guns, but they would not be considered or setup for home defense). It's not a suitable counterance to the amount of 'real' danger. It might be different for others, but I'd rather secure the perimiter and wang the intruder in the dark with a lamp/bat/golf club/whatever then even have the possibility of harming a loved one (or neighboor depending on if it's a through and through shot).
      Never drink anything larger than your head!





      Comment


      • #4
        Renderman brings up some great points. First off, you can do a lot to protect yourself with passive defense. Shatterproof film on the windows, good locks, motion sensor lights, etc. These will not only act as a deterant to a potential threat, it may give you the time and opportunity to get up, turn some lights on and loudly call the police on the phone. If the threat is still trying to get into your home, you can be pretty sure you arent dealing with a guy who just wants your DVD player, or your roommate returning unexpectedly 2 days early from a business trip.

        As far as reacting with an insturment of deadly force leaving you only one option, I agree and disagree. In a non-home defense situation (i.e. concealed carry) I agree. Once you bring a weapon into play, the stakes have just been raised. The situation is now life or death for one or both parties involved. Having a non-lethal deterant in addition to a sidearm is a good idea. Pepperspray is a good example. First, it gives you the chance to show the threat you do actually mean business. Second, it covers your ass if you end up shooting the threat. You can show the police that you did everything you could to deter the threat and that firing on them was truly an act of last resort. But for home defense, I respectfuly disagree. If someone is entering your home without permission, you should be in a position to use deadly force if needed. I would much rather have my shotgun in my hand and not fire it than to realize too late that I should have grabbed it when I went to see who was kicking in my backdoor. If you bring a weapon into play you shouldnt do it unless you are prepared to use deadly force. Being prepared to use deadly force and actually using deadly force are two different things. Just because I have my shotgun in my hand doesnt mean I HAVE to shoot the person, it just means I have to be PREPARED to shoot the person. In all actuality, I really dont want to shoot anyone. I prefer to keep my choice of targets restricted to the paper and steel variety. The way I see it is if I ever had to shoot someone, I wouldnt be making the decision to shoot them, they would.

        I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

        Comment


        • #5
          I think each situation is different. If your the only one in your home, and no-one else has a key, there should be no reason for anyone to be there, so blast away.

          When you have room mate/spouse/children/booty call around, the danger of a mistake in a half sleep state goes up considerably.

          I'm not even considering the legal ramifications here BTW, just the pure defense side. The legal side is another mess entirely.

          It's up to the gun owner/user to know these dangers and weigh things themselves (which is why I'm not saying you should'nt have a gun for home defense, but if you do, be really damn responsible and know there's always an outside chance of harming your family)

          I'm just commenting on the fact that it's far from a cut and dry issue and from my living room, it's not worth it.

          *Noid, knew you were the most likely to pipe up with a rational discussion of this, thanks!
          Never drink anything larger than your head!





          Comment


          • #6
            Noid brings up a good point about bullets passing through walls. Does anyone have any preferences or suggestions about going with frangible, RRLP (Reduced Ricochet, Limited Penetration), or JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) to reduce the likelihood of killing people in the next room? I do not have a comparison of the stopping power these have when they go through 2 layers of drywall, but I'd love to hear from anyone who does know. (Many of the google links lead to forums where I don't know the participants - at least I've met a few of the gun owners here, and can get a better feel if they know what they are talking about not)

            I totally agree with his points about not carrying unless you are certain you can use the weapon, and your point about practising until it becomes second nature, but what practise best represents a real world scenario? Firing 500 rounds at paper plates will definately increase my accuracy, but the plates do not move, nor do they scare me/get my addrenaline hyped, nor do they prompt me to make split-second descisions about whether or not to use deadly force. I can size up the paper plate for as long as I want and get used to its place in the environment (not the case when I'm standing at the top of my banister, which I'd consider an unfamiliar environment since I've never discharged a weapon from there). I'm very interested in what people recommend for Noid's bullet point #6 - what training is available above and beyond weapon familiarity, safety, and accuracy?

            Comment


            • #7
              In regards to training, there are plenty of places to learn your shooting techniques. For example up here in Seattle we have Insights Training. The instructor is an ex SF guy who's seen plenty of action. He's not some swaggering Soldier of Fortune type, he's a real operator that knows what works and what doesnt. They offer everything from combat first aid to general defensive handgun and rifle courses. I'm sure in your area theres probably something similar.

