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  • The White Coat Investor
    replied




    I would like to congratulate everyone here for a largely cool and level-headed discussion of firearms for home defense.

    Most gun discussions on non-gun forums tend to go south pretty quickly.

    Testament to the quality of WCIers.   ?

     
    Click to expand...


    Yea, it was pretty good. But at this point it's starting to generate more heat than light so let's shut it down.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied




    Fair point to discuss the “vast majority” comment. However, that comment does not at all prove bias but rather the lack of quoting a specific study supporting his claim that the vast majority of children killed by guns are gangbangers. I could easily see that being true, but I don’t have any facts to prove or disprove it.

    Regardless of that, the point still holds true that you can’t take any if the aforementioned studies and apply them liberally to what is more likely to be the situation with physicians. To do so is either biased or ignorant of basic study interpretation.
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    "Does not prove bias"  Are you serious?  I suppose if your standard is absolute proof, we can virtually never determine bias based on something someone says or writes.  Someone could always claim that whatever view they advance might sure sound biased, but is actually the resulted of careful unbiased analysis.  How exactly are you going to prove otherwise?

    So, yeah, anything is possible.  But in the real world, it's completely reasonable to infer biases based on the unverifiable claims someone makes.  His bias might even be correct, but to act like it's nonexistent is laughable.

    Leave a comment:


  • janettebournes
    replied




    Fascinating topic.

    @janettebournes or AlexxT – are there classes for this sort of thing (meaning, gun practice/self defense/how to equip house for intruder and then shoot the crap out of them?). As you can tell, I am not into this but for family security (now with a kid!) I have to take it seriously despite living in a very low crime rate area and living low profile.

    Thanks!
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    Yes our local gun range offers self defense courses and simulations that go over everything from basic firearm handling to some more tactical issues (if you really want to get crazy, they have a training program for how to handle a firefight and use a car as a cover. I'm hopeful I'll never have to attend that class or utilize those skills )

    I thought my husband was nuts as well for signing us up for the home defense course but admittedly, my mindset did change after having kids and after trying a class.

    We also live in a low crime gated community and started attending these classes once 2 of our neighbors got robbed (fortunately just burglary, both neighbors were not at home leading the community to suspect some of the service workers in the community were casing the homes)

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexxT
    replied


    2) a red dot sight mounted atop the stock night sights of the gun. Assuming you are awake when the intruder is in and don’t need the laser to give away your position, you’ll be able to line up the red dot on the target. You see it, the target doesn’t. The red dot is also powered by a battery so it “co-sights” with the stock night sights so you can still acquire a target even if batteries on both devices are dead 3) a suppressor since even firing handgun rounds in an enclosed space will lead to hearing loss. Agreed, it’s not high on the list of concerns if someone is inside our home but if the suppressor suppresses sound and muzzle flash, all the better
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    I have cheap red dots on my long guns, which I got just to try them out.  They are really fantastic, especially for long guns.   I'm happy with the laser on my handguns, but maybe I should consider the red dot as well, but I think it would just confuse me to have both.

    My primary house gun is older and doesn't have a rail, so I can't use some of the newer attachments.  The strobe sounds like a great idea.

    Suppressor would be ideal, but I live in California.  One more trade-off I have to make for the good weather.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied


    I am not arguing that a 16-year-old’s murder is less tragic than a 4-year-old’s accidental death, or that teenagers killed by guns deserve it, or that the number of young children being killed by guns is acceptably low.  But, I would contend that a 19-year-old who has moved out of home, drives, has a child of his own, and could be issued a machine gun in the military is an adult, not a child.   Uncharitable/unfair terminology notwithstanding, I think spiritrider is justified in insisting on the distinction.
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    If you accept deaths are bad, then the why exactly is this important?

    Also the distinction that spiritrider was making (and that's a very charitable way to put it) sounded like it was between "gangbanger" and "non-gangbanger".

    Moreover, the problem is not the terminology, it's just the completely fabricated claim that the "vast majority" of victims in these studies are "gangbangers"

    Leave a comment:


  • Complete_newbie
    replied
    Fascinating topic.

    @janettebournes or AlexxT - are there classes for this sort of thing (meaning, gun practice/self defense/how to equip house for intruder and then shoot the crap out of them?). As you can tell, I am not into this but for family security (now with a kid!) I have to take it seriously despite living in a very low crime rate area and living low profile.

