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ThinkingAboutIt
09-13-2009, 8:30 PM
I grew up in a family that had guns, but only as a "just in case". My brother would shoot his occasionally, but other than that I haven't been around them much, and to be honest I have a fear of them. But my fear of someone breaking in and harming me/family is stronger.
I have been thinking of getting one, but am hesitant because I don't know where I would store it with a toddler in the house that would be safe yet accessible. I also worry about it being more of a hazard than a help (stories about people getting shot with their own gun), and more.
Any thoughts here? Should I get one, should I not? And if so what tips can you give me? Thanks so much.

SSP.Tactical
09-13-2009, 10:09 PM
You have the right attitude and questions when considering a Firearm for personal defense.

There are many ways to secure your Firearm (store it) while preventing unauthorized access from intruders, your toddler (or any other children for that matter). These options will also allow fast access for emergency situations that require self defense in the home.

As for Firearm selection - I would recommend finding a person who is VERY EXPERIENCED and SAFETY MINDED, then go to a Shooting Range with Gun Rentals. Try Firing, LOADING, Unloading, and handling each weapon until you determine which one is most suitable. If you are still uncertain, then hiring a Firearms Instructor might be the best choice.

I have witnessed many men and women that cannot LOAD a firearm they own for personal defense, and further, cannot effectively fire the weapon.

As for getting shot with your own weapon - you need to train, train, train!

Areas like:

Room to Room Searching Techniques
Weapon Retention training
Close Quarters Training

and other training can really help to prevent that scenario.

Bottom line: If you don't have a Firearm and the "Bad Guys" do, you are as good as dead in my opinion.

Note: this is MY professional opinion in a quick and hasty message. DO NOT take this as a set of instructions from me on what to do, or not to do. I am just offering FOOD FOR THOUGHT.....nothing more.

CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL before you buy a FIREARM.....you need to be educated to make the right choice!

Be Safe and Good Luck!

wildhawker
09-13-2009, 10:17 PM
There are many knowledgeable women on this forum that can better address these questions from such a perspective. However, generally:

...and to be honest I have a fear of them. But my fear of someone breaking in and harming me/family is stronger.

Some great posts in this thread (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=220189&page=4) (start w/ post #144) and this post from earlier in the thread (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=3038458&postcount=106) (ignore some of the noise in between); mmartin and KylaGWolf made some excellent points on the subject of fear.

I have been thinking of getting one, but am hesitant because I don't know where I would store it with a toddler in the house that would be safe yet accessible.

There are options like a GunVault available if you're talking about a handgun. For effective home defense (especially for a newer shooter) I would strongly suggest a 20 gauge shotgun for your primary defensive firearm; Chuck Hawks elaborates in this excerpt:

"20 Gauge

The 20 is an excellent self-defense caliber, particularly for those who dislike the recoil of the 12 gauge. I recommend the 20 gauge over the more popular 12 for home defense. Choose the 20 gauge 3" shell Federal "Classic" #2 buckshot (F207-2-5PK) with 18 pellets, or the Winchester "Double XX" Magnum #3 with 24 pellets (X203C3B). If your gun cannot accept 3" shells choose the Remington #3 with 20 pellets (SP20BK5PK-3). All of these loads provide definitive short-range stopping power.

I specifically recommend the 20 gauge for women and recoil-sensitive men who dislike the blast and recoil of the 12 gauge. "Delivering roughly the ballistic force of two .44 Magnum rounds at once," comments the knowledgeable Ayoob, the 20 "delivers 75% of the lead for only 50-60% of the recoil". Many police departments have found their officers shoot much more accurately in realistic training exercises with the lighter-kicking but still potent 20 gauge.

If you are new to shotgunning and considering getting one for self-defense I strongly urge you to buy the reliable and reasonably-priced "Mossberg 500 Special Purpose" 18.5" barrel 20 gauge pump shotgun (catalog #50451). This tried-and-true workhorse is the standard shotgun of the U.S. Armed Forces and costs a little over $200. You'll be much happier with the lighter-kicking 20 gauge than the 12 gauge version used by the military, and - most importantly - you'll shoot the 20 more accurately and rapidly.

For an in-depth look at the 20-versus-12 gauge issue I recommend all shotgun owners (and potential shotgun owners) read 'Stressfire II: Advanced Combat Shotgun' by Massad Ayoob. Perhaps I am beginning to sound like a broken record on the theme of Ayoob's books, but once you've read them you'll understand why I recommend them so highly (and repeatedly). Note: Ayoob dislikes the 20 gauge Remington 870 pump shotgun and recommends you choose the Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge for general self-defense and home-defense use. So do I.

For ultra-close range home defense birdshot will do the trick. Choose any #4, BB or larger high brass lead hunting load, and have the balance of the magazine filled with #3 buck in case the birdshot doesn't put them down fast enough.

