“I’m not afraid of insects taking over the world, and you know why? It would take about a billion ants just to aim a gun at me, let alone fire it. And you know what I’m doing while they’re aiming it at me? I just sort of slip off to the side, and then suddenly run up and kick the gun out of their hands.”
– Jack Handey from â€œDeep Thoughtsâ€
Years ago, a good friend of mine was living in an apartment complex with his wife.Â It was one of those huge apartment complexes with maps prominently displaying arrows with the words â€œYou Are Hereâ€ to help lost visitors navigate through a maze of buildings that looked identical. It was easy to get lost in that place, and if you werenâ€™t sure what building number the person you knew lived in, you could easily get lost since each of the individual units had letters on the doors instead of numbers.Â So, for example, my friend lived in building 2250, apartment A. If I went to the building next to his â€“ say it was building 2255 â€“ there was an apartment A there as well. The layout of complex was such that one could easily confuse the buildings because the exteriors and the entrances to the apartments were pretty much the same.
Early one morning â€“ after the bars closed â€“ my friend awoke to the sound of some guy pounding on his door demanding to be let in â€˜cause he was going to â€œBeat the shit out you, Lisa.â€ My friendâ€™s name is Matt and his wife is Casey.Â Obviously, the drunken idiot had the wrong apartment. Matt called the cops to say there was a guy trying to break in.Â The police dispatcher said, â€œSir, are you properly armed?â€Â My friend said he didnâ€™t own a gun, and the dispatcher said in a disappointed manner, â€œOooh, umâ€¦well, weâ€™ll get there when we can.â€ The drunky guy went away after my friend told him (by yelling at him from behind the closed front door) that he had the wrong place.Â The cops showed up about five minutes after the incident to take a report and search the complex.
Another friend (this one is an ex-Marine) had a similar incident happen a few years after that.Â This time, however, it wasnâ€™t a drunk who came to the door looking for an ex-girlfriend, but some guy from a gang who was looking for someone who lived there before my friend rented the house.Â My friend â€“ who had guns in the house â€“ grabbed his shotgun, went to the door, and told the guy, â€œThereâ€™s ainâ€™t no one named Jose who lives here.Â I have a gun pressed against the door and will blow you away if you donâ€™t get the fuck outta here.â€Â The guy left, and my friend called the cops — who came about five minutes later, took a report, and searched the neighborhood.
Thankfully, both incidents ended with my friends unharmed, the intruders going away, and the police doing what they could.Â One friend had a gun, the other didnâ€™t. Iâ€™m not an advocate of having a gun in the house, but I often wonder what I would do if someone tried to break into my home while we (i.e., my family and I) were there.Â Would having a gun versus some other kind of weapon be a more effective way to repel said intruder?Â Â Would a gun â€“ specifically a handgun â€“ be, as Antonin Scalia said, â€œThe quintessential self-defense weapon?â€Â As the good justice reminds us in the recent Supreme Court case, District of Columbia et al. v Heller, a handgun can be stored in an easily retrievable location, canâ€™t easily be redirected or wrestled away, is easy to use if you donâ€™t have a lot of upper body strength, and, most importantly, can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials a phone to contact the police.Â Wow! That is a convenient weapon.Â And now itâ€™s my constitutional right to have one in my homeÂ — if I so choose.Â I could buy a Glock, a .44 Magnum (a la Dirty Harry), the Walther P22, the Taurus 24/7 Compact 9mm, the elegant Springfield line…oh, the possibilities are endless. But once I purchase the handgun of choice, how do I store it? Under my pillow? Well, that will make my pillow lumpy and the gun may discharge, killing my wife or shooting through the wall into my neighborâ€™s house. I guess I could buy a lock box or a trigger lock and put the weapon under my bed. However, the Supreme Court said that these safety features make it impossible (yes, impossible!) to use a handgun in a law-abiding manner of defending one’s home. So while I can purchase said items and use them in my house, the government canâ€™t compel me to do so. But why waste money on devices that make it impossible to fire a handgun in a law-abiding manner (i.e., self defense)?
Screw it!Â Lock boxes and trigger locks are out. Freedom of choice is in!
Now that I have a larger choice of weapons for home defense, how â€˜bout a weapon that has a dual use?Â Â One that doesnâ€™t really require much training, no messy bullets, and no worries about cleaning, or proper storage. What is this amazing product?Â Itâ€™s one that will help save you if you have a home intruder or a fire:Â a fire extinguisher. Oh, laugh all you want, but this dual use product packs a punch.Â The dry chemical in the ABC extinguisher sprays a directional stream up to 6 feet and contains a combination of monoammonium phosphate, ammonium sulfate and a few other oxygen inhibitors that, when breathed in, can cause some nasty damage. Once the intruder is stunned and/or temporarily disabled, you can use your fire extinguisher to â€œEl Kabongâ€ the intruder over the head, and then dial the phone to call the police. And, of course, if you have a fire in the house, your trusty fire extinguisher will, if used properly, extinguish a fire.Â How well will a Taurus 24/7 Compact 9mm do in putting out a house fire?Â Iâ€™m guessing itâ€™s no contest between some constitutionally protected handgun and trusty Old Red. Of course, I concede that saying, â€œIâ€™ve got a fire extinguisher and Iâ€™m not afraid to use itâ€ wonâ€™t do much to scare someone off â€“ initially, that is.Â Â But unleashing a fury of monoammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfate into their lungs and eyes will certainly make an intruder think twice about busting into your home once the word gets out that the ABC fire extinguisher is in most U.S. homes.
So go ahead and buy a handgun if you think itâ€™ll make you safe.Â Iâ€™ve got the Red Hammer under my bed, in the kitchen, the laundry room, and even a portable one for the car. Ah, the ABC fire extinguisherâ€¦double the safety, half the mess.