To own a gun or not?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kimon, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Kimon

    Kimon Not a Cannibal

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    Well I am a bleeding heart pacifist about to take the homesteading plunge. Land and property are already purchased. Its a small Peacan Orchard in the South, Lower Alabama a couple of miles from the Gulf. My question is what kind of varmits other than the two legged kind could cause a threat to my Wife or my animals in that region and should I buy a gun for family protection, and If so what kind. I personally don't care for firearms but don't care if you have one so unlike the great myth I don't wanna take yours away, its just until now I never really felt I needed one (still not sure). My property is bordered by marsh, bogs and some forest, I plan to hog fence and electric wire the perimiter.
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Only you can answer this one.

    How many deputies are patrolling your area? If you dial 911, how fast is the response time likely to be?

    What kind of predators are in your area? Cougars and bears are the ones I would be worried about actually harming humans.

    Here's the biggest thing to consider -- Would you actually be able to use a gun against a critter or person invading your home? If you wouldn't be able to actually pull the trigger, don't buy the gun.
     

  3. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would reccommend a shotgun in 12 or 20 guage. You can load them as you need them, anything from bird shot up to slugs. Most people would say to get a pump or auto loader. Nothing wrong with a two shoot gun.
    You will deal with skunks, possums, coon, fox , coyote, and other types of varmints.
    Ed
     
  4. Kimon

    Kimon Not a Cannibal

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    Thanks for the response, when I said I have never really felt I needen a gun it was just that. Trouble pulling the trigger to defend my family from harm, no trouble here although I don't intend to be pulling out the shotgun every time someone turns down the driveand wouldn't be excited about aiming it at a human being I would have no trouble shooting an animal that was about to harm my stock, or family.
     
  5. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    My ex was born and raised in a peace church and when we got together she had real issues with my arsenal. No amount of telling her they were tools, everymuch as shovels or hoes worked.

    In those days I worked away from home cruising timber for a couple weeks at a time and she was alone with the kids here in the woods.

    I came home one evening to have the kids running out the drive shouting "Dad! Dad! Mom shot a packrat in the house".

    When I got in my smug wife pointed out a two day old dead packrat still hanging off the top of the bookshelf. She'd grabbed the 10-22 from above the door and emptied all 30 rounds into my books, but she got her packrat.

    Seems the thing had run over her while she was in bed during the night, so she lit the kerosene lamp to see well enough to shoot with, but didn't have the stomach to dispose of the bloody, stinking carcass.

    The kids thought it was great. I still have trouble reading some of my old books.

    Couple years after that, we made it across country to finally visit her family for a reunion. As we entered the house and put our coats away, I couldn't help but notice the stash of guns in her family's closet. When I inquired about it, her dad said they'd always had guns in the house and all the boys not only had their own, but practiced with them regularly. I swear, that woman was deluded!

    Get a good .22 rifle, take a shooting course and respect your new tool. You'll find it immensely useful.
     
  6. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Alligators! will be my biggest concern when I join you in AL, esp if I have water on the property like you do. In TX without alligators I only got weapons for Y2K: a handgun to execute my sheep for butchering if I ever had to do it myself and a shotgun to defend the stock from dogs if they became a problem. (In non Y2K times I would've asked the neighbor to kill a sheep for me if I'd ever needed one killed quickly, and borrowed their rifle once to kill a skunk we trapped, suppose w'd've done the same for wild dogs.)
     
  7. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    Being located close to marsh areas and woods you will attract snakes. I would get a 410 since your not used to firearms in the first place.
     
  8. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like you are a pacifist. Could I use a gun? Yes if it's my family or my animals were in danger.. Jen H asked a very important question "How fast is the respond time in your area". My is 20-30 minutes. Most likely to late. So I agreed with the husband that a handgun is needed. I just hope I never have to use it.

