Friday, July 10, 2009

Thinking of Buying a Gun

Are any of y'all gun owners? The German and I are considering buying a gun. We've been looking at a few different ones (e.g. the Desert Eagle, a Kimber). There are so many to choose from that it's difficult to decide which one would best suit us.

One of our reasons might seem a bit problematic to some folks, though. You see, VanGoghGirl is about to start high school and I think The German really wants anybody who wants to date her to know just how far he will go if they ever put a hand on her. Being from the south, I'm kinda used to this. My dad kept guns for hunting and I have to admit that LIKED being able to shake off any jerk who wouldn't leave me alone by introducing him to my dad.

I also want VanGoghGirl to get gun safety lessons. Because of the gun culture here in Louisiana, she has somewhat frequent exposure to them and I want her to know how to handle one. She knows not to play with them, but I want her to know how to load, clean, and shoot one. When she goes off to a university, she may wind up living on her own and I want her to know how to use a gun, just in case she wants to buy one for self-defense. Now that I mention it, I could probably stand to have some gun safety lessons, too. My dad taught me the basics, but it's been so long that I would probably benefit from going through it again with a bit more detail this time around.

As a household with several people who are disabled, to some extent or another, I feel like it might be wise for us to be a bit more armed. I've seen so many stories about how a person with a disability was chosen by a criminal because they seemed like an easy target. I don't want that to be me or my family members. As a woman of color with disabilities, I just don't have faith that anyone else (including law enforcement) is going to give a damn or put their life on the line to protect me. I don't think that a gun is going to keep me safe, but I do think that I'd like to at least have a fighting chance if I am ever put in a situation where I need to be able to defend myself.

Anyway, I'd love to hear any one's opinions about this--advice, criticism, condemnation and gun recommendations are welcome, too.


voz said...

Hey there, sweety! So, you're thinking about a gun.
It helps to sit down and think about what exactly you plan to do with it, and how much you have to spend, and who will be using it.

Some advice:
Take a gun safety course, like one of these:

Try the gun before you buy it, and get it fitted to you. A desert eagle with stock grips might be too unweildy for you to feel cpmfortable with, or maybe not. You won't know til you try it!

Read up and learn, so you don't end up with something that just sits in a drawer, waiting to cause an accident. Try here for starters, but do your own research. That's what the Net is for!

Be sure to involve your entire family. Make sure everyone in your household has the safety knowhow to live in a house with guns, and what the rules are. Hint: Telling a child "don't touch this!" is a sure way to get a curious child in an experimental mood, with bad results. A much better approach is to teach everybody what guns can and cannot do, and come up with rules that make sense, and that everybody knows the why and not just the what.

Consider getting your CCW permit. That way, if it gets left in the car, a cop has no case for "carrying a concealed weapon." Most places are "shall issue" states, and must grant you the CCW permit unless there's something wong. More info here:
and here:

Know the law. Firearms laws are the most Byzantine, convoluted pieces of shit that ever were dropped on paper, and its easy to run afoul of them. Did you know that Massachusetts churchgoers can be jailed for failing to bring a weapon to church? Nobody enforces that one, since it dates from Colonial times, but you get the idea.

There's a lot more that can be said, but that is a good start. Good luck!

voz said...

I found this site and it seems very good and complete. definitely worth discussing with the family.

Be well

Renee said...

When I read this post I could really see the difference between living in Canada and living in the US. We don't even lock our doors and the idea of even holding a gun is terrifying to me never mind having one in my home. As much as I try to understand the gun culture in the US I have to be honest that I simply cannot wrap my mind around it. No one I know even owns a gun or would think to buy one.

Jezebella said...

I heard a stat years ago that most cops who get shot on the job get shot with their own gun. I figure, if someone trained in hand-to-hand combat can lose his/her gun that easily, what are my odds? So I have pepper spray, a baseball bat, and a really solid maglite flashlight near the bed. But I don't live in NOLA any more, and your situation is different from mine. That's my 2 cents, anyhow.

om/ar said...

