Object Lesson


While jogging on a familiar, overgrown, wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, “what a beautiful day.”
Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands. In the midst of appreciating the weather and scenery, she looked ahead and noticed a raccoon obstructing the narrow foot path, baring its tiny teeth. Suddenly, it began “bounding” toward her, Borch recalled Wednesday afternoon during an interview at her home on Hatchet Mountain Road in Hope.
“I knew instantly it had to be rabid,” said Borch, who remembers ripping out her headphones and dropping her phone on the ground.

It’s a gripping story, and you should read the whole thing.

However: I can’t help wondering whether she wouldn’t have saved herself from a whole lot of trouble (and pain, and medical attention, and stress) if she’d only been carrying a gun.

Of course, she wouldn’t have been: she’s a vegetarian, and cute lil’ furry animals are All God’s Creatures, after all… except when they’re rabid little fuckers trying to kill you.

Let’s add a little recommendation to the thus-begged question: “If I’m going to go jogging along a lonely country trail all by myself, and danger threatens, what gun should I be carrying to protect myself?”

Of course, the gun has to be a small one, because otherwise it’s going to bounce around all over the place. (Unless, of course, you have a proper holster for it – which I’ll be discussing later when I talk about carry guns.) I must confess to being not the best authority on “jogging guns” because I don’t jog – a stately saunter is about my limit – but I can’t see why a decent little carry piece wouldn’t do the trick.

Frankly, I think that the gun may not be as important as the ammo you’ve loaded it with. When I go for my daily walks, if it’s a short one (to buy lottery tickets at the corner 7-Eleven) I carry a little NAA Mini-revolver (.22 Magnum: two shotshells  followed by three solids):

If it’s a longer walk (up the hill to the liquor store), then I carry in addition my S&W Model 637 loaded with Winchester SXT .38 Special +P jacketed hollowpoints.

I am fully aware that these may not be the best options for other people (e.g. our hapless jogger in the story above), so I will happily entertain further discussion in Comments.


  1. Former Texas Governor (and current Department of Energy head) Rick Perry famously took on a coyote while jogging with a Ruger LCP .380ACP. Ruger even brought out a “Coyote Special” edition of the LCP to memorialize the encounter.

    1. And asshole liberals in the big cities (redundancy alert) ridiculed him for jogging with a gun, despite the justification of him needing it.

    2. When I take Dog for our morning exercise I either carry the LCP (Low Cost Pistol) or a Glock 43. I live in a middle class area with REALLY low crime (west of Denver). One of my neighbors has had their garage open–filled with tools and stuff–for two weeks now.

      Tomorrow we’ll get up in the mountains and it will be a Glock 19 with the first magazine being Buffalo bore and the second being hollow points.

  2. First of all those little, itty, bitty mouse guns kind of scare me. I was on a gun range earlier this year and an older couple, almost as old as I, were shooting pistols. The man loaded some magazines and moved up forward towards the target and the wife was messing around with her NAA gun trying to get the cylinder out. She was pointing it all over the place and I offered to help her and as I was removing the cylinder she told me that she had been handling her gun in her house and shot a bullet threw the window. Now she thought she understood how to work it. I carried the open gun and gave it to her husband, told his she need help with it and left. I kind of think it takes some special attention to shoot those things and hit anything more than a couple of feet away.

    A decent size snub nose in almost any caliber including .22 would be a minimum for shooting a rabid animal that is scurrying all round your feet and that brings up the fact that you always want to avoid wild animals that are not afraid of you because that is often a sign of rabies. In Texas skunks are real bad for killing rabies and a vet told me that I should always shoot any skunk I see when I am out hunting and if I can safely transport the critter turn it in to a game warden giving the location so they can test for rabies.

    That is an interesting story and the young lady did the best she could in a difficult situation drowning a rabid raccoon that was clamped down on her thumb. I am glad it worked out for her and I understand the series of rabies shots are very unpleasant but they do allow you to cheat death once more.

    1. I love my NAA. It is what it is. A last chance at halitosis range. Empty the cylinder in their face, kick them in the nuts, and run.

  3. One of those Bond Arms .45Colt/410 derringers might be just the ticket. Made in Texas too.

  4. I live in suburban New Jersey, and if there’s a bigger bunch of airheads regarding wild animals than suburban New Jerseyites I don’t know who they may be. I’ve seen people trying to PET raccoons. When I (gently, more or less) explain to them that raccoons are wild animals and not to be trifled with even before the threat of rabies they pooh pooh that raccoons are sweet little woodland animals that wash their food. I’ve also seen people approach deer and heard of them going toward bears. If makes me doubt Darwin, if intelligence is a survival trait these people shouldn’t have reached puberty.

    NJ being NJ carrying is verboten, but I’ll point out that I have my Savage bolt action .22 (so accurate I suspect it has eyes of its own) and a supply of CCI CB Longs (about as loud from the rifle as my knees cracking when I get up in the morning) and a shovel. Animals that aren’t acting normally will be subject to the three S’s (shoot, shovel, shut up). I’m not getting bitten, and I’m not letting anyone ELSE get bitten while we wait six hours for Animal Control to show up.

    As for what to carry while jogging, one of the .22 semis would work nicely for pest control of the two or four legged variety, assuming you practice enough to be accurate. As Jeff Cooper pointed out, a .22 in the tear duct tends to end a fight decisively.

    1. Go to Youtube and search ‘tourists annoying bison’. If there’s ANYTHING that ought to warn someone off, it’s one of them rolling its eyes and huffing, but noo….

      Idiots suffering from Disney Syndrome.

  5. A few folks recommend the much mocked, but extraordinarily useful “fanny pack” for runners.
    Pepper spray is another useful thing in case one encounters critters.
    And of course, one should always have a knife available.

  6. Several years ago there was a story from either Alaska or Canada about a woman killed by wolves. She liked to run in the woods, but:
    She’d been followed by one or more, more than once.
    Other locals had warned that they were getting aggressive.
    But she went on running there, unarmed, and one day they killed and ate her.

    Darwin strikes again.
    Added: found a story on it:

  7. Lived in Texas for 20 years. Annoying raccoon and no gun handy? Just pick up a stick or something heavy and beat upside the head. This also works with annoying people.

  8. Well, hard hitting to the firing hand at least. Sold my Seecamp .32 for what it did to my knuckle, but few will try to argue it is a hard-hitting round as far as the target is concerned.

    Love the quality of my NAA, but shot? No shot. You will be judged as firing with deadly intent regardless of the cartridge, and, should we pull the trigger the situation doesn’t warrant deadly force?

    Walking in a snake-infested area, and there are those, I say having lived in AR, walking to the store isn’t such a situation. My humble recommendation: carry a full five of .22 mag solids if you choose to stick with the NAA. Better choice, pick the S&W as a minimum, regardless of the distance of the hike.

    Or, a .308 mini-gun, your choice. Just kidding.

    1. Where I’m living at the moment, the route to the 7-11 goes through a wooded area. Saw a coyote there once, couple raccoons. Must be snakes, just haven’t seen one yet.
      Once my living situation has been sorted out, then I won’t need the NAA — no wooded areas in Plano to speak of, just sidewalks.

  9. My NAA is in .22LR because I have 2,000 rounds of it. Does the Mag really make that much difference?

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