Should I buy a gun?

I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. I’m still not entirely sure what the right answer is just yet though. Before you go off on the standard arguments, let me give you a bit of background.

I live in the country. Very isolated country. I have five neighbors, one of whom is a drug dealer. There is a one mile forest on one side of me, a US Navy reservation on the other, the water for about 15 miles to the East and a few lower income homes to the West up a big hill. We are easily 5-10 minutes from any hope of law enforcement in a crisis situation. We also have a wide variety of woodland critters, from foxes to snakes (many of the latter, one of which can be poisonous).

We live outside of DC, about 35 miles away. Our town is a bit off of one of the major evacuation routes of the city, and yes, we do think about mass evacuation and terrorist attacks living in DC. We also have natural disasters mainly in the form of hurricanes, the last of which resulted in the National Guard being deployed and checkpoints to keep out looters.

Now here are the negatives. I don’t want a gun.

While I understand it is a tool for things like wild animals, and I might actually use it more than others, it’s not something I suspect I’ll need anytime soon. I also have a kid, and the thought of him ever finding it scares the hell out of me (I should note that if we do get one, we’re having our contractor build a secure and nearly ‘invisible’ safe area where it will be stored, a la James Bond). It would be my goal for him to never know it was here.

Finally the idea that society is broken to such an extent that I have to arm myself is one that I haven’t quite gotten my head around just yet. I don’t think that is necessarily the case, though I may actually have my head in the clouds a bit. I do fear a major breakdown in civil order, i.e. a mass evacuation of biologically infected people following a terrorist strike or something, but I’m not sure that is on the horizon just yet (and as crazy as that sounds, just go watch the near riot situations in the evacuations from Hurricane Ike and Rita down in Texas). I don’t think we’re in a zombie status, but folks outside of the DC area never quite ‘get’ the terrorist threat like you do living in a target zone. It’s something that you do think about here when you drive past the armed checkpoints on Capitol Hill or see the anti-aircraft missiles hidden away on military bases in DC.

So for now, I’m still thinking about it. I don’t think it will be a purchase this year though, but it will be something I think about some more.