Skip to comments.Arm Thy Neighbor
Posted on 03/27/2010 9:58:15 AM PDT by Travis McGee
If you dont presently own any firearms, you may have been considering taking that step in order to protect yourself and your family. Or perhaps you already have what you consider to be an adequate home armory, but is it really enough? In the event that our economy tanks, one certain outcome will be much higher levels of criminal violence. Read Fernando Aguirres excellent The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, based on his experiences in Argentina after 2001, to see what happens to civil society when a national currency collapses and the banks are closed. Todays career criminals will be that much more desperate and willing to use violence against their victims. The feral youths who need little encouragement to bust heads for sport in times of relative plenty may be starving, and no moral consideration will keep them from sticking a gun in your face or a knife in your back.
At the same time, the federal government may define this surge of criminal violence as civil disorder and enact emergency decrees, especially if armed citizens begin to fight back on a wide scale. One need look no further than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to see how officials react toward ordinary people with firearms during a period of civil disorder. A freeze on gun sales and/or ammunition is a predictable outcome during government-defined emergencies.
Most of the readers of this column probably dont need to be convinced of the wisdom of owning and practicing with firearms. You may even believe that you already possess all of the guns you need, whether a .38 caliber revolver in your bedside table or a small battery of handguns, shotguns and rifles in your closet or gun safe. You may even own one or more of those liberally despised so-called assault rifles. In any of these cases you may think you dont need to consider any more gun purchases.
There is, however, one reason to purchase at least a few more weapons: to arm thy neighbors. I can hear you saying, What is Bracken talking about? If that foolish grasshopper of a neighbor didnt bother about his security when guns were readily available, why should I worry about him now? Besides, he may even be an anti-gun liberal, so the hell with him!
This reasoning is short-sighted on several levels. First, we have all heard the old saying that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. When violence explodes during an economic collapse, millions of new conservatives will be created from former left-wingers. And besides philosophically anti-gun liberals, many folks simply grow up in families where guns are not present and reach adulthood having never touched a firearm. But no matter why they dont own firearms, when the ultra-violence breaks out your neighbors down the street will deserve a way to defend themselves from criminal predation. Simple charity, Christian or otherwise, suggests that we should not leave the elderly couple, the widow or the single mom with young children defenseless against evildoers bent on rape, robbery or murder.
When the incidence of home invasions, carjackings and express kidnappings skyrockets, some of your neighbors will discover a sudden interest in acquiring firearms, just when firearms may not be available through normal channels. These unarmed neighbors may then ask if you have any extra firearms to lend to them. Which one of your carefully considered collection of guns will you hand over to arm your defenseless neighbor? Your high-end concealed carry pistol, which fits your hand like a glove? Your wifes? Your pump-action shotgun? Your AR-15 Sport Utility Rifle? The fact is, you will be loath to give away any of them, not even to a neighbor in need. You have acquired each of them for a carefully thought-out reason! But your neighbor is still defenseless.
That is why I encourage you to buy a few extra firearms in anticipation of this future need. I would suggest that a revolver is the simplest entry-level firearm to provide to a non-shooting neighbor. There are no magazines, safety catches or slides to learn to manipulate. You simply open the cylinder, insert the bullets, close the cylinder and the revolver is ready to go. A revolver has the shortest learning curve of any firearm. Anyone can learn basic gun safety and effective close-range self-defense with a revolver in one afternoon. In dire extremes you could hand a revolver to a non-shooter after a five-minute period of instruction and dry-firing. Revolvers are intuitive; you can even see if they are loaded or unloaded simply by looking at the cylinder.
Of course, a much greater level of firearms training is highly desirable if there is time for it. If possible, take your non-shooting neighbor to a gun range now, in advance of a period of civil unrest. Training a non-shooter in the safe operation of firearms also shows your own overall knowledge of security issues. This demonstrated firearms proficiency will stand you in good stead when your leadership skills and tactical knowledge may benefit your overall neighborhood security posture.
Beyond the simple morality of providing a means of self-defense against criminal violence, there is another reason to be prepared to arm thy neighbors: the force multiplying synergy of multiple fields of fire. Recall the old cowboy movies when the gang of black hats rode into a town where the citizens were forewarned and prepared. As an historical example, consider what happened to the vaunted James Gang on the Northfield Minnesota Raid when they lost the element of surprise. Only Frank and Jesse escaped unhurt. The rest of the armed gang were killed by the townsfolk or captured shortly after, badly wounded.