Avoid slug use in 20 gauge; you are better off defending yourself with buckshot. If you must use slugs, pick the Dynamit/Nobel or Federal "Classic" (F203-RS) rifled slugs. Using slugs requires careful aiming and rifle sights: few 20 gauge shotguns have the latter."

I also worry about it being more of a hazard than a help (stories about people getting shot with their own gun), and more.
Any thoughts here?

Buy a firearm, ammo and train with a local instructor. Learn how to safety handle, operate, clean and troubleshoot your firearm. Your confidence will increase exponentially as you gain experience and develop a solid working understanding of the fundamentals of firearms. Having a serious auto accident or being struck with some other malady is far more probable than an incident with a firearm; for more information, I highly suggest you pick up a copy of Dr. John R. Lott, Jr.'s The Bias against Guns. You might also pick up Massad Ayoob's book In the Gravest Extreme as well; both provide very useful information on these topics.

Should I get one, should I not? And if so what tips can you give me? Thanks so much.

Ultimately, this choice is a very personal one. I can tell you that my wife and I both are much more comfortable knowing that we have a line of defense between us and an intruder. The police take at least a few minutes to arrive after being called to respond (and we're in a pretty good neighborhood); those few minutes would be an eternity if we were at the mercy of the intruder(s) without any means to end the encounter. My wife's co-worker recently had a neighbor nearly strangled to death by some home-invading thiefs (a woman who lived alone in a $MM home in an very affluent area, the intruders thought she was dead when she passed out and fell limp)- once very anti-gun (an MD), he recently went with us to the range and is now strongly considering purchasing a firearm for home defense as well as one for local target competitions (very much like Doritos, it's hard to limit yourself to just one :D). I pray that we'll never experience such an event as his neighbor faced, but if we do, we won't be forced to accept whatever the jerks want to dish out (definitely speaking more towards those risks my wife might face if I were not present, incapacitated or killed).

One last point- the shooting community is filled with the most fun, genuine and caring people we have ever met, including through church. You'll enjoy countless weekends or weeknights at the range, shoot-n-que barbeques and other fun activities. Lindsay (my wife) enjoys competing and really loves the unique challenges this sport offers. Once you get involved, I'm confident you'll find it's a much more open and multi-faceted experience than you might at first believe. Welcome to Calguns!

Sinixstar
09-14-2009, 3:20 AM
I can't stress enough the importance of trying multiple guns before you settle on one. I've seen a number of people buy a gun for self defense thinking 'oh anything will do', or looking to spend as little as possible - and then are afraid to shoot it because they have a hard time handling it.
Try revolvers, try semi autos, try shotguns - then try 'em all again.

Find the one that fits you, that you find easy to use, and that you're comfortable shooting.

CHRIS MARTIN
09-15-2009, 12:20 PM
Although a shotgun makes sense in some situations, as a mother, your first move when danger presents itself will be to go to your child and pick them up, leaving you only one hand for the shotgun...not a good situation. No, you need to go with a pistol. The questions become revolver or semi-auto? (answer: revolver (or semi-auto withOUT a safety like a Glock, H&K P7 series, Kel Tec, etc.)) what caliber? (22 to 38 Special/9 mm) where do you keep it? (in a central location, NOT at one end of the house or apartment) should it be a lightweight carry" gun or a full sized piece? (full weight but small size) should it be kept loaded or not? (loaded) what type of intruder are you most likely to be "involved" with? That LAST question is perhaps the most important...most in-home attacks on a woman come from ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends. Those attacks rarely come from them breaking down the door, which would give you plenty of time to react...they tend to happen after YOU have let them in "to talk"...and you let them in withOUT a gun in your hand (if you felt the need to be armed, hopefully you wouldn't let them in in the first place!). Then they grab you in a bear hug or similar, giving you little chance to get your gun...so the discussion about what kind of gun to get for those situations will seem pretty much a waste of air at that point. So, if you write off those type of attacks, when its a known person assulting you (and you weren't armed by choice/by decision), then what you have left is the very remote chance of a bad guy randomly targeting you that you need to defend yourself against. Those events are well publicized BECAUSE they so rarely occur. Considering the lifetime chance of that happening to you versus the lifetime chance of your child (or someone else's child) of getting the gun, then you have to wonder if the potential payoff is worth the potential risk. But, if you are worried about the random bad guy, then buy a revolver with a short barrel (because a long barreled pistol is easier to grab and take away from you). Go to ranges that have rental guns and find the one that points the best for you. Try point shooting (NOT aimed shooting!) with one hand at a 15 foot range. Which gun puts you on target by itself? Then, buy the biggest caliber that you can handle with the biggest slow bullet that you can get (like, for example, a 200 grain 38 Special versus a 95 grain super high velocity cartridge). Store it loaded in a quick release one gun "vault". Practice 50 rounds a month POINT shooting only...never depend on aimed fire.

