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Help Me Convince My Dad To Load His HD Shotgun...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sulaco, Jun 13, 2011.

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  1. Sulaco

    Sulaco Member

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    So my parents had some interesting things happen last night.

    My sister (adult) is staying with them while she is going through some physical therapy for torn ligaments in her ankle. She had looked outside for some reason and noticed that the dome light was on in her car. She thought it was strange because she's very particular and doesn't even turn that light on (and hasn't been driving much of late due to her injury). So she asked my dad (it was after dark) to go out and check on it. He noticed that the doors were locked and so he unlocked the car, got in, turned the light to the "door only" position it's normally in, locked the car and went inside.

    He hardly got in the door good before their dog, a large and very territorial collie, went berserk. She was barking very loudly in that, "Something is wrong and you should let me out!" sort of bark, pacing, looking out the front windows of the house. By this time, my mom had gotten up and looked out one of the windows.

    She saw a figure walking very quickly out of the driveway (this should not be happening in this area) and told my dad. By the time he got out, the guy was gone. Their neighbor is a close friend of mine (and a cop) and so they called him and he and my dad looked around a bit but didn't see anything.

    They have some school kids in the area and so they just figured it was some of them messing about (Summer time and all of that) and went back in. Around 11pm that night (which was about 2hrs or so later), the doorbell rang. My sister said it wasn't just a quick, "ding", it was a solid, long ring. My dad again went out but whoever it was had taken off by the time he got out.

    So they called the sheriff's dept. and a deputy came out and drove around for a while.

    They never did hear anything else and the funny thing is, when the doorbell rang, the dog never budged. Very strange for her because she even barks at me some when I come over and she knows me very well (like I said, she's very territorial).

    They later found out that one neighbor's dog also went nuts around the same time theirs did and they weren't sure why. And another neighbor did hear some noises in the woods on their property.

    About a year or so ago, they had some vehicular break-ins, but nothing has happened since then.

    So my dad has a nice (newer) Remington 870 he keeps in the house, but it isn't loaded. He pulled out some buckshot and put it nearby, but still wouldn't load it.

    I did my best to convince him he might as well pick up a rock or a brick, but he wouldn't listen. Any ideas on how to convince him?

    My parents are good people, live in a good area and don't have any enemies or even associate with people who would "mess with them" or anything like that.

    They are going out of town this weekend and my wife and I are going to stay at their house to take care of things and the dog until they get back. I am not worried for us because if some idiot messes about while I am there, I have no qualms about putting him in the ground (and I am ALWAYS armed). But that's a week away so I am a bit concerned for my parent's safety.

    Any serious advice is much appreciated!
     
  2. youngda9

    youngda9 member

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    Ask him what he would have done when he opened the door to some guy with bad intensions. Or if the persone kicked in the front door or came through the rear of the house in some way. Get the gears turning.

    If that doesn't work then it'll take something bad to happen for him to change his ways. Sorry, but that's how most people are wired.
     
  3. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    Your Dad is a grown up and over 21.

    He'll do what he feels comfortable with.

    AFS
     
  4. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    you can always tell him that people who dont load their weapons are at a higher rate of being killed by an intruder........
     
  5. moonpie

    moonpie Member

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    get him a good shellholder and put it on his buttstock. keep the dog loaded
     
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Suggest he do what I do -- cock the empty gun and put it on safe. Now the slide can be racked only by taking the gun off safe and pulling the trigger, or by pressing the slide lock.

    Then load the magazine. It takes two distinct acts to put the gun in firing condition, but in an emergency that can be accomplished as you shoulder it.
     
  7. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Member

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    This.

    I will ask a simple question with relatives if they ask my advice: "What good is that ___ if you don't keep it loaded and handy? Will you really have time to go fetch it and load it when the time comes?"

    Other than that, it isn't my place to lecture them and I'm sure they would find it annoying.

    I try not to harp on the subject or people (moms and pops included) will tune out your constant nagging. Maybe just an interjection at an oppoirtune moment like "That's why I keep my ___ loaded and handy, otherwise I'd just keep it in the safe since I'd never get to it in time." If they want a discussion, they will initiate it and then I'll talk more.

    My dad is the "loaded 38 in the top (otherwise empty) dresser drawer" kind of guy. I personally feel that this is a poor choice and more of a liability than an asset, but it is his decision...not mine.
     
  8. InkEd

    InkEd Member

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    It's a pump shotgun. Pretty safe to keep loaded. Load the tube, leave the chamber empty and use the safety for an extra precaution. It's slow to load an 870, I don't know what he would do in an emergency. Good luck.
     
  9. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Sorry, no advice here. I can't understand the thought process of having a gun and ammo, yet keeping it unloaded any more than I can understand having a territorial and protective dog that's going nuts and not letting it out to do its job. That dog knew that evil was present, let her go take care of business.
     
  10. Sulaco

    Sulaco Member

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    Thanks for the responses. The shellholder is probably a good idea and one I might look in to.

    As to the post about "nagging" them, I don't, won't and haven't nagged them. But when something happens to put things in perspective, I want to make sure I approach it if the chance arrives (as it did). Don't know where you got the idea that I was "nagging" them.

    Yeah, I agree about letting the dog out. Unfortunately my mom loves that dog like a child and would never put it in harm's way. Frustrating eh?

    Gotta love em though!
     
  11. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Member

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    I'm not saying you were nagging, it is just very easy to come across that way even though you are genuinely concerned for their safety.

    I agree that now is the time to broach the subject.
     
  12. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

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    You could tell him the Supreme Court thought it was a bad idea to have an unloaded gun. ;)
     
  13. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    The incidents that you describe don't amount to much (no damage to the car and no evidence of a break-in). Don't get paranoid. Have the gun ready but no need to load it unless the danger is more imminent. (You increase the risk of accident if it's loaded.)
     
