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View Poll Results: Firearms or Not? What Do You Think . . .
Yes, I think it's a good idea 108 36.36%
Bad Idea 96 32.32%
Not sure, both have merits and faults 93 31.31%
Voters: 297. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-03-2003, 07:08   #1
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What's Your Opinion? Firearms or Not?

Firearms or not, post your opinion on the poll.

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Old 21-03-2003, 14:33   #2
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Sir Peter Blake

Look what happened to Sir Peter Blake in Brazil, December 2001.

Would he be alive now if he hadn't brought his gun?

The Sailor Man
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:33   #3
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I believe, when all info is in, it's a good idea!

I would love to live in a world where a firearm were not ever needed again, but we don't.

For those of us who are or will call our boat our home, a firearm should, (in my humble opinion), be thought of as another tool of survival.

Crime is getting woorse, not better and the crimes are becoming much more violent, not friendlier.

I can remember my first visit to the USVI, sometime back in the early 1970s.

Crime at that time was unheard of, but as drugs arrived, crime began to swell, and even to my vacation center of St. Johns, where old friends, natives of the island would share with me their terrible details of crime, drugs and the loss of thier young.

I'm not saying, keep an M-16 or AK47 in the galley, nor even a 15 shot pistol, but a word to the wise, when you're out there alone, a cheap pump shotgun will keep all of the crazies away, keep you safe!

Those countries that say NO, either don't bring the gun, or, better yet, don't go to those countries.
Most likely, the countries that would arrest you for a bullet found in your draw, are not examples of democracies in the first place, I've never felt confortable in these areas anyway!
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Old 09-05-2003, 10:50   #4
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pirate Lost Explorers

Not only Sir Peter Blake, but Megellan in the Philippines and Capt. Cook in Hawaii. And the latter two had wepons, probably asking for trouble. Life is 50% common since, 40% Attitude and 10% chance. At lease that's the way it seems to have been in my life.
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Old 19-05-2003, 04:02   #5
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I agree with Graham. I live in the mountains of Colorado where it is very safe and not much crime. I have a Glock at the nite table. I have my wife carry a pistlol in her vehical for her personal protection. I would have a gun on my boat at the lake...but it is State run. It's a federal crime to have one in the State Park. If I where anyplace in the world these days, I would carry one everywhere I could, as long as it was legal. I am far from a gun carrying sicko, I am an ex Marine with a firearm saftey back round. I am aware of the use of Deadly Force. I have taught my wife the things that I have been trained. Does that mean everyone should carry a but with proper training...yes! Until the Bad Guy's don't carry weapons, in which in my life time I will never see, the Good Guys can't be everwhere! And with all the violence in the world today, you may one day have to save your own life or the life of loved ones. Or you can walk around and believe it will never happen to you or any ones else you love! I wonder what Sir Peter Blake would do if he could turn back the hands of time?
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Old 19-07-2003, 01:42   #6
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I have a Military background, I am trained in the proper use of Firearms. Would I carry a weapon on my boat? You bet, would I use it? if I felt my life or that of my crew were at risk, you bet.
I also believe a flare gun is an exellent weapon, most if not all of us, have one on board, thus negating the need for anything heavier.
One caveat, Make sure to comply with rules and regulations concerning firearms aboard when in foreign countries, always declare whatever weapons you carry on board, including all ammunition.
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Old 12-08-2003, 15:32   #7
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Weapons on board

I think all cruisers have mixed feelings about whether firearms should be carried on board.I sail single-handed a lot and go to some pretty remote areas. When sailing to say, the Dry Tortugas,I do carry on board a police type shotgun.I figure it will be good for protection,or if a shark is chewing on my boat....just kidding! I've read many comments from cruisers that have done some blue water cruising.Apparently,carrying weapons over seas involves a lot of red tape,and can be disastrous if all your paperwork isn't in order.If I were going to do that type of cruising,I would have to do a lot more research on the subject before I could make an informed decision. Not long ago there was a program on t.v. concerning piracy in different areas of the world.It's becoming more of a problem than most people realize.
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Old 13-08-2003, 07:25   #8
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Freedom isn't free

Should we carry guns on our boats? Where does everyone sail? Certain areas are pirate areas. Let's not forget that our Earth is 70% water. What percentage of the oceans are pirate infested? Reducing areas to percentages is basic math on a 2-D surface. 3-D involves trig. Basic nav anyone? Anybody care to tackle the problem? It'd take me a year with all else I have to do in my land-locked life.

