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Post Info TOPIC: Should we think about carrying a gun


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Should we think about carrying a gun
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This makes me a little nervous -- but then so did driving a 40' Class A until I did it a coulple of times.

We are considering taking classes, going to the range and getting up to speed again on owning and using a gun.

How many of you have one and why?  Is it something you would recommend?

Thanks

Randy and Pam

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What a tough question. I'll be interested to see what comments you receive. We do own a gun, it currently resides in our stick house, and we too are trying to decide if we should sell it or take it on the road with us. If I had to decide today, I'd probably sell it. There are so many risk involved in owning and carrying a gun.

-- Edited by Perfectlygoode at 08:19, 2008-06-28

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As a solo I do carry my handgun (with permit) and also a small shotgun (which my son bought me after my husband passed). I hope I never had to even THINK about using them. Here is an article on my web site that I think might help you.

Safety & Security: Guns and RVs



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We brought a handgun with us, but have since sent it back to Milwaukee for storage. We had to hide it in the states when we went to Mexico and also couldn't bring it into Canada for our trip to Alaska.

Overall, we've come to the conclusion after 2 1/2 years, 40 states, 3 countries, and over 160 campgrounds, that the RV lifestyle and the people we're around is the safest enviroment we've ever experienced in our lives and there's no rational need for that level of protection anymore.

Most of the time we don't even lock the door and truck anymore. It really is a different life.

Fred

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As we go back and forth, we are beginning to think it would be more hassle than help.  Not sure what the regs are on military bases, but we may have to check them in at the gate and pick it up when we leave.

Then we are wondering what the state regs are on these things?

Randy

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I believe the regs are different in every state. They even published a book on the subject.
Fred

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rwarner22 wrote:

As we go back and forth, we are beginning to think it would be more hassle than help.  Not sure what the regs are on military bases, but we may have to check them in at the gate and pick it up when we leave.

Then we are wondering what the state regs are on these things?

Randy



When I was a guest in a FAMCAMP, they handed us a paper that told us where to check our guns while on base. I would guess that would be a federal thing.

As to the state rules, the site I used to use has shut down but http://www.handgunlaw.us/ seems to be a good replacement.

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I don't think my 9mm would make a very good tow vehicle but I will probably carry it at first and see how comfortable I feel before deciding if It is necessary.biggrin

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We have never carried a gun in over 30 years of RVing.  However, now that we are planning to go full-time it is time to give it some more thought.

The only part of RVing where I think it might be nice to have a gun is when boondocking in remote BLM areas, especially when you're the only RV there.  My concern is some thieves, or worse, coming into these areas late at night looking for some easy prey.  In a remote situation like that it would be comforting to have some protection.  However, I'm not sure how much boondocking we will be doing in very remote areas.

Oh well, at this point we're only thinking about it and don't plan to carry one yet.

By the way, that was a very interesting and informative article that Froggi linked to on her reply to this thread.  Reading it does give one pause about the safety of guns in inexperienced hands.  The actual use of a deadly weapon is serious business and can change your life forever.

-- Edited by wmalefyt at 13:10, 2008-06-29

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This is something we have talked about. Leonard has 3 handguns, several rifles and several shotguns. No way would we be taking all this along. They will be left with our oldest daughter. Probably will take one handgun. Should we travel out of the country, we will make arrangements to store it at that time.

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Good article, Froggi, thanks.

Several months ago,three drug addicts came through the park we were staying in and beat up an rv owner when he heard something outside. One was waiting outside his front door to attack anyone who might hear them ransacking the owner's truck. The owners son, a pretty good sized adult, heard noise and opened the door to see what was happening. He was immediately attacked. The father who was in the bedroom heard him and came to his aid and was also attacked. The good news is he was able to restrain one of them and hold him until the police got there. This all happened at around 9:00PM. We realize this is an isolated incident but it certainly hit close to home as the RV was directly across from us.
We had already decided to carry a handgun with us and at that time didn't have one. Now we do and although it's not loaded, we still feel a little more comfortable knowing we do have something in case we need it.
By the way, the three druggies had broken into ten vehicles within about an hour prior to this incident and were well known to the local police. They all posted bail within 12 hours of the arrest.

