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The Gun School: Now with the best comment thread.

What I said to my “concerned” friends that asked was, “I like to collect permissions to do things.” I lied. Being freaked out that anyone they knew would take gun training and get a concealed weapons permit, they tacitly agreed to believe that lie. It kept everything smooth and “non-political,” which I how a lot of my friends and I like it these days. All part of the little lies we tell because we cannot face reality in the world and in our relationships.

I took pistol training because one day it dawned on me that if I ever actually needed a gun it would be too late to shop.

It dawned on me after an unarmed mother and daughter were shot to death hiking in the mountains around Seattle. (Mother Daughter Shot While Hiking). It dawned on me after an enraged Muslim had bluffed his way into the Jewish Community Center of Seattle last summer and shot six women and killed one. (Six Women Shot One Killed at Jewish Federation) That was the week I went and signed up for gun training. After the training, I felt I would be qualified to get a gun. I would get it because it was my right to get it. I would get it because I could. I would get it because Washington, no matter how deeply mired in denial and dementia Seattle may become, Washington itself is still a “must issue” state. And how long that would last in the demented rush to disarm and make all citizens effective wards of the state for their “protection” was anybody’s guess.

Tracking the killings of over 30 unarmed, effectively disarmed and therefore helpless students, at Virginia Tech [in 2007] confirmed me in my decision. It took many bullets for this tragedy to unfold. It would have taken just one going the other way to stop it. That and the training to know what the situation was and how to react.

Unless you are morally, spiritually, and politically blind to human reality, you know that this is the truth.

Just one weapon on one person in the hundreds that ran and scattered in front of the maniac could have written a much different ending to this sordid and vile rampage. But there were none because the regents and officials and politicians responsible were mired in yet the persistent liberal utopian dream of a world that never was and never will be. In a very real sense, those students and those that have died elsewhere since were sacrificed to the flaccid politically correct beliefs of those charged with their education and their security. What they made in their yearning for perfection was a perfect “free-fire zone” for maniacs.

The people who sit around and dream up their “perfect world policies” never suffer any consequences to a great enough extent to give the others of their ilk pause. It’s a consequence of decades of dementia among those that gain positions of trust and tenure at our colleges and then hire other similarly demented people to chum up with them. It’s the “old liberals’ network” that is every bit as protective as the “old boys’ network” it so preeningly replaced.

We’ve handed off our colleges to weaklings and the intellectually insane. No surprise when fresh insanity breaks out and kills our kids. No surprise at all. And the kicker is that these people with these mindsets stand ready to do it again in exactly the same way at some other location. What happens in the real world doesn’t dent their wooly womb at all. Their school is not now and never will be The Gun School.

In the real world, the Gun School I attended wasn’t what anyone  who would never consider taking gun training would think. Every progressive I spoke with when I was taking the training expected a place surrounded by pickups sporting Confederate Flag bumper stickers and gun racks. It didn’t matter that The Gun School existed a half a mile from Microsoft in the deepest heart of soft and fluffy nerd land. They had their internal image of ‘gun nuts’ and they were sticking to it. Reality cannot hope to displace insular group fantasies decades old.

In reality, my class at The Gun School was composed of about 14 people and it met four times for three hours. It was basic gun safety and handling. Everyone who wants to get a gun needs to take such a class. A gun is not a pick-up and go play kind of thing. As we are all aware, a gun is the kind of thing that will, to say the least, hurt you or someone else real fast and permanently if you get stupid with it. It can hurt you even worse if a maniac has one and you don’t. Then you’re just a target for their rage and an instrument of their twisted pleasure. Without a gun you’re going to go and you’ll go cheap.

Of the 14 people in my class, seven were women — of which four were two lesbian couples. One and all told me they were there because of the killings of the mother and daughter who had been shot while hiking near Seattle. They had, I noted, the regulation number of anti-Bush stickers on their cars.

Two somewhat elderly Jewish couples took another four chairs. They were, I discovered, lifelong and committed Democrats and both drove the same model Prius. They were there because of the shootings at the Jewish Community Center. One of the wives, a grandmother type, said almost in passing, “It could happen again.”

Then there was the programmer from a company he declined to name (“My coworkers and manager would think it really weird if they knew I was here.”) and one man in his 20s who “just wanted to learn how to shoot.” He drove a muscle car with no bumper stickers proclaiming his ideological persuasion. And then there was me.

The only thing vaguely ideological about my car is the license plate that says LEM for “Law Enforcement Memorial.” When I registered the car I had my choice of “theme license plates” that would let me celebrate the woods, the streams and a host of other ecologically correct Washington themes. Way down at the bottom was a new one that gave the extra fee to a memorial in honoring Washington police who have died in the line of duty. These days it somehow seemed more fitting to me, but then again I’m strange. I go to things like The Gun School. When my friends ask me about why I have a plate on my car honoring law enforcement — a function without which their happy perfect world could not exist — I tell them I think it will give me an edge if I’m ever stopped for speeding.

Like my reasons for going to The Gun School, I’m lying, but it helps keep their happy world intact and, really, once you’re armed you always want to keep everything very polite.

But am I armed? Maybe. Maybe not.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JiminAlaska April 3, 2019, 8:45 AM

    “But am I armed? Maybe. Maybe not.”
    So many people don’t understand that about concealed carry.

