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Old 02-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #1
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Default Should I buy a gun?

Hey guys, this isn't meant to be a "which gun" thread, but a "should I get a gun" thread. I'm looking for opinions, stories, experiences, knowledge etc.

Here's why I'm asking: I grew up in a very nice town, we usually keep our doors/cars unlocked and the number one job of the police is breaking up high school parties and handing out DUI's. I had no realistic need of ever solving a problem using more force than my fists (fight) or feet (flight) would allow.

Now I go to school in Berkeley, and while I live two blocks off campus and rarely travel further than that by foot, it is still exponentially "sketchier" than living in quaint Los Gatos.

I haven't had more than a couple wackos saying weird things to me personally, but I am a bit more worried about my girlfriends safety (lives with me) as well as the safety of other female friends and family.

Yesterday my girlfriends mom came to our apartment, and texted "come get me bad guys here" when she arrived. It turned out that in our entryway stairs a couple guys were smoking crack (seriously witnessed through peephole), and telling my girlfriends mom how they could get away with anything because they thought they were 17. I was pretty un-nerved by the situation.

I don't want to have a situation come up in the next two years where I regret the fact that I didn't have a weapon available.

Any personal experiences with people in similar situations in the past?
Thanks guys,
Evan
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Here's my take on this, and many others may disagree, but I don't care: if you have one and take it out, be prepared to use it. If you're prepared to use it, be prepared to deal with the consequences.

And that's where it gets tricky: people have no idea how many cases of deadly force used in self defense the "good" guy ends up going to jail. Its not a matter of right or wrong. Its a matter of proving to a court of your peers that you were absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt, forced to use your weapon. Its also having witnesses and whatever else, that will all help you prove this.

Very often it doesn't go down that way, and people get years in prison for it.

Is it worth it to you?
How many times are you in a situation where you literally have to fight for your life and there's no other way out?

CA laws are beyond terrible.
I bet you it will bring you more trouble than its worth.

My .02
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:45 PM   #3
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get a samurai sword. Im actually in the same boat. looking to buy a 9mm at least. I wont be carrying it because i am not allowed to carry on school campus so i just carry a knife and a tactical flashlight. you might be better off getting a big knife you could carry which gives you a bit mroe sense of security.

like 18psi said, you have to ABSOLUTELY NEED the gun to pull it out and use it on someone or you will be in jail for a long time with ***** in your buthole (winning)
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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Ausfag here,

We dont have any carry laws here so it doesnt happen.

Can you get a gun and load it with non lethal rounds?

Dann
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
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You cannot carry without a ccw here
Non-Lethal would land you in jail for quite a while here too

I'm sure other CA folks will chime in on the exact laws (since I don't know them to the letter), but its still a very big hassle. This isn't Texas
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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I'm interested in true stories that include someone like you or me getting a gun and actually finding it useful.

How would your girlfriend's mom have been safer if you had owned a gun at the time? Serious question.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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I don't have any intention on getting a carry permit, I just want it in my house in a location I can get it out of a safe quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
I'm interested in true stories that include someone like you or me getting a gun and actually finding it useful.

How would your girlfriend's mom have been safer if you had owned a gun at the time? Serious question.
I'm also interested to hear if anyone has any positive experiences.

As far as her being safer in that situation, obviously in that situation nothing happened. I think it is completely in the realm of possibility that the "next step" above that could happen, say at 8-10 pm instead of 4 pm, and one of the guys grab her rather than just spooking her. The low-lifes around here don't have much to live for, and those aren't the type of people I want to get into close physical contact with.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:26 PM   #8
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I had a few personal experiences...as sad as it is, it always was race related. One time I had a situation where 4 guys tried to pick a fight with me and 2 friends and the one guy shouted something that sounded like "cho mang...there's free ob dem!" I don't really want to go into it, but I got home unharmed. Had i have been carrying, the biggest guy would've had a 1911 .45 compact in his mouth, and he would've **** his pants in that parking lot while he watched his homies run to their civic bubble.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdgen View Post
I had a few personal experiences...as sad as it is, it always was race related. One time I had a situation where 4 guys tried to pick a fight with me and 2 friends and the one guy shouted something that sounded like "cho mang...there's free ob dem!" I don't really want to go into it, but I got home unharmed. Had i have been carrying, the biggest guy would've had a 1911 .45 compact in his mouth, and he would've **** his pants in that parking lot while he watched his homies run to their civic bubble.
or