We will probably carry it for awhile, until we feel comfortable again anyway.


Judy

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I am Retired Army and never owned a Hand Gun until I retired.   Reason being I moved to Clarksville Tn after 26 yrs in the Army.   The 1st year in Clarksville there were several people killed.   So I went and got a Hand Gun carry permit.   No its not recognized in all States.    However my Hand Gun is small,  and very easy to hide.   I have to renew it each time I renew my Drivers Lic,  and cost $50.00 for the Hand Gun permit.   I have taken our Colt into most every State, but I want take it out of the Country.   Its only used for our protection,  and I will protect my family.  

If you decide to carry a weapon,  make sure you get the training and the proper permit.   You must remember Guns don't kill people,  people kill people.   You also must ask yourself,  can you take another persons life?   Always remember if and when you draw a deadly weapon you must be preparied to take a life!

In my opinion it better to be Judged by 12 people than to be carried by 6 !!!!!    GBY..... 



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Delaine and Lindy wrote:

  I have taken our Colt into most every State, but I want take it out of the Country.   Its only used for our protection,  and I will protect my family.  

 



While I understand your concerns, you should rethink your plans to take your weapon out of the country.  Other countries have very harsh laws about guns and don't follow the same due process of law that we do.  I'd hate to see you sitting in a jail cell instead of enjoying your RV. blankstare

I have extensive experience in traveling armed overseas in offical U.S. Govt. capacity.  Many hoops have to be jumped through, permission to carry has to be obtained to bring weapons in through the U.S. Embassy, etc.  Despite all this, there are still countries that absolutley will not allow weapons, offical or otherwise.

Please don't chance it. It is not worth the risk.  We like having you around the forums! biggrin

Best Regards!



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A hand gun is like an insurance plan. You hope that you never need it but if something should happen it is great to have one. This is an individual choice that only you can make. I made my choice many years ago when I did not have a gun and needed one...I hope that non of you out there are ever faced with that situation...but if you were would you be armed or not?


Joe

-- Edited by Speedhitch at 12:51, 2008-07-07

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While carrying a weapon (gun) is a personal choice and a given right, the weapon will only provide defense if you can actually pull the trigger BEFORE the intruder can.

Something to think about, seriously and introspectively, is will you really be able to instinctively shoot to kill (or maim) another human being without the slightest hesitation? Odds are severely against the average person having the ability to do this. Otherwise, YOUR weapon just becomes YOUR enemy.

Again, it's your right and your choice. Just consider if you really can execute - pun intended -your choice. Target practice and gun courses are not the same as human practice.



-- Edited by RVDude at 00:26, 2008-07-08

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My advice is to get a dog.  Even the bark of a small dog will act as a deterent to any would-be intruder.  

We do have guns, but hubby has had quite a bit of training with them and is comfortable using them.  

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Never owned a gun, don't carry a gun, and I tend to agree with Fred's statements below.

If you have made the choice not to have a gun in your house, I see no reason to have one as a full-timer.  Just my opinion.  smile

Luvglass wrote:

Overall, we've come to the conclusion after 2 1/2 years, 40 states, 3 countries, and over 160 campgrounds, that the RV lifestyle and the people we're around is the safest enviroment we've ever experienced in our lives and there's no rational need for that level of protection anymore.

Most of the time we don't even lock the door and truck anymore. It really is a different life.

Fred







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Here is a recent news story with two of our popular topics, guns & mice in an RV ...

the mice win this round

You just know there had to be some alcohol involved in this incident.

Jim

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I don’t recommend carrying a handgun to any RV’er. There are just too many laws on the books and within each state every major municipality has even more laws and regulations concerning handguns. Also, most handgun calibers have enough energy to send a bullet through the wall of an RV and into an adjacent RV.

I do carry a weapon with me though, it’s a short barrel pump action shotgun loaded with 00 shot.



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I am not RVing fulltime yet but plan on doing so soon, and I will have several firearms with me when I do. I have a conceled carry permit, but I never carry a conceled weapon and probably won't in my RV. But I do like to target shoot as does my wife so we will need the equipment to pursue our hobby at the appropriate places, just as a golfer does. That this equipment can be used for self defense is a bonus. But then a golf club can also be used for defense.