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • janettebournes
    replied





    I’ve never shot with a laser sight so that would be really fun to see the difference. Would really help to have a quick way to light the whole house up, and though I am somewhat annoyed by over “smartification” of certain things, this would be an area that would be super useful. 
    Click to expand…


    Yes, that’s another controversial issue.   Should one become dependent on lasers?  What if battery runs out, etc.  So one should practice with and without laser, with 2 hand grip, with one hand grip, with weak hand side, etc. and all combinations thereof.

    Now laser manufacturers are making combined laser and flashlight units, ( now that we have led lights ) so you can light what you see, although green lasers light up a target area adequately.  Experts say you don’t want your house lit up, since you know the terrain and the intruder doesn’t , so dark gives you an advantage.   Also, lasers and lights give away your position. etc, etc.

    I believe that 70% of shooting victims live ( IIRC, maybe I’ way off) , but that’s primarily hand guns ( much less lethal ) and extremity wounds.  Of course, some are severely disabled.

    I only cared for one rifle wound.  It was a proverbial “flesh wound” from an AK47 type rifle that blew away a tunnel through the calf ( 3-4″ diameter) but fortunately missed the bone.  Others were killed in that incident, but I only saw the one patient.   He eventually made a full recovery, but it took months and the wound was painful.  Of course, a similar hole through the abdomen would be pretty catastrophic, although many survive those as well.

    Exact numbers are hard to come by, and all are suspect, but the numbers I have seen suggest that 50-60% of assailants run when they see a gun, 20-30% more run when it’s fired, and of the remainder, most will stop fighting when shot, regardless of injury or caliber, but of the remainder, there’s a correlation with caliber, but it ultimately only makes a difference of around 2%.  ie  95% of assailants will be deterred or stopped  with a hand gun of any caliber, 3% won’t stop after being shot with a small caliber but will stop after  being hit with a large caliber, and 2% keep going even if struck with large caliber multiple times.  But rifles are different.  They have enough power to stop you and cause severe injury much more often.

    For self-defense purposes, the goal of shooting an assailant is not to kill, but to stop.  So people interested in this subject look for statistics on how often a particular weapon causes the assailant to disengage, and not how often they are killed.  The problem is that some people don’t stop even after being shot multiple times with large caliber weapons.  That’s why in police shootings the victims are shot as many as 15 times or more.  The officer can’t know if they hit, or how many times,  so you have to keep shooting until movement stops.
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    My husband is admittedly fanatical about things like this but our bedside weapon has:

    1) a laser/strobe flashlight combo. As you mentioned, a light gives away your position so a strobe is what was recommended to us as it disorients the target while lighting up the room for you to acquire the target

    2) a red dot sight mounted atop the stock night sights of the gun. Assuming you are awake when the intruder is in and don't need the laser to give away your position, you'll be able to line up the red dot on the target. You see it, the target doesn't. The red dot is also powered by a battery so it "co-sights" with the stock night sights so you can still acquire a target even if batteries on both devices are dead

    3) a suppressor since even firing handgun rounds in an enclosed space will lead to hearing loss. Agreed, it's not high on the list of concerns if someone is inside our home but if the suppressor suppresses sound and muzzle flash, all the better

    It certainly does take some practice to be able to use everything easily and to be able to feel comfortable doing so when awaking in a daze in the middle of the night.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexxT
    replied


    I’ve never shot with a laser sight so that would be really fun to see the difference. Would really help to have a quick way to light the whole house up, and though I am somewhat annoyed by over “smartification” of certain things, this would be an area that would be super useful.
    Click to expand...


    Yes, that's another controversial issue.   Should one become dependent on lasers?  What if battery runs out, etc.  So one should practice with and without laser, with 2 hand grip, with one hand grip, with weak hand side, etc. and all combinations thereof.

    Now laser manufacturers are making combined laser and flashlight units, ( now that we have led lights ) so you can light what you see, although green lasers light up a target area adequately.  Experts say you don't want your house lit up, since you know the terrain and the intruder doesn't , so dark gives you an advantage.   Also, lasers and lights give away your position. etc, etc.

