A very simple question is it not? To disarm the law abiding citizens or not to disarm them? People are talking about this question everywhere, people both for and against allowing adults to have their 2nd amendment right to bear arms sustained, even if only in the form of concealed carry, while on school grounds. I hear a number of standard arguments against it used over and over again, so I am going to discuss them here in detail.
1) "Someone who is mentally unstable might be able to get a CCW permit which would allow them to bring a gun onto school campus."
That argument is the most futile of all. If a mentally unstable person is able to walk or even ride in a wheelchair, he can already illegally carry a gun onto school campus. In fact, it has already happened a number of times such as at Columbine, VT, Pearl HS, Appalacian School of Law, etc. "Gun free zones" only keep the law abiding folks defenseless which makes the environment safer for illegally armed criminals or lunatics. Criminals break the law by definition & couldn't care less about breaking a "gun free zone" restriction. Criminals will already go to jail if caught with an illegal weapon, so why would they care about a gun free zone? Any mentally unstable person willing to shoot innocent victims will obviously not care about a gun free zone either.
Have you heard about the Pearl or Appalacian school shootings? If not, it is probably because those events were cut short by armed citizens who ran to their cars to get their weapons and forced the attack to an early end well before Police could arrive which most likely saved countless lives. In the case of Pearl HS, vice principal Joel Myrick had to run a quarter of a mile away to where his car was parked since the law prohibited him from having a weapon within a quarter mile of the school grounds. Did that law prevent Luke Woodham from going to Pearl HS with his weapon to open fire against the innocent victims on school grounds? Of course not. All it did was waste Joel's time by forcing him to run half a mile round trip before he could get back to stop the shooter. Afterwards the investigation found that the shooter had plans to visit yet another Pearl school to continue his rampage, so without the armed intervention of Joel Myrick the shooter would have been successful at even more carnage.
2) "An armed citizen could accidentally hurt a student or other bystander while trying to stop the attacker."
All CCW permit holders are required to know the law regarding the use of deadly force. In every state the law says that you are responsible for every bullet you fire, and accidentally killing an innocent bystander is NOT justifiable by any defense whatsoever. Any civilian who accidentally kills an innocent bystander will go to jail on manslaughter charges. As a result, any law abiding citizen carrying a gun is going to go out of their way to be extra careful to obey all of the normal safety rules such as: be sure of your backstop - know where your bullet will stop if you miss or shoot through your intended target, don't put your finger on the trigger until ready to shoot, don't point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy, and always assume your weapon is loaded. The CCW holder is going to keep his or her weapon hidden until he or she can maneuver into a good position to fight back in the safest manner possible.
It is also interesting to note that not one person that I'm aware of who has used this argument has been able to specify a single example of such an accident happening, even though multiple independent studies show that there are between 1.5 & 2.5 Million cases of self defense uses of guns every year in the US alone, depending on the particular study. I on the other hand can name 2 school shootings that were brought to an early end by an adult with a gun without in so doing causing harm to a single innocent - Pearl HS & Appalacian School of Law (2 students with a gun with help from unarmed students in Appalacian's case). There are a number of states that already allow adults to carry weapons onto school campuses - if it is so dangerous why are those states all free from school shootings? If armed citizens are so unsafe why is it that although there have been hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of gun shows, each with thousands of weapons on site & at least hundreds of civilians carrying weapons, there has never been a single "gun show shooting"?
3) "A student could disarm the armed citizen & then use the gun to shoot people."
First of all, why would a student want to try to take a gun in a risky scenario like that when the student can just go get a gun via much easier methods such as burglary or the black market? Second of all, folks who carry a gun are always very aware of their gun & instinctively protect it at all times. It would be very difficult for the student to be successful, even if he were to decide to attempt it. Additionally, by the very nature of the weapon being concealed, how will the student even know that it exists?
4) "Only the Police should have guns. Teachers & students need to dial 911 to request help."
As we saw with both Columbine & VT, the bad guys have plenty of time to shoot a lot of people before the Police are able to break in & stop them. The Police are a reactive force by nature. As stated by VT Police Chief Wendell Flinchum: "We obviously can't have an armed guard in front of every classroom every day of the year." Even in cities that have fast average Police response times the average is normally 6 to 10 minutes. A lot of damage can be done in that amount of time. You can add to that the time it takes to surround, gather surveillance intel, study building layout via blueprints, and figure out where the bad guy & hostages are before they can storm in & take the bad guy down. Columbine went on for hours before Police were able to go in. If I were on the inside of a school being attacked by a bad guy I would already know where the bad guy is (the person shooting the innocent students), the layout of the school, & where the hostages are. In that type of a situation I'd have a great time advantage over the Police who need to prepare to come in blind. I would much prefer to have a self defense weapon than a cell phone. I'd prefer to take my chances fighting the bad guy than to sit around waiting to see if I will be shot before the Police come in. I can't imagine what would go through the minds of innocent victims waiting for their turn to be shot, all while knowing that they were disarmed by a worthless "gun free zone" policy which only served to make them easy prey.
