[Note: today’s WSID topic has been a long time in coming. Firearms can be a sensitive subject, but worth considering for many when planning for food procurement or home/personal defense in a changing future. We sought an author who could provide an introduction to the subject in as conscientious, fact-oriented, and knowledgeable a manner as possible, and are grateful to community member Aaron Moyer for doing so. Aaron is a longtime active poster on this site, the founder of our Definitive Firearms thread, and an active-duty serviceman in the US armed forces. –Adam]
This is one of the more difficult pieces of writing I’ve done to date. There are various reasons why this topic is difficult to start; everyone has a different idea of what they need, their level of commitment, legal concerns, political pre-dispositions and so forth. It’s easy to talk about firearms as a ‘topic’ – you can comment on their particulars, weigh the advantages and disadvantages and wax philosophical about what would be the best choice for a given situation — but that’s not what this edition is about.
This piece is to help navigate the process that starts once you’ve decided you’d like to purchase a firearm, and leads to the ongoing process of establishing proficiency, maintaining safety and building skill.