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Thursday, January 31 2013


I want to take a moment to weigh in on the recent debate regarding "assault weapons." Since I am a cop in a major metropolitan city, since I am a steadfast environmentalist, since I have stood over more than my fair share of dead men, since I am a rancher, and most importantly, since I am a woman, I feel well qualified to comment on this issue.

I am not a gun guru. I am not a gun collector. I do not have guns to compensate for anything other than the fact that I am an average sized woman who enjoys waking up in the morning. Let me be perfectly clear on this one issue. Cops do not have guns to protect the public. Cops have guns to protect themselves. Cops must protect themselves because while everyone else is running from danger, the cops are running towards it.  As a citizen, you must protect yourself until a cop can get there.

That said, I do not carry my AR-15 at work. I carry my AR-15 in the one place where I am almost completely safe from predators of the two-legged variety. I carry the AR-15 when I'm on our ranch in North Texas.



I give you Exhibit A:

The first time I encountered these guys when walking alone with four dogs I nearly peed my pants. My police training kicked in and I found myself shouting and pointing a puny .380 handgun at them. Fortunately they ran. Had they not, it would have been very bad. THAT'S when I realized that I needed something bigger. Unfortunately a gun with more knockdown power is also much heavier and I'm on foot. I needed something light. I also needed something with more bullets (i.e. high capacity)

Hogs are tough. If a hog is running at you, do not expect that first bullet to bring it down. When you run out of bullets, a gun is nothing more than a club, and I assure you, you will not be clubbing an enraged sow hog to death with an empty rifle. So I got the AR-15 because it is light enough for a woman to handle, there is little or no recoil, and it carries enough bullets to make me feel safe.

Getting between a sow and her piglets is no laughing matter, but let's look at the other end of the spectrum.

Warning! I don't like pictures like this either. Posing with dead animals appears to be a male thing, but I use this picture to illustrate my point . . . . . .

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This is not some internet "Hog-zilla" photograph. This picture was taken Christmas night, on my husband's cell phone of a boar hog that roamed our property. The neighbor shot him and came over for our help because he was too big to handle alone. Other Half took the picture to show me because I stayed in the cabin (by the fire) with the dogs.

THAT is what is running around on our ranch. We have game cameras set up all over our ranch. I easily estimate at least 30 hogs with piglets and several large boars roaming at all hours of the day and night. THAT is why I carry an AR-15 when I walk.

I am not at all worried about the coyotes, bobcats, (and reported cougar sightings) when I walk, but I would be a fool not to take precautions with something like these hogs. Because of that I carry the lightest rifle with the most firepower and least amount of recoil that I can handle. And while many would like to paint us as nutjobs who carry guns like this because we are unenlightened rednecks, such a broad sweeping notion just doesn't hold water.  

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:07 am   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
Yours is the first valid GOOD reason for a citizen to carry an assault rifle. I'd want one too. I'm glad those nasty things aren't in the wild in Wyoming. They are truly scary.
Posted by MeridethinWyoming on 01/31/2013 - 02:24 PM
It's interesting, the whole gun debate. Being Canadian, I am totally unfamiliar with gun culture, and I really do not "get" the desire to hunt - but that is me. What anyone else does, is up to them, and it is not my place to say that hunting (esp. for survival) is wrong - on the contrary, I believe that it is a necessary thing. Your need for protection far outweighs every anti-gun argument. Gun laws, to me, protect people. Guns protect people. Outlawing any form of weapon, be it guns, knives or tree branches means only that those who should not have those items of destruction will find something else, be it rocks, whips or frozen fish. Common sense seems to be rather uncommon of late.
Posted by Beth on 01/31/2013 - 02:52 PM
I know absolutely nothing about guns so I have been asking questions of people who do know about guns in order to try to understand the passion for which they are defended. This is the first rational (and reasonable) explanation I have heard for having these types of guns. Normally the answer to my questions involve a fire breathing rant about amendments and liberty and I already know about these. Thank you.
Posted by Janet on 01/31/2013 - 07:32 PM
i think there are "nutjobs" all over the political spectrum, and that these days there is great confusion between conversations that generate light (understanding) and shouting matches that generate heat (increased disagreement and polarization). So I don't judge your need to carry something that is apparently classified as an assault rifle - I have been reading your blog long enough to remember how horrified I was reading your entry when you told about meeting the hogs with your dogs and no effective means of protection for yourself and your dogs.
Posted by clairesmum on 01/31/2013 - 08:10 PM
Merideth, you might not have hogs, but the freakin' grizzly bears in Wyoming would scare the beejeebers out of me. This much I know: I am NOT the top of the food chain in Wyoming! I have a friend in Montanna who has to contend with bears on her front porch. Holy crap! I'm not woMan enough to deal with that!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 02/01/2013 - 09:18 AM
Thank you for your post. There may be many others, but this is the first good reason I have read for a person to carry an assault rifle for animals. You are using it for self defense, not for hunting and sport. You also have the training to be safe with it. This is the first non-disaster self protection scenario I have read.
Posted by CarolG. on 02/01/2013 - 04:59 PM
I for one am glad we don't have the gun culture here. Yes there is hunting and yes we have had several mass killings in recent past. So laws were tightened and checks on users improved. These days weapon of choice seems to be knives and fists. Seriously guns are not needed in my society except for farmers. hunters and clay trap shooting (controled sports shooting)
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 02/03/2013 - 11:45 PM
YES! Thank you! As a woman and a rancher and rational environmentalist who consorts with hunters (but I have to admit no experience standing over dead humans), your comments are right on target (yup, pun intended). The tendency in this country to make broad (inaccurate) generalizations about people, especially people with guns. What we need is more education about guns, not necessarily fewer of them. Just my 2¢.
Posted by TinaG on 02/05/2013 - 10:51 AM

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