Gun Safety vs. Gun Control

Despite what you’ve heard, gun safety and gun control is not the same thing and the two cannot be used interchangeably.  They are in fact, completely opposite. So when you hear someone talking about ‘gun safety’, you need to step back and figure out who they are and what they are really referring to.  Simply put, one assumes you are a responsible law-abiding person; the other does not.

Gun control is pretty easy to understand. It’s the government wanting to limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to purchase, posses and use firearms.  Sadly, the reasons they tell you don’t even matter since their intentions have nothing to do with it.  They tell you it’s about public safety and that you, your family and your community will be safer if you don’t own firearms, or certain types of firearms, ammunition and accessories, or can only have the precious few they currently approve of IF they are unloaded and locked up in your home. They tell you having less guns will mean less crime and that this is the only way for you to feel safe.

Of course there’s a big difference between ‘feeling safe’ and actually being safe. What they aren’t telling you is that all of the laws and rules they are putting into place to take away your right to purchase, posses and use firearms will do absolutely nothing to stop criminals, thugs and terrorists from getting and using their guns against you.

Instead of being able to protect yourself and your family, you are supposed to rely on your local law enforcement agency to protect you. But that too is a fallacy. As much as your local LEO may try, they can only respond AFTER you have been victimized. AFTER you have been assaulted, robbed, raped or murdered, and AFTER you or someone else manages to get to a phone to call and AFTER the police respond – somewhere in the 5 to 45 minute range, or more depending on where you are – they’ll do their best to figure out who victimized you. And that is supposed to make you feel safer.

Keep in mind the government that says public safety is best served by you not having firearms to protect yourself and your family is the very same government that is decriminalizing crime, reducing penalties for other crimes, redefining offenses like assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; battery with serious bodily injury; solicitation to commit murder and rape/sodomy/oral copulation of an unconscious person or by use of a date rape drug as non-violent crimes so the offender can get out of prison earlier. The very same government that says eliminating bail and mandating those arrested to be released within 12 hours is fairer to ‘justice connected individuals’. And that too is supposed to make you feel safer.

Gun safety on the other hand is just what you would expect it to be, being safe with firearms.  Gun safety doesn’t say the only way you can be safe is to take away everyone’s firearms, it says the firearms you purchase, posses and use can be done safely.

If you talk to someone about gun safety – real gun safety – you’ll hear them talk about information, training and personal responsibility. You’ll learn how firearms and ammunition work. You’ll learn about how to pick up and handle firearms safely. You’ll learn about the law and what your responsibilities as a firearm owner are. You’ll learn that alcohol or drugs and firearms are never to be mixed. You’ll learn about safe storage based on the needs of you and your family.  You’ll learn about training to use firearms safely, confidently and accurately. You’ll learn about how to keep you and your family safe and ways to avoid becoming a victim. You’ll learn and live by the four basic firearms safety rules like your life and everyone else’s depends on it.

  • Treat all firearms as if they were loaded.
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  • Never place your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to fire.
  • Know your target, what is in front of it and what is beyond it.

Real gun safety isn’t a fantasy; it lives and breathes every day in every corner of this country by millions and millions of law-abiding families. All these people know that firearms can be purchased, possessed and used safely no matter if their intent is for hunting, sport, collecting or self-defense.

Keep this in mind the next time you hear someone talking about ‘gun safety’. Are they really talking about safety, or have they hijacked these words as a prelude to their real objective, gun control – and taking away your right to purchase, posses and use firearms.

The choice is yours – for now.

Bob

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California’s Victim Compensation Board

This week’s article is a public service announcement for all of the future victims of crime in California. The increasingly strict gun control laws eliminating the possibility of self-defense by law-abiding citizens combined with the soft on criminals focus of the state including decriminalization of many offenses, elimination of bail and early release of non-violent felons for crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; battery with serious bodily injury; solicitation to commit murder and rape/sodomy/oral copulation of an unconscious person – your opportunity to become a victim of crime in California are better than ever.  Preparing ahead of time will get you into the long administrative line quicker when you are victimized.

Started in 1965 and evolving through several different state organizations, the current California Victims Compensation Board (CalVCB) is a three-member board of appointees whose mission is to provide financial assistance to victims of crime. There are also resources at the local and county level that may be of additional assistance or to help you complete the application to CalVCB.

There are of course limitations and caveats. The only crimes covered are: Domestic violence, child abuse, assault, sexual assault, elder abuse, molestation, homicide, robbery, hate crimes, drunk driving, vehicular manslaughter, human trafficking, stalking and online harassment. Claims must be filed within three years of the crime.

