Letter Re: Buying Just One Gun?

Mr. Rawles:
I’m a survivalist newbie. I’m thinking about purchasing a gun. I don’t know anything about guns, but I have had a negative opinion about them for a long time. But [now] I’m thinking I might need to get one. What would you recommend for a total novice who would prefer to not have to own more than one?

JWR Replies: Owning one gun is like owning one carpenter’s tool, and expecting it to handle all of your construction and repair needs. What single tool would you choose? A hammer, a pair of pliers, a saw, or a screwdriver? That may be oversimplifying, but I’m sure that you get my point.

I suppose that some could get by with two guns, namely: one shotgun (for both big game and bird hunting and self defense) and a .22 rimfire rifle (for small game hunting). But you’d still lack having a compact gun for concealment, and you’d also lack a long range rifle to defend yourself or hunt at long distance. (Shotguns don’t “reach” beyond about 80 yards, even with slug shells.)