Can you use a gun for self defense?
Yes
63.4% (358)
63.4% (358)
No
26.5% (150)
26.5% (150)
other
9.9% (56)
9.9% (56)
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Poll: Let's settle something right now, can you defend yourself with a gun?

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Sure, if someone gives me a loaded gun and tells me how to operate it. I don't own and have never used a gun though. However the use of a gun is designed to be fairly simple with the proper instruction. The same way anyone can drive a car in a simple format with some basic instructions, anyone can use a gun.

If you ask if I ever foresee myself actually defending myself with a gun, then no. I'd rather put my time into something that can stop someone dead without killing them, like pepper spray, a taser, or a kick to the nuts.

We here in Colorado have a law coined "Make My Day". It actually has clear, well-defined, rules that allow you to shoot a trespasser in your house. You can actually use any kind of deadly force against a trespasser if you feel that the person in question intends to commit a crime... but only inside your house. You are then quite immune from civil and criminal backlash.

But yes, if one's aim is steady and the hand-to-eye coordination is skillful, then you can use gun-shooting to incapacitate someone without killing... and maybe without even causing permanent damage. And that's not even "defensive", but it satisfies the qualification as believed by most people.

I answered yes, but inherently a projectile weapon isn't designed for defense, as you can rarely block an attack with a fired bullet. But a weapon that can also protect is called a defensive weapon, and the question here is if guns can be USED defensively. So yes, they can.

Aris Khandr:
Yes, in much the same way that you can defend yourself with a table. That doesn't mean that the table is a defensive item, and more than the gun is. There is no other purpose to a gun but to kill.

Pretty much all of this.

Just because you CAN defend yourself with a gun, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Can I personally defend myself with a gun? Given that I've never even touched one, probably not.

Of course, having a gun makes it miles easier to defend yourself and a responsible and sensible gun owner can make any of the safety issues having a gun around the home raises negligible.

Aris Khandr:
There is no other purpose to a gun but to kill.

While I agree that the sole purpose of a gun is to kill, that doesn't mean that is all it can be used for, you could shoot someone badly enough to stop them but not badly enough to kill them or you might not even have to pull the trigger, simply pointing a gun at someone is going to deter the majority of people. You could also fire your gun into the air to send attackers on their way.

I can't because I can't get a gun, and even if I could, I wouldn't get one for self defence. I'm not quite ready to kill someone, which is exactly the kind of possibility you have to accept when you carry a gun for the purposes of pointing at others. Of course, there is no real way of knowing these things. For all I know, I might end up beating a burglar to death with a home appliance anyway.

To make it political, I dislike the way in which Americans seem to think guns are either the only way to protect yourself, or the best. Guns make excellent self defence weapons in certain scenarios, but I think things like tazers and (especially) canned mace are far better for most situations. I'm factoring in things like less lethal, ease of use, and effectiveness versus a gun's comparatively complexity, more deadly potential, and far more intimidating appearance; factors which may be good or bad depending on the situation.

TopazFusion:

Xan Krieger:
he also said that if someone breaks into your home that you can't shoot them.

It's like that here. If you do shoot them (or attack them via other means), YOU are the one who gets into trouble, not them.

And assuming the perpetrator survives your attack, they get paid compensation by the government.

Wow. I should move to where you live and start breaking into people's homes for a living. HEY! While we're on the subject, do you leave your door and/or windows unlocked at night? Also, do you know karate, or anything I should--I mean intruders--should be aware of? I'm doing a... study.

Anyway... OT. I don't get the question. Are you asking whether it's legal where I live to shoot someone for breaking & entering, or if I'm well trained enough to do so? Yes and no, respectively.

I just keep a baseball bat handy. And my fists, baby; I call them Topaz & Krieger. Don't ask me where I got those names. Topaz is the non-violent one. (You can tell because his name is Topaz.) Topaz is typically the one to dial 911 after Krieger smashes some asshole's nose for lookin' in my general direction incorrectly.

