Seriously, what are you waiting for? If you live in freedom land, or any other place where you can own a gun, get one. Or two. Or forty. But at least get one.
Now that that bluntness is out of the way, I suppose I should justify why everyone ought to own a gun. I don't look at it as a "prepper" thinking the gubberment is going to violently take our guns (not now anyway), I simply believe that, in many ways, guns are great equalizers. While I'll never advocate violence, especially murderous violence, being prepared in case of a home invasion at the very least is a good enough reason to own a gun. Further, I feel much more confident protecting my family with a .45 ACP or 12 Gauge than I would a baseball bat.
Now before you go out and buy a big honking revolver in 45-70 Govt. or something else silly, please learn the basics of gun safety and usage from someone in person like a relative or friend. My father has always been a gun-nut and taught me most of what I know ever since I was around 8 years old and I'm better off for it. The absolute basics come down to this:
While we're mostly interested in self and family defense, a new shooter needs a lot of practice, and practicing on a .45 or other larger rounds can get expensive. Therefore, I recommend getting at least one plinking .22 handgun (revolvers are pretty cheap) before getting a more powerful caliber. A .22 rifle is a good idea too.
Once you're pretty decent with a plinker, then we can consider the better defensive rounds. I own three competent handguns, so I'll cover them first followed by other rounds I have tried.
The classic big boy round. It puts very large holes in just about everything; further, it travels so slowly in the air you can sometimes see it mid-flight like a bb from a bb gun. As a self defense round, its one of my favorites, but you definitely don't want to shoot this round from a smaller gun. I, for example, own a Tisas 1911-styled .45 ACP which is full-sized and quite hefty. This extra heftiness helps with what would otherwise be very unpleasant recoil. You certainly wouldn't concealed carry a full-sized 1911, but keeping it nearby in the home is doable. If you ever had to use it against a violent attacker, you can be confident that it will perform. It is also ubiquitous, so you'll have no trouble finding these rounds.
Another ubiquitous round, the 9mm carries plenty of power for self-defense. I own an older Beretta M1951 which is, frankly, not the most reliable pistol in the world and has quite a bit of recoil. I don't recommend this particular pistol, but the 9mm is certainly a decent round for full-sized guns. There are micro 9mm pistols meant for concealed carry, but they will give you early carpal tunnel. My buddy bought one and we found that out quickly.
Some gun-nut will probably heckle me for talking about the .32 ACP, but I love it. It definitely is not as common as it was 80 years ago or so, but I think it is an excellent round for a pocket pistol, because it has low recoil and respectable power. It won't stomp you to death, but you can be confident that it will deliver the goods. I own a Beretta Tomcat in .32 ACP which is quite a beauty, and fits well in a pocket weighing in at about 1 pound. Admittedly, I'm not great at shooting such a short barreled pistol and must practice more, but if I ever get my CWP, this will be the gun I carry. Also, it's the same round James Bond uses in his Walther PPK so that's cool.
I don't like the .380; like, at all. I know its a popular concealed carry round, but it just isn't that fun to shoot to me. However, I cannot deny that it is indeed effective so I would only tenuously recommend it. Just expect lots of recoil.
10mm is a mean round comparable to a .357 Magnum or .40 caliber. It has more energy behind it than a 9mm so expect more recoil, but expect a significant upgrade in power as well.
As you can see just from this short list of calibers, it is hard to go wrong for a choice of defensive pistols. The only things I would recommend against are any calibers smaller than .32 ACP (like .22 and .25) and revolvers in uncommon calibers (I wasn't joking about that revolver in 45-70 Govt. You could kill a steam locomotive with that.).
Most importantly however, when buying a gun, you have to pick something you'll actually enjoy shooting as my dad says. Some folks go out and buy the biggest, baddest guns they can and never practice with them, because they are painful to shoot like a Smith and Wesson 500. Don't do that for your defensive pistol; that is more of a novelty than a utility, and we want utility and comfort in a defensive pistol.