Steyrlp10
09-15-2009, 12:46 PM
I agree with all the good advice posted on here and ultimately, you need to find something you're comfortable and confident with.

I really like my 1911s because I've seen the difference in stopping power between a .45 and a 9mm, but that's me. However, as I'm sure you know, semi-autos have more moving parts than a revolver. For my home, I prefer to have both, including the Remington 870.

I've raised six kids in my day because my sister was killed years ago, so I've always had a safe, plus talking to the kids about the dangers of firearms without proper supervision. As they say, if a gun is out, treat it like it's loaded. It's not a toy.

I think as you become more familiar with handling a particular gun you like, understanding how to use it properly, you'll feel more confident -- and you will get better.

Best of luck!

wildhawker
09-15-2009, 2:44 PM
Let me begin by saying that I cannot intelligently comment on the instincts you touched on (for obvious reasons).

That said, training and meditation on the subject of defensive tactics will show that the goal is to end the encounter- quickly and effectively. You're doing you and your baby (and other family members) a disservice by placing them in the line of fire and mitigating your ability to physically respond.

While your suggestions of a pistol can work for many, my wife prefers her 1911-platform guns to others now (and has a 12ga at her bedside); try many (you may end up with more than one, ie pistol for carry and shotgun for bedside) and practice often. For home defense, one must also consider the risk of overpenetration some calibers may pose (to other family members, neighbors).

Obviously maintaining a firearm on your person full time would be preferrable to keeping it in a safe/gunvault/nightstand and being caught unprepared; however, it's really a matter of your unique circumstances and acceptable level of risk. We have 2 dogs (100lb Akitas), and my wife does not answer the door for people she does not know to be friendly- we have layers of protection (maintain low profile>door>dogs>armed response). Even so, she often carries when I am not home.

Although a shotgun makes sense in some situations, as a mother, your first move when danger presents itself will be to go to your child and pick them up, leaving you only one hand for the shotgun...not a good situation. No, you need to go with a pistol. The questions become revolver or semi-auto? (answer: revolver (or semi-auto withOUT a safety like a Glock, H&K P7 series, Kel Tec, etc.)) what caliber? (22 to 38 Special/9 mm) where do you keep it? (in a central location, NOT at one end of the house or apartment) should it be a lightweight carry" gun or a full sized piece? (full weight but small size) should it be kept loaded or not? (loaded) what type of intruder are you most likely to be "involved" with? That LAST question is perhaps the most important...most in-home attacks on a woman come from ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends. Those attacks rarely come from them breaking down the door, which would give you plenty of time to react...they tend to happen after YOU have let them in "to talk"...and you let them in withOUT a gun in your hand (if you felt the need to be armed, hopefully you wouldn't let them in in the first place!). Then they grab you in a bear hug or similar, giving you little chance to get your gun...so the discussion about what kind of gun to get for those situations will seem pretty much a waste of air at that point. So, if you write off those type of attacks, when its a known person assulting you (and you weren't armed by choice/by decision), then what you have left is the very remote chance of a bad guy randomly targeting you that you need to defend yourself against. Those events are well publicized BECAUSE they so rarely occur. Considering the lifetime chance of that happening to you versus the lifetime chance of your child (or someone else's child) of getting the gun, then you have to wonder if the potential payoff is worth the potential risk. But, if you are worried about the random bad guy, then buy a revolver with a short barrel (because a long barreled pistol is easier to grab and take away from you). Go to ranges that have rental guns and find the one that points the best for you. Try point shooting (NOT aimed shooting!) with one hand at a 15 foot range. Which gun puts you on target by itself? Then, buy the biggest caliber that you can handle with the biggest slow bullet that you can get (like, for example, a 200 grain 38 Special versus a 95 grain super high velocity cartridge). Store it loaded in a quick release one gun "vault". Practice 50 rounds a month POINT shooting only...never depend on aimed fire.

Peter W Bush
09-15-2009, 2:52 PM
I have to say this is one of the best first posts I've seen in a long time. I recommend going to a range and trying out different handguns and shotguns and seeing what you feel most comfortable with. Or better yet, find a training course close to where you live. Usually they will rent you the guns. You can learn the basics and then some, as well as much needed safety training. Good luck.

Bigballaizm
09-15-2009, 6:03 PM
Hi TAI, PWB has good advice about going to a range and trying out different types of guns with different calibers. Also since you have toddler safety is first in my opinion. Hers is a link to a Biometric Gun Safe with Fingerprint Lock, just an idea for safe storage.

http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys/Biometric-Valuables-Gun-Safe-with-Fingerprint-Lock/3232471/product.html?token=144583-14458320090729948824-1-06d683&track=emailrecips&cid=144583&fp=f

Good luck with your search!

scratch
09-15-2009, 6:11 PM
As you see you will receive a lot of great information and it can become more inundating.

