Examples of Practical and Impractical Gun Ownership
A Basic Shotgun
The Best Guns for Home Protection
The most efficient type of gun for home protection is probably going to be a shotgun. The shot in the bullet breaks apart when discharged, so it basically acts as a spread gun, eliminating the need for precision accuracy. But perhaps the biggest advantage of this type of gun in a home assault is the lack of effectiveness the projectiles it produces have at distance.
Unless you’re mansion rich, in your home you are probably never going to need to produce an effective shot of more than 15 feet, and truth be told, it is unlikely you will ever need to fire a gun in your home anyway. But if you’re the sort that likes to be prepared for any scenario, the shotgun is a good choice because while it carries a great chance of lethality toward the intruders you are aiming at, it is unlikely to travel through walls and kill family and friends. And unlike high-end power rifles, there is no chance the shot in the bullets will travel through the outer wall of your home and then the outer wall of another home and kill your neighbor.
.22 Six Shot Revolver
The second best gun for home protection is probably a basic .22 handgun. It is a close range gun with a solid bullet. In the excitement and confusion of a home invasion, it is an inferior weapon compared to the shotgun because it requires more accuracy and only one invader can be targeted at a time. In addition, though a .22 handgun is only accurate close in, its bullets travel farther and maintain a higher velocity over distance than that of shot, thus you run a higher risk of killing your child or grandmother or family friend or whoever might be staying over, with a stray bullet.
If you choose to have guns for home protection, the shotgun and .22 handgun are the top two weapons on the very short list of guns that could be construed as “practical” if you squint hard enough at the statistics and available information. Of course it goes without saying that, if possible, the best way to avoid harm in a home invasion is to just get you and your family out of the house and notify the authorities, or you could even invest in a safe room.
Why Hunting is a Practical Skill Set
Though hunting for most of us is not an everyday activity anymore, it is still a skill set that is very important to pass on to future generations. It teaches self-sufficiency and amongst all the noise of modern living, keeps us in tune with what survival actually requires. When you are able to produce meat for you and your loved ones and skip the middleman, it provides the reassurance that if our whole society goes down, which actually does happen from time to time, those you care most about will have a chance at making it through until the next age of reason.
And for those of you that live without meat, when it comes to survival, it is still going to be very hard to make it without killing living creatures. We’ve come a long way in developing gardening methods that don’t disturb nature, but what would happen if life’s focus changed from farming as a hobby to farming for survival and you found yourself up against an infestation of vermin that you couldn’t avoid naturally? If you wish to live, the answer is to kill them.
Then there is just conservation of various species. For example, sometimes the best thing for the deer population is to kill and eat some of them. In times of overpopulation it is a far more humane demise to put the deer down with a bullet than allow them to starve to death.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll cut myself short here, but as for the reasons hunting is important, I have only scratched the surface.
Basic Hunting Rifle
The Best Guns for Hunting
Moving on to the role guns play in hunting, I would like to first point out that they don’t have to play any. Fishing is a type of hunting. Seeing as over 70% of the earth is covered by the wet stuff, a person can hunt their entire life and prosper without ever so much as picking up a gun or bow and arrow. There’s also trapping, though often a very inhumane form of hunting, it doesn’t necessitate a gun.
But that said, guns are still a very efficient way to hunt, and at least here in most of North America, the best gun for hunting is a basic .22 rifle with a good sighting system. Though in some areas you have animals like moose or grizzly bears or even giant feral pigs that might be more efficiently taken down by something larger like a 30-06 rifle, the .22 rifle is the only gun for hunting that you have to have.
For example, let’s say you are being pursued by a grizzly bear. The sound of a .22 being shot alone will probably scare it off. If you hit the bear with a .22 bullet, it will cause the animal to retreat whether it is a lethal hit or not. Why? Wild animals are governed by survival instinct. They will not hang around in an unsafe situation.