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A salesman at an RV show told us  just the sound of a shotgun being pumped (or whatever the phrase and terminology) was enough to scare  the intruders outside away. ...but we do not like guns for ourselves, but have no problem with those who do....it is America, and we believe in the right to  have guns if you so desire. Like many here have stated we feel if you use common sense and are aware of your surroundings ...then you are not in any more danger in your RV than in your bricks and sticks home.  I will be more concerned about having a weather radio than a gun. That is one thing that  we think is necessary. Happy and safe travels  to all.
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That is an EXTREMELY personal choice, that only you can decide. As stated above, you have to be prepared to pull the trigger and extinguish a human life if you carry one.  In addition, plan on spending WEEKS working with your weapon of choice, be it shotgun or handgun. You HAVE to be ready to work on instinct if a situation arrises that you need to shoot, you cannot be fumbling with bullets and or clips because your assailant certainly will not be. 

Personally, I plan to carry my smith and wesson wheelie gun...it's simple and effective. I have considered getting some time in with a sawed-off shotgun and put some bird shot in it just because of the close quarters that RV parks present. A .38 would go right thru both walls of an RV...bird shot will slow down considerably after the first wall and still be effective enough to stop someone. 

If you're not comfortable with guns there are several other options available, bear spray, tazer guns are available to the public, and don't forget the old fashioned sling shot....David did a number to Goliath with one...

No matter what you get spend time using it and get FAMILIAR with it. 

God Bless and Safe Travels,
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A gun is a tool, just like a jack or a cordless drill. It might sit for months but its there for when you need it in an emergency. That being said, if you are not comfortable around guns/handling them or have second thoughts about shooting someone to save your family then you shouldn't get one. Use less lethal defensive weapons that you may be comfortable with like stun guns, pepper spray, alarms, sticks, etc. If you do choose to carry one either carry it on your person if you have the proper concealed permit (where applicable) or keep it locked up in a secure safe so it can't be stolen if the rig is broken  into or handled by curious hands (youngsters and visitors).
 Its a sad fact that crime rises as the economy falls, especially in severe times like we are in now. RV'rs may be seen as easy prey because criminals don't expect them to be packing or see many as "old and defenseless" (no insult intended regarding age). Today's criminals are mobile and Rv'rs are usually in isolated areas that make them easy prey, not to mention the travel in between that offers multiple opportunities for a criminal.
I'm not trying to be negative, but just trying to increase awareness to make everyone think and realize that you alone are responsible for the safety of you and your loved ones, not the police or bystanders. How each chooses to address this is their own choice.

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In addition to a dog, I also recommend getting a few NRA (National Rifle Association) stickers for the RV and possibly an alarm.  You should only have a gun if you are comfortable with it and willing to use it if needed...otherwise it may get used against you. 

-Colleen

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I carried a hand gun with me traveling through the south , the mid west and some of the rocky mt. states with no problem. I am planning to travel in the no. east and Canada this summer and decided on leaving it with a friend because of some of those states and canada will not allow them at all . I have not had any need for it since I've been on the road but have liked the insurance factor. I feel that a person should have the right to protect his family in his own home whether it has wheels or not. My wife and I do have permits to carry but some states don't recognize them.

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When we finally get the rig we want and make the move to FT one of the things I will install is a heavy, secure safe for guns and valuables that is accessed by a hidden panel/mechanism of some type. I will also have the small quick access safes near the bed and other common areas to hold a gun or valuables if needed.  I don't worry about travel through gun unfriendly states because as long as they are locked away there should be no problems.

I have been thinking of what to do if crossing the border into Canada (or Mexico). Most gun dealers provide secure firearms storage for a modest fee. I would look into storing the guns at one of these places before traveling across and then just pick them up on the way back through. Thy could even be shipped to you if you come back across at a different location and don't want to make the trip to get them. They can be shipped from one dealer to another, where you could then pick them up. Just a few ideas. 