I would suggest a slow walk process whereby you read some different women authors, that have asked the same questions and have arrived at their conclusions, so you can make the biggest decision....to buy a gun or not.

You can do a google search for authors, however one I highly suggest is Paxton Quigley; look in your local library for her titles.

http://www.paxtonquigley.com/

My single mom daughter just moved back in with a 11 month grandson. Although I am really looking forward to teaching him gun safety and taking him to the range and field, he is starting to walk and I have had to rethink my gun security. Trust me he will not be able to get to any of them, however now I have to retrain how I will get to them if needed.

Please keep us posted as to what you decide and why because it is important for others that may be in similar situations that are hesitant to ask.

If you decide to get a gun to protect you and your family, then you can start looking at the different types, calibers and most importantly training. I would suggest professional training, from the basics to tactics. Again take it slow.

If you are in the So Cal South Bay area, I would be more than happy to show you the difference in hand guns and shotguns, as I'm sure any of the members of Cal Guns would.

AbbyCat
09-15-2009, 7:24 PM
When I started to think about getting my first handgun, I was lucky enough to come across the Cornered Cat website, http://www.corneredcat.com/TOC.aspx

It is written by Kathy Jackson. She has put a lot of thought and research into the website. There is a wide range of info to be found there. She talks quite a bit about gun safety and specifically concerns around children.

scratch
09-15-2009, 8:32 PM
When I started to think about getting my first handgun, I was lucky enough to come across the Cornered Cat website, http://www.corneredcat.com/TOC.aspx

It is written by Kathy Jackson. She has put a lot of thought and research into the website. There is a wide range of info to be found there. She talks quite a bit about gun safety and specifically concerns around children.

AbbyCat, that's an awesome site. I'm bookmarking for further reading....Thanks!!

Sheepdog1968
09-15-2009, 9:35 PM
Some excellent advice. I really agree w the detailed on re 20 gauge shotgun. Ayoob is an excellent authority on firearms.

What I really want to point out is that gun safes can be purchased for 300 to 500 from companies. I highly reccomend a gun safe and that should ease your mind. I have one mostly because I don't want to get shot w my own guns. I have insurance if they get stolen.

johnny_22
09-16-2009, 6:03 AM
My wife and sister-in-law took the class this year (I retook it just to be with them). Great for covering the safety basics and you get to shoot the instructor's guns. You'll find that one of those guns will be one you really like and that is the one you'll probably buy.

For anyone's first gun, I recommend the .22 LR (revolver or semi). It is so much fun. I find that the .22s are the first gun I reach for, when going to the range. The "self defense" caliber (9mm) is always second.

deb7566
09-16-2009, 11:08 AM
Go to a range and take some lessons from a professional. Then rent and practice with a lot of different guns until you find one that you are comfortable with and like shooting. Also take a home defense course.

I ended up buying a 9mm semi automatic Beretta.

As for storage, I store my gun in a gun vault in a keyed lock box. The key is on my car key ring, so I open it every night when I come home and it gets locked every time I leave the house. The gun is stored with a loaded magazine and the safety on.

When I go to the shooting range to practice, I practice picking the gun up, flipping the safety off, loading the magazine and firing 3 rounds, 1st 2 to the body, 3rd to the head.

I did have a situation where someone was trying to break into my house in the middle of the night. I was fortunate that the police showed up very quickly and took the person into custody and I did not have to use my gun. But, I was prepared to.

JandJArmory
09-16-2009, 9:21 PM
Wow! You have got a lot of great feedback and opions here. All of are great. I didnt read evryones respose to your questions, but what I read I think was great advise.

There are a lot of great training classes to familirize your self with firearms and , defending your home and family.

I went to LFI (Lethal Force Instute) last year, and was imursed in some intense and emotional training. I feel that with this training I was able to understand the dynamics of self defense in my home and in public. The risks associated with self defense and even criminal and civil liabilites. All are great to consider when making the decision to own a firearm, and keep and use it for protection.

As far as what the most pratical to buy and use in your home. There are so many different options. If your looking for one firearm and only one. I recomend a shotgun. I currently keep a Mossberg 500 with less lethal slugs(rubber balls) and bird shot and slug. I put them in a specific order to know whats the first shot being fired. And anyone that hears a rack of a shotgun being chambered knows you mean business. Most of the time you dont have to worry about over penatration (unless slugs).

If your choosing a hand gun, it could go so many ways. I have a .45 that I use with hollow points. Over penatration is less likley to happen. Im also very familar with this firearm and can be very accurate. I have it equiped with night sights that allow me to aquire targets with out light. I also keep a .38 revolver as well in my room. That way my wife is very familar with it and it has no safty and will never jam.