              In regards to practicing at the range, you are actually doing some good. First, you practice your aim. Second, and probably most important, you get the repetition going. If you shoot often enough, you learn your firearm. You learn how it shoots, how you shoot it, how to drop mags and reload without having to sit down at the bench. Now find a range that will let you step it up a notch. Some ranges will let you practice drawing from a holster. Practice drawing, aquiring, and firing in a short ammount of time. Remember, in a life or death situation you need to aim for the center of mass on the subject, its not a CMP match where you have to put every round in the ten ring. Start slow at first to learn the movements, then repeat. One of the best bits of advice I got before attending my first 3 gun match was to draw just a little bit slower than I think I needed to. Frequently in the rush and excitement people draw too fast and get hung up on their holster or make dangerous safety mistakes. Just draw slow and steady and practice. Since I like to compete one of the things I did was get a weighted airsoft replica of my pistol and several extra mags. I could then put my gear on in my basement and practice drawing, shooting, and reloading without creating a safety hazard or blowing a ton of money at the range. Practice is good, but mix some professional training in there for good measure.

              In reading my posts I realize that I should just get out of InfoSec and go be an armorer or instructor some place. Any feds on the list need a competent range officer or armorer? Serious.
              Last edited by noid; May 24, 2006, 13:59.

              I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

              Comment


              • #8
                In regards to round penetration, particularly in a domestic situation, this site was actually quite interesting:

                http://www.theboxotruth.com/

                The guy built a box to simulate walls and documented various rounds pentration. In particular his first batch of tests were eye opening. Further ones are just plain cool as people started to send him shit to document and shoot.

                http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1.htm
                Never drink anything larger than your head!





                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Virosa
                  I'm very interested in what people recommend for Noid's bullet point #6 - what training is available above and beyond weapon familiarity, safety, and accuracy?
                  I used to attend a weekly shooting league that was styled after the IDPA but encourages people to shoot their either personal defense handguns or concealed-carry weapon. We practiced different scenarios every week, sometimes in reduced light, behind cover, requiring reloads, time-based, etc. They got you used to more realistic situations where you might have to shoot in self-defense. Some of them were for fun, but mostly they were fairly accurate in distance and difficulty.

                  The IDPA stuff is great, but lots of the shooters there were custom loading 9mm ammo that would barely pierce paper, to save on accuracy for follow-on shots. Anyway, check out your local gun shops for Defensive Shooting Leagues or the like.
                  Aut disce aut discede

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok, this may not go over well but I intend to ramble on regardless. I will start with a story.

                    Yesterday I left the office, trekked my way up 12 sets of stairs to the roof of the parking garage where I was approached by a male tourist. He walked up to me as I came out of the stairwell and it really took me back a notch. I, being experienced in psychopaths, stalkers, attempted rapes, and all ranges of crack heads, took a defensive stance immediately. He explained in a fast tongue, as British folk do when they are frazzled and trying to be friendly, he had a rental car and he can’t get the keys out of the ignition, he is not from the states, do I know how to help?

                    - I then accessed what was up, I looked at him dead in the eyes and said ok, if you stand here- which was about 3-4 car lengths away from his, I walked up to his car, glanced under the car, checked inside the windows of the car parked next to it, and looked to be sure no one was standing or sitting in the general vicinity of this car.

                    I got in, fiddled with his ignition and when I looked back up at him he had this OMG I am an asshole look on his face and he said hey, I will just take it to the attendant downstairs I don’t want to trouble you. I was leaning into the car, it was clearly a rental, and I did end up following him out of the garage where he indeed was getting the attendant to get the key removal process figured out. So he was genuine in his inability.

                    I thought about this all the way home, I must have seriously made that guy realise one of two things:
                    1. Hi, I'm an idiot for approaching a woman in a parking garage in America. I probably came off as chester the child molestor.
                    Or
                    2. Wow, they really are afraid of everything.

                    I was totally willing to help the guy out, I happen to have a tendency to help out strangers when they are lost/ stupid/in trouble/ drunk/etc etc. But I won’t risk my safety for a moment. Years of experience doing stupid shit taught me that.

                    I have always thought, and I noticed this in other countries, that America is far more fearful of the bad guys lurking in the dark than anywhere I have ever been. I have had people bust in my house before, But I knew them/ they were drunk and opened the wrong apartment door/ were off absolutely no harm with no ill intentions.
                    Not to say the bad guys are not out there, but how much does the media play into this fear? Perpetrators of Home invasions portrayed by the media are not always binary, there are many things that are not reported as well they tend to twist the sellablity of the article and more so promote the fear agenda.
                    News at 11:00 is why we should be scared.... OMG Squirrels are gonna PWnz0r Meeeeezzzzz!

                    In which case i would agree with renderman
                    Originally posted by renderman

                    4. The area and *percieved* danger. Is there a real risk of a violent crime, or are you just being driven by the media fear machine to believe thiers bad people sneaking around in the shadows.
                    ]
                    I have always been against myself having an easily accessible gun, not because I am against them But because I feel I can defend myself without it and I do not trust myself with them. I have katanas, nun chucks, daggers, batons, mace on my key chain and my fists etc, all trained in some degree to using them. Personally if I was to walk in on some chick in hello kitty pajamas wielding a katana and calmly stating she will "start by removing a limb and then kill me" I would sh*t myself.

