There is no Such Thing as a Gun-Free Zone

A young woman prepared to defend herself with a pistol.
A young woman prepared to defend herself with a pistol.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my basement in the middle of nowhere. At my side is my 85-pound dog who is not friendly towards strangers. Despite this, I am wearing a Glock with a spare 15-round magazine on my opposite hip and I have a revolver in my pocket for backup.

Nearby is my Mossberg Shockwave with a light and side saddle. That’s what I grab when the dog or I hear an unexpected noise in the evening. I’ve grabbed it and gone on patrol around the exterior of the house only two or three times in the past year. I am sure I terrified the rabbits or whatever it was my dog heard.

In my bedroom, I have a rifle and a shotgun, both with lights. These are on hand to protect our chickens from any night predators that get past the electric fence. Of course, both weapons will also be effective against a 2-legged predator, should it come to that. There have been a few occasions when I have run out on our deck in my bare feet and skivvies, only to find a deer or other non-threatening animal had set off the motion detectors near the chicken coop.

Am I expecting trouble? N, but neither were those ten people shot in the subway car in Brooklyn yesterday. Someone opened fire with a 9mm, spewing 33 rounds. Shooting people in a closed subway car was probably like shooting fish in a barrel. If only someone had been there to shoot back.

There are no Gun-Free Zones

Did you ever notice that most mass shootings take place in cities and other locations where guns are prohibited? Our politicians don’t take any responsibility for these events, even though it is their laws that create the very gun-free zones where these criminals are able to fire indiscriminately at an unarmed populace. They are also quick to blame the guns, not the individual who planned and executed the assault, nor the no-bail policies and lax prosecutors who let so many criminals out of jail. Seems a bit backwards to me.

I try to avoid gun-free zones, which is pretty easy when you live in the country where quite a few folks are packing. When I can’t avoid them, I ignore the rules, except for courthouses and other government property. Ignoring the signs is easy in places such as restaurants and movie theaters because they don’t have metal detectors. Never have I been given the side eye by someone who suspects I’m carrying, nor have I been asked to leave.

If I can wear a gun in a so-called gun-free zone, so can bad guys. That’s why there are no gun-free zones outside the wishful thinking of small, scared liberal minds. To expect the pimply kid taking tickets at the movie theater to protect you from someone intent on opening fire in a movie theater is just stupid. You need to be ready to return fire.

Police Response Times

New York City has about 35,000 police officers. If we assume one quarter of them are on shift at any given time, that’s more than 8,000 cops. None of them were on that train or in that station when the shooting went down, so the perpetrator escaped. The station’s cameras were also non functional.

The average police response time for a critical incident in New York City is 7.5 minutes. That is a long time to be waiting when someone is breaking into your house, robbing you, holding up a store, beating someone to death or shooting at you. When you look at police response times nationwide, 7.5 minutes is remarkably good. Cities like Baltimore and Detroit average closer to 15 minutes.

That’s about what I would expect where I live, a minimum response time of 15 minutes. That assumes the deputy assigned to my part of the county is in his car, not on the can, grabbing a bite to eat, or in the middle of dealing with another call.

If we face a threat, we have to deal with that threat for at least fifteen minutes before we can expect any help. On a busy day, it could be 30 or even 40 minutes before we get a response. This is a low-crime area, but there are enough meth heads with bad judgment out there that one might think we look like a soft target. Better to be prepared to shoot the guy trying to kick in your door than to cower in your closet and hope he doesn’t find you.

What is the response time in your area? Do you have a plan to hold off an attacker until the police can respond?

The Armed Prepper

If you recall my prepping priorities, you will note that self-defense comes after food, water, and shelter. I recommend that all preppers not only own guns and stockpile ammunition and magazines but they train regularly as well.

When your neighborhood suddenly takes a turn for the worse, it’s too late to wish you had a few guns and a couple of ammo cans. Every time there is a crisis, ammunition sells out. Common calibers disappear from store shelves and if you can find it, the price has doubled or tripled.

In February, Ukraine realized they needed to be better armed because their neighborhood was deteriorating. Imagine if they had three times the number of fighter jets, helicopters, tanks, artillery, and missile systems. It might have been enough to prevent the invasion.

Germany likewise decided it was not sufficiently prepared, given the evolving state of its neighborhood. Just a few days after the invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s chancellor committed to doubling the budget of the German military, in part to modernize their military. It will take a few years. Let’s hope they have that long.

How long do you think you have to get prepared?

Don’t Forget Training

These are examples on the global scale, but it applies just as much if you live in the suburbs or a small town. The time to learn to shoot safely and accurately and build the gun-handling skills you will need in a fight is well before a crisis hits. You don’t want to be out there pulling on the trigger and wondering why your pistol doesn’t go bang; you want to reach the point where your muscle memory smoothly sweeps the safety off without having to give it a second thought when you draw your weapon.

At the minimum, you want to be able to reload automatically, without needing to look at the gun or your magazine, and be able to shoot accurately and quickly from a variety of positions. Those skills take time, practice, and repetition. When the you-know-what hits the fan, your practice time is over.

Training at the pistol range
It’s important to train regularly to hone your pistol skills. Paper targets can give you an idea of your group size but steel targets are more reactive.

Guns Are only Part of the Package

Having a gun is great, but it is not a magic talisman. Its mere presence may make you feel better, but owning a gun does not make you any safer. You have to have it handy when they kick your door in, and you have to know how to use it.

If you don’t get out there and practice, if you don’t maintain your weapons, how can you be confident that you can defend yourself? You could end up like a poorly trained Russian solider with sub-par equipment heading towards Kyiv, and you’ll perform just as badly.

Hopefully you have been concentrating on building up your food storage, but consider this a reminder not to ignore the other aspects of prepping, including your armory and your skills.

I consider being armed an important component of being prepared. I’m armed every day. If you aren’t, ask yourself why. Then rethink your lifestyle to see if it is possible. I’d rather you be the hero that shot the bad guy in the subway rather than the unwary victim lying in a puddle of blood.

Video of the Day

This is a video giving just two examples of homeowners who needed to use guns to save their lives even though the police had already been called.