Should you buy a firearm? The Pros & Cons of Gun Ownership

There are over 310 million privately-owned firearms in America; a number that works out to roughly 1 gun for every man women and child in this country. While the anti-gun crowd would like you to believe that guns are evil and that there’s a so-called epidemic of mass shootings in this country, the truth is, as gun sales have skyrocketed in recent years, gun crimes have actually dropped.

Holding a Rifle

Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens actually stop the bad guys from committing these heinous crimes.

So what’s the truth about guns? Should everyone own one?

Well, before we jump into the reasons why owning a firearm is a smart idea, let’s look at some of the downsides to gun ownership. Yes, the downsides.

While I’m about as Pro-Second Amendment as it gets, I do feel like it is our responsibility as responsible, law-abiding gun owners to tell the truth about firearms; and the truth is some people probably shouldn’t own them.

Guns are not for everyone!

display of handguns

While I 100% believe that a gun in the hands of a responsible, trained gun owner is a good thing, one in the hands of some guy who has never bothered to take a firearms safety course, or learn how to use that firearm in a self-defense situation is downright dangerous.

There are far too many people who put their lives at risk, and their family’s lives in danger, by not taking gun safety and training seriously. Before you ever buy your first gun, you need to learn:

Having a gun DOES NOT Guarantee your safety.

Firearms Training at the Range

Again, this really comes down to proper training. Far too many gun owners have the mentality that because they have or carry a firearm they are somehow protected from bad guys and violence.

While having a firearm levels the playing field, having one without taking the proper training courses is going to get you killed.

When I’m at the range, I often hear some loudmouth say something like, “no one will ever get the drop on me,” or “I’d like to see that guy break into my house.” That’s usually when I take a break because it’s usually the same guy who the range officer singles out because he’s doing something that is a danger to himself and everyone on the range.

Keep this in mind: While you’re at work trying to pay the bills, the bad guys are out perfecting their criminal lifestyle. The one or two times you hit the range every year is nothing compared to the training these criminals receive on a daily basis. When that bad guy breaks into your house, there’s a pretty good chance he’s broken into at least a dozen before yours, and he has probably been in hundreds of hand-to-hand street fights. Still think you’re ready?

In order to stop a bad guy, you need to train in realistic self-defense situations — including knowing how to defend yourself without your gun. Yes, without your gun.

Carrying a firearm without self-defense training is a recipe for disaster.

Firearms Range Training

The reality of a real-world attack is no matter how fast and accurate you are with your firearm, there are going to be certain situations where you’re firearm will not prevent the attack. Think about it; if firearms were the end-all and be-all, why would our military forces train in hand-to-hand combat?

In close quarters combat, the chances of being able to unholster your firearm and return fire on an attacker is actually pretty slim. To be truly prepared, you need to be able to take out an attacker without your gun – or at least slow him down so you can draw your weapon.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this research on the use of a firearm in a close-quarter attack.

Why everyone should have a firearm: The Pros of gun ownership.

Holding a AK47 style rifle

Now that we discussed the important stuff – because when it comes down to it preparedness is all about training and having the right knowledge – let’s look at some of the many reasons a person has for buying a firearm.

Quite simply, Firearms Save Lives

Firearms in the hands of a law-abiding citizen can save lives, and the numbers show it.

Woman holding a handgun
Every year, somewhere around 205,000 women use a firearm to protect themselves from sexual abuse; in 89.6% of violent crimes directed against women, the offender does not have a gun.

Every year, law-abiding citizens draw their guns over 2.5 million times in personal defense, saving a countless number of lives and serving as a serious deterrent to criminals. Often times, the mere presence of a firearm is enough to stop a criminal dead in his tracks, without ever having to fire a single round.

But comes on, aren’t those NRA number?

Well, for those of you that don’t trust the NRA, how about numbers from Bill Clinton?

Even the notoriously Anti-Gun Clinton administration had to admit that while he was President, guns were used at least 1.5 million times a year for self-defense. The numbers came directly from the Clinton Justice Department, who hired anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig to conduct the study.

Because Gun Control Laws will NEVER Stop a Criminal from committing Gun Crimes.

