Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 Reasons NOT to Have a Firearm in Your Home

I am all for people utilizing their second amendment rights to the fullest. The possibility that many of the homes in a neighborhood have firearms is a good deterrent to criminals, being able to protect yourself is a natural right, and well, I just like having my guns around--it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. There are circumstances, however, when it makes a whole lot of sense to (usually temporarily) not have firearms in the home. Here's when:
  1. When there is domestic violence in the family or the possibility of domestic violence such as during a contentious divorce. This is a bad situation that needs to be fixed immediately, generally by putting a lot of distance between the parties. If the violent people are all in the same house and there is a firearm, there is an increased possibility that one will use it on the other.
  2. When there is a suicidal person in the home. Firearms are often used to commit suicide. Ideally the depressed/suicidal person receives treatment and all is well, but until treatment is successfully completed, having a firearm on the premises generally exacerbates the problem. Some people say yes, but if there is no gun they will just hang themselves or use pills. Possibly, hopefully not, but on a macabre note, if there is no stopping the suicide, walking in on someone who has hanged themselves is a whole lot better than finding someone who has blown their head off.
  3. When alcohol use is out of control. Excessive alcohol use and anything else (driving, using a firearm, carrying around a knife, etc) usually winds up with stupid if not deadly results. An alcoholic with a gun is bad all the way around.
  4. When there are troubled teens in the home. Gang banger kids, show off kids, kids who are bullied or out of control make for a very volatile situation. Also, kids are pretty clever so if they really want to get to your firearms they probably will and the results can be deadly (or at least lead to incarceration).
  5. If there is a convicted felon in the home. The law is pretty clear that unless an ex con has had their rights restored, being in possession of a firearm--which usually happens when there is an ex con and a firearm in the same vicinity--can send them back to the big house. Why take the risk?
  6. When the gun was purchased years ago "for protection", has never been used or practiced with, and has been stashed in the back of the closet under the sweaters to use in the event of an emergency. This is a sign of an irresponsible gun owner who probably shouldn't even own a gun.
  7. If you are a pacifist or are diametrically opposed to gun ownership. Just because a person can own a gun doesn't mean they should.
  8. If it is illegal in your jurisdiction. Deciding whether or not to break the law is a personal decision; in this situation some people feel their right to own a gun as outlined in the constitution overrides the whim of the city council. For others they will follow the law and thus avoid a nasty legal situation.
  9. It's against your religion. Some religions are like that and people need to do what they feel is right.
  10. If you think you will only use it to scare away a burglar but would never actually use it. Hopefully the sound of chambering your 12 gauge will send a smart burglar right out of your home but this may be wishful thinking. The only time you should point a firearm at a person is if you fully intend to use it on them.
Obviously owning a gun is a big responsibility. Part of this responsibility is knowing when not to have one. If any of the above situations apply to you, consider temporarily storing your firearm at a friend's home or at your local gun club. In the place of a firearm, in order to protect yourself and your family, consider other non-lethal options such as pepper spray or a taser.


  1. Thank you for recognizing (respectfully) that there are people who choose to not have guns. I'm not one of those, but I have thought long and hard about whether I could use deadly force on another human being. I'm not sure I could, thus I haven't been too interested in getting a carry permit.
    I've seen some sites that really are critical of that sort of choice, and that's disappointing. For me, this is a very serious choice, and it's one I haven't made a final decision on.
    Nice blog, by the way. I've been digging through a lot of old posts and have liked what I've seen.

  2. Thanks. Owning a gun is a very personal choice and a huge responsibility. Millions and millions of people live their entire lives without ever coming in contact with a firearm and for them, not owning a firearm is the right choice. Whatever you decide to do is solely up to you!

  3. Thank you (not respectfully) for totally contradicting yourself. I'm glad you have have made 10 golden rules for us all to follow. Try a GUNSAFE if your that worried that a troubled suicidal mentally unstable teenage convicted felon lives in or frequents your home. I live in Florida and we fall under the Castle Doctrine...if I see someone in my home they will be shot. That shouldn't be a "decision" you should have to think about. So you think that instead of trying to directly solve the problem at hand (suicidal person, felons, curious teenagers, alcohol) that you should simply remove the guns from the residence and it will all be okay? Give me a break...

  4. Mike, of course removing the gun won't make everything okay. But it will ensure those troubled individuals cannot get their hands on a gun and hurt themselves or someone else.


    1. Because You Own a Fire Extinguisher. Bad things happen. You can still call 911, but when seconds count, you need to act quickly to save your life and the life of those you love.

    2. Because Shooting Is An Olympic Sport. Shooting is an Olympic sport and the United States holds more gold medals than any other nation.

    3. Because Most Americans Own Guns. You’ll be in good company as a gun owner; nearly fifty percent of households in the U.S. own a firearm.

    4. Because You Respect The U.S. Constitution. Sometimes you won’t like it when people exercise fundamental freedoms protected by the Constitution, such as freedom of speech. But that simply doesn’t matter: The Supreme Court ruled that every person has a constitutional right to own guns. So respecting the Constitution means respecting the right of others to exercise those constitutional rights.

    5. Because You Are More Likely to Die By Falling. There were 613 fatal firearms accidents in 2007, one-half of one percent of all fatal accidents. You’re more likely to die by driving, poisoning, drowning or falling than by a gun accident.

    6. Because Guns Stop Burglars. Last year, the CDC estimated that Americans used guns about 498,000 times to frighten away intruders attempting to break into homes.

    7. Because Gun Bans Increase Murder Rates. After D.C. banned handguns in 1984, the average murder rate jumped 73 percent while the U.S. murder rate fell 11 percent.

    8. Because Guns Don’t Cause Murder. A New York Times study of 1,662 murders in the city found that 90 percent of the killers had criminal records. Murderers are not ordinary, law abiding adults. Instead, virtually all murderers are extremely aberrant individuals with life histories of violence, psychopatholoy, and substance abuse.

    9. Because Gun Owners Win Political Battles. Gun rights groups have donated $22 million in political campaigns over the last decade, while gun control groups gave $1.8 million.

    10. Because Ignorance is Dangerous. At current homicide rates, 1 in 240 Americans will be murdered this year. You need to know how to operate a tool that will immediately stop a threat and save your life and the life of those in your household.

    11. Because Guns Don’t Make Countries More Dangerous. Switzerland has one of the world’s highest gun ownership rates and also one of the lowest homicide rates. In contrast, the countries with the world’s worst homicide rates—South Africa, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, Filipines, Taiwain—also prohibit law-abiding citizens from owning guns. Compare the 20 per 100,000 homicide rate in Russia, which bans guns, with the 2 per 100,000 rate in neighboring Poland. Compare gun-free Luxembourg’s 9 per 100,000 murder rate with Germany and France with rates of 0.93 and 1.65.

    12. Because Gun Control Laws Don’t Increase Safety. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences failed to identify even one gun control measure that had a statistically significant reduction in violent crime, suicide, or gun accidents. The Center for Disease Control reached the same conclusion in 2003.

  6. Banning guns is not the end of the crimes. Criminals will always find a way out to commit crimes. The firearms safety training lessons are made to provide safety to the general public by making them aware about the guns so that they can protect themselves from the felons. Nice article about not owning firearms.

    Best Regards,