With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on the southeast coast of the USA, here’s a hypothetical . . .
You live in Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas and you’ve got some do-gooder friends (or perhaps neighbors) in the path of this monster. In the past they may have mocked you for buying guns for self-protection (“Are you a racist or something?”) or that gun ownership isn’t really necessary (“Oh, the police will protect you! They are just a phone call away.”) Maybe they think you’re a certifiable inbred, redneck lunatic gun owner.
But no matter how crazy, wrong-headed or misguided you have been in the past, they have called you. They finally come out and say it: “We know you’ve got guns. We’re worried about looters and other criminals coming after the storm moves through. Can we borrow something (or several somethings)?”
Do you share some of your firearms with them, or do you let them “call the police” as they’ve always said you could do when they previously suggested that you didn’t really need all those guns you’ve got. We might be talking about a brother- or sister-in-law. It might just be an acquaintance or a friend of your own or your domestic supervisor.
So do you share, or do you suggest they go salute some lampposts? If so, what do you share with them?
Post your thoughts in comments.
I’ll go first:
I’m blessed with a lot of friends. Really good friends. How many friends? They say really good friends will help you move. Let’s put it this way, when I moved three plus years ago, I had between thirty and forty people helping on each end. Yeah, about half helped in both places, but still.
Not only did they help us move, they put together shelving for us and moved most everything down into the basement once we arrived at our new destination… including a bullet or two. That’s amazing friends. The moving company guys shook their heads and said they had never seen anything like it before.
If their boat capsized and my gun friends lost their collections, as has happened to my former collections on a number of occasions (see above), I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to engineer a temporary loan to them, along with all the requisite gear – holsters, mag pouches, spare mags, ammo, tac light, etc.
I’ve done it before (a gun goes down in class and we can’t have them walking around without a heater!) and I’d do it again. I know these people are competent with the gun(s) and putting a firearm in their hands would be a net good for society and them.
I have only a couple of friends (both through my lovely bride) who aren’t gun owners, but they share pro-gun attitudes. I barely have any acquaintances who aren’t gun owners. These people? It depends(TM).
Let’s say it’s that one friend, the maid of honor from the wedding, who is asking for help. She’s got a husband and a 16-year-old cheerleader daughter and a 13-year-old son. And a big dog appropriately named Zeus.
I’d probably hook them up with a pair of shotguns, including a 20-gauge Remington 870 riot gun, tricked out with a side-saddle, a tritium front sight insert and a nice sling for the ladies and a similarly suited 12 gauge for dad. With appropriate buckshot and slugs, of course – of the reduced recoil variety for the 12 gauge.
If they had to have a handgun it would be a 4″ K-frame Smith & Wesson .38. They would get a crash course in firearm safety and how to make said blunderbusses go boom and how to make them safe. Don’t have time for a crash course? No problem. We can do it sometime after the storm and I’ll be taking my toys and going home.
Sorry, no semi-autos for untrained people I care about.
As for the acquaintance through the wife who is a dyed in the wool lib who proudly proclaimed support for Bernie Sanders, and now Hillary: Call the police or maybe Bernie or Hillary. They will help ya. And no, you can’t come to my house. I might give them an airsoft pistol or an airsoft shotgun.
I could tell them it was a real gun and they wouldn’t know any better, and would surely treat it like handling fresh dog feces. That would be the extent of what I’d trust them with and even then, they might put their eyes out.
Everyone else? Forget about it.
Why am I generally opposed to giving guns to completely untrained people unfamiliar with shooting? The answer should be obvious. A gun is a tool to be respected and treated with care. There’s a lot that can go wrong mishandling a firearm. Negligent discharges rank right up at the top of things that can go wrong. How would you feel if they shot themselves or a family member with a N.D.? Or what if one of their smaller kids fingered that loaner gun and popped off a round and hurt someone?
Then there’s the whole judicious use of deadly force thing. Some people think it’s okay to threaten or actually use deadly force for scenarios where the law doesn’t permit such actions. Interloper won’t get off your front lawn? It ain’t like Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino.
Threaten someone with a rifle- or any gun – to get off your lawn without seriously extenuating (sometimes they call it ‘aggravating’ in law schools) circumstances, even after a hurricane, and don’t be surprised if five-oh doesn’t pay you a visit. You might even get a free tour / stay at the local gray bar hotel.
That would suck for them as well. What’s more, they might even sue you if they do something stupid with said firearm.
It’s kind of like giving a generator to someone who is clueless about mechanical and electrical things. What could go wrong? Well, let’s see: fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, suicide cord issues, more fire risk and on and on.
In my opinion, be safe and be prudent as you prepare for Hurricane Matthew. And let those who have chosen to ignore the proven, life-saving benefits of firearms ownership live (or die) with that decision.