Gun-Free Zone Sign

While the government and the media would like you to believe that banning guns will somehow solve the world’s problems, the truth is, criminals by their very nature don’t follow the law. Anti-gun laws do very little good when you’re staring down the barrel of some psychopath’s gun.

But what about all those mass shootings, couldn’t they have been prevented by passing more gun control bills?

Since 1950, all but two of this country’s mass shootings have taken place in a designated gun-free zone.

Yes, the criminals had guns; the good guys didn’t! The law and all those fancy gun-free zone signs did nothing to stop the bad guys from killing people. The only thing that could have made a difference in these cases would have been a law-abiding citizen allowed to lawfully carry his gun in these areas.

Because Cops and Marines are really heavy!

Carrying a Marine

It always amazes me how some people can be so caviler with their family’s lives. In my opinion, if you have a family you should have and know how to use a gun.

We often hear the anti-gun crowd say things like, “people don’t need firearms, that’s why we have cops.” Well, those guys can get kind of heavy to carry around.

But in all seriousness, when seconds count, you simply can’t count on 911 to keep you safe. Law enforcement does not have a legal obligation to protect you from criminals.

In 2005, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police officers do not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm. The ruling backed up an earlier court case, Warren v. District of Columbia, where the Court ruled that official police personnel and the government employing them owes no duty to victims of criminal acts and thus are not liable for a failure to provide adequate police protection.

Protecting yourself and your family from Home Invasions

Front of a House

According to FBI crime numbers, over 1.5 million homes are burglarized each and every year. The criminals who commit these crimes are often armed; and when people are home, these home invasions can quickly turn violent.

When it comes to preparedness related threats, a home invasion is one of the most likely threats you will face. When it comes to protecting yourself from that threat, you are the only person who can do something to stop the crime and put down the threat.

You cannot count on law enforcement to respond in time to protect you from the chaos.

According to the Department of Justice, police response times range from 4 minutes for the best in the country to the worst clocking in at over an hour. The national average response time for law enforcement responding to a high-priority call is 11 minutes.

Nationwide Police Response times to Crime Chart

Now here is the part that should concern you. The average interaction time between a criminal and a victim is 90 seconds. That means even if you somehow had the opportunity to dial 911, the chances of anyone being able to respond in time to save you is pretty slim.

Because I have Insurance and a Fire Extinguisher.

Fire Extinguisher used to fight a fire

Like most things, I look at firearms from a preparedness point of view. And from that lens, owning a firearm is no different than buying fire insurance or a fire extinguisher. While I hope I never need to use either one of them, when the time comes not having those items could be catastrophic.

For many first-time firearm buyers, buying a gun can be an overwhelming experience – one that can often cause people to make the wrong decision. If you’re ready to buy one and understand that safety is gong to be one of your primary concerns, check out our tips on what to look for when buying your first gun.

Sign up for OFFGRID Newsletter

19 Comments

  1. TPSnodgrass
    July 14, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Well written article! It’s about time we started seeing articles of this caliber(no pun intended) for mass distribution. Intelligent, just plain well done. Thank you.

  2. Real Deal
    July 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Con. Some states do not recognize out-of- state permits when traveling with a handgun.

  3. michigan man
    July 14, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    very well put, The purchasing of a gun is a decision that could impact the rest of your life as a gun owner I handlle, carrying ,shooting with that in mind as responsible gun-owners we all need to remember this and make sure we educate those who do not understand or just take the word of the government or media of the rights of responsible gun owner and the thugs that don’t care what they do with a stolen gun,knife,car etc!

  4. TyrannyOfEvilMen
    July 14, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Good article. One small quibble is about training.

    I love training. I train at least a couple times a year for about 2-3 days at a time and shoot at the rage a couple times a month. However, grandmother is not going to do that. Many others are not going to do that and yet they can achieve safe gun handling rather quickly.

    I think it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone can or will be a ninja. One good thing about firearms though is that they can equal the fight which is why so many people use them to that effect.

  5. James L. Johnson
    July 15, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Very well written article. We urgently need to promulgate this as widely as possible. People have a tendancy to believe politicians and program anchors (I left out News intentionally, these people report opinion, not news). Criminals ignore laws and “gun free zones,” making these zones easy pickings.