Expenses that are eligible for compensation include: Crime scene clean up, funeral and burial expenses, home or vehicle modifications for victims who became disabled, income loss, medical and dental treatment, mental health services, relocation and residential security.

It is also important to note that by law, CalVCB is the payer of last resort; reimbursement and recovery sources must be applied to all expenses first. Examples include medical insurance, disability insurance, employer benefits and civil suits.

Applications are available on the CalVCB website at: https://victims.ca.gov/publications/calvcpforms.aspx

So, why am I doing a PSA for victim compensation?  That’s easy… California is proudly taking the lead in being soft on those who break the law. In fact, in many situations, their activity is no longer considered a criminal violation.  In the situations where it is still a crime, the consequences of committing a ‘criminal’ act are so low there is no longer any reason NOT to commit the ‘crime’. Prop 47 and 57,  along with other so-called reforms, the commuting of sentences for those on death row, pardoning the crimes of illegal residents to keep them from being deported and the elimination of bail and mandated release of most of those arrested within 12 hours – all adds up to more criminals than ever being dumbed back on California streets.

If you’re thinking – I just saw the latest crime statistics from the State and my local PD/Sheriff and crime is down – well, there’s something you need to know. With the ever-changing definition of “crime” in California, it’s like comparing Apples to Oracles. Combine that with a little Common Core math, a copy of “How to Lie with Statistics” and people who want you to believe their BS, and you’ve got ‘safer feeling communities’.

If you want to know the truth, talk to your neighbors. Talk to the people who have been the victim of property and violent crime in your own city or town. Then see how that fits into the official narrative being shoveled out the back door of the Statehouse and City Hall.

It wasn’t that long ago when your local law enforcement agency partnered with the NRA (National Rifle Association) and the NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) to offer public programs to promote safety in the home and in public. I’m not just talking about firearms; I’m talking about a range of real-life safety programs for everyone at every level.

But then… these programs promote individual self-reliance, something a victim encouraging government can’t stand. And there’s the association with firearms, something they don’t want you to have (see no individual self-reliance). As a result, very few law enforcement agencies in California still offer any programs other than registering your belongings and alarm/video systems.

Is being a victim of crime in California inevitable? For a lot of people I’m going to unfortunately say yes. Without the ability or knowledge to protect themselves, these are the people who are going blindly into the night thinking the state is doing everything possible to protect them and they “feel” safe.  For these people I recommend downloading and filling out a couple of victim compensation forms ahead of time.

And then there are the rest of us; the people who refuse to be a victim.  The people who do not believe the state is doing anything to increase our level of safety. The people who believe criminals should be punished for breaking the law. The people who believe they have a right to defend their own lives and the lives of their families with the best tools and training available to them.

Welcome to the new California, the leader in turning law-abiding citizens into law-abiding victims.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #CrimePrevention, #FeelingSafer, #RefuseToBeAVictim, #NRA, #NSSF, #CalVCB, #NOTAVICTIM, #mewe, #medium, #oddstuffing.com

Kalifornistan vs. Gun Culture

With the election of California’s Lieutenant Governor to Governor, we enter a new era of oppressive and draconian gun control. If you think the past decades of small, incremental Second Amendment infringements was bad, the coming years are going to make what we’ve had up to now look like firearm owner’s utopia. As always, it will be built on the lie that gun control will make you safer. But as we’ve seen over and over again, it just turns law-abiding citizens into law-abiding victims. Welcome to the new Kalifornistan.

With the Lt. Governor’s elevation to the big-boy chair, he’s already planning out how he’s going to take your rights away. Freed from the pre-election moratorium on gun control comments that might have alienated firearm owning democrats or progressives, he’s already ramping up the rhetoric before being sworn in.

Here are a couple of quotes:

“The gun violence that continues to plague our nation is beyond heartbreaking — it’s a societal failure. Simply saying, “enough is enough,” is NOT enough. We must address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.”

“It’s a gun culture. You can’t go to a bar or nightclub? You can’t go to church or synagogue? It’s insane is the only way to describe it. The normalization, that’s the only way I can describe it. It’s become normalized.”

Our governor-elect has promised that he “will raise the bar” on gun control when he takes over in January, and would not have vetoed the gun control legislation the current California governor has in the past.

So let’s pick apart a few of the incoming governor’s comments.  He wants to address the root causes of these devastating acts. By that I would hope he understands that violence isn’t about guns, it’s about violence. Violence has always been committed by whatever means is available and convenient. The use of a gun has never really mattered.