    Edit: I should add that the sons and husband are hunters and there are shotguns and rifles around. It was the thought of having a handgun. But reality sets in when violent crimes happen around you. In other rural comunities and in your own. As the husband says, What would you do If? Knowning that the police are at least 20 minutes away if not more. If we have bad weather that could be 60 minutes away. Pacifist or not you must defend yor family and animals.
     
  9. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Deep South? Add wild pigs to that list, which can be doggoned mean if surprised, and are fast and strong.

    Meg
     
  10. Swampfoot

    Swampfoot Active Member

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    Welcome to Alabama Kimon. I have lived and worked in the woods all over the southeast (I'm also a former timber cruiser) and the only animals that I have been consistently worried about were the two legged kind and their dogs.

    To answer your question specifically about larger varmints, down here we have coyotes, bobcats, black bears in the swamps, and alligators if you are far enough south. I have also heard people that have claimed to see panthers but I have never seen one. Under normal conditions all of these animals will leave people alone (although they may develop a taste for your livestock). The exception being that they have lost their fear of humans or they have rabies. Some people think it is cute to feed alligators and that is truly asking for a problem, they learn to associate people with an easy meal. Anyway, there are also several species of poisonous snakes so wear boots and watch where you put your hands (I must tell my wife that about five times a week).

    We bought a Remington 870 youth model shotgun for my wife this year. It is a small 20 gauge pump action shotgun. The stock is one inch shorter than normal and it has a twenty inch barrel. The thing is I like to shoot it too (I'm 6' 2"), I think it would make a great gun to keep around. The size makes it real handy and if you load it with buckshot it will do the job on just about anything.
     
  11. Kimon

    Kimon Not a Cannibal

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    Jenn are you relocating to LA?

    Swampfoot thanks for the info. Where in LA are you at?
     
  12. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    Suggestions for a 20 or 12 gauge shotgun are well founded. Either can take care of any threat you will encounter. For home defense purposes get one with the shortest legal barrel (18.5"?). For defensive purposes 00 buck ammo is easy to find and effective. Pump action is easier to use and more reliable than an autoloader. Whatever you buy practice with it regularly so you'll be effective if the need to use it arises, and keep it at the ready.

    In most areas of the country, but rural areas espicially, all the police do is traffic/drug enforcement and clean up after violent crimes. They are not there to protect you or your family, that is your job. Accept the responsibility and live up to it. Your "bleeding heart pacifist" attitude won't look so great when you're unconcious or dying on the floor while an intruder is in your bed taking liberties with your wife/daughter. Be prepared.
     
  13. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Irregardless of your political bent, when you come right down to it, guns are no more than tools...and it helps to know how to use the tools before you need them...

    And as any "guy" knows, the more tools you have, the easier the job will be....

    When I go out to check on the chickens, I carry just a .22 pistol, perfect for snakes (will catch and release if I can....caught a copperhead in the hen house Friday night, and gave him to a cousin who's got a herpetarium?) and skunks, possums, and coons.

    If I KNOW there's trouble in the henhouse, I'll leave with the ruger 10-22 .22 rifle with the 50 round clip.

    During the day, I'll go looking for trouble with a 12 gauge.

    Nighthunters or trespassers, take the shotgun and a .44mag. Sounds like a lot of trouble, strap on backup guns, extra ammo.

    Deer season, take the 30-30 for close quarter hunting, or the .300winmag for distance work...and if there might be hogs present, take the .44.

    tools, just tools....like I've got four portable drills, half dozen saws, at least two of everything possible, in case something breaks, I've got a backup.

    The good thing about guns is that they rarely lose their value, if you buy quality equipment in the first place. Heck, even the lesser brands keep their value over time.

    Living out here in the sticks, I have to deal with things. After having a sheriff's response time of over an hour once, the constable and sheriff's deputy advised me on my 'rights and responsibilities', and if I couldn't wait an hour for them to show up, how I should deport myself in sticky situations with two legged predators.
     
  14. Kimon

    Kimon Not a Cannibal

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    CFbabe, because I don't beleive in war, or violence and because I have strong moral convictions for helping my fellow man does not mean I am incapable of defending myself or my family. I could have quite easily used some false name to register or perhaps not actually said anything about my personal views but then you all whould not have know the reason why I was strugling with the purchase of a firearm.

