Can you use a gun for self defense?
Yes
63.4% (358)
63.4% (358)
No
26.7% (151)
26.7% (151)
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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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?

Can I defend myself with a gun?
Well there's nothing physically stopping me from doing so apart from the fact I don't own a gun.
Even if I did somehow come into possession of one, I don't think I could ever go through with shooting someone, not unless I truly believed I or someone else was in mortal danger and even then I'd have to have a good think about the consequences of pulling the trigger.

well i CAN "defend" myself with a FIREARM is it legal? no not unless this guy (or girl for that matter lets not be sexist here) is actually threatening to or actively trying to kill me i cant legally use the firearm even though i have enough skill and no compunction against taking the life of criminal scum and i would likely be charged with improper use or storage of a firearm or something along those lines
i can on the other hand utilise other methods to defend myself if somehow confronted by afore mentioned criminal scum bag and so long as i do not go too over the top i am likely to be justified in using those methods
and given the massive lack of firearms in this country i will almost never be in the situation where there is a firearm within 100km of me

Trippy Turtle:
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?

Honestly? If someone is going to threaten my life over my wallet, I am more than willing to threaten their life over the transgression, then end their life if they decide to press the issue.

The one time I have had to draw my gun, drawing it was enough to discourage further discourse along that particular path.

I've never used a firearm, but I imagine if you handed me a loaded pistol with the safety off, I could probably improvise the "point and shoot" stage of gun ownership.

Anything else I got no idea - don't know where the safety catch is, don't know how to reload it, don't really know how to hold it, don't even know how to draw one very quickly. So if I went and bought a gun today, I'd be more of a danger to myself than any hypothetical intruder.

I have a black belt, though, so...I'd just karate-chop that guy in half then do a cool pose. /flex

Beffudled Sheep:
Quick, silly question from a young American who grew up in a bad neighbourhood.
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.

It's not a silly question at all. In fact I'm not sure I have an answer.

I'm no criminology expert so I don't have much authority on this subject. I also am very lucky to live and have grown up in the middle of nowhere where very little happens.

However, I have seen plenty of stories on the news where farmers have defended their land (sometimes with a shotgun) or home owners have bashed intruders over the head with a household object. It's a pretty standard reaction to home invasion so I can't say I blame them. The problem is however, that they are usually arrested for GBH/ABH despite the fact that the burglar was clearly in the wrong. A case of two wrongs don't make a right maybe?

Point in case: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/sep/05/couple-shooting-burglary-home-released

As for what you should legally do in that situation, goodness only knows. But you would hope that your own justice system would back you up. Slowly I think we're making steps in this country to stand up for ourselves, to protect our own, law abiding citizens rather than shrinking back and hoping no one sees the shame of our inaction. /rant

That is a very badly written question...

Can I use a gun? Well... blatantly as a deployable member of the UK armed forces, yes, I can use a gun thank you.

On the other hand, should a gun be used for self defence? Well then that should be when there is an imminent threat to human life, either your own or someone else's. And only if you honestly believe that you, or the other person is ABOUT TO DIE! (Not get injured, or wounded.) Now, for this to be the case, the only time I would shoot someone in self defence is if they also have a gun. And as, in the UK, every Tom, Dick and Harry isn't carrying a gun, then there is no reason for me to have one.
Anyone arguing that you should be allowed a gun to defend against people with knives should also get their head checked... if you legalise guns to defend against people illegally carrying knives then you also legalise the nutters with the knives to carry guns too... well done... escalation of violence right there...

Guns should not be allowed to the general public... Why? As a whole, the general public are too erratic and lack the conviction and common sense to use them responsibly!

Elementary - Dear Watson:
That is a very badly written question...

Can I use a gun? Well... blatantly as a deployable member of the UK armed forces, yes, I can use a gun thank you.

On the other hand, should a gun be used for self defence? Well then that should be when there is an imminent threat to human life, either your own or someone else's.

Anyone arguing that you should be allowed a gun to defend against people with knives should also get their head checked...

You dont think a knife can kill someone?

Well, I guess the UKs military needs a bit of work in its training :P

FelixG:

Elementary - Dear Watson:
That is a very badly written question...

Can I use a gun? Well... blatantly as a deployable member of the UK armed forces, yes, I can use a gun thank you.

On the other hand, should a gun be used for self defence? Well then that should be when there is an imminent threat to human life, either your own or someone else's.

Anyone arguing that you should be allowed a gun to defend against people with knives should also get their head checked...

