Gun control and gun ownership is a very hot button topic at the moment. People on the pro-side of the argument often site personal protection as a primary reason they wish to keep their right to bear arms. On the other side of the coin there is a lot of concern over the commercial availability of certain types of weapons, ammo, and clips.
While personal protection for the individual and family is very important, one question that seems to be overlooked is how effective are guns as protection especially in your home?
Depending on which state you live in, a criminal might actually have more rights than you do when using deadly force to protect yourself. There have been numerous cases where an intruder has been shot by a home owner and the owner was then liable for the medical bills of the intruder.
Also there is always the concern of people gaining access to guns within the house, especially those who have not received proper training in gun use and gun safety. Statistics have shown that firearms were the third-leading cause of injury-related deaths within the U.S. in 2010 (per the National Center for Injury Prevention).
With those two thoughts in mind, gun owners should reconsider the idea of a gun as a primary home protection method and consider other options to act as deterrents first. That would allow for proper gun safety and storage in the home through the use of gun locks or more preferably a gun safe. With less concern over needing immediate access to a weapon for defense, more of a premium can be placed on gun safety and security.
So what are some easy options to protect your house?
- An Alarm System – These can be great deterrents because often times the signs alone will cause criminals to reconsider your home as a target.
- Securing Your Home Yourself – There are a lot of great ways you can upgrade your own home such as better locks or using landscaping and lighting to act as natural deterrents.
- Non-Lethal Options – Air horns, panic alarms, pepper spray, or even a taser can make excellent backups to the above options in case someone is determined to enter your home. As these are noted ‘non-lethal’ options your own personal rights to safety come into play over an intruder.
- Combat Training – This can be considered self defense, but the idea is to learn hand-to-hand combat which can be very effective inside and outside of your home. In confined areas or smaller spaces a well trained combatant has some advantages even over an opponent with a gun.
This is not to say that people should not own guns. We have the right to bear arms. However gun safety is very important to prevent accidents or other situations from occurring. One of the safest methods to employ is keeping guns and ammunition locked securely and then utilizing other methods as deterrents first, knowing that you can still access a more lethal weapon as a last resort.
Nick Walden is a freelance writer, blogger and a gun enthusiast. Along with freelance work Nick is currently a Correspondent for the Press Democrat newspaper.