I am new to boating
and to this forum, but I am no stranger to firearms and self-defense arguments. Having been raised in the western United States, my viewpoint regarding firearms is heavily biased by my upbringing.
First, my qualifications as slightly more than an armchair quarterback. Not much more, but slightly:
I've been shot at in a drive-by, and I've stared down the barrel of a gun from 10 feet away one other time. The first time I was not armed, the second time I was quite heavily armed, as were my 3 compadres. Both times, the outcome was the same: I walked away unscathed.
I've also been a competitive shooter for a number of years, and I teach concealed carry permit classes
. I carried a sidearm damn near every day for almost two years, and most of the time it was just a lead weight dragging my pants down. The only times I was ever glad that I had it was when I had to visit rough neighborhoods. So, that started being the only time I carried.
Regarding all the bravado talk: You can plan, and you can talk, but the reality is that in order to put a realistic self-defense scenario in action when the time comes, you have to TRAIN for it. And not just occasionally. It's something that requires drills for muscle memory, multi-scenario training events
, and extensive repetition. There is a reason that people that do this sort of thing professionally spend so much time training. It's also the reason that the vast majority of "security guards" in America are NOT armed -- because they don't/can't put in the training time.
Once I find my dream boat and am living aboard
here in the States, YES, I will be armed. It will be my home, and defending your home turf with deadly force if you feel your life is threatened is a right under most state Constitutions.
If I choose to take a weekend sail on up into Canada
, the guns
will stay locked in storage
on American soil. Why? It's not worth 5 years in Canadian prison for getting caught with large capacity magazines.
Sailing on up to Alaska
? Yes, with proper advance registration
with Canadian authorities for passage
? Are you insane? I haven't been to Mexico
in 12 years, and with conditions there, I'd be insane to go back.
My point is that carrying a firearm, even just having one aboard, is a tremendous responsibility not to be taken lightly. If you're going to have it, train regularly to use it. And if you're going to carry it beyond your home waters where it's legal
, then you need to understand the legalities and potential consequences at your destination
, and be willing to accept the fines and prison time applicable overseas.
I have traveled a bit overseas by air over the past few years, and the decision of where to go is the same as it is for me here in the States, and I doubt my rules will change once I'm skilled enough to sail there. There are places that I would love to visit, but simply won't, because of the local "situation". I'll visit Santiago, Chile
, but not Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
. That's obviously a personal comfort level thing, obviously. I'm currently visiting Portland
, OR for the summer, and there are a couple of parts
of the metro area that are just smart to avoid.
I personally have zero interest in visiting the Caribbean, nor the coast of Somalia
. I do, however, daydream about sailing the Spratly Islands in the South China
Sea, and I am saddened by reports of piracy
there that are enough to keep me from visiting anytime soon.