  14. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    An unloaded defense gun is like trying to put on your seatbelt just before a crash or installing batteries in your smoke detector after a fire has started.
     
  15. kva47

    kva47 Member

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    I think moonpie's on the right track. I'd get him one of those $5 nylon buttstock shell cuffs. See if you can convince him to keep that on the gun, and keep the gun cocked, empty, and on safe behind a coat in his closet. If he won't keep it loaded, at least he'll have shells ready to load instead of in a box somewhere.
     
  16. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Ditto. I leave rounds in the tube and the safety off --all I have to do is rack it when I pick it up, then put the safety on. Maybe I do it backwards from some out there, but I have my reasons.

    Some time at the range with dad would be good family time and familiarization with the weapon.

    I'm not that excited about leaving a loaded chamber on my HD weapon --I keep my conceal carry piece by my side 24/7 though, so I always have a loaded chamber in reach. Instead, I keep the shotgun or rifle with mag loaded, chamber empty, and safety off.

    If he is worried about leaving it loaded and forgetting about the condition of the weapon, then perhaps a revolver would be a better choice. At the bare minimum, he should keep the tube loaded, or else trade it in on a baseball bat.

    Another loaded shotgun safety trick is to load the tube and use red (or whatever) masking tape around the slide. Now he will know the shotgun is exactly as he left it --tube loaded, chamber empty.

    Whatever he does, he should be ready to do it at 3am and half asleep. I champion having a GOOD alarm system, arming it at night, and using that as an early warning.
     
  17. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    It sounds like your dad needs a proton pack. Just remember, tell them not to cross the streams if mom gets one too.
     
  18. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    If he doesn`t want to keep a loaded gun at the ready......... save your breath.
    Not all think a like............
     
  19. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I've had more than one 'bump in the night' type of scenarios where I've gone out armed. So far, I've not encountered anything. Usually the dog knocks something off the table, scares himself and they both start barking. Or the cat is outside and wants back in, or is killing a mole or something like that. The other night, I thought I heard a car door keep closing. My car is usually locked, but my wife refuses to and even leaves her key in the ignition.
    "We live in the country, what could happen?" is usually her response.

    I'm not overly concerned about 2 legged predators. We're far enough off the beaten path that anyone on the property would probably only be a neighbor. Still after dark, anything and anyone gets met with a bright light and a loaded gun. As far as four legged predators, I have chickens to keep after, so the occasional raccoon or coyote isn't unheard of.

    At current count, I have three guns loaded or close enough to it in my house. 12 gauge in the gun cabinet on one end of the house, 9mm carbine and .45 pistol in the bedroom. The only one not loaded is the .45, which has two full mags in the case that can be loaded in about .5 seconds. To get really nit picky, I could have any gun in my house loaded in seconds, except for two, the muzzle loader and the Arisaka which I have no ammo for. Everything else can be hot and ready in virtually no time.

    But, your dad is a grown man, entitled to his own opinions and actions. For many, a near miss (and I would classify the OP's post as a near miss) is all it takes to get over the taboo of keeping a loaded gun in the house. But a lot of people just aren't comfortable with it, never will be, and therefore will always be unprepared. Hopefully, your folks will be safe and never have to deal with anything ugly like a break in, or even petty theft from a car. You, and a lot of us here on THR, think otherwise. Hopefully you can convince him to be a bit more prepared, but don't badger the man over it.
     
  20. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    Prayers for your Dad he will need some time to change his mind.
     
  21. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    He's not thinking about a home invasion, just some thieves messing around the property so he doesn't see a need to load the gun.

    It wouldn't matter anyway since he won't take it to the door nor would he likely shoot someone over a property crime.

    Advise him that he can load it without chambering a round and that it would be perfectly safe that way for him to carry and still be able to chamber and fire if he found more need than he assumes.
     
  22. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    It took some experience to drill me into not panicking at the sight of a snake. If the dad in question has reservations about over reacting with a loaded gun in a panick situation, I can understand and respect that.

    Status of my HD shotgun: Loaded magazine, hammer down on empty chamber, safety off. Everyone home warned to treat it as loaded.
     
  23. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I would be more worried about his practice of answering the door and going outside when doorbells ring at odd hours. What on Earth would he have done if there *HAD* been a nogoodnick out there? What's the plan? That's a recipe for disaster, armed or not. You don't leave your castle when the Vikings are swimming in the moat.
     
  24. Sulaco

    Sulaco Member

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    I agree Cosmoline, my first thought when they told me he went outside when the doorbell rang was, "unarmed?" But yeah, that's just how it is I guess.

    On the bright side, I got a chance to talk to him and my mom and they decided to keep the 870 with a full magazine, under the bed, easily accessible, but out of the way.

    I mentioned the analogy that Shawn gave a few posts back and that seemed to get them thinking.

    It was their idea which I felt good about. I've been very "tactful" in my approach, careful not to sound condescending or overbearing and it's obviously paid off. I hate that a "near miss" has caused them to think more about their security, but I am thankful nothing bad happened.

    Now let's just pray that nothing bad does happen!

    Thanks for the input guys, it helps to process this stuff and even though my parents are definitely not anti's, it's a similar situation and so good practice for all of us.
     
  25. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    What's the rationale for not keeping shells in the magazine at least?

    Have him do a test, from full sleep mode to up, moving around, coherent, and loading the shells. I bet it takes a full 30 seconds for most people if the shells are in close proximity to the gun. Longer if you need to go to separate rooms or unlock the gun case.

    So say it's 30 seconds of undistracted time. What can happen in 30 seconds or more, say minutes, when you are multitasking with calling 911, listening for noises, etc?
     
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