If you're asking me if I, personally, can defend myself with a gun, no. I've never even held a gun in my life. I also have tight psychological blocks. I'm incapable of punching people, is what I'm saying(*). I've survived mugging attempts in the past by running like hell. And that's the optimal defense in most situations.

If you're asking whether a gun is a viable defensive weapon, then I'd say it is, although it's not universal. In close-range scuffles it might be useless. Pointing a gun at someone is probably a decent intimidation tactic though.

If it's about the legal stuff, I don't really know how it is where I live right now, but considering the "everyone is guilty of something" mentality around here, it's probably damn near impossible to actually defend yourself with a gun and not be charged with something (even if you just used it to intimidate). In my home country, shooting incidents are extremely rare (we have some of the most restrictive gun regulations in the world, I've been told), and defensive gun usage is much less common. There was a huge media brouhaha a few years back, where a guy who had been receiving threats against him and his family lost it and shot a burglar who entered through a broken window shouting curses. He was cleared in the court, but he had to be relocated with his family, because the town was on the verge of lynching him. So even though it's legally possible to defend yourself with a gun, there's not much social acceptance of it.

(*) I like to think it has changed since I had some martial arts training, but I'd never want to be in a situation where that would be tested.

Now, I can defend myself with a gun, I know how to use one, have shot a handgun quite a few times at the range, and know that in fight or flight mode I could protect myself by shooting that gun. I of course never have a gun on me, I don't really even have a license for one, and I personally hate guns. I would never use it, but I could if the circumstance was there.

I find that it is better to know how to defend against a gun, than with one. That bit of knowledge has actually saved my life once.

If you're speaking in a broad, "are guns a legitimate form of self-defense?" technically yes.

If you're asking if I could personally defend myself with a gun? Probably not. I've fired pellet guns before so I have a general idea of how you point and shoot a gun. But dealing with the force of a legitimate designed to kill things gun would mean I would be a useless shot. Also proper, designed to kill things guns scare the crap out of me.

I can't. The only time I've held anything resembling a real gun in weight and feel, I felt so uncomfortable and almost disgusted that I quickly gave it back. Apparently I'd rather attempt smashing someone's head in with a bat than shoot them when it comes to self-defence.

EDIT: I'm not from the US either, so shooting someone in self-defence might be illegal here. I don't actually know.

Pfft, in the UK if you physically harm someone whilst they are on your property they can sue you for compensation, EVEN if it is proven that they were trespassing! Bloody British justice system.

Can a gun be used for self defence?
I would say a gun can be used for self defence. I don't know much about them myself but if you're simply trying to avoid an attacker you can at least incapacitate them without killing. Not that I am condoning the use of them in this country, I honestly think they aren't the solution.

Could I use a gun?
I'm not sure. I've never held one or fired one and I am quite aware that it's very different from what we do in games. I think it depends how scared I was and how much my life depended on defending myself in that moment. In a purely defensive way, I might be able to.

Depends on what you're asking about really. Anyone who's holding a gun pointing towards someone will be in a position where they are likely to prevent an attack on them because you don't attack the person aiming a gun at you.

As for firing I have no training firing an actual handgun. I have practised some with a rifle and I can hit a target with some accuracy. However aiming, shooting and hitting a living thing is entirely different. Unlike a target at the shooting range it moves, feels and make sounds. In the heat of the moment I don't trust myself to aim that well when my aim isn't great when I'm focusing. There's also the fact that I don't want to kill the person, I'm a pacifist so it goes against my nature.

In conclusion, I could probably scare a criminal away, I could possibly wound or kill a criminal based on my gun proficiency though this would be far from safe, but I doubt I could bring myself to actually shoot unless it was the last way out.

Where I live, it's not legal for me to have a gun for self defence, but it is legal to have one for various other purposes. If that mythical creature the "ordinary person" or somesuch felt that I was in genuine fear of my life or someone else's is threatened, then more or less anything goes.

If the "ordinary person" thought that I was sorta kinda in fear, but not really, I'd be in serious trouble, but it wouldn't be murder.