We keep a small safe in our bedroom that holds our weapons. The safe is positioned in such a way that with the door (safe) opened it can provide a barrier to any type of incoming rounds that could be fired by a perp. We open the safe at night and spin the dial when we leave the room. We have a child as well and safty is our number one concearn. We wouldnt want our little one getting a hold of a firearm. The room is never left unattend with the safe unlocked or opened.

They also make cool digital safes that need finger recognition to open them. I always worry about batteries so I opt to not use those.

So hope all works out well and most pepole here will help you out.

bubbapug1
09-18-2009, 3:35 PM
I second this very well reasoned out post. I think if you do what she says you will make a good choice.

On Target in Laguna Niguel has a wide spectrum of guns and very patient range masters...when its not super busy.


Go to a range and take some lessons from a professional. Then rent and practice with a lot of different guns until you find one that you are comfortable with and like shooting. Also take a home defense course.

I ended up buying a 9mm semi automatic Beretta.

As for storage, I store my gun in a gun vault in a keyed lock box. The key is on my car key ring, so I open it every night when I come home and it gets locked every time I leave the house. The gun is stored with a loaded magazine and the safety on.

When I go to the shooting range to practice, I practice picking the gun up, flipping the safety off, loading the magazine and firing 3 rounds, 1st 2 to the body, 3rd to the head.

I did have a situation where someone was trying to break into my house in the middle of the night. I was fortunate that the police showed up very quickly and took the person into custody and I did not have to use my gun. But, I was prepared to.

masameet
09-18-2009, 7:38 PM
I grew up in a family that had guns, but only as a "just in case". My brother would shoot his occasionally, but other than that I haven't been around them much, and to be honest I have a fear of them. But my fear of someone breaking in and harming me/family is stronger.
I have been thinking of getting one, but am hesitant because I don't know where I would store it with a toddler in the house that would be safe yet accessible. I also worry about it being more of a hazard than a help (stories about people getting shot with their own gun), and more.
Any thoughts here? Should I get one, should I not? And if so what tips can you give me? Thanks so much.

Honestly if you're afraid of guns, don't buy any. If you're worried about your kid finding it, he or she probably will. So another reason not to buy a handgun that you're afraid to use.

Fears can be quelled by reason. Unless you live in a bad neighborhood. Then move. But even so-called good neighborhoods get broken into. And as far as I can tell, most home invasions are done at homes where people do drugs. If your home isn't a marijuana growing concern, then your fears are probably overplayed.

But if you really want a handgun or shotgun or rifle, take a basic NRA firearms course. If you're in the East Bay or South Bay, the Tidwells are good instructors and good people; plus they offer several different NRA firearms courses, including one on home defense.

Bill of Ojai
09-19-2009, 12:26 PM
Welcome. In the meantime, if you're scared right now, you may want to consider a pepper spray device, such as Kimber's LifeAct. You can lock it up like a handgun in a small gun vault if you want to really childproof it. It's also legal to carry in your purse.

All the best...

forgiven
09-20-2009, 3:04 AM
Welcome.:)

Rob454
09-20-2009, 11:45 AM
get something you are comfortable with shooting and fits your frame. basically dont go out and get a 50 cal desert eagle unless you can handle that kind of handgun. Dont go just by what the sales guy at the gun store tells you.
A revolver is about as simple a gun as you can get. no complications with mags slides safety off etc. if you cant get the guy out of your house or down on the ground with 6 shots you got more problems than a gun can handle anyway.
Im in the same boat with my wife. Im gonna get her a lightweight 357 magnum and shoot 38+P ammo. lighter ammo not so heavy a recoil.
Im also sending her to a shooting and gun safety class. That is also important. I dont think you need to be all tactical. if you have kids ( and I think i read that you do) you go to their room close and barricade yourself in. then you stay there and if someone comes in then you pop them.
One thing you have to be sure of is that you CAN put down a intruder. You have to know this and be mentally ready for that to occur. if you cant then having a gun is no better than having empty hands. nothing is worse than pulling out a gun and being unable to use it
good luck. ill keep you posted on my wifes gun adventure LOL

PS you can get a small handgun safe that can be bolted to the studs in the wall right by your bed or closet somewhere or wherever you feel comfortable with it. If you are the only one who knows the combo kids simply wont get in it. you can also double up with a gun lock but that woudl defeat the purpose of having it ready to go in a emergency.

five.five-six
09-20-2009, 12:01 PM
I have been thinking of getting one, but am hesitant because I don't know where I would store it with a toddler in the house that would be safe yet accessible. I also worry about it being more of a hazard than a help (stories about people getting shot with their own gun), and more.
Any thoughts here? Should I get one, should I not? And if so what tips can you give me? Thanks so much.


