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Factors in deciding whether or not to own a handgun

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Hello everybody,

A friend of mine has the hobby of collecting & shooting guns, all kinds. My dd12 & I have been to the range where they are a member to target shoot several of their handguns.

This person has recently offered to gift me a handgun, "for protection."

While I am not opposed to the right of law abiding citizens to own guns, this is N O T a post intended to debate that.

What I am interested in learning is how people came to make the decision to own a personal firearm for protection, or how they came to the decision not to.

This is directed only to those persons who have given the matter serious consideration, no matter what decision was ultimately made.

Thank you!

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:56 PM
Replies (21-30):
by Bronze Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM
I have thought about, but I honestly do not believe a gun would actually make me safer. Maybe because I have always lived in safe areas and have never known anyone who suffered asault.

For one thing, I have no idea how to use one and seriously doubt my willingness to shoot someone. But also, if everyone has a gun and shoots, then everyone is dead (or at least injured). If a thief breaks into my house with a gun, the gun is most likely out and ready. I would have to find mine after realizing someone was in my house. I'm not saying I wouldn't be ableto get to my gun in time to use it, but that is a possibility. And the possibility of them shooting before I do is high.

But maybe my biggest reason is fear of the kids finding it and shooting somone or themselvesby accident. I am well aware there are strict safety precautions and that kind of accident is highly unlikely if the precautions are followed, but the fact remains that kids die every year from playing with the family gun. If a bad guy came in and hurt my kid I would absolutely go through hell for not having protected them. But if my kid (or a friend) died because of my gun I would never, ever be able to forgive myself.
by Gold Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 2:35 AM
I came to the conclusion to never own one when I realized that I couldn't live with having killed someone.
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by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Personally, the first thing that would make me decide to own one is by asking one, simple question....Do I know how to use the damn thing? I do not know how to use a hand gun and I have shot off a rifle only once. As much as I would love to get a little 9mm (they actually have a cute little pink one at a pawn shop downtown that I would love to get my hands on), I do not know enough about guns. Until I get to that point where I know how to load, unload, and fire a gun efficiently, I have no business owning one. that's how people accidently get shot.

by Woodie on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:33 AM

I was raised shooting guns and had one under my bed by age 13, since we lived out in the country. The day I drove off to college my dad pressed a pistol into my hand 'for protection' and I kept it until I gave birth to my first child. Being educated on the subject, I knew I didn't want a pistol in the house with young children. We still had long guns, thanks to my husband's interest. My dad recently gave me another family treasured pistol when my husband deployed, and with my youngest being 17 I felt comfortable leaving it by my bed.

Now that my dad has passed and I've taken over his gun range, I have an assortment at my fingertips. I still keep my pistol by the bed, and yes its loaded.

by Ruby Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:00 AM

We train dogs in various ways, one being home protection, another, personal protection. For anyone to think "I have dogs as protection"...unless trained to do so, don't rely on them.

I got a handgun 25 years ago, as required of my job. With it came a license to carry. I've never carried. Had it with me, but never carried on my person. I live a very 'fear-free' live, and always have, so I never saw the need. I have long left the job, but still have the gun, loaded always. Not for people. I live in the woods, we have animals, and it's solely for animal protection.

My husband was Cheif of Police on a Navy base and always carried. When he left the military, started a new career, carrying lots of money to banks, etc, he carried. He keeps his loaded near the bed (along with a tazer, a club, etc). He keeps a loaded rifle in the dining room (nice decor, haha) for those wild animals as well.

I have a hand injury that required 2 surgeries, metal, etc, so my hand doesn't bend correctly to hold a rifle properly.

I don't live in fear. I live an un-locked life (house, keys in car, etc). I live in an extremely safe area. In the last 2 years, the only crime in this town was someone growing an excessive amount of marijuana. We don't have a police department even.

If I had never had that job, I would have never gotten a gun. And none of my dogs are trained for protection, so I would never rely on them.

by A.Ham on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

For me, owning a handgun actually makes me feel less safe in my home than not owning one does.

by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM
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 I don't think I ever made a decision to own a gun.  I grew up with them..owning one is just kind of who I am.

I did make a decision to purchase a hand gun.  I was assaulted in the middle of the day in the grocery store parking lot.  I had pepper spray on my key chain..which was out of reach.  I defended myself with what was available..a bag of potatoes...beat the crap out of the guy.  Buying a gun and getting a cc was a no brainer for me...what if I hadn't had the potatoes?  I am certain if I had the gun then I would have shot the guy.


by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM
1 mom liked this

We own handguns, shot guns and rifles because it's a hobby fo rmy husband. The guns are there if we need protection, but that isn't why we bought them.

Gun safety is important to us, and so is respect for the power of a gun. We're teaching our children about all of that.

by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Quoting MsDenuninani:

For me, owning a handgun actually makes me feel less safe in my home than not owning one does.

I can relate.

The only way I would allow guns in our home is if we had a gun safe/locker and all weapons also have locked trigger guards.

by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM
It's my right. That was my deciding factor
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