Today a friend of mine called me and wanted to talk about what I thought he should do to protect his home and family. He had just seen a news report on TV where a man called 911 to report a robbery in progress and it took the police 33 minutes to arrive!!
(DON"T get me wrong here . . . I'm not knocking our police! With reduced budgets comes reduced police coverage . . . and even in the best of times response time cannot be quick! When seconds count . . help is minutes away! Any policeman will tell you this same thing!)
So as a result, my friend said he was thinking about purchasing a weapon for home defense though he has never shot a gun in his life. He asked me what weapon I thought he should get and told me he was thinking about a shotgun.
He had heard a shotgun would be perfect . . . just point the shotgun in the general direction of the "bad guy" and pull the trigger . . . the pellets would just spread out and almost cover the wall!!! No need to be a good shot or even have to practice!! I mean . . . my good buddy Joe Bidden even suggested it to every American!!! (Hahahaha . . I hope you all know me well enough to read my sarcasm into that last sentence!!!)
Well . . . let me start of by saying two things I said to him. 1) I am not an expert. I know a little about guns and have grown up shooting them but I am not a well-qualified expert in home defense . . . but I do have opinions, and 2) ANY weapon is better than no weapon when someone is invading your home and may harm you and your family. But here is no one "perfect" solution. I live alone in a very small house in a rural area so what might be best for me might not be best for you.
Then I told him a shotgun IS a great option but should be considered beside other choices. There are many excellent options for protecting your home and loved ones. Rifles like the AR-15 or the AK-47 are two of the best rifle options. Pistols are another excellent choice.
But each choice has strengths and weaknesses. And none is perfect!
So after we talked, I went to my range and shot this from about 8 yards (24 feet) . . . about as far a you might usually be inside your house I figured. I used a 12 gauge shotgun with an improved cylinder choke.
As you can see . . . the pellets spread out a maximum of 4 1/4 inches! This is NOT a really wide spread! You would have to aim if you were shooting at someone!! Now honestly, if you did hit someone it would totally ruin their day! The effect would be devastating! Huge stopping power if the bad guy was coming at you. And even if you missed it would scare him or her almost to death!!
So a shotgun is an excellent weapon for home defense but anyone that might be shooting it needs training AND practice. Everyone that MAY be protecting others needs to have taken a course in gun safety as a MINIMUM!. And they need to have shot their weapon enough times that they are comfortable with it, it's workings and how to be safe. They need to understand what THEIR gun can do and what it cannot do. And if there are children in the house, guns must be protected!! Period.