The Choices Are Endless…

Self-defense is not only our right; it is our duty.”-Ronald Reagan

“The essential thing is to bear always in mind that trouble can appear at any time.
Be aware.Be ready.Be alert.”-Jeff Cooper

“It is high time for society to stop worrying about the criminal, and to let the criminal start worrying about society. And by “society” I mean you.”-Jeff Cooper

Yesterday, I presented an argument that if you wanted to protect your home, you most certainly have the right to do so. I stressed the fact that before you decide to buy a firearm that you research the laws of where you live in regards to self defense. I can’t stress it any more than this: you have to make sure that you fully understand the laws of your state, town, municipality, or whatever, so if you are in a position where you have to use deadly force you are legally in the right.

With that out of the way, and you are familiar with the law, you have decided to purchase a firearm. What direction do you then go in? A pistol? Revolver? Long rifle? Shotgun? Bolt action? Semi automatic?

As a veteran of the USMC, I have a good working knowledge of many weapons and the potential that they have as to whether they can serve as an appropriate self defense weapon. Before I go any further, I am going to clarify that I am going to be talking about defending your home. Self defense if you are attacked in public is a topic for another day.

Some folks may disagree with my next statement, but I am not a believer in “shoot to wound.” Anyone that tells you that in a very stressful situation they expect you to shoot someone in the leg is just kidding themselves. If someone is breaking into your home and you feel as though your life is being threatened, go for center mass (upper chest). The object here is stopping power. You want to make sure that whatever firearm you purchase, it has enough power to stop the cretin (or cretins) from doing you harm once they enter your home.

Since I live in NYS, buying a pistol is a stretch for me. We have way too many hoops to jump through and for me personally, I like something with a little more stopping power, especially in the confines of my house. If the day ever comes where I have to use deadly force, I want to make sure that anyone that intends to do me harm are down with one shot. Now I know that a Glock could probably do that, but my comfort level isn’t as high as it is with let’s say a shotgun or rifle.

I am not going to review particular shotguns and rifles here. I would rather tell you why one would be a better choice than another. They all have positive and negative features, so my thought is go with what you know. If you don’t know, go to a pro and speak with them. They will lead you in the right direction.

So, if you are looking for a shotgun, Mossberg offers many reliable and easy to use ones that will perform well on the range and if need be, in an emergency situation. For those of you who are thinking of cost but still want a reliable firearm the Maverick 88 is an excellent choice. Just make sure that you get ammunition that has some good stopping power.

As I mentioned earlier, I was in the USMC so obviously I am intimately acquainted with the format of the AR-15. Unfortunately, because of the restrictions that NYS has put on them, it has been bastardized from its original design. With that said, even in its Frankenstein form it is still worth it if you need it.

I can’t tell you what the best option for you would be, but here are some things to look at:

  1.  What do you feel comfortable with?
  2. Do you have any experience with firearms?
  3. Does your spouse/significant other have experience with firearms?
  4. Are you considering training your children how to use firearms?
  5. What is the layout of your house? How many points of entry are there?
  6. If you have neighbors, how close are they?

Another suggestion I might give you is that when you research as to what you may want, go to a gun shop and speak to them. They are always very knowledgeable and will answer all of your questions. You may walk into a shop fully committed to buying a Glock or an AR-15 and leave with a shotgun.

The bottom line is you need to do the research, so you don’t end up with something you don’t like or is not the right fit for you or your home.

If you are a novice, sign up for a class to properly learn how to use that firearm.

I will end this post by reiterating that I am fully committed to everyone having and using the option of a firearm to defend themselves. We live in a time where we have seen that the lawless and criminally minded do not have a healthy respect for the law and will do whatever they want. That is the only reason that I need to ensure my safety and that of my family.

What do you think? What is your thinking process when you go to purchase a firearm?

Be Smart and Be Safe!!!!!

Defending Your Home? Be Smart And Be Safe

“Most gun control arguments miss the point. If all control boils fundamentally to force, how can one resist aggression without equal force? How can a truly “free” state exist if the individual citizen is enslaved to the forceful will of individual or organized aggressors? It cannot.”
― Tiffany Madison

“Disarming law-abiding citizens will not stop unlawful citizens from obtaining one.”
― Cliff Hannold

One of the more serious discussions I have with other preppers concerns the security of your home and property. The same questions come up time and again and unfortunately it is not an easy question to answer. The main question to me is do I need to protect what is mine, and the answer to that is without a doubt yes. When it comes to my house and my family in it, I will resort to every measure that I know of to keep them safe.

So, the question then becomes, Do I need to own a gun to protect my family? Again, I answer that with an unequivocal yes. Now remember, that is a decision that I made based on my personal life experiences and where I live. I can’t make a decision for you, but hopefully I will be able to point you in a direction that will enable you to make your own informed decision.

It is imperative that if you decide that you want to own a firearm to protect your life and liberty, you should search the internet to find out what the laws are in reference to how far you can legally go to protect you and your property. Many states, including mine (NYS), have what is referred to as a Castle Doctrine. I urge everyone out there who decides that protecting their home is important to become familiar with what their individual states say.