Well, technically, I'd be in serious trouble either way, the police would look into things very closely, but after all that, if it gets to trial the prosecution has to prove that I wasn't acting in self defence, so it won't get to trial if they don't think that can be proven.

This gives a lot of leeway to whoever is looking into it, so when the police come round, I'd definitely be better off if I was crying and telling everyone how scared I was than sitting round calmly.

...

As to actually using it...well, never happened to me, which is the only way to know, I suppose. Shooting people can be difficult even for people trained to shoot people, and amateurs sometimes get lucky.

No. I never seen a real gun let alone trying to used one. I would imgine that if I did held a real gun I would have a hard time trying to pull the trigger due to the unexpected sound and recoil of it.

Like every Greek male citizen, I went to the army for 10 months [luckily not a year].
We had this specific one for standar weapon:

image

We were always had it when we went for patrol around our base.
Plus I fire it 4-5 times to the training areas.
On a side, I once even used a "practice" grenade. It was fun I must say.

Anyway, even if I had this gun, I am not seeing myself to use a gun. Maybe holding it and trying to scare the person that want to hurt me or my friends and family members, but using it, hell no.

Even if you think you can do it and it is easy, this is a big fat lie.

I think it can be used defensively, just by showing, but at the same time it could backfire on you (not literally). It purely depends on the situation you're in and who/what you're "defending" against.

Some guy breaks into your house with a baseball bat, and you step out into your hallway and point a gun at him, before telling him to leave, he probably will. But how do you know he won't come back with his gun to finish the job? You don't. If it's an axe-wielding murderer, however, and you shoot, you could call that defence - If you shot that baseball bat burglar and he was going to leave and never come back, that's murder and you deserve prisons as would any murderer get gaol time.

It's not a "yes/no" answer. It depends on the situation.

Well of course you can defend your self with a gun. Why drown this fact in philosophical bullshit?
I am in my home, pointing my shotgun (for bird hunting) at a burglar. What happens next is really up to him.
Let us hope the sight of the double barrel is enough to make him piss his pants and give up.

But if you are dealing with a drug infested brain or a psychopath, well... Bang. I probably would try not to hit
anything vital. But with a 12 caliber side by side, that is not easy. The consequences for my self I would have to deal with later. Been bird hunting for some years. Am kind of hoping I don't have to point that gun at anything else.

Amethyst Wind:
I can't. I've made it a point never to touch a gun. The closest I've come is when a toy gun that could be very convincing when it's dark was confiscated from one of the residents at the apartment complex where I work. I had to move the thing off my desk but I never touched it with my bare hands, I grabbed a towel to move the thing.

Then again I'm not American.

I got a good chuckle from this.

You had to use a towel to move a toy gun? May I ask why? Are you scared of it? was it messy with something?

Zhukov:
Can you please define your question a bit more clearly?

I can't tell exactly what you're asking. When you say "can you", do you mean...

a) Do I personally have the ability to use a gun in self defence? (Kinda. I have some training, but I haven't handled a gun for years. I'd need a refresher.)
b) Is a gun a viable self defence weapon? (Yes, obviously. Although not quite to the degree that a lot of people think.)
c) Are you legally in the right if you defend yourself with a gun? (No idea. It would vary between countries and states anyway.)

Good questionnaire here.

A) Yes, I have been trained rather extensively in the use of my pistol and I have to qualify using it every year for my job.
B) Of course it is, and it is a very good one.
C) Most of the time yes.
C2) Bonus question! I defended myself with one when I was on the street in Seattle in the past, though that was merely drawing it from my concealed holster and holding it in a ready position, didn't have to discharge it.