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As mentioned several times, it’s a personal choice so I’m not going to add to the yeah or nah opinions. For those on the yeah side, what is important is that one get the training and certification necessary to be comfortable and proficient with handguns. That will also keep you legal because so many states differ in their definition of “concealed.” In my state (TX) the requirement for a CCW permit requires a day long course, background check, and passing a shooting test. If you can’t hit what you aim at, you won’t get the permit. It is recognized by almost 40 other states. The training will educate to the fact that shooting someone is not the goal. The mere site of a pistol - still in it’s holster - is a major deterrent to someone intent on doing you harm. And it doesn’t have to be cannon size to be a deterrent.


I agree with the comment about campgrounds being a safe environment which is why I’d also respectfully suggest that if a handgun is going to be locked up or not carried in another vehicle other than the RV, then it’s not going to serve the self protection purpose intended and there is probably no real need for having one. That is not to say that proper safety precautions should be ignored or some common sense applied to where you take it.

With respect to the comments on military bases, each are in their own world when it comes to personal firearms. And that world is not necessarily this planet.



-- Edited by TXRVr at 10:19, 2009-02-18

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Each branch of the military has their own regulations concerning firearms on base. Bases I have stayed at only required registering with the armory. Only once did I have to actually take a weapon to the armory for inspection, and that was because it did not have any serial number (it was very old).


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There has been an ongoing discussion about should I carry a gun for protection...You might try this before you spend money on a gun to protect your property...
Speedy



1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns
and Ammo Magazine.

3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:

Hey Bubba, Me, Big Jim, Duke and Slim went for more ammunition.
Back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls - they attacked
the camp host this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't
think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all
the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the RV.
Better wait outside.

"Cooter"

This could be the answer you are all looking for...would you break in???

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Speedhitch wrote:


This could be the answer you are all looking for...would you break in???



As funny as that is, there's some real security tips in it. Putting up a Beware of Dog sign and dropping a large dog bowl on the porch is effective. Also, putting up video surveillance signs and a fake camera works. Can't tell you how many times the delivery people have asked if the dog is around (I don't have one) and/or waved at the fake camera.




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But also keep in mind that the ner'do'well might be a druggie needing their next fix, an alchie suffering the DTs, or a gang looking for their definition of "fun."  The dog bowl or fake camera won't deter them if they're incapable of coherent thought.  While we of the RV genre are basically good people, those problem types might be from outside looking for a easy target.  I'm thinking Tazer.

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The best self-defense weapon is a shotgun. I don't think any states would require a special license to have one, although you can run into permit problems if you carry a concealed handgun on your person when you cross state lines that don't recognize your permit. If you're wanting to conceal carry a handgun, look to Utah and Florida for a non-resident permit as I believe together they cover the most states. There are several web-sites for concealed carry that will link you to the appropriate state law.

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I agree that this is a personal decision and you must do what makes you feel comfortable.  I would add this however,  my wife and I have been RVing for almost 40 years and have been fulltimers for over 4 years.  We have yet to park in a place that we felt we were at risk.  If we feel that way we will move on.  Using some common sense about where you park can make all the difference.  If you don't feel comfortable there don't stay!

Of course one never knows what will happen but having a gun and being willing to use it are 2 different things.  If you take your gun out when you feel threatened you must be willing to shoot first and willing to kill because if you don't it may well be used on you.  I personally don't have any possessions that are worth that.  Purchasing a tazer or some some pepper spray would be a nice alternative.

I do have a cell phone and help is 911 away.


-- Edited by ahoweth on Tuesday 12th of May 2009 07:30:21 AM

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My wife and I are what I call "Part-time Fulltimers". We travel about 9 months of the year and also have a farm in Alberta, Canada. Although we own a number of rifles and shotguns we keep them in locked storage on the farm. They are sporting guns and were never purchased with protection in mind. The Canadian mindset on firearms is certainly different than that of our friends south of the border.

I have travelled extensively throughout my career and have parked in both remote and urban locations. I am a strong believer in picking your spots to make sure you don't need to protect yourself. On occasion I have just moved on because I thought the location was not in a good area. Like a lot of the former commenters I believe that a gun is of no use unless you are prepared to use it, and from what I have seen you had better have a group of nuns or uniformed police officers as witnesses to prove that you really did have to use it. I think more people are killed and injured with their own firearms than with the guns of possible evildoers.

