If you read the survival or prepper web sites there’s lots of discussion about guns. To cut to the chase, the discussion isn’t whether to get one or not. The talk is about what kind of weapons and ammo to have on hand. The need for home defense in these circles is a given.
At a minimum, handguns, rifles, shotguns and ammo could turn out to be a good investment in an hyperinflationary economy. The prevailing view is that it’s better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it.
I am a reluctant gun person. We never had a gun in the house when I was a kid. I went from 1965 to 2009 without touching a gun of any kind. In ’65, on an Air Force base in Vietnam, even though protected by fierce South Korean marines, we were required to carry a side arm. The biggest danger was shooting myself or being shot by another jumpy airman. The boys were mostly overjoyed to be required to pack heat and had all manner of shoulder holsters, ankle holsters and personal sidearms. I still have my handmade buffalo hide holster as a souvenir.
A couple of years ago I started thinking that owning a gun might be prudent. I started to talk to people and was mildly surprised to find out how well-armed we are as a community. Folks from the right side of the political spectrum don’t have a monopoly on gun ownership. A surprising number of progressives have quietly amassed small arsenals. There are some very knowledgeable gun people available. Unfortunately, there is no authorized place to shoot closer than the Custer Sportsman Club which one can join for a modest annual fee.
The internet, of course, is an endless resource. For the last couple of years I’ve enjoyed and learned a lot by reading blogs written by “gun people.” Massad Ayoob is a long time cop who writes for Backwoods Home Magazine. There’s Xavier, The Nurse With A Gun and the always intersting Brigid a woman who combines recipes, guns, dogs, living alone in long “don’t mess with me”essays. Brigid is a trip. A very serious woman. There are hundreds of gun blogs and equal numbers of Youtube videos on everything from how to load a pump shotgun to how to field strip and clean a rifle.
Guns are hot. Even the History Channel has gotten into the act with a new reality competition show called Top Shot my new secret pleasure TV show (well, not so secret after posting this). Top Shot gathers together sixteen top marksmen from various disciplines and has them compete as two teams. It’s a good way to get exposure to a variety of weapons and see that “experts” are more that gun nuts. (Of course, there are self-styled gun nuts). Full Episodes of Top Shot can be viewed on the internet. It’s a painless way to get introduced to shooting.