You might find an article entitled “40 Things Every Self-Respecting Man Over 40 Should Own” to be of interest. (Hat tip to Glenn.) The list is woefully incomplete, as the author didn’t mention firearms at all!
So what should every self-respecting man over 40 own so far as guns are concerned? There are three that simply should not be overlooked. The first on the list is, of course, a shotgun.
Double barreled, semi-auto, or pump action. It doesn’t really matter which type you choose, as they all have their advantages. What really matters is that it is the most versatile firearm ever devised.
Need to hunt big game, such as deer? Load your shotgun with solid slugs. If birds are your thing, then get some shells loaded with bird shot and even the most delicate of fowl will be able to grace your table. If concerned about home defense and two-legged predators, then buckshot will cure what ails ya!
Merely select the correct ammunition, and the shotgun will perform extremely well. Same gun, widely different jobs.
The only role a shotgun won’t do is precision shots over a distance. In fact, even with the best ammunition it is very problematic to hit a target beyond the 120 yard mark. But consider that anything up close and personal can be handled with a shotgun.
What does every over 40 man need next? That would be a handgun suitable for concealed carry.
I know what you are thinking. There are plenty of places where it is against the law to pack a concealed firearm. Heck, there are plenty of places in the world where it is illegal to own a firearm at all!
This is true, and many people are prohibited from the right of self defense due to factors beyond their control. But as armed self defense is the main focus of this blog, I will keep with the theme and stand by my guns. (Get it? “Stand by my guns!”)
As with the shotgun, the exact design is not really important. It will do as long as it is a multi-shot variety that is chambered for a caliber large and powerful enough to engage violent criminals as they try to harm the innocent. Revolver, autoloader, whatever. Just about any will do.
So far, that is only two. I said earlier that there are three guns to own. So what is the third?
It is yet another handgun suitable for concealed carry!
I’m not suggesting that you carry a spare in case of jams and malfunctions, although that is not a bad idea. Nor am I suggesting that you carry another gun to avoid having to stop to reload if a firefight is so hot and heavy that your primary arm runs out of ammo, although that isn’t a bad idea, either. Instead I am urging you to have a spare locked up in a secure place in case you have to use your everyday gun to defend innocent lives.
A significant portion of my self defense class is devoted to what comes after. What happens if you are forced to shoot a violent criminal? The police will arrive, the scene will be secured, and any evidence that has bearing on the case will be collected. That includes your gun!
If that is your only handgun suitable for defense, you are out of luck.
So what happens if you carry two handguns, which is something that I do when opting for revolvers? Let us say that you used one, but the other stayed secure and pristine in the holster. That means the police will only take the one that was fired, right?
I wouldn’t bet on it! Consider, if you will, that the officers on the scene could very well see their careers ruined if they let slip some small bit of evidence. They will almost certainly bag and tag every weapon they can find, and let the detective in charge of the investigation decide if it was the right call.
There is something else to keep in mind. A fair number of my students would agree to testify against their criminal attackers, only to be subjected to death threats and physical intimidation. Even if the police managed to find and arrest the suspect based on the statement given to them by the victim, the violent criminal almost always had friends outside of jail who were willing to try and get the victim to recant. At times it would even be made clear that someone was willing to invade their house in order to force them into silence.
But we don’t have to worry too much about that. After all, we have our trusty shotgun to protect the home!