Monday, February 1, 2010

Safe Storage

image by walla2chick via Flickr



True Slant has a wonderful article by Scott Bowden about proper gun storage.



You know who you are — law abiding, safe, smart, and very well armed.

That is why a 2-ton, $12,000 gun safe made by the Champion company is right for you. If you’re a tall fellow, about 6′2″, here’s what you’ll look like standing next to it.

Man, the things you could put in that! Laptops, digital cameras, important records (safes like this are fire-proof), and. . .oh, and guns. A lot of guns. From the looks of this thing, I’d say you could easily put about fifty firearms of various types in there and still have plenty of room for other items (jewelry case, etc.).

Given that a top-of-the-line scope, like the Swarovski Z6, retails for about $2,300, or a nice bird gun like a Beretta Silver Pigeon IV retails for about $3,200, you want that stuff locked up.

I'm sure there are more affordable models to choose from. But for those who could afford it, this would be a wonderful way to ensure that no thief is going to steal your guns. With precautions like this you don't have to worry about that awful guilt which inevitably weighs upon those who allow their guns to be easily stolen.

What's your opinion? If you owned a gun safe like this, would you keep one or two pieces outside of it for quick access? That is the dilemma of proper gun storage, isn't it? The guns need to be inaccessible to the wrong hands, children or burglars, yet available to you in an emergency. How do gun owners deal with that?

Please leave a comment.

39 comments:

  1. "What's your opinion? If you owned a gun safe like this, would you keep one or two pieces outside of it for quick access? That is the dilemma of proper gun storage, isn't it? The guns need to be inaccessible to the wrong hands, children or burglars, yet available to you in an emergency. How do gun owners deal with that?"

    There are all manner of solutions available. There are pistol boxes that use a thumbprint or finger key pad for quick access. There are also devices that mount on a wall and securely hold a rifle or shotgun and require key access to remove.

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  2. I have small kids and there's no dilemna. I have a big safe for long guns and range pistols and a small safe I can open in the dark for my carry gun. all my guns are always locked up, but always available in short order.

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  3. Hey thought I would stop and make a comment on your inanity.

    Here is an idea for you on how to keep my firearms from being stolen.

    Let's make it against the law for people to steal things that don't belong to them.

    I know it is a novel concept but think about it.

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  4. Bob, Thanks for the visit. Did you read Stephen's comment? Are you that responsible? You keep talking about it being the thief's responsibility, but I thought you make fun of the gun control idea of expecting criminals to obey. In this post I'm talking about the law-abiding gun owners obeying, and being held to a strict standard.

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  5. Or you could hold the THEIVES to a strict standard, since they are the ones breaking into homes and stealing the property of others

    Should we punish you if someone breaks into your house, finds your car keys, steals the car and uses it to commit vehicular manslaughter or homicide?

    After all it's your fault and you should be prosecuted for failing to properly secure the garage and failure to lock your car keys in a safe.

    What about your liquor cabinet MikeB? How about we make it a crime for you to leave liquor unlocked where someone could break into your home, steal it, and sell it to minors.

    We could do the same with your medicine cabinet right? After all if you didn't have perscription drugs that could be stolen and sold on the street people wouldn't break in. It's your fault for having an items criminals want and for not "properly securing" said items in a locked safe.

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  6. To mandate a vastly expensive bank-vault type safe (not to mention space to store it, and perhaps reinforced flooring to support it), is to impose a prohibitive, or at least punitive, tax.

    I've heard of the "War on Poverty"--I didn't know that meant "disarm the poor people, so they can be more easily killed."

    Yes--my guns, except those kept handy for immediate use, and thus under constant control, are kept in a locked gun cabinet, but I hold no illusions about the cabinet's ability to thwart a determined thief. That's what I do because it's a good idea--not because I am bound by law to do so.