And just a word of caution for those of our American neighbours who are heading north to Alaska or coming to visit our beautiful country. Canadian laws are pretty strict on the use of firearms and possesion of a handgun almost automatically puts you on the criminal side of the law. Leave them at home, they will cause you more grief than you can believe if they are discovered.

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We part time, gone four or five months a year. As my signature indicates I am a skeet shooter. When we travel I bring several shotguns and shoot trap, skeet and sporting clays when I have the chance.

Although I own several hand guns my choice for protection would be a shotgun. Number four buckshot is what the police use in thier riot guns. If its godd enough for them it is good enough for me.

As many have stated be sure you know how to use it. Many trap and skeet clubs offer training in basic shotguning. Safety and proper handling is nessesary if you going to carry a gun along on your trip.

BTW I hope and pray no one on the forum ever need it.
SkeetShooter

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As a hero of mine says, " I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

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325turbo wrote:

As a hero of mine says, " I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6 ".




 



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Excellent Speedhitch.

                                          Lc

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I am a total RV Newbie, just starting my research for what I hope is a five year plan to go FT. As a woman alone, I have travelled all over the country and a few places abroad and never had a problem that a loud shriek couldn't handle (a predator in an airport who picked up on my crisis when I realized my car keys were sitting on a hotel desk 2000 miles away).

I am also a criminal defense attorney who has represented many a thief. Know what they look for and like to steal when they break into your house/RV/vehicle? Your guns . . .

I agree with several folks on this thread:

1. For general safety, get a D-O-G before you get a G-U-N. Remember, I hang out with cops and robbers and we talk about stuff. When an opportunist is looking for a target, they will chose the target of least noise and resistance. A barking dog will usually get them to move on down the road to the next target. Thieves do not like dogs. . . .

2. A handgun will easily pack enough punch to kill someone in the next RV. Your errant shot could ruin several lives. A shotgun is a much better choice. Less skill and 'cool' needed to operate and less chance of innocent victims. However, it will still spoil an intruder's day.

3. Exterior lights and motion sensors also make you a less pleasant target. It comes back to the word of the day - opportunity. Do things that make messing with you a less tempting choice. Leave lights on when you leave. Yes, the bad guy could be watching, if so, then he is probably going to get what he wants. Chances are, however, that the thief is just cruising around looking for an easy score.

4. If your handgun is stolen or taken from you, it will be used in a future crime. Since you are most likely honest, that weapon is likely registered and you will be tracked down. Can you handle the guilt of knowing your stolen gun killed someone?

5. Don't flash your stuff and be aware of your surroundings. Most thieves are opportunists. Let the next guy appear to be a better opportunity.

6. Yes, grotesque crimes and home invasions happen. In my town, our last murder was a botched burglary. However, when the case was fully revealed, the killer had been in his victim's home before and pegged her as an easy target. However, she was home that night and the psycho killed her. As horrid as the crime was, the morale of the story was the same. She was a crime of opportunity. She let a monster into her home and paid with her life. A gun would not have made a difference. Better judgment and awareness of her surroundings might have made a difference.

No one in this thread has asked a question that I haven't. I will travel with a dog and probably a small shotgun. I'll have exterior lights and possibly a vid system to assess after dark door knockers. However, even though I qualify for a concealed-carry permit, I will probably not have a handgun.

The Noob

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Excellent Advice!!!! Thanks for sharing.

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For an added sense of security, think of these options.

One time, late at night, we had a panhandler knock on our door. Of course we NEVER open the deadbolted door. But we flick on the huge spot lights outside on each side of our rig, and the back up camera can see well behind the rig too with the lights on. Flick on the front headlights, the rear backup lights, and the camera all in a matter of a few toggle switches in a row on the dash. Safari has an extra set of switches for the flood lights right over the door within reach. Our rig is lit up on all four sides in a pool of light. Keep the lights off inside, and nobody can even see in where you are in the rig.

If we chose to, we can crack open a side window a bit to hollar out or hear what someone needs if a true emergency.

We have a large can of bear spray in a cabinet near our door. A squirt in the face from the darkened interior of a motorhome would be quite a surprise. Not just for bears, a squirt in the face of someone intending to do you harm will cause more pain than little ole mace.

