An email of survival….and a question

I received the following email a few weeks ago and wanted to share. What a tough situation Don and his wife have been through and are now in. Don asks a question at the end – let’s offer up some suggestions for him.
….and yes – I gave him my two cents back when I originally received Don’s email.


 – Rourke


Dear Rourke –


I truly enjoy your “Message” every day on my E-mail’s list and it is a pleasure to read and learn from other people who have the knowledge to be able to “survive” our senseless government take over.  My wife and I both had started to do the same thing, put away food for hard times, and stock up on fire wood etc. Well all that came to a stop when my wife had a serious accident and now has to either walk with a cane or a walker, or be pushed in a wheel chair.


 We also lost our business because of the accident, “personal care home”, seventeen years of business gone, with the result of a stupid horse. The farrier had come to trim the horses hoofs, but for some reason the horse would not let any one touch his rear legs, so okay, we will just do the front, so he did. I was in the house putting down a new wood floor in a room and well my wife let the farrier take control of the horse and she headed back to the house. She got half way back when the farrier screamed for help, the wife turned around and saw the farrier on the ground with the horse standing over him.  My wife ran back to the pasture to take control of the horse and the horse turned on her, knocked her down and then picked her up and like a dish rag shook her and tossed her across the field. It ran and picked her up again and with her in his mouth dragged her around the pasture. Some friends that had come to visit saw what was happening and ran into the house and told us that the horse had my wife and was trying to kill her.  I ran and got my rifle and ran out to the pasture and chased the horse while he had my wife in his mouth, after hitting him several times with the stock of the gun he let go. My wife’s brother was there and he ran and covered her with his body. The horse kept trying to get my wife, I kept hitting him, and finally the horse ran off a ways. Next, he laid his ears back, pawed the ground and charged. It took three shots but I put him down less than 50 feet from us. If I had not he would have run all three of us down.


To make a long story short, they had to airlift my wife to a hospital one and a half hours away (driving time), she almost died three times and they had to bring her back. She had a broken leg, a dislocated knee, the horse stepped on her hand and pushed the bones through the other side, part of her ear was ripped off, broken eye socket, three broken ribs, collapsed lung, and too many bites to count. Some of the bites were so bad that the horse pulled the  “meat” right off her body – you could see her organs in side.


She was in intensive care for almost two months. Finally she was able to come home, but like I said she will never walk normal again, will never ride a motorcycle again, never climb mountains again, and never work  again. Due to the fact she can’t walk or use her right hand, it is fortunate that our house is paid for, or else we would be homeless.  I have my S.S. and she (thank God!) gets disability, but here we are not able to go that far away from home due to a bad back she also has. Well, we live in the country and have 43 acres backed up to the state game lands and our one neighbor  (notice I said  “one”) is a great couple, and the rest of the


people here are wonderful people. Religion is not a problem here as many of us are either Mormons, Baptist, Methodist, SDA’s, but we all band together through good times and bad.


But one thing that my wife realized she can not do any more is use a pistol as my .45 and my 9mm are too powerful for her. I was thinking about either a .22, or something that would be comfortable in her hands. Any suggestions?  But like I said keep up the good work you are doing and by God’s grace somehow some way we will defeat this senseless government take over.


Thank You.









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  1. Don, sorry to hear about your wife and hope all is well. My wife is also no longer comfortable with a high power hand gun so I have approached the issue in two ways. First for my 9mm and .38 weapons I load with a reduced recoil round for close defence and reintruduced the .22 back into her battery . I know the uneducated debate on the .22 but its still gets the job done just ask any law enforcement official what round is feared the most and most E.R. Doc’s which round does the most damage. Don’t use hollow points at close range it will not achive the correct velosity to flatten upon impact I recommend a 38-40 grain round nose or if you can get them a wad cutter round. Also remember as you practice a double tap with your .45/9mm just train with the .22 using a triple tap. Another advantage the low recoil allows the shooter to remain on target for a much better shot group. Good luck, God Bless and Keep Your Powder Dry.

  2. Sorry for your wife’s attack. Was the horse a stallion? They tend to be unpredictable and can be very dangerous.
    To the gun, I would start with a .22 with the idea of working up to maximum power comfortable for her. Remember that weight influences recoil and a full size .38 with target wadcutters can have recoil similar to a .22. Larger .32 and .380 guns can be very manageable and a .25 has less recoil than a .22lr and is more reliable.

  3. One of my favorite guns is a .25 cal. More reliable than a .22lr but with about the same recoil. Also usually a great gun for those with small hands.