Where do I most feel thatI need a gun? On land. Do I own one myself? No. but, I would be an NRA member if I had a little extra cash to spare. My wife and I are saving for other things........ like a sailboat. But the NRA is right that a gun is only a tool. Unfortunately the world needs a little bit of "fixing" in the manners and sometimes morals department.

But where can I go to escape from the crazy world of land?

Is it outer space? I'd be up for being an interstellar space explorer, but I'm born a thousand years too soon.

All I'm left with is the oceans.

I am very glad that there are people who travel the oceans with guns. Most particularly I am excessively pleased beyond any reasonably number of words with the United States Navy. They carry some day big and fine guns; some damn fine and brave men and women serve on those ships. I feel safe knowing the war against terrorism wil be won and piracy will be decreased too.

I'd be happy though to meet all of you gun owners that gave your most worthy and heartfelt comments. You keep the pirates guessing whether that sailboat is really that "easy" of a target. All of us benefit whether we carry or not. Someone mentioned avoiding pirates is mostly attitude. God made us all different and some of us just exude the proper pirate repelent with guns and some without.

There but for the grace of God we could be pirates too. Doubt my word? Who hasn't sung the words to a pirate looks at forty?

No, I will not carry firearms unless a flare gun with lots of rockets counts. Fire is such a dangerous thing on boats.

PAUL, on the beach in Arizona

"Freedom isn't free"
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Old 01-09-2003, 22:36   #9
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Firearms - yes or no

Its intriging to see the various reasons for both pro and con on here but some of them are, I think unfortunate. As Peter Blake found out so tragically and my own experience would seem to indicate, there is no point in carrying firearms unless you are prepared to go to war. And I mean that term in very much a litteral sense. Most of the pirates of today (in places like the strait of Malacca, off Yemen and Aden etc. are carrying AK47s and the like. A shotguns range is, at sea with someone who really knows how to use it, about 100 yards on a good day with a calm sea. As an instructor for the pistols we used to use once said (truthfully) that if your target was more the 50 yards away, throw the silly weapon - you'll have a lot better chance of a hit. Granted we now use a far superior weapon but believe me, by the time you try to sight and the guy with the AK, you'll have a heap of holes in you.

What this would appear to indicate is that if you show up with a weapon - and the bad guys are serious - you're going to draw fire by someone who is probably a lot better armed than you are. And as someone else has pointed out - appearing with a weapons dramatically increased the level of force in the situation. A few years ago, one of our ships got a Pan pan from a yacht that was being shadowed. The ship deployed their helo who flew right in over both the yacht and the pirate vessel. The pirates (if that is what they were) didn't leave at all and stayed right there until the frigate showed up over the horizon.

A year or so before that, we had a suspicous radar contact close to within a 1000 yards of us (at night) as we were headed into Saigon. At the time we had the heavy machine guns mounted as well as fire hoses rigged and they disengaged. Warships sail with only their running lights on so we didn't know at the time whether we were simply a traget of opportunity which, when idendified, suggested discretion as the better part of valour or if they were just inoccently on a converging course and for some other reason veered off but very few vessels in that areas could move that the speed these guys were.