As strange as it may sound, if after reading the law, you don’t understand something, I would consult a lawyer for clarification. I am pretty sure that “I interpreted it this way” won’t hold up in any court and you don’t want to go to prison for ridding the world of some human excrement.

For example, “New York State also has a Castle Doctrine. The doctrine states that if a persons dwelling or occupied building is being invaded or burglarized, the occupant can use deadly force without a warning shot, calling 9-1-1, or a belief that the person is armed.” That sounds pretty straightforward, yes? It does, however, come with a caveat. NYS does not have a Stand Your Ground statute meaning that if someone is on your property you can shoot first and ask questions later. You have a legal duty to retreat if you can do so safely. Now if the person or persons then follows you into your home and you are under attack, as far as I am concerned, fire at will.

Once again, it is crucial that you consult the laws of the state that you live in to save yourself from any legal issues.

Here is a nice synopsis for those of us that live in NYS (NYC is a whole other topic):

NY’s Duty to Retreat and Castle Doctrine

New York State is also governed by a “duty to retreat.” This concept does not mean surrender; but rather, before you act in self-defense you must take reasonable actions to mitigate the risk of harm, which includes fleeing and calling the police. For example, you would have a duty to retreat if someone threatened violence while you dine in a public park. The duty to retreat is essentially the opposite of a “stand your ground law,” where you are not obligated to flee the scene if threatened. 

But retreat may not always be possible or required. If you are in your home, for example, there is no duty to retreat if an aggressor intrudes and threatens physical harm. This concept is guided by the “castle doctrine,” a clause that typically refers to defending yourself inside your property. It ties to the old adage that “one’s home is his or her castle,” and they should not have to abandon it amid a threat. The key difference between the castle doctrine and stand your ground, is that the former takes place in private settings, like homes or businesses. 

If an intruder entered your house and you used deadly force because you believed you were in danger, the castle doctrine may be applied after-the-fact, as part of your defense in court. It is not a license to kill and – taken a step further – does not “allow” you to harm anyone. For example: luring someone into your house, shooting them, and then claiming self-defense under the castle doctrine later will not exonerate you.

Tomorrow we will talk about the type of weapon you might want to consider having in your home.

Make Sure You Are Ready. It’s Better To Be Safe Than Sorry.

Here in the Northeast one of natures issues that we have to worry about is the nor’easter. These storms, as they move up the eastern coast of the US, can be powerful enough to disrupt travel, power and the delivery of essential goods and food, often times for several days. They are predicting that Wednesday into Thursday a nor’easter will head up the coast and depending on the track of the low, we could get as much, or more than a foot of snow.

Although this may not be a true SHTF situation, we have lost power from these storms over the years for periods of time ranging from one to eleven days. So, in this post, I thought that I would run down what I do t prepare for storms like these, especially when the precipitation is going to be snow.

Outside of the house:

  1. My first task will be checking the wires that go to my house. Since we are surrounded by woods, it is important to make sure that any tree branches that are hanging or resting on the wires are trimmed back. This also holds true for trees that surround the house. Any limbs that look as though they might be able to hit the house or break will also be cut. Since I have been on top of this for the last few years, this should be a relatively easy task.
  2. Next, anything light enough that was left outside from the summer and the fall will be stored in the basement.
  3. Move the cars out of the way of the plow so our portion of the road is cleared for us to get out in case of an emergency.

One of the things that I have learned over the 20 years that I have lived in my home is that if you sneeze hard enough, we lose power. Since I have not gotten a generator yet, I have to plan for not having heat or hot water for what could be several days.

Inside the house:

  1. Make sure that all of my portable chargers are fully charged.
  2. I have several sleeping bags that are rated to 0 degrees. Along with that, extra blankets and quilts will be readily available.
  3. Any water that was being stored outside will be moved indoors.
  4. With full knowledge of the approaching storm, when my wife did the weekly shopping yesterday, and she bought extra items just in case of a power loss.
  5. I do have survival food (more on that in a later post) that is also ready in case we need it.
  6. We also have several 5 gallon containers that we fill for washing dishes and anything else we would want to waste potable water on.
  7. With that said, we also make sure that we have paper plates, so we don’t have to waste water that has been allocated for things other than drinking.

As I mentioned before, this may not be a full scale SHTF situation, but because of where I live, I prefer to be ready for any type of situation. Because of that, I will also have my home security ready to go. Some may say it isn’t probable, but the possibility does exist that intruders could think we are an easy mark because we are somewhat isolated and during a bad winter storm, we would be even more isolated. Needless to say, we are good to go.

So, what have you learned from this post?

  1. Know the surroundings outside of your home.
  2. If you have lived in your home for any period of time you know what to expect when storms hit and how you should react to them.
  3. Always keep extra supplies on hand, especially if you are prone to losing power.
  4. You should fill your medications and get cash in the event of an extended power outage.
  5. Have everything you need to keep your family safe.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is what works for me in my particular situation. You should do an evaluation of your home and decide what works best for you.