  • Dan Patterson April 3, 2019, 8:54 AM

    If we one and all had the same temperament, the same respect for private property and the rule of law, and considered each person’s liberty as if it were their own the need for protection against predators would be greatly diminished. And if our government were operating under the original rules of construction the fear of tyranny from them would be greatly diminished. And if the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition women would admit their incandescent desire for my companionship my social life would appreciate geometrically.
    What are the chances of any of the three being realized?
    So yes learn to use weaponry and do so without apology; let someone else apologize at someone else’s funeral. Practice with each often. Keep them within easy grasp, including one or more as an article of clothing, an accessory if you prefer to think of it that way. Because predators of all sorts are waiting for an opportunity to hurt or kill you. Not someone else, not the other guy, not somebody’s buddy that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. No.
    And to the enlightened elite who make the rules the rest of us must follow (or else): They want to kill you, too. You. Not someone else, and no you are not exempt. It’s you, asshole. And by extension me too. If you can get your head out of your butt long enough to look around you’ll see the world does not operate under your preferred rules and by your preferred pronouns. The world wants to kill you, and rape you first if you are a woman. And kill and rape you it has for centuries, but now things are much much worse and aggression is much more pronounced. And all because other assholes like you not only let it happen but made it easy for the monster to eat us. So we who can carry a gun should and do so everywhere; if I carry a gun(s) there is a very good chance I can help you survive an attack, just like you would for me (or you would if you weren’t an asshole to begin with). Then, you see, society can begin to make the calculation against violence toward the innocent and toward self-sufficiency and generosity.
    Until then carry everywhere. Feed ’em fish heads if they can’t take a joke.
    So yes,

  • Mike Anderson April 3, 2019, 9:08 AM

    Sometimes folks ask me “Why do you carry a folding knife?”
    I reply, “Sometimes I need to cut something.”
    This might just go for guns, too.

  • Boat Guy April 3, 2019, 9:38 AM

    The old Heinlein quote sums it up nicely; “An Armed Society is a Polite Society”

  • William Norton April 3, 2019, 9:39 AM

    Very thoughtful. Everyone needs to lie to exist in society and maintain relationships. However, your piece made me think about the extent and level of lying that is required in today’s society. Before, I think our lies were about our personal faults and those of others and those lies were to simply maintain social harmony. Now, we lie about very meaningful actions such as religion, politics and cultural beliefs to not only maintain our social contacts but to protect ourselves from violence. Thoughtful people can not live with cognitive dissonance, the clash between our need for safety and our disdain for hypocrisy will at some point cause us great grief.

  • Fletcher Christian April 3, 2019, 10:45 AM

    The same truism applies to rather a lot of safety-related items; two that come to mind are fire extinguishers and fire blankets. Also that little gadget that incorporates a hammer to break car windows and a blade to cut seatbelts.

    You are far more likely to be injured or worse in a house fire than a shooting. Is your house equipped with both those items? If not, why not? Ditto the car safety item, because a car crash is also way more likely than a shooting.

    Strange how people often cater for unlikely risks before likely ones, isn’t it?

  • William Norton April 3, 2019, 11:18 AM

    adding to boat guy …….and …good fences make good neighbours.

  • Mike Anderson April 3, 2019, 11:37 AM

    Fletch:

    Fire blanket? Fire blanket! How come we never hear about those in all the fire-prevention jibber-jabber put out by our local fire departments?

    One of those might have been handy last week when I foolishly started a grease fire in the kitchen. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to grab that deodorizing box of baking soda out of the fridge and toss it on the fire. Worked like a charm; fire went out like switching off a light. You betcha I’ve got a container of baking soda front and center on the kitchen counter ever since.

    Now where I am I gonna put that new fire blanket?

  • AesopFan April 3, 2019, 12:20 PM

    “However, your piece made me think about the extent and level of lying that is required in today’s society.” – William
    This stood out to me as well, as it has in other blogs.*
    Conservatives — aka people who really don’t want to run other peoples’ lives, nor have other people run theirs (another Heinleinian notion) — don’t like to cause trouble (for themselves) and distress (for their friends & relations), so they lie or dissemble or mumble about their thoughts, their beliefs, and their actions.
    And the left — aka progressives or liberals, although they are neither in actual fact — continue to live in a bubble that they think is inhabited by all the known universe, because their Conservative friends and relations lie to them.
    Put that on top of the constant and pernicious lies of the Left-in-capital-letters (“Every progressive I spoke with when I was taking the training expected a place surrounded by pickups sporting Confederate Flag bumper stickers and gun racks. …They had their internal image of ‘gun nuts’ and they were sticking to it.”) and you get people who are continually mugged by Reality, often so hard they are too addled to become conservative, so they only double down on their leftist fantasies and wonder what happened to the world they were promised, where nothing would ever hurt them or make them feel bad.
    But we lie anyway, because we don’t want to disrupt our friendships, our families, our jobs, our communities — because the way of the left now is to push disruption forward to complete destruction.
    And so we, instead, destroy slowly, insidiously, all the bits of reality that might cause the leftists to discern the lies that are told by “their side,” because we are masking those lies with our own.