  4. I agree with the .22, it is a great little round and kills more folks / critters than you would think.
    I use to carry a .22 mag as a back up weapon when I was a cop.
    I think a revolver were serve her better than a semi-auto with the hand injury.
    We shall add you both to our prayer list.

  5. Don, I am so very sorry for the pain and suffering both you and your DW have gone through, and will go through. It’s not easy; we all know that. But it doesn’t have to be “easy” to be “doable”.

    I am not an equestrian, by any means, but I do think I know enough about horses to know that something went very wrong with that horse; I’d want to know “what”, so I’d know if my other critters were at risk.

    As to “will never” do this…”will never” do that” again…NEVER say never. She may not – I have no way of knowing – but I assure you – if you adapt the attitude “never”, the answer will be “never”. What do you want it to be? Recovery will not be easy, regardless, but, never give up. You won’t know the limits until you push them.

    You are blessed to own a home on many acres. I suggest you don’t try to do it all yourself. FIND like-minded people in your area (sounds like you already have them!) and build relationships, through fellowship and training, that will allow a cohesive community when the time comes.

    You are not helpless; you are not impotent in any situation; be reactive; be proactive; but don’t give up; if you give up, you’ve already lost the battle, yet, the war will continue to rage, with or without your active participation and/or input/resistance.

    We all have our limitations, especially as we age. We all have our challenges. “Things” and “events” can change us physically, but they can not change us mentally, unless we give permission. The battle is in the mind. The Word of G-d is full of instruction on this truth.

    Don’t give up; don’t give in; just adapt, however you must – then, you will always be victorious!

    Blessings to you and all that is yours,

  6. Hi Don,

    As you can see, lots of folks have you in their thoughts and prayers. Above all else we’ll be hoping for great days in your family’s future.

    I own a Colt Government Pocketlite in 380 that I bought new years ago as a backup. I chose it over the Pony or Mustang because the Govt is a larger model and I have big hands, thought its still a “small” weapon that my wife handles with ease. These days its my wife’s favorite and her guest greeter of choice. The 380, as you know, is a 9mm short and has considerably less recoil than the 9.

    The Colt Mustang and Pony are both considerably smaller than the Govt, and you can get any of these in the regular or Pocketlite version, with the Pocketlite being the lightest due to the alloy frame. Haters says junk about jams or whatever with the Colt… in 17 years of ownership I’ve had not one (not a single one) malfunction. I keep my weapons clean and lubed, and I understand the importance of grip. If you limp wrist most semi’s you’ll get a malfunction because it interferes with the intended recoil/eject/feed/cocking action.

    I love this line from Colt and the .380 is plenty and easy to handle. The downside is that this is a somewhat pricey gun, but if you look around you may find a used one reasonably priced. Otherwise, if cost is an issue, you can get a Kel-Tec P3-AT (.380) for under $300. I don’t own this one, but I know people who do and overall it seems to have a good reputation. Here’s a link to Nutnfancy’s review of that pistol.

    I’m also a loyal Sig owner and have been for years. I started my law enforcement career with a Ruger Security Six in 357, but as revolvers were replaced by semi-autos I stepped up to the Sig P220 in 45, and later to the Sig P226 in .40 that I still carry. I love Sig. To the point, they have an awesome light and portable 380 in the Sig P238 (again, very pricey, but very high quality and reliable). To reliability… if a gun fails when you need it most, how cool was that price savings? I’ve never understood the penny-pinching mentality when it comes to firearms for protection; on everything else, yes, I always look for deals, but on something my life may depend I want the very best I can afford. Here’s Nutnfancy’s review of the Sig 238.

    I know mobility is an issue, but if there’s any way to get to a range/shop they’ll almost certainly let your wife fire a variety of weapons to find one that she is comfortable with. If you explain your circumstances they may even send someone out to your place with a few for her to test fire. I wish you the best my friend.


  7. Don, Iam so sorry to hear about your wife, Both of you are in my prayers.
    I also have an invalid wife who is confined to bed or a wheel chair, she cannot stand. We live outside of Charleston,SC but are currently in Indianapolis, In awaiting a multi-visceral transplant. I solved a similar problem for my wife with a KEL-TEC PMR30. A nice pistol, quite light, although not small. It holds 30 rounds of 22 magnum. my wife finds it easy to control and very accurate. This might solve your handgun problem. All the best and GOD Bless you both………………………….Larry

  8. Don, sorry to hear about your wife’s accident.
    Such things are just as damaging to the spouse as to the victim.
    The both of you are in our prayers.
    Now as to a managable weapon. I would forgo the 22lr. Yes it it can stop a human, if you are lucky, a marksman or have a hi-cap mag.
    A .380 would be a good choice, however I would choose .17 hmr Taurus revolver if available. It is a necked down .22 magnum with a .17 caliber bullet.
    Think of it as a midget .223.
    I have vaporised many a varmit with that caliber.
    It is easy to control and will stop an attacker in their tracks.