Honestly, I have a pretty extreme bias about firearms. There's some pretty good [and empowering] non-lethal altenatives. There's this telescoping wallop thingy I've seen used quite effectively. I think you can buy a taser for use in defense of your home...and never underestimate the argument put forth by a baseball bat and a crazed expression.

In fact, never underestimate the power of acting crazy. I once fought off ten hoodlums by threatening each one that I would make sure that I knocked all of their teeth out no matter what happened to me.

I just mean to add...guns are not the only fruit.

Anonymous said...

I know the belief is that guns make you safer, but I am not sure it is true.

I'd like to learn to shoot, though, clean a gun and so on, for my macho image !!!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm here from feministe. I'm not an experienced commenter, so hopefully this works.

In terms of self-defense, I wanted to say that the problem with a gun is that you have to be prepared to possibly kill someone and not hesitate for it to be really effective. I'm not sure I could shoot to kill, so I have alternate weapons including a small pocketknife for slashing. I realize though that there is some ableist bias in my approach because it implies that you have the physical strength or stamina to at least slow down someone who is bigger and stronger than you in order to get help.


Anonymous said...


Okay, I'm curious.

Do I have a problem with you? Or vice versa?


bint alshamsa said...


Please don't go there. I don't even know you. I'm GUEST-blogging at Feministe. I have absolutely nothing to do with who goes straight to moderation or why. I've approved all of your comments when I found them in moderation. Sometimes it takes me a while because I'm dealing with my disability issues right now.

It would have been nice if you would have asked me if I was the one doing it, but whatever...

Anonymous said...

--off topic
Apologies, I was fustrated and wanted to know what was going on and decided to start googling for contacts.

And yes, you do not know me. I do not know you.


voz said...

Hey there..I hope ur feeling alright, and the lupus and stress aren't getting you down.

I was thinking back to when you advised me to get a gun, and the unfinished conversation we had about that. What I came up with, and what I did not want to mention in my last post, was that I do not plan to get one.

It's not skill. I am familiar with guns, and took a sharpshooter medal in high school at a rifle contest.
It's not comfort. I have been raised around guns, and know what it is like to be on the wrong end of one as well as how to handle myself on the business part.
It's not unwillingness to take life when necessary. I hunt, I fish, and I have slaughtered livestock. I have not been tested on taking a human life, and I hope I never will be. But that is hope, and not reality.

I know you disagree, but for me, owning a gun is the wrong decision, and one I have thought a lot about out here in the Maine backwoods, and recently after a face-off with some very aggressive wild turkeys on my way to a neighbor's house.

I could be wrong, but I suspect you are looking for a gun to be an "equalizer" and that is not a good thing to own a gun for. If it's the confidence of knowing that you can defend yourself that you think owning a gun can give you, then I suggest looking for other ways to get that. That is the path I have chosen.

Truth is, guns are mere tools; they are not magic amulets. They require skill and practice to deploy properly, and a commitment to acquiring and maintaining the skills to use and keep them. They also require the willingness to live with the consequences of owning and using them. However, they do provide some benefits. Please remember that guns are a detail, not a plan.

The trick is to know always what you want, and the most effective way to get there, and how any one thing or technique fits into that plan.

Sorry this is so damn long, but I thought you deserved the best info i could give. I hope it is useful.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Nothing worse than waiting for the cops to show up with a crazed manica hunting you down in the middle of the night in your own home.
Guns are called the "Great Equalizer" for a reason. It's because a 4ft nothing female can make an 8ft something male quiver in his drawers while looking down the barrel of a loaded shotgun!
I'm in Law Enforcement and I tell everyone to arm themselves; I know how long it takes us to get there...and minutes are an eternity when your life hangs in the balance.

risa said...

I'd be very pleased to live in a world without weapons, but I'd also be very pleased to live in a world without rapists. I won't publicly say what I do or don't have at present, but I will say this: I was attacked once, at night, in an isolated place, by two men with clubs. And I drew. And the attack just ... didn't happen, and so I was grateful that my mom had trained me.

DO read The Cornered Cat. I know the author ... she's reliable.

risa b

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