As far as price goes, you're going to spend a good bit for a quality handgun. A plinking .22 revolver will cost between $200 and $300, but a 9mm or .45 ACP will run closer to $400 on the low end. I got a good price on my Tomcat at only $419, but you'll need to get friendly with a gunshop owner for a price like that.
I probably actually prefer long arms to pistols. They're more reliably accurate, and have additional utility over handguns such as hunting despite not being the best defensive weapons with the exception of shotguns.
Shotguns are stupid fun, especially skeet shooting, but they make good self defense weapons as well. The most popular shell is the 12 Gauge; it is also one of the most powerful, and would be my recommendation if only for the availability of ammunition. The shells are also very easy to reload with the right equipment.
Other popular shells are 20 Gauge, .410 Gauge, and, if you want major shoulder surgery at the tender age of 20-somethin', the 10 Gauge. There are a bunch of others but they are not nearly as common as these 4 mentioned thus far.
Shotguns come in a variety of actions with the most common and recommendable being pump-action or semiautomatic which fires more like a pistol. These are probably the best options for a defensive weapon, especially a short barreled gun like my 1897 Winchester which has only a 20 inch barrel. There are also break-action shotguns like the so-called over-and-under double barrel, and the side-by-side double barrel, or even the single barrel shotgun which may not be the best options defensively, but they make great skeet shooting guns. Plus a double barrel allows you to channel your inner Doomguy; that's got to be worth something.
I once even saw a bolt-action shotgun at a flea market in North Carolina. I couldn't decide if that was clever or an abomination.
Shotguns are quite useful too: Self defense? Short barrel with buckshot. Hunting? Long barrel with bird shot for birds, or buckshot for bigger game. Ford F-150 hunting? Use a shotgun slug; it can penetrate an engine block.
There are a lot more details about shotguns that I'm not going to mention like the various chokes, but I hope I have at the very least interested you in buying a shotgun. That's another thing: unless you're looking for something super fancy, most shotguns are under $500; if you prefer used, you can get one around $200. However, don't get an antique 1897 Winchester manufactured in 1917 which fires its magazine tube 20 feet into the air with every shot...
Rifles are the ultimate utilitarian firearms. If the grid goes down, rifles will be the best weapons to have if only because they are great for hunting. Most rifles are bolt-action, semiautomatic, or if you prefer old school, lever action. Rifles are great for throwing huge chunks of lead a long way so stick to fairly large calibers such as .223 (the AR-15 cartridge), .308, 30-06 (pronounced thirty-ought-six), or a 7mm Remington Magnum.
While they are often high caliber, rifles are powerful mostly because of the powder charge behind the bullet. See the pic below. Technically, the 7mm bullet is smaller than the 9mm pistol bullet, but the massive charge behind the 7mm Magnum makes it a much deadlier round.
My dad owns a 30-06 and I own a 7mm Magnum; I can testify that they both stomp. That's okay for a rifle though, since the goal is to take down the target in one shot like in deer hunting. If you want to simulate what it feels like to get kicked by a mule, you could also consider a .50 caliber muzzle loader like my brother owns.
Don't misunderestimate the .22 rifle however. Not only is it cheap to practice on, it also makes a great small game gun. If I tried to kill a squirrel with the 7mm Magnum, I imagine I would see a puff of fur and nothing else.
While they are quite useful, rifles don't make good self defense weapons since most violent encounters are rather close. Therefore, I wouldn't say that owning a rifle is an absolute necessity like a pistol or even a shotgun is, but its versatility in hunting makes it a great firearm to own.
There is a "shotgun" which deserves special attention: the Taurus Judge. This is one of those wicked revolvers I mentioned, because it fires .410 shotgun shells and .45 Long Colt (not the same as .45 ACP). I guess if you can handle such a monster, give it a shot, though it won't fill the job of hunting.