You dont think a knife can kill someone?

Well, I guess the UKs military needs a bit of work in its training :P

Yes, a knife can kill someone... but it's a lot harder to kill someone with a knife than a gun. There is a higher probability of killing someone with a gun than a knife, witch puts them on different levels of lethality and danger.

Also, we use bayonets not knives when up close and personal... or failing that, as an officer I am more likely just to have a pistol on me in combat, with an effective range of 7-15m... :/

No experience with them but I'm fairly certain that a gun can be used for self-defense. I'd say it's a pretty crappy method though considering it's pretty likely to end in serious injuries.

Again, no experience with this stuff, but wouldn't things like pepper-spray, stun guns or tasers be equally effective and a lot less likely to cause serious injury?

I would probably be more scared of the gun, then the person i would be aiming at...

My personal opinion is that a gun would make for lousy defence. Let's get this straight, a shield defends you, as does a bulletproof vest. A gun can only defend you in the sense that it might block an attack. Same goes for a sword or knife.

Even for protecting yourself pro-actively (Taking out the attacker) I think there's better alternatives that a gun. I have a walking stick I take with me when I go out. Mostly because it's damn stylish, but also because I could defend myself (Block a knife) and protect myself (Whack the guy over the head). I'm all for guns with non-lethal rounds, that can work perfectly well to stop an attacker. Oh, and also, if you don't feel safe in your own damn home without a gun, your police force need to step it up.

That became a far larger rant than I intended.

Xan Krieger:
Sorry I didn't think it through, I was just so bugged from my constant fights with someone else on this site that I wasn't thinking clearly when I posted it. You do make a good point though, it is a two part question. Personally if I had a gun I feel I absolutely could and it's perfectly legal here in North Carolina.

There we go. Ambiguity dealt with. now to answer the question. Hell no to both.

I've had training with bolt action .22s and that's it and that was over 12 years ago. If I had the training to use a firearm then I might say yes, but truthfully at this moment in time a firearm of any kind in my hands would be more of a danger to myself than any would be attacker. It is also my personal belief that I would not have the capacity to pull the trigger and intsantly end another person's life. In any event I have a dagger a diamond steel, a well balanced sword and lots and lots and lots of sharp knives. These I trust to do with any situation over guns of any kind any day of the week.

To answer the next part of the question, Australian gun laws as well as laws on what is considered appropriate self defence, would dictate that unless you could, without any shred of doubt, justify the use of a firearm in any situation, your arse will belong to Fat Freddy in cell block 5 at your local jail precinct.

if you're in mortal danger then i personally think its quite acceptable to use a gun as a last resort. i mean, you've got to play your cards right - if they have a gun you dont want to pull one out and make them shoot first. And if i did feel forced to shoot them (say they were coming at me with a cricket bat and a red mist over their eyes) i wouldnt shoot to kill. But everyone should have the right to defend themselves, their property and their families by whatever means necessary, so long as they're responsible about it

of course you can, that is what they are MADE for. it's one of the reason police and soldiers carry side arms. out of all the people i know, four had to defend themselves with guns, all fourt times successfully. only in two of those four cases was the weapon actually discharged.

of course, that is working under the assumption that you are properly trained to operate a firearm to defend yourself. remember kids, any weapon you aren't properly trained with is a weapon for your attacker. however, proper training should go hand in hand and be a requirement for people chosing that responsibility of carrying a firearm for their defense and that of the people arround them.

Elementary - Dear Watson:
That is a very badly written question...

Can I use a gun? Well... blatantly as a deployable member of the UK armed forces, yes, I can use a gun thank you.

On the other hand, should a gun be used for self defence? Well then that should be when there is an imminent threat to human life, either your own or someone else's. And only if you honestly believe that you, or the other person is ABOUT TO DIE! (Not get injured, or wounded.) Now, for this to be the case, the only time I would shoot someone in self defence is if they also have a gun. And as, in the UK, every Tom, Dick and Harry isn't carrying a gun, then there is no reason for me to have one.
Anyone arguing that you should be allowed a gun to defend against people with knives should also get their head checked... if you legalise guns to defend against people illegally carrying knives then you also legalise the nutters with the knives to carry guns too... well done... escalation of violence right there...

Guns should not be allowed to the general public... Why? As a whole, the general public are too erratic and lack the conviction and common sense to use them responsibly!

I salute my former colonial overlord for his gallant argument and rather dashing officer's moustache. Both very commendable, you shall be mentioned in dispatch.

