Gut Rumbles

November 12, 2003

alarm systems

Some outfit called ADT or some such made a house call on me this week. They were willing to put over $800 dollars worth of electronic security in my home for FREE, if I let them put a sign in the yard and I then paid a $30 per month service conract. I listened to their spiel.

Then, I reached under the couch and pulled out a pistol. They shrank like spiders on a hot stove. "Do you know what this is?" I asked. Of course they didn't know. "It's security," I said. "It's a Colt five-shot .38 revolver loaded with hollowpoints. I keep it here all the time." I put it back under the couch.

"See that coat-rack over there in the corner?" I asked. They nodded. I stood up and walked over to it. "My grandfather made this," I said, as I reached behind it and pulled out a .22 rifle. "I bought this at K-Mart," I said, as I showed them the rifle. "It stays loaded, too. That's security." I put the rifle back behind the coats.

"Would you like someting to drink?" I asked. "I have some Mountain Dew in the refrigerator. Or water if you would prefer that." They asked for Mountain Dew, so I went to the kitchen and fetched two cans. I also came back with another pistol. "This is a Marlin .22 target pistol with a 9" barrel. It holds 10 rounds and I keep it on top of the refrigerator. I shoot squirrels with it sometimes, but I call it security." They were suitably impressed, so I put the pistol back on top of the refrigerator.

"If you look over there behind the front door, you'll see an aluminium baseball bat. I don't play baseball and that bat does not belong to my son. I call that security." They nodded.

"If you want to walk down the hall, I'll show you the 9mm pistol in the bedroom, the .410 shotgun in the closet, the derringer in my bathroom, the .12-gauge in my OTHER closet and two more baseball bats. I have another .38 pistol in my sock-drawer. I call that security."

They agreed that I probably didn't want to buy what they were selling. I didn't buy and they went away when they finished their Mountain Dews.

Quinton knows where every gun in this house is located. He also knows that all of them are loaded and he's supposed to keep his hands off of them. He's never even thought about violating those rules. I don't find that fact to be amazing. My grandpa's house was FULL of guns and kids just didn't touch them without permission. We were raised that way.

I don't need an electronic security system. I feel secure all by myself.


I have a security system, but I only turn it on when I'm out of town. The $30 times 12 months equals $360 a year. I save $380 on my homeowner's insurance by having the system. I threw the sign away the day I moved in. It made the house look like it was in a high crime area, or something.

Posted by: Velociman on November 12, 2003 06:21 PM

You've now got two perfect strangers who not only know every gun you've got but also where you keep them.

That would make me MORE than a little uneasy.

We don't want to read about you coming back from the lake only to find your home stripped clean. The BC has gotten you bitter as it is. Might be a good idea to relocate where you keep them for a while.

Posted by: Jim Long on November 12, 2003 06:25 PM

About kids and guns- we teach EVERY kid, early in school to stay away from fire and; if on fire to "Stop, Drop & Roll." Why do we not also teach the same age kids to stay away from guns, assume guns are loaded and to get an adult immediately when a gun is introduced?

I like your security system.

Posted by: Nate on November 12, 2003 06:26 PM

I have an alarm system, and I like it. Everyone in my neighborhood has one, and every house has a little sign in front of it. Kind of like car alarms, if one goes off, everyone figures it's a mistake, and nobody will do anything.

But two good things. First, the alarm is tied into the fire department, so if there's a fire while we're gone, they'll know. Second, it is tied into the police department, so if someone breaks in while we're gone, they'll come check it out.

And finally, when someone opens a door you can hear a little beep. So I know when my teenage daughter is sneaking in past curfew. Or sneaking out...

Posted by: Ole Eichhorn on November 12, 2003 06:28 PM

MB and PB have much the same, as do more than a few neighbors, and the word is out, so we seldom have trouble, unlike the yuppie areas in other parts of town.

Posted by: MommaBear on November 12, 2003 06:42 PM

I grew up with both guns and knives in the house everywhere. I shot a gun the very first time before I was in first grade, I got a rifle for my sixteenth birthday, and I have never in my life handled one improperly, or even thought of doing so. This included when I had friends over at the house.

I'm sure sure any of them knew about the guns, but I do know that if any of them had found out about them and done anything stupid, the gun would have been put away and I'd have beaten them for being idiots straight off.

Now I'm twenty-one (I know, I'm just a baby), and I got a lovely pistol from my father when I came of age. I have some ammo, too, but since my last roommate (moved out eight days ago) was an utter moron, I kept it hidden and unloaded. I'm in a good neighborhood now, though, unlike my last place (long, scary story), so it might stay locked away until I'm living alone again. My other roommate's the son of a cop, and knows had to handle a gun, and more importantly, to stay away from my stuff, but like I's finally a good neighborhood. I don't doubt that before I settle down for awhile, I'll end up in some more bad neighborhoods. And now, I have what I need for security.

I also have a couple of friends with no prior gun experiences who want to go out to a range and try out the pistol. If they can deal with the required education that goes along with that, and avoid any asswittery beforehand, then it could be a great experience coming up for all of us.

Posted by: Veryalda Relisys on November 12, 2003 07:14 PM

This was a funny post. If it can somehow be placed in your novel, all the better.