And this is much more likely:

you would be in jail for a couple years for doing that

or

they woulda taken out guns too and you'd be either dead or in jail for the rest of your life after a shootout.

Doesn't really sound all that smart or tough now, does it?

I think most people have this "perfect scenario" in their head, having never actually been in that situation, or having never had something unexpected happen to them, and they're real tough and cool because they've never been to the other extreme.


I know from personal experience (someone I know) is in Prison for the next 7 years, because him and a couple of his tough guy buddies went to settle some dispute with another tough guy group, the other guy pulled a gun and put it in his face, he managed to ****** it away from him and shoot him with it.

He's in his mid 20's. Won't get out til 2020
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:43 PM   #10
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Not to argue with you, Vlad...but I guess things over here are much different than over there.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #11
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I'm sure they are. CA is pretty wussy when it comes to cars, guns, etc.

That's why I said "its not Texas".....Or whatever its like in other states.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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If it were me, yes I would have a gun in the house. I'd probably never use it unless the occasional shooting range trip.

I don't think there is a need for a gun over another blunt object. But I'd be more concerned about having the gun there for my gf to use if necessary. If I ever got into a shitty situation I'd probably never run to a gun. But I know my gf would not be able to protect herself as much as I could. So I'd want to have her trained how to use it. Especially if I had kids as well.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:08 PM   #13
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I wonder what would happen in this situation were you a woman.

Legal system worldwide is fucked, prejudice rules.

Dann
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:35 PM   #14
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sure! buy 6. leave them laying around your house.

honestly, just move to a nicer part of berkeley. I particularly enjoy the hills up near tilden park. aint no crack up there. rich people. only snort coke. do it inside their mansions.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
sure! buy 6. leave them laying around your house.

honestly, just move to a nicer part of berkeley. I particularly enjoy the hills up near tilden park. aint no crack up there. rich people. only snort coke. do it inside their mansions.
I also love the hills up there and I would love to live up there, if I was driving to work every day. Alas, I am walking to school and moving to a nicer area would mean 30+ minutes walk home every day.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:49 PM   #16
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As of right now, it seems like owning a gun would be a bigger potential problem than a solution.

I'm still interested to see if anyone has some personal stories where someone or one of their loved ones was protected by the use or threat of use of a gun.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:19 PM   #17
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Based on the request of others opinions whether YOU need a gun or not proves you would not know when a situation actually needs a gun to benefit you. The most beneficial thing you should do is learn some self defense. I own guns, but my first choice of a weapon is my right fist, if that's not good enough I'd choose my telescopic baton before I look to pull my gun. Learn to protect yourself, most won't need to do more than fight off an attacker rather than fight for their life.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:39 PM   #18
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Witty... I'll lay it down the best that I can. I will caveat everything I say here by starting with... I'm not a lawyer and have never been faced with a deadly force encounter. However, I would say that I'm a student of modern self-defense and specifically the history and application of firearms for self-defense. I've read A LOT on the subject for civilians, and have a butt-ton of force-protection/security/anti-terrorism training in the military.

Your personal self-defense plan is a layered system, and your firearm is always the very last step. There are literally dozens of things a practiced person has done prior to reaching the point where pulling a trigger is required. There are even things that can be done between drawing your weapon and pulling the trigger to allow your enemy the opportunity to discontinue his actions.

One of the most critical things to know about the use of deadly force is the very limited set of circumstances you must be faced with (and be able to prove in court) before you can use it. In all actuality, deadly force use for civilians is almost identical to that of a police officer.