Yes, in my state we are allowed to use a gun to protect yourself or your property as long as it is registered and it and the intruder is within your home. Granted, after that you have to prove intent to harm you but that just seems like basic sense or I wouldn't be going in many homes. I do not own a gun but that's most likely because I live in a nice neighborhood and would rather spend my money on something else. Well and I'd hate for a niece or nephew to get ahold of it.

As far as would I use one to protect myself, yes, or a rock, or a knife or anything else to keep myself or the people I care for from being harmed. Maybe that is an American thing.

My girlfriend recently shot a gun for the first time with her sister who has a conceal/carry license for work. She told me afterward that she could barely hold it straight and was very nervous. I grew up around the military so guns were not prevalent but gun safety was. I never hunted and the only time I ever shot a gun before I was an adult was on a range for Boy (actually Cub) Scouts. I won a turkey for Thanksgiving :D. But since I grew up as I did I have always seen guns as what they are, in my opinion, a tool. Yes, they are a tool for killing people or animals but that is still what they are and any tool's use is, to put it in basic terms, good or evil because of the user not the tool. Again, in my humble opinion. there are people that should not be allowed to own guns but also in my opinion there are people who should not be allowed to breed, and if I could stop them from owning a gun or stop them from breeding I'd pick the later.

Xan Krieger:
There's been this discussion in the Religion and Politics section of the forum and it concerns this. Can you use a gun to defend yourself?

I probably can't, but that's more to do with lack of ability. If I had a gun then I sure as hell would use it if someone broke into my house, it's the smartest move to go with. Any reasonable court will go in my favour of "shut the fuck up, you just admitted to breaking and entering with the intent to commit burglary, you're going to jail" if the person on the other end tried the whole lawsuit bullshit.

None of that justifies having guns legalised. Though I'm certain you wouldn't be trying to say that having a few hundred kids shot to death every year is okay, so long as you can defend your castle.

Elementary - Dear Watson:

FelixG:

Elementary - Dear Watson:
That is a very badly written question...

Can I use a gun? Well... blatantly as a deployable member of the UK armed forces, yes, I can use a gun thank you.

On the other hand, should a gun be used for self defence? Well then that should be when there is an imminent threat to human life, either your own or someone else's.

Anyone arguing that you should be allowed a gun to defend against people with knives should also get their head checked...

You dont think a knife can kill someone?

Well, I guess the UKs military needs a bit of work in its training :P

Yes, a knife can kill someone... but it's a lot harder to kill someone with a knife than a gun. There is a higher probability of killing someone with a gun than a knife, witch puts them on different levels of lethality and danger.

Also, we use bayonets not knives when up close and personal... or failing that, as an officer I am more likely just to have a pistol on me in combat, with an effective range of 7-15m... :/

SO...when someone defends themselves with one deadly weapon against another deadly weapon...they should get their headchecked?

A person can close the distance between yourself and themselves with a knife damn quick. I was taught just how fast in practical terms during my security training with practical (rubber gun and knife) exercises. And 7 meters, about 25 feet, you can close that in a couple of seconds if you wanted to.

Not sure what the bayonets have to do with the discussion though, I personally have clawed muzzle breaks on my rifles and shotguns for that kind of close in deterrent, but as mentioned I am security not military. xD

I could defend myself with a shotgun or rifle. Shotgun is easier though.

FelixG:

SO...when someone defends themselves with one deadly weapon against another deadly weapon...they should get their headchecked?

A person can close the distance between yourself and themselves with a knife damn quick. I was taught just how fast in practical terms during my security training with practical (rubber gun and knife) exercises. And 7 meters, about 25 feet, you can close that in a couple of seconds if you wanted to.

Not sure what the bayonets have to do with the discussion though, I personally have clawed muzzle breaks on my rifles and shotguns for that kind of close in deterrent, but as mentioned I am security not military. xD

I didn't mean the people who are in that situation should get their head checked, I meant the people who commonly argue that guns in the UK should be legal because they may get stabbed by someone illegally carrying a knife... Legalising firearms is not the answer to that... All that does is escalates the violence unnecessarily. I am specifically talking about the UK though...

Also... we seem to be getting domestic issues and warzones confused. I would carry a gun when sausage side in a theatre of operations, but they are irrelevant for when at home in peace time!

If there was actually a credible threat from knife crime across the UK, then things might be different, but there's not, so we shouldn't escalate pointless laws because some douches think it's cool to walk around in public with their 'piece' or 'shooter' swinging from their hip, compensating for their implied lack of man-hood...