An armed and alert neighborhood is a very dangerous environment for criminals. In a time of rampant violence, with the ever-present threat of home invasions, more armed neighbors mean more angles of fire for the criminals to confront. Instead of focusing their evil intent on a single home, selecting one sheep in a helpless flock, they will be threatened by fire from many directions and their retreat may be cut off. This compounds their risk compared to attacking a neighborhood where most folks are unarmed and cringing in corners, praying to remain unmolested.
Of course, it is best if your neighbors have all received a high level of firearms training. Otherwise, the risk of a friendly fire accident while repelling an armed gang with shots from multiple directions is increased. And of course, you should not provide a firearm to a drunk, a druggie, or a mentally unstable neighbor for obvious reasons. But the danger of living in an unarmed neighborhood is even greater, because such an area is a magnet for repeated violent criminal attacks.
The best outcome would be to leverage your training of individuals in safe firearms usage into general neighborhood self-defense drills. Then if the James Gang rides in they wont necessarily ride out! Word will get around, and your neighborhood will achieve an aura of armed strength that deters future criminal incursions. Consider why tiny Switzerland has never been invaded by its much more powerful and often bellicose neighbors. Its not because of the Alps. Its because the Swiss have a strong tradition of armed self-defense at every level. Both invading armies and criminal gangs go around hard targets that are known to shoot back!
If nothing else, from a strictly selfish standpoint, the humble .38 revolver you lent to that widow might provide you with a critical early warning of imminent danger when she fires it in self-defense. Forewarned is forearmed, even if the warning is a rapid series of pistol shots heard from up the street at oh-dark-thirty. But in any case, I would rather hear the widows defiant shots than her helpless screams.
So, consider buying a few extra firearms and ammunition while you can easily and inexpensively do so. A used revolver in good working condition can be purchased for as little as $250, a used pump-action shotgun for not much more. And if you dont know what an SKS rifle is or what they cost, find out. Then you will have the option of arming your neighbors in a time of extreme peril, without diminishing your own family armory.
Bought a Hi-Point 995TS and a KelTec SUB2000 this past weekend at the gunshow. Shot both today and right out of the box, no cleaning, nothing, the SUB2000 shot 4inch groups at 25 Yards! Had issues witht he mags for the Hi-Point, but when it cycled it was dead on. Need new 15 round mags for the Hi-Point. I obtained three thirty+ round Glock mags before hitting the range with the SUB2000, so capacity is not an issue with the fold-away sub carbine. It is a lot lighter than the Hi-Point, too.
What rifle you choose will depend on what you want to use it for and the maximum distance you envision engaging targets at.
ruger makes the Mini in 7.62x39, the AK caliber, and in 6.8 SPC, which is an excellent but mostly overlooked self defense caliber. I read recently that Ruger just began to offer 30 round Mini 30 mags, which makes the rifle a much more viable self defense proposition.
I have an SKS and an Olympic Car-15 personally for for engaging goblins.
I have an overlooked (pretty much) handgun, the Walther P-99. Ive carried mine off and on for about 3 years and since I collected numerous expensive mags, have started carrying it.
I just noticed that IMI(Israeli Military Industries) has just started offering a new Baby Eagle, which looks just like a P-99. Might want to take a look at it.
If you haven't bought one yet, you can get a Mossberg 500A (12 Gauge) at Walmart for around $210 (wood stock and forearm). Mossberg offers a composite stock and forearm for this gun that will run you about $60-$70 combined. An 18.5" barrel is about $80. You can also pick up a pistol grip for about $15. So, for about $400, you can have a gun for hunting/target shooting with your choice of wood or composite stock/forearm or a gun for home defense with 18.5" barrel and a pistol grip. Barrel changes on the 500 are quick and it takes only a couple of minutes to change out the stock (forearm takes a little longer).
Can you teach this old dog some new tricks???
ping for later read
So I am a Jedi! ;-)
OK. It's time to confess my absoluite ignorance and seek instruction from those wiser than I.
What's the difference (cost vs benefit) between the wood and the composite?