The gun control elitists love to herald the success of the Australian model of gun control, until you point out the homicide rate didn’t change when they took away the firearms from the law-abiding citizens or that the violent crime rate went up. If gun control is so effective, then why did London, England’s homicide rate recently surpass that of New York City, with a population 500,000 larger than ‘firearm free’ London?

Perhaps the fact that all the gun control laws only target the law-abiding citizenry would help explain these inconvenient truths. Or perhaps in California, it’s the effects of Prop 47, 57 and other soft on criminal laws. There are laws that reduce or eliminate the penalties for crimes – or actions formerly known as crimes. Perhaps it’s reclassifying such crimes as assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; battery with serious bodily injury; solicitation to commit murder and rape/sodomy/oral copulation of an unconscious person or by use of a date rape drug as non-violent crimes.

Our governor-elect has chosen to villainize “gun culture” as the cause of death in public places. It’s never the criminal, the person who carried out the crime; it’s always the culture of guns that is to blame. It’s too bad he doesn’t know anything about gun culture.

The gun culture I know about, the gun culture I am part of, realizes the incredible responsibility that comes along with the inalienable right to keep and bear arms. The law-abiding citizens who keep and bear arms do so to prevent violence, not to inflict it upon others.  The law-abiding citizens I know use lawfully owned firearms to prevent and stop crimes at a rate of three times more than firearms are used feloniously in this country, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million times per year. Considering 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in gun free zones, maybe we should be encouraging MORE gun culture, instead of less.

Here’s the depressing reality of violence. There are no set of laws that will ever prevent someone from attempting to violently subject their will on someone else. Telling the unarmed masses they will ‘feel safer’ because the law-abiding are disarmed is an absolute lie. Criminals can obtain whatever weaponry they want, they always have and they always will.

Please take special note of the word “attempting” in the last paragraph. While there is nothing that will stop an attempt, there is something that will stop the act; having a law-abiding citizen there who is armed and willing to defend his or her own life.  As Wayne LaPierre so bluntly put it, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

Gun culture isn’t to blame for violence, but our politicians won’t come out of their firearm protected bubbles long enough to realize that. They want to keep the real safety and control all for themselves, while allowing the unarmed masses to simply ‘feel safe’; right up until they become victims.

Hold on tight law-abiding Kalifornistan firearm owners. It’s going to be a rough road ahead.

Bob

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If It Bleeds, It Leads

First used as the mantra for news programming in the early 1980’s, “if it bleeds, it leads” has become the standard for network, print and social media news.  News after all is a big and prosperous business and the more attention given to the gore, the more viewers will tune in. It’s no wonder that the myth of the United States being the only country in the world to have mass shootings has been so easy to perpetrate. Of course, it is completely false and doesn’t tell the reality of firearm usage.

It’s easy to see why media outlets run 24/7 coverage of every shooting story they can get their hands on. By running these stories first and often, they set up the perception that this is what commonly occurs in our country. Then the gun control elitists come along and say how this only happens in our country and that the only way to make it stop is to implement their “common sense gun safety” laws.  The horrible, gruesome problem and the sensible solution are all presented in the first few minutes of the broadcast.  What could be easier?

Sadly it’s not just the left leaning stations, papers and other news outlets that follow this formula. Even the one major news network that isn’t completely anti-gun / anti-Second Amendment sensationalizes every tragedy, giving the pathetic psychopaths the very attention and notoriety they crave. Each story of a mass shooter who is able to kill X innocent victims inspires the next shooter to kill X +1 so THEY will be the biggest and baddest killer of all times.

Given this one sided approach to the news, it’s easy to believe that mass shootings are common place and the horrible death machines the shooters use – be it semi-automatic rifles or pistols, with or without so-called “high capacity” magazines are ONLY used by psychopaths to kill large groups of people. Since the stories show there is no legitimate use for them, the only way we can be safe is to get rid of them.

Time for a reality check here.

From this nation’s 44thpresident to every well-funded and centrally coordinated “grass roots” gun control group, you hear that this doesn’t happen in other countries. They quote statistics saying the United States is the worst among a select group of countries they call “high income” or “advanced” countries. In reality, it’s just a list of countries that happen to have lower crime rates than the United States. If you look at the entire planet using the current FBI definition of mass shooting, you’ll find the United States is really 64th. Now being 64thout of 195 countries isn’t something to be especially proud of, but then you realize there are 63 other countries that have more mass shootings that the United States – and that you’re being lied to.

