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View Poll Results: Has there ever been a time in your civilian life when shooting someone protected you or your family?
Yes. I've had to shoot at people more than once. 0 0%
Yes, I've had to shoot at someone once. 0 0%
No. I own a gun or guns and it makes me feel better though. 19 35.19%
No. I don't own a gun, but I or my family was hurt once because I didn't have one. 1 1.85%
No. I don't own a gun and have never needed one to protect myself. 34 62.96%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-05-2005, 03:00 PM   #21
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Martha and Dex,

Your point is well taken. I didn't see any way to add another option for the poll and ran out of statement blanks. I also had a difficult time composing the statements because the text kept running off the screen and I couldn't read the whole thing at once.

Although I do not own any guns now, I grew up hunting and target shooting. I am not ignorant of guns. I do not feel uncomfortable with them. But they don't make me feel safe or unsafe either. My non-gun ownership is an LBYM thing for me. I neither hunt nor target shoot now because I have so many other things I enjoy doing more. So why own a gun. I sold my last one years ago. The expense isn't justified by the pleasure.

As far as safety goes, I think there are plenty of statistics showing that guns in a home are more likely to be used on people who live in the home by people who live in the home than on an intruder -- by a wide margin. And even though I've lived a relatively adventurous life -- hitchiking across the country on several occassions, exploring the shady parts of cities, etc. -- I have never carried or needed a gun to protect myself. In fact, I think holding a gun may have put me in greater danger in some cases. From the results in the poll so far, my experience is not unique. Other than police and military, people are highly unlikely to ever be in a situation where shooting at someone would actually be a good option.

Sorry the poll didn't capture your situation.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-05-2005, 06:47 PM   #22
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

My husband has a shotgun and a handgun, but I won't touch them. I insisted on a gun safe when we met, I grew up with all sorts of guns in the house, as my father, brother and grandfather were all hunters, so I'm comfortable with them around. I had plenty of opportunity to learn to shoot and never took anyone up on the offer.

They do not make me feel safer against intruders. Around here my husband uses them to get rid of critters who intrude in our garden and pick fights with our dogs (porcupines!).
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-05-2005, 06:53 PM   #23
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Hey, one of the favorite activities of posters on this forum is to find something missing from a poll.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-05-2005, 07:33 PM   #24
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
You forgot:

"No, I don't own a gun, but a family member was hurt because they had one."

My brother's partner was killed by a high-powered rifle round that sliced right through his "bullet-proof" vest. The shot was fired by a legless, normally law-abiding Vietnam Veteran lost inside a flashback.

I don't expect this to change any attitudes... but for Art's sake, for the sake of his wife and children, and for my brother and his colleagues who are still out there every day, I feel duty-bound to add it.

Caroline
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-05-2005, 10:58 PM   #25
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
"No, I own guns and it makes me feel better though."

Feel better about what?* Poorly worded question. I own 2 handguns that I use for sport shooting (at cardboard targets).* I feel good about scoreing well - just like when I have a good round of golf.

Dex: Everytime I miss a 3 foot putt in a "skin game", I am thankful I'm not carrying a hand-gun.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-06-2005, 02:46 AM   #26
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

I have never owned a gun and never will. If my family's personal protection realistically depended upon me being armed, I would move.

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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-06-2005, 06:17 AM   #27
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkie
I have never owned a gun and never will. If my family's personal protection realistically depended upon me being armed, I would move.

Honkie
Oh Honkie; I just think you need to be goosed a little.

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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-06-2005, 01:31 PM   #28
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
My husband has a shotgun and a handgun, but I won't touch them. I insisted* on a gun safe when we met, I grew up with all sorts of guns in the house, as my father, brother and grandfather were all hunters, so I'm comfortable with them around. I had plenty of opportunity to learn to shoot and never took anyone up on the offer.*

They do not make me feel safer against intruders. Around here my husband uses them to get rid of critters who intrude in our garden and pick fights with our dogs (porcupines!).
Spouse and I had an interesting discussion on this the other night. We're both qualified (no longer proficient) on a wide variety of military hardware, but we don't see a reason for owning them here. (No porcupines in Hawaii...)

