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Aspoestertjie's avatar

Should you put your gun in a safe? (Give a reason for your answer).

Asked by Aspoestertjie (266 points ) December 30th, 2013

In South Africa we have to put our guns in a safe where it can’t be accessed by children or other unauthorized individuals. Americans do not have this as part of there gun laws. Would you argue for or against putting your guns away in a safe and why?

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46 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

As a Canadian we have to be law ,store our firearms safely and use gun lockers or safes, I do think it’s a good idea, my gun safe is bolted to the wall,it would be very difficult for a thief to get one of my guns.

Seek's avatar

For. Because I like my children to be alive, and not killed by curiosity.

Ask my son why he doesn’t have any toy guns. “Because guns aren’t toys, mama”

elbanditoroso's avatar

Suppose I have no kids in the house? DO I still need to lock them up?

Let me take the opposite point of view – let’s say that I live in a dicey neighborhood and that the street has experienced several home invasions and armed robberies in the past. When I go to sleep at night, I want to have my gun on the night table or some place very close to the bed.

If I hear my house being broken into, I don’t want to have to (a) walk to the closet, and (b) enter the safe combination, probably in the dark. I want my weapon close at hand and ready to use.

Otherwise, why have it?

Aspoestertjie's avatar

@elbanditoroso The gun laws in SA do not prohibit you from taking your gun out of the safe when you want it close to you. I sleep with my pistol under my pillow each night or especially when I am alone on the farm. I do however lock it up when I am not going to use it / feel the need to use it. If you don’t have children, you are obviously safe. What if you meet someone, take them home and they take your weapon which was not locked away without you knowing?

dxs's avatar

I think it’s a good idea, especially being able to have it by your side at night when you sleep. When I was younger, I was sleeping in the guestroom of my grandfather’s house and I opened the nightstand drawer and saw a handgun. I’m not sure if it was loaded, but that was before I knew how to use a gun or anything, so it scared me a bit. I was smart enough not to play with it, though.
My sophomore year english teacher told us that she slept with a gun under her mattress every night.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Where does all this paranoia come from?

Pachy's avatar

Yes. And then drop the safe into the ocean.

Juels's avatar

I don’t know that it needs to be a law, but it is definitely common sense to keep dangerous objects away from children.

My hubby is a cop and has always kept his gun in a safe when off-duty. I feel safer knowing that my daughter and visitors won’t accidentally stumble upon it. He also locks up his pepper spray.

Smitha's avatar

Of course because if a someone mishandles a gun and his hurt or killed the owner of the gun could be held accountable. Moreover when there are kids at home we need to be really careful. By keeping them in safe, the potential for accidents are greatly reduced.

ibstubro's avatar

The media, @Dutchess_III. Particularly TV. Who could watch CNN more than an hour a day and not feel the need to have a gun at hand?

I think it might be prudent to have a simple trigger lock on a gun if it’s not in a safe, and there are non-adults in the home.

ibstubro's avatar

You’re the exception, then @Dutchess_III. 15, 20 years ago with the popularity of CNN and HNN my grandmother was too afraid to walk across the Kmart parking lot from her apartment building. This in a town of under 20,000 in the rural Midwest with zero crime outside of drugs. But she had CNN on 24/7 and was convinced that leaving her apartment was sure, sudden rape and brutal dismemberment.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think I’m the exception. None of my family members have guns. As far as I know, none of my friends do either.

Aspoestertjie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Then regard yourself as being lucky. Not all of us can afford to go about without protection.

ibstubro's avatar

“Where does all this paranoia come from?”
“The media, @Dutchess_III.”

I’m the exception here in that all my family members have guns, yet we live in one of the safest sections of the country.
The root of the modern paranoia in American and the root of the gun culture in America are two separate topics, in my opinion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess. We don’t even lock our doors @Aspoestertjie.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ibstubro You and I must be neighbors. (Western NY) Around here most (if not every) home has firearms. We are also one of the safest places in the country. In fact, we are often rated as THE safest. We do not lock our doors. And even better, we never have to look for the car keys. Why? They are in the ignition – where they belong.