    I believe that 70% of shooting victims live ( IIRC, maybe I' way off) , but that's primarily hand guns ( much less lethal ) and extremity wounds.  Of course, some are severely disabled.

    I only cared for one rifle wound.  It was a proverbial "flesh wound" from an AK47 type rifle that blew away a tunnel through the calf ( 3-4" diameter) but fortunately missed the bone.  Others were killed in that incident, but I only saw the one patient.   He eventually made a full recovery, but it took months and the wound was painful.  Of course, a similar hole through the abdomen would be pretty catastrophic, although many survive those as well.

    Exact numbers are hard to come by, and all are suspect, but the numbers I have seen suggest that 50-60% of assailants run when they see a gun, 20-30% more run when it's fired, and of the remainder, most will stop fighting when shot, regardless of injury or caliber, but of the remainder, there's a correlation with caliber, but it ultimately only makes a difference of around 2%.  ie  95% of assailants will be deterred or stopped  with a hand gun of any caliber, 3% won't stop after being shot with a small caliber but will stop after  being hit with a large caliber, and 2% keep going even if struck with large caliber multiple times.  But rifles are different.  They have enough power to stop you and cause severe injury much more often.

    For self-defense purposes, the goal of shooting an assailant is not to kill, but to stop.  So people interested in this subject look for statistics on how often a particular weapon causes the assailant to disengage, and not how often they are killed.  The problem is that some people don't stop even after being shot multiple times with large caliber weapons.  That's why in police shootings the victims are shot as many as 15 times or more.  The officer can't know if they hit, or how many times,  so you have to keep shooting until movement stops.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied





    Handgun would be simple, mid range collateral damage, and low for accuracy. 
    Click to expand…


    Sigh.   Discussions about firearm choice for self-defense is as contentious and pointless and subjective as is the discussion about portfolio selection.

    Everything you wrote is correct, but…

    There is lots of consistent data ( NYC police over the years, and FBI )  showing that police miss 70% of the time at a 7 foot distance ( from memory, my numbers may be off ).  However, what’s missing from that data is an indication of how many people were struck.  In other words, they may miss with 7 shots, but if they fire 10 shots and hit with 3, they have hit the target 100% of the time.

    I have never seen similar data for the use of a shotgun in the home, so we can’t compare. But my point there is that having an 8 or 12 inch spray of shotgun pellets does mean you only have to aim within 8 inches of the target, but it doesn’t mean that you can just point in the general direction of the target and expect to hit it.  You still have to aim and use the sights.  And because the shotgun has so much recoil, even with a 20 g. semi-auto ( and you are absolutely correct, a 20 guage is probably better for home defense due to lower recoil ) it will take you a relatively long time to find your target again, aim, and get off your second shot.   You could fire more rounds with the handgun and miss more often and still hit your target more often and with more precision, and be less likely to hit an unintended target.

    If you weigh less, the perceived recoil will be greater.  This will make a shotgun a less than ideal choice for most women.

    Adding a green laser to a handgun does amazing things for accuracy at the range.  I go from 5 or 6 inch groups at 17 yards to 1 inch.  How that works out at night in my house is unknown, and I  hope it remains so.

    But an issue of great concern to the police is handgun retention, an example of which we saw in the video linked by WCI above, in radiology.   Retention is more difficult with a long gun indoors.  As you clear a room and/or turn a corner, your barrel will be seen before you see them, and they can get control of the end of the barrel.   At that point you are worse off than without a gun.  How often is this a problem in real life incidents?  I have no idea.

    I look at a gun as insurance, and like term life  insurance, while many may agree that we should have it, we disagree about how much, how long the term, laddering, spousal insurance etc.  We each have our opinion, and no one knows what the right answer should be.  And just like guns for self defense, few of us will ever need to put our insurance to the test.  So neither subject is something that I can get worked up about.  I’m just offering my considered but highly subjective opinion.  I used to tell my patients that if there’s more than one way to treat a problem, it’s because all the options are good, or perhaps because none is.  But if one were clearly better, then everyone would recommend it.  The same goes for firearm selection.  To each his own.

