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I am Buying a Gun to Protect My Home and Assets

I had emailed a buddy of mine recently about potential stocks and mutual funds to invest in 2011.  He responded back with a three page email, and it started with the following.

“Sunil, it all depends on what your view of the world is”

I was soon reminded that this guy is the biggest pessimist (one can argue realist or just cautious) about the world and mankind in general.  This is the same guy who openly jokes “Dow at 7,000 and the rest of us on Camels, so start farming now”.  This guy is also a very successful professional and is doing very well financially.

So of the three pages of email he typed out while he was at work, 2 were about his three guns, why he got them, what they are, what they do, where he keeps each, and what he plans to do with them. I am probably missing a lot more and doing a total injustice to the breadth and depth of his email.

The point is, he is genuinely concerned, or predicting that the world is coming to an end, and that there will be a period of panic where “store shelves will remain empty for a while”.  There will be a new “normal” that we as a world will come to, and essentially start from scratch.  Gosh, sounds like Denzel Washington’s the Book of Eli.

Why Protect Your Home by Buying a Gun?

I’ve thought about getting my concealed carrying permit and a gun (or two) before, but not solely for such extreme reasons. I do enjoy the shooting range, and I do have a military background.  So if it makes sense for anyone, it certainly makes sense for me.

When I think about buying a gun in terms of home protection, I think about what is it in my house that intruders would be interested in to begin with?  We keep all our jewelry, precious metals and important documents in the bank locker.  But maybe someone might be interested in the 56 inch flat screen that I own?  My surround sound system?  Or my Nintendo Wii?

Sure, portable personal belonging can add up. I can easily guestimate up to $10,000 and much more.  But that’s what insurance policies are for right?  In addition, we do have an alarm / security systems in place. Hmmm . . .

But what if someone breaks in just to harm us?  Why would anyone do that?  Maybe someone is desperate for shelter and barges into the house? A lot can happen. I guess you just don’t know?

Cost of Protecting Your Home With Guns

So maybe it was my buddy’s email that revived the toy fetish inside me that made me revisit this matter in detail over the past weekend.  Where I live, we are allowed concealed permits and gun ownership.  In fact, there is an indoor range just 15 minutes away from me. I pass it every time I go to the airport.

As I write this, I am 80% convinced that I will pursue buying a gun.  Don’t ask me why.  A bit ironic for someone who often preaches about clarity and focus isn’t it?  This is an exception I will conveniently make, but at least I am publicly open and honest about it :)  Not an excuse – just saying.

Here is what the craziness would cost me:

  • Gun: $500-700 – I am looking into a Glock or a Colt (Custom)
  • Cleaning Kit: $45 (every year or two)
  • Ammo: Several hundreds
  • Time: couple hours cleaning the gun after each firing
  • License: $75 annually
  • Peace of mind: Still not sure . . . gun ownership has both pros and cons like anything else

Let’s say approximately $700 for the gun and $300 annually to play with it, clean it, maintain it, etc.

Responsible Gun Ownership

Despite a military background, there is no way I will pursue buying a gun without the appropriate investment in training.  In fact, I spoke to my wife about potentially having her go through training as well.  It can’t hurt?

So here is some additional damage:

  • Introduction to handgun training: $175
  • Course on defending your home with guns: $225
  • License training and renewal refresher: 125 + license fee
  • Other miscellaneous training I found relevant to us: $450 total

Total: $975 times 2 of us = $1,950 one time cost plus refreshers every few years

Yes I could easily do without this and save $2K but I’m more comfortable going through the rigor. I believe in investment in education and training, and that learning is a continuous and lifelong process.  If I can “blow” a couple grand on travel airfare visiting a place that I can live without visiting, I can invest a couple grand on our education and safety as well.

And if we were to pursue buying a gun, then I strongly believe we need to make a serious investment in educating ourselves on responsible gun ownership and usage.  But just like an insurance policy that I know I must have but hope to never use, I am hoping the same for gun ownership.

Is my reasoning compelling or horse dropping? Should I or should I not pursue buying a gun?  What do you think about this “investment” or waste of time and money? You won’t hurt my feelings.

Is it worth buying a gun? Where do you stand on this topic? Do you believe in Gun Control?  Do you care? Have you seen the book of Eli? What did you think about it?

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50 Responses to “I am Buying a Gun to Protect My Home and Assets”

  1. I have thought about this very topic, but would not even consider it until all of my kids have moved out of the house. There is too much danger associated with kids and guns in the same house unless you keep them incredibly secure and plan on teaching them about gun safety from day 1.