The night after the Mt Pinatubo eruption I sent a stakebed truck into Olongapo to look for a dozen MIA crew. We were pulling guys off the streets and one was still trapped in a collapsed building (all survived). Subic Bay was one of the PI's less "lawful" places at that time and we had quite the spirited debate about arming the rescue party before we sent them out. However none of us really wanted to carry and the party willingly went out unarmed. We didn't want to behave as ugly Americans around "defenseless" foreign citizens, we didn't trust our paranoid sleep-deprived triggerhappy officers or sailors (despite all their training on the use of deadly force), and we wanted them to focus on rescuing their shipmates. In other words we wanted them to go looking for our crew but not for trouble, even if they had to turn tail and run back to the pier for reinforcements. There were plenty of options and enough time to escalate as necessary.

I, too, am the designated "noise in the middle of the night" homeowner but we've never owned personal firearms. Spouse grew up with a 9mm Beretta but her father sold it before moving to Hawaii. Good thing, too-- she says he used to keep it locked & loaded in his nightstand and he thought the kids didn't know about it. I'm glad our kid never visited Grandma & Grandpa at their ol' homestead.

Spouse & I still feel the same way. If the hurricane flattens our neighborhood then we'd willingly share with our neighbors. If looters visited in the middle of the night then we'd point them toward the pantry and run away fast. I'd like to think that the lack of weaponry would encourage us to hunker down, stay alert, and avoid danger instead of swaggering down the street at high noon. I can defend myself with a kitchen weapon or martial arts but the more important thing is that we know how to avoid confrontation in the first place. I'd much rather behave like a scared bunny rabbit and wait for civil order to return. Hopefully that works and you don't see me on CNN coming out the front door of Wal-Mart with a towel over my head and an M-16 in my arms.

That's another issue-- there's a substantial hassle factor to owning firearms in Hawaii. We can only legally own whatever has less firepower than the police and we're required to register. The police treat you in a totally different manner at a traffic stop after their firearms database pops up your name. Too many injuries & deaths around here are facilitated by firearms instead of avoided by them. I think that if we owned a weapon then we'd feel obligated to keep the family trained & proficient, and eventually the knowledge that we were packin' heat would be used against us.

Now I'm gonna have to ask our 12-year-old how many families on the street own firearms... the kids know that stuff.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-06-2005, 06:54 PM   #29
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

I understand strongly principled objections to potentially lethal self defence. I can quote George Fox (founder of the "Quakers") and his colleagues all day long.

Those objections aside...

I have several fire extinguishers, even though we have a great fire department.

I have a spare tire, even though we have multiple options for dealing with on-the-road problems.

I had life vests on the boat, and a life raft, even though we had Sea-Tow, Tow-Boat-US, and the Coast Guard available.

I had a couple of spare radios on the boat, even though our primary radio had an extended warranty.

I carry fire insurance. etc etc etc.

So I guess I don't see much of a big deal about keeping protection against such things as home invasions -- that happen several times a month within 20 miles of here, even though locally we have been OK. etc etc etc.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-06-2005, 08:09 PM   #30
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by dory36
...
I have several fire extinguishers, even though we have a great fire department.

I have a spare tire, even though we have multiple options for dealing with on-the-road problems.

I had life vests on the boat, and a life raft, even though we had Sea-Tow, Tow-Boat-US, and the Coast Guard available.

I had a couple of spare radios on the boat, even though our primary radio had an extended warranty.

I carry fire insurance. etc etc etc.

So I guess I don't see much of a big deal about keeping protection against such things as home invasions -- that happen several times a month within 20 miles of here, even though locally we have been OK.* etc etc etc.
First, you are assuming that owning a gun is effective protection against home invasion. Most gun owners seem to envision themselves pulling out their weapon and downing the bad guy who is out to do them harm, but the facts and statistics don't seem to bear that vision out.

Second, there is the potential downside of ownership. I've never heard of a case when someone was injured by their own spare tire, life preserver, fire extinguisher, radio, or insurance policy.

And then there's the relative probability of these events. I've had to change dozens of flat tires. I've known people who have had house fires and put them out with their fire extinguisher. I've experienced radios going bad. I don't have much boat experience, but I know people who fell overboard. And I've had relatives lose their home to fires.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 12:16 AM   #31
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
... the facts and statistics don't seem to bear that vision out.
With respect, the issue is more complicated, and if you really researched it, you'd find much of what you hear in the popular media is hokum.

But I have zero problem with people who choose to not own or use a firearm. OTOH, I consider those who insist on preventing others from owning and using them to be nearly as dangerous as violent criminals ... forcing others to be defenseless is effectively violence, IMHO.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 12:22 AM   #32
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

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Originally Posted by Charles
With respect, the issue is more complicated, and if you really researched it, you'd find much of what you hear in the popular media is hokum.
I have researched it -- in quite a bit of detail. I wouldn't depend on popular media any more than I would depend on the NRA.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 10:04 AM   #33
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

We'll agree to disagree ... I have zero problem with you not owning a firearm, SG. Take care.
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 04:12 PM   #34
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Just curious with this one. Anyone have alarm systems installed in their homes? I don't think this has been mentioned as an alternative for protection.