first off, swine flue has killed more toddlers this year than guns. if you want to worry, worry about swimming pools, household cleaners, allergies, and worst of all balloons, balloons are the worst, toddlers cant tell sucking from blowing, they see you filling a balloon and they want to try and the Heimlich manure will not remove a balloon from a child's throat

toddlers general do not have the strength and or manual dexterity to operate a safety or a trigger

I have a 4 year old, I keep my loaded guns up high enough that he can not get to them even with a chair.... those little people are smart

so here is the key:

training training and training

you would not drive a car without practice and training... would you?

granted that a car is far more dangerous than a gun, but you get the point


as far as what gun... that is not all that important... most all modern guns are reliable, you want something that is powerful enough to protect you, so at least a 9mm, after that it is just preference

automatics may be hard to load the magazines, but the magazine changes rather quickly for a new one in an emergency. revolvers are easy to load, but they can be difficult in an emergency and tend ten to have safety's

mmartin
09-20-2009, 6:53 PM
My wife and sister-in-law took the class this year (I retook it just to be with them). Great for covering the safety basics and you get to shoot the instructor's guns. You'll find that one of those guns will be one you really like and that is the one you'll probably buy.

For anyone's first gun, I recommend the .22 LR (revolver or semi). It is so much fun. I find that the .22s are the first gun I reach for, when going to the range. The "self defense" caliber (9mm) is always second.

I think the 22 is a great gun to start shooting with because they're easy to handle and non-scary, but for my own shooting I have no desire to own one... they don't feel like a "real" gun to me when shooting. not saying they aren't worthy of respect, but I don't find them satisfying to shoot.
megan

mmartin
09-20-2009, 7:19 PM
Go to a range and take some lessons from a professional. Then rent and practice with a lot of different guns until you find one that you are comfortable with and like shooting. Also take a home defense course.

that is what I'd suggest too.

I shot everything the local shop had for rent before I decided. I was looking for several things... a gun that fit my hand, that was not too heavy, that had sufficient stopping power, and that printed exactly where I thought it would without having to adjust my grip or change my hand position. I figure if I ever have to use it in an emergency I'm not going to want to have to think about if I need to cock my wrist a bit more to have the sights right...

bought the glock 45 full size (model 21).

practice until you're comfortable and confident.

think through and talk through possible scenarios with your teachers... play What If...?
what if someone breaks in while I'm sleeping?
what if someone comes in through a back door?
what if my kid come in the bedroom in the middle of the night and surprises me?
what if there's two people breaking in? three?
what if...
having thought all those things through means you've at least got a plan to start with, you're not going to be caught cold. means you'll have made some decisions about what to do, what not to do, when to shoot, when not to. it means if you need to adapt what you do on the fly, you can, but you're not starting from scratch in the middle of an emergency.

any time I hear about a circumstance that wasn't on my what-if planning, my hubby and I talk it through, how would I handle it? what would my choices be?

having thought through plans and what-ifs also means you'll be much calmer should anything actually happen that you have to handle.

if you've got fears, concerns, worries, talk them out with your trainers... get all that out of your head and address it... that stuff interferes with learning.

ask if there's something you're not sure of. don't be shy about questions.

think through your storage and safety issues carfully too, talk about options, decide what you're going to do, and then really do that, consistently.

make a plan for teaching your kids about safety.

go shooting often enough to keep your skills up, your nerves calm, and your confidence high.

have fun.

get your friends involved too... girl's day out at the range is an excellent thing.

find some experienced women shooters you can ask advice from... sometimes our take and our way of doing things is different from the guys.

find a teacher/coach (male or female) you learn well from and keep studying.

welcome.
Megan

mmartin
09-20-2009, 7:33 PM
Honestly if you're afraid of guns, don't buy any.
hmmm. I would say "if you're afraid of guns, go learn more about shooting them, get your fears addressed, learn to shoot safely and without fear, and then when you have a better position from which to evaluate gun-ownership, decide."

If I never did things I was afraid of, I'd have crawled into the back of my closet and stayed there a long time ago. I'd be there still. 'cause I gotta tell you, I was afraid of everything. :eek::eek::eek: <not kidding>

I say, do stuff you're afraid of... just do it in controlled circumstances with a really good coach who knows how to help you address your fear.

Megan

wildhawker
09-21-2009, 2:26 PM
Fantastic comments - well said!

hmmm. I would say "if you're afraid of guns, go learn more about shooting them, get your fears addressed, learn to shoot safely and without fear, and then when you have a better position from which to evaluate gun-ownership, decide."

If I never did things I was afraid of, I'd have crawled into the back of my closet and stayed there a long time ago. I'd be there still. 'cause I gotta tell you, I was afraid of everything. :eek::eek::eek: <not kidding>

I say, do stuff you're afraid of... just do it in controlled circumstances with a really good coach who knows how to help you address your fear.

