Letter Re: Arming Your Untrained Neighbors

Dear Jim:
Straightblast brings up an excellent point about the many pitfalls of loaning weapons to untrained neighbors, after a crisis has hit, and thus potentially arming bad guys.
He wrote:”Frankly, it scares me. I look at it this way…if the neighbor has no guns (right now), and no gun skills…and the bad guys come to visit…what are the odds that he / she will prevail against them? I think close to zero.”  It scares me too! But I beg to differ that the chances for your neighbor are “close to zero.” Remember your average gang or criminal has not had any formal training. An untrained gang with some weapon experience versus an untrained neighbor BEHIND COVER is a least in the same ballpark as a fair fight – and looters are not looking for fair fights! And if, God forbid, the gang did overcome the neighbor – well the gang already had firearms, so one more gun is probably not that big a deal.
I’m more concerned about unsafe weapon handling, negligent discharges, and/or “friendly fire” from my neighbors than [I am about] the gang getting one more weapon.
In a really bad situation I would rather have one HASTILY TRAINED neighbor for fire support, than to be badly outnumbered by a gang with no fire support. (It is kind of tough to watch four quadrants with two people!) I think that a contingency plan so you have SEMI-trained, armed neighbors is a better option. (This assumes that a suggestion to do some “Tactical Crisis Training” would get the same look as if you just grown an extra head! 😉
Here are my thoughts on a contingency plan:
1. Invite your neighbors – and/or their kids – out for a social day plinking at the range. You can at least get basic gun safety and sight alignment concepts out. They might even get interested in shooting – reactive targets like falling plates, balloons or just tin cans are a blast. If this invitation gets a disgusted reaction, maybe moving now, or bugging out later, is a better option. Who needs gun-phobic neighbors?
2. Have some inexpensive, EASY TO USE, low-recoil firearms, magazines, ammo, AND web belts with mag pouches for your new “Neighborhood Watch on Steroids.” Pistol caliber carbines and .223s would be a good low recoil choice.
3. You might consider selling or bartering them the weapon “package” instead of giving it away, as gifts are often not treated with the same care as purchases. This also weeds out those who are not sufficiently motivated. Selling at a fair PRE-crisis price would be an act of charity which might just be appreciated.
4. Have a plan for a crash training [program for] your neighbors so that they can SAFELY handle their new weapon, and at least shoot from a fixed position, behind cover, to include:
   * The four rules of gun safety
   * Loading and unloading
   * Malfunction clearance
   * Basic sight alignment and trigger control
   * Understanding cover versus concealment
   * Be sure of your target and backstop!
Any more suggestions or comments would be appreciated, especially from instructors who deal with novices. Regards, – “OSOM” – Out of Sight, Out of Mind