Please be aware, we are told the bear spray is considered illegal in Canada and will be confiscated at the border.

And one more deterrent... our rig is equipped with a set of very loud double airhorns. A flick of the key and we could be waking up the entire campground with repeated 3 toots, signaling help. A handheld airhorn could have the same effect, for about $10.

-- Edited by KarenInTheWoods on Monday 28th of September 2009 10:15:23 AM

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Like others have said, there are many alternatives to carrying a gun. I grew up with guns as my father was an avid hunter/fisherman, but he owned guns for hunting not for protection. I still feel the same about guns. We have law enforcement and military with guns for our protection!

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We opted out of carrying a gun even though we have had them for our entire lives.  The problem of laws in different states, international borders, and where to keep it so it would be safe but available just seemed to be larger than the risk.  Instead we choose to pick our remote camping areas carefully and we check in with the local ranger or let some one know we are in the area if we aren't with other campers.  When isolated we must have cell service.  When in doubt about the safety of an area we move.  People are different and vary greatly in campgrounds depending on the time of the year but we have yet to move because we stayed and then felt unsafe.  We dry camp in state and national forest campgrounds often but so far so good.

Larry and Jacki

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Speedhitch === you are hilarious!

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Speedhitch I really like the way you think.
That would work and funny too.

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There is nothing wrong with have a gun in the house as long as you have had the safety classes.
I have several hand guns and rifles. I make sure everyone including my grand kids know they are all ways loaded even if they are not they are to be treated as they are also they under stand that a gun is only good for one thing that is to kill if you point and pull the trigger something is going to die. All including my 4 year old grand son has held, heard and seen what a gun can do. So please if you have little ones around let them see and touch it with you supervising so they will understand don't touch with out me around.

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I'm not necessarily thinking I need a gun at a RV Park but what happens if you break down along the highway? That would be my main concern, however....

coming from a smaller town, living in the upper end of the $$$ area we had a serial killer that lived a block behind my FIL and another time a serial rapist. Crime happens anywhere! Not just the seedy parts of town or places where you get that gut feeling. They can also blend in with society where you least expect it, where most let their guard down.

-- Edited by ourZbiz on Wednesday 7th of October 2009 05:22:28 PM

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It boiles down to a personal choice like many things in the RV lifestyle, everyone is different. Some people prefer the added insurance while others think it is unnecesary. I would say if you don't feel comfortable in having a gun or confident in your ability to use it, you would be better off without one. It is an American right to own a gun but many would rather not have one and that is ok, that is their choice. Hopefully no RVer will ever be in a position where their personal protection is at risk but there is always that possiblity.

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Allen/Jeanne; Very well said.

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I have watched this debate in various areas now for a long time. I am a Canadian, and we are not allowed to carry guns up here. But as with any county that does not allow its citizens to carry guns, our gun death rate is about 1/10 of the USA on a per capita rate. It seems that people without guns get robbed, people with guns get killed. Some one who is going to steal from you will probably have a gun, and that applies even in Canada, It is just that when you pull out a gun to protect yourself, that you are going to die. Someone who wants to commit a crime using a gun will probably know how to use it a lot better than you can.
You may argue this, but the numbers speak for themselves. I am also a sailor with aspirations of sailing around the world. I read all I can about attacks on cruisers. In almost all cases the people that get killed are the ones that are trying to protect themselves with a gun. The ones without usually get left tied up or maybe knocked around a bit.
If you are going to carry a gun, you had better take a few weeks of very intensive training where you can fire the thing and hit your target, while doing a barrel roll. But you have to remember that once the gun comes out all bets are off, so you may be doing that barrel roll at the same time your travel partner is getting shot. Just because you fire at your attackers, does not mean that you will be the target in return. The target will be the easiest target, and that will be the one that is not moving, which will probably be your partner.
It's funny but most US travelers who come to Canada will tell you that they feel very safe here, even though they have had to leave their gun in a safety deposit box at the border. The same seems to apply in Mexico. But our crime rate really is not much lower than that in the USA.
Will Imanse www.fulltimeinanrv.com

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