    May GODlook upon and bless you.

  9. Don, My heart and prayers go out to you. What is your wifes first name-so I can pray. Having trained horses for many years I have never heard of this type of attack. I would see what the farrier did or used in your wifes absence. Horses are so powerful and yet most of the time most of the them cooperate with us. I had a severe injury while training which has caused me lifetime pain- but it wasn’t a malicious act just an accident.
    What a brutal exp for you all.
    Maybe mace would be better than a gun for self protection for your wife until she heals and hopefully gets more strength.
    Ask your neighbors and friends for help and accept it.May time bring you peace and prosperity. I care. Arlene and family

  10. Dearest Don, I am so sorry for what has happened to you and your wife. I have been a horsewoman all my life, I breed and train American Quarter Horses for a living. I must agree with servantheart that something was terribly wrong with your horse for him to behave this way. Its probably too late to have him tested for rabies, that may be the culprit. Or it may have been something else such as a brain aneurysm, without a necropsy, there is no way to tell. But a regrettable situation all ’round. As for the hand gun, I carry a Walthur P22. ( I know you guys are sniggering at this but…) I love mine. I have small hands, and not a great deal of strength anymore. This pistol is light weight, extremely accurate, and has very little recoil. I have had it jam a couple of times through the years, but is cleared quickly and easily. It can be shot left or right handed. The clip holds 10 rounds. I do suggest copper plated rounds over brass ones.
    I will pray for you and your wife’s recovery. May you be bathed in God’s love and mercy now and always. Never give up, and never quit !

  11. Howdy, Don. I’m really sorry about your wife’s horrific injuries. I’m no doctor, but if I could, I’d like to recommend your wife try to see a physical therapist. A PT doesn’t “cure” anything per se, but they can help your damaged muscles to “re-learn” how to move, and if necessary, adapt to the existing condition. Therapy is painful at first, but over time it becomes less so, and eventually not at all. She may never become as fully functional as before her injuries, but I think (and pray) that your wife will be able to recover a good deal of her old abilities. I’ve been through several accidents (automotive and other), and physical therapy was a lifesaver for me. If no PT has a practice nearby, physicians known as DO’s and even chiropractors are knowledgeable about physical therapeutics. Good Luck!

  12. Don, I am sorry to hear about your wife and God speed her recovery. People have written in about some good 22 auto’s, but do not overlook the old revolver as it can be used in single action also if she can not rack a semi auto slide, John.

  13. Don, so sorry to hear about your wifes accident. We will keep her in our prayers for a speedy recovery. As for the gun issue for her I have a Reuger 22 that I really enjoy shooting. It doesn’t jam up and will shoot just about anything. Just my $.02. As a side note while showing my Mom my new gun that my DH bought me for christmas she mentioned that while working in the Emergency Rooms in both Idaho and Kansas City she saw more people killed by a 22 round than any other. She said once that bullet gets into the body cavity it just bounces around tearing more things up. Makes me feel a lot better knowing that is the gun that I carry. Good luck to you and your wife.

  14. PMR30! although the short pistol barrel does not use the full capabilities of the .22WMR, it is sufficient… and even if you don;t think you can do some serious damage with a .22….. by time you empty this magazine, most bad guys will be a long way off muttering, “what the heck?!?!? Don;t they ever run out??? ”

    I wish they made it is standard .22

  15. Jeez Don, that is one hell of a brutal accident! Ive never heard of a horse freaking out that bad before. Thank go you were able to shoot the damn thing and put it down as I cant imagine how much more damage it would have done to your wife and maybe you too!

    As for your wife current physical condition, There are several things you can do. As some people have stated, a .25 or .22 is an option. Me personally, IM not just a prepper, but something of a tinkerer/inventor/machinist/mechanic and I own my own transmission repair shop, so I am often tasked with inventing or creating things to fix problems where there i no fix. I know this might sound James Bond, but what about a firearm mounted to her wheelchair? HK used to have an MP5K that mounted inside a breif case that had a trigger near the handle. You carried it just like a breif case, and if someone attacked you, ya pointed the thing at them, and grabbed the trigger. Or perhaps you could construct an arm brace for her hand to hold the pistol? As for wheelchairs, they make a lot of differant ones for outdoor use. Some are as much fun as riding an ATV. Check this bad boy out….. or

    There are many Americans with disabilities anymore who dont let their disability stop them from doing the things they love. Where there is a will, there is a way, and always some creative person to facilitate it! Its just another obstacle, but it doesnt mean you cant overcome it! Your prepping just got a little more challenging, thats all! But often things that are more challenging are also more rewarding! Stay well!