Megan

masameet
09-22-2009, 7:45 PM
hmmm. I would say "if you're afraid of guns, go learn more about shooting them, get your fears addressed, learn to shoot safely and without fear, and then when you have a better position from which to evaluate gun-ownership, decide."

If I never did things I was afraid of, I'd have crawled into the back of my closet and stayed there a long time ago. I'd be there still. 'cause I gotta tell you, I was afraid of everything. :eek::eek::eek: <not kidding>

I say, do stuff you're afraid of... just do it in controlled circumstances with a really good coach who knows how to help you address your fear.

Megan

So you didn't read the rest of my reply that said get some training if you really want a gun?

lol

Oh, well. Whatever.

mmartin
09-22-2009, 11:48 PM
So you didn't read the rest of my reply that said get some training if you really want a gun?

lol

Oh, well. Whatever.

I read it. I just thought that first part stood out as the first directive, a complete thought, coming from someone with stature and experience and positioned to legitimately give authoritative advice.

if I were now who I was 30 years ago, I wouldn't have gotten past that to read the rest...

see, I wouldn't have been able at the time to say "I really *want* a gun, so I'll get some training to overcome my massive and debilitating fear." wouldn't have been able to get anywhere near want or desire with as much fear as I had. fear that was endorsed and echoed as right and reasonable by those around me.

part of what I see we can do as a group is outreach... make the whole idea and experience of guns and shooting more approachable for people who currently aren't interested or who are too fearful to try. In my experience the largest untapped and convert-able group is women. but with that you get the task of addressing massive, entrenched and unreasonable fears.

I agree that people who really are afraid, and will remain that way, should not own guns. they won't be able to effectively use them so they are a hazard, not a tool.

however, if you're going to approach a group who is currently stewing in fear, and yet might double the number of people who own and appreciate guns, you can't start with "if you're scared, stop now" or "get some training and get over it." you have to start with "if you're scared, come and learn in a safe and controlled environment, then once your fear has abated, decide."

I've been tracking a number of threads about how to get people of differing philosphies and political stripes to work together on protecting our mutual rights and interests. and more on how to breach the gap with people who don't currently have a desire or see the need to defend those rights. there's a call for different attitudes and approaches, to make what we do and how we do it invite people in, not drive them out.

I'm practicing.

much as I hate admitting to having a female brain, I've got one (or what's left of one, after much revisionist work.) and I teach women all the time. I think my tactic will bring more of them in, my approach will be more effective in dealing with them than starting with "if you're scared, stop." I'm offering an alternative view, a different tactic, one less about "man-up" and more about "come on in."

so, I'm practicing.

For a long time I've just been keeping my head down and trying not to attract enough attention to get shot at. I figured if I kept a low profile, nobody would bother messing with me and mine. well, it didn't work, and we're into territory that's way past "messing with". I didn't set out to be an activist, a recruiter, a reformer, but some recent and personal events have pushed me over the edge, required I get involved, made me make a choice, made me get my head above the horizon and take some risks. If I'm going to put myself out there, it might as well be where I can make the biggest difference, maximum ROI... or ROR (return on risk). looks to me like the big untapped pool is women. looks to me like I'm quite a minority here... so I'm putting it out there, what works with us.

what would happen if we could double our gun-rights numbers? I think its available, with the right approach.

Megan

redcliff
09-23-2009, 4:58 AM
first off, swine flue has killed more toddlers this year than guns. if you want to worry, worry about swimming pools, household cleaners, allergies, and worst of all balloons, balloons are the worst, toddlers cant tell sucking from blowing, they see you filling a balloon and they want to try and the Heimlich manure will not remove a balloon from a child's throat

toddlers general do not have the strength and or manual dexterity to operate a safety or a trigger

I have a 4 year old, I keep my loaded guns up high enough that he can not get to them even with a chair.... those little people are smart

so here is the key:

training training and training

you would not drive a car without practice and training... would you?

granted that a car is far more dangerous than a gun, but you get the point


as far as what gun... that is not all that important... most all modern guns are reliable, you want something that is powerful enough to protect you, so at least a 9mm, after that it is just preference

automatics may be hard to load the magazines, but the magazine changes rather quickly for a new one in an emergency. revolvers are easy to load, but they can be difficult in an emergency and tend ten to have safety's

Please please don't keep loaded guns around toddlers even if you think they cant reach them. We had a tragic shooting death up here from an IDENTICAL situation where an off-duty police officer left his loaded pistol on the top shelf of a closet and his 4 year old son climbed up and shot himself. 4 year olds are often very capable of finding some other way to get to high spots.

Please get a lockbox to put your pistol in if you must keep it loaded; I have one with a fingerprint scanner thats very quick to access. It will be the best money you ever spent if you consider the possible alternative. If you cant afford that at least keep the loaded magazine seperate from the pistol without a round in the chamber.

wildhawker
09-23-2009, 11:15 AM
That was a tragedy, but I'm sure you'll agree that such a circumstance is uncommon.