    When you don’t lie, you disrupt; when you disrupt, you destroy.
    When you lie, you enable; when you enable, you destroy.
    But WHAT you destroy is different.
    And we all have to make that choice for ourselves.

    *https://www.thenewneo.com/2019/03/28/there-is-no-pravda-in-izvestiya-the-left-probably-thought-that-controlling-the-media-was-a-victory/#comment-2428992

  • azlibertarian April 3, 2019, 2:35 PM

    Regarding fire extinguishers, there is a massive recall of fire extinguishers manufactured by Kidde. The recall stretches back to fire extinguishers made in the 70s. My experience with the recall was great. I filled out the online form for our 4 extinguishers (garage, kitchen, and 2 cars), and about 10 days later I had the replacements in my hand.

    https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/support/product-alerts/recall-kidde-fire-extinguisher/

    BTW, Kidde makes extinguishers under a number of different names. If yours isn’t a Kidde, you still might want to look to see if your extinguisher is covered by this recall.

  • ghostsniper April 3, 2019, 2:51 PM

    At it’s base it has nothing to do with guns, and the 2nd amendment is irrelevant.
    Guns are simply a cudgel the fraidy cats (fc) and power players (pp) use to ply the emotions of the weak minded (wm) and easily led.

    It has to do with PROPERTY.
    And NATURAL rights.

    What is the most important property you own?
    Your life.
    If anyone ever tries to take it you have the right, the responsibility, and the duty to prevent that from happening. Or not, if you listen to the folks I mentioned above, fc, pp, wm.
    Make no mistake, if they try to take away a tool you can use to protect yourself they will also take away that which you want to protect.

    We live in a world where some people are flawed and they harm other people. That will never change. We also live in a world where the pp have taught everyone to believe they will protect you in spite of the millions of instances proving the failure in their ability to do this as it is impossible to do so. From the very first human being to trod this earth through now it has always been the responsibility of the individual to provide their own protection. People that claim otherwise are never to be trusted in any capacity.

    Lastly, the 2nd amendment doesn’t give a right, it acknowledges an existing right. The right to self protection which was already in place when the 2nd was drawn up and is mentioned in the 1st paragraph of the DoC.

    Clear?

  • ghostsniper April 3, 2019, 2:53 PM

    Thanks azl, I’m going to look into that immediately as we have about 8 extinguishers in the house, workshop, offices, and vehicles.

  • Casey Klahn April 3, 2019, 3:51 PM

    On the street reporter asks the protester: “Are you for gun control?” “Yes,” she replies. “Then who should control the guns?”

    She pauses…”the government, I guess.” The interviewer asks: “do you trust the government?” “No,” she says, knowing fully she’s been had. See 1:45 on this vid:

    https://youtu.be/-UbIhoL5hDk

    If you are inside the church/ mosque/ synagogue or school that’s being shot up, and the perp exits without dying, you are not a victim. You are irresponsible, because that SOB is going out to find another place to shoot up.

  • Terry April 3, 2019, 7:19 PM

    Excellent comment thread indeed. Anyone who trusts government in any way is a fool. Authority is a myth. I did not give anyone authority over any facet of my life. Did you? Firearms are a requirement for any free man to own and be competent with. Same for any other weapon or expedient device to be used for defense. Training is available for the use of any weapon including ball bats, edged weapons, hands and feet, etc.

    Get it.

  • Joe April 3, 2019, 8:24 PM

    “[It is a basic principle of a tyrant] to unarm his people of weapons, money, and all means whereby they resist his power.” ~ Sir Walter Raleigh

  • David Spence April 3, 2019, 11:30 PM

    I’ve been a state prosecutor for 28 years in NC. I had never shot a gun in my life until I took a Concealed Carry class last October. It taught me gun safety and after shooting, great respect for firearms. I have two .380 semis, one .38 special revolver and a wonderful Henry’s .22 lever-action rifle and a profound appreciation for the God-given right to self-defense recognized by the 2nd amendment.

  • ghostsniper April 4, 2019, 4:09 AM

    Henry lever guns. Nice, nice, Veddy nice. Had one in my hands the other day. 45/70 Used my t-shirt to buff off my fingerprints. I’m looking for a Marlin 336 30/30 in stainless – black polymer.

  • Snakepit Kansas April 4, 2019, 4:51 AM

    Ghost,
    Some years back I acquired a Win Model 94 chambered in .375WIN. Ideal, in my opinion, for a lever gun.

    I’d like to echo Ghost’s comments that we are born with freedom. Would anyone sane entrust that to the Nancy Pelosi’s and Lois Lerner’s of the world? The 2A is just acknowledgement and protection of such freedom. I am the primary holder of responsibility for the safety of myself and my family. I would abhor giving that up to someone else.

  • Uncle Mikey April 4, 2019, 5:21 AM

    Freedom is the only thing we truly possess, and not for long if you can’t own a firearm.

  • Uncle Mikey April 4, 2019, 5:43 AM

    An aside:

    In the late ’80s a friend in college was taking a speech class. He wanted to do a speech on firearms, but since he has a flair for the dramatic he said he’d start talking about Magic Johnson contracting HIV, then I’d burst in with a fake gun and pretend to shoot him. This is on a college campus.