  6. desert
    July 15, 2015 at 8:59 am

    low intelligence anti-gunners should listen to Admiral Yamamoto, who advised not attacking America because behind every bush would be a citizen with a gun! So guns don’t prevent attacks huh? You bet your bippy buy a gun, maybe several so they are within reach if you have a home invasion, but get plenty of ammo and most of all, make arrangements with someone to teach you the safe handling and use and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. be confident in your gun, so should the occasion arise, you won’t have to worry about how it works, or if you can use it….!! imho

  7. MrApple
    July 15, 2015 at 11:41 am

    “Should you buy a firearm?”

    YES!

  8. Mikey
    July 16, 2015 at 11:22 am

    How many screw drivers are there in America?

  9. Bill
    July 18, 2015 at 5:12 am

    It all comes down to a person deciding on a course of action, understanding this choice and doing what needs to be done. Americans need to read and understand why the 2 nd admendment came into being.

  10. JOSEPH CONRAD
    July 18, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    GUN OWNERSHIP IS THE ONLY WAY TO PROTECT THE NATION FROM A WEALTHY BANKER-FUNDED TAKEOVER & FEMA CAMPS.

    • Melissa
      January 3, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      What do you know about the FEMA camps? I’ve been looking online for credible information about them.

      Thanks!

  11. B from CA
    July 22, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Good article. Fairly well balanced. Just be sure if you decide to carry a gun that you remain sober, both literally and figuratively!

  12. European American
    January 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    One out of every four Americans is on heavy “Psychotropics”. How many millions is that? How many of them own guns? That’s pretty scary sheet and something the rest of the 75% of law abiding citizens need to be aware of.

    And, over 90% of mass school shooters were under the influence of these mind altering substances.

    These people should not have guns, period.

    • October 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Under the influence of the drugs? Or had STOPPED taking the drugs?

  13. Dar
    February 1, 2016 at 4:28 am

    You are right,I live in Ireland where handguns are banned and you can not use a gun to defend your self or family ,the reason for this is the government is afraid of insurrection “we have a history of it in fairness”,that being said the amount of people getting assaulted and murdered living in the countryside beggers believe, gang are coming from the big cities and raiding the countryside , the cops can’t be everywhere and If they did catch them in the act of killing a person the way our legal system is over here they would be out in 3 to 5 years formgood behavior, and because the government control’s the media over here its hard to get the facts you really have to look.So the upshot to all this ass far as I’m concerned is hang on to you firearms.stay safe all.

  14. Pat
    February 7, 2016 at 5:40 am

    I have no problem with my husband purchasing a gun; the problem I have is his life style; he drinks 6-7 cocktails a day; has been for years; will he not have a drink, cold turkey, they day he wants to carry his gun. We live in a secure Senior Complex….so house break-in would not be my worry. It’s gun and liquor that is my worry. He wouldn’t be able to bring our his gun if he had been drinking….and we’re in a situation that would warrant him to pull it. How many people are carrying guns and drinking; do they really understand the law around guns and liquor? Have they done their research. These are the people that I worry about being around…will they use good judgement under the influence. I took his gun as I was advised from a cop friend that with my husband’s life style; drinking heavily for 40+ years; should not carry. He has high tolerance for liquor…doesn’t even walk around looking like he’s drunk…can talk fine…but that doesn’t mean he should be carrying a gun. Signed….a concerned wife!

  15. Scott
    November 21, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I like that you point out that guns are not for everyone. I think that this is really important to keep in mind. While we all have the right to own a gun, it doesn’t mean we need to have one. I think, like you said, those who own a gun need to have the proper training.

  16. redstarbear
    December 11, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    I came at firearms and how I relate to them backwards. I bought my first rifle, got in physical shape, learned hand to hand tactics. Then began familiarizing myself with my by then weapons plural. My reasoning was simple. I didn’t want to be caught without one even if I was not well versed. I by now am extremely effective both armed and unarmed. However I heavily recommend you purchase first like I did. The likely hood of getting one later looks less and less good. Something is far better than nothing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*