Elementary - Dear Watson:

FelixG:

SO...when someone defends themselves with one deadly weapon against another deadly weapon...they should get their headchecked?

A person can close the distance between yourself and themselves with a knife damn quick. I was taught just how fast in practical terms during my security training with practical (rubber gun and knife) exercises. And 7 meters, about 25 feet, you can close that in a couple of seconds if you wanted to.

Not sure what the bayonets have to do with the discussion though, I personally have clawed muzzle breaks on my rifles and shotguns for that kind of close in deterrent, but as mentioned I am security not military. xD

I didn't mean the people who are in that situation should get their head checked, I meant the people who commonly argue that guns in the UK should be legal because they may get stabbed by someone illegally carrying a knife... Legalising firearms is not the answer to that... All that does is escalates the violence unnecessarily. I am specifically talking about the UK though...

Also... we seem to be getting domestic issues and warzones confused. I would carry a gun when sausage side in a theatre of operations, but they are irrelevant for when at home in peace time!

If there was actually a credible threat from knife crime across the UK, then things might be different, but there's not, so we shouldn't escalate pointless laws because some douches think it's cool to walk around in public with their 'piece' or 'shooter' swinging from their hip, compensating for their implied lack of man-hood...

Ahh no wonder for the proverbial looking at eachother strangely!

I thought you were one of those folks who talked about "this is how it is, everywhere, no matter what." not realizing you were segmenting the problem into the UK, warzone, ect

FelixG:

Ahh no wonder for the proverbial looking at eachother strangely!

I thought you were one of those folks who talked about "this is how it is, everywhere, no matter what." not realizing you were segmenting the problem into the UK, warzone, ect

Haha, no worries! Due to my job I spend a lot of time studying the world and different places... I know that even within a country things can be vastly different! (Look at Mali right now! Ever since the coup I was waiting for that to kick off! :S)

I take it you are from across the pond? I know things are massively different there, mostly because of heritage, so I won't even begin to try and get my head round that one... I guess if I moved there for long enough I may understand... :P Maybe, however, it may have been massively different if the guns hadn't been there in the first place!

I think it depends on the situation. I live in a Castle State, so I am allowed to defend myself and my property, but effective defense should not be purely reactive. I am ex-law enforcement and I tend to keep a gun in an accessible location (still locked up and unloaded, but able to be gotten to from any room in the house with the proper code). You are most likely to have your home invaded during sleeping hours, so if you have only one gun keep it in a safe near your bed. Once you hear the burglar/invader/ect you go for your gun (provided you have time, if they are already upon you it is best to leave it locked up) and exit the house. Don't stay to defend your stuff, it is replaceable. Exit your house with your loved ones and move to a defensive location (preferable next door if you are friends with your neighbors) and call the police. If they come for you then defend yourself.

Hagi:
No experience with them but I'm fairly certain that a gun can be used for self-defense. I'd say it's a pretty crappy method though considering it's pretty likely to end in serious injuries.

Again, no experience with this stuff, but wouldn't things like pepper-spray, stun guns or tasers be equally effective and a lot less likely to cause serious injury?

Pepper spray can take up to 10 seconds to have full effect, even then during training we get to spray the new recruits with pepper spray and make them run an obstacle course. Only 1 out of 15 (on average) in every class fails the course on the first try. Yes it makes it much harder to fight, but believe me, you can still do a lot of damage if you want to. Stun guns / tasers are a bit more effective. First thing though, never use one on someone pointing a gun at you. The voltage causes muscles to contract and may cause the gun to go off (finger contracts pulling the trigger). As far as effectiveness I can only speak for police grade tazers, and they tend to do the job quite well. Only 1 in 10 remain standing after a full discharge, and you can get up to 20 discharges from a single battery (though you have to reload the barbs after every shot if you miss). Public stun guns (from my understanding) are only about 1/2 the voltage, but still mostly as effective (7/10 go down). The main disadvantage here being that public stun guns are not projectile. You have to be point blank to fire them (though I am sure there are some states where tazers are legal).

barbzilla:

Hagi:
No experience with them but I'm fairly certain that a gun can be used for self-defense. I'd say it's a pretty crappy method though considering it's pretty likely to end in serious injuries.

Again, no experience with this stuff, but wouldn't things like pepper-spray, stun guns or tasers be equally effective and a lot less likely to cause serious injury?

