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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #21  
Old 09-30-2003
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Firearms

Regarding bowling for columbine, please read this: http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html

Back on topic:

I am a big fan of shooting, both for food, sport, and self protection. I chose not to keep firearms on my boat. Whatever you do, to rptect yourself, do it responsibly.

-- James
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  #22  
Old 09-30-2003
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When I was younger my brother and I hunted and shot rifles and handguns competitively. Even then I dreamt of sailing around the world and when I bought my Mini-14 (Ruger) it was stainless.

There has also been a movie based on a real life incident starring Richard Crenna, I think, in which a cruising couple disappears and the woman''s skeleton is found by a skin diver sometime later in a crate at the bottom of a south pacific bay.

In the movie, supposedly recounted by the girlfriend of the man who killed the couple, the husband had a nice array of firearms hidden within a bulkhead of his boat. Ultimately, the handgun he pulled out for safety was no defense as a few days later he was killed in his sleep by someone who crept aboard his boat.

Recently, a book came out on piracy. It''s on my "to read" list. But according to reviews and the dust jacket, the author got the idea to write the book when he was boarded and robbed at sea while single-handing near Singapore, I think. As a result, he researched modern piracy and wrote his book, coming out against the use of firearms as a deterent to piracy on practical grounds.

And, though there are times when a semi-automatic rifle may do the trick against opportunistic thieves, I have heard that some modern pirates, such as those off Venezuela or in the Malaysian straights, have access to cannons which they mount on their bows. To defend against this would call for a long-range firefight with the longer range weapons winning out. (Perhaps LAWs or Recoilless rifles.)

Nonetheless, sneakier (such as automatic pepper spray nozzles mounted in the cockpit and on the beams) seems, overall, more prudent. But who would actually go through the trouble to do this?

On the other hand, a 44 carbine (again Ruger) is a great way to dispatch a hooked shark thrashing about at your transom.

Chas
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  #23  
Old 09-30-2003
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Firearms

Even in places where a firearm would be illegal, a flare gun is accepted. Now, if someone were to board my vessel with malicious intent, Iíd think that a face full of burning goo would change his mind. I understand that a flares shot can not be extinguished and needs to burn out on their own. So even if an assailant were to jump in the water, heíd still be burning. Accuracy? How accurate do I need to be in a small boat? If you want a little more kick, someone makes a shell that fits the Olin flare guns just for the purpose. Other then that, as a true pirate, I have other, very effictive means to repel boarders and one would do well to not test my resolve by putting my life or the lives of my crew in jeopardy.
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  #24  
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I fail to understand why I lack backbone for not wanting to stop some heavily armed people from taking my stereo when I have insurance that will replace it with a newer better one. Its not worth my life to stop them. It is my understanding that in most parts of the world, the friendly natives (the entire reason for travelling in the first place)come up to your boat often bumping it wanting to sell you fresh fish or just say hi, don''t look much different from the evil pirates so going Rambo on them will get you on the wrong side of the law pronto.

If I wanted to be a complete paranoid I wouldn''t be out sailing, I would be safe inside my bunker in Montana. They have excellent sailing there too.(Flathead Lake)

Ken
not Rambo
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  #25  
Old 10-01-2003
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Agreed; this is probably the most civilized discussion involving firearms yet.

I gave more thought to this on my commute this morning. I face real risks (with potentially lethal consequences) quite often: my daily 2 hour high-speed commute in NJ traffic; downhill skiing (without a helmet); riding my motorcycle (even with a helmet); flying small single-engined airplanes (admittedly not since I traded my wings for sails a few years ago); telling my wife that, yes, those pants do make you look fat (grin); etc.

In each of those cases, I could die or be seriously injured if something really bad happens, but yet I do them and I don''t worry. What I do is to minimize my risk in those situations through training, awareness, good practices, judgement (well, there''s no good judgement in the wife''s pants comment), etc.