    It went really well until the ex-Marine got up from his desk, walked up behind me silently and almost brained me with a backpack full of textbooks. Lucky for me the “victim” and I were taking a bow by the time he got close enough.

    I miss the ’80s.

  • azlibertarian April 4, 2019, 6:11 AM

    Re: Henry guns

    All of my guns are what I call “shooters”. They’re typically black and utilitarian. My favorites sometimes have some well-earned (but unintentional) dings or holster wear.

    But I do have one exception to this. My late father was born on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which those of us of a certain age used to celebrate every year. My dad had cancer, and as it advanced, he gave me the majority of his guns (and I inherited the small remainder after he passed). My dad was both a son of the Depression and of Norwegian heritage, which means that he was frugal to the point of being cheap. His guns spoke to that. When California started to go crazy about guns, he bought AWB-friendly MAC90s, instead of better guns. He had a Makorov, and his revolvers were from Taurus and Rossi instead of Smith&Wesson or Ruger. I love having his guns because they were his, but as far as guns go, they’re not especially impressive.

    But one day right before his cancer became terminal, he called and said that he’d bought both my brother and I one of these….

    https://www.henryusa.com/news/the-new-lincoln-bicentennial-rifle-to-be-auctioned-proceeds-to-charity/

    And this Henry is a very special gun for me.

  • Missy April 4, 2019, 6:49 AM

    I just got my concealed carry permit last month, but I do not have a handgun yet. A farmer friend has a range and will teach me proper use. I have the hand size of a twelve year old. My setting is rural, and my reason for arming myself is a very disconcerting, heart stopping, periodic 2 a.m. door banging. The guy parks up on the road so I can’t get a plate number. I may need to stop someone who could be high, violent and could get in here. The advice I am getting about handgun selection is all over the place, and I have analysis paralysis about all of this.

  • mary J April 4, 2019, 7:52 AM

    I am a 77 yr old, white-haired granny. When I was 16, our school had a rifle team. It was the ONLY interscholastic sport in which women could compete in our state. We brought our rifles to school and propped them up in the corner of the Algebra teachers homeroom or in our lockers. After school we went to the range (in the school’s basement), took .22 ammo from the locker there and practiced for our next match. The school also had 1/2 day sessions on the first day of hunting season, and the hunters in the school took their guns to school and put them in their lockers for hunting in the afternoon. NO ONE EVER CONCEIVED OF POINTING THEIR GUNS ON ANYONE. NO ONE WAS EVER SHOT AND KILLED. So, what was in us that is not in the youth today..it is called a conscience. We still believed int he 10 commandments, which were posted in the school. No one ever taught us to act out our feelings or that our feelings were more important than reason. Progressivist educators are taught not to have an opinion and just let anyone state their opinions on moral or social issues. There is no right or wrong, only competing opinions. One of the Columbine shooters actually acted out killing the “jocks” in an in-class assignment and no one ever alerted anyone that the kid may need mental health referrals. Guns don’t scare me, and I carry when I am in place where I am perceived as a “soft target’.

  • Matt Burchett April 4, 2019, 7:58 AM

    In 2016, a man placing flowers on his wife’s grave was shot and killed by two druggies in Mingo County, West Virginia just because they wanted to steal his vehicle. It’s always been a rough area, physically beautiful but with lots of meth and nothing-to-lose types.

    Ten years earlier, I was in the same graveyard doing family history research when two sketchy-looking guys walked over to me and started chatting about nothing much. I had my old 9mm Luger stuck in the front of my pants with a bandana partially draped over it, but the butt was clearly visible. Yes, it’s a ridiculous carry piece; I just took it with me on a lark. Anyhow, the conversation lasted 30 seconds at most and the guys turned to walk away. The event was unremarkable until one of the guys turned back and said, “I see you got a gun, mister. Was you expecting trouble?” With my sunniest smile and a big goofy wink I replied, “None. At. All.”

    I am not saying these guys meant to do me harm. But who knows? If their original intent was to prey upon me, the pistol peacefully “informed” them that I was dangerous prey. Fact is, most defensive uses of firearms don’t involve BANG.

  • Former Lurker April 4, 2019, 8:08 AM

    Missy, many commercial ranges have numerous handguns available that you can try until you find the one that fits your hand, that you’re comfortable with, and will hopefully do the job you need it to do if worse comes to worst. Not sure where you are, but Cabela’s and many other sporting good stores usually have a pretty good variety that you can at least pick up and check for a good fit before buying. I’m sure someone somewhere will try to sell you the biggest handgun in the biggest caliber known to man, but if you can’t hold it and can’t control it, then it will sit in a drawer and gather dust until the end of time. Try out as many as you can at a range or store until you find the one that feels right for you. Heck, depending on where you live, you may even want to check out some local pawn shops. Good luck.

