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Old 02-11-2013, 04:15 AM   #21
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I'd say that if you have to ask if you *should* buy a firearm, that you maybe shouldn't. It indicates a lack of comfort and familiarity, which could compound a poor situation. And it's already been noted how the Republic of California handles self-defense.

If you do, get something small and easy to hide and conceal. A pocket .38 is great, so are the .380ACP's, if not expensive to practice with. Revolvers are generally more low maintenance, but pistols are easier to use. Go to a local range, I'm sure they'll let you rent a few weapons to see what feels good.

Normally, for self-defense I'd say carry the heaviest grain bullet your weapon can fire, but since you're in such a tightly packed area there's also the threat of over-penetration. You'll be legally responsible for over-penetration. Glaser safety slugs dispense maximum energy with minimum penetration. Practice with bullets with a similar weight.

And always remember the rules.

1. A gun is always loaded, especially if it isn't.
2. Don't point it at anything you aren't prepared to say goodbye to.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you are looking down the sights.
4. Be aware of your target, and the area behind your target.

And I'd like to add that a weapon is an ultimate last resort, only to be used after all other options have been exhausted. Don't be some internet tough guy pointing your gun at people. You'll get killed, or go to jail.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:01 AM   #22
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As others have stated already, a gun is a great tool when you need it but should be the absolute last resort. Too many people have the perception that gun owners are quick to draw the weapon any time a situation gets hairy. This is a mistake and almost all gun enthusiasts I know will tell you straight up that while they believe everyone should carry it is an absolute last resort to every use the weapon for defense. You don't pull a gun because a crack head approaches you and makes you feel uncomfortable. You don't even pull it just because someone else brandishes a weapon. All you will do is escalate the situation. Every other option should be exhausted to avoid the conflict or escape the situation. As Sam stated a gun should only be pulled when you are ready to pull the trigger and that should only be when you are in great danger of being killed or maimed.

With that said I would still suggest that you purchase a gun for home defense according to the guidlines others have already stated. If you do buy a gun you need to practice with it at a gun range and take a few courses for safety and tactical training. The gun does not do you any good if using it is not second nature because in the event you actually do need to use it you cannot hesitate or make a mistake.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Completely.
You should still buy another Miata.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:55 AM   #24
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I would get a baseball bat for dealing with punks smoking crack
I would get a gun to shoot at the range

You could also get a hatchet!
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soviet View Post
I would get a baseball bat for dealing with punks smoking crack
I would get a gun to shoot at the range

You could also get a hatchet!
Russian Post!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:24 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ryan_G View Post
Russian Post!
Ice axe is another option. A lot neater than a hatchet!

Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe - Free Shipping at REI.com

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:27 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainzata View Post
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.
You live in the "east bay area", which full of "no issue" counties in California... do you have a permit? Do you carry? Expandable batons are also illegal for civilians to carry in public in California.
County Map for California CCW Issuance - CalCCW

Taking a defensive pistolcraft class (or even the basic NRA pistol course), doing some homework, reading any of 100 books available on Amazon will give you the 90% basics on use of lethal force and even the classroom portion of basic defensive pistolcraft. There are hundreds of YT videos to watch as well. So while the OP faces difficulties and limitations on when/how/where he can use a firearm in self-defense, his "basic" lack of legal and tactical "book" knowledge can be remedied in an afternoon or two.

Learning a form of hands-on self defense is a great idea, but intentionally allowing somebody to close ground on you and allowing them access to your body when you have other means of keeping them at a distance is just plain ******* stupid.

Once the bad guy enters your bubble, the dynamics of the engagement change completely in his favor... if you don't already have a weapon in your hand, the odds of being able to employ it effectively once you're hand-to-hand are very low. I'd love to know what school or method teaches that a "fist fight" is a good first line of defense when you're carrying a "less than lethal" and "lethal" weapon on your person.

Police officers are required to employ the "force continuum" when on duty, but a civilian has no such legal compulsion. It's always a good idea to make it very clear to the bad guy that he has an "out" if you can. A simple verbal challenge "LEAVE ME ALONE OR I'LL SHOOT" during your draw is enough. Sometimes there isn't time for this, but if the bad guy continues against a visibly armed individual after a verbal challenge, a civilian is almost always justified in firing. The law changes significantly when inside the home in favor of the resident, particularly in Castle Doctrine states. CAVEAT: I AM NOT A LAWYER.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:37 PM   #28
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Yes, you have the natural right to protect yourself. Read everything SamNavy said, he ain't no punk in the sweezy New Eazy.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #29
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To the OP: Read Sam's posts plus this quote from Ryan_G:

Quote:
With that said I would still suggest that you purchase a gun for home defense according to the guidlines others have already stated. If you do buy a gun you need to practice with it at a gun range and take a few courses for safety and tactical training. The gun does not do you any good if using it is not second nature because in the event you actually do need to use it you cannot hesitate or make a mistake.
Then, go back and re-read Sam's posts again.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #30
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I have a Remington 870 Express Tactical 12ga. It's 6+1 that I keep loaded with rubber slugs for in my house, the slugs can no doubt be lethal if shooting someone in the head. But when shooting at a torso they can be a very well deterrent. The slug travels at 565fps. I also have tactical slugs, and other rounds for clay shooting and target shooting. I am no hunter, I just like to shoot things.