A few years ago I would have said that I'd carry a weapon(s). My choice at the time was an SMG (Submachine gun) any one of a few would have worked well but I would probably have picked a sterling as they are only 19 inches long with the butt plate folded and their rate of fire (abut three rounds per sec)would be have been able so keep someone at about two hundred yards unless they were awfully serious about boarding me. Now? I doubt I would carry anything other than a flare/spear gun. First, the thing would be a pain to explain. Those friendly governmental agents would likely frown rather seriously on the SMG and anything less would, in all probability wind up like Peter Blake's unfortunate experience. The other thing is that most people with firearms tend to take some (security) comfort from them which means that when they feel threatened, out come the guns which, as mentioned by others, drives up the show of force. As cruisers we are first and foremost guests in other countries and it seems to me that we shouldn't be waving guns in our hosts faces. Especially until we are darned sure that they are a threat and that is generally only going to be known when they jump aboard your boat. further more, if you shoot a native without awfully good cause, a lot of jails the like of which you may well (rightfully) be spending a long time in, are not up to western standards. I got a chuckle a few years back when I read in an forum much like this of one person who felt he would bring a gun aboard only when he was sailing in areas of a higher threat - like some of the areas in Canada. Living here, with a crime rate so low that in comparison to where this gent was it was almost non-existant, I had to laugh. Not at his solution becuase he obviously was serious, but because at the time I would have been carrying in wht I considered the high threat area of the eastern seaboard of the US. That area he felt was a low threat!

What all this would appear to suggest is that some people live more in fear, or at least real distrust, of others and perhaps these are not the best mind sets for international cruisers. Its interesting that a number of people are quite prepared to take the risk of those dangers meted out by Mother Nature - like typhoons and hurricanes which have killed a lot more people that pirates, but live in mortal fear of those they are going to visit and learn about. Most of the really accomplished cruisers (Pardeys?) say don't even think of carrying. The other reason not to carry would appear to be that if you do, you can expect, at least from any serious pirate, to be seriously outgunned as you escalate the show of force.

I certainly can't claim to have the definitive answer but I think a lot of both the evidence and the logic indicates that not carrying is the best course. That said, it must also be realized that there are areas of higher threat as noted by the IMO. So convoying, Rallying etc should still be a considered course of action. And if you are boarded it wouldn't hurt to have that insert for the flare gun....

Cheers, Doug

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Old 30-09-2003, 13:35   #10
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Hello everyone. I`ve also faned the flames on this subject on the sail net message board. All that have responded are aginst fire arms. I believe that each of us have to make a choice. There isn`t a wrong or right answer on this subject. I know that I`ll be packen some heat. However the Big Wiskey comes out as a last resort. Setting your boat up for that unsuspected boarding party is alot more intertaining. Motion sensors, alarms Setting up a fire extingquisher system in the cockpit with tear gas will make them weap with joy when they depart. There is a ton of stuff that can be done to your boat to get rid of intruders you`ll be in stichtes laughing at the thought of your booby traps for your welcoming comittee.
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Old 30-09-2003, 14:39   #11
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booby traps

Careful about the booby traps, generally speaking, they're universally illegal. As completely wrong as it may be, if someone were to invade your boat, get gassed & then fall overboard, drown or be injured in any other way you'd be facing serious civil & (or) criminal liability.

I live in a relatively prosperous community with high median incomes & people are starting to come from elsewhere to try to take what we have, particularly since the economy splashed down into the holding tank. My own home is well wired. It can't be approached without one or more cameras recording the event, the cameras are concealed so the likelihood of somebody trying to avoid them is negligible. Further, I use IR illuminators & extreme low light cameras that get good images even before the floodlights get tripped. If somebody actually comes in uninvited all hell breaks loose ... up to and including personally applied lethal force. This is what a well designed, multiple perimeter system can do. It’s designed to help repel & (or) ID, jail & convict the offender(s), not automagically do indiscriminant bodily harm that will put me in serious legal jeopardy.

Example, in the only attempt on the house to date the mutts sat out back watching for awhile, then pulled up their bandannas and tripped the floods as they approached the house. Of course they took off but I got good pics while they thought they were hiding in the dark & the police then knew who to go talk to. They never specifically mentioned my cameras as evidence of a crime not committed but were plenty happy to have confirmed what they already knew. They took the mutts over to their place & sweated them for all of about 20 minutes before said mutts gave it up & confessed to multiple burglaries.

