Today more than ever with all the keyboard commandoes on social media we are told that unless we own a certain brand pistol or drive a certain truck then we don’t stack up and are just not as worthy to partake in the outdoors as those who enjoy a self-indulgent over inflated outdoor ego.
Just today I was part of a discussion over a certain brand of pistol a person was asking advice on. Little did the poster know what kind of war he would start with the non-credentialed unverified firearms experts. From what could be extrapolated from the plethora of bad advice is that unless you can spend seven or eight hundred dollars on a pistol you are wasting your money. Really? Granted you most often do get what you pay for but lets lay out a little scenario. You are walking your wife home after a movie and 3 thugs walk up and pull a knife. Your wife is dragged to the ground and you are being held at knife point as she is subjected to a horrible fate. You reach into your coat pocket and pull out a $150 9mm pistol. You shoot the first thug and while he is crying and bleeding the others run away thereby saving your wife from a fate worse than death. At that point ask the dying thug if it mattered that your gun didn’t cost 800 bucks. The holes a $150 9mm put in bad guys are just as big as they are from a more expensive gun.
Now that I have upset every firearms aristocrat on the web I will say this. I do not advocate placing your safety and that of your family in the hands of a cheap firearm. What I do advocate is even a single action 22 is better than an empty hand. Please if you can afford a quality firearm then buy one but if you can’t then do some research and find an inexpensive firearm that has the best reliability reviews. The internet has an unending database on the reliability of even the most cheap firearms available. whatever you buy do so with the mind set of shoot whatever you get a bunch. Know your firearm and make sure it functions before your life depends on it. There are ways to make an inexpensive firearm serve you. There are graveyards full of folks who were shot with a $50 Saturday night special.
For some reason we have let ourselves get pushed away from the practical and frugal and driven to purchase things far beyond our means. I am as guilty as anyone. I have a deer rifle that cost me enough I could have bought a new set of Living room furniture or even taken the wife on a vacation. I also have a single shot 243 with a $60 scope on it that has probably killed more deer and hogs than I could possibly count. The whole gun cost less than $200 scope and ammo. Yet for some reason I hunt with a rifle that costs me $5 every time I pull the trigger. You honestly don’t need a $2500 rifle and a $1400 scope to kill a deer or any other animal for that matter. If you want a certain gun or scope and you can afford it then by all means enjoy and get it. But, and that is a big “but”. If you live paycheck to paycheck and you drive a truck with 4 maypop tires on it and you are sitting on lawn chairs in the living room. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad because you have a firearm that works and you could afford it without going into debt.
Same goes for boats and ATVs. If what you have is the best you can do and it serves your purpose then tell the outdoor snobs to cram it. At the same time if you can afford the best then more power to you. We need to stop belittling the guy doing the best he can and start praising he or she for not letting meager means keep them from enjoying the outdoors.
Story by Jeff Stewart