    Thanks for the comments all of you who had some input.

    I will check out the options you have laid out for me and will do what is right for me and my family when the time comes.

    Oh I also have several drills, too many saws and countless other tools that I can't live without, I might just have to add a couple of more to my collection, although pointing a radial arm saw at a human being probably won't have the same possible life changing effects as a shotgun.
     
  15. Swampfoot

    Swampfoot Active Member

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    I am in southeast Alabama Kimon.

    For what it is worth I call myself a pacifist too. I was raised around firearms and hunting but at some point in my early twenties I realized I enjoyed seeing animals more alive than dead. I still like to shoot for recreation but now I wish I had more tools and fewer guns... Goodness knows I could have used a table saw a lot more than a rifle this past weekend.
     
  16. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree, I enjoy seeing animals alive, but when you see two dogs tear apart a goat. As I run to help, Knowing there"s nothing I can do. I have a stick and beat the dogs off, but the goat isn't going to make it. Maybe the gun would have helped. It's sad to see this happen, not even my goat. The dogs dragged the goat to my yard. Screaming and well what do I say, that poor goat being torn apart by these dogs.
     
  17. LiberalCountryBoy

    LiberalCountryBoy Well-Known Member

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    I struggled/still struggle with the gun issue. Never really liked guns. My mother and sister were shot by my sisters boyfriend, both lived.
    Personally, I have gone with a 250 lb compound crossbow. Shoots through 3/4" plywood like it's cardboard. Aims as easily as a gun. Takes care of pesky varmints and I don't feel as worried about it.
    Bolts are more expensive than bullets.
    Just a thought
     
  18. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    It is better to have and never need then to need and not have.

    Personal weapon of choice would be youth size 20 guage pump shotgun. Sound of the gun cycleing will scare most human into a fast retreat. 7 or 8 shot will take care of everything smaller then a dog and for dog size and bigger buck shot or slugs. Now the key is practice till the gun feels friendly. Practice till the point you can point and shot without aiming.

    If you are of the smaller sized person a 410 will work (less kick and faster second shot).

    22s are great gun but I would not suggest one for swap creatures. A wounded and mad animal is worse then a hungry one.

    My 2 cents.
     
  19. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Do a SEARCH on this subject too. We have talked it to death.

    No one can tell or advise you about this. You have to want to do it, sign up for classes with a gun shop or your PD or Sheriffs Dept and learn, learn, learn.

    I do have many firearms here. Just me and I consider then a good investment. YOu can always sell a gun even if you don't care to use it.


    LQ
     
  20. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    kimonWell I am a bleeding heart pacifist about to take the homesteading plunge.

    Kimon first off I doubt your a bleeding heart maybe a pacifist. We'll see as your homestead develops.

    My cousin lives in Alabama and he too claims to be a pacifist. He owns a .410 single barrel shot gun. (keeps a 10-round ammo carrier on it's butstock 5 express rounds and 5 slugs) A very ancient Stevens 87A 22LR rifle and a Ruger Mark 1 22LR pistol. Lucky for him his wife is a "gun nut" we depend on her to protect him. :haha: She has a Model 15 S&W 38-special, a SKS in 7.62x39 and a nifty little Rossi single shot in .223. Last Christmas she bought a Remington Pump 20 gauge for herself. Classy lady :D

    To answer your question they have shot raccoons, possoms and foxes in the chicken coop. About twice a month some poor half starved dog gets thrown away up the road and seems to find their goats like most find McDonalds. So they have dispatched a good many mean, hungry dogs. So far (15 years) they have only had to warn off only 3 (2 legged) predators. It helps to have a BIG, BIG Doberman backing up a .410. ;)

    So Kimon what gun do you buy. One that will do the job. And as with any new tool, get instructions on proper use and maintenance. That way you'll be happy and safe.

    Kenneth in NC