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#1 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Alrighty, then. My DH is going to have to start traveling a lot for work. He says he is concerned for the kids and I to stay in the house alone, and there is no where else for all three of us to stay while he is out of town.

He wants to purchase a gun and get some shooting lessons for me so that I could use the gun for home defense. He also wants to get one because we are getting chickens in the spring and there are lots of possums (which can be pretty mean) and raccoons (which really love fresh chicken) around here and he would like to have one for poultry protection.

I have never fired a gun, and I used to think that I never would. But, I think I might be starting to change my mind. I mean, if I get chickens for pets, it will be my responsibility (or DH's) to keep them safe. And, although I can never see myself shooting anyone, I suppose if it came to someone hurting or taking my child, I could do it.

So, would you ever consider having a gun? If you have one, where do you keep it?

***I am really not trying to start a huge ugly discussion, but I know this is an emotional issue. Please try to remain as civil as possible.***
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#2 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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No way, for me. I lived in a house filled with guns and was nervous b/c of that growing up. That is just something we don't and won't consider here for our family now. Not even for pretend play or as toys. I teach my children what I know, that guns kill people and animals. Imo, that is what they are made for and used for, not for "protection".

I have a dp who travels a lot. We live in an area that isn't so great, not so bad either (compared to a mile down the street) and I have not thought about needing a gun for protection at all. I keep lights on inside and out and feel safe enough doing that. I have also lived in different states from him while he was at a new job. Last year I lived 2 months alone and this year (in April/May) I lived 2 months alone and never felt I needed a gun to keep my children and myself safe. As for poultry, we had many when I was young and the guns were not for keeping them safe (father was a hunter and had some for "protection" that never needed to be used for "protection", ever.) We did have a rooster who protected the hens and kept them safe. I grew up on 10 acres (surrounded by others who also had 10 acres...and lots of nothing behind us but acres upon acres) and we had coyotes, badgers, racoons, opposums, snakes, etc. We never needed to keep them safe with a gun either. While I know most people would not want a rooster for obvious reasons...if you feel you must keep the chickens safe a rooster seems like a much safer alternative than getting a gun.

Good luck with your choice, mama.
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#3 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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We have a gun, but it's not for protection use. My Dh inherited it when his dad died and it just sits in our closet now locked up. I'm not sure I could get a gun for protection purposes, that just scares me w/ young children. You're supposed to keep ammo seperate from the gun and them locked up etc, what good does that do if you need it for protection, kwim? I hate being here alone w/ the kids, I do it once a week b/c of DH's work schedule. Hopefully I won't feel as apprehensive when we move in a few mos to a better (hopefully) area. I have no idea about the chickens, that's too country for me. lol

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#4 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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Yes, absolutely. We have lived in areas with fairly high crime, and we had a shotgun which we kept under the bed (we had no children and didn't even know anyone with children at the time. No children were ever in the house, and we would have moved it if there had been). I knew how to shoot it, but honestly I hoped that the sound of the racking-- a very loud and distinctive sound!!-- would be enough.

We have a 20 mo now, so we have changed our method.

We keep one, in a case, with a trigger lock (the key hidden elsewhere, shells elsewhere) out of her reach and sight in the closet. You also have to hold down the safety to rack the shells. She has never seen it, and guns are NOT ever, will never be, toys for her. We don't do bb guns, either. When she's older, we educate her age-appropriately.

Just today the dog started barking oddly while I was in the shower. I got out to see what was up, and noticed that the front door was unlocked and looked slightly ajar. I immediately--in a towel-- went through a plan in my mind-- send dog to check/distract, get the baby, lock the bedroom door, rack the shotgun, hope all is well. I never got beyond sending the dog downstairs; As it turned out, I think the wind blew open the door and the dog was freaking out about that... but I have to say, I was skeptical about the gun until I thought someone was in the house, looked in the closet, saw the case, and thought, "Okay--- I can defend my baby." Seriously, that's exactly what went through my mind.

I am not sure what we will do about the guns as she gets older/more explorative. I think we will probably invest in a locking gun cabinet that we keep in our bedroom closet. It needs to be accessible for home defense but obviously not accesible to children...

Shot guns look scary, but one "good" thing about them is that it would be basically impossible for my DD to shoot *herself* with it (or probably even lift it)--it is a lot longer than she is tall. It is *difficult* to shoot (coordinating pushing the safety, the difficulty of racking, etc) I actually feel *much* better about that than a pistol.

ETA-- I will prob. delete this post in a few days just bc we don't publicize the gun thing, much-- they are popular items for thieving.

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#5 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I don't have a gun, and I never will. My thoughts are this - you need to keep the gun locked up to keep it safe. If there's a home invasion, chances are you won't have time to unlock your gun and load it. Plus if the invader got your gun, that would be really bad. And it seems like there have been a number of children killed by guns lately, one a two year old of a police officer. I'm not willing to take that risk.

