Cousin wants first gun for home protection...


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Stover954rr
January 22, 2008, 10:16 AM
Hey Guys,
First off, I hope everyones new year is off to a great start!

My cousin who is the same age as me (25yrs) and has never owned or fired a real gun, now wants a home protection shotgun after a near by break in. He has always made comments like "your crazy", or other slightly anti-ish comments when discussing my collection. I guess I am bringing this up because he has always been visually awkward and uncomfortable around guns. (no on in his family owns guns either including his father).

Is it wrong that this makes me uncomfortable? I mean someone owning a gun who has never handled them before? I know that it is my duty as someone who has owned/shot guns my whole life to teach him correct handling and gun safety.

But here is a question I asked him, as he has a number of close friends who come over frequently and who also have never owned or grown-up with guns. And are not familiar with gun fuctioning.

"Are you going to keep it loaded?"
him: No
"Do you think you are going to have time to load it in case of an emergency?"
him: No

Do those of you who don't have a CCW keep your home defense gun loaded? If so what safety precautions do you take when storing (while still keeping it readily available).

Thanks

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News Shooter
January 22, 2008, 10:18 AM
Everyone has a different way. I have three rounds of 00 buck in the tube of my Winchester Defender, safety off action open

enfield
January 22, 2008, 10:18 AM
Your cousin needs a dog.

DFW1911
January 22, 2008, 10:28 AM
Your cousin needs a dog.

I agree and no, I don't thinks it's "wrong" for you to feel uncomfortable.

I'm guessing your cousin may be resistant to putting in the time and getting the necessary training on how to properly own and use a firearm. Hopefully I'm wrong and you can help him become a responsible and safe owner.

Good luck,
DFW1911

Waywatcher
January 22, 2008, 10:31 AM
Take him shooting. No substitute for experience.

Do those of you who don't have a CCW keep your home defense gun loaded? If so what safety precautions do you take when storing (while still keeping it readily available).


No ccw, I keep all my guns without a round in the chamber but full magazines. Cycle the action once, regardless of rifle/shotgun/handgun and then it's ready to go. It's a compromise between gun safety and security--also helps prevent misuse by unauthorized persons.

I keep my pistols somewhere out of immediate sight but quick to access. Long guns are in a safe.

Stover954rr
January 22, 2008, 10:33 AM
Enfield, that is a good point. I am going to mention that too him and see what he says. lol
I agree and no, I don't thinks it's "wrong" for you to feel uncomfortable.

I know, but I feel like I should be excited about getting another uninformed citizen on the educated side.

highorder
January 22, 2008, 10:35 AM
your friend needs some trigger time before he keeps a HD gun, in any condition.

do take him shooting, and keep the training realistic, and close range. After that, find a youth 20 ga pump, and some buckshot.

Waywatcher
January 22, 2008, 10:38 AM
After that, find a youth 20 ga pump, and some buckshot.

If he's a tiny man. "Regular" shotguns are made to fit 5' 10" (+/-) folk.

I prefer 12ga low recoil rounds over a 20ga.

3pairs12
January 22, 2008, 10:39 AM
What about less than lethal option? If he is anti-ish and you are uncomfortable with his wanting a gun for HD, suggest less than lethal. However it is a lot of fun to bring an uninformed citizen to the educated side

Wedge
January 22, 2008, 10:44 AM
Something is better than nothing. Mossberg 20 ga. pump is probably a great place to start. Blasting some cans with a 20 ga and some birdshot should give him a nice way to start learning to use the gun and having some fun.

A dog certainly helps for that early warning.

everallm
January 22, 2008, 11:35 AM
Which will take longer, training him or training a dog, go with the shorter option.

highorder
January 22, 2008, 11:45 AM
I am 6' 0" and prefer the youth length of pull, and shorter stock barrel for HD work.

personal preference. practice is crucial.

Stover954rr
January 22, 2008, 12:51 PM
Any one else have examples of how they store/keep their HD shotguns? (loaded, open action, ect).

Thanks a lot for all the input guys!
~Russ

kludge
January 22, 2008, 01:05 PM
Don't keep long guns (including shotguns) with a round in the chamber, they are not designed like pistols, most long guns can go off after a fall or drop. If you keep the magazine loaded, keep the chamber empty and the action closed... if you keep the action open, a round will rattle around, and likely get stuck when you try to chamber it.

lucky_fool
January 22, 2008, 01:10 PM
"Are you going to keep it loaded?"
him: No
"Do you think you are going to have time to load it in case of an emergency?"
him: No

Remind him that it isn't a magic talisman, it's a tool. If the tool isn't ready to be used and the operator ready to use it then it's just taking up space.

Definitely try to get him to the range before he buys anything. If he's really uncomfortable with guns and doesn't like them that will do one of two things: he'll either get over it or he'll decide that getting a gun isn't really for him.

I'm all for getting somebody new over to our side, but it sounds like this new-found desire to own a gun is a knee-jerk reaction rather than a reasoned decision. If he isn't going to be serious about owning a gun for defense then he'd probably be better off spending that few hundred dollars on something else.

Hopefully he's serious about it and you've found a new range buddy.

Soybomb
January 22, 2008, 01:17 PM
Take him to the range a few times or better yet try to get him to take a safety class with you, go with him if you have to. At least you'll be trying to help him be educated and safe.

Technosavant
January 22, 2008, 01:32 PM
Remind him that it isn't a magic talisman

That's the exact phrase that came to my mind. Having a gun doesn't mean you won't be attacked, and simple possession doesn't mean that you can repel such an attack. He needs to learn about firearms first, while building shooting skills and a warrior mindset. Only then can he think about purchasing a firearm for home defense.