5) "If helpful citizens have guns at the scene of a school shooting, the arriving Police could confuse them for the bad guy & shoot them by mistake."
It is actually very simple for the Police to figure out who the bad guy is. When on such a search if they find someone with a weapon they will shout "Freeze! Drop your weapon!" - the good guys will drop their weapon & freeze. The bad guy might keep his weapon, and may even start shooting at the Police as he tries to escape. If he does drop his weapon & freeze, then it will all be sorted out via witnesses & evidence.
It was not long ago that it was no big deal for even students to bring guns to school. They'd place them in their locker or backpack so that they could participate in target shooting events during school or to go hunting as soon as school was out. It was not until after someone had the "brilliant" idea of disarming all law abiding citizens while in school zones that our series of school shootings began.
"To disarm or not to disarm?" - what a stupid question.
Tell me what you think via comments link below. No email address or registration required.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wanted to share a great article describing society as a whole in terms of:
1) Sheep - average citizens who are good people but live in a bit of denial and hope to never be attacked by a wolf by sheer number in the herd & a bit of luck - often unaware of surroundings.
2) Wolves - predators who feed mercilessly on the sheep.
3) Sheepdogs - citizens that are aware of their surroundings & have prepared themselves to fight off the wolves to protect themselves & those they love, but have no desire to hurt the sheep.
Luckily, even if you find yourself to currently be among the sheep it is correctable - you can choose to learn to defend yourself through training & become alert to your surroundings.
Great article, I highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet read it: On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - by Dave Grossman
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Red's Trading Post: And yet another ATF audit...Enough is Enough!
If you have not heard about some of the abuses being made by the ATF against law abiding gun dealers in what appears to be an attempt to shut them down for trivial items such as placing a y instead of a yes on the gun sale form, then you really need to check out the above blog. I sent an email to the DOJ Office of the Inspector General with the following:
Please ask the ATF to stop harassing Red's Trading Post. Seriously - why are my hard earned tax dollars being wasted trying to shut down a law abiding business owner by running audits over & over & trying to shut his business down? The ATF is complaining about small "errors" on forms on 0.4% of over 10,000 gun sale records such as abbreviating a county or placing a y instead of a yes. Even an ATF agent should be able to understand y/n answers or an abbreviated county for crying out loud.
The ATF should only harass gun dealers that do something ILLEGAL such as purposely selling guns to criminals for resale in the black market. Not dealers who placed a y instead of a yes. If the ATF wants to give the dealer a small fine for such non-conformities than fine, but don't try to shut him down.
Seriously, doesn't the ATF have some real criminals to go after so they can stop wasting their time & my tax dollars on such a violation of civil rights? Does the ATF really want to be known as the organization that started the WACO disaster AND harasses law abiding gun dealers? We don't live in Cuba for crying out loud. This is the United States of America.
I have already written to both of my Senators asking them to reign in the ATF to get it to stop the abuses - too many law abiding gun shops have been run out of business due to this type of harassment, and the legal fees & revenue losses are costing Red's hundreds of thousands of dollars. See if you can nip this in the butt before the legislature has to get involved.
Thanks for your time.
For anyone interested I wanted to share the process I went through to get my Arizona CCW permit (permit to carry a concealed weapon). Just for clarification for those unfortunate enough to live in states that issue permits specific to a specific list of gun calibers, Arizona is much better in that my permit allows me to carry any concealed legal weapon whether it be a gun or a sword, although hiding a sword could be a bit difficult in practice. On a side note, I personally don't feel I should need permission from the government in the form of a permit to allow me to exercise my right to "bear arms" as protected by the 2nd Amendment, but until we can get the current law improved here, obtaining a CCW permit is the only way I can carry concealed without risking dire consequences. Hopefully someday we can get a CCW law here like Alaska has - you can carry concealed there without a permit exactly the way it ought to be US wide. Open carry is legal in Arizona, but some sheeple get scared when they see a civilian carrying a gun exposed in a holster, so they prefer not to know about my hidden weapon in a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of manner. A funny side note about such sheeple is that criminals normally don't open carry in a holster - they normally own a gun illegally since felons can't even touch a gun, so they are forced to carry it either concealed or in their hand ready for action. As a result there is no logical reason to fear the average civilian open carrying a gun in a holster. Additionally the 2nd amendment states that I have the right to "bear" arms, so all other laws on the books that say I need a permit to do so are unconstitutional.
