The subject of firearms is a controversial one, possibly less so in a rural area than in a city. Some of us grew up with guns around the house; many did not. Others became familiar with firearms during military days; others have not served in the military.
Whether or not to have one (or more) is a very personal decision although I detect that more and more people are tempted to have a weapon, perhaps a shotgun, available in the event of TSHittingTF. There are some very knowledgeable gun people on the island and you can find them if you ask around. They can be very helpful in giving advice and counsel.
If you are unfamiliar with guns but are curious, an entertaining way to learn something is to watch a History Channel series called “Top Shot” now in its second season. It’s a competition between shooters of various backgrounds using a wide variety of weapons. They break the groups into two teams, have a contest between the teams involving an automatic pistol, or a revolver, or a shotgun, or a rifle, or a bow or even throwing knives. The losing team must choose two members to compete against each other to see who goes home. In each competition, an expert instructor is brought in to teach proper technique.
The show points out that for many people using firearms is a sport as well as a skill like shooting free throws or tossing darts except that explosions are involved and earplugs and eye protection are required.
The participants include women and run the gamut of amateur to professional, and civilian to military. Full episodes are available on the internet and can be found here.
Very entertaining and educational.