Want a hand cannon with easily swapable barrels? Look no further than the Thompson Contender. It is a break action, single shot "handgun™(?)" that can fire whatever caliber barrel you have for it. My dad has one in 45-70 Govt.; its a heckin' handful. Strangely enough, the role it fits best is actually hunting deer: put a scope on it, and aim for the head. I know an older man that lives around here who does exactly that.
While this info-dump has hopefully been useful and has probably gotten me on a glowboy watchlist, we ought to reiterate the importance of choosing a gun you enjoy shooting. As silly as it may sound, the most utilitarian gun is worthless if you don't enjoy practicing with it. This is why I don't own a .380; I'd never practice with it like I do my .45 or .32. If you have family members or friends that own guns, have them introduce you to them to find what you like. I have a buddy who was timid about guns till he tried skeet shooting with me. He loved the pump action 12 Gauge he was using so much, he bought it from my dad. Therefore, get a gun you will love.
When you go to buy a gun from a gunshop, ask the guy behind the counter about it. Most of the time, these people are very knowlegable about their inventory and can give you an idea of what it is like to shoot. Old guys especially. When I was shopping for a hunting rifle, the old man behind the counter couldn't help but show me this weird rifle made by Husqvarna back in the 1950s. He then proceeded to tell me the history of why. Generally, they know their stuff.
Sometimes, you must take a leap of faith believing that the gun you're about to buy is going to be great. If you have no intention of concealed carry, pretty much any full-sized pistol is good. I had to take a leap of faith on my Beretta Tomcat, but it was one of those love at first sight kind of moments us men have. I just knew I would like it even before I got it in my hands; you may have the same experience.
This is mostly parenthetical, but I ought to mention at least two ammunition types: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP). FMJ is what you see a lot more of, because it is cheaper; it simply leaves a hole in its target, and oftentimes passes through a living creature. JHP however requires a little explanation.
JHP is an expanding round meaning when it hits a target it flattens out causing significantly more damage. Many countries and US states have banned or severely limited the use of JHP due to the wounds it can produce.
I absolutely love guns, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of cringe going around. Take, for example, the whole "tacticool" subculture in which every gun is black-ops black, has silly laser sights, flashlights, thermal scopes, foldable stocks, ash trays, Netflix subscriptions, Orange Boomer™ designs (not joking), and vibrators. I prefer the simple marriage of wood and steel, but to each his own I suppose. All I'm saying is don't let that silly junk scare you away from purchasing a quality firearm.
As I said near the beginning of this article, I don't condone violence. Hurting or killing someone is wrong no matter how we try to justify it. Despite that, not everyone agrees with me. Let us take the self-defense situation as an example.
If I and my family are being attacked and I counter by shooting my assailant dead, I will have murdered someone but saved myself and my family from him who intended to murder us. This would not make me hero, but a sinner. But look at those craptastic options: do nothing and get my whole family killed, or kill someone and save my family.
It is at this point where the gun control moron would say, "Why don't you call the police instead?" Firstly and most obviously, they probably won't get there in time to save us. Secondly and more philosophically, don't you think its a little weird to have someone else commit violence on your behalf? Further, how come this person or entity can be trusted with violence but not us average people? I am not saying don't call the police, but I am saying, especially if you are a man, that you must be your own first line of defense.
Seriously, just do it. Want a safe bet? Get a full-sized .45 ACP or 9mm. Want a safer bet? Get a quality 12 Gauge shotgun. Chances are good you'll love either of them.
Frankly, since my article on Transhumanism, I have been tired of black-pilled content. There is enough ugliness in this fallen world, and I don't need to add to it any further. I still think that article serves as a good warning, but we shouldn't dwell on such matters. If anyone stumbled across that article and came away aware of the dark ideology the uber-rich have, that's good enough for me. Now we can move on, rejecting that ideology wherever its ugly head pops up.
That's why I'm making things more fun now with Thinkpads and guns.
Oh, and don't forget to go buy your gun. If you've been inspired to purchase one, email me and tell me what you got.