JUNE 1st, 2023 | Grant Johnson

Real Men Own Shotguns

A flu turned us all against each other. Imagine if it had been something worse.
I recently wrote about my home invasion and outlined steps people can take to protect themselves. One of the things mentioned, briefly, was buying a firearm. Now, certainly, of all the things listed, buying a firearm is probably last on the list for home protection, but nevertheless, every conservative should own a firearm as a matter of principle. Read some reasons for why right here. The main three practical purposes for a firearm boil down to: protection, sport and insurance.
If you want a gun that can offer home protection, sporting opportunity and an insurance policy against worst case societal situations, and if you want to do this on a budget, then I recommend buying a shotgun.


Let’s be honest. The chances that you’re going to need a shotgun for protection against a home invasion is highly unlikely, but nevertheless it can and does happen, especially if you live in a non-urban environment in Canada.
The stipulations regarding gun storage in Canada make having a gun handy in a pinch much less practical than many would prefer, but the safety offered from these precautions outweighs the risk of delay. You need to keep your shotgun secure, either in a locked box or with a trigger/barrel lock attached. You also need to store your ammunition in a separate location.
These aren’t insurmountable obstacles. A trigger lock can be dismantled with the turn of a key and the ammunition can be one room over. If you practiced a few times, your speed of assembly should be less than 30 seconds.
Shotguns are intimidating and the sound of racking a shell into the chamber could be enough to scare off someone listening at the door. They offer good, stable, two-handed control. You’ll get 2 to 5 rounds from a shotgun before needing to reload. But the main thing that’s impressive about a shotgun is the sheer, extreme power of these weapons.
The first time I took my new shotgun to the range and tried it out, I was rocked by the enormous shockwave that was unleashed upon firing it. I hadn’t fired a shotgun for a long time, and I was at an indoor range which seemed to amplify the blast in a weird sounding way. I marveled at the excessive nature of this shoulder mounted cannon and loved every second of my test run.
Watch this video in which they test three main types of shot against a ballistic test dummy. Bird shot, buck shot, and slugs, doesn’t really matter what you hit someone with, it will take them out of the game and down for the count. The cartoonish nature of the extreme power on display almost makes me wonder why the Liberals don’t try to ban these guns.
Check out this more thorough video testing out ballistic torso hits with a variety of 12-gauge shotgun shells.
Handguns often don’t have stopping power and can be mishandled under stress. Rifles are built for long range situations and can be too unwieldy for close quarters. Shotguns are the perfect solution.


If you’re going to buy a gun, it’s nice to be able to practice shooting it. Shotguns offer more opportunities and flexibility when it comes to shooting activities.
Trap and Skeet shooting are classic shotgun sports and they’re relatively cheap to participate in. It can be intimidating to begin if you’re brand new, but a quick phone call to a local club is all it takes to alleviate trepidations. It’s fairly simple after all…shoot the moving targets. You’ll be surprized at how much you suck at it to begin with, but like anything…practice makes perfect.
This is also relevant for your home protection, since being a good shot is crucial should you ever be in a situation that requires self-defence.
The other opportunity with shotguns is, of course, hunting. The advantage to buying a shotgun is that it can function as an all-purpose firearm for every type of hunting. The most associated form of hunting with shotguns is bird hunting ducks, geese, pheasants etc. This is also the cheapest and easiest way to hunt as it doesn’t require a huge commitment to butchering and processing. You can shoot a goose and have it ready to eat the next day.
If you want to hunt for the bigger animals…moose, elk, deer…just switch out your ammunition and use slugs. Now your shotgun functions as a short-range rifle. Hunting like this is a little more challenging since you’ll need to get much closer to the animal to be effective. Hunting with shotgun slugs requires a range of 0-75 metres, so if you just want the kill, you’ll need a rifle to get the 300 metre sniper shots.
Probably the best thing about hunting is the excuse to get out in nature and experience the tradition and heritage of the sport. Fresh air, morning coffee, trudging through the woods, watching geese fly overhead…you don’t even need to shoot anything to appreciate the romance of the experience. Hunting is a good, manly excuse for what the Japanese call Shinrin-yoku… or forest bathing. Go and restore the soul and if you happen to bring home supper in the process, so be it.