It would be equally tragic if a family member were to be harmed or killed by an armed intruder because expeditious access to a defensive firearm was inhibited by a locking device or vault.

There are both benefits and risks present in every decision; careful analysis and choice in these matters are a very personal and weighty thing, worthy of much introspection and discussion with other family members.


Please please don't keep loaded guns around toddlers even if you think they cant reach them. We had a tragic shooting death up here from an IDENTICAL situation where an off-duty police officer left his loaded pistol on the top shelf of a closet and his 4 year old son climbed up and shot himself. 4 year olds are often very capable of finding some other way to get to high spots.

Please get a lockbox to put your pistol in if you must keep it loaded; I have one with a fingerprint scanner thats very quick to access. It will be the best money you ever spent if you consider the possible alternative. If you cant afford that at least keep the loaded magazine seperate from the pistol without a round in the chamber.

KylaGWolf
09-23-2009, 10:16 PM
I grew up in a family that had guns, but only as a "just in case". My brother would shoot his occasionally, but other than that I haven't been around them much, and to be honest I have a fear of them. But my fear of someone breaking in and harming me/family is stronger.
I have been thinking of getting one, but am hesitant because I don't know where I would store it with a toddler in the house that would be safe yet accessible. I also worry about it being more of a hazard than a help (stories about people getting shot with their own gun), and more.
Any thoughts here? Should I get one, should I not? And if so what tips can you give me? Thanks so much.

First of all let me welcome you to Calguns.

You have many questions let me see if I can help you out as much as I can.

Do you know anyone that has a gun now that would be willing to take you to the range and help you learn? If so ask them. Heck if not I am sure that the members here on Calguns that are in your area would be more than willing to help out there.

As for what type of gun should you get. Personally I don't think I would get anything smaller than a 9mm gun or a .380 for self defense. I ended up buying an HK USP Compact 9mm and have no regrets. I made my choice after renting several guns on different range visits, and doing a lot of research. But if money is a factor I would recommend a Glock 19 Or a Sig 2022 9mm. Even a Springfield Armory XD 9mm isn't a bad choice, but for me I had issues pulling back the slide on that one. Just make sure the gun you pick out fits good in your hand. This is when renting the gun makes a different because you can see how it feels as you shoot.

Someone else said practice is essential. I can't argue there. Range time is a must. But also what is called dry practice can be essential for becoming comfortable with handguns.

You said you are a mom of a toddler. Yes that is a valid fear but as others have said there are many options to make sure that the weapon is not accessible to the child. Which is actually a state law. I am a mom of a teenage daughter (technically an adult now) and can relate to the fear of what if with a gun in the house. But in my case my daughter was a pre teen when we were in a house that had handguns so was easier to tell her hands off. At one point and time she wanted to learn to shoot but that changed when she went to high school now she is very anti gun :( I do know that the NRA has a program to teach children gun safety but not sure at what age level that starts at.

I also will say that any time you can take a training class take it. I just took a four day defensive handgun class and learned so much from it. I dramatically improved my marksmanship from that class and came away from a lot of very good information.

redcliff
09-24-2009, 9:54 AM
That was a tragedy, but I'm sure you'll agree that such a circumstance is uncommon.

It would be equally tragic if a family member were to be harmed or killed by an armed intruder because expeditious access to a defensive firearm was inhibited by a locking device or vault.

There are both benefits and risks present in every decision; careful analysis and choice in these matters are a very personal and weighty thing, worthy of much introspection and discussion with other family members.

I"m afraid I don't agree. Having a loaded gun in a closet is NOT faster than having a lockbox on your nightstand or easily reached under the bed, and the lockbox complies with the law. At the very least if not in a lockbox with toddlers around the pistol should not have a round in the chamber. Get an alarm system so you have time to rack a round into the chamber if you're that worried due to the neighborhood you live in.

wildhawker
09-28-2009, 1:11 AM
I'm sorry for being unclear. I was not proposing that loaded defensive firearms be maintained on a shelf in a closet, I was implying that they are useful only if they are accessible and operational in less time than it takes an intruder take control. This means different things for different people. For us, my wife is never very far from something she's good at using.

Alarm systems and fast-opening digital biometric vaults are a luxury many can't afford; I see no reason that the poor should be without personal protection, especially considering it is their neighborhoods which present the highest risk of violent crime.

Again, it's a highly personal risk analysis we must undertake when deciding how to approach the storage of defensive arms.

I"m afraid I don't agree. Having a loaded gun in a closet is NOT faster than having a lockbox on your nightstand or easily reached under the bed, and the lockbox complies with the law. At the very least if not in a lockbox with toddlers around the pistol should not have a round in the chamber. Get an alarm system so you have time to rack a round into the chamber if you're that worried due to the neighborhood you live in.