    Over penetration of rounds is certainly a consideration, and a big one.  ( An 80’s year old friend of ours was coming out of the shower in her home in Oakland when she heard her door being broken down.  She ran for the phone and was talking to 911 when they burst in and shot her in the arm.  It took out her ulnar nerve just below the axilla, which was unfortunate because playing the piano was her major avocation.  The police found that one of the bullets had gone through her wall, across her yard, through a fence, and lodged in the neighbor’s wall.)  But 00 buck shotgun pellets are the size of a .38 bullet, and easily go through drywall, and slugs have reportedly gone through engine blocks, so even with a shotgun, ammunition choice needs to be considered.  If you choose handgun ammunition with penetration in mind, then that problem will be successfully mitigated.

     
    Click to expand...


    Interesting, and thats really all the subject is to me thus far. Dont have one nor feel the need for one, but anything could happen/change.

    I've read that same LE study, but from the videos I've seen, while you do miss (and more ammo makes up for that ofc) they seem to hit pretty often and solidly. Ofc not seeing so many of the vids of people getting shot and living as its less fantastic.

    I remember one person getting shot in residency with a rifle round that apparently went through several walls and a house. Thought it was insane but makes sense.

    I've never shot with a laser sight so that would be really fun to see the difference. Would really help to have a quick way to light the whole house up, and though I am somewhat annoyed by over "smartification" of certain things, this would be an area that would be super useful. A bedside switch or something that basically turned on every light in the house. Startling and unsettling for intruders and makes targeting easier. I have motion detection floods all around the house and those are nice.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • RogueDadMD
    replied


    For those that think firearms are only for killing:  I have a shotgun that I have never shot (family heirloom); perhaps I should get rid of that along with my great grandma’s toothpick holder which I also don’t use.  I have a pistol that I commissioned to basically become a work of art.  I have another shotgun whose sole purpose in life is to turn little discs of clay into little clouds of clay-dust.  In college, I had a rifle whose sole purpose in life was to put little holes in the center of a piece of paper. Could I use these for homicide or suicide?  I suppose, but my fancy kitchen knife is probably more likely.
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    As I said earlier, anything can be a collectible.  If you want to own antique guns, go for it.  You're legally allowed to do so.

    However most people who want to commit homicide or suicide and have access to hand guns don't use kitchen knives.  If you only have a musket from 1865 then sure, the knife is probably a better weapon.

    I think taking guns and making them unusable and turning them into works of art is a great idea (truly no sarcasm here).  I'm sure the final creation is loaded with deep meaning.

    Leave a comment:


  • RogueDadMD
    replied


    You ever tried to hit a clay with a knife? Seriously. This is a sport. It’s in the Olympics.
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    I'm aware of the sports. While a great deal of skill is involved, watching cross country skiers fire rifles has never been entertaining to me.  Watching them throw knives (at moving targets) would be far more enjoyable.

    Just about anything can be turned into a sport -- video games are now a "sport" for all intents and purposes.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexxT
    replied


    Handgun would be simple, mid range collateral damage, and low for accuracy.
    Click to expand...


    Sigh.   Discussions about firearm choice for self-defense is as contentious and pointless and subjective as is the discussion about portfolio selection.

    Everything you wrote is correct, but...

    There is lots of consistent data ( NYC police over the years, and FBI )  showing that police miss 70% of the time at a 7 foot distance ( from memory, my numbers may be off ).  However, what's missing from that data is an indication of how many people were struck.  In other words, they may miss with 7 shots, but if they fire 10 shots and hit with 3, they have hit the target 100% of the time.

    I have never seen similar data for the use of a shotgun in the home, so we can't compare. But my point there is that having an 8 or 12 inch spray of shotgun pellets does mean you only have to aim within 8 inches of the target, but it doesn't mean that you can just point in the general direction of the target and expect to hit it.  You still have to aim and use the sights.  And because the shotgun has so much recoil, even with a 20 g. semi-auto ( and you are absolutely correct, a 20 guage is probably better for home defense due to lower recoil ) it will take you a relatively long time to find your target again, aim, and get off your second shot.   You could fire more rounds with the handgun and miss more often and still hit your target more often and with more precision, and be less likely to hit an unintended target.

    If you weigh less, the perceived recoil will be greater.  This will make a shotgun a less than ideal choice for most women.