I'm going to quote something here that is very simple yet extremely complex:
Massad Ayoob (arguably the world’s foremost expert of use of deadly force) teaches a formula for determining the circumstances under which we would be justified in employing deadly force. The formula is both simple and yet complex. Deadly force is justified when you are confronted with "an immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm" to either yourself or other innocents, whose innocence and situation you are totally certain about. You can't intervene with deadly force in a situation you come upon without knowing what's really happening. Don't make assumptions based on what seems to be happening. The danger must be clear and present, immediate and unavoidable. This formula is based on English Common Law and Dutch/Roman Law, and it applies in all fifty states. It is determined by three criteria which can be remembered by the acronym A.O.J. Think "Administration Of Justice". The situation must meet all three criteria.
A = Ability. The person deemed to be a threat must possess the ability or power to kill or maim.
O = Opportunity. The person deemed to be a threat must be capable of immediately employing his power to kill or maim.
J = Jeopardy. This means that the person deemed to be a threat must be acting in such a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude beyond doubt that his intent is to kill or cripple.

All of the above are judged by the doctrine of the "reasonable man". That is, what would a reasonable and prudent person have done in that situation knowing what the defendant knew at the time? After the fact information is inadmissible into the equation. Your defense of self-defense is affirmative if you knew all of the above at the time you employed deadly force

SO THERE IT IS, you must be able to convince a jury that you were afraid the other guy was going to kill you, and that you had no other choice but to use deadly force in self-defense.
A very common mistake for anybody looking to buy a gun for self defense is to completely miss the point of a self-defense in general. THE GOAL OF SELF-DEFENSE IS NOT TO KILL THE BAD GUY! The goal is simply to get the bad guy to stop doing whatever it is they’re doing that is causing you to fear for your life. There are only 2 ways that shooting somebody is going to accomplish that. The first way is through immediate physical incapacitation… ie, his body stops working to a degree that he is no longer physically in control of his body and able to hurt you. The second is through pain… pain is almost always a side-effect of getting shot. You might shoot somebody several times and not hit anything that physically incapacitates them… ie, in the arm or stomach or a glancing shot or whatever… that causes them so much pain they give up, but there’s nothing physically preventing them from coming at you… other than it hurts too much. Police officers have dumped entire magazines into guys on PCP and they still kept coming because it didn’t hurt and they didn’t hit anything vital.

Purchasing a firearm for self-defense is something that should be a very well-thought-out decision. In California, you can’t carry concealed without a license… and I PROMISE that you can’t get one in that county. You also can’t carry on campus, and you can’t leave the gun in your car. You could get a gun for home-defense, but your home does not extend to anything outside your door in an apartment complex setting. You can’t even carry a loaded gun from your car to your door in an apartment complex. I have a long list of highly effective solutions for ensuring your safety in your apartment that you should do before getting a gun. You also live in one of the most liberal anti-gun cities in a fully Democrat controlled state that just threw down with the most aggressive anti-gun legislation in the country… so you are literally not safe in your own home.

California does have a very good Castle Doctrine… but I wouldn’t put it past the DA up there to come after your *** with a Prius sized “negligent homicide” charge even if it was a crackhead walking into your bedroom with a loaded gun.

Discharging a weapon inside an apartment also presents some very real dangers should you miss. Since you are responsible for every round that leaves your gun, killing a neighbor asleep next door won’t be good. Firearm choice and ammo selection should be very well-researched. A large caliber pistol is a bad choice. A lot of people will recommend 9mm and fangible ammo, or a 20ga shotgun and medium shot. CONTRARY to popular belief, when shooting at standard self-defense distances (inside an apartment for example) you get very little “spread”… call it .75” to 1” per yard of spread, so 20 feet would be a 5” group of pellets, which means you still have to aim very good… but also means that if you don’t hit pretty dead center-mass, you’re going to miss with some of the pellets (where do they go?). But a shotgun is also fairly large and not a good choice for hallways or close-quarters… sucks huh?

