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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 09-29-2003
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Firearms

Ok, I`m going to stir up an age old discussion as to weather or not one should carry arms or not on their boat.
I`ve served 14 years in the military and so I expect to have a little different view on survival with Human animal attacks. Anyone who shows up at your boat with a gun will shoot and kill you. At least this is what you should asume. Most theives carry guns for intemedation. However,they will also kill you depending on cercomstances involved;ie Is the leader of the bunch is ruthless or maybe they realize that after taking your belongings they can`t leave anything or one behind. An old pirate saying "Dead Men Tell No Tales" is something to think about. My Father told me to never pull a gun on someone unless you intend to use it. So therefore, I can only asume the same when they come a calling. If any of you out there decide to carry arms aboard, then seek some proffesional training on guns and self defence tactics. At least you`ll have a better understanding on what to do if ever placed in that position. I would like to hear more on this so please write in.
Thanks, Chuck
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Old 09-29-2003
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Firearms

You''re right, this is an old chestnut.

I used to believe the way you seem to. But some recent events, such as Peter Blake''s unfortunate demise, and discussions with some folks in the Caribbean who''d had first-hand experience with pirates in South America, made me change my mind. Odds are, they will be packing more heat than you will be, by far, and will have less to lose if they pull the trigger. They usually don''t give you much warning either--it''s often at night, at anchor, while you''re asleep.

Not that piracy is common--it isn''t.

Some might say (and I used to be of this mind) that having the gun hidden on the boat somewhere is good insurance. Just having it doesn''t mean you''ll use it, right? But it''s there if the "right" bad situation develops.

But a killer (no pun intended) problem for the full-time cruiser is, what are you going to do with it when you come into port? Clearing customs is getting harder and harder all the time. I don''t know the custom laws for firearms around the world, but I do know you''d better not have one on board in the BVI or Mexico if the customs or guara folks decide to search your vessel. Especially a hidden one.

Stay alert, anchor near others, talk to locals about your proposed route, don''t draw attention to yourself in port...

Just my .02, of course.

bw
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Old 09-29-2003
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Firearms

I have a handgun and I have been around them all my life, but I don''t ever have any gun on my boat. The penalty for having a gun (handgun) found on your boat far outweighs any reason for having it. Not only are they illegal to have in Mexico and Canada, but some states prohibit you from having them even if you are passing through. I am thinking of New York but there could be others.
Most attacks or robberies I have heard of take place at night or in isolated places as has been posted. Most injuries happen when a robbery is interrupted or resistance is offered. I have to believe that my life is worth more than stopping some thief from making off with $200 in cash and my stereo. If you must have some sort of weapon, the most effective thing is a can of Mace and a good solid wood baton. In my area the most dangerous thing is the US Navy in their high speed inflateables with .50 cal machine guns mounted front and back in case my sailboat suddenly sprouts Weapons of Mass Distraction.

The thing that draws the burglars to you is the huge wad of cash some people flash when shopping and the shiney new outboard hung on your dinghy.
I also endorse weapons training if you own one (or more). My parents sent me to some safety classes before they let me take marksmanship classes or shoot on ranges.
Ken
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Old 09-29-2003
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Firearms

I concur with Bob & Ken. I''ve always had a handgun in my home for protection and have carried one in my motorhome for the same reason.

However, a handgun on a boat is too much of a liability. As pointed out earlier, if it comes to a "shootout" with whomever, chances are you will be outgunned. So you and your family will probably come out on the short end of such an encounter. also as pointed out, most banana republics are very strict on gun possesion. Even if you declare your weapons onboard, chances are that some official could hold you out for "mordida" by "discovering" the weapons you have declared.

A couple of years ago, a father and son, on a formidable yacht, enroute from
Florida to California, ended up in a Mexican jail after declaring two semi-automatic rifles carried on their boat. They were the victims of local officials over-extending their authority. But it took pressure from the U.S. government to get the elderly father released from jail. The son was incarcerated for several months before his trial finally came up and he was ultimately released.

It seems the liability of carrying a gun far outweighs the security it might provide. Alternate means of protection are probably a better choice. A large sheath knife, a cargo hook, mace, maybe a speargun. All would serve as a deterent in the close quarters of a cabin.

Jim
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Old 09-30-2003
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Firearms

I have thought long and hard about this subject, too, and decided against carrying a firearm aboard. All the points made by the previous posters seem valid to me.

While I explored this subject, I kept picturing that one situation where (moments before I was killed), I regretted not having a gun. But after thinking about how many ways having the gun aboard is a real problem, and the fact that having one does not at all guarantee your safety, I decided against it.

It does seem to me that the majority of negatives stem from the authorities imposing rules. And the ones who are (negatively) affected by the rules are the rule-abiding people of this world. The would-be criminals don''t follow the rules, and thus always have the advantage in cases like this. That''s been the story for quite a while, now, I''m afraid.

Regards,
Duane
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Old 09-30-2003
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Exactly what happened to Peter blake? What were the turn of events? I don`t know, thats why I`m asking. I keep hearing his name thrown around but no one can tell me what really happened.
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Old 09-30-2003
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He was attacked by pirates in the Amazon and shot in the back.
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Old 09-30-2003
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Firearms

Your correct in keeping a low profile and about handguns. However a short barreled shot gun works best with safty slugs. They do a number on the intruder but not as much on your boat. I`ve also seen guys in my unit squirt pepper spray in there mouths so I don`t hold alot faith in that. Although pepper spray made for Grizzly Bears is whats in order. Now! Here is the part that really Pisses me off. You say your not Willing to take a chance on getting kill for two hundred dollars and a stereo. Are you willing to asume that`s all they want? Sons and daughters are out there deffending your way of life and your not willing to defend yourself? What a waste! I can`t believe what I`m reading here. Here`s the worst part. I`ll hear your May-Day and come to your aid. Get some Back Bone Friend!
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Old 09-30-2003
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Do you Know how the events took place?
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Old 09-30-2003
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Firearms

Hey Jim. What makes your home any different than your sail boat? A shoot out is a shoot out. It dosen`t matter where it happens. Semi Auto matic weapons will draw more attention than a shot gun would. I would`nt bet on mace. Spear guns, no follow up shot.
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