No conversation involving Disaster Preparedness is complete without at a mention of the topic of guns. I usually purposely avoid the subject because of strong feelings on both sides of the issue. But let me draw a line here; I am a former police officer (15 years), Air Force veteran (Vietnam) conservative, Republican, Christian, NRA member, and (these days) infrequent hunter. I am also aware that in the event of disaster the police, fire and other first responders are going to have their hands full with someone else’s emergency. That, coupled with the lack of restraint of a certain criminal element during times of distress makes a very good case for gun ownership.
So now comes the part where you choose a firearm. I have compiled a list, not of specific brands, but of general types. If you are entirely opposed to the concept of responsible gun-ownership, then read no farther and remember to call 911 when you need help.
First, a good all-purpose firearm is a shotgun. A .12 gauge shotgun can handle a wide range of ammo, smaller “shot” for small birds and animals, rifled slug for deer and larger game, and 00 buck for home defense. Few sounds strike terror in the heart of bad guys like the sound of a shell being “racked” into the chamber of a .12 gauge shotgun. Second, a good quality .22 rifle. Many good brands are on the market and even though there has been a shortage of ammunition the past couple of years, it still is a great all-purpose firearm for a wide range of needs. Small game, inexpensive target practice and in many cases, personal defense. Next, a good hunting rifle. Most of us get our preferences from our dads, 30-30, .270, 30-06, 308, and 7mm are all popular calibers for hunting deer, elk or even bear. The bolt-action is the most popular and most reliable. So if your preparedness plan includes hunting for your fresh meat at up to 300 (or more) yards, start doing your research and choose what hunting rifle fits you best.
Mention of the next two always stir up controversy. First is a good quality handgun. Handgun ownership requires training, practice and responsible behavior. Your choice of handgun depends on your purpose for carrying. Do you intend to buy a handgun for the purpose of concealed carry? (Check on local laws.) Do you intend to just take it to the range for target practice, or will it rest in a secure location in your home ready to repel a home-invasion? Be sure to get advice from more than one person as everyone has their own opinion regarding which one to purchase. There are decisions to make like which caliber, which style and whether or not you need a revolver or semi-auto pistol. Some people actually know what they’re talking about while some only have an opinion based on purchase price and possibly a one-time experience.
Lastly, when all chaos and lawlessness breaks loose in your neighborhood, there’s nothing that compares with a military-style semi-automatic rifle. The most popular models are either based on the AR-15 originally designed by Armalite or the AK Russian version designed by Dr/Gen. Kalashnikov. A man with a rifle has options. The AR fires an intermediate power cartridge useful for longer range engagements and devastating at close ranges. Commonality with most law enforcement and U.S. Military. Easy to obtain parts and accessories. Lightweight, with low recoil and very accurate.
As always send your comments, arguments and politically correct rationale to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dave Robinson is the Postmaster in Bandon, Oregon, and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, and other online booksellers.