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  7. I'm guessing somewhere between carrying a handgun from room to room in the house and keeping them in huge gun safe that there might be some middle ground. Something like a trigger lock, a cheap piece of shit mild steel safe that will keep out folks without time and tools to breach it--stuff you can buy at Dicks's, Tractor Supply or Gander Mountain or from these guys:
    http://www.patriotsafe.com/Gun-Safes-15-45-Guns_c_5.html

    At $999.00 with free freight that ain't but about the cost of 300 rounds of .50 BMG API (New manufacture with surplus bullets per this page: http://www.50bmgsupply.com/ammo.shtml) and it's not even a decent down payment on a Barrett rifle.

    I remember driving past a house in Kensington NH on afairly regular basis for several years. One day I noticed that it had been surrounded with a barbed wire topped chainlink fence. A while later I was driving past with another guy and when I pointed it out to him I said, "looks like a survivalist." His reply was that if the balloon went up a compound like that one would be where he would go to get hisself some guns. Turns out the guy wasn't a survivalist, just a drug dealer and murderer with a survivalist mentality. He's still in the pokey last I heard.

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  8. "To mandate a vastly expensive bank-vault type safe (not to mention space to store it, and perhaps reinforced flooring to support it), is to impose a prohibitive, or at least punitive, tax."

    If the government can pay people to destroy the used car market (Cash for Clunkers), surely they can pay for your reinforced floor and gun safe.

    I think every piece of gun control legislation should have a rider that mandates that the government pays up to $2k towards my new gun safe.

    Or even better... For every 4473 I fill out, I should get a $100 check in the mail to put towards the purchase of a safe or locking device. Not only would you be encouraging safe storage, you'd also get the added benefit of encouraging people to get background checks with every firearm purchase.

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  9. I have a safe, or more precisely a residential security container. There's a difference between a safe and an RSC. A safe is something you will typically find in a bank. The picture you show is of a safe door. There are home safes, but they are very heavy, and very expensive. Most gun owners are going to go for an RSC, which will keep your average home invading heroin addict of crackhead from stealing your guns and selling them on the street or exchanging them for drugs. They won't, however, keep out professionals. Safes will usually be difficult for all but the most skilled professionals.

    I have a fairly good RSC, placed in a part of the house where pry attacks are going to be a problem. The "safe" is bolted to the floor. The guns in the safe when I'm not home or don't have them on me. I keep my air guns in my old gun cabinet, which locks, but wouldn't keep out determined teenage punks, let alone an experience burglar. I figure air guns aren't of much value to criminals.

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  10. At the risk of stating the obvious. That there are numerous companies making gun safes they must have a market. People that collect expensive, rare weapons or large numbers of less expensive weapons would, it seems to me, want to be able to safeguard them from theft.

    I have locks on all of my doors and windows. I have a very stout toolshed in my backyard with hasp and staple thru bolted on the door and frame of the shed with 3/8" carriage bolts and secured with a pretty solid sheilded shackle padlock. In addition I have a construction box to put all of my portable, expensive tools and toys in, if I'm leaving town for a while. I don't have my home security system up and running yet, as the environment is too dusty, but it will have a pretty loud external alarm.

    I don't own any guns, if I did I would keep them locked up unless I was using them.

    If the weight of a gun safe is a problem it could always be put in the cellar. Of course if you don't have a cellar your house may well be on a slab, negating concerns about floor loading. In any event, beefing up a few floor trusses to carry a load of 150 pounds/sq ft over the houses design load is probably a job that would take part of a day and under $200 in materials--if we're talking using the first floor as a site for a safe.

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  11. Demo - No one is saying it's not a good idea to lock up your guns. Securing valuables is always a good idea.

    The government has no authority to come into my home and say " you must lock up X, X and X because someone might break-in and steal them"

    What we're objecting to is laws that make criminals out of people who have those valuables stolen from them.

    Should you be requried to lock up the knives in your butchers block under penalty of law under the justification that someone might break into your home, steal them and use them in crime?

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  12. Mike W. stated it perfectly. My guns are secure enough to keep them out of my kids' reach, and sure--it would be nice to have a safe that would be too much for most burglars to mess with, but that's pretty low on my list of priorities at the moment (my guns are insured, after all). It's not the government's place to tell me how I must store my guns.

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  13. Zorro and mike w.:

    Thanks for confirming that your priority is hazzin the weppins, not securing them.