When Covid-19 first hit in a serious way around March of 2020, it was scary. Remember the panic buying of toilet paper? Shutting down businesses, then schools, then everything? Around this time, I had to drive to work. I’m not part of the laptop class and wasn’t able to “Stay Home and Stay Safe”. Normally for the types of jobs that I had to do I would fly, but everything was shut down including airports, so I drove.
For sixteen hours.
I drove from Calgary, AB to Terrace, BC and it was one of the weirdest drives of my life. There was no traffic. The roads were empty. Everything was shut down. I had to really think about gas, because there weren’t a lot of opportunities to fill up…and when I did, I hand sanitized the hell out of everything (This was before masks when everyone thought hand sanitizer was Covid protection). Dark and foggy roads were lit up with big, illuminated signs flashing “Covid-19” & “Stay Home, Stay Safe”. It was dystopian and bizarre. Knowing that I left a crying wife and kids at home to experience their own isolation during this time made thing worse.
My point in recounting this story is that in the early days of Covid, we didn’t know what to expect. Movies like Contagion had us prepared for the worst. Actually, movies like 28 Days Later had us prepared for the very worst. Anyway, you want to dramatize it, societal collapse by way of plague, didn’t look like a total fiction in March of 2020, especially with China exporting fear videos non-stop during that time.
When people in society began turning on one another, in terms of Covid restriction compliance and then later, Vaxxed/UnVaxxed social status, it illustrated for me just how precarious our interpersonal connections really are. All it took to shred personal freedom, legal rights and social bonds was a bad flu… imagine if something serious came along.
While you’re imagining that…ask yourself if you’d rather have access to a shotgun or not have access to a shotgun during those serious times?
I remember when BLM riots began to rage, and huge sections of America burned. I also remember Crown Point, Indiana responding to the arrival of protests in their town with heavily armed suburban Dads standing on the side of the road watching the marchers in silence. You know what?
Crown Point, Indiana didn’t burn.
Same thing for the St. Louis couple who stood outside their home with firearms during a BLM march. I’m sure they have insurance on their home in case of fire or flood, but the best way to ward off bad guys isn’t with a policy… it’s with a bang.
Should things ever get bad… really bad, either short term or long term, you should be prepared. Covid was a heads up for anyone who thinks it can’t happen here. Heed the warning.


For less than $300 you can get a shotgun. A box of shells should work out to around 75 cents per shell (depending on the load). A carrying case can be had for $15.00. A cleaning kit can be had for $30.00. Getting your PAL will cost $64.54 and you can find a qualifying class for probably about $150.00.
After all this you can investigate hunting licenses. In Alberta you need a Wildlife Identification Number which costs $8.00. If you’re new to hunting, you need to take on online class in order to be approved. This helps stop yahoos from running and gunning in the wild. The class is actually pretty good and it costs $70.00.
From there you can buy fishing and hunting licenses. Depending on what you hunt you may have to put your name in for a draw.
Shooting at clubs can vary in price. Drop-in fees to shoot trap or skeet at Calgary Firearms Centre is $11.50 for 25 targets thrown. Straight Shooters in Calgary is a great indoor range that can be enjoyed for as little as $38.00 a month. There are also fun events that you can try out such as the Fun Shoots at Silver Willow in Carstairs. For $150.00 you can make a day of it and meet lots of other like-minded people in the process. If you’re reading this outside of Southern Alberta, just internet search for similar stuff in your communities and regions… Canada is one of the most enthusiastic gun countries in the world, so just because a lot of this stuff flies under the radar doesn’t mean things aren’t happening, both formally and informally. (One of the most fun experiences I’ve had with shotguns was at a friend’s family farm. Twenty guys out in a field competitively firing away at skeets all afternoon.)
If these expenses are too much for you or you’re just not into shooting. Fair enough, but I’d still recommend getting a firearm just for the sake of having it. We’re increasingly moving into a world in which governments are eager to ban all guns. The Liberals have made great strides in pursuing gun bans and although they’ve been met with resistance, they have pushed these laws forward nevertheless. It’s not inconceivable that a future Liberal government will just bring forth a blanket ban and force people to give up their guns. History has shown that when this happens, bad things begin to unfold. Don’t think it can’t happen here.
Buy a shotgun.
JUNE 2023


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