Ammo is expensive at my local indoor range. I don't really begrudge (too much) them what they charge though. It's a business, and they aren't paying the bills with what I spend on their drink machine. The problem is that I usually buy ammunition for at least two, and sometimes three of us when going to the range. It gets expensive, so I try to avoid paying 30% more for 9mm and .38spl at the indoor range.
About 20 years ago, I used to shoot on this crazy old guy's farm before eventually joining a private range. It saved me a hell of a lot of money, and the wife and I used to make a day of visiting this farm an hour away. We would run and gun long before the first YouTube firearm video was ever produced. Alas... now I'm lucky to waddle and plink.
But I digress.
I mentioned that the farm owner was a bit crazy. I'm not going to go on and on about all of his oddities. Instead, I'll just repeat some of his gun wisdom. Bear in mind that he was supposed to be a certified NRA instructor (doubtful). Needless to say, we never took a "Class" from him.
I still remember two things that he told us. "If someone is trying to break into your house, then just shoot em' on the front porch, and then drag them inside."
Another nugget of wisdom regarded his keeping a few spent cartridges in his pocket of varying calibers. Supposedly he would, "Throw them on the ground to confuse the crime scene."
Oddly enough, I have a few doubts as to his actually being a NRA instructor. Maybe it's just my suspicious nature.
Let's break down the farm owner's two idiotic ideas. BTW, I've actually heard several people repeat the front porch advice over the years.
Pretend that you have shot someone on the front porch as they were trying to break in. Whether or not this is legal, and your life was actually threatened will soon be judged. There's a few problems with, "Dragging em' inside," after shooting them.
1) Your neighbors will probably take an interest in the gunfire coming from next door, or across the street. I can only imagine what it would look like when they see a body being dragged into your house. It would no doubt be a very interesting tale when the police are investigating the shooting.
2) There's no real point in going into blood trails, splatter patterns, gunshot residue, bullet paths, etc. I'll lump all of those things into a special category that I'll call evidence.
3) I have to believe that the average person would have their heart pounding like a drum after a shooting. A little adrenalin tends to effect both your thinking, and actions. You're not going to improve the crime scene in order to make yourself look more legally justified. Mistakes (other than the idea of messing with the scene) will definitely be made.
4) People investigate crime scenes for a living. They see them every week (probably twice per day in Chicago), and you're not going to be smart enough to fool them.
5) You're only going to turn what is hopefully a legitimate shooting, into a giant question mark.
6) You will look guilty.
7) You're probably going to end up in a place with a lot bars that smells like a combination of ass and feet.
Now let's discuss the idea of throwing a bunch of old spent cases around the crime scene. Most of the points about this plan match those listed above.
1) You're going to screw it up and leave fingerprints everywhere they're not supposed to be.
2) You're going to be stressed, and not thinking straight.
3) The investigators will look at the scene, and it's not going to match your make believe tale.
4) You will look guilty.
5) You're going to jail for something.
So this anecdote and lesson ran on for a bit. What's the point?
What you say, and do is going to be looked at if you're ever involved in a defensive shooting. Do you really want a bunch of stupid statements about tampering with crime scenes reported by neighbors and associates?
A few people that I know discuss firearms now and then. It's a shared interest, and a hobby. Think about the topic as you would sports, racing, or golf.
There is always one individual (wherever you are) however that has a very unhealthy interest in guns. I try to shy away from those that are always talking about bombs, homemade silencers, and other crazieness. You know the weird guy that never grew up. He's got a military fixation but never served. Now he's a self proclaimed firearms expert despite almost never setting foot on a range. The gentleman has no real knowledge of firearms, but is very quick to give his opinion on guns whether you want it or not.
I try very hard to avoid that guy. He makes all gun owners look bad, and will always end up reciting some weird theory of how he'd handle a self defense encounter. This is the guy that will eventually get around to talking about, "Shooting them on the front porch and then dragging them inside." I don't want to be associated with crazy talk, if law enforcement is investigating me after I've defended myself.
Talking about gun hobbies is one thing. Speaking about illegal actions is something else.
Now before you dismiss the paragraphs above as paranoia on my part, it's worth considering one point. Would you like to be in George Zimmerman's shoes, and have 20 different neighbors and coworkers coming forward to say that you constantly talk about messing with crime scenes, building illegal silencers, killing people, and making machineguns?
Look at what the media did with Zimmerman's 911 tapes, and creative editing. I can only imagine what they would make out of a few damning statements from friends, and family
This leads me to my next, and final point. Your social media footprint. Everything that you've said online or in texts may be looked at by a prosecutor. There may be scrutiny of your online comments. Consider what you've put on Facebook, said on YouTube, or posted on forums.
Yes, I get the irony of someone with a gun blog writing about watching your social media footprint.
So long story short. You don't have to be paranoid about watching what you say and do. It is however, prudent not to put your most stupid thoughts down on a permanent record. Just imagine what George Zimmerman's fate would look like if the state had a few records of him talking about wanting to shoot people, or tamper with crime scenes.