You don't have to shoot them. You can defend by pointing it at them. No one is going to attack you when they know they'll get shot if they do.

i'm gonna go right out and say this, but a Firearm (Guns are either your "junk", or artillery) is an OFFENSIVE weapon. a sword, if you will. while you can feign defense with a weapon, you cannot inherently defend something with a weapon. it is built and designed for attack, not defense.

this isn't to say a person WIELDING a firearm can't defend something. they themselves can become a shield. but a weapon of any kind is not a defense. at best, it is a deterrent. which is effective in its own right.

not i'm neither "pro-gun", nor "anti-gun". i know that neither course of action will work, and that both will only worsen the situation. putting more firearms in the hands of (likely) untrained civilians will just get more people caught in crossfires, or accidentally shot. firearms are a tool for killing and should be treated with the respect that commands. it is not a toy, and is defiantly something you should know how to use beforehand. the benefit of that, of course, is that if everyone is armed, people will be less willing to commit crimes, particularly violent ones. because anyone around them can pull a weapon on them instead. so "Pro-gun" has it's benefits, and its flaws.
"Anti-gun" does too however. people will ALWAYS want to kill each other. and if firearms don't exist, then we'll just find some other thing to kill each other with. take away everything, and well. kung-fu exists right? what're we gonna do then? cut off everyone's arms because you can kill someone with them? that's ridiculous. not to mention that people will not want to be rid of the weapons they already have. and thoroughly searching every home for firearms is ridiculous and quite impossible. then there's the fact that criminals don't follow laws anyway. why would they be inclined to follow firearm laws? sure fewer firearms in the populace will mean less crimes INVOLVING them, (though i bet you'd see a rise in crimes involving other weaponry) but would also mean less firearms DETERRING criminals from committing crimes. take the gas-station attendant stereotype. it's exceedingly common in movies and TV to show the gas-station attendant having a firearm behind the counter to use on potential robbers. which works as a deterrent against being robbed. if that were no longer the case, then they'd get robbed more frequently. hell. people have held up stores with a PRETEND firearm. sometimes not even a water-pistol or something like that. i mean their FINGERS hidden in their jacket made to APPEAR to be a firearm. having no firearms wouldn't do anything to reduce crime. only crime involving firearms. and i'd bet that there would be a lot MORE crime NOT involving firearms. neither "solution" will change anything for the better. instead, teach people the responsibility that comes with having a weapon of ANY sort, and how to use it should the time come. and even better, try and make people not WANT to commit crimes, or kill other people. if we worked towards that, rather than shifting the blame from OURSELVES to a hunk of metal and plastic, then maybe we'd make some progress...

sorry for deviating from the OT, but i know that's what this'll devolve into anyway. so i went and saved myself the trouble of responding.

Can I personally? No. I don't like guns very much, saw 'em too much in horrible situations as a kid.
A knife I can use but I gun I have no experience with and therefore am not qualified to hold one let alone try and use it on someone else.

Am I legally able to? Yes.
Am I able to in a philosophical sense? Maybe.
And if I had the proper training and history would I? Yes.

I'd also like to point out that I am fully trained and qualified to handle (laxative) loaded monkeys in dangerous and tense situations.

Well, if I were instructed on how to use one, and then given one, then get into a situation where I'm forced to use it to defend myself, I guess.

Proverbial Jon:
Pfft, in the UK if you physically harm someone whilst they are on your property they can sue you for compensation, EVEN if it is proven that they were trespassing! Bloody British justice system.

Can a gun be used for self defence?
I would say a gun can be used for self defence. I don't know much about them myself but if you're simply trying to avoid an attacker you can at least incapacitate them without killing. Not that I am condoning the use of them in this country, I honestly think they aren't the solution.

Could I use a gun?
I'm not sure. I've never held one or fired one and I am quite aware that it's very different from what we do in games. I think it depends how scared I was and how much my life depended on defending myself in that moment. In a purely defensive way, I might be able to.

Quick, silly question from a young American who grew up in a bad neighborhood.
What are you supposed to do if someone breaks into your house? Let them take whatever they want and do whatever (or whoever) they want? Restraining could cause physical harm so even that would be out of the question. Genuinely curious.

I've spent the last ten years defending myself and others with varied firearms. So.... Yes. I can. And have.

well kinda
i know how to operate a gun and most criminals here don't carry them so if i had a gun i could probably defend myself using it as a deterrent.

TopazFusion:

Xan Krieger:
he also said that if someone breaks into your home that you can't shoot them.