I would say that buying a gun is ALWAYS a good choice, but for your specific situation it’s not that easy. First, you can’t leave it in the apartment unlocked… it has to go in a safe that a thief can’t easily take. Second, the safe will have to be located somewhere readily accessible to be of any use. Third, the safe will have to be a quick-opening biometric type. Fourth, you will have to establish where your safe firing lanes. Fifth, you need to pick the right gun and ammo.

Flipside… open carry at home. Within your residence, you can carry without restriction. When you get home, open the safe, holster up, and carry at all times in the residence. Put it on your nightstand when you sleep, and lock up the gun when you leave.

Me. Unless I’m going directly to or from the base in uniform, I’m armed… all the time… and I mean ALL THE TIME. I carry at home, in the yard, in the car, out in town, to friend’s houses, all day long, every day of the year. I carry a Glock 19, 15rd mag, Remington UMC 115gr JHP’s, typically at 2:30 in a slim IWB holster, currently a soft leather no-name model. It’s in the top-drawer during the night, and it comes out of the drawer and on my hip when I get out of the shower, and back in the drawer at night. I lock it up during the day when I’m at work, but the instant I get home, I head upstairs, take off my flight-suit, put on pants/shorts, and holster up. It’s routine, just like putting on my watch… I don’t even thing about it anymore. The wife is tolerant, but won’t even carry pepper spray.

Which brings me back to California… while you can’t CCW unless you’re rich or famous, you can carry a whole host of less-than-lethal weapons. Tasers (not ******* stun guns) are 100% legal in California for civilians… pepper spray as well. Tactical flashlights are worth their weight in gold when properly used.

Let me know if you need more info.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #19
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Me. Unless Iím going directly to or from the base in uniform, Iím armedÖ all the timeÖ and I mean ALL THE TIME. I carry at home, in the yard, in the car, out in town, to friendís houses, all day long, every day of the year. I carry a Glock 19, 15rd mag, Remington UMC 115gr JHPís, typically at 2:30 in a slim IWB holster, currently a soft leather no-name model. Itís in the top-drawer during the night, and it comes out of the drawer and on my hip when I get out of the shower, and back in the drawer at night. I lock it up during the day when Iím at work, but the instant I get home, I head upstairs, take off my flight-suit, put on pants/shorts, and holster up. Itís routine, just like putting on my watchÖ I donít even thing about it anymore. The wife is tolerant, but wonít even carry pepper spray.
Seriously?!?

I think you might need a hobby Sam. You should buy a Miata.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:36 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Seriously?!?
Completely.

I hope I never need it. I pray I never need it. I live my life the best I can by going out of my way to avoid ever putting myself in a position where it becomes necessary to use it. I would say that I'm far less at risk of becoming a victim while carrying it because it forces me on many levels to run-not-walk away from any situation that gives me the slightest tingle that I don't like. I've been doing this long enough that the majority of my Spidey-senses are in place and a lot of the time, my personal security is done unconsciously. When I see something I don't like, I retreat, it just happens. On the other hand, when I'm with my family, everything is done consciously.

As always, the goal is to defuse a situation early enough in line so that the bad guy never gets into a position to be able to employ deadly force against you... this is where a layered plan is so critical.

The saying goes... there may come a time in your life when you need a gun in your hand more than anything you've ever needed before. It may never come, but if it does, and you don't, you have only yourself to blame, and probably won't be around to see how it turns out.

You don't put on your seatbelt on days you think you may be in an accident.
You don't charge your cel-phone on days you know you'll need to make a call.
You don't put batteries in your smoke detector the evening before there's a fire.

When carrying a gun is so easy, and the consequences for not carrying could be so severe... why not? In the end, carrying a gun is not because of what you do, how you behave, or the places you go, or things you do... it's about the other guy who woke up that morning and decided he was going to try and kill you, and there you two are, face to face, and he's doing it. It happens everyday to people who were simply unprepared. When a host of .380 pistols fit in your pocket better than an iphone, why wouldn't you? It's just a tool.
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