Monday, March 25, 2013

More Thoughts On Guns, and an Alternative

A month and a half ago, I wrote a blog called Guns On Board and the NRA.   The topic of guns on board has been a hot issue ever since Al Gore invented the internet.   Second most controversial is what kind of anchor is the best.

I mentioned that I have no problem with the responsible ownership and use of guns, having been exposed to them at an early age from my mom's side of the family who had a farm and used guns to shoot woodchucks.  It seemed that dairy cows aren't too bright and never watch where they're going, and tended to step in woodchuck holes and break their legs.   At least, that's what my Uncle Frank told me, and since he was 14 when I was 9, he should know.

I removed my two guns from the boat when we began our cruise south, not wanting to run afoul of any local gun ordinances and not knowing where we would travel.  When you have pitbulls, you don't need guns, I figured.

The other day, Geoff the Scotsman on dock 15 stopped by as I was tinkering with my car.  He told me that he heard noises on his deck the night before, and when he popped his head out of the hatch found two people on his aft deck.   He hollered and they ran.   Geoff ran after them, but they outran him and got away.

I immediately chastised Geoff for chasing after them.  What if they were armed, I scolded?   There's a bad neighborhood not too far from the marina, and I've been told that gangs and drugs are common there.  So too would be guns and knives.

I saw another marina denizen on my way back from the shower the next day.  I told him about Geoff's encounter.  "It's a good thing they weren't on my boat, because it would have ended differently," he said.  "I have a .357 magnum on board and I would have shot them."

Seriously?  You would shoot two people for being on your boat?   What if they were kids goofing around?  Or a drunken dockmate boarding the wrong boat?  Sheesh.

I think we have two problems here.  One boater would shoot first and ask questions later, and the other displayed questionable judgement in chasing after what might have been armed drug crazed bad guys.  I guess Geoff didn't think much about that, since guns are rare in Scotland.   But he might be thinking about it now.

If you carry guns aboard, use them only in self defense and only when absolutely needed as a last resort.  Please don't shoot someone just for walking on your deck.

If you don't carry guns, don't put yourself in a bad situation.  Avoid bad guys whenever possible, and certainly don't chase them once they've started running away.

For all of you who want to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and your stuff but don't want to carry guns, consider keeping a can or two of wasp spray handy.  Wasp spray can shoot 20 feet and will temporarily blind a bad guy without killing him, giving you time to call police or to escort him over the side.  And to my knowledge, wasp spray is fully protected by the 2nd amendment and there are no laws anywhere prohibiting wasp spray and no registration requirements.  You should buy one extra can, though, and train everyone aboard in it's proper use, and target practice.


  1. I agree Dave.I am all for owning guns and have one to protect my family. But people do stupid things, for any number of reasons.I remember opening the door of a truck in a crowded parking lot,at night, that I thought was mine.It looked like mine,same make,color,etc,only mine was in the next lane.And the owner was walking up at the time.Boy did I feel like a horses patoot.I explained what happened and we both got a good laugh over it.No harm done.But what could have happened was not lost on me.Some people think they need to shoot first but that could bring tragic consequences for not only the person getting shot but also the shooter.If you want to own a gun you need to accept an awful lot of responsibility.

  2. Sorry to go off subject, but I just saw you picture featured on Golden Isle's Facebook account: ""You call it "Monday", we call it "Just another day at the beach"".
    Good for you! I liked it.

  3. Thanks Dave for prompting an idea for a blog post. We had one scenario at a marina in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala - a somewhat scarey place initially. An uninvited visitor climbed down our companionway after we were almost asleep. We don't carry guns but it scared us enough that we might have done something dumb. Especially since she was trying to board the boat on the dock ahead of us -- both same size dark hulled boats -- with a giant bag of ice for cocktails. Still scarey, but we quickly got to be friends, although we didn't offer her drinks that night! :)