Additionally, here in North America there is no animal that a well placed shot with a .22 rifle won’t kill. Is it the best weapon against some of our largest creatures? Probably not, but it is certainly the best type of hunting weapon to have in this part of the world, and if you could only have one hunting weapon, it is the only good choice.
Scene of Orlando Nightclub Massacre
Functionality of High Powered Rifles and Handguns in Society
So as for the practical use of guns in home protection and hunting, one can justify owning a shotgun, a .22 handgun, a basic .22 rifle with a good sighting mechanism, and perhaps a 30-06 rifle or any of the many comparable guns to these in fire power.
And that leads us to the next big question, what purpose do guns like .50 caliber sniper rifles, AK-47s, AR-15 assault rifles, fully automatic handguns, and the like serve in everyday life? The answer is 2 major functions: recreation or mass murder.
Let’s look at the latter first. You can’t use something like a .50 caliber weapon for protection without endangering the lives of all the innocent people in close proximity. You will never need to snipe an enemy from a mile away to protect your home. Likewise, a fully automatic weapon can’t be fired with specific intent. What these weapons are effective at is what they were designed for: indiscriminately killing lots of people.
Just look at what happened in Orlando. The Sig Sauer MCX .223 caliber rifle Omar Mateen purchased legally days before the massacre performed exactly as it was designed to. As a result, 49 innocent people are gone from this world.1
Grenade Launcher/Machine Gun, How Cool is That?
Yet recreationally I see the appeal of big guns. Simply put, they’re cool! The technology it takes to develop devices like this, the precision of perfectly machined metal, the surge of power one feels when they hold a large weapon in their hand, let’s face it: it’s sexy. I’ve never understood why that is such a hard thing for gun aficionados to admit. Holding a big gun is sexy. It just is. Whereas folks have no problem describing a muscle car, a motorcycle, an airplane, or even the power of nature as sexy, for whatever reason it becomes suddenly taboo, downright sinister to describe high powered weapons as such.
Have you ever held a gun, even a small one? It’s sexy. I’ve heard people on the total opposite spectrum of things than the gun nut admit as much. But guns being sexy doesn’t mean anything damning. Have you read any Sigmund Freud? If the sexiness of things is to be the onset of evil, we might as well either admit we’re all evil or just kill ourselves.
In summation, regardless of how you want to phrase it, big guns are a thrill. Personally I’ve never shot one, but I have no problem imagining the surge of adrenaline going through one’s body as he or she fires one of these massive toys at a gun range. And that’s what they are in this instance: toys, stress relievers, the kick in the pants you need at the end of a bad day. They serve no other practical purpose in addition to this besides killing lots of people.
Guns can be a Wholesome Thing or a Dysfunctional Thing
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
I believe in freedom. I believe in enjoying life. I would never endorse taking all of people’s guns away, but I have a hard time endorsing weapons that serve little purpose in society and on top of this, in many cases, that aren’t even required to be registered. You’re never going to hunt with any of these big guns. You’re never going to defend your home with them. Why not leave such weapons to the military, video games, and specially licensed gun ranges where you can go for the day and play with these marvels of engineering. What necessitates that we own them personally?
You can make the argument that more gun laws would just mean that only criminals will be able to have high powered weapons, but where does that logic get you, really? “If I have an AK-47 I can kill lots more innocent bystanders shooting towards the criminal that is shooting at me with an AK-47 and killing lots of innocent bystanders.” Just sounds like two criminals in a standoff to me.
The gun debate is a multidimensional one that is ill-represented in our society as only being two pronged. On one side we have representation from the NRA who only promotes paranoia, fear, and ignorance rather than gun safety and intelligent governance. The other group that is commonly represented in society is on the far left, and is peopled by the few folks that think all guns should be taken away. In the middle we have the majority of the population who feel similarly to how I do and have no representation whatsoever.
Why can’t there just be a reasonable gun safety organization that actually represents the feelings of the majority? An organization that behaves rationally…in this country…it would never work.
Where do your allegiances lie in the gun debate?
1. Confirmed in multiple articles, CNN.com.