The other commonly perpetrated myth is that firearms in civilian hands only increase the crime rate and do nothing to prevent violence, only make it worse. Again, a lie.

In long buried CDC (Centers for Disease Control) studies, the CDC found that civilian defensive use of firearms outnumbered felonious use of firearms by a rate of 3 to 1, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million uses per year. Note that not all of the events involved the discharge of a firearm by the civilian. Often times, the mere presenting or challenge to the criminal with a firearm was enough to stop the intended crime.  It’s also important to realize this number ONLY includes persons who were not performing defensive duties as part of their employment such as law enforcement or security services.

So what we wind up with on the evening news is only one side of the story. The horrible crime, distraught and sobbing relatives grieving for the loss of their loved one and politicians jumping at the chance to celebrate the death of innocents in order to advance their own political agenda.  Lost are the stories of courage and heroism of everyday Americans who stood up to violence with a legally owned firearm and stopped the criminal right then and there.

When is the last time you saw the network news or even your local news station do a story on how someone used a firearm for lawful defense of life?  The stories are out there, but they are damn few and far between.  With three lawful uses to every unlawful use, you’d think it would be far more common.

Why is easy to understand from the business of news point of view. A homeowner pointing a shotgun at an armed criminal who just kicked in their front door before coming face-to-face with the determined homeowner and fleeing doesn’t sell the news. No bleeding – no leading. In fact, no story at all.

What do you think would happen if people saw on the news the courageous and lawful use of firearms by normal citizens on the news every day? What would happen if people saw on the news they could effectively defend their lives and the lives of their family with a firearm? What if people saw on the news how long it really takes for law enforcement to get to them when they really need help RIGHT NOW and that they can save their own lives and the lives of their families with proper defensive use of firearms? And finally – what do you think criminals are going to think when they see on the news a community that chooses to fight back instead of allowing themselves to be victims?

Since the news is never going to show you the good side of defensive firearm use, you’re going to have to seek it out yourself. Look for the local stories around our country – and around the world – of people standing up to crime & violence and taking responsibility for their own safety. Share these stories with your friends, family and neighbors. It’s time the best-kept secret about lawful, defensive use of firearms came out.  It’s time to save someone’s life.

Bob

#oddstuffing,  #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #SelfDefense, #LawAbidingFirearmOwner, #ifitbleedsitleads,#medialies, #guncontrollies, #savealife, #mewe, #medium, #oddstuffing.com

Guns and Ballots

Tomorrow is the 2018 Midterm election and it is important to remember the critical association between firearms and ballots. Our Bill of Rights guarantees our individual right to keep and bear arms. Yet while the last four words of the 27 word Second Amendment are “shall not be infringed”, we are seeing our rights slowly and surely infringed. Backed by extremist justices intent on ignoring the Constitution in the name of social agenda.  But guess what, that’s not the way it has to be.

The proponents of gun control have been playing the very long con game all along. It always starts innocently enough with what they call “common sense”, “gun safety” or “public safety” laws that don’t significantly infringe on Second Amendment rights. Minimal infringements are thought to be acceptable as long as it advances the government interest of keeping people safe.  But of course, it never ends there. One minor infringement leads to the next, and the next and the next, since the previous gun control laws were never quite enough to achieve the public safety goals they set.

Remember, gun control does absolutely nothing to increase public safety and the answer to fix that shortcoming is always to implement more gun control.

If you’re wondering where it ends, the answer is it only ends when there are no civilian owned firearms. Of course, even this level of gun control will never increase public safety as no set of laws is ever going to prevent criminals from breaking the law. Criminals will always be able to get and use firearms since breaking the law is the actual definition of a criminal. With an increasingly disarmed population, there is very little that will ever deter them from continuing to use guns to gain an advantage over their helpless victims.

Recently some gun control zealots have been more open about their goals. They have been publicly speaking about repealing the Second Amendment, even going so far as to have a former US Supreme Court Justice openly write about repealing the Second Amendment following the protests of children in Washington. He wrote that the concerns that brought about the Second Amendment were “…a relic of the 18th century.” Further that “a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”

It’s hard to even conceive of how a former Supreme Court Justice, someone whose life has been dedicated to defending the Constitutional could abandon a foundation of our nation and even suggest that.

Yet this is the type of thinking that is now becoming more and more common in places like the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. By ignoring the Constitution, Bill of Rights, previous US Supreme Court rulings and the rule of law, they are finding these new and legally imaginative gun control laws are constitutionally valid. With very little interest from previous US Supreme Courts to revisit the Second Amendment, clearly infringing gun control laws are becoming the law of the land.