    • Sunil says:

      I am totally with you. if I had kids I am sure my decision process would take a completely different approach. we have all heard the crazy stories through media

  2. You’re thinking along the right lines in getting training and practicing regularly. Many people do not, thinking that somehow a firearm is a magic talisman in and of itself that will keep the bad guys away.
    Owning guns with or without children in the house takes vigilance and awareness. I would add two safes and/or a gun locker to the above costs.
    However, as with all good tools, the initial cost of a firearm is not necessarily a sunk cost. Some actually increase in value with time. By comparison, what’s the residual value of a flat-screen TV?

    • Sunil says:

      very true. the gun(s) can increase in value over time! agreed with a locker – but I can’t allocate all the cost to this endeavor as the wife needs it for her jewelry as well.

  3. brian says:

    Interesting. I live in a smaller town and its mostly liberal who in fact want the shooting range removed because of lead bullets leeching into ground. Anyways in this safe town with really no crime, a young professional man was recently murdered with a knife near a school in an open public area just walling home after work. They still haven’t found the killer but its does make you wonder if i would feel safer having a concealed weapon especially when I run by the exact place he died everyday.

    • Sunil says:

      sorry to hear Brian. it’s certainly a personal decision, so as long as it’s used responsibly. but that said, we have no control what others do such as goons who decide to jump a helpless elderly man and beat him to comma (happened while I was in London, UK – case of blind racism).

  4. Geoff says:

    Hey Sunil, Book of Eli….awesome flick!

    I’ve considered a gun for the same reasons, but actually lean more towards a taser or other types of non-lethal protection (although I haven’t pulled the trigger yet….pun intended). It still stops an intruder effectively, but there’s just less risk of unintentional accidents around the house.

    • Sunil says:

      good point. but can you precisely target someone down the stairs if you’re up on the second floor and the thief just broke in or is lingering outside with a weapon of their own? ah – I watch too many action films.

  5. I like the idea Geoff said of a taser…but then I wonder. If someone was worthy of me stopping, should I be going for the kill? Gosh, I have been thinking this one over for some time now. My assets are my two little girls. My husband is encouraging me to buy a gun so I can protect my family when he is away (there have been a record number of break ins in my area). But I am afraid that simple fact of me having a gun present and will trigger the attacker to kill me to protect himself. I may be too slow to react…but then there is the other side of the coin. I am going to check out the article you linked to AskMen and see what they have to say…Also, they make gun cases that can only be access with your fingerprint…I think that has my husband more intrigued than the actual gun! But I would feel a lot better about the risk of my kids finding it.

    • Sunil says:

      Miranda, thank you for the tip on fingerprint gun cases. I had no idea about these. have you spent much time looking into these (average cost)?

      I need to hook my wife up with you. her concerns are exactly the same. I want to send her to a quick ninja bootcamp to speedify her reflexes 😉

      • Miranda says:

        Those cases are surprisingly low in cost. It kind of worries me it is too low. My husband said they were 150-200. If it is as secure as it claims, then that is well worth the investment. But I would not want to be desperate and eager to quickly gain access to a gun and the darn thing not register my shaking fingerprints. haha

        I am leaning further away from a gun purchase…but still not off the table. Its a better solution than something like a Deer Cleaning Knife (dont know what those ugly scary knives are called) under the mattress though. Ugh, here I am battling myself in a comment. I am still on the fence. I may just take my grandpas small pistol to a shooting range and see how I feel with it.

        I think it is important to be confident that if the gun is pulled out I would have ot be prepared to use it.

        Maybe I should take on Akil’s way of thinking though. I may be just drawing in unwanted attention with all this thinking I am doing.

        • Sunil says:

          LOL – I don’t know. maybe…but then I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I need it and don’t have it. the law of attraction is very powerful, but I think I have enough discipline to make it a moot point in this case. what say?

    • Taline says:

      Hi Miranda,

      I’m a police officer and hope I can answer some of your questions. Part of my academy training required for me to be tazed for 5 seconds and pepper sprayed (our military grade which is illegal for civilians).

      Taser: You better learn effective distance, safe distance, how to not hurt yourself, practice with one, and more important realize it is only an avenue to buy you some time. If you get one with darts and shoot it at an intruder, it will give a 5 second burst which will drop the person making them immobal. Once that’s over, fair game and they will be back up to play so you must keep zapping away, literally. So zap and dial 911 and wait for me to arrive? Not a good plan

      Pepper spray: Hurts like heck!!! But doesn’t stop someone that is determined. I was still able to shoot and fight someone after being sprayed (and I’m a female)

      Gun: Your best choice! I realize you have 2 little ones. I have a 14 month old also, and I own several weapons and take safety measures with each one. All of my guns are unloaded and in a safe. If there is an inturder, trust me I will gain access to my Glock in under 30 seconds and have it loaded and the intruder will eat some lead.