That reminds me of another anecdote I heard once, where some guy bought a .22 rifle (don't remember if it was a bolt action or semiauto), only one box of ammo, didn't even clean or shoot it, and expected an unloaded .22 rifle to keep his home safe from all felonious attack. Some people really do think guns are magical; they'll get up, load themselves, and just go shooting folks on its own. That's the idea behind gun bans, and the idea behind folks like this.

NCHornet
January 22, 2008, 01:53 PM
Don't keep long guns (including shotguns) with a round in the chamber, they are not designed like pistols, most long guns can go off after a fall or drop.

Oh Really, so I reckon all of us who deer hunt or bird hunt were really living dangerous all these years!! C'mon the gun has a saftey use it and keep a round in the hole!! How many deer do you think I would have killed if I racked a shotgun or chambered a rifle round after the deer was in sight?? There is much less of a chance dropping a weapon in the home than in the woods and I have never had a rifle of scattergun fire unless I pulled the trigger.
Also what difference does it matter if we have a CCW? Many of still use a long gun for home protection. I keep a Mossburg Mariner with pistol grip by my headboard loaded with one in the hole at all times. It hs never gone bang if I didn't pull the trigger. A unloaded gun is nothing more than a baseball bat, SWING AWAY!!!
To the OP take him shooting, let him see what the gun can do and how long it takes to load and fire. Many people change their minds hundreds of times the more experience they get with firearms, give him a chance but get him off on the right foot.
NCH

Jesse H
January 22, 2008, 05:58 PM
There's a little bit of a difference between hunting, when you've actually got hands on your weapon vs other "modes."

I don't keep one in the pipe of my 870 because daily it gets moved from my bedroom closet to my truck, then from my truck to my patrol car. Reverse that at the end of shift. If I actually carried it as a primary weapon, yeah I'd have one in the pipe.

TDU
January 22, 2008, 06:15 PM
Maybe he needs to take on of the well thought out begginer NRA self defense classes before he does anything. Or just take him to the range with some of your guns and get him aquanted with loading and firing them. Than after your day at the range take him home and have him help in the cleaning of all of the guns he fired and what it takes to upkeep such a weapon. This will do one of two things. Get him so pumped about learning about weapons like you have or just turn him around and change his mind on the whole thing. It is a win win situation.
TDU

Lonestar49
January 22, 2008, 07:28 PM
...

You can help him overcome "many" fears of the unknown since you 2 are related..

The key is your continued approach as his trusted friend, teacher, advisor, and if done right, his mentor..

Give him the one on one, step by step, week after week, however long it takes, for him to over-come the fears of the unknown, and he will become another qualified gun owner that (hopefully, honestly) can look back and laugh at himself, on how safe, and simple, it all was, and is, by never becoming complacent.

The key is knowing when his strength and mental capacity has been tapped (reached) for each day.. until he shows you, he's got the natural staying power..


Ls

akodo
January 22, 2008, 07:41 PM
you need to sit him down and have a talk. Or basically, You as him what he thinks, kind of like you did when you asked him if he is going to keep it loaded and if he thinks he would have time to load it. Except don't do it in a yes or no manner.

Ask him
-"Where do you plan to keep the gun stored?"
-"What features about a shotgun do you find appealing?"
-"how much time do you plan on practicing to initially learn how to use it, and how much time keeping in practice?"
-"do you plan to add any accessories to make using it in the dark easier? any accessories to aid your ability to make sure it is a burglar and not your *future* son sneaking back in?"
-"once you have kids, do you plan on keeping the gun around? Is this because you value your property and children in a very different manner? Which do you value more, and which would it make sense to use lethal force to protect" (use that if he is the type who would say he only wants the gun when living alone, but not when he has a family)
-"Crash! you hear a breakin, do you have any material possessions worth going down and getting in a gunfight over, besides your life that is, if not, what tactics are you going to use? What room is going to be your saferoom? do you have access ot a phone there for 911?"
-"are you familiar at all with recoil"
-"what method of storage are you considering that will both keep the gun safe and yet allow it to be easily readied to defend yourself"
-"screw the flat screen TV, your life is now in grave danger your *future* children's lives are in grave danger, are you going to try and scare him away, are you going to play judge, jury, and executioner, or is your goal simply to make him stop being a threat?
-"While it would be great to see him simply run off once he spots your gun, do you really think you could kill someone threatening to 'cut up' you or your children, even if your goal is to simply stop him from being a threat, and his death is really just a side-effect"
-"Once he is stopped, and he is not dead yet, are you going to give him first aid? finish him off?"
-"If you do end up using deadly force to stop a threat, how likely is the county prosecutor around here to try and press charges against you anyways, or believe your story? How many months of nightmares and/or days in counciling do you expect to have? Do you think insurance will cover that?"
-"do you consider your future children worth large legal bills if that is the only way to save them?"

Take notes, don't get sucked into debating where he is wrong. That is what the notes are for. Often once people start really thinking hard about it a lot of stupid ideas fall away. At the end ask him if he would like to clarify any points, and ask him if he would like your opinion on any places where you beleive him to be factually incorrect (like what kind of performance to expect from a shotgun), and if he would like your opinion on a lot of the more moral based issues

Blackbeard
January 22, 2008, 07:54 PM
Take him shooting, or better yet, get him an NRA safety class. Then he might feel differently about whether he needs/wants a gun and whether he should keep it loaded. Right now he's operating from a position of ignorance. He can't make informed judgements without proper education on the subject.

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