Mythbusting: Enough Guns

In this article, we discuss the myth that you can't have too many guns, how the guns you have are useful only if used with proficiency and maturity.

February 28, 2019 9:23 PM

Recently, an article came out asking "How many guns is enough?", and answering it's own question with "there's no such thing as enough!"

As a part of our larger body of work, dispelling BS is one of our priorities. There are always interests in advertising, and that's fine. The problem comes in when that advertising is patently false and appealing to a crowd that doesn't know better.

Essentially the problem with this is:

Not only is it bad information that doesn't make people smarter, it redirects their time and money towards a pursuit that dumbs them down.

So let's take an axe to this stupidity monster, and bury it.

From the Top

‍‍Aren't they all basically the same gun?

The conclusion that you can never have enough guns is in and of itself the kind of cringy nonsense that happens when guys who don't know how to prioritize start writing articles. The author has listed a FAL, an SKS, and  Remington Rifle, in addition to his "go to defensive" AR-15.

Let's take a practical look at this. A conservative estimate on how much money these rifles would cost comes out to around $3000. This is to say nothing of the "2 or 3" .22 rifles and shotguns (because not everyone likes the recoil of a 12 gauge) or the AK (which his daughter doesn't like the recoil of). Even with those humble additions, we're now looking at around $4500 in hardware, and a net total of 9-11 guns. Assuming the author doesn't wish to include any pistols, optics, or other accessories. He claims some of these extras are to outfit people who don't have guns of their own.

I'd like to ask a lot of questions of anyone who has 8 guns and friends who have none, but suffice to say, if you've got $4500 in guns and your car isn't paid off, you need a lesson in home economics, not more guns. Never mind handing off guns to people with no training is a bit of a poor idea.

You'll see this time and time again if you stick around ISG: resiliency and disaster management are not about guns. While we work towards training with them, guns have a role in how we manage some types of emergencies, if your emergency plans start with guns, you're doing it wrong.


Guns are a tool, and a durable good. Like any tool, it's not uncommon to gather a few looking for the one "right" tool for the job. They're also a good investment, if you buy smart. That said, if you're a mechanic, you don't just buy tools hoping to find work for them. Likewise, if you're a serious student of the gun, your level of skill and competency are more important than a safe stacked full of niche guns. You should be developing skill, and as deficiency open up, you address them. Don't talk yourself into buying something thinking you'll find the perfect use for it when some hypothetical scenario unfolds.

How then should you prioritize?

‍DHS Caught hell for these "no hesitation" targets - but have you considered a scenario like this? Do you know what trigger inhibition is? Have you gone through a shoot house with target discrimination worked in? If the answer to the above questions is "no", we need to talk.

Start with a thorough interrogation of what you're likely to use, how it's likely to be used, and how to best prepare for that. We can do that by turning to educated, authoritative voices who rely on research and facts to form their opinions; such as Greg Ellifritz's Blog and Claude Werner's "Serious Mistakes Gun Owners make". We're more than happy to provide context and data for emergency situations and statistic outliers... but let's be honest: you're not going to be eating squirrels in a makeshift hut for long, and you don't need 8 different guns to ensure your bases are covered.

Once you've framed some reasonable expectations and context regarding how citizens are likely to need firearms, find...

The One Right Tool for the Job

Chances are, you're not going to need, or be able to carry more than a couple firearms. If you're prioritizing correctly, understand how to layer your EDC and Sustainment Gear, it shouldn't be hard to determine what the one right tool is. You've probably spent some time looking in to it already, and since we're big into ruining surprises, here's the right tool:


Whatever you end up using, it will be sufficient - or not - based on you. If you put forth the effort, train diligently, and educate yourself, you'll manage to find solutions, whether they are tool based or not.

This mindset is fundamental to ISG. It isn't something you can buy, and we can't sell it to you. Neither can anyone else. What you can buy is training, which helps you gain experience, which fuels your understanding of context. This makes your expectations more realistic, and less reliant on crappy internet articles.

‍Here's an actual robbery. What are the odds you'll face a situation like this, vs the odds you'll face some sort of "grid down" collapse? Keep in mind the Type I emergencies (Short duration, high intensity) are far and away the most common. Is "more guns" the answer?

If you don't take anything else away from this article, take this: You can never have too much training or experience.

Training and experience validate one another, and they form a feedback loop that helps guide us as we build proficiency. All decent instruction provides intellectual framework and physical tasks that can be tested to verify learning. Training, unlike durable goods, cannot be taken from you. Once you've established that you've learned the material, you can practice it on your own and take more challenge classes. Further, while this is in reference to guns and shooting, you can expand your pool of capability by branching out into rescue medicine, driving, and other practical skills for emergencies. You can't carry the guns, but you can carry the skills.

While we offer training, we can also provide referrals in your area of instructors we've trained with, or know to be legitimate subject matter experts. Our goal is to create a legacy of highly skilled and dedicated citizens who are capable of helping one another, which leads to...

Lack of Purpose

The deeper root we're trying to strike here is this: lack of purpose is driving our material impulse. We want to feel useful and important in a world that hands us mediocrity on a silver platter. Amassing stuff and secretly thinking to yourself that you're going to be the guy who supplies everyone when the "shit hits the fan" is fantasy. Shit hits the fan all the time, and even then, it rarely involves the use of guns.

You'd be better off sinking $2000 into a durable, reliable carry gun, a good holster, ammunition, and a couple training classes, and putting the other $2500 towards your bills. Once those are well controlled, setting aside a months worth of food, some spare fuel, and a form of emergency power makes more sense than planning to form an impromptu militia out of your wife, children, and peripheral social circle. Think about the likely outcomes of sending them into a fight with  seasoned, professional creators of violence.

Now might be a good time to say you'd better learn some medical skills.

Bottom Line

Any advice that chiefly revolves around getting you to buy something to fill a deficiency is acting on your insecurity. Get strong, have purpose, be capable, and don't fall for the garbage. While there is some thought that needs to be given to selecting a firearm, the gun is less important than the tactics and mindset behind it.

ISG Team Out.

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