It's like that here. If you do shoot them (or attack them via other means), YOU are the one who gets into trouble, not them.

And assuming the perpetrator survives your attack, they get paid compensation by the government.

And I agree with that law.

There are numerous situations where you can enter private propriety without ill intentions. For starters the person might not realise he entered private propriety, it happens in long terrains. Or you might enter to ask for help or something, or to flee from someone and look for a safe place.
Heck, a few years ago a sun of a Gipsy entered my gardener and started riding my bicycle, should I have the right to shoot him? That's preposterous.

If something is a threat and going to cause harm to me. I'm more then happy to shoot, shoot to kill if needed.

Nah I need to own 2 assault rifles, a bunch of SMGs and a room full of handguns to defend myself against neighbourhood animals and children, cause I live in MURICA.

Seriously though if someone had a knife I wouldn't try and defend myself, it would depend on the size and shape of the attacker. No one would attack you with a gun where I live unless you were involved in organised crime since guns are illegal.

If I remember my stats correctly there are 63-85 thousand cases of personal defence with a firearm every year in the US.

Anoni Mus:

TopazFusion:

Xan Krieger:
he also said that if someone breaks into your home that you can't shoot them.

It's like that here. If you do shoot them (or attack them via other means), YOU are the one who gets into trouble, not them.

And assuming the perpetrator survives your attack, they get paid compensation by the government.

And I agree with that law.

There are numerous situations where you can enter private propriety without ill intentions. For starters the person might not realise he entered private propriety, it happens in long terrains. Or you might enter to ask for help or something, or to flee from someone and look for a safe place.
Heck, a few years ago a sun of a Gipsy entered my gardener and started riding my bicycle, should I have the right to shoot him? That's preposterous.

There is a bit of a difference between "Breaking into your home." and "Wondering onto your land." One involves...you know, breaking into things...

And for the Gipsy, I woulda sparta kicked the bike and sent them tumbling :P

I think we all could technically use a gun to defend ourselves. To be able to fire a gun all you need is a friggin hand with your fingers still functioning.

Anoni Mus:

TopazFusion:

Xan Krieger:
he also said that if someone breaks into your home that you can't shoot them.

It's like that here. If you do shoot them (or attack them via other means), YOU are the one who gets into trouble, not them.

And assuming the perpetrator survives your attack, they get paid compensation by the government.

And I agree with that law.

There are numerous situations where you can enter private propriety without ill intentions. For starters the person might not realise he entered private propriety, it happens in long terrains. Or you might enter to ask for help or something, or to flee from someone and look for a safe place.
Heck, a few years ago a sun of a Gipsy entered my gardener and started riding my bicycle, should I have the right to shoot him? That's preposterous.

Hehe.

Or like being a pilot forced to parachute out of your failing plane, only to land "illegally" on the porch of somebody's home then shot in the face by some guy who won the local chili dog eating competition the night before.

Anoni Mus:

TopazFusion:

Xan Krieger:
he also said that if someone breaks into your home that you can't shoot them.

It's like that here. If you do shoot them (or attack them via other means), YOU are the one who gets into trouble, not them.

And assuming the perpetrator survives your attack, they get paid compensation by the government.

And I agree with that law.

There are numerous situations where you can enter private propriety without ill intentions. For starters the person might not realise he entered private propriety, it happens in long terrains. Or you might enter to ask for help or something, or to flee from someone and look for a safe place.
Heck, a few years ago a sun of a Gipsy entered my gardener and started riding my bicycle, should I have the right to shoot him? That's preposterous.

Hehe.

Or like being a pilot forced to parachute out of your failing plane, only to land "illegally" on the porch of somebody's home then shot in the face by some guy who won the local chili dog eating competition the night before.

double post, my bad

You can in a few very unlikely scenarios, most of those scenarios where shooting someone would be overkill and should get you arrested.
The only time a gun would be useful is if someone is trying to kill you and is bad enough at it to give you time to shoot them. If you are getting mugged and shoot someone, you deserve jail time. Whats more important? Your wallet or someones life?

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