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The Armory: Rogue Turtle's Philosophy
© 2006

Important notes to read before buying a weapon

This new section of is dedicated to Firearms. If you do not believe that firearms should be a part of your own personal survival plan, skip this part.

If you believe that you need more information concerning firearms, their uses and limitations, then this series of articles is for you. If you already are familiar with firearms, this is a refresher course.

When starting to write this series of articles, I first had to determine my target readers. Experienced shooters will already know most of this stuff, but for many out there I will introduce you to a whole new world - of shooting firearms. Like any new activity, firearms have their own terminology and technical details. I won't go into any moral or ethical uses of these weapons except to point out which weapons I feel are suitable for personal defense (against animals, 2 or 4 legged), or hunting. I will, however, point out that ALL WEAPONS MUST BE SAFELY SECURED AWAY FROM CHILDREN.


Nothing is more tragic than the accidental death of a child because some careless adult left their firearms unsecured. Most states have strict gun regulations against letting firearms get into the hands of children. Horrendous video clips like those shown during the Columbine school massacre have clamped down on careless adult gun owners. Almost all new guns sold now come with a locking mechanism in the box to secure the weapons from children. USE THEM.


Children are naturally curious. Every day on TV they see Hollywood "shoot outs" with hero actors killing the bad guys. What they don't get to see is that after the scene is shot, the "dead" actors get up, clean themselves off, and go home. There is no "real" gore, pain, screaming, and the ever-present "smell" of death. You have to experience the real thing to really understand what killing is all about. Children think guns would be a "neat" thing to play with. They couldn't be more wrong...but Hollywood keeps pounding it in.

To take away the myth, mystery and unfamiliarity with firearms, I prefer to teach them from a young age exactly what a gun can - and cannot do. I took my step-daughter out to the gun range when she was about age 11. At first, she just sat next to Mom with her hearing protection ("ears") on and watched me shoot. I started small, with a .22 caliber pistol. Later, I moved up to a 9mm semi-automatic. After a few minutes of this, she got bored - but still hadn't seen the lesson I was trying to teach.

I went to the car and got a watermelon I bought earlier. I then went and got my .357 Magnum. I fired one or two rounds just to get her familiar with the VERY LOUD sound of the .357 going off. I brought her up to the shooting bench (with Mom) so she could see clearly - called for a cold range (nobody shooting) and set out my watermelon. I told her to watch the melon as I shot it dead center. The melon exploded into about 6 pieces.

We left the range shortly after cleaning up my mess. In the car on the way home, I asked her what she thought about the guns. Her answer surprised me. Yes, she thought she would like to learn how to shoot...and yes, she was thoroughly shocked about how the melon blew up. Her Mom and I explained that the same thing (more or less) happens to people who get shot. She thought about that for a long time. She then said, "but some bad people who try to hurt me need to be shot". I couldn't disagree.

Ever since that day at the range, my guns have been studiously ignored by my step-daughter. The mystery was taken away from them so they were no longer play toys. She now had a clear understanding of the power these weapons imply, and how badly they could hurt someone who gets shot. This was something she could see, feel, smell, and believe because it was REAL, not Hollywood.

We have gone on through the years now actually letting her shoot the smaller caliber weapons - all under CLOSE ADULT SUPERVISION. She is a fine shot now, and she's not yet 15. Her range safety is absolutely terrific. Her favorite weapon is a Ruger target .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

The one other thing we pointed out - over and over again - was that if she was ever to be in the home of someone else who thinks its "cool" to play with dad's gun, how to deal with it. My best advise to her was to suddenly remember that she had some "important things to do at home" ...and leave immediately. Then tell me or Mom what happened so we could take care of it with the other kids parents. Showing off is something that all kids do. If you can impress your friends with dad's gun, so be it...except in my house. My step-daughter won't allow that.

I have a steel gun vault, alarmed 24/7. She does not know how to get into it. My guns are secure. I'm not so foolish as to put weapons out for accidents to happen. I know my step-daughter won't play with them...but her friends might. I keep mine locked up tight. In Florida, letting your weapons fall into the hands of children is a FELONY.

The use of firearms is admittedly the most controversial of all the issues we have to deal with in a survival situation. I'm not going to tell you to run out and buy any particular type of weapon that is "the best all-around gun you can use". I don't sell firearms. I have used a lot of them I will talk about, so I'll give you my views of several weapons you may wish to consider for your personal use.

Selecting firearms must be done with the same care and consideration you gave to selecting your spouse. It is a totally personal selection that only you can make. If you are not comfortable with the weapon you are using, pick another weapon.

If you are interested in purchasing a weapon for self-defense, then you must have already made up your mind that it is more important to protect yourselves and your loved ones, than it is to NOT kill someone. I whole-heartedly agree. Many states now have enacted laws that specifically state that your home is your castle and you can protect your lives and property with deadly force. However, many states have NOT enacted these laws. Use of a firearm for protection means that you are willing to shoot and kill another human being. If you are not mentally prepared for this potential outcome, don't buy a gun. It's as simple as that. My life, or yours? I choose mine.

Only a human hand can pull the trigger.

This idea finally got through to my own wife when I pointed out that "bad guys" who, for whatever reason, use guns or knives to rob, rape and steal, have already made up their minds that MY life is of no value compared to what they want to steal. The "bad guys" have already mentally decided to forfeit my life for what they want. I feel it's only fair to return the favor back to them.

If you come after me with a weapon, duck.