Starting with a Bang

For a few years, I’ve felt called to be more self-sufficient. I’ve made some attempts along the way, trying to camp more, fish more, and hike. It’s never really clicked, but the desire has still been there. Obviously, I’ve let myself get out of shape over the years, so that’s just made it harder. Recently, something changed that. I bought a gun.

I grew up around guns. My dad is a hunter, and us kids had an air rifle. It was fun for shooting cans in the back yard, and a handy way to keep the neighbors’ farm dogs from nosing through our trash! The plan has always been to get a handgun at some point, but poverty during my single days, followed by a fearful wife, have delayed that plan. I finally convinced her that the time has come.

I took three months to save up the money and do my research. I decided on a Glock 21SF. It’s a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and it packs quite a punch. I finally bought it three weeks ago, and last week I took a safety/basics class. I’ve fired rifles and shotguns before, but never a handgun. If I’m going to have it in the house, I want to be as knowledgeable and safe as possible. The class was just $80, and laid a great foundation. I’ve been back to the range twice since then for target practice. I plan to go a couple times a month to improve and maintain my accuracy.

At first, I felt great. My gun safe was neatly tucked under my side of the bed, with the key stashed in a different part of the room, where the kids couldn’t get to it even if they knew where it was. I even practiced getting out of bed, getting the key, opening the safe, slapping the loaded magazine into the gun, and cocking it. I can do it in under 15 seconds, in the dark. With careful aim, I can hit the heart of a target at 15 yards. I’m sure if I needed to do it quickly, I could manage to disable an intruder from across a room. But then something happened. The initial euphoria wore off, and I still didn’t feel safe.

It occurred to me that I’ve never had the need to use a gun, and there’s a chance I never will. I don’t regret getting it, but I know that it’s only part of preparing for the worst. I want to feel safe, and as a husband and father that includes the safety of my family. That’s what sparked my interest in survival/disaster preparation. I want to be able to live without modern amenities if I need to, and I want my family to be secure.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy nut to be a survivalist. You don’t have to believe the entire system is going to collapse to make basic preparations. Look at Hurricane Katrina. The residents of New Orleans knew they lived in a high flood risk area. What if everyone had basic first aid training, and a week’s worth of food, drinking water, and supplies? Could lives have been saved? Could the lives of the survivors have been easier during that disaster?

Sometimes when you’re ready for something in life, it finds you. A friend recommended the book Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss. I read it, and it changed my way of thinking. I’ll do a thorough review of the book another day. Suffice to say, it was good and led me to pick up two more books – one about surviving in the wilderness, and one about preparing for natural disasters. I’m also signed up for First Aid and Adult/Child CPR class offered through the local Red Cross on July 10th. For just $60, I’ll be certified in these skills, but more importantly I’ll be able to apply them to saving lives and assisting those in need, should disaster strike.

I have to believe that the people who can help others survive during difficult times will be very valuable. I’d like to be one of those people.

One Response to “Starting with a Bang”

  1. KonstantinMiller Says:

    I think I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it’s really helpful.

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