We have a gun safe that is for storage. Items sit in there forever. However, I also have a carry gun and a rifle that is always unlocked and readily available like tools in my tool box.

There are no children in my house. When we have company I put the tools away as part of the normal cleaning up process: pick up my clothes, hang up the coats, vacuum the floor and put the stuff in the safe.

@Aspoestertjie Welcome to Fluther. I had the pleasure of staying with some friends in SA a few years back. I was shocked by the precautions they felt they needed for safety.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh! Welcome to Fluther @Aspoestertjie!

My husband left his keys in his truck. It was stolen. Talk about a horrible feeling. Never did that again.

Aspoestertjie's avatar

@Dutchess_III & @LuckyGuy I live on a farm. There is an electric fence around the house. We have two guard dogs, one a pitbull terrier and the other a boerboel. We have alarms connected to the fence and the gate and our doors lock with more than just one lock. Our front door has 3 locks to be exact. Other people also have 24/7 farm watch groups they report to by radio at certain times during the day. We have armed response units as the Police simply don’t care about us. I guess we need guns more than most Americans but we don’t use it that much as there are other ways of preventing crime than to take the gun route.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So how many times have people attempted to break in @Aspoestertjie?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oh my! I wonder if that is how Israelis feel living in a Palestinian neighborhood. .
How do you sleep?
I live in a peaceful, rural area. The only worries are the critters. The Big issue this summer was an invasion of English (House) sparrows taking over native bluebird boxes and killing the bluebirds. Per the New York State Dept of Conservation recommendations we “destroyed” the House Sparrows when they were seen at our feeders. The neighbors had guns at the ready. That was the extent of the local crime spree.

Aspoestertjie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Here on the farm we did not have any attacks in the past 10 years. Criminals opt to take softer targets. Those that do not have fences or any security around their premises. There are however many people getting attacked at their homes or farms more than once. We got robbed in a hotel in Johannesburg in May this year.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What kind of political set up do you have there? I mean, what is contributing to that? It sounds like anarchy!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oh my… I just looked up boerboel. That is quite an animal.
I don’t know how you do it. You are braver and more tenacious than me.

Aspoestertjie's avatar

We thought it to be pretty close to anarchy, but it is not that bad yet. :) A Poor Police force and a poorly functional government all contributes. Crime pays in SA. If you get robbed, your insurance get paid and you pay VAT…so the Government gets money by not combating crime.

@LuckyGuy They are beautiful animals. :)

YARNLADY's avatar

A gun safe is probably the best way to keep a gun out of the hands of children and criminals, but what use is it when locked away? I don’t believe hand guns are a very good choice for protection.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree @YARNLADY, but sounds like in @Aspoestertjie‘s situation, in South Africa, they are needed.

Juels's avatar

@Aspoestertjie Wow… And to think, I was worried about driving through Blue Island, Illinois. Seems pretty minor now.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Yes, if for no other reason than my gun safe is fireproof.

filmfann's avatar

No, because you might not have time to open your safe to take back your country from your government.~

ibstubro's avatar

I live in the rural rural Midwest, USA, and my house has been broken into twice in the past 10 years (since I moved here.)

Oddly, I lived in the nearest town of under 20,000 for 20 years prior, and never locked the door unless I was out of town for days. I thought I was moving into carefree, but it turned out to be Meth country. YES, I now have a state-of-the-art home alarm.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ibstubro Do you know where I hide the keys to my house? Neither do I.
The house is unlocked – even if we are out of town for a couple of weeks. How else will the neighbors get in to water the plants, or turn on the generator if there is a power failure, or check the sump pump, or whatever?