LL
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 05:24 PM   #35
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

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Originally Posted by LL
Just curious with this one.* Anyone have alarm systems installed in their homes?* I don't think this has been mentioned as an alternative for protection.

LL
I do -- sensors at all doors and windows, motion detectors in hallways. I also have a sheet metal screen door with a dead bolt in place of a storm door. I can answer my door and still have a relatively impenetrable barrier between me and whoever is knocking. Around here, the home invasion crimes usually take place when someone answers the door. The invaders then push their way in and disable the person who answered before they have a chance to respond. A simple chain on the door won't hold up to this kind of assault. People with double doors are really susceptible. Most of the double doors built around here are pretty flimsy and can easily be kicked in quickly. I haven't put decorative iron bars over the windows, but I think I would move if I got to the point where I felt that was needed.

And I have a big (dumb) dog. The police I have spoken with tell me a dog is the best single thing you can do for protection. Bubba the black lab earns his dog food.

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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 05:53 PM   #36
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Folks can do amazing things when aided by the miracle of chemistry. We were once the "host" of a drugged up woman who knocked at the door and then inserted her arm into the chained-up doorway, closed the door so tightly that I couldn't believe her arm wasn't shattered, and removed the chain from its holder so she could get in -- which she did.

She wasn't violent -- just in the wrong place but absolutely convinced I was her roommate's boyfriend trying to keep her out. Once she got in and saw it wasn't her apartment, she left.

So forget those chains!

The dog, on the other hand, is excellent. Heck, large dog poop deposits in strategic places are probably all you need to get a miscreant to decide to visit your neighbor instead of you. If in doubt, combine the dog poop with an NRA sticker in prominent view. (In Texas, we call this the "fire ant" solution. You can't stop it - you just divert it elsewhere.)
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 06:09 PM   #37
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
I do -- sensors at all doors and windows, motion detectors in hallways.* I also have a sheet metal screen door with a dead bolt in place of a storm door.* I can answer my door and still have a relatively impenetrable barrier between me and whoever is knocking.* Around here, the home invasion crimes usually take place when someone answers the door.* The invaders then push their way in and disable the person who answered before they have a chance to respond.* A simple chain on the door won't hold up to this kind of assault.* People with double doors are really susceptible.* Most of the double doors built around here are pretty flimsy and can easily be kicked in quickly.* I haven't put decorative iron bars over the windows, but I think I would move if I got to the point where I felt that was needed.

And I have a big (dumb) dog.* The police I have spoken with tell me a dog is the best single thing you can do for protection.* Bubba the black lab earns his dog food.

We have Maggie, a black lab, about 85 lbs. Wouldn't harm anything
(unless she rolled over on your foot), but she has figured out that she can
intimidate just with her size and bluster. She has scared the hell out of
meter readers and several neighborhood dogs. I am not counting on her
in a real crisis though. She only gets really worked up for food or belly rubs.

JG
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 06:12 PM   #38
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

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She only gets really worked up for food or belly rubs.
Me, too... :
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 08:19 PM   #39
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
I haven't put decorative iron bars over the windows, but I think I would move if I got to the point where I felt that was needed.
I've seen these bars on a lot of ground floor apts and condos in downtown Seattle.* Are you screwed if you have a fire? Or can they somehow be removed from inside?

Ha
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection
Old 09-07-2005, 08:22 PM   #40
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Re: Reality and your concepts of self protection

I had an alarm system on our old house that scared the be-jeepers out of us some years back. *We woke up at 1am with the phone ringing and the alarm sounding. *It was the alarm monitoring company who said that a "zone 1" alarm had gone off - Front, back or side door, and should they call the police. *Leaving my wife in bed on the phone, I went down the stairs with pepper spray in hand shouting back progress. *At the foot of the stairs I could see the front door open to the extent of the chain and the cat trying to get in.

My son had collected and paid for pizza during the evening and not latched the door properly or locked it. *I noticed it was quite windy so that is what probably opened the door and the cat was investigating the alarm.

Despite the VERY LOUD alarm, telephone call, and me shouting up the stairs to my wife, neither of our teenage kids woke up , but at least the chain kept the cat out *8)
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