  • Matt Burchett April 4, 2019, 8:37 AM

    Missy, I understand your dilemma about the advice being “all over the place” in selecting a defensive firearm. Let me pile on by suggesting a Ruger LCP in 22LR and the reasons in favor of it. It’s small and light, which means you’re more apt to have it with you when needed (Rule #1 in a gunfight). It’s comfortable to shoot, having no “kick” to speak of, which means you’re more likely to practice with it (a must). Revolvers can’t jam, fail to feed, or fail to eject. Revolvers are intuitive, simple, and utterly reliable (a must). This model gives you eight shots before reloading instead of six. It’s inexpensive to buy and to shoot. It can be equipped with a laser sight (nice). The only “downside” is the tameness of the ammunition. For defensive uses however, I think the positives outweigh that single negative. And as far as that negative goes, getting shot in the head with a “pitiful little 22” is going to have instant and permanent consequences. It’s the Mafia’s caliber of choice for the occasional, uh, quiet whack. My wife carries one. I’m a licensed firearm dealer and know a little about the subject. See the video below for an introduction to this little lifesaver.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6oW7W7-KIs

  • ghostsniper April 4, 2019, 9:32 AM

    Missy, as Lurker said, go try some out, see what feels good in your hand.
    As an inexperienced novice I would suggest you aim (pun, get it?) for a revolver, if a hand gun is your preference, as it is the simplest kind. Then, after you have some experience you can get an auto which has more firepower and options, and complexity. I will also suggest to stay with major name brands and buy only from well know sellers. Do NOT under any circumstance ever buy a gun from walmart for the rumor is they are 2nd rate stuff. That is, guns that did not live up to the manufacturers normal standards. BTW, there is no charge to go into any gun store and peruse guns and hold them in your hands and ask questions. People that work in guns stores are usually pretty knowledgeable about them. Don’t buy the first gun you see no matter what the store person says. Ask for it’s designation, brand, model, caliber, etc., then look it up on line and see what others say about it. Just yesterday I read about a gun I never heard of before. A Vulcan .50 caliber. I looked it up. It has a long time bad reputation. They blow up and kill people. If you any more questions just ask. Good luck, with the gun, and your ahem, problem, hope it works out for you peacefully.

  • Casey April 4, 2019, 1:48 PM

    Hi, Missy,

    Don’t be overwhelmed but listen for direct and simple advice. I concur on having a recover as it is natural to aim (practice) and foolproof.
    Tactics. A bad guy is on the road then he must not approach your door. IOW solve problems as far out as possible.
    I didn’t say shoot, but am letting you know how it goes.
    My sheriff dept deputies would show concern and look into it at least to get you information.

  • Casey April 4, 2019, 1:49 PM

    Revolver

  • David Spence April 4, 2019, 2:57 PM

    What a great thread! God bless America!!

  • Missy April 4, 2019, 3:20 PM

    Thanks so much for all of your your wisdom and advice Former Lurker, Matt, Ghost and Casey. My brother seconds the choice of a revolver, so that is where I will start. He said I am less likely to injure myself with such, and I think you all would agree but are too gentlemanly to say that. As for police interest in the door banger, it is nil. As for my nearest neighbor’s interest (a 60 year old liberal male) it is nil squared. My driveway is sloped downhill, almost 400′ long and this is a forest. Revolver shopping commences. I am not going to take this s#*t anymore mentally. Would a sticker on the door sidelight suggesting a handgun owner is present be a deterrent to further harassment, or is this a bad idea?

  • downeasthillbilly April 4, 2019, 4:48 PM

    Last comment first – I would advise against any advertising of your capabilities. I don’t know where you live, but the stickers just make gun grabbing easier by the “Authoritah’s.” ERPO’s and “SWATTING” as well.

    Second the revolver. My wife has an auto-immune form of arthritis. She can’t rack the slide on an automatic, but she has large hands, and can rock a revolver with padded grips. A .357 loaded with .38’s is effective, and has mass to absorb a light recoil.

  • AesopFan April 4, 2019, 5:17 PM

    Missy April 4, 2019, 6:49 AM
    …The advice I am getting about handgun selection is all over the place, and I have analysis paralysis about all of this.
    * * *
    Use the advice above, get something that works good enough, go for the “perfect fit” later.
    The gun sitting in the store won’t do you any good when somebody kicks in your door.

  • Casey Klahn April 4, 2019, 5:50 PM

    Home on my Mac, so I can say a bit more.

    Get a tactical flashlight that is the brightest you can find that runs on regular flashlight batteries. Not a car battery. You need to cut those dark forests with a solid light.

    Do you own a dog?

    Do you know where the car door banger is parked when he’s doing that? How is he related to your neighbors? Is it a mental health issue? Is it drug related? All these factors bring your risk level up or down.

    If I knew where he parked, I’d place a trail camera so as to get some photos at night. One that doe not have a flash. Cabela’s.

    Also, a real good pair of binoculars. Fairly big, say 7×50 or 9×30.

    A shotgun is also advisable. 20 gauge shotguns are deadly, but manageable by smaller people (if this is a concern). A shotgun will also manage wildlife.

    Then, you can have some peace of mind and I think you’ll be fine.

  • Gordon Scott April 4, 2019, 7:13 PM

    I was heading out of a hotel in Fargo, ND a couple of weeks ago. A young couple, both aged about 22, were checking in. He had a semiauto tucked into his pants. If his chest was 12:00, the pistol was tucked at about 4:00, toward the rear of his right hip. He didn’t have a belt. It was just jeans, pistol, him.

    I said, “Man, that looks kind of uncomfortable. I don’t think I could have one in that place.”