Politicians are pushing ever more repressive gun control measures while at the same time trying to block judges who will uphold the Constitution at all levels of our court system. Their goal is simple. Pass unconstitutional laws then have them legitimized by fringe justices.

Simultaneously these very same politicians are passing laws lessoning or eliminating the penalties for those who commit crimes, redefining crimes such as rape, assault with a deadly weapon and drive-by shootings as “non-violent”, eliminating bail requirements, commuting the sentences of murders to allow their release and pardoning an illegal alien convicted of kidnapping, robbery and using a firearm to prevent their deportation. THIS is the type of pubic safety they are pushing.

Firearm ownership and use isn’t the exclusive domain of any one political party or ideology; it crosses all walks of life and ways of thinking. But there is often a disconnect when it comes to defending those rights.  Many who own firearms support candidates who sponsor increasingly draconian gun control laws, even to the point where these laws will make the very firearms they own illegal and them a criminal. Whether they believe they will be (temporarily) grandfathered, they alone will be exempted or they just don’t believe it will impact them, they haven’t decided to fight for the rights they currently enjoy. Sadly, at the point where they do realize this is also their fight, there will be nobody left to stand and fight with them.

In the last few weeks the gun control lobby has essentially gone dark. They have stopped pushing their extremist agenda because they know this is a critical issue for undecided voters. They reason that if undecided voters don’t hear about a candidate’s radical gun control agenda in the run up to the elections, they’ll believe they are a more moderate candidate and their firearm rights are not in jeopardy by voting for them.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Firearms were the tools that allowed us to have a ballot in the first place. Without them, this nation would still be an English colony instead of the republic it now is.  Now ballots are the tools that will allow us to keep our firearms. If we choose not to use our ballots to ensure the rights this country was founded on, no other right can be guaranteed.

Only your vote can defend your right to keep and bear arms. Please choose wisely.

Bob

#oddstuffing,  #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #GunVote, #Vote, #2018Midterm, #GunRights, #mewe, #medium, #oddstuffing.com

 

Gun Control’s End Game

One of the more popular anti-gun control posters shows pictures of people who want to take your firearms.  Among them are Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot; all leaders who eventually killed significant numbers of their own unarmed citizens.  This implication is the people in our government who want to take your firearms away are following in the same footsteps as these genocidal maniacs and will exterminate large portions of the United States population. That’s probably a bit on the extreme side, but make no mistake what the goal of gun control is… control.

When our nation first emerged from English rule, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure the new republic they created would never be able to oppress it’s own citizens like they had been oppressed under King George III. They limited the power of the government, they set up checks and balances with three branches of government, they wrote a Constitution and Bill of Rights enumerating the inalienable human rights all citizens would enjoy, preventing the government from infringing upon them.

Since then, firearms have been an integral part of the American culture. From the expansion West to hunting for sustenance to the protection of one’s life and liberty, firearms are as American as eagles, apple pie and baseball. Despite what the gun control zealots tell you, the firearm culture has been a significant part of our nation’s strength.

Still not everyone has been comfortable with the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. The history of gun control in this country has its roots in racism and class structure.  Keeping firearms out of the hands of blacks, Hispanics, Chinese – or any minority – or the poor whites denied them their own safety and the ability to resist those who held power. This was all done in the name of ‘safety’; only it was for the safety of the oppressors not the safety of the people.

Today firearm sales, possession and usage are covered by a patchwork of laws at the federal, state and local level. Decidedly liberal state and local entities are constantly increasing the level of gun control in their jurisdictions as a mechanism to stem the spiraling rate of crime and violence. Yet areas of our country with the tightest gun control laws continue to have the highest levels of crime and violence. The answer to this problem is to implement even more gun control laws.

Think about what firearms provide us with.  They allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families from those who would inflict harm upon them.  Without them, law-abiding citizens are wholly dependent on the government for their protection.

Gun control laws, laws that are supposed to increase ‘public safety’, only impact the law-abiding, never the criminals. The laws limit the type and number of firearms that can be legally purchased, the number of rounds a magazine can legally carry, the ability of a law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm and where they can legally carry it and how a firearm can be legally stored and transported, among many other restrictions. The penalties for breaking these laws and ordinances are supposed to be a deterrent for any would be criminal. Yet somehow, the criminals still ignore them.

Why is very easy to understand. For a criminal, the gun is the tool of their trade, the ability to subject their will upon another. Whether the motivation is murder, robbery, assault, rape, intimidation or terror, the insignificant additional penalty of carrying a loaded firearm in public pales in comparison to the crime they are going to commit or the protection they desire from victims who choose to fight back.

