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Gun column

NORMAN--I would not have it thought that I present myself as a, “firearms expert,” in submitting this column. Like many a rural kid growing up, I was always around firearms with uses ranging from plinking targets to providing table fare.

Firearms were there for what they are—tools. They were better than a slingshot for putting holes in pork and bean cans. They were more effective at ridding a chicken yard of snakes, skunks, opossums, hawks or an occasional bobcat than say, a baseball bat.

A deer was simply much easier to harvest with a 30-30 than clubbing it with a tire iron. Quail, sage grouse or pheasant required a different tool to put food on the table.

The point is--a gun is a tool. Granted, they can be dangerous when mishandled. So can an automobile.

The rub seems to come for a lot of people when we consider owning a gun that has the primary purpose of use on another human being. It would be wonderful if we never were required to contemplate that particular purpose for a firearm.

Unfortunately, we have to consider that use. We have in our society persons who care not a whit for our myriad gun laws. They do not care if you own a baseball bat or live within six blocks of a police station. They only care that you may have money or drugs, prescription or otherwise.

An assailant with a knife can cross the average living room and attack a defenseless person in less than ten seconds. A policeman six blocks away doesn’t have much chance to bring aid in that time frame.

I am not talking paranoia. We do not have to live trembling, hiding from life. But it is only good sense to live prepared.

Does being prepared always require a firearm? Absolutely not. It does require, however, forethought. If you are so terrified of a firearm that you simply cannot have one in the home, then go with an alternative.

There are many types of tasers and stun guns available today. As with a firearm, they require training and preparation to be effective. There are several types of pepper spray devices on the market, some good, some not so good.

In an emergency, dish soap squirted directly in the eyes can provide an opportunity to escape. Of course, it could get you killed. The knockdown power a .410 shotgun load has on even a huge assailant is devastating at close range. Personally, I would prefer that to dish soap. ..To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper