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This week, I purchased my first firearm. This didn’t happen without a lengthy discussion with my wife about the benefits and risks of having a gun in the house where we raise our child. Both of our parents had guns in the house as we were growing up, and it was tremendously clear to us as children that they were not toys, and we had no trouble staying away from them. It makes sense for my wife, she has a natural aversion to them, but for a house full of boys as was the case for me, it was probably a little more difficult to impress upon us.
My dad would give us a safe opportunity to look at any new gun he brought into the house and let us shoot it (though I was too young to shoot his shotguns, although I do remember him letting me shoot his Colt 45, the kick scared the crap out of me). It took the mystery out of it, they weren’t like the forbidden fruit anymore, but even with that, I knew that touching any of his guns outside of those opportunities meant bad, bad things for me. Of course, he kept them unloaded and the ammunition was kept somewhere that I wasn’t aware of.
So then came the question of why we need a gun in our house. It wasn’t all that many years ago when American citizens needed to arm themselves to defend their nation from an invading army. And if that still seems too unlikely for you, look at what happened in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. If chaos breaks out due to natural disaster, I’m not going to put the safety of my family at risk because of my trust in the inherent good nature of my fellow man. So between that and the rumor of the current administration’s gun control plans (taxing them to oblivion, making it impractical for me to purchase one), we decided that now was as good a time as any to buy a home defense firearm.
So with all that out of the way, I needed to decide on the type of firearm that would serve us best. A handgun is small and would be easily fireable by my petite wife, but I wanted something that would have a higher intimidation and recognition factor. The best home defense gun is the one that never has to be fired.
So I decided on a pump action shotgun. It takes an elite, rare level of crazy to come after someone holding an easily recognizable 12-gauge boomstick. And the sound of the loading mechanism lining up the next shell for launch could be enough to scare off an intruder all by itself.
I considered a few variations of the Mossberg 590, then came across a 2006 Remington 870 Express Magnum that a coworker was selling. It has a short barrel (18.5″), pistol grip and side-folding stock for easier maneuvering in tight quarters. A magazine extension allows for an extra 3 rounds (total of 7) before needing to be reloaded.
I like the idea of a shotgun just in case my wife would ever need to use it because when shooting buckshot, aim is less important.
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