Pepper spray can take up to 10 seconds to have full effect, even then during training we get to spray the new recruits with pepper spray and make them run an obstacle course. Only 1 out of 15 (on average) in every class fails the course on the first try. Yes it makes it much harder to fight, but believe me, you can still do a lot of damage if you want to. Stun guns / tasers are a bit more effective. First thing though, never use one on someone pointing a gun at you. The voltage causes muscles to contract and may cause the gun to go off (finger contracts pulling the trigger). As far as effectiveness I can only speak for police grade tazers, and they tend to do the job quite well. Only 1 in 10 remain standing after a full discharge, and you can get up to 20 discharges from a single battery (though you have to reload the barbs after every shot if you miss). Public stun guns (from my understanding) are only about 1/2 the voltage, but still mostly as effective (7/10 go down). The main disadvantage here being that public stun guns are not projectile. You have to be point blank to fire them (though I am sure there are some states where tazers are legal).

Ah, cool. Thanks for the info. Bit less effective than I imagined then.

If I had to pick a self-defense weapon though I'd probably still go for a stun gun or tazer though. I reckon that in the situation where someone has a gun pointed at you you don't want to be making any sudden movements anyway, whether it's with a tazer or actual firearm.

In any other situation I can imagine the certainty of being able to fire with much less hesitation since chances of killing people are pretty much restricted to pace-maker patients and such (I think?) could greatly improve your chances. Pointing a gun at somebody might stop them, but zapping them feels a lot more certain to me.

Mostly though I'm just hoping I'll never get into a situation where I'd need either :P.

Yeah. You pull the trigger and the woman falls down. Self: defended.

I wouldn't pull out a gun unless I absolutely had to use it, though, and shooting at burglars and stickup men doesn't automatically count as self defense. In that situation, the presence a gun alone is sometimes enough to escalate a more benign situation into violence. That's what I consider a bad idea because I really don't care to shoot at people over consumer goods.

This isn't armchair hypothesizing, either--I've been tested.

I caught a burglar once. My dog was having a fit about something, and I thought there was a coyote or raccoon, so I ran outside to check, and there was a lanky alien twig freak trying to break into my detached garage. He'd already broken into a shed and had some power tools piled up underneath a tree, but that wasn't enough for him. Anyways, I turn the corner, and he's standing there prying at the window with a particularly pointy screwdriver. He notices me, I ask him what he's doing, he tells me his wife kicked him out and he's trying to find somewhere warm to stay, I ask him his name, he says John Smith(I should have shot him on principle for want of originality), I tell him he can't be here, John, to get lost, and he takes off, running through the snow as gracefully as a deer. No biggie.

I had a gun, and he had a screwdriver. In all reality, I very probably could have gotten away with it. But my gun stayed snug in its holster, because it just wasn't necessary yet, and I really didn't want to make it necessary. Big success!

Twenty minutes later, and after pulling into the wrong driveway three doors down, the pigs arrived to make their token effort at finding the man who, at this point, was probably three towns over. When they'd returned from their truffle hunt they helpfully told me that if I had to go outside at night I should carry a gun with me. sigh.

Oh, definitely. I know rudimentarily how to operate one, but I've held a handgun before and it is heavy. The longer the gun, the better weapon it would make.

Hagi:

barbzilla:

Hagi:
No experience with them but I'm fairly certain that a gun can be used for self-defense. I'd say it's a pretty crappy method though considering it's pretty likely to end in serious injuries.

Again, no experience with this stuff, but wouldn't things like pepper-spray, stun guns or tasers be equally effective and a lot less likely to cause serious injury?

Pepper spray can take up to 10 seconds to have full effect, even then during training we get to spray the new recruits with pepper spray and make them run an obstacle course. Only 1 out of 15 (on average) in every class fails the course on the first try. Yes it makes it much harder to fight, but believe me, you can still do a lot of damage if you want to. Stun guns / tasers are a bit more effective. First thing though, never use one on someone pointing a gun at you. The voltage causes muscles to contract and may cause the gun to go off (finger contracts pulling the trigger). As far as effectiveness I can only speak for police grade tazers, and they tend to do the job quite well. Only 1 in 10 remain standing after a full discharge, and you can get up to 20 discharges from a single battery (though you have to reload the barbs after every shot if you miss). Public stun guns (from my understanding) are only about 1/2 the voltage, but still mostly as effective (7/10 go down). The main disadvantage here being that public stun guns are not projectile. You have to be point blank to fire them (though I am sure there are some states where tazers are legal).

