Originally Posted By: haertig
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus

That said, as long as you know how to use the shotgun it's a fine home defense tool, probably better overall than a sidearm.

In the home, my sidearm's purpose is to help me fight my way to one of my "retreat rooms". Where I have more capable longarms, extra ammo, cover, concealment, communications, and very importantly - complete control over the single door entrance into the room. If a bad guy wants to chase me down that rabbit hole, they have a big surprise waiting at the end. It's pretty much a reverse ambush with overwhelming odds against them.

I think you've got it exactly right! I'm kind of a gun nut but I certainly am not going to walk around outside clearing the structure! My plan is to stay behind a locked door with a cell phone on speaker and my shotgun or rifle trained on the door. Let any potential assailant come to me, not go looking for him or her.

Originally Posted By: haertig
However, that particular defense plan is for a home invasion of only a handful attackers. Not a mob outside with Molotov cocktails and such. You'll have to be on the move to get out of a mob situation, and a handgun is better suited for that IMHO. Also, sometimes you may need to conceal your firearm and blend in to escape a mob scene, and a handgun definitely wins there.

I think it's exceedingly unlikely that I'll have to repel mobs armed with torches and pitchforks. Certain media personalities are trying to portray the nation as being under siege but in my experience that's a distortion at best and an outright fabrication at worse. There are some hotspots I am not in one, nor is my home likely to become an epicenter of violence. I am prepared as always to deal with whatever, though, as best as I can.

I've had a CCW permit for virtually my entire adult life. A handgun in an indispensable tool for me in my EDC! Certainly it can accompany me in places where a long gun wouldn't be practical.

Originally Posted By: haertig
Unfortunately, if you want a handgun but don't have one already, you're probably out of luck. If you manage to score one, your next obstacle would be finding ammo for it.

Yeah, depending on where you live they're hard to find. Here in Bozeman you can still find a sidearm; it may not be your 1st choice with all the options you want but you can get something. Ammo though is pretty thin on the ground. Since this isn't my first (or second or third...) rodeo I'm pretty well stocked up on the stuff I use, namely 9mm, 5.56 NATO and 12ga 00 Buck and slugs for wilderness/bear defense.

Originally Posted By: haertig

With all due respect to the instructors out there, you do not need someone with an official "instructor" title to teach you to be safe and effective with a firearm. Pretty much any experienced and conscientious firearm owner can train you up to a high level of competence and safety. Official instructors are nice, but they don't have any super secret knowledge that nobody else has. Pretty much, they are just experienced and conscientious firearms owners that filled in some paperwork and paid a fee to get a certificate. Again, nothing against instructors, they can do a very good job, but they are not magical creatures. You do want someone who will teach you hands on though. Googling and reading webpages is not sufficient.

That's spot on. It's pretty easy to learn the 4 Rules of Firearms safety and if you have any firearms experience it applies to any firearm. The manual of arms might be specific to each individual gun to a degree but distance learning will help as will safe and deliberate dry fire and manipulation. Go slow and be careful. Obviously I'm in favor of hands-on training but in an emergency setting you're better off being a little less ready than you'd like but still armed vs being unarmed.
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