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theodiskaz's avatar

Should everything but shotguns be outlawed for home defense?

Asked by theodiskaz (546points) January 25th, 2013

Additionally, should lethal ammunition be banned as well ie a new kind of ammunition be developed?

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26 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Handguns should be allowed as well, a lot of women especially prefer them for ease of use for more delicate frames and easier handling.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You mean I have to de-install my burglar alarm? That’s a bummer.

I also have a nice long machete that I know how to use. What do I do with that?

My neighbor has TV cameras and electrical fencing. Does he have to take that down?

Perhaps you might focus in a little on what you are suggesting.

wundayatta's avatar

What? I have to get rid of my tactical nuke? No fucking way!

marinelife's avatar

Why shotguns?

WestRiverrat's avatar

So I should give up my pistol that fires one projectile for a shotgun that sprays several projectiles in a rapidly expanding cone?

I had ‘nonlethal’ rounds for my shotgun and my pistols. Right on the box it says lethal up to 10 yards. None of the rooms or hallways in my house are that big. I got rid of them because a prosecutor said having them would be used to show that I intended to shoot someone. Thereby negating any legitimate claim of self defense I may have.

theodiskaz's avatar

That should more precisely read “should all guns but shotguns be outlawed for home defense”.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Nothing like starting off with a bang here. You should know that gun questions set you up as quite a target.

The answer – which you are not looking for – is A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Apparently you need to look up “infringed”.

I will agree that more non-lethal means of self-defense should be developed and marketed, but until the development and proof of effective non-lethal means of stopping those with lethal intent, I’m building my arsenal… against such well-meaning types as yourself.

zenvelo's avatar

@CWOTUS He’s not asking about the militia, he is asking for the home.

My answer to the original question is “yes”. I also believe the 2nd Amendment should be repealed.

CWOTUS's avatar

Apparently you need to look up what is “the militia”, then, @zenvelo.

And the rules of grammar. The Second Amendment does not state that “only the militia” may have weapons. It uses “the militia” as a pretext for why “the right of the people” may not be infringed.

WestRiverrat's avatar


The SCOTUS has defined the Second Amendment to mean the people have the individual right to own firearms for lawful purposes, including self defense.

In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions officially establishing this interpretation. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia[1][2] and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home within many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court as being consistent with the Second Amendment.[3] In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.[4]

zenvelo's avatar

@WestRiverrat Thank you for pointing out the reasons it is time to repeal the Second Amendment.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@zenvelo If you eliminate the second amendment, how long do you think the rest of the bill of rights will last?

zenvelo's avatar

@WestRiverrat Another couple hundred years. Actually, the Patriot Act is/was a huge threat to the rest of the Bill of Rights. I didn’t see anyone standing up with gun to protest that.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@zenvelo That’s because most of the people that stood up and protested it still thought the system worked. But we are getting a bit too far off topic, sorry @theodiskaz

theodiskaz's avatar

No problem. I understand the SCOTUS split on just how the militia clause was originaly intended to bear on the people clause. I happen to side with the minority ie that it’s intent was to limit. And as to infringement, courts have upheld restrictions and limitations, which to me seem to be a sort of infringement. I think if we restrict rifles to hunters, in season, on hunting lands only, of course allowing for their transportation to those lands, and we restrict low power shotguns to home use only, making it illegal for either of those to be carried around in public unless somehow disabled, and then limit all other firearms to the military and law enforcement, then there would be fewer massacres. And if I were a bad guy in a house and heard the distinctive pump of a shotgun, I might just turn around and leave:)

njnyjobs's avatar

The OP specifically qualified the post with “home defense”... I believe that any person is entitled to defend ones self from any threat of bodily or property harm within the confines of the home with any means available….PERIOD

theodiskaz's avatar

@zenvelo, do you really think the govt will try to abolish our rights as US citizens if we don’t have the ability to shoot them? Even with guns, it wouldn’t be much more of a fair fight than if we tried to stop them with machetes. In most of the scenarios I can imagine, the govt always wins, whether we have guns or not. I just don’t think we could ever be the march of our own military.

theodiskaz's avatar

Oh, why shotguns? Harder to conceal. Easier to hit a bad guy if you are not a great shot. Easier, perhaps, to make non lethal, and harder to massacre innocents. Yeah, everyone would call the cops if they saw someone walking towards a school or just down the sidewalk with his home restricted shotgun.

woodcutter's avatar

I would like to know if Joe Biden has really ever pulled the trigger on a shotgun. If he had, he would not have made the stupid comment not Joe!, that they are so much easier to use than rifles.

Fluther tip: shotguns are not exactly the most pleasant weapons to use. Most people won’t handle the recoil, at all, not to mention trying to do any follow up shots. Shotguns have another disadvantage and that is they generally hold small amounts of ammo in their magazine, maybe 7 or 8? Eight shells is a supertanker in the common commercially available models. They can be too long to maneuver in tight quarters like a house. They can be used but it takes lots of training. Ole Joe is perpetuating the famous “cone of death” myth that you don’t need to aim a shotgun, like, it aims itself and ya can’t miss. That has been disproved decades ago why people still believe this in the 21st century is beyond me. It means that Hollywood special effects still are being used as a teaching medium. It can be very easy to miss with a shotgun! In a typical home defense situation a shot- shell pattern will be maybe the size of a baseball 30 feet away, depending on ammunition. It will be devastating if it takes effect whatever it hits.