    He was very friendly, said it was very comfortable to him. He explained his choice of model, but his wife knew more than he did. She showed me her carry piece, a little semiauto that fit into a pocket on her back pack. Hers was baby blue.

    The female desk clerk was not even mildly disturbed by two pistol-packing youth checking in. I was surprised. I lived in Fargo-Moorhead for 14 years, and I don’t remember seeing anyone carry openly. But that was 20 years ago. Times change.

  • ghostsniper April 4, 2019, 7:23 PM

    Missy, your described geography is very similar to ours – downhill a long distance through dense woods.

    Look up all weather driveway sensors. Compare several models. They can be attached to the side of a tree and wirelessly set off a signal in your house, day or night. Similarly you can put one on your mailbox to let you know when the male dood/doodette comes. Being forewarned is fore armed. Wireless infrared video cameras can be very helpful too.

    You could be blobbed out on the couch at 9pm watching Deathwish 27 again and suddenly a small window pops up on your 92″ TV showing your recent stalker crawling down the driveway. With a touch to your phone a wireless weatherproof Bose 4 way speaker that looks like a rock next to the driveway can let out a realistic puma growl that will cause said stalker to heavily soil himself as the only thought in his mind now is to not become somethings midnight snack. You mute the TV and while eyeing the array of firearms littering your domain that you have extensive experience with and chuckling to yourself, you hear the diminishing screams as he crests the driveway and keeps going.

    Before you purchase a gun I strongly suggest you get some direct supervised experience handling and shooting several models. Remember, a revolver does not have an official safety. It will not fire if your finger is not on the trigger. THAT is the safety. Many gun stores offer classes for a variety of gun and related subjects. I strongly urge you to look into them.

    The psychological aspect of shooting a gun, especially at another human being, can be much more than you bargained for and can be detrimental to your overall well being if you make the wrong decision. In this day and age there is a very fine line between being right and being wrong. A proper class can help you understand this.

    I started shooting rimfire guns at age 4-5 under my dad’s direct supervision and since legal age 18 have owned multiple guns ever since, so about 46 years now. I have to really think about it in order to unravel the steps necessary to become a safe gun user.

  • Anonymous April 4, 2019, 8:42 PM

    Casey, the cops think the door banger is a teenager doing “pranks.” If so, why is this person not banging on other doors along my road? The neighbor who vandalized my mailbox and threatened me a few years back now plows snow from my driveway with good will and good cheer, so he is not the perp. I have broken no hearts nor done anything bad to anyone….well not for 40 or so years…so it is a mystery. Ghost, I did the deadly force “experience” at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas in December. I had no problem with any part of it, whacked the holographic perp as well as the live perp who came at meat me with a crow bar who I dispatched with two “shots.” All this from a former liberal pacifist (now a dues paying conservative). Yet I know that if faced with an intruder I could possibly hesitate and easily become a victim. I love the idea of the cameras….I have a critter cam here for watching my resident fox family’s sweet kits…but now I need to monitor the driveway and get comfortable and calm with a weapon. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful responses.

  • Missy April 4, 2019, 8:44 PM

    Um, “Anonymous” above is me.

  • Snakepit Kansas April 5, 2019, 5:10 AM

    Missy,
    Pretty good advice above from many. Ghost and Casey speak wisdom often, so re-read them a couple times.

    Ruger makes hammerless revolvers in .22LR and .38 (LCR models). Based on the description of your stature I am also suggesting the .22LR chambering. Skip the laser, they are just a placebo. Practice, practice and practice. Take basic and advanced handgun training. Get very comfortable with your firearm. Don’t think about anything witty or scary to say to anyone banging on your door. If they kick the door in you already know it is not the Welcome Wagon, let them have it. You will fight like you train, so train extensively.

    As for warnings on the door, I used to have a sticker that simply said “Steal here, die here”.

  • Marica April 5, 2019, 6:54 AM

    Missy– I am a small person. (In my mind I think I’m 5’7″ & 115 but in real life, I’m 5’3″ and 100 soaking wet.) My carry weapon is a Ruger SP101 .357mag with a 2.25 barrel and recessed hammer. I get that I’m giving away a lot of personal info here, but woman-to-woman, here are the reasons I made this choice years ago. First, although I do carry on my person, i.e., holstered at my hip, occasionally, most of the time my gun is in my sack– a backpack I carry as a purse. How do you plan to carry? In a holster? In a purse? If in a purse, a recessed hammer ensures nothing will get snagged on it. The short barrel length– while harder to be accurate at the range than a longer barrel– makes it easier to conceal on your person (especially in summer), and takes up less space in your bag. It’s also a bit lighter than a longer barrel. A .357 can chamber .38special caliber which is less expensive than .357, so it’s a smidge cheaper to practice (practice, practice).

    In the end, as others have said, you must feel comfortable with your carry weapon. And to that end, whatever you decide, I strongly recommend that after the first time you go shooting, you break your handgun down and clean it. To take apart a revolver, clean it, and put it back together again is to become intimately acquainted with it. (Though, truth be told, my favorite to clean is my 40 year old Marlin 30-30 lever action cowboy rifle.)

    When you decide to buy a second firearm, I recommend the Ruger Bearcat .22. Plinking is such fun!

