Should I buy a handgun?
August 18, 2005 12:50 PM Subscribe
Should I buy a handgun? I'm considering purchasing one for home defense.
posted by darkness to sports, hobbies, & recreation (78 answers total)
A couple events have had me a little concerned over the ability of the police to protect me.
The first, and most serious event, was a couple years ago. I lived in on a higher traffic street in a less affluent part of town. A couple cars got into a traffic accident, which escalated into a shooting. Luckily nobody was actually shot, but it scared the bejesus out of me. It took the police about 2 minutes to arrive, but by that time the person with the gun had fled.
This kind of brought it home to me that bad / stupid people have guns and aren't afraid to use them. It also made me realize that police can't be everywhere all the time. They can arrive quickly, but things can get bad very, very fast and when someone is shooting a gun, 2 minutes is a very, very long time.
The 2nd event was about a month ago, and is not even close to being as dramatic as the first. This happened in a much more affluent part of a different town, and is somewhat more remote. Around 11am, I noticed a guy poking around outside the house. He is nowhere near the power/gas/water meters, is not wearing a uniform and isn't holding anything in the way of tools/paper/clipboard. I don't see any cars parked in my driveway or on the street close to my house. I call the city police, and they me I'm out of their jurisdiction (which I now know I'm not) and I should call the county sheriff. The sheriff tells me that it's probably a guy from the cable company checking to see if I'm stealing cable. I agree that this is probably the case, but would still like them to come out and verify that this is true, rather than I go out alone, by my self, with nobody in earshot, and confront this unknown guy. They refuse, tell me to have more important things to do, and ask me to call back if he refuses to leave. I go out and confront the guy, he tells me he is from "peninsula windows" and I could use some new double pane windows. But oddly, he has no business cards, quickly excuses himself, and takes off. I checked, and there is a "peninsula windows" company, but they clean windows, not replace them. I'm convinced he was going to try to break in.
So, I'm a little concerned that the police couldn't arrive in time if something bad does happen, and that they don't even want to try to prevent what now seems like an attempted crime. I think it might be wise to purchase a handgun, in case something more serious happens in the future.
I was raised to believe guns are dangerous & bad, people shouldn't own them since they fall into the wrong hands with alarming frequecy (columbine comes to mind), and a gun owner is 3(?) times more likely to shoot a family member than an intruder (don't remember where I heard this from). I still think this is somewhat true, but as long as I'm a responsible gun owner, does the risk still outweigh the benefits? My wife thinks this is a good idea, but I am unsure that a gun would really increase my chances of not getting hurt in the event of someone breaking in while I am home.
For the record: I live in california, don't drink, and am generally a responsible person, other than often driving a touch too fast. There are no children in the house, but there are other house-mates who are also OK with the idea. I'm really nonviolent, and a vegetarian, hunting with my gun would be out of the question.