Fear in the night: People are buying guns for protection 2010.11.24

Written by David Green.

Following the recent break-in, robbery and assault at a Lime Creek Highway residence, many people in the area are on edge and worried, and for good reason. The thought of being roused from sleep by the sound of a gunshot, breaking glass and a door being kicked in is enough to cause anyone concern.

People are talking about watch dogs and alarm systems, and some are choosing to fight fire with fire. Buy a gun, keep it loaded, and place it right next to the bed.

Is that last choice a good one for you?

Conversations about the issue—including a talk with a law enforcement officer and another with gun owner—point to a shared conclusion: Buying a gun for protection isn’t the best option for many people.

It’s not an opposition to the private ownership of a gun. Americans have the right to buy weapons and protect themselves. No one is challenging that. It’s the last part, about defending yourself, that can prove troublesome.

In a gunfight, someone is going to get hurt, to say the least, and it might not be the bad guy. It might even be both people holding weapons, or, if the exchange takes place in your bedroom, the victim might be the spouse next to you in bed. We’ve been told that a person skilled with a knife can attack before a homeowner reaches for his pistol on the bedside table.

Are you really prepared to use the weapon you’re holding? You better be if the invader also has a weapon. Will you be thinking clearly enough to use the gun correctly and to shoot accurately? Are you trained in the use of a gun in a home invasion situation? It’s a much different state of affairs than target practice. Are you certain it’s a thief that you’re about to put a bullet in?

We know these questions don’t apply to everyone, but for many of us, sleeping with a loaded gun is not the best solution to night-time concerns. Perhaps it’s a good alarm system that would offer more peace of mind.

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