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Old 05-04-2012, 11:04   #1
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Long Guns for Self Defense

Hi Mas,

Long Guns such as the AR-15, AK-47 & the Shotgun are often the recommended choice for Civilian self-defense when an the are an option due to their greater stopping power, range & accuracy, but I just can't envision a whole lot of self-defense circumstances when a long gun would actually be preferrable to a handgun.

Perhaps if everyone is hunkered down in a safe-room, but I would imagine it would be difficult to do if one has a Family & as there would likely be no time to get the kids and everyone else rounded up and moved to one location if awakened during a sudden home invasion in the middle of the night. I would rather move throughout the house or to family members with a handgun or even if I was awakened with an intruder right on top me.The likelyhood of a disarm or at least a struggle for the long gun would seem all too unlikely in the close quarter confines of the home.

If the perp is at distances where a rifle would be feasible & more effective, I think it's likely the sitaution is avoidable alltogether and you should probably be moving away or driving away rather than engaging for legal & ethical reasons.
Civilian self-defense is not offensive in nature & coordinated like Military or SWAT operations where they operate as a team & differs greatly in tactics and legal requirements and the handgun just seems infinitely more useful & practical for all self-defense situations the armed Civilain is going to encounter. Prosecutors pretty much seem to want to try and charge any self-defense shooting & I can't imagine them holding up an AR-15 to the jury as the weapon you chose to use even if the shooting was justified especially in my home state of Illinois.

David Kenik wrote an excellant article a few years back in Personal Defense Magazine advocating the use of the handgun in Civilian self-defense entitled "The Role of the handgun" & wrote a short summary on his blog http://armedresponsetips.blogspot.co...l-in-home.html I found myself agreeing with just about everything he wrote and found his analysis very sensible & realistic (much like your writings) as well as in stark contrast to much of what others recommend. Clint Smith is known for saying ...."the handgun is what you use to fight your way back to your rifle", but he also stated in the 2008 issue of American handunner Personal Defense Special issue.....
"there is a myth than an AR or AK is mandatory for personal defense.For the Cops & Military, in the infantry-like environments in which they function, I think a rifle is helpful. For Civilians, the need for a combat rifle could be a reality,but I often think it is simply a well-developed sense of something else.The public-some of them-sort of wants to play army or cop if they can & buying the gear helps to make the dream true".

Where am I wrong?

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Old 05-04-2012, 22:48   #2
Mas Ayoob
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,473
If there's only gonna be one firearm for defense in the home, I recommend a handgun for its flexibility in various roles. But most of us own both handguns and long guns, and I don't see much reason NOT to avail ourselves of the best tool available for the different tasks that home defense can encompass, since in the home we have ample time beforehand to think things out and prepare.

It's up to each individual and their situation. I work hard to avoid the currently popular gun internet meme of, "If you have more firepower than me, you're a paranoid mall ninja, and if you have less than me, you're a sheeple."

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