                    Using guns around someone more experienced, in a controlled environment, or with real or non-lethal ammo (i.e. fake guns) is a lot of fun. However I am simply not trained or confident with having one for self defense. My mom, Grandfather, and step father were all police officers, and everyone besides me has had military training, so I understand the dangers and benefit of guns. But.....I agree with noid:
                    Originally posted by noid
                    1. Do not have a firearm for defense if you are not confident in your ability to use it if the time comes. Having a firearm for defense and not having the constitution to use it will only end in your death.
                    ]
                    I am the type of person who by instinct will attempt to first dissuade the attacker, maim and then detain them whislt reading really bad poetry as torture. I am a short (5'3) chick, It can be hard to evade close contact when most men are much taller than me and naturally have a physical advantage. I can wrestle and will pin a man down, I am Irish and stubborn and when threatened I am simply insane, a gun involved would seriously jeopardize myself (accidental discharges) and I know I would hesitate to shoot a man point blank.

                    I really wish that we did not have to have a gun in our closets, loaded, locked or not, I would rather not have one readily accessible in any home. Don’t misunderstand, especially right now, I believe, w/o getting too political, everyone or every family should own a gun, (for what it the right to bear arms was intended for) Know how to use it, keep it safe, but there is no need to keep the damn thing readily available if your neighbor comes home Saturday night opens your door walks in your kitchen and promptly passes out in the cat food dish. We should be ready for overthrowing the authority, possible civil wars, revolution, have militia, that type of thing. holy crap this got long, i tend to get long winded sometimes..../rant.
                    "Haters, gonna hate"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      wow, terrific comments thus far. a few key points jumped out at me and i'd like to respond/add to them...

                      shotgun for home defense
                      noid, i see you mentioned the remington 870. the remington vs mossberg debate was one that i played out in my head over and over and over when deciding on my first 12 ga purchase. in the end, i actually went with the mossberg for a variety of reasons, chief among them was the fact that the safety is ambidexterous (i and some others who shoot with me are left-handed, love that safety on the tang as opposed across the bolt) i do know of the unsurpassed ruggedness of remmingtons, but i figure with the 590A1 military model (full steel receiver) my mossberg's got the ability to handle just about any punishment i can come up with, which won't be all that much. anything that you or anyone else would care to add on the remington / mossberg debate?

                      overpenetration
                      this is a big one that people don't take into account. you hit the nail on the head when you mention how a person (lord knows why) may want an AR-15 for defense. unless you're defending a huge patch of land from an advancing platoon of hostiles, you don't need anything like that, and can make a situation a lot worse. (some of those home-defense turned manslaughter-prosecutions are cases when people were justified in shooting but used weapons that were way too powerful and are slapped with a Man2 charge for negligent homicide.) frangible ammo and even some hollow points work well when it comes to breaking up upon first contact with a target (just about any semi-solid target... a person, a wall, or even sometimes furniture will do)

                      with shotguns being so popular for home defense, i sometimes get asked about what loads to chamber. granted, most people realize that you're not going to want to load up with solid slugs. you lose the whole "no need to be perfect on aim" advantage with a slug, and also you run the risk of killing a person on the otherside of a wall... even a solid wood wall with a bookcase on the other side. i tend to think that if you live in an apartment or a house with regular drywall in between rooms, even powerful buckshot loads can be a bit too much. i found it particularly interesting when i read a study once which stated that #1 buckshot -- when you factor in spread pattern, cavity crush, etc -- actually produces the maximum probability of significant wounding of an attacker at typical shotgun battle distances, as opposed to #0, #00, or #000. (sorry, i can't recall which study that was at this time or where i read it.)

                      i've heard of people who load #2 or #4 buckshot for home defense, and even knew someone who used heavy birdshot because he feared overpenetration in a home with children. he said that he recognized how his ability to really penetrate a target was diminished, but he was willing to "keep on firing birdshot until they got the point" rather than worry about 25% of his pellets going through a wall unpredictably.

                      it's also worth mentioning that in most instances (plenty of people are free to disagree with me on this) you don't need magnum 12 gauge loads for home defense. overall, however, the question of ammo choice can lead to the question of...

                      assorted loads
                      when i first heard this, it actually made great sense to me and it became a policy i adopted (not that i ever had to actually load and ready a firearm for home defense). some people told me that in a critical defense situation, they would first insert 4 or 5 shells of their full-power defense load (#1 buck, in their case) then top it off with 2 or 3 shells of heavy birdshot. i've actually taken it a step farther (in my mind) and could forsee a nearly-full mag of buck but with one or two less-than-lethal topper rounds (either beanbag or rocksalt). that way, i feel there's almost no reason for hesitation to pull the trigger. i would imagine that knowing that you're going to knock the shit out of (but not fatally wound) your subject on the first shot makes anyone's anxiety about pulling the trigger greatly reduced. and, of course, if after a shot or two of that shit the person can't take a hint, by all means let loose with full-power-hell.