Onto a CCW, I do not know every single law. I do know my brother just got his about 3 weeks ago, he applied last year for it. But this is in Stanislaus County and our sheriff allows CCW permits. He carries a 1911 Colt .45. Why he carries, I do not know. But he is just an average Joe with a clean background, and in this county that is all you need.

My .02, I like my shotgun for keeping around the house and having some fun shooting clay targets and other things. Very rugged, well built gun. And the rack of a shotgun may be enough to scare someone off.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:14 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanRaduechel View Post
I have a Remington 870 Express Tactical 12ga.
I'll second the Remmy 870 as a home defense shotgun. I've got the Super Magnum (everyone who goes skeet shooting with me has to fire a 3.5" shell) and I keep a load of bird/target shot, a load of buck, followed by Winchester's PDX slug+buck combo rounds. The first shot is for a really nasty "warning."

18.5" barrels are readily available and easy to install and will make it much easier to swing around in say a hallway or door frame. A 28" hunting barrel is a might long for close quarters.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:57 PM   #32
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See All of Sam's posts on the "Should I buy a gun" part for my real answer, though I'm inclined to agree if you're asking "should I?" then you probably shouldn't.

In my humble opinion, when it comes to home defensive firearms in a relatively unskilled operators hands: A pump-action shotgun is a terrible idea. I've been shooting shotguns my entire life and it's unbelievably easy to short stroke even the "loosest" or "nicest" pump-action in the best of conditions. Fail to get that bolt locked up 100% and you'll only get a CLICK. Inexperienced can say all they want "it'll never happen" and they might be right. Do you really want to take that chance? You'd bet your life on it?

I think the ultimate solution is to move.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:22 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post
I think the ultimate solution is to move.
This.

Plus, a 30 minute walk to school humping a backpack sounds ideal to me for kicking off the day and clearing the mind.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:36 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by wittyworks View Post
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.
You probably won't hear of any because the people would be intelligent enough not to discuss the details on a public internet forum for fear of unspecified legal repurcussions.

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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Plus, a 30 minute walk to school humping a backpack sounds ideal to me for kicking off the day and clearing the mind.
What does a 30-minute walk translate to for a bike ride? 10 - 15 minutes? You can buy brand new bikes from Target for $100 assembled. If the only difference between crackheads-harrassing-women-in-the-foyer vs not was $100 worth of bicycle and an extra 30 - 40 minutes per day of exercise... it'd be hard to justify not moving.


RE: short-stroking a pump shotgun in a high stress environment by a novice user. That is why I've always talked about a 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun for a household in which you might have a female who doesn't practice regularly.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:37 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanRaduechel View Post
I have a Remington 870 Express Tactical 12ga. It's 6+1 that I keep loaded with rubber slugs for in my house, the slugs can no doubt be lethal if shooting someone in the head. But when shooting at a torso they can be a very well deterrent. The slug travels at 565fps. I also have tactical slugs, and other rounds for clay shooting and target shooting. I am no hunter, I just like to shoot things.
There is an argument that can be made for using less-than-lethal ammunition in a home-defense weapon. The main purpose for a civilian is to control penetration, the secondary purpose is to be "less than lethal" on the target. For police use, the only consideration is "less-than-lethal".

The problem is the aftermath. Many/most states have yet to clearly define the difference between "lethal force" and "discharge of a firearm". It's assumed that when you pull the trigger, you were afraid for your life or that of your family no matter what kind of bullets you use. So... if you're using less-than-lethal rounds, you set yourself up for "intent to wound" or "intent to injure" prosecution.

In other words, it would be very difficult to look a juror in the eye and say "I thought he was going to kill me, so I fired rubber bullets at him". I can't recall a single court-case where somebody has been sued or charged with a crime for using rubber bullets, but I wouldn't put it past a DA in a libtard state to hang you by your *****... not to mention the certainty of a civil suit.

Using a Taser is different because it's not a firearm. You don't have to establish "fear of death or great bodily injury" to shoot somebody with a Taser... but you do with a firearm because it's "deadly force".

In any case, I would not use less-than-lethal ammunition in a home defense gun. The person is trying to kill you, so use lethal force against them as quickly as you can to stop the threat as quickly as you can.

For an apartment setting, stick with light shot, #4 or BB-shot is very commonly recommended, and obviously don't use a choke. At home defense distances, you're still going to be putting up a huge amount of compacted energy, but any little obstruction (even a couple layers of drywall) will help considerably... this is why it's also CRITICAL to identify shooting lanes and HAVE A PLAN!!!

I'll also throw out again the idea of a 20ga shotgun. Most manufacturers sell "reduced recoil" shot for kids and those who can't take an all-day shoulder pounding in the field and will get penetration down even further.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:45 PM   #36
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RE: Short stroking a pump-action.