So….Mr. Biden if you really believe that the shotgun is more effective and believe this wholeheartedly, then you have just given some good advise to the next student killer.

theodiskaz's avatar

Frankly, I see the limited magazine capacity as a great ADVANTAGE. Question: would shortening the barrel produce a more spread out shot pattern? I think that would make them more maneuverable in close quarters. Would not a smaller charge, sufficient for firing within an enclosed area also produce less recoil (for the ladies;)). And I wonder if a recoil suppressor could be developed for them, adding to their ease of use? The military M-16 is equipped with one, and it is possible to fire one off of ones chest or even forehead, I know, having seen it done.

woodcutter's avatar

The M-16 has a flash suppressor attached for the purpose of controlling flash blindness to the person shooting when in low light. It doesn’t do anything else. Those weapons have light enough recoil there is no need for a muzzle brake to control it.
That spread I discussed above would be for an 18” shotgun barrel. That is the shortest barrel allowable by law unless special permits are obtained from ATF. Having a shorter barrel makes no tactical sense for most uses because yes it will make he shot spread sooner but that also has the effect of thinning out the shot cloud to the extent of making it less effective. That is not to say that gang bangers with a hacksaw would not cut their shotguns down for the big spray effect but then again they are outlaws anyway and are no stranger to prison usually. What you do to your own personal shotgun is your business but most people don’t seem to think spending time in prison for illegally modifying weapons is worth it. So there is no getting around a fact of life with any kind of firearm, and that is they all have to be aimed to get effective hits. An ineffective hit is not a hit at all.

Why is a low ammunition capacity an advantage? Just because a weapon has the ability to hold an abundance of loaded ammo does not mean all of it has to be expended, does it? I mean a 30 round standard capacity magazine will just as easily hold, say 20 if it really bothers you to have that many in there all at once.

zenvelo's avatar

@theodiskaz No, I do not, that’s why I believe this whole crap about “defending our rights” with guns is a lot of hooey.

@woodcutter The lack of magazine size is the whole point of the suggestion. If that’s all that is available, an assailant can’t do as much damage as quickly.

woodcutter's avatar

@zenvelo Heh, well, one mans assailant is another man’s defender.

theodiskaz's avatar

Well, I guess I’ll have to get a little bit technical here. In the lower receiver and extension assembly, there is a spring and something called a buffer assembly. The buffer assembly sits in front of the spring which extends into the butt-stock (the part you hold to your shoulder). When it is fired, that spring absorbs a lot of the recoil, reducing the kick you feel in your hands as it is fired. So, if something like this could be developed for a shotgun, might it not make it easier to wield? And I know the laws forbid the sawed off shotgun, but I’m talking about changing laws, anyway. And the reason a smaller ammo capacity might be preferred is that this hypothetical home defense shot gun would be less useful for massacring. And might having a thinned out shot cloud be preferable if killing is not the sole reason for taking the shot? I mean, once a bad guy is down or turning to leave I suppose one could finish him or her off by emptying ones magazine into him or her at close range. It’s hard to imagine, but if I suddenly had a bunch of leaking flesh wounds, may been blinded in one or both eyes, and the implied threat of five or six times more shortly to follow, I think I might turn if I could and try to leave. I’ve never been that bad, so that’s only a guess.

CWOTUS's avatar

That’s probably not a typical response to being wounded, @theodiskaz. It’s certainly not typical of most mammals. Do you suppose that a wounded bear or lion, for example, would retreat? If someone is determined (and crazy) enough to break down my door in the middle of the night, I don’t expect he’s going to be dissuaded by being wounded. More determined and angry, I would expect.

No. If I feel the need to start shooting (defensively only), I’m going to plan to use lethal rounds aimed for lethal effect. For one thing, I may not know how many attackers there are, or if there’s another wave behind the first assailant. I’m not wasting precious rounds on warning shots or bird shot.

woodcutter's avatar

Having inadequate weapons is a sure way to set things up for a “bad tie”. Nobody wants that. If someone has committed to accessing someone’s home without permission they are in it to win it. There are only 9 pellets sometimes 11, in the usual 00buck. For maximum effect to stop an attack, most of them need to hit, vital areas. Short barrels only thin the grouping and reduces the effect. In simple language: you just pissed off your attacker and possibly supercharged his motivation to kill you for sure now. There is no such thing as a “safe” firearm. Get a bright light mounted to whatever you use to keep you and your family protected and take the guy out already. The worst in humanity has to always be assumed during these times of high danger. Cut no slack.

And hindsight is always of no use.

So, trying to match up the future danger potential to decide how many rounds of ammunition a weapon will hold is impossible. There is nothing out of line with the weapon you use still having all but a couple of rounds. There is no rule that says all the ammo need be expended. It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

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