                      heh, i once saw someone online say that he kept a full tube of buck but topped it off with a dragon's breath round, his reasoning being that if you want to scare the shit out of someone, that's a way to do it. if they don't have the fear of a higher power in them after a shower of flame belches six feet from your muzzle, then be glad you have the buckloads at the ready. of course, one shouldn't believe things you hear on IRC.

                      shatterproof film
                      i'd like to know more about this. anyone use it? how expensive is it? does it weather well or does it get cloudy and hard to clean as it ages? URLs?

                      range training games
                      if you're not able to easily get to a place that lets you practice full-movement defense manuvers, you can try this game which i sometimes play and invite others to try when they're with me on the firing line. i'm sure i'm not the first to think of it, so i take no credit for its creation. i basically call it "react to the assailant."

                      you send a target downrange about 25 yards. you have your defense weapon on the counter in front of you... unloaded. you have an open box of ammo nearby. you press the return button or have someone hold it in if it's not a fully automatic target mover system. you now choose to load a small number of rounds in your weapon, ready it, take aim, and fire... the goal is to place one shot in a solid kill zone before the target reaches you. now, you can guess that there's more than one way to approach this.

                      some people just place a single round in the shotgun or pistol and therefore have plenty of time to take aim very well. if you miss somehow with that one round, however, you're screwed. alternately, you can load two or three rounds (taking more time to do so) which gives you a couple extra shots if you need them. you can vary this up in a lot of ways... but it's a good idea to practice (as noid mentioned) not just shooting a target but also handling a weapon, loading and unloading, readying it, steadying it, etc. a few times i've let someone try this "react to the assailant" i've stopped them before they even got the mag in the gun because they were shaking so much. treat nervousness first (by mimicking loading of rounds and readying a gun) once that's out of the way, try it with actual ammo.
                      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                      - Trent Reznor

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                      • #12
                        additional insight which someone offered while i was typing my above post have made another comment necessary

                        Originally posted by Nikita
                        We should be ready for overthrowing the authority, possible civil wars, revolution, have militia, that type of thing.
                        please consider PMing me with an address to which i can send a dozen roses for that remark.

                        many people have asked me why i own firearms (other than my targeting rifle, which is a hobby they can understand) since i live in a "very good" area. "do you really think you'll need to blast at a burglar?" they ask.

                        no, i do not. and most likely, in the region where i live a home intruder is going to be some kid trying to steal my alcohol or my DVDs... not someone i'd want to shoot at. it's really like this in most places in the industrialized world, including america. contrary to what the over-hyped fear mongers in media and government would have us believe, we live in a wonderfully ordered society. however, there always exists the possiblity of a breakdown is societal order. this can be brief chaos (looting and large-scale theivery in the wake of a natural disaster) or sustained disruption (mass rioting, revolts against totalitarianism, etc) and in case of either such circumstance i'd like to know that i'll be weathering the situation with some firepower available should the need arise. an armed populace is the best defense against tyranny. well... that plus an active and vigilant news media not driven by profits and sensationalism.

                        it's not the problems that we anticipate which make preparedness worthwhile... it's the turmoil that we weren't counting on facing that tests how well we've got our shit together as individuals.

                        [EDIT: i realize that i should have checked my PM inbox before posting... if i did i would have seen that i already have your address for an unrelated reason. heh, no excuse for me to not send the flowers, it would seem.]
                        Last edited by Deviant Ollam; May 24, 2006, 16:31.
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nikita
                          2. Wow, they really are afraid of everything.
                          As a forgiener, I can say, yes we do see that alot.

                          Personally if I was to walk in on some chick in hello kitty pajamas wielding a katana and calmly stating she will "start by removing a limb and then kill me" I would sh*t myself.
                          Thank you for making my day. That mental image put a much needed smile on my face during a long ass day at work.
                          Never drink anything larger than your head!





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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                            it's not the problems that we anticipate which make preparedness worthwhile... it's the turmoil that we weren't counting on facing that tests how well we've got our shit together as individuals.
                            And that, my friend, is a whole other agrument out side the context of your original post of home defense (trying to avoid /dev/null here)
                            Never drink anything larger than your head!





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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by renderman
                              And that, my friend, is a whole other agrument out side the context of your original post of home defense
                              indeed, it reaches outside of the original "home security" question... but it applies in a broad sense to the whole idea of approaching security. if all we do is prepare for the threats which we can think of, we are falling short on other fronts.
                              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                              - Trent Reznor

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