I am sorry to hear that your area has been spoiled by (likely) meth heads. There are fools out there who think drugs should be a personal choice and they only affect the user. They just don’t get it.

ibstubro's avatar

I was raised in the sticks, @LuckyGuy, so it never crossed my mind that people would break into other people’s homes. That did me in good stead when I moved to town. I moved back into the sticks (albeit, visible sticks, and people think I’m an easy mark). As far as I know, they have yet to take anything of value because of circumstances.

I’m constantly reminded, “You need to lock your car…the garage remote is in there.” “You can’t leave the door unlocked just because you’re home.”

I don’t think we even have a key hidden anymore, and I don’t care…I know how to kick the front door in (again) with one swift kick.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Garage remote? Have not used one in at least 10 years. The door is unlocked. Just walk in a push the button. That is how FedEX, UPS and USPS deliver packages. If a signature is required they will go to the neighbor’s house.

We also know everyone on the road and have each others’ phone numbers and email addresses so we can send info to each other: lost dog, roaming cows, etc. It is a tight neighborhood. If a strange car is in the driveway we will not hesitate to ask.

This is a great place to live – except for the snow. I am indeed a lucky guy.

dxs's avatar

That’s so weird. It’s like where my grandfather lives. I was just at his house recently and his neighborhood is the same way I guess. I’d always be locking the outside doors when I was there. Some random person, perhaps a relative, would slam into the unusually locked door and everyone would just look at me and I’d be awkwardly like “Coming…”. I insisted they lock at night, though. That’s absurd. What a different world.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@dxs Yep. We knock first and then walk in to our neighbors’ houses. That is the culture here.
Also it is not uncommon to see a loaded rifle propped against the wall behind the door. We stick a flag in the barrel to signify the gun is loaded. That way everyone knows.
Different world indeed. I love it here.

I should add this is prime hunting area. Rarely does a day go by without the sound office gunshots. Nobody gets nervous. It is normal. Western NY is a different world. Visit sometime.

dxs's avatar

@LuckyGuy He had a rifle propped against the wall behind the door, too! He did!!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@dxs See? I’m not making it up. I actually have 2 rifles behind the door – one sighted in at 15 yards and the other at 75 yards. My neighbor borrowed the close one for about 2 months so he could protect his bluebird boxes.

dxs's avatar

I still value my security. Right now I’m in a pretty safe neighborhood, but doors are still locked. No neighbors randomly entering and no rifles propped against walls behind doors, either. I know the names of the people who live next to me, on all sides, but we don’t talk. I’ll say hi to them if I see them. Where I am in the summer, though, I tell you there’s a cop outside my window arresting someone almost every week. I just never imagined communities that don’t even lock doors. I’d never have that trust…It just isn’t in me. Plus, the only guns I have ever used are some sort of rifle and some sort of pellet gun. I don’t know much about guns.

ibstubro's avatar

Duh…I got carried away editing.
I was raised in the sticks.
Lived a trouble free and unlocked life in the nearest town for decades.
Returned to the sticks (no visible neighbors, but highly visible house) and have been broken into twice in 10 years.

I now have a security system, there are loaded guns in the house, and wild turkeys come right up to my back door.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Need to train them turkeys to be attack turkeys @ibstubro.

ibstubro's avatar

Don’t I wish, @Dutchess_III. Maybe I can show the hawks how to snatch an intruder bald-headed while I’m at it? lol

WestRiverrat's avatar

@ibstubro don’t badmouth hawks. I had one hit me while I was dove hunting, only took 25 stitches to close the wound.

ibstubro's avatar

I was not badmouthing hawks, @WestRiverrat. I think they’re awesome, and there’s nary a day go by that I don’t see at least one. Mostly red-tailed, but I’ve been seeing smaller, scissor or swallow tailed hawks that I don’t know the name of frequently.

I’ve probably seen in excess of 20 hawks in a single day.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ouch @WestRiverrat! Where did you get stitches?
I saw a bald eagle at the lake the other day. Even got a picture of him. But he didn’t attack us, thank goodness.

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