We have an alarm system we set when we're gone, and at night. It provides me a sense of protection knowing I'll be alerted if someone comes in.

Regarding the chickens - I have no idea. A gun seems sort of drastic, though, but that's just me.
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#6 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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Nope - just no reason for it as I see it.

Good luck with your decision momma. It's a tough one.
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#7 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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no.

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#8 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:56 PM
 
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Yes, absolutely. But I know without a doubt that if someone comes into my home with the intent to harm my children or I, I will shoot them. If I didn't truly believe that, I wouldn't allow one in the home.

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#9 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grniys View Post
Yes, absolutely. But I know without a doubt that if someone comes into my home with the intent to harm my children or I, I will shoot them. If I didn't truly believe that, I wouldn't allow one in the home.
Yes.

Honestly, I probably would not have one just to protect chickens. I agree that a dog would be better for that.

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#10 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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I grew up with guns, and I am comfortable with them in the house. We don't have any, but we don't hunt. My husband is gone for work several nights. I personally like our security system. My 76 pound, well trained black lab. She is way scarier to a potential burglar than the possibility that we might have a gun. The dog is a constant reminder of teeth and an instant burglar alarm. They also keep raccoons and possums away pretty well. My mom has six dogs and several guns. She never locks the doors to her house, but it has nothing to do with the guns.

I grew up to believe the same a PP guns are made for killing animals and people. If your going to shoot a gun it is with the intent to kill. So if your not comfortable the fact that you could potential kill someone a gun is not for you. Gun should always be stored with a trigger lock, in a locked case, and unloaded. Ammo should be stored separately from the gun. These safety measure make it less useful to protect your home, but they protect you kids. Not to mention it gives you time to identify exactly what is going on before you stroll out there with a loaded gun. That brings up more questions...Do you feel that you could keep that gun under your control if ambushed? Are you going to be too scared when you walk out there to clearly identify who is in you home? More accidents happen when people shoot first and ask questions later. I'm sorry I just get nervous when I here people are getting weapons to protect their homes. Like I said I don't take issue with guns in the home. I just worry about people getting them for the wrong reasons.

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#11 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kriket View Post
I never come to Family Safety but I will post here for this, I'm kinda nuts about this topic.


No.

Never in a kazillion years.

You can kill (or scare off) a possum with a pellet gun. Or a dog, honestly, the dogs work better.

When someone shoots their face off don't act surprised.
First of all, dogs kill chickens. They don't usually protect them.

Secondly, I think I asked for people to be civil.
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#12 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:08 PM
 
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First of all, dogs kill chickens. They don't usually protect them.

Secondly, I think I asked for people to be civil.
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#13 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by veggiemomma View Post
First of all, dogs kill chickens. They don't usually protect them.
Actually, that's not true of all dogs. We had a husky growing up that used to nap with our rooster, and our Australian Shepard used the heard them to the pen every night but never hurt them. Just stay away from hunting breeds that are supposed to kill birds.

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#14 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for posting. This is a hard decision for me. I appreciate the idea of a dog, but seriously, any dog that I have ever known has considered chickens to be feathery toys for them to hunt. I'm not sure how to train a dog not to chase chickens, but to chase possums...this is something I need to look into.

I realize that there are a lot of people, children included, who are accidentally killed by people misfiring guns every year. That is part of why I feel conflicted about it. To post links about children mishandling guns is beating a dead horse, so to speak.
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#15 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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No. I guess I won't state my reasons!
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#16 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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If you decide to get one, definitely take the classes, especially the advanced ones with emphasis on self defense. And practice practice practice! When you aren't comfortable handling a weapon is when accidents are most likely to happen. Shop around til you find an instructor you are comfortable with. And the answer is yes we actually own several. I second the pp's thoughts on teaching the children age appropriate info. about guns.
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#17 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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Owning a gun for anything other than the fun of shooting targets would make me scared.
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#18 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:42 PM
 
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No.
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#19 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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[QUOTE=S.Lee;12653092]If you decide to get one, definitely take the classes, especially the advanced ones with emphasis on self defense. And practice practice practice! When you aren't comfortable handling a weapon is when accidents are most likely to happen. QUOTE]

This is very good advice.