      My suggestion is don’t be scared about guns. Did you read the story about that mom that shot and killed an intruder when she was home alone with her infant? (this was maybe a month back) That was awesome she protected her little one and herself! He got what he deserved. You have to remember that while guns take lives, they also save them.

      I’m here if you have any questions :)

      • Thank you so much for explaining all of that to me!

        I think the best thing for me to do right now is to borrow a gun and go to the shooting range. I have a fear of guns, just seeing them make me sick to my stomach. I have been threatened with them in the past so I am sure that has a lot to do with y uncomfortable feelings.

        I did hear of the story of the young mom and her infant! I thought about that story for weeks. Her husband had just died from cancer days before, on Christmas Eve. She was only like 19!? She was still held together like she was made out of stone.

        I swear I would be in tiny little pieces all over the place. Heck, I have been in pieces over far less than what she has already experienced in her short lifetime. She is such an inspiration!

        Alright, gonna take this serious. I will come back after this weekend and let you know how the gun range experience turns out 😉

        • Sunil says:

          I’m smiling as I read your response to Taline – I can relate!

          you don’t have to borrow someone’s gun. most ranges have them and you can rent out one closer to the kind you prefer…or simply try them all out to get an idea for which to potentially buy

      • Sunil says:

        excellent contribution Taline and thank you. I learned so much just by reading this response. I am sure several others would appreciate an insider’s thoughts on the topic. and good to know that we have a brilliant female cop in the EMB community to keep us all safe 😉

        • Taline says:

          Hey Sunil,

          Thanks a lot! I really hope my feedback helps people out and I’m always here in case anyone has any questions :)

          Awww yes, brilliant I like! 😉

  6. I live in Canada, so… no, not the same culture. 😉 Private carry of handguns is illegal AFAIK.

  7. Akil says:

    Hi Sunil,

    Good investment the education but don’t see the need as it cause more problem or attracts the wrong vibes/attention. Usually people that own guns or carry them find unwanted drama come there way. I guess we have to protect ourselves in some way but not sure buying a gun is right as then everyone would buy one and we all would be gun carry fools.

    Which might invoke more unwanted violence and shooting by accidents but the education is usually and like I said before you have to protect your family.


    • Sunil says:

      Akil, you make valid points. many argue exactly that. but do you think responsible gun ownership can be an exception? I know we are assuming the owner will always be responsible… maybe too much to ask?

      • akil says:

        Responsible ownership, I am sure has it place but its like the saying goes if you think about something too much then you might attract what your thinking about.

        Its always a good thing to feel safe in your own place or surrounding but not sure I would need use of a gun or training but hey thats me.

  8. Jeff Gross says:

    Sunil, I live in a place where having gun is not a big deal, in fact each and every household has it. But honestly I am not in much favor of keeping them at home.. Its good that you have bought it for safety, I would still request you to keep it in a secure place

  9. William says:

    I never used a real gun before and I believe I can do more damage to my family to provide security if I buy one without undergoing some training first. Buying a gun did slip in my mind though but the cons out weigh the pros which is why I am delaying the purchase.

    • Sunil says:

      what are your biggest concerns William and how do you think those can be mitigated aside from training alone?

    • Taline says:

      PLEASE take a safety course and practice and educate yourself about the firearm! If you have kids, leave the gun unloaded in a locked safe!

      You’re very right in that you will do more damage if you lack training. I had a partner once who got laxed and left his loaded gun on the arm rest in his car and his 3 year old reached it, accidently shot off a round, hit my partner in the leg and now he’s paralyzed from the waist down. It could have been much worse.

      Hope I did scare you into taking a course and receiving propert training. Even when you do, take several safety measures to not allow any children or anyone that is not trained to have access to the weapon. I’m here if you have any questions.

  10. Taline says:

    Hey Sunil,

    Well being that husband was in the military, and we are both in law enforcement now, I cannot say how important it is to protect yourself and your family by having a gun!

    We have rifles, AK-47’s, shotguns, a few glocks, and several other weapons. I’ve been to enough radio calls to know that in several instances, either a homicide would have been avoided, a rape not occured, and so on.

    In terms of a major catastrophic event, well I don’t mean to be negative, but I do believe something will happen in the next decade. It is vital to be prepared. We have emergency water in 50 gallon drums, first aid kits, food, and several other items to last us for weeks.

    Great post, and go buy a gun! Buy two! :)

    • Sunil says:

      I want to know where you live and what your cell phone number is. Please mail that info to me pronto. Also, I’d love to have a guest bedroom in your house.