    I'm sure your insurance company would love to know that you view the security of those weapons as a low priority.

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  14. Democommie says:

    Thanks for confirming that your priority is hazzin the weppins, not securing them.

    Just curious, Democommie--with those novel spellings ("hazzin," "weppins," "gummint"), are you trying to mock someone? Because it seems to me that it doesn't really effectively mock anyone here, since I've seen no one here use those spellings (aside from you, of course).

    Anyway, whether or not the insurance company would "love to know" my priorities, or not, is of little concern to me.

    The bottom line is that I am not the tiniest iota responsible for what thieves do with anything they manage to steal from me, so I simply don't feel compelled to worry too much about it. Besides, if they can get into the house, into my gun cabinet, and back out of the house with my stuff, without ending up looking like chew toys--hats off to 'em--they must have impressed the dogs (and these dogs aren't easily impressed).

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  15. Yeah, I would love to have a safe like that someday. Right now, I live in an urban 5th floor condo with no place to put a safe that would serve as a better deterrent than the locks on my building and the locks on my doors. In a perfect gun control world, should I be ineligible for gun ownership along with all apartment renters, poor people, students, etc…?

    -TS

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  16. Zorro said, "It's not the government's place to tell me how I must store my guns."

    Well, it might not be if you gun owners had enough common sense to keep the guns secured from thieves and children. But since that's not the case, I guess it becomes the government's business.

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  17. Mikeb says:

    Well, it might not be if you gun owners had enough common sense to keep the guns secured from thieves and children. But since that's not the case, I guess it becomes the government's business.

    One more time, Mikeb: IT'S NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE MY POSSESSIONS "UNSTEALABLE"--IT'S THEIVES' RESPONSIBILITY TO NOT STEAL.

    As for the amount of access one's kids have to guns--that's a parental decision, not a governmental one. Before my kids get much older, they'll be as well equipped to defend their lives as this one was to defend his and his mother's.

    We've seen what happens when the government determines what kind of access kids should have to guns. California is not going to condemn my kids to death by lack of firepower.

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  18. Going to answer questions posed about what other household items people should be criminally liable for failing to "properly secure?"

    Demo - Can we prosecute you for failure to lock up your steak knives?

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  19. Zorro:

    So you lock your doors and windows? Do you lock your place of business and your vehicles? If you're not concerned with what the insurance company thinks, why bother?

    Your comment implies that this is not the case. Your comment implies that you know EXACTLY how much security is required (and, by your own admission, security is required.

    The degree of certitude among many Type 2A folks is puzzling. Your kids will never make a mistake with a gun, because you have drilled them on firearms safety? Your guns will never be stolen because nobody has the stones to go up against your dogs?

    I knew people with that degree of certitude when I was a kid. They hated seatbelts. Like you, they KNEW how to avoid having an accident and so they simply never would have one. Some of them beat the law of averages, some didn't. Seatbelts are now required on every new automobile sold in this country--and most other countries. Most states in the U.S. have laws requiring motor vehicle operators to wear them--even if it's only the driver on a Greyhound or school bus.

    Of course you or mike w. will likely say, "driving is a privilege, gun ownership is a right". It's a non sequitir.

    Accidents and deliberate misdeeds by others still kill a lot of motorists, passengers and pedestrians every year, 42,642 in 2006.

    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year)


    Also in 2006, the CDC reports the following:

    Firearm—In 2006, 30,896 persons died from firearm injuries in the United States (Tables 18–20), accounting for 17.3 percent of all injury deaths that year. Firearm suicide and homicide, the two major component causes, accounted for 54.6 and 41.4 percent, respectively, of all firearm injury deaths in 2006. In 2006, the age-adjusted death rate for firearm suicide decreased significantly from 2005 by 3.5 percent, from 5.7 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population to 5.5. However, the age-adjusted rate for all firearm injuries was the same in 2006 as in 2005—10.2 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population

    (source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_14.pdf)

    The New England Journal of Medicine also weighed in (http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/359/10/989)

    Suicide and homicide by guns accounted for almost 31,000 deaths that year, compared to the 42,642 attributed to motor vehicle causes. I've actually had people who are quite fond of their guns state that given the number of motor vehicle deaths in this country that we should perhaps outlaw driving. That the remark is disingenuous goes without saying. I operate a motor vehicle on a daily basis as do a significant fraction of the over 200 million licensed drivers in this country. I'm going to hazard a guess that the number of people using firearms on a given day in this country is a few percent of the other figure. Let's be generous and assume that 10M use a gun every day, vs 100M using a motor vehicle every day. As anyone can see, guns are a much greater threat, per use, than motor vehicles.