With a Magnum receiver I know the perils of short-stroking more than most. My 870 was my first weapon I purchased, so I got used to it's quirks rather quickly, but it's not uncommon for me to hand it off while shooting skeet and have someone not rack it enough.

A 20 Gauge auto would be a better choice. I'd throw out a .410 revolver (like the Judge, the Governor, or the Public Defender), but I'm pretty sure those are illegal in CA, and I'm unsure on their person-stopping potential.

If you do get a firearm, practice practice practice.

And if you do get a $100 bike? Get a $200 bike lock, or those crackheads will just steal it!
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #37
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Not a personal story but it was in a story on NPR I will link to. Basically a guy found himself in a mall shooting. He had a gun. He got shot 4 or 5 times and is paralyzed. I know that's a different then scenarios you're probably thinking of, but food for thought.

Armed 'Good Guys' And The Realities Of Facing A Gunman : NPR
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:45 PM   #38
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Be careful about quoting sources such as NPR in the current political climate. Gun control is the hot ticket right now and media outlets with anti-gun viewpoints are scouring the country for anything that puts gun ownership in a bad light.

I don't have super-strong feelings on the gun-control argument -- if anything, I probably trend towards gun-control. But I completely discount this story.

I do have extremely strong feelings about respecting the U.S. Constitution. If the 2nd amendment goes (unless, of course, it were to be changed in the correct way through the amendment process), then our other liberties and constraints on government are in mortal jeapordy.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:52 PM   #39
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I'd like to thank everyone, especially Sam, for their insightful opinions on my question. I think my girlfriend and I were pretty spooked by the incident the other day, and that directly triggered me to think about getting a gun. After reading through everyones thoughts and thinking through this a bit more, I think a gun is the wrong decision for me at this point in my life. I absolutely think guns have a place as a self defense mechanism in the most severe situations, but I know I don't have enough time right now to get the proper training. I love shooting when get the opportunity (target and skeet), and will definitely buy some weapons when I have the time to commit to learn how to use them safely and correctly.

I decided that I should make the best out of the situation that I am in, such as get keys to the people who come over regularly, make sure people have access to the back door in case of an emergency etc. I will probably get a large bright tactical flashlight and possible a utility knife and a bat, and hope that the Berkeley Police have a quick response time in case of any further escalations. I am really only worried about the two blocks between campus and my apartment, and I know that I personally can outrun anyone besides the Men's track team sprinters. Girlfriend is pretty quick too, but she needs to start actually carrying her pepper spray. Between taking a few more precautionary measures, and relying on the bpd for any serious matters, I realistically don't expect to have any problems more serious than the one I encountered the other day.

As far as moving goes, I can't move any closer to campus. Around campus it isn't a matter of where you are really, it's simply a matter of wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person that can get you into a sticky situation. For anyone who thinks that a 40 minute walk multiple times a day is easy to add to my schedule, take 16 units at a top engineering school and get back to me.

Thanks guys,
you all rock.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:17 PM   #40
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I want to swing this discussion into a slightly different - but still relevant - direction.

I occasionally hear people say that they're considering getting a gun for protection even though they've never owned one before. It's virtually always the same story offered by the OP: they want to keep a gun in their home to protect themselves from intruders.

OK, so I'm wondering who these intruders are. Are they going to break into my home with the specific intent of doing me bodily harm? It's certainly possible, but probably not likely. I don't know the statistics, but it seems reasonable to me that someone in my household will be more likely to get hurt by a gun that I purchased and brought in than by an intruder that entered specifically to harm one of us.

OK, so let's say that an intruder is not there specifically to harm me or my family. Why are they there? Probably to steal stuff that they can sell. Let's put ourselves into the position of a robber. We want to find a house to break into to steal stuff, but which house? I'd pick the house that would be the easiest to get into, find the stuff, and get away without getting caught.

I would avoid a house with a noisy dog. It doesn't even need to be a dangerous dog; why risk attracting attention if I can just pick a different house? I would definitely avoid any house where the occupants are home. Again, why bother when there are empty houses to rob instead? That means that if an intruder comes into my home while I'm there, it's only because they didn't know I was there.

Again, let's imagine ourselves in the position of the intruder. What would you do when you discovered that the owner is home? Personally, my goal would be to get out uncaught and unhurt. I would have NO reason to stick around and hurt anybody. In fact, the only reason I would even consider hurting anybody would be IN SELF DEFENCE! Think about it: I'm not going to hurt anybody unless I feel that I need to in order to prevent getting hurt myself (or getting away.)

The ironic thing is this: if the home owner threatens an intruder with bodily harm, then the intruder would be justified in harming the home owner in self defence. Conversely, if the home owner shoots the intruder while they're attempting to flee, it is NOT self defence.

Anyway, going back to the question of whether or not to get a gun to defend ones self against intruders, the best way to prevent getting hurt is to let them know you're there without surprising them, then let them leave.

Detaining intruders to bring justice is an entirely different thing from defending yourself.
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