Jean Paul Sartre must have been fun at parties. But then who isn’t? I’ve been known to regale guests at swanky soirees with stories of home invasions, armed robberies, police shootings gone bad and concealed carry killers. During these ballistic BS sessions, I get a large number of “you’ve got pin lice on your eyebrows” looks. I’ve taken to calling my antagonists I-NOGs. “I would never own a gun,” they tell me, as if that settles the matter. For both them and me. Which is how Rhode Island got to be a “never-issue” states. I digress . . .
I-NOGs are usually women. Oddly, their husbands would own a defensive gun in a New York—make that Vermont minute. Sometimes they do. And it’s almost always a fancy schmancy semi-automatic pistol. It should be a revolver.
Imagine a couple of home invaders entering your house (concealed carry scenario to follow). There you are. You and your family. Who are these uninvited guests going to take out first? The alpha dog. The guy. You. You might as well have a big target on your shirt. You’re going down.
News flash: felons aren’t feminists. Anyone who wants to do a family wrong is going to start by wailing on the husband. If nothing else, he’s the tallest and the strongest. Once the alpha’s down, his pack will more readily accept the invading alpha’s authority.
I know some of you guys reckon you’ll be quicker on the draw than any potential home invader or invaders. Granted—assuming you carry a gun on your person at all times in the privacy of your own home and live la vida paranoico. ‘Cause if you don’t, the home invader will own you.
Perhaps you keep your weapon in a gun safe in an inoperable condition, as required by some extremely foolish Nanny states. Even if you get to the gun safe before you’re attacked, adrenalin will turn your hands into flippers. And if the safe’s already open, what the hell is your gun doing in an unlocked safe?
Chances are you’re not going to make it. Sorry. That’s the way it is. It’s possible. But tactically, you need to assume you’re going to lose round one. So now what? Now, your wife. (Or, dare I say it, one of the kids).
So the Mrs. hears you screaming (knife’s like that). Or a gunshot followed by screaming. Or, worst of all, a gunshot followed by silence. She needs to do something. Calling 911 is an excellent response—as long as she knows to punch the numbers, throw the phone somewhere and hide.
Getting a gun whilst dialing 911, gathering the kids and hiding is even better. But wait! She hates guns! Oh, hold on. She’s changed her mind! Huh. How about that. The woman who said you can have a gun in the house “over my dead body” suddenly doesn’t want to become a dead body. Or raped. Or watch her children suffer unspeakable cruelty.
She knows where your gun is (if only because she used to detest the thing). She gets it. Now she’s going to aim it at the bad guys and pull the trigger. That’s it. She’s not going to turn off any safeties or rack a slide. Just point and shoot.
As sure as eggs are eggs she’s going to miss. AND she’s going to limp-wrist it.
In her valiant effort to save your ass she’s going to instantly render your fancy Glock, Springfield, Smith & Wesson, Ed Brown .45 or whatever inoperative. With the first trigger pull.
That’s going to really annoy your as-yet-unmolested attackers.
And how’s this for fun: she might mistakenly depress the magazine release. Your very own Quentin Tarantino moment!
D’oh! You could have had a revolver. And then all her indoors had to do is what she was going to do anyway: point and shoot. Do you think that the average non-gun owner, the average gun hater could figure out how to use a revolver without ever having fired a gun in their life? I bet they could.
Next question: could she hit anything?
With a snub-nosed revolver, even an experienced shooter has to get up close and personal. In most home invasion scenarios, your better half would have to move towards the bad guys to shoot them effectively. At the exact moment that every muscle, cell, nerve and fiber of their body is telling them to get the kids and run like hell.
So not only do you need a revolver for that special someone who’s never fired a gun in their life (presumably), but you also need one with which she can hit someone from a non-face-to-face distance.
Smith & Wesson 686 or Ruger GP100, four inch barrel.
Never mind about the weight. With all that adrenalin flowing through your significant other’s bloodstream, that’s not going to be a problem. Recoil? Sure that’s an issue—if you use .357 ammo. Keep hollow point .38s on board and she’ll fire either gun without knocking herself unconscious. With the right ammo the Smith and Ruger are pussycats. Hell she might even like it.
Did I just say that? I didn’t mean to say that. I meant to say she will not fall to pieces after the first shot. So there might be a second. Or a third. With a bit of luck you’ll get back in the fight as your attackers lose their first mover advantage.
The four-inch barrel is an ideal length. For one thing, it looks like a cannon. Aiming one of these revolvers at someone is the visual equivalent of racking a pump shotgun. It may not intimidate the bad guys. But it might.
Even if it doesn’t, the longer barrel does wonders for accuracy. When push comes to shove, accuracy is just as important for a total newbie as it is for an experienced marksman. Maybe more.
OK, scenario two: concealed carry.
You’re in a restaurant or shop or walking downtown. Uh-oh. You get shot. Suddenly, you don’t feel like returning fire, even though you really should. Even if you do maintain motivation, you might not feel up to the task. (Something to do with that extra hole in your body).
Lucky for you, your anti-gun wife has become vastly more open-minded about the advantages of gun ownership. Given your dramatically reduced physical condition—and the potential that she might suffer the same fate—your wife will probably re-prioritize the dangers of shooting a firearm.
Here’s an idea: share the love. Give her the gun. Or a friend. Someone on your team. Go team go!
What kind of handgun would you prefer to hand to a novice: a nine mil that requires a firm hand, one of those fussy little .380 jobbies or a small (you’re outside the home now) revolver? The semis will have more rounds, but really, are you expecting someone with no training to get into an extended gunfight?
The revolver creates self-defense options you can’t get with a semi-automatic pistol. The big downside—reduced ammunition—is not that much of a drawback when you factor in the 3-3-3 rule (most gunfights use three rounds in three seconds from three yards).
That’s why I reckon a wheel gun is the way to go for home defense and concealed carry. Of course, there’s an even better way to defend yourself with a handgun: train your S.O. to handle a semi, carry a semi and keep/carry a revolver as a back-up.
In any case, don’t let the perfect (a 1911) be the enemy of the really useful (a reliable revolver). Oh, and Sartre is the French egghead who said hell is other people. But then so is salvation.