    I'm outta time. More later, maybe.

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  20. Democommie says, between bong hits:

    So you lock your doors and windows? Do you lock your place of business and your vehicles? If you're not concerned with what the insurance company thinks, why bother?

    Because, genius, the insurance company's feelings about the matter are far from my only concern. I don't have any interest in constantly replacing stolen items--some of which, by virtue of sentimental value, are not replaceable.

    Your kids will never make a mistake with a gun, because you have drilled them on firearms safety?

    Obviously, I don't know that for certain, and that's why they, for now, don't have unsupervised access to guns. In life, we make an infinite number of choices based on risk/reward calculations. According to my calculations, careful, responsible gun ownership brings rewards that far outweigh the risks. Mikeb, obviously, strongly disagrees. That's fine, and I would never try to force him to own guns. The bottom line is that the calculation is the individual's to make--not the government's, and not some internet busybody's.

    Your guns will never be stolen because nobody has the stones to go up against your dogs?

    Again, obviously I can't guarantee that (and neither can someone who stores his gun in that $12,000, 2-ton monstrosity in the article Mikeb linked to). The risk, according to my calculations, is acceptable.

    Apparently you made some point in your comparison of motor vehicle safety to firearms safety. I'm sure it was very telling--good for you.

    I will say that the requirement to wear seat belts is offensive, but it's simply not big enough an issue for me to consider worth fighting.

    More later, maybe.

    I'll eagerly and hopefully await being edified by your wisdom, sir.

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  21. democommie, Since so many pro-gun folks keep making comparisons like the "guns to cars one," it's great what you wrote.

    "Suicide and homicide by guns accounted for almost 31,000 deaths that year, compared to the 42,642 attributed to motor vehicle causes."

    You pointed out that the average person who uses a car does so for many hours a day more than the average gun owner uses his gun. Taxi drivers and CCW permit holders are the obvious exceptions. In addition, 200 million licensed drivers would be far in excess of the number of gun owners in the country.

    These facts make the gun many times more deadly than the car.

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  22. Zorro:

    I notice two things about you.

    One; when you don't agree with someone and you can't debunk what they've said in a comment, you simply insult them and ignore the comment's point.

    Two; You start waffling on your statements.

    "Anyway, whether or not the insurance company would "love to know" my priorities, or not, is of little concern to me."

    Not quite so sure as the earlier statement.


    Sounds pretty definite and somewhat dismissive of the insurance company's concerns in such matters.

    "Because, genius, the insurance company's feelings about the matter are far from my only concern."

    I like this, too.

    "Again, obviously I can't guarantee that (and neither can someone who stores his gun in that $12,000, 2-ton monstrosity in the article Mikeb linked to)."

    You don't want to do it, so you dismiss it's efficacy?

    You don't think the requirement to wear seat belts is a good idea. Now, THAT, is just plain dumb. Seatbelts (and airbags) have saved many thousands of lives. The old argument that they would cause a death if you were to, say, go into the water and have the car sink while you were strapped helplessly into your "deathmobile" has been pretty thoroughly debunked by actual experience. I'm thinking that the idiot who had to shoot out his window after his cellphone caused him to lose control of his vehicle--and end up in the water--had one on.

    And since you're not concerned that your own kids might do something wrong with a gun in their hands does that mean that none of their little friends might if they were tempted?

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  23. when you don't agree with someone and you can't debunk what they've said in a comment, you simply insult them and ignore the comment's point

    You're right Demo, YOU do this consistently.