At the same time gun control laws are being tightened, the penalties for crime are being reduced or eliminated and more and more criminals are being released early from jails and prisons to prey upon increasingly unarmed citizens. Crime goes up, even as the new math to calculate crime rate shows it decreasing.

Gun control promises to keep you safe from the horrors of “gun violence”. The simple truth is “gun violence” isn’t the problem; only violence. Guns are simply tools used in violence, and they aren’t even the most common ones used.  Knives and cutting instruments kill four times as many people annually as so-called “assault weapons”.  Suicides count for two-thirds of the deaths attributed to “gun violence” – in other words, violence directed towards yourself rather than another.

So if the so-called public safety laws do nothing to increase public safety, why have them? The answer is simply control.  An unarmed, frightened populace is far more willing to pay more, submit to more government regulation and control in order to ‘feel safe’, even if their safety is less assured now than it ever was.

Being safe is more important than someone’s false sense of feeling safe. Every year in this country, firearms are used lawfully to defend life at a rate of three to one felonious uses. Yet the ever-increasing gun control laws target the law-abiding citizen’s ability to own and use a firearm to defend themselves and their family.

I’m not dark minded enough to believe the current authors, promoters and supporters of gun control laws in our country intend to exterminate large numbers of the United States population who disagree with their politics. However I do firmly believe they intend to use gun control as a mechanism to eliminate self-reliance, personal safety outside of the control of government and impose increased level of control upon a vulnerable population.

I choose to not be vulnerable.

Bob

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He Was Look’n At Me!

There are far too many who are more than willing to get into a fight with little or no provocation. Of all the rationalizations I’ve heard, my favorite and the one I’ve heard the most is the infamous “He was look’n at me!” Somehow, somewhere looking at someone became enough of an instigation to beat someone to pulp as anything else. I’d like to say we as a society can do better, but that just doesn’t seem to be an option.

Sadly, this isn’t something new. For as long as I can remember, and I’m guessing long, long, long before that, picking a fight with someone over the most trivial nonsense has been some people’s preferred way of life. While typically a male characteristic, females can be just as quick to strike out as males.

The cause? It could be anything. Alcohol/drugs, ego and mental health issues generally top the list. There’s also unchecked and misdirected anger, violent upbringing and general disrespect for anyone other than themselves. But even if we understand why, we still need to have to deal with the threat they cause.

Many of us in the Second Amendment community carry a firearm for personal protection. This is great, and there is no better deterrence against violent assault. But to use your firearm – and use may range from just warning your potential attacker you are armed to gripping, holding, aiming or even firing – you have to be faced with a threat sufficient to justify a firearm’s use. Not every situation is a deadly force one and you need to be prepared to respond with non-lethal / less-lethal options.

How many of you carry a non-lethal option as part of your EDC (everyday carry)? I am always amazed at how many people – including off-duty law enforcement – carry a firearm but not a non-lethal option. And no, a knife doesn’t count, that’s lethal force. I’m talking about something like pepper spray, mace, Taser, stun gun or impact weapon – and the training to use it effectively.  Hand to hand defensive techniques or some form of martial arts is also important as a last line of defense.

However, there’s something more important than all the weapons and other things you bring with you, it’s how to NOT get in the fight in the first place. It starts with being aware of your environment and continually accessing any possible threats to your safety.  If you do perceive a threat, you need to be willing and able to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.

As critical as all of the defensive techniques are, there’s one skill that can’t be over stressed. It’s your verbal skills. Sometimes called conflict de-escalation techniques or verbal Judo, it’s your ability to talk someone out of the fight they want to have with you. It requires preparation and quick thinking, but it can be very effective. Maybe you have to eat a little bit of crow, swallow some pride or simply walk or run away, but NOT being in the fight is what counts.

If you’re thinking there’s nothing wrong with a good fight to defend your honor or the honor of someone with you, here’s something to consider. Unless your name is Chuck Norris, there is always going to be someone out there bigger and badder than you. Even if you know you can kick that special idiot’s ass, how about his / her three friends who are going to show up out of nowhere? What if one or all of them have weapons you didn’t count on? Is it worth getting into the fight then if you have a chance to resolve it another way? It’s not about not being manly, macho, strong, brave or tough enough, it’s about being smart.

Now let’s say you’ve done everything right to avoid a dangerous situation, did everything you could to de-escalate to no avail or simply had no warning of an impending attack. At that point, keep this saying in mind. ‘If you’re gonna fight, fight like you’re the third monkey on the ramp to Noah’s Ark and brother it’s starting to rain.’ It’s all about your survival at that point and the third monkey isn’t going down easily.