    Also recommend practicing at an outdoor range if you can.

    And now, a funny story. Some years ago, before we had our own shooting range, we’d gone to our favorite outdoor range a bunch of times over the winter– so lots of layers of clothing. We went to the range in early spring, a few days before we were scheduled to go to an academic conference. I’d forgotten to take my shoulder pad to cushion the recoil of the long guns. I was all sorts of bruised. So, naturally, I wore sleeveless dresses at the conference. When asked about my beautiful black & purple shoulder, I did not lie. There is something to be said for shock value.

  • Marica April 5, 2019, 7:07 AM

    Missy– Here’s a link to an excellent web site about women & guns. https://www.corneredcat.com/

  • David Spence April 5, 2019, 7:49 AM

    Missy-Take a look at this semi-automatic: https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/mp-380-shield-ez-0
    I’ve got one and I can tell you that a child could rack the slide. Also a grip safety along with traditional one. For new shooters and anyone with arthritis or diminished grip strength, it is easy to load and shoot!

  • Missy April 5, 2019, 3:16 PM

    I love your site, Marica, and will subscribe momentarily. The corneredcat site is brilliant and about to provide hours of interesting reading. Snake and David, multiple thanks as well for the good advice.

  • azlibertarian April 5, 2019, 4:17 PM

    I’m going to second Maria’s recommendation of outdoor ranges. While you’re shopping for your gun, an indoor range attached to a gun shop will be your best bet. However the disadvantage of an indoor range (in my mind, at least) is the air quality. Lead bullets splattering on an indoor range’s steel backstop puts atomized lead into the air. The better indoor ranges will bring in fresh air with these huge air recycling systems, but some won’t go to that expense. I’ve got a former shooting buddy who had to give up his hobby because he developed lead poisoning simply by breathing the air at an indoor range.

  • DAN April 5, 2019, 4:22 PM

    HENRY lever guns ARE butter smooth, got to try one out couple years ago, totally impressed with the smooth action after using many marlins & 94s. WOW.

  • ghostsniper April 5, 2019, 5:38 PM

    “…but some won’t go to that expense…”

    They have no choice. It called a “fresh air exchanger” and it must be specified on the plans that will be submitted for a building permit which has been required in all US jurisdictions for more than 20 years.

    The extraction fans are placed on the roof directly over the pit areas and the air exchange rate is determined by the square footage of the shooting lanes, typically, around 2000 cfm per fan. The system is checked every 90 days by the local fire marshal. I have designed 4 indoor shooting ranges, 1 just last year.

    @Dan, that is true what you say about the Henry’s. They are machined to closer tolerances than the competitors and that is reflected in their prices. Last week I saw some Henry’s at Walmart for less than half what I am used to seeing them go for and that somewhat confirms the idea that Walmart is selling 2nd rate stuff. I wonder how long Henry thinks they can get away with that? And if it’s true, how would you find out “what” is 2nd rate about them? For me, that sort of thing is important.

  • Prescilla Beaudry April 5, 2019, 8:27 PM

    And how do you vote? Did you vote for the scumbags that are taking away our rights to self defense? You would probably never admit it…..

  • azlibertarian April 5, 2019, 9:12 PM

    Ghostsniper,
    I’ll take your word about the air system requirements for new indoor ranges, but my shooting pal did develop rather serious health problems traced to his then-frequent sessions at an indoor range (long established, BTW).

    For me, if the choice is between “fresh air” and air that’s been run through a ” fresh air exchanger”, I’ll take the former. As always, everyone has a different circumstance and YMMV.

  • NITZAKHON April 6, 2019, 2:28 AM

    Well said, thank you.

    What amazes me is the continual and ongoing hostility to guns by the majority of my fellow American Jews. Our SJW Rabbi would have a cow if he knew I carried into our shul.

    http://redpilljew.blogspot.com/2018/11/never-again-why-are-most-american-jews.html

  • pst314 April 6, 2019, 7:20 AM

    “fire extinguishers…Strange how people often cater for unlikely risks before likely ones, isn’t it?”

    No, the people I know who own firearms also have fire extinguishers and other safety equipment. Maybe you assume they do not have them because they talk about firearms more than about other safety equipment. But that is because nobody is trying to take away their fire extinguishers and life hammers.

  • az April 6, 2019, 7:27 AM

    az: The air pumps are at the rear of the building, over the area where the lead is terminated. The exhaust must be a minimum 4′ above any part of the roof within a 10′ radius of the chimney. The entrance vents and fans must be on the opposite side of the building, a minimum of 35′ away from the chimneys. Therefore, there is an air current inside the building going from the front where the shooters stand and the rear where the targets are. I’m pretty certain, though not 100% positive and I don’t have the documentation to prove it, that it is almost impossible for lead vapors to do what you say under the conditions described. However, I have long experience with building and zoning departments nationwide and am well aware of the inefficiency of gov’t institutions and that is why I said I am not 100% positive. Your friend may have gotten lead poisoning from sitting in urban traffic. If he got it from an indoor range then everyone else that used the facility would have too and it would have been shut down or investigated, and he would have sued them for damages.