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  24. Democommie wrote: One; when you don't agree with someone and you can't debunk what they've said in a comment, you simply insult them and ignore the comment's point.

    Pot. Kettle on line two.

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  25. You folks also forget that anyone leasing an apartment can't just go buy a huge floor safe and have it secured to the floor or otherwise concreted in.

    Try telling a landlord you want to do that and see how far you get.

    When you don't own the property there are limitations to what you can do. You certainly can't alter/damage the structure.

    Also, assuming the floor could hold the weight and the landlord allowed it, where in the hell would you put a large safe in a studio/ 1 bedroom?

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  26. Demmocommie says:

    One; when you don't agree with someone and you can't debunk what they've said in a comment, you simply insult them and ignore the comment's point.

    Interesting hypothesis, Democommie, and it would be a learning experience, I'm sure, to test it out--so I look forward to the first time you manage to make a point (especially one that I "can't debunk"). As for the insults, I was actually raised better than that, but sometimes I tire of the effort of hiding the fact that I have no more respect for you than I would for a slime mold beetle named after Dick Cheney. Also, as Mike W. and RuffRidr have already pointed out, an accusation from you that I rely on arguments ad hominem is extremely amusing--if you meant it as a joke, well played, sir.

    As for "waffling on [my] statements," I see no such thing. I said I don't care what insurance companies think of my priorities. Insurance policies can set conditions that must be met in order to for a claim to be eligible, but one's "priorities" aren't among those conditions, because there is no way to quantify, much less prove, some one else's priorities.

    I didn't dismiss the efficacy of the safe--just pointed out that it does not--cannot--guarantee that the contents will not be stolen. If it would please you for me to acknowledge that such a safe would make theft significantly more difficult, and less likely, than my lightly constructed gun cabinet would--sure--acknowledged. Again, though--that's what insurance is for.

    I don't dispute that wearing seat belts is a good idea (and refraining from doing so is a bad idea)--I just don't think it's any of the government's business. If someone wants to take foolish, easily avoidable risks with his life and limb, that's his business.

    Finally, I'm not concerned about my kids or "their little friends" getting into my guns, because they don't have unsupervised access to them. That, too, is properly a parental decision--not a governmental one.

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  27. Zorro:

    You say you were raised better? I've seen numerous insults from you, from mike w. and others directed at other people you disagree with. You have, as your gravatar, a cute little dog in the crosshairs of a scope. You think that's funny, apparently.

    It must be a great comfort to know that you and mike w. and ruffrider and others are on a higher plane than others. It surely has to be a comfort to know that whatever comment you make is correct, just by virtue of your making it.

    You always "debunk"? I'm still waiting for you to offer more than the one citation for the "anti-Bush" bona fides of that asshat who started the Oath Keepers.

    I think that you guys really should just own up and say, "I like my guns and you can't take 'em away." All of the posturing and flag waving is very unmimpressive.

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  28. Zorro, You are one of the most fascinating guys around here.

    gun lover - yes
    3 percenter - yes
    Oath Keeper - yes
    nihilist - no
    survivalist - ?

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  29. Demmocommie says: One, when you don't agree with someone and you can't debunk what they've said in a comment, you simply insult them and ignore the comment's point.

    And then says: It must be a great comfort to know that you and mike w. and ruffrider and others are on a higher plane than others. It surely has to be a comfort to know that whatever comment you make is correct, just by virtue of your making it.

    You don't see the irony of your statements? Demmocommie, I don't think I have once attacked you directly. I have attacked your statements to be sure, but not you directly. However, you have called me many names ranging from gun nut to moron and worse. Nearly every single comment from you is attacking someone. I don't know about the others, but I find it rather amusing.

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  30. Demo - To say that I'm on a higher intellectual plane than you is an objective certainty. I'm glad you recognize it.

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  31. Demo - You haven't answered those questions? Why are you running away from debate?

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  32. Says Democommie:

    I'm still waiting for you to offer more than the one citation for the "anti-Bush" bona fides of that asshat who started the Oath Keepers.