      I know exactly where to go when it all hits the fan 😉

  11. JO says:

    Hi Sunil,

    Buy 1 handgun 1 SMG and one rifle with scope.

    I have several and was in the Special Forces some years ago. Anything can be used as a weapon, but if you have a gun, it makes it easier and quicker…

    Training is extremly important! Attend training and then train in your own yard. It prepares you for if something happens. Defence and attack points, escape points …

    See ya around, Jo

  12. As I was reading I was thinking you have it planned out Sunil! I mean sure guns aren’t for everyone but a lot of people would simply go out and just do the min. to be able to purchase one. To think are have planned for both you and your wife to go through classes show how responsible you are. I don’t think my household is ready for a gun yet. I don’t understand that you would have to be in a situation where you wish you had one but its now too late. I think everyone has to evaluate their own situation. My wife is really scary so having a gun is not a good thing. Not that she would be scared of the good in the home but she may tend to get it for every little noise etc. which is not a good thing.

    • Sunil says:

      Thomas you make valid points and many are concerned about the same things. you are absolutely correct that everyone needs to evaluate this decision carefully as it applies to them.

      I am starting to reconsider, because if I train my wife and by her a gun, then I will have to make sure I never pi$$ her off :)

  13. Maybe to some people, having guns to protect their homes is just normal thing to do. But in my own opinion, I don’t opt for guns in protecting my home. I am not comfortable with guns…

  14. Jason says:

    I just found this post and have enjoyed reading it and the comments (very near and dear to my heart). I love seeing the topic of gun ownership explored like this as there is a lot of hype / bad info out there; but a lot of good info provided here and in these comments.

    Growing up, my father had a few hunting rifles and a handgun so I was exposed to them somewhat. Today I have many guns which my children have been exposed too since they were born. I originally bought a gun for the same reasons you mention. Interestingly, I was later introduced to various competitive shooting sports which now consumes much (too much?) of my time as well.

    The questions and thoughts you are having are the right ones – safety, training, reason for having a gun, etc. My advice would be to go take a class – call up your local gun shop, shooting range or sportsman’s club and they can direct you to any number of quality training options. If you have not been around guns, they can be very intimidating, but I promise that a good instructor will get you past that fear very quickly. Most ranges / instructors offer a “first shots” class designed for people with little or no gun experience – often times free or very low cost.

    Personally, I have taught many (100+) people to shoot, and all of them end up having a blast (sorry – couldn’t resist). Just take it slow, be extra careful, and you will be find your confidence (and skills) building up very very quickly.

  15. We’re deliberating the same decision right now. For the exact same reason your friend wrote you two pages on the subject. :) I’m all about the training, too. Wouldn’t feel comfortable without it.

  16. I agree with you. I guess we have to protect ourselves in some way but not sure buying a gun is right as then everyone would buy one.We should be careful in handling things like that. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  17. Peter says:

    What’s the old saying, “when you need the police right now, they’re only 10 minutes away?” , or something like that?

    I say go for it, get a gun since it’s legal in your area – and go through all the necessary training, etc.

    I’ve considered getting a gun but we’ve got a 1 and a half year old in the house and we’re just not comfortable owning one right now..

  18. I say do it. I sleep a lot better at night knowing my friends Mossberg and Ruger are at hand.

    If someone high on PCP comes into your house, nothing is going to stop him except some double-ought buckshot or a good home defense load.

    I’d recommend getting a tactical shotgun and a handgun. The tac shotgun is, in my opinion, the best home defense weapon. I’ve modified it so my wife can shoot it as well.

    I’ve written about how to choose a tactical shotgun, so email me and I can send you the link if you are interested.

  19. David says:

    I personally believe in gun ownership. It is legal to own guns in my area and that probably will not change anytime soon. While I have jokingly said I would call 9mm first I hope I never have to use my Beretta in self defense. Take classes, learn your weapon and how to use it. Keep it away from any children in your home, I would also recommend teaching all children to keep away from firearms until they are old enough to understand the responsibility weather there is a gun in their home or not (what if they were at a neighbor house and found a gun?).

    As for calling 9mm first, DON’T! Call 911 during an emergency.
    Last weekend there were some hooligans outside my house, when I saw 4 of them jump the neighbors fence I called 911. A few minutes late when they rammed an SUV into the telephone pole near my house I again called 911. Then 3 of them ran down my street, again, I called 911. The police arrived soon and took 4 people into custody. During all this activity I did not have my gun in my hand but I did have it nearby in case they tried to enter my house and am glad that the matter did not escalate. Stay safe, stay informed, stay well!


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