I have the same philosophy about potential thievery and outright pirate attacks. I will try to employ the preventive tactics others have mentioned. I will also give some thought to last-ditch defensive measures that don''t involve an actual firearm (for those situations where such measures might be truly helpful).

As an aside, I see one area where I will suffer a disadvantage. We will not likely have an expensive boat for our cruising, but I do believe in keeping a boat as bristol as possible. I know that my boat will seem like a more lucrative target for thievery than the derelict-looking one in the same anchorage. ;-)

Regards,
Duane
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  #26  
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Great posts Duane and Ken. Exactly the point and hit the nail on the head. And absolutely yes, there will be many people coming to your boat when you are out there, who are friendly...being paranoid and going postal on everyone who comes near your boat will end your trip very quickly.

PirateofCapeAnn has it right. There are a lot of potential ''weapons'' on board. Your flare gun is one. A spear gun, machette, rigging knife, mace, epoxy (that IS nasty stuff), even a boat hook can be used to dispatch any of the odd bad guys.

True pirates who are heavily armed are like a Mack truck coming head on on the highway.

Respectfully

John

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I have a some what different take on the firearms issue.If an intruder were to break into my house in the middle of the night,I wouldn''t be hunting a baseball bat to deal with them.I keep guns in my house for protection of my family, and myself. I see my boat as my second home.I would think that if pirates really wanted to board your boat, it would take more than "A spear gun, machette, rigging knife, mace, epoxy (that IS nasty stuff),or even a boat hook" to stop them. IMO,what it really boils down to is how willing are you, to bet your life that some deviant is going to leave you alone on a yacht worth thousands of dollars after they rob you,while out in a great big ocean. I believe it was the talk show 20/20 that did a story on modern day piracy,and how ruthless these people are. One single-handed sailor had a couple of men approach his boat off of the Mexican coast asking for water. He had been cutting some bread down below prior to their approach. He went down below to get some jugs of water for them,and when he turned around they were on him attacking him with his knife. He struggled, but they slit his throat,and threw him overboard for dead. They then took his boat,with all his earthly belongings.Luckily, the man did survive the attack,and drifted ashore to a small island.There were other similar stories.Nope, the biggest issue I have with carrying a gun aboard isn''t whether I would use it or not if threatened,it''s all the legalities different countries have concerning carrying a gun on board.I''m no Rambo,nor do I take the responsibility of using a gun lightly.I''m just a guy that grew up on "the rough side" of the tracks,and I believe I have a pretty good understanding of the mentality of the types of people we''re talking about.When I do take off cruising full time, I''ll spend some time studying the laws of other countries were I intend to go.Then I''ll make a decision on what''s right for me.
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  #28  
Old 10-01-2003
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STEDE:
So, how would the single-hander''s having a gun aboard have changed this outcome
(altho'' there''s nothing in the tale that would indicate he didn''t have a fully auto'' assualt rifle, grenades, and LAWS aboard)?

"...One single-handed sailor had a couple of men approach his boat off of the Mexican coast asking for water. He had been cutting some bread down below prior to their approach. He went down below to get some jugs of water for them,and when he turned around they were on him attacking him with his knife. He struggled, but they slit his throat,and threw him overboard for dead. They then took his boat,with all his earthly belongings ..."

Respectfully,
Gord
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  #29  
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To all you unarmed wimps:

Iím armed to the teeth, and ready (nay, anxious) and able to use them.

I stand guard against the approach of dangerous intruders, at all times fully prepared to lethally defend my person and property.

Iím disdainful of those foolish foreign backwaters that donít understand the value (nay, necessity) of an armed population, and actually have the temerity to limit MY freedom to bear arms (when visiting their country).

I KNOW that itís people that kill people, not guns; and know further the total irrelevance that itís likely armed people doing the killing.

Iím an *******, and you probably ought not anchor near me, Ďcause Iím a very dangerous Ďhole.

Not as
Anonymous
As I should be
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  #30  
Old 10-01-2003
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Geez, Gord. I started typing a response to your last post, then it hit me that it was sarcasm (at least I hope it was).

Duane
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