This article is not for the gun gurus in the audience. If you purchase a firearm and sit down with Bob Lee Swagger-like patience and run 10,000 rounds through it – taking notes after every shot – you’re probably not going to get much out of this article. Let’s get that out right up front!
But, if you’re like a huge number of gun owners who have done your patriotic duty, purchased one or more guns, learned how to use them and stuffed them in the closet “just in case” – this article is for you. And we’re here to suggest that you give the shotgun some love when it comes to your home defense plans. Here’s why.
First, handguns are great. Everybody loves and appreciates them. They’re used hundreds of thousands of times every year in defensive gun situations, from road rage incidents to home invasions to store robberies. We never hear about most of these incidents because they’re resolved without a shot being fired. It’s the incidents where a shot has to be fired that should concern you. Be honest when assessing your skills.
The reality is that shooting is not like riding a bike. Unless you’re doing it all the time, it’s a skill that you lose – quickly. Have you gained or lost 10 pounds since the last time when you fired the gun? If you have, your aim may have changed because your blood pressure has changed. That’s how easy it is for things to get “off” when it comes to handling a gun.
It’s really difficult to be a crack shot in a stressful situation with a handgun. Just ask the experts at the Los Angeles Police Department, which killed two hostages in two different incidents in July.
Another factor to consider is that handguns are not the deadly murder machines that Hollywood and the mainstream media would like you to believe. They’re deadly if you nick a major artery or puncture a major organ, such as the heart or a lung, or if you hit the perp in the head and the round doesn’t glance off their skull.
Trauma surgeons in Seattle have found that as long a gunshot victim who was shot with a pistol is within 30 minutes of a good trauma center, their survivability rate goes up to almost 100%. That’s a combination of modern medicine and the fact that pistol rounds do crushing damage instead of cavitation damage (look them up).
Unless your state allows you to use hollow point rounds for home defense, you’re more likely to wound a home intruder and make him angry than you are to kill him. Plus, anti-gun prosecutors love it when homeowners use hollow points, even if they’re legal in your home state.
Next, using a rifle against a home intruder has a lot of negatives as well. Are there instances where people have used their AR-15 against an intruder? Sure. God bless ‘em. But unless you’re in a rural area and your nearest neighbor lives ten miles away, you’re setting yourself up for major liability for stray rounds. If you miss with a pistol, you might mess up your walls or your furniture; if you miss with a rifle, you may mess up your neighbor or a family member. Why put yourself through that type of potential risk?
That’s why you should seriously give the shotgun some home defense love. It has all the benefits of a close-quarters defensive gun with major stopping power, without the drawbacks that a handgun or rifle will bring to a gunfight inside your house. You don’t have to worry as much about what’s behind your target (although you always should), and you don’t have to be a former Navy SEAL who spends the Marine Corps’ ammo budget on your annual training for pinpoint accuracy.
There are also a host of legal reasons in favor of using a shotgun for home defense. Shotguns don’t have the flashy stigma of a semiautomatic rifle or a pistol loaded with hollow points. If you’re in a gun un-friendly state, a prosecutor is going to do everything he can to try to establish murderous intent on your part if you have to shoot a perpetrator. If you used an AR-15, you “recklessly endangered” your neighbors. If you used a pistol loaded with hollow-points, or a Glock with the new sweet 24-round magazine, you may have been just yearning to murder that poor little intruder. But if you used your duck-hunting shotgun – recommended by Joe Biden – it just doesn’t have the same appearance to a prosecutor (never mind the fact that the perp can only be identified through his fingerprints).
So, for all of you rookies out there who are carrying on the American tradition of gun ownership (like most of us), give the shotgun some love!
~ American Gun News