Guest Post By: Joel Gross
The strongest home security plans involve many layers of protection. Different forms of home defense tackle varying problems, giving you more flexibility and coverage in securing your home and safeguarding your family.
At some point, most homeowners decide whether to bring a gun into their house for self-defense. Today, we’re looking at the increasingly popular practice of building your own gun, as well as the safety and responsibility issues surrounding gun ownership.
Are There Good Home Defense Alternatives to Guns?
We agree that guns are not for everyone. The best alternatives to a firearm are usually non-lethal weapons that don’t rely on physical strength. Though preferences vary, some firearm alternatives include pepper sprays and stun guns.
Both pepper sprays and stun guns, when used properly, are likely to give you or a family member the opening needed to physically restrain an assailant. Despite this, however, it must be recognized that as non-lethal weapons, neither have the full stopping power of a firearm.
Note: We strongly recommend against using bladed weapons for physical self-defense. The criminal liability is potentially even worse than that for using a firearm, and bladed weapons are much more difficult to employ successfully against an aggressive criminal.
Building Your Own Gun
Building your own firearm can be a fun project for those who enjoy metalworking, or getting out to their shop or garage. Additionally, many people feel that this gives them a closer connection with their weapon. Building your gun is a good way to become very familiar with the form and feel of your chosen firearm. This has some merit to it, as even the most modern firearms have their own quirks and feel.
Building a gun at home has become more common in recent years for a variety of reasons, including the growth of pro-gun culture in the United States, and efforts by gun sellers to bypass laws restricting the sale of guns, especially online, by selling their guns in an incomplete state and leaving the final assembly to the customer.
To be clear, these construction projects do not involve fabricating a gun “from scratch.” The major components are already machined. Your job is to simply put the prefabricated pieces together as laid out in the included manual. A gun assembly project only requires a minimal amount of work, with some assemblies taking less than one hour.
Note: If you assemble your gun incorrectly, you can permanently compromise its safety and quality. Make sure you follow directions exactly and have a basic understanding of firearm mechanics before assembling.
Gun Ownership Is Common
While guns are a controversial topic in our society, gun ownership is actually fairly common in the US. According to survey data from the polling firm Gallup, roughly 30 percent of American adults personally own a gun, and 43 percent of adults live in a household with a gun with it.
Firearms are the last word in home self-defense. A ringing alarm isn’t going to stop someone who has decided to cause injury to you or your family, but a gun potentially can. Firearms are also a great equalizer, allowing adults of any age, size, and fitness level to defend themselves against an intruder.
There is also the “peace of mind” factor that comes from knowing you have a powerful tool at your disposal if the worst should happen.
But Is It a Good Idea?
There can be serious downsides to keeping a gun for home self-defense. According to research from the Harvard School of Public Health, guns in the home are far more often used to commit crimes than to defend against criminals. Specifically, if a gun is used in the home, it is likely to be used in an argument or to intimidate or do harm to a family member. In a home with children present, having a gun also greatly increases the risk of the child accidentally (or sometimes deliberately) using it against others.
The conclusion to take away from this is not that firearms are good or bad. What they are is legal, and they offer a powerful option for defending your family in the event of a home invasion. It’s perfectly reasonable to consider bringing a gun into your home; but to increase your home security with a gun, your entire family will need to be well-versed in gun safety, and the gun itself will need to be securely stored.
Ensuring Your Legal Compliance
If you do choose to bring a firearm into your home, be sure to check the legal stipulations in your area on gun ownership. In many states, for example, there are legal requirements that may keep you or your family member from being able to legally possess a firearm.
Some examples include a former felony conviction, a drug conviction, commitment to a mental health facility, and some misdemeanor charges. If you don’t have the right to possess a firearm, then you could be charged with a felony for even having a gun in your home, regardless if it’s yours or not.
If your family does decide to bring a firearm into the home, be sure to lay the groundwork for doing so safely:
1. The gun will need a safe storage space. This greatly reduces the risk of negligent firearm discharges and is a legal requirement in several states. We recommend using one of these fireproof safes, or a purpose-built secured gun cabinet. Any ammunition should be securely stored here, too.
2. Anyone in your family who will handle the gun should take a gun safety course. Many firearm injuries occur during cleaning, maintenance, and inspection of a gun! A safety course will teach you how to properly store, handle, and service your gun.
3. Firearms require maintenance and care. Don’t skimp on yours! A gun in poor condition is a major safety risk.
4. Be sure to get some target practice in, at least once or twice a year, at the shooting range. In the event you ever need to use your gun in self-defense, you will be grateful for your aiming skills.
Practice Your Home Defense Plan Annually
Finally, remember that any home defense plan will only be as effective as your family’s ability to carry it out. Just like disaster preparedness, your home defense plan is something you and your family should practice every year, whenever you move, or whenever you make major changes to your home or to your defense plan itself. The practice of actually doing drills is invaluable, building memory and familiarity with every step of the process.
Whether you decide to bring a gun into your home or not, be safe out there!
Our thanks to Joel Gross for providing us with this fascinating article on gun safety. If you would like a guest post on best panic alarm, why not get in touch? We are always happy to publish well-written, informative articles on topics related to safety and security. For more information, visit our guest post publishing guidelines.