The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Home defense

Joe's at it again... or so they say. "Open mouth, insert foot", as the saying goes. The Vice President offered this advice, he claimed, to his wife, "I said, 'Jill, if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,'" Biden said.

"You don't need an AR-15—it's harder to aim," he added, "it's harder to use, and in fact you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!"

The basics of his suggestion ("Buy a shotgun" and "You don't need an AR-15") are sound. The AR-15 is not a good home defense weapon. Though it isn't all that hard to aim. Defending one's home would be close quarters combat. You do not have room to maneuver, you are likely to be within 20 feet of an attacker, and there will be objects in the way.  A shotgun is a very good weapon in that situation. As Joe implies, it's not hard to aim effectively.

But what kind of shotgun? That double-barreled model that he mentions? Bad choice. A much better choice is a short-barreled pump model without a stock. Why? Because you will likely not have much room to swing it around. You need something with a short barrel (18" is, I believe, the legal limit), light, and powerful enough to do a good deal of damage but does not blast huge holes in the walls.
My personal choice is a .410 bore, 4 round magazine, no stock, pistol grip equipped, with 18" barrel. Like the one at left. I use birdshot but small buckshot might be more effective.

The problem with Joe's advice to his wife is that he tells her to step out on the balcony and fire off both barrels. This means she will have to reload if that strategy does not scare off the intruder(s). Reloading can be done quickly but not when you are in a stressful situation. And you would need to drill yourself on doing it so that it is second nature. Most folks will not train for emergencies like that, they will also keep the weapon unloaded for safety reasons. The pump models can be loaded but not have a shell in the chamber, rendering it fairly safe since it will require racking a shell into the chamber. Doing so will make a very distinctive and loud noise which can be a deterrent in itself. And, once racked, the weapon is ready for use (if the safety has been clicked off).

Why not a 12 gauge? It's a bit too powerful for some. It has a kick that could cause problems for someone of small stature. It will blow a big hole in a wall if you miss and that kick will mean more difficulty in re-aiming the weapon on the next shot, giving the intruder time to reach you. And it simply isn't needed.

And, according to this article, Joe's advice could get you arrested. It just isn't a safe thing to do anyway; any projectile(s) fired into the air must come back down somewhere. So most places outlaw firing a weapon into the air.


Steven said...

I dunno about shotguns, but for rifles the barrel limit is 16" without having to be registered as an SBR. this includes permanently attached flash suppressors or other accessories (my AR is 14.5" with 1.5" flash suppressor welded on)

T.C. said...

Nice post.

Heard a caller on Dennis Miller ask 'has there ever been anyone who shoots themself in the foot more than Yosemite Same than Joe Biden?'

I almost spit the cranberry muffine I was eating while driving hearing that one.

Muffins aren't driver friendly.

Douglas said...

Eating and driving, T.C.? I am shocked... shocked... I tell you.

Steven, you forced me to look it up: 16" for rifles, 18" for shotguns.

T.C. said...

I don't know where those e's come from, man.