    Jesus Jumping Jaws on a Jet-Ski--you are the whiniest, most helpless little crybaby I've ever encountered. The onus of proving Mr. Rhodes' criticism of Bush administration is not on me--you were the one accusing him of racism. Still, just because I'm a sweet guy, here you go:

    A 2006 blog post about systemic abuse in U.S. military prisons

    Similar theme

    Not really criticism of the government itself, but of anti-Islam/anti-Middle Easterner prejudice in the U.S.--not the kinda thing one would expect from a "right-wing racist"

    Strong criticism of CIA abuses

    Rumsfeld's abuses

    Newt Gingrich's war on freedom of speech

    Bush's authority to designate "terror groups"--granted, that's just a blurb from someone else's article, with a teaser, but Rhodes' thoughts on the matter should be made clear by the photo and caption.

    Those are all from 2006, and I found all of them in about 2 minutes of looking--on the same damned blog that had the first link I gave you. Excuse the hell out of me for thinking that you might have been clever enough to find 'em on your own.

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  33. Zorro, You are one of the most fascinating guys around here.

    gun lover - yes
    3 percenter - yes
    Oath Keeper - yes
    nihilist - no
    survivalist - ?


    Thanks, I guess.

    Frankly, I find the term "survivalist" to be a little silly. Yes, my (and my family's) survival is important to me--if that makes me a "survivalist," I suppose that's what I am--but would that mean that non-survivalists don't really care whether they and their families survive?

    I put more effort into disaster preparation than some--less than others. As funds become available, I'm gradually moving us off grid-dependence, with solar panels as I can afford them, and hopefully a small wind turbine before too long. I have a large garden, and keep some chickens to dispose of food waste (they'll eat anything). If I ever get the time to take up cheese-making, I might get a few goats, as well.

    Much of that is as more about being "green" (surprised?) and saving money, than it is about "preparing for the apocalypse."

    I can my produce for long-term storage, we hunt, we have a lot of camping equipment (we camp recreationally a lot).

    I'll let you decide if the above makes me a "survivalist."

    As for "gun lover," I know you'll accuse me of dishonesty, but I don't see it that way. I'm a rights lover, and I won't surrender the means to protect those rights. I do have fun with guns, but the fun isn't what drives my willingness to fight to the death to keep them.

    Presumably, you don't refer to free speech advocates as "radio/TV transmitter lovers," or "internet server lovers," or "high-speed laser printer lovers," etc. Similarly, I am not motivated by an emotional attachment to guns.

    Like I said, I don't expect you to believe that, but I also don't know how you come to the conclusion that you would know better than I do.

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  34. Zorro, I find your comments here very believable. A few times I thought you were joking just to get a rise out of democommie, but when you explain things like in this comment I find your words absolutley credible.

    Besides, "gun lover" is a description I don't use all that often. It always sounds slightly offensive to me, and I don't mean to be. The idea of "gun lover" and "emotional attachment to guns" are pretty nebulous anyway.

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  35. Mikeb, the reason I figured you would accuse me of dishonesty is that I think I remember you--several times, actually--saying that gun rights advocates' talk of rights and the Constitution was all an intellectual smokescreen that we use to lend moral authority to a "hobby," because we simply like guns, and are selfishly costing lives for the sake of that hobby. If that's not your position, I'm glad, because such a position unfairly dismisses our very real concerns.

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  36. A few times I thought you were joking just to get a rise out of democommie . . .

    By the way, speaking of Democommie, is it just me, or do you get the impression that he's somehow immune to my charm? Sounds crazy, I know, but for some reason I sometimes get that idea.

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  37. Zorro, I'm afraid you're right. Democommie is definitely immune to your charms. But the results are good. He makes some good points.

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  38. Zorro:

    I'll get to looking at those links when I have a little time (very busy the past week).

    I keep telling you and mikey that I don't give a damn about how many guns you own. I do give a damn that you seem to think that teaching one's children to shoot at targets with likenesses of folks whom YOU dislike is in some way equivavlent to good parenting.

    Rhodes is a whanker. He's managed to hoodwink quite a few people, including you.

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  39. nice post. thanks.

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