I see a need for about 4 guns:
A home defense/hunting shotgun. I assume that different barrels would be required for shot vs slugs?.
A home defense rifle of some sort (semi-auto maybe?)
A hunting rifle. (What caliber is best for whitetail and smaller? Or do you need a big game rifle and a small game rifle?)
A hand gun.
Other than the mossberg (Which I'm told is a suitable first shotgun) I'm clueless about what else I should be looking for. Any lessons?
Also, the Girl (my 9 year old daughter), wants a gun. I'm so proud of her. Of course she wants a pink one but hey, she's a girl. Does NRA still do the Eddie Eagle gun safety courses? What would be a good first gun for her (She's petite. 4'2" maybe 60 lbs)
Thanks everyone for your help.
Took a reciprocating saw to the stock to slice through stock and the bolt. Came off real easy, then.
The aftermarket folding stock (with pistol grip) is okay, but the forearm can catch on the stock if you leave it folded.
The best deal on the Mossberg 500a sub-model 50120 was from my local Walmart at $209 last year.
It came with wood stock and forearm. I wanted to make a handy home-defense gun out of it, and ordered a kit from Cheaper Than Dirt. The stock fit well, but the forearm was designed for the 500 defense pumps, not the sporting versions. So, I called Mossberg and ordered a new stock and forearm (I think it was the 56436 sub-model, but the tech can help you) for about $60 plus shipping.
Mossberg also has a pistol grip for the 500a for about $15 or so.
So, you could have a gun with several looks (wood w/18.5" or 28" barrel, black synthetic w/18.5" or 28" barrel, black w/folding stock or pistol grip w/18.5" barrel) for about $400. You can't buy two shotguns for that amount. Barrel changes are quick (less than a minute), stocks change in less than 5 minutes and the forearm takes about 10-15 minutes (some disassembly of the gun is required).
Now, as to must-haves: many folks here talk of a shotgun (12-guage); a varmint gun (small caliber like .22LR - Ruger 10/22 is good); a more powerful rifle for hunting (you can go cheap with a Mosin-Nagant), check you local hunting regs for minimum/maximum caliber, and magazine capacity; and a handgun for carry purposes. Find what works for you.
I'd recommend taking your daughter to a range that rents guns - you didn't specify type (rifle/handgun), so I'm going to assume rifle. Remington currently has a recall on the .17 caliber version of their 597 (I traded my .22LR 597 on a Ruger 10/22). I got the Ruger through Gallery of Guns using their Gun Genie (they show local FFL dealers and total cost), you have to order on line to get the best deal. My 10/22 took three days to get to the dealer and cost me about $245 (less with what the dealer gave me in trade for the Remington). You can likely get the most basic version for about $220.
1/2 socket = 1/2” socket.
This essay is more important now than ever.
Just put 50 rounds through my new(1954) CZ52. What a sweet shooting gun! The range manager asked to fire a few rounds and was impressed. Accuracy is spot on and he loved the trigger.
Just don’t trust the decocking function, and get a couple of spare firing pins. I don’t leave a round chambered at all, safety or not. It is so easy to work the slide that I just leave it empty. And get some Serbian “Golden Bear” hollow points. They expanded in my basic “shoot into sand” tests to the same .50 cal diameter as my 9mm hps.
PS: Look for good original milsurp mags, with the slotted sides. They function much better than the aftermarket ones. Some of the aftermarket mags cause rounds to bind up, especially the hollowpoints, due to their length and the geometry of the bullet ogive. Make sure of your mags and ammo, and you are good to go. Also, if you like the pistol, get some nice tropical wood grips from Hogue. The commie plastic grips are ugly, and the striped tulipwood or other wood grips make the pistol pretty, and feel better. They are worth the $50 or so bucks, IMHO, strictly from a cosmetic POV. The metal grip retaining clips can also break, you might pick up a spare.
Rem 870 or Mossberg 500 are the standards for a pump shotgun.
Ammo is a little scarce right now, but I ferret some out. I can’t believe what a great gun I got for a mere pittance.
Hi-Point 9mm are available used for $125 at the local bang store. Cheap, ugly, and reliable, with a lifetime warranty. I know of several people that have one in each room.
9mm is my favorite flavor.
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