It was a calm spring day. Nothing really out of the ordinary. We had just returned home from Lowes, my wife had bought some tomato and pepper plants and some miracle-grow and I picked up a new air filter for my mower. We had just eaten lunch and I was going to browse the days headlines on the laptop and my wife was catching up on some laundry. Suddenly, the silence broke. My wife’s voice cracked the air in a very excited tone.”There is a snake by the garbage can! I think it’s a water moccasin!”. I quickly jumped up and put it into gear. “Keep an eye on it!” I said. My first move was to retrieve my gun safe keys…since this was a snake, I preferred a scattergun to my Glock, and all my long guns are kept under lock and key. By the time I got my Remington 870 out, racked a birdshot round and got to the back porch, a span of about 2 to 3 minutes maybe, no sign of the snake. My wife swore it was “behind that bush” but after an exhaustive search, no snake, no joy.
After all the excitement died down, it hit me that although the snake escaped due to the “spotter” not keeping a good eye on it (I must tread carefully here, this is my wife we are talking about) It took waaaay too long for me to access that long gun..3 minutes is a lifetime when you are trying to kill a snake or in a life/death situation. Now granted, a snake in the yard is not exactly “life or death”, but let’s substitute something like some meth-head banging on the side of your house with a claw hammer at 3am in the morning (yes, that actually happened to a friend of mine in Austin). Getting that scattergun out and into action quickly is imperative then, if not downright mandatory!
You see, as a parent with kids still in the house, I have a responsibility to protect them: both from the bad guys and themselves; leaving a gun in a corner, next to the bed or behind a door is NOT an option for a responsible parent; prudence and common sense, as well as the law, DEMAND you keep your weapons locked up and secure. Now for me personally, if I am not carrying a pistol on my person while at the house, I always keep a handgun in a bio-metric safe close by. In this instance with the snake, yeah, I could have grabbed my G21 and been outside in under 30 seconds, but experience has taught me that a scattergun is better for a snake. And speaking of venturing outside, and I know this is a highly “locale dependent issue”, but I live in a very rural area in the great state of TX, so when I do go outside at night, investigating a “bump in the night”, I carry either a Shotty or an AK-47……a pistol of any caliber, to me at least, seems a tad lightweight for what I might encounter in the rural TX outback at night!
So what is the solution for the responsible parent? Obviously the answer is NOT going to lie in stashing weapons secretly behind book cases or under couches (out of sight does not equal out of mind when it comes to guns) but is going to involve tweaking how you access your long gun weapons in the safe. Having keys in a location located away from the safe is a no-brainer, so to increase response time, you either:
- Keep the safe keys on your person at all times, 24/7 (not really practical)
- Buy a new safe with a key pad or bio-metric fingerprint pad, like this ONE.
Let us consider briefly the perks of a biometric gun safe: For one, most all of them have a backup entry system, typically keys in the event something electronic malfunctions. With a standard key safe, if something goes wrong and you cannot open it for some reason, you are SOL. Also, considering the fact that “turds tend to float to the surface at night” (a colorful analogy from a Police friend of mine which translated means simply that most criminals wait until night time to engage in criminal behavior) so you want an entry system on a safe that requires as little fine motor skill and visual input to open as possible. Fumbling with keys in the dark does not improve your odds of success, no matter how you look at it.
So anyway, this is my official first brain fart blog post….hope you enjoyed it! I am certain there will be more in the near future.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed, Stay Gassy and Stay Dangerous!