I'm not criticizing your motivation or intent, I personally believe that home invaders check their debatable right to personal safety at the door. What I am suggesting is that you be careful about jamming yourself up. None of us need to lose good friends & neighbors over bottom feeders. With a bit of forethought the mutts can be handled without potentially life altering personal sacrifice.

As Jeff_H says …

Respectfully, Troubledour
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Old 30-10-2003, 12:26   #12
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Re: Firearms - yes or no

[QUOTE][i]Highlander once whispered in the wind: I got a chuckle a few years back when I read in an forum much like this of one person who felt he would bring a gun aboard only when he was sailing in areas of a higher threat - like some of the areas in Canada. Living here, with a crime rate so low that in comparison to where this gent was it was almost non-existant, I had to laugh. Not at his solution becuase he obviously was serious, but because at the time I would have been carrying in wht I considered the high threat area of the eastern seaboard of the US. That area he felt was a low threat!

Doesn't much relate to the thread, but might be enjoyed:

Reminds me of somebody who recommended that your car should always be locked before being left alone in towns of the Canadian and American midwest. Not from fear of theft or damage, but because it might contain a load of zuccinis when you return. Everybody grows too many.
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Old 16-12-2003, 14:44   #13
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I recently had the privaledge to be invited on board a new multi million dollar state of the art cruising yacht.

On being shown over the boat and admiring all the electronic wizardry the owner then showed us into the aft stateroom where he expained that under the large queen sized bed was his arsenal storage.

He then to my shock and somewhat horror started to list the weapons that included two 50 cal machine guns, a bazooka, assorted high powered rifles, shot guns and a number of hand guns.

His attitude was that, with that sort of fire power and the ability to detect any potential pirate vessel with both radar and sonar and fire a burst over their bow from a distance of up to two miles it would definitely deter any would be attacker.

He also stated that they would only fire on another vessel when they were certain that they were being approached by unfriendlies and only after exhausting all other options including radio contact etc.

This is not some gung ho radical but an owner/skipper making sure he is able to protect and defend his ship and her passengers from what is becoming an increasing threat on our oceans.

The owner of the boat is also fully licenced to use the weapons and has all the necessary permits to carry them on board. With the Australian gun laws, I don't know how he managed that.

My opinion for what it is worth, unless you can carry and are able to use those sort of weapons that can combat the weapons used by some of the pirates, then you are far safer being unarmed.

Just carrying a single rifle or shotgun would more likely just get you and everyone on board killed.

I for one would prefer to avoid the danger area's and if I ever did get boarded hope that my communication skills would enable me to talk my way out of any physical harm. Any other losses are only possesions and in my opinion never worth the cost of a human life - especially my own.
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Old 16-12-2003, 18:26   #14
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Question Licensened

Why would he hide the stuff under a bunk if he has a permit to carry aboard. I would think he would want to keep the arms close at hand, like in a cabinet in the solon.

And BTW, If your out of the jurisdiction of the country, or being outside of the boundries, you can carry anything you want. Law of the sea.

And in some counties you can buy arms and even RPG's on the black market.
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Old 17-12-2003, 02:05   #15
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I find it difficult to imagine that any jurisdiction would licence a private individual to carry Machine Guns and Bazookas.

Notwithstanding, even if licenced at home, you will not be licenced abroad, where the likelihood of Piracy might be greatest (unless “Home” is Maylasia or the like).
While you may not be prohibited from carrying anything you choose in international waters, it will not be practical to at all times remain outside of territorial waters. Hence; you will (at times) be within National jurisdictions, where their laws will apply. Coincidentally; it is while in Territorial waters that you are most likely to encounter Pirates.

The difficulty of accurately determining just who is (or is not) an “Unfriendly” at “distance” has been amply demonstrated by the world’s best equipped and trained professional Military forces.

I’ve refrained from reiterating my previously poorly-stated (negative) opinions regarding firearms aboard - but cannot resist pointing out the idiocy engendered in the Mega-Yacht Owner’s rational, as reported by Mercator. As quoted, the man appears to be an idiot, and a danger to us all! Like Mercator, I too am horrified.


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