I’ve seen a lot of fights that have started from a ‘look’ or a few angry words. Tension escalates pretty quickly from there and the whole situation goes to crap faster than you can ever imagine.  You need to be prepared, not just from a defensive techniques perspective, but also with proper situational awareness and verbal skills to avoid the situation in the first place.  Believe it or not, it’s a lot harder to NOT get into a fight than it is to just start swinging.

Get the training you need to defend yourself, but be sure your education includes as many techniques to not get into the fight as it does to get yourself out of it. That’s what real safety is about.

Bob

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A Legitimate Reason?

There seems to be a growing trend where anyone who owns a firearm has to justify their need to own it. Simply wanting one or being guaranteed the right by the Second Amendment isn’t a valid reason. Self-defense is no longer a good enough reason. In the mind of the gun control elitists, you have to have a “legitimate reason” to justify why you “need” to own a firearm, and according to them, there will never be a legitimate reason. But guess what? That’s not the way the Second Amendment works.

Recently in Monterey, California, a probation search of a felon’s rented room at a residence produced an inert practice hand grenade, among other illegal items. Based on this, the police department obtained a search warrant for the remainder of the house. That search turned up, among other illegal things, 112 firearms and more inert practice hand grenades.  The owner was arrested for charges of illegal assault weapon possession, improvised explosive devices and maintaining a drug house.

All well and good, and I have ZERO problem with the convicted felon or the home owner – a former police officer and relative of the Panetta political family – being arrested. By all accounts both were breaking the law with the drug possession and deserved to have their asses carted off to jail.

My problem is with the characterization from the Monterey Police Department who said, “We obviously have a large quantity of firearms and evidence. We are trying to track down where these items came from, what is the reasoning behind them, and is there a legitimate reason for possessing this quantity of firearms.”

Following the arrests was the requisite photo op of all the firearms laid out on tables for the press to click and spread. The two so-called “assault weapons” were ones that met the California definition based on their “evil features”. Still, the press reported the man “faces charges related to keeping an arsenal of illegal weapons and operating a drug house.”

This case is just one of so many examples of the police and the press portraying anyone with more than one firearm as a dangerous gun nut.  It doesn’t matter if it’s two firearms and a dozen rounds of ammunition in a parking garage or 1200 firearms and seven tons of ammunition from a dead man’s house, the implication is if you own multiple firearms and more than a few rounds of ammunition, it’s an arsenal, stockpile or weapons cache and there is no valid reason for it other than planned illegal activity.

While the press and social media are spinning fables of sinister plots being created at every kitchen table, let’s deal with a few facts. While we do, keep in mind firearm ownership is often a very private topic and a lot of people are unwilling to disclose their ownership to anyone conducting a survey, especially in today’s hyper-politically correct society.

The latest estimate of privately owned firearms in the United States is about 400 million for a population of 327 million – a little more than one for each US resident. Of course not everyone owns a firearm and the estimates as to how many do ranges from 25% to over 50%. The average number of firearms owned is estimated to be between four and eight. Fortune Magazine even came up with the term “super owners” who have anywhere between eight and 140, with the average of 17.

Ignoring the obvious preliminary question of why people own a firearm at all (see the Second Amendment), why do people own multiple firearms? The reasons vary from each firearm having a distinct purpose such as conceal carry, target shooting, hunting large, medium, small and flying game, home defense, plinking, practice, competition, disaster prep, etc. etc. etc.) to a simple love of shooting and collecting. And then, there is the one reason that trumps every other, because they can and they don’t have to justify it to anyone.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is unique in the world. No other country guarantees the right to bear arms the way we do. Some countries do grant the right to possess firearms, but more often than not there are serious restrictions on that right, or privilege as they see it.  Most common are restrictions on the type of firearms that can be owned (shotguns vs. rifles vs. pistols), the number that can be owned, the legally allowed calibers (most common is no military calibers) the amount of ammunition that can be purchased and possessed in one year (i.e. 50 rounds of handgun ammo/year), the storage requirements (locked, unloaded in residence, stored in a gun club / government safe or ammunition kept at a different premises).  Carrying firearms in public is generally restricted to the military, police, government officials and VIP’s.

If laws like these make you bristle at the mere thought of them, then it’s time to start looking around at what’s happening in our own country. City by city, state by state, gun control zealots are chiseling away our right to own and bear arms.  Every little infringements brings us closer to a time when our “right” is sold back to us as a “privilege” that very few will be able to afford or access.