    I have used an indoor range 2 times and did not like either one. Loud noises inside a contained space are weird no matter what sort of hearing protection you use. I don’t like being packed in like sardines with other shooters. The expense is on the moon compared to nicely equipped outdoor ranges, which are themselves on the moon compared to my own backyard. Here, safe shooting is mostly left to the responsibility of the shooter whom can be held accountable for his behavior rather than gov’t entities that are never held responsible for their routinely irresponsible behavior.

  • Chris Mallory April 6, 2019, 8:10 AM

    Revolvers are often a good choice. But you do have to consider the trigger pull. Many DA revolvers have trigger pulls north of 10 pounds. For someone with weak wrists, keeping the muzzle on target while pulling that heavy trigger is almost impossible. Even a slight angle will lead to inches off target at distances.

    If you can find a range, pay to rent some handguns and see what works best for you. The LCR by Ruger is a fairly decent choice. It does have a smoother trigger than most. The new Smith and Wesson Shield EZ would also be one to look at.

    You do need to remember that small pistols are easy to carry, but they are usually not pleasant to shoot. The Ruger LCP is a very easy pistol to slip into a pocket. I carry one at times. But I seldom empty a box of ammo through the LCP like I do my 1911’s. It is just an unpleasant firearm to shoot.

  • Chris Mallory April 6, 2019, 8:22 AM

    No, Wal Mart does not sell 2nd quality firearms. Wal Mart does buy in huge quantities to get bulk discounts. Wal Mart will also spec firearms with fewer options to sell cheap as “Wal Mart” exclusives. The wood for the stock might be a cheaper variety for the exclusive than the mechanically same firearm you buy at the LGS. Or it might have a different finish.
    You can find “blem” or “sales sample” firearms for sale at reduced prices at firearms stores. KY Gun Co. seems to sell quite a few Tarsus/Rossi blem guns.

  • DAN April 6, 2019, 10:13 AM

    ghost: was surprised to see that henry decided to put out a mares leg, rossi came out a few years ago with one & just for the sake of steve mc’queen had to buy one, SHIT AKWARD to shoot but it’s a bad ass looker. remember when rossi came out with their coach gun back in the 70s mule eared double bbl.12 ga. a brute on the shoulder but it LOOKED COOL AS HELL, shot it enough that it got loose at the hinge,sold it & got a stack bbl.12ga.berretta grouse gun, packed it in the truck for years,never shot a grouse with it tho. best comment posting is no surprise we are talking GUNS . IT IS AMERICAN DIGEST !! cheers all

  • ghostsniper April 6, 2019, 2:30 PM

    WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE
    We got the dvd series a few years ago and watched it.
    Josh Randalls Mares Leg was a 9 shot .45 but he carried 45/70 cartridges on his belt.
    Those 50’s TV legend guns.
    Lucas McCains “The Rifleman” BIG loop lever was another.
    Saw an episode where he lit a buncha matches stuck in a log with that gun from 20 feet away.
    Riiiight.
    That gun musta been as loose a 2 dollah hoe to be racked like he did it.
    My lever is 64 years old and is as tight as Mary.

  • ghostsniper April 6, 2019, 2:32 PM

    Never seen that before.
    My comment TO az above says it is FROM az.
    It’s not.
    Most strange.

  • ghostsniper April 6, 2019, 2:37 PM

    “No, Wal Mart does not sell 2nd quality firearms.”

    How do you know that?
    1/2 price guns is quite a discount.
    I’ve heard the 2nd rate Walmart guns from multiple sources.
    Anyone buy a Henry from Walmart and can validate either way?
    I saw a Rem 700 in 5.56 for less than $400 there. Nice, if it’s true.

  • lpdbw April 8, 2019, 1:57 PM

    Missy, I know I’m running the risk of adding confusion, but really, I’m not going to contradict any of the advice you received, just add more food for thought as you move through this.

    If you ask enough people, you will eventually get the advice that you shouldn’t carry this gun or that gun, in this caliber or that caliber, because they would be useless in a real-world encounter.

    You will likely be told this by people who have never had a real-world encounter, because so few of us actually do, myself included. But they will have a definite opinion that, for instance, a .25 auto will only make the man mad, or a .44 Magnum hit to the little toe will take the perp’s head clean off.

    There are people who’ve done intensive studies of this. One such person is .

    Boiling all this down for you, my takeaway from his analysis matches the gist of the advice here: Use a gun you can operate safely and confidently. Accuracy is more important than caliber. In general, regardless of caliber, one shot to the torso or head may not be enough, even with a large caliber gun, and, again in general, two shots often does the trick for just about any caliber. All handguns fail to stop the perp sometimes; it is not a magic wand.

  • lpdbw April 8, 2019, 1:58 PM

    I goofed the link above.
    It’s Greg Ellifritz.
    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

  • soapweed April 11, 2019, 8:11 PM

    As we were an industrial/heavy commercial mechanical contractor in the Colo, Neb, Wyo, and SD markets for 40 years, I will agree w/o reservation that most governmental organizations having anything to do with mechanical devices/concepts are absolute idiots. Exceptions are welcome and refreshing. More than half of the mechanical engineers are also inept. Nearly ALL fire depts. are clueless on design concepts and corresponding op/maintenance. Be safe and go practice out in the great Creator’s domain…..