  16. What sort of 9mm do you have? Is the issue the physical weight of the gun or the force of recoil?

    Consider a Smith and Wesson model 10 (K frame) with mild ammo like Nyclad hollow points. If that doesn’t work I would get her a .22, preferably a .22 mag. Since (aside from just being a .222) the biggest weak point of rimfire for defense is that they do fail to fire sometimes a revolver just lets you pull the trigger again. Smith and Wesson might make a concealable .22/.22WM, Ruger makes the LCR which might be worth looking into.

  17. Don,

    So sorry to hear of your misfortune; and your wife will be in my prayers.
    For her back problem, you might want to consider getting an inversion table:
    It’s a table that pivots in the middle to elevate your feet (they are strapped in) to pull the spinal column straight and take pressure off of injured nerves and discs. I know of one co-worker whose wife was unable to sleep due to the pain of her back injury and wasn’t getting much relief from her painkillers either. Her doctor recommended a spinal fusion with metal hardware to fuse the vertebrae. She made a miraculous recovery using the inversion table; fell asleep on it, and after some use was able to walk normally again without pain or surgery. I don’t know how much damage the attack from your horse did, but if it’s a back injury, I think this modality might be worth a try in making your wife more mobile again.

    As for a defense gun for the recoil sensitive: Always remember a hit from a .22 is better than a miss from a .45. Shot placement is paramount: I would prefer .22 Ruger LCR pistol or S&W Airweight revolver over a semi-auto, but if you get the latter make sure it’s a good one like a Baretta or Bersa. They usually work and cycle best with CCI Stingers – but see what ammo works best in the gun. I would prefer a revolver over an automatic for a .22 because if you get get a misfire from a bad round just squeeze the trigger and bang! You’ve got 7 more. It has no stopping power (unless you aim for the facial nerves – and BTW, most police who get killed in the line of duty are killed by .22’s; so it is a deadly calibre – but it’s a “kill you later” bullet). If the primer isn’t evenly cast into the case it can misfire – that’s why you’re better off with a revolver. ln any case, I haven’t met anyone who’d like to get shot by one. Just my two cents. You could also try out a
    .38 airweight snubby loaded with .38 S&W short rounds (made for lower pressure antique .38’s). Hope that helps. God Bless.

  18. Truly sorry to hear about what happened. I was a varsity athelete in high school, served 4 yrs in the marines and loved to run with all my being. In 1989 I was involved in an auto accident and loss the lower part of my right leg, damaged my hips and damaged my sciatic nerve. I was 25 yrs old and life as I knew it ceased to exsist on that day. Because of that day I learned that the only thing that could or ever would stop me from doing the things that made me happy was me. It was very difficult, but through perserverance I succeeded in continueing to live not just exsist. I played softball in several leagues, played basketball in a corporate league and even water skiied a couple times. Although I was never able to run the way I did before the accident, I could still run. I could fill your ears with cliche after cliche… the size of the fight in the dog… blah, blah, blah, but to be honest, those saying didnt mean much to me at that time. For me I one thing that I kept remembering is the last 4 letters of the word american… I can. I’m not saying that it wont be very difficult and at times it will seem impossible, but as long as she doesnt give up and she keeps fighting and you keep fighting for her, she can and will overcome. Believe me, I know how easy it is to give up and stop trying, infact I did, on several occasions, but thankfully I had a drive inside of me that would let me stay down. Just remember, it’s the little accomplishments that happen everyday that matter the most. From reading the other posts on here she has a lot of good karma going to her and I’ll be sending as much as I can as well. Good luck to you and let her know how much we’re all pushing for to succeed.

  19. Cathy, good hearing from you. I also have fibro ,arthritis and MS and have been a Master gardener for many years.
    Don, please consider getting a therapy/ guard dog for your wife . Theres a school National Canine in Columbus,Ohio that can provide a local trainer.Our daughter attended the two month training there and has been training dogs for several years. I will continue to pray for you and your wife.Arlene

  20. I am so sorry about your wife. I have fibromaylgia and arthritis. I was told I would not be able to do a lot of the things that I used to do but with God and my family I am now a member of the Master Gardeners. we also ride a motorcycle. My husband and I put 1600 miles on our bike in October. We put about 400 miles a day on the bike. I have learned to do what I can and stop to rest often. It is frustrating but as time passes it will get better.
    I have a S & W 38 special air weight. It is a hammerless revolver that has a thinner and shorter grip that is perfect for my small hand. Even with the arthritis in my hands it is easy to use.

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