In some states, restrictions on the ability to even purchase or own a firearm already exist. Restrictions on the type of firearms you can own already exist. Restrictions on the caliber of ammunition you can have already exist. Restrictions on the number of firearms you can purchase in a given time frame already exist.  Restrictions on how firearms are stored and whether or not they are allowed out of the home and where they can be transported to already exist. Restrictions on who can carry a firearm in public, and where they can go already exists. And in each of these cases, the gun control elitists are working to make the rules for law-abiding citizens more restrictive, more expensive and further out of reach for everyone – except themselves.

And how do they sell these so-called “common sense gun control” measures to the unknowing? By portraying everyone who owns firearms, or heaven forbid multiple firearms, as dangerous gun nuts. When they showcase criminals with multiple firearms they imply only dangerous, violent druggies, thugs and terrorists have THAT many guns and THAT much ammo. When they refer to any number of firearms as an arsenal, a stockpile or a weapons cache, they are trying to shift the narrative of what the law-abiding firearm owner is and paint them as the next potential active shooter.

Well guess what? Millions upon millions of regular, law-abiding firearm owners know the difference. Whether they own one, eight, 17 or a couple of hundred firearms each, they know they are not only among the safest, more responsible, law-abiding citizens out there, they know the fact that they do own firearms is a deterrent to violent crime. They know they are responsible for their own and their family’s safety, day in and day out.

So if you don’t think it matters who you vote for this year, then just go ahead and turn in your firearms now and trust your personal safety to the people who want to disarm you, but are doing nothing to disarm those who are preying upon your family.

And the next time someone asks if you have a legitimate reason for having ‘so many guns’, just look them straight in the eye and say – because I can.

Bob

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To Each His Own

As always, the world of self-defense and firearm training is a varied one. There are those who take the profession seriously, and those who do not. A recent addition to the drama was a so-called ‘instructor’ who’s methods and instructional techniques went beyond unsafe and straight into gonna get someone killed. Ever defiant of the establishment, even after his training credentials were yanked by the NRA, he perseveres since he, and only he, knows better than the rest of the industry. He really IS that good, just ask him.

Some say firearms in general and firearm training is inherently dangerous. I disagree. It most certainly can be, but it is not without something specifically added to it to make it so. The most common additive is of course human error. And when the errors occur, lives can be lost.

First, and foremost, let’s talk about what is considered safe. Those of us in the training industry LIVE by the Four Basic Firearm Safety Rules:

  1. Treat all firearms as if they were loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Never place your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to fire.
  4. Know your target, what is in front of it and what is beyond it.

No matter what you do after that, if you follow those four rules you and the people around you won’t get hurt.

Like many instructors, some of the training sessions I facilitate are designed to nudge people outside their comfort zone both physically and mentally. But that doesn’t mean they are unsafe. You never push anyone past what they are capable of and never, ever cross the line of safety. Yes, we may walk right up to that line and swear at it, spit in its face and beat it like it owes us money, but we don’t cross it. The line IS the line.

Firearm safety like most things is progressive. Things the industry used to do 30, 20 or even ten years ago we would never do today. Why? Because people have been hurt and killed in training. Fortunately, the industry learned from its mistakes and we’ve all become safer as a result. But not everyone buys into this way of thinking. There are some instructors out there who think that because nothing bad has ever happened to them doing things this way, it never will. They are above it all and say to each his own.

For example, force-on-force training is an incredibly valuable tool to prepare for real life encounters, yet every year a number of law enforcement officers and civilians are seriously injured or killed while doing it. It’s not because the training itself is dangerous, it’s because someone violated the rules.

Instructors who conduct this type of training are fanatical about safety. Even the slightest violation of the safety zone is enough to shut everything down, re-search everything and everyone, and then start again from scratch. Often the students or observers see reactions like this as unnecessary, but experience in the industry has proven otherwise. Regardless of how valuable the training is; it is not worth a human life.

Quality, cutting edge training doesn’t have to come at the cost of safety. And anyone who believes they are above the standards, knows better than everyone else in the industry or has a lackadaisical attitude towards safety is playing a very dangerous game. Maybe nothing will happen and nobody will ever get hurt doing what they’re doing… maybe. But if you play that game too long it will eventually bite you, or shoot you, right in the ass.

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If your firearm instructor doesn’t take safety seriously and only responds to industry criticism with flippant remarks and boasts of their own tactical prowess, then it might be time to find a new instructor.

Train hard, but train safely.

Bob

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