Posted by: Horse with no-- on November 12, 2003 07:32 PM

Ole Eichhorn stole my secret. I DO use that alarm, now that my daughter is 5 weeks shy of 16. Not to keep her in. To keep her boyfriend OUT. Well, maybe both. I trust her. I'm just not stupid.

Posted by: Velociman on November 12, 2003 07:46 PM

Cool, in 5 weeks I'll feel a little less lecherous!

Posted by: Jay Solo on November 12, 2003 08:01 PM

Jim, when I leave the house, I let the neighbors know that I'll be gone. They keep a good watch on my place. And they own as many guns as I do.

If anyone wants to steal my guns, he'd better be really careful about his approach.

Posted by: Acidman on November 12, 2003 08:15 PM

Ole Eichorn wrote: "First, the alarm is tied into the fire department, so if there's a fire while we're gone, they'll know. Second, it is tied into the police department, so if someone breaks in while we're gone, they'll come check it out."

I live in Tucson. Unless the police get a phone call from a human being, they no longer respond to alarm systems because of the number of false alarms.

But it sounds like an excellent daughter-watching device.

A-man: I do hope you've got a safe you keep your guns in when you're not around. You can't stay home 24/7/365.

Posted by: Kevin Baker on November 12, 2003 08:41 PM

My dad has a wrinkled old photocopy of that sign that shows the barrel of a .38 facing you. It says "To hell with the dog, Beware of the owner." It's taped on his screed door. Solicitors don't even bother.

Posted by: Ralphy on November 12, 2003 10:04 PM

In Mass, there's a fairly new law about gun safes and whatnot. Eh, it may keep stranger's kids or casual burglars from getting guns. There are now a few quite nice gun safes that open on a number of programmed finger prints, a few of which I've picked up. (I am in the Northeast, after all)

Jim Long, everyone keeps their guns in the same place: where you can get to them. Just like burglars know where to check for the money. (Top bureau drawer in the bedroom, in the bible if there is one on a bookshelf nearby, then check for fake power outlets.)

I was taught early about guns in the household (and my sister was the only person in her class at Emerson College who had handled a handgun, she embarrassed the rest of the class because they knew nothing of the powers or limitations of personal firearms, and half of them are reporters now, surprise, surprise.) though I personally like a short shotgun for home defense, and am also a big fan of a .45 cal handgun, as I worship at the church of the big hole.

Posted by: Leo on November 13, 2003 12:59 AM

A number of years ago when I had moved out on my own, I had Sloamins install their alarm system in my new apartment. I justified that as an extra measure of security for a single female living in NYC. But the damn thing is totaly useless now. My cat keeps triggering the motion sensor or I keep forgetting to set the alarm before I head out the door. Its a good thing my next door neighbor is home all the time and keeps a watch on my place. She is a sweet old women with good aim. She was raised in WV and has a wonderful display of guns and ammo all over the place.

Posted by: Anna on November 13, 2003 09:12 AM

All the guns won't protect your property from an afternoon burglar, someone who breaks in while you're at work. And aren't the guns themselves tempting items to steal? By the way, we were burglarized twice when we lived in Evanston, IL, and both times were during the day with no one home.

Posted by: Nancy Beckmann on November 13, 2003 10:50 AM

Afternoon burglars are discouraged by a resident Rottweiler. Good back-up "security".

Posted by: Indigo on November 13, 2003 04:45 PM

Nate: By an amazing coincidence, that is exactly what the NRA's "Eddie Eagle" gun education program does.

Of course, a certain manic, fearful sort of parent or administrator sometimes prevents this sort of vile pro-gun indoctrination from taking place, to great fanfare, thus saving dozens of children from the dangerous lesson "STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult."

Those damned gun-nuts, always trying to indoctrinate our children.

Posted by: Sigivald on November 13, 2003 05:04 PM

Yep, our house was full of semiautomatic weapons when the kids were growing up (my husband is a gun afficianado) and the kids learned to shoot them growing up and not to touch them without supervision. My daughter is an (old) movie buff; we are talking 40s classics here. I thought she might like her own small television/vcr to watch her Cary Grant flicks, and sent Mikey out Christmas shopping. He came back with a .357 magnum for her Christmas present....she has a couple rifles and a shotgun, too.

Posted by: SwampWoman on November 13, 2003 11:17 PM

Ole Eichorn wrote: "First, the alarm is tied into the fire department, so if there's a fire while we're gone, they'll know. Second, it is tied into the police department, so if someone breaks in while we're gone, they'll come check it out."

I live in Tucson. Unless the police get a phone call from a human being, they no longer respond to alarm systems because of the number of false alarms.

But it sounds like an excellent daughter-watching device.
As I recall the alarm Alerts ADT who then call the police or Fire Department I've worked with them before.. They (or at least the local franchise) seem to have a clue. But yeah.. unless you travel alot... and/or have things you can't replace.. ::Shrug:: its a personal matter..

Oh.. (for the person with the cat problem) and motion detectors can be adjusted to not be so sensitive...

Posted by: LarryConley on November 15, 2003 12:42 PM
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