    Adding a green laser to a handgun does amazing things for accuracy at the range.  I go from 5 or 6 inch groups at 17 yards to 1 inch.  How that works out at night in my house is unknown, and I  hope it remains so.

    But an issue of great concern to the police is handgun retention, an example of which we saw in the video linked by WCI above, in radiology.   Retention is more difficult with a long gun indoors.  As you clear a room and/or turn a corner, your barrel will be seen before you see them, and they can get control of the end of the barrel.   At that point you are worse off than without a gun.  How often is this a problem in real life incidents?  I have no idea.

    I look at a gun as insurance, and like term life  insurance, while many may agree that we should have it, we disagree about how much, how long the term, laddering, spousal insurance etc.  We each have our opinion, and no one knows what the right answer should be.  And just like guns for self defense, few of us will ever need to put our insurance to the test.  So neither subject is something that I can get worked up about.  I'm just offering my considered but highly subjective opinion.  I used to tell my patients that if there's more than one way to treat a problem, it's because all the options are good, or perhaps because none is.  But if one were clearly better, then everyone would recommend it.  The same goes for firearm selection.  To each his own.

    Over penetration of rounds is certainly a consideration, and a big one.  ( An 80's year old friend of ours was coming out of the shower in her home in Oakland when she heard her door being broken down.  She ran for the phone and was talking to 911 when they burst in and shot her in the arm.  It took out her ulnar nerve just below the axilla, which was unfortunate because playing the piano was her major avocation.  The police found that one of the bullets had gone through her wall, across her yard, through a fence, and lodged in the neighbor's wall.)  But 00 buck shotgun pellets are the size of a .38 bullet, and easily go through drywall, and slugs have reportedly gone through engine blocks, so even with a shotgun, ammunition choice needs to be considered.  If you choose handgun ammunition with penetration in mind, then that problem will be successfully mitigated.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • ticker
    replied
    I was hoping spiritrider would be back to respond.  While I don't favor his terminology, it is true that many of the headlines regarding gun deaths in children are supported by data using a definition of "children" that would not be accepted in just about any other epidemiological study.  A lot of the gun-control supported papers include those up to age 21, or under 21, or teenagers (so under 20) as "children".  There was even a maligned NYT article a few years ago about guns and "children" that used data of deaths in those under age 25.  The first paragraph of these articles is usually about some 3-year-old who found a gun and killed herself or a 9-year-old who was shot walking down the street, or a recent school shooting.  Then they talk about the thousands of "children" killed by guns.  Yet, depending on which sometimes-strained definition of "children" is being used, as few as 10% of "children" being killed by guns are the age most people are picturing (0-12).  The skew is tremendously towards the 16+ end of the age range (though I believe 3-year-olds are the most commonly killed by accidental discharge).

    I am not arguing that a 16-year-old's murder is less tragic than a 4-year-old's accidental death, or that teenagers killed by guns deserve it, or that the number of young children being killed by guns is acceptably low.  But, I would contend that a 19-year-old who has moved out of home, drives, has a child of his own, and could be issued a machine gun in the military is an adult, not a child.   Uncharitable/unfair terminology notwithstanding, I think spiritrider is justified in insisting on the distinction.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied
    So lots of stuff here, many we've hashed out multiple times on guns. The type of gun/round choice is pretty interesting however. If you've read studies in the past the hit rate from a close distance with a pistol is pretty low, even among the trained. This is before being in the dark, middle of night, etc...So I think we're first going about it backwards and should define the "ideal" and then narrow it down to what fits best after that.

    You want ability to hit target if trying, low penetrance beyond target for safety of others in house, neighbors, etc...easily weilded, etc...

    I can see how a buckshot in a shotgun makes a lot of sense, maybe not a 12 gauge, but a 20? idk, not a big gun guy but I've shot several (not a shotgun iirc). On hard/mid wield, good "accuracy" and low collateral damage.

    A rifle would have the highest likelihood of collateral damage, harder to wield, high accuracy, etc...

    Handgun would be simple, mid range collateral damage, and low for accuracy.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Craigy
    replied
    I would like to congratulate everyone here for a largely cool and level-headed discussion of firearms for home defense.

    Most gun discussions on non-gun forums tend to go south pretty quickly.

    Testament to the quality of WCIers.   

     

    Leave a comment:

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