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#20 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No. I guess I won't state my reasons!
I never said you couldn't post your reasons.
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#21 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=MaterPrimaePuellae;12653164]
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.Lee View Post
If you decide to get one, definitely take the classes, especially the advanced ones with emphasis on self defense. And practice practice practice! When you aren't comfortable handling a weapon is when accidents are most likely to happen. QUOTE]

This is very good advice.
ITA - good suggestion
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#22 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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We have 4 guns in the house. All loaded ready to shoot. They are kept high where kids can't reach and the shotgun (which, like pp said, is too heavy for the kids to even lift) stays under the bed and I can hardly rack it so I know it will be a long time before the kids can. The kids know not to touch the guns, but they also are not scared of them. All 3 of the kids learned to shoot last Thanksgiving. We didn't shoot anything but a tree stump, but we feel it is important to not be afraid of guns and not be curious about them either. That is when kids accidently shoot themselves or others. They know all the rules, kwim? And they know if they want to shoot, we will take them.
Yes, occasionally a kid gets a hold of a gun and shoots himself and the media makes a huge deal about it. Just like when a baby dies of SIDS and they were in bed with their parents they want to say co-sleeping is bad.

Anyway, an armed society is a polite society.

I also carry one whenever I am going to be out after dark. Or when I go running early in the am. How many times have you heard of women being killed while out jogging? I hear that ALL the time.

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#23 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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No. Quite honestly, I think I would be more likely to hurt myself or another person I did not intend to hurt if I were to handle a gun in the event of a home invasion.

I have 2 dogs that make a ridiculous ruckus if anyone even comes near the house. It is not fool proof protection obviously, but it does help me feel better.

I keep doors locked and I don't open the door for anyone I don't know well.

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#24 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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Yes & we do.

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#25 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by veggiemomma View Post
So, would you ever consider having a gun? If you have one, where do you keep it?
No, never would. When we lived in rural Maine, before children, it crossed our minds. Still decided against.

if you're really concerned about home security - get a home security system, motion sensor lights outside, a fence, & a dog. In order for your gun to be reachable in an emergency, I'd think it would be too accessible for children.

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#26 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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We own 2 hand guns and several shotguns....I love to shoot things (inanimate objects)! Everyone around here has guns and we have no home robberies - you'd get shot! I live in a rural area so it's a little different. I am scared about letting my kids go over to other people's houses because of guns - not knowing how they are locked up etc....though.

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#27 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 02:29 AM
 
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I wouldn't own a gun. I certainly wouldn't own a gun with children in the house. Most of the studies I've come across have told me that you are more likely to get shot by your own gun then by someone breaking into your house with a gun.

I have nothing against gun owners, provided they are responsible. If someone has a gun in their home, DD won't be going there until I know for sure the guns are safely locked away. To many people think it's ok to keep a gun on the top shelf because "The kids can't reach it."

And despite all that, we still teach gun safety because you can never know.

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#28 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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nope and like other's have said I wouldn't even consider it with children in the home. But then I have no reason to be afraid and can't imagine using a gun anyway, for any reason actually. They kinda freak me out to be honest.

We live in a area with very low crime, have a security alarm that's set for all doors and windows as well as motion detector lights in the front and back yard. Also, I live across the street from a cop and here they drive their squad cars home so his sits in his driveway.

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#29 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 03:08 AM
 
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I have a gun. Actually, I have two.

I grew up around guns. I was at the shooting range by age 5. And could shoot properly and quite well by age 8. I could recite you gun safety and responsibility backwards and forwards by age 4.

Until I was 18, I had NO idea where the guns were kept in the house. The guns and bullets were kept separately. In separate safes.

I have followed the same protocol with which I grew up. I keep my guns in one safe. I keep my bullets in another. ALWAYS. I am NEVER lazy or lax about this - despite the fact that we have no kids yet.

I was taught that there is NO such thing as an accident with a gun. Only irresponsible use. And I think this is 100% true. A gun will not harm you, unless you use it in an ignorant way or in a way that lacks responsibility.

I have never had an accident, no one in my family has had an accident, and no responsible gun owner that I know has ever had an accident.

But, this takes vigilance. So, when I come home from the gun range (it's a good stress release, lol), if I'm tired or worn out or want a shower or am hungry - doesn't matter. I ALWAYS put the guns away in the safe, the bullets in the other safe. That is the first thing I do, and I've never forgotten.

I can't stress that enough. Guns can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

So, I would DEFINITELY take lessons first before purchasing a gun. First, it's pointless to own a gun if you don't know how to shoot a target. Second, guns require proper handling, storage, and cleaning. Improper use can result in accidents ... so definitely take the lessons first.

Otherwise, you sound like you're being smart about this. So, go to the shooting range, try out a few guns, and see how it feels. If you don't like it, don't feel comfortable - don't get one. If you're OK with it - get one. Remember, a gun, alone, can't hurt you. Only you can hurt yourself or another with the way you use it. So, if you're safe about it - there's no danger.

In fact, more people and kids get stabbed with knives in the kitchen than harmed with a gun. Statistically speaking, of course.

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#30 of 165 Old 11-21-2008, 03:18 AM
 
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Never ever. Don't even want to touch one. If I lived in an area dangerous enough to make me consider guns, I would move.
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