Ah, cool. Thanks for the info. Bit less effective than I imagined then.

If I had to pick a self-defense weapon though I'd probably still go for a stun gun or tazer though. I reckon that in the situation where someone has a gun pointed at you you don't want to be making any sudden movements anyway, whether it's with a tazer or actual firearm.

In any other situation I can imagine the certainty of being able to fire with much less hesitation since chances of killing people are pretty much restricted to pace-maker patients and such (I think?) could greatly improve your chances. Pointing a gun at somebody might stop them, but zapping them feels a lot more certain to me.

Mostly though I'm just hoping I'll never get into a situation where I'd need either :P.

Actually that is something that the Tallahassee PD is looking into right now. We have way more assaults with stun guns and pepper spray than we do with firearms. We think it is linked to the fact that they are non-lethal so people think it is safe to go around spraying/stunning friends as pranks. That doesn't mean that guns are safer, not by a long shot, but perhaps we need training and licenses for those too. I actually support registration of gun ownership and mandatory safety classes, I just also support gun ownership. Your second point is correct, you do not want to react when someone has a gun pointed at you. All defensive weapons are proactive and not reactive. If you use reactive devices while someone has what amounts to an instant fire weapon, you increase the likelihood of being shot yourself.

I also hope you never get into a situation where you need either. Cheers m8

Yes, you can defend yourself with a gun. If your assailant also posseses a gun, or otherwise threatens your life in someway, you need to shoot first and ask questions later.

If your assailant is without one, so long as they have a fear of death, you need only convince them that the gun is loaded and you aren't afraid to use it in order to stop them where they stand. And if they continue to press you, treat them as threatening your person as above.

Eh, OP is a bit ambiguous.

Am I physically capable of it? Well, I've never shot a hand gun, and I've only shot a rifle a few times. I also don't own a gun, so, no, I guess.

Would I be able to do it if I had to? I believe I would, but who knows, never been in the situation.

Am I legally able to do it? Depends on where I live. Most places in the United States you can. Florida, where I live, not only has the whole Castle Doctrine going (i.e. you can defend your castle with deadly force) it also has Stand Your Ground which protects gun slinging yahoos who get into fights they could have run away from. Basically in Florida if you can make a credible argument that you were in immediate deadly danger, you can start shooting.

Yes but you need some bullets as well.

Katatori-kun:
I suppose in a more philosophical sense, no, you can't. A gun can only ever be an offensive weapon, never a defensive. Unless you can see the matrix and are able to shoot bullets out of the air with other bullets.

But that's a philosophical sense that really isn't useful in a discussion.

I think we're going by "the best defence is a good offence".

OT: I could defend myself with a gun, depending on the situation. If there was an intruder in my house, then yes I could. Well, not legally, but I have the ability to, as long as they aren't aware that I am armed and waiting. While I've never fired a real weapon, I have used air pistols and rifles, so I could certainly aim and land the first shot.

On the street however, I don't know if I could draw and fire a pistol before the other guy has seen me move and shot me. Depends entirely on the situation though.

Techno Squidgy:

Katatori-kun:
I suppose in a more philosophical sense, no, you can't. A gun can only ever be an offensive weapon, never a defensive. Unless you can see the matrix and are able to shoot bullets out of the air with other bullets.

But that's a philosophical sense that really isn't useful in a discussion.

I think we're going by "the best defence is a good offence".

Yeah, that's not defense. That's offence. But like I already said, it's a philosophical point that's not terribly practical.

I personally don't believe I could effectively defend myself with a gun. In fact, if I had the option of being armed with a gun or completely unarmed, I'd prefer to be unarmed.

1) Because unlike apparently the vast majority of Americans, I have no illusions about my skill with a gun. It's pretty certain I would be more of a danger to myself and innocents around me due to my lack of skill.

2) Because if I'm in a conflict, my desire is to end the conflict, not kill someone. Therefore if I had a gun, in most cases I'd be likely to use it my action would constitute escalating the conflict. I'd rather end it than raise the stakes.

3) Because any time I hold a weapon, that's a potential tool that my enemy can use against me if I make a mistake. Moreover, if I have a gun, I'm invested in it's use in order to make sure it isn't used against me. If I don't have a gun, I have many options, I can run, talk, confront, trick, decieve, all things that can't be taken away from me. I'd rather rely on what I know than a piece of metal.

With a gun, you can intimidate, scare off, kill or wound pre-emptively, and avenge.
You can't defend.

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