Back to the original topic. All I had to do to get my Arizona CCW was to fit within the Arizona legal requirements (such as being 21 or older & not being a felon or mentally ill by passing their background check) & take a required 8 hour training course which actually was very good. I initially thought I would be bored to tears in a government mandated training class but was pleasantly surprised in that I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend the course to anyone who wants to learn more about the use of a gun in self defense even if you don't want to carry it concealed. I had already read many books on the subject but found myself learning new things regardless. The class I took was taught by two instructors, one was a lawyer who specializes in self defense cases who also serves part time as a judge, and the other was an x-police officer so we got to hear the perspective on the the laws from the viewpoint of the Police, Judges, & Lawyers all in one class.
There is a long list of Arizona Approved instructors - the class I took cost me $79. I took the class on a Saturday. After I passed the range qualification & written tests I was given proof of passing & was finger printed. I sent the proof of passing & my fingerprint card into Arizona DPS along with a cashiers check for the $65 application fee the following Monday afternoon. The very next Saturday (6 days later) I received my CCW permit in the mail. I was very impressed with how speedy the entire process was - as far as I can tell the majority of the 6 days was just waiting for the US Postal Service to deliver my packet to Arizona DPS & to then deliver the issued CCW to me.
Arizona CCW permits are valid for 5 years, and lucky for me a new law was passed (Arizona SB1250) this past summer that no longer requires finger printing on CCW renewals that take place after Dec 30th 2007. So all I'll need to do when my renewal date comes up is to mail in my $65 renewal fee along with my renewal form.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Many are aware of eBay's announcement this past July that it would no longer allow gun accessories to be sold on its online auction system. Below is the email correspondence that I had with the "Office of the President" which turned out to be a form letter as I got the exact same reply from both the President of eBay & the Vice President of eBay's Trust & Safety division (Meg Whitman & Matt Halprin respectively) - I sent similar letters to other officials at eBay, but they did not respond at all.
This was the letter that I sent to them:
Hello, I've been a long time eBay member since nearly the beginning back sometime in the late 1990's. eBay is simply the BEST online auction system in the world, and I use it to buy things many times a year, and have sold some things from time to time as well.
I am however puzzled by eBay's recent ban on all things firearms related (even simple accessories not regulated by any government agency). I believe that the justification used was that some loony might have purchased some item or other via eBay. That seems like a slippery slope to me. Is eBay to ban all knives just because some loony uses it to execute a mass suicide group? Perhaps cool-aid because it was poisoned & used to kill a mass suicide group? Perhaps all baseball bats because bats are used many times a year to kill people by clobbering them over the head? All cameras because some of them could be used by child pornographers? All cars because some may be used by drunk drivers to kill innocent victims? All spoons because spoons are used to eat, and some people eat too much leading to obesity & health issues? You get my point I'm sure - eBay simply can't ban all tools that MIGHT be used for bad purposes by bad people. Guns are simply tools not inherently good or evil. Guns are used more than 2 Million times a year to ward off criminal attacks by normal citizens in the US alone (not including police use) - 98% of the time without even needing to fire a single shot (simply showing it or aiming it at the criminal is enough to make them stop), so guns are used Many more times every year for good than for evil. To solve the so-called "gun problem" (a more fitting name would be "criminal problem") we need to lock up the bad guys & throw away the key rather than letting them back on the streets just because they behaved well while locked up in a prison cell where they were simply not allowed to act bad. Guns are also used by many sportsmen like myself who enjoy target shooting & target matches. I own guns, but I am not evil.
eBay has competitors that sell not only gun accessories, but actual guns. None of them compare to eBay, but they're currently the only alternative. Since the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms) estimates that about 50% of American households have at least 1 firearm in the home, and the 2005 census estimate is that there are 111 Million households in the US with an average of 2.6 people in each household, that makes about 144 Million potential members of gun owning households in the US alone that eBay may alienate by taking this political stance.
Thanks for considering my viewpoint.
This was the reply I got from both (the only text changed between the two responses was the name of Matt Halprin vs Meg Whitman & He/his vs She/her):
Thank you for your recent email to Meg Whitman in regard to changes to our Firearms policy. She has asked that I review your email and respond on her behalf.
While many everyday items can be used to cause harm to an individual, most items we permit for sale on eBay are not designed with the intent to cause harm or are not likely to be used to cause harm. In general, if items are legal to buy and sell in an unrestricted manner, we allow them to be sold on eBay. Many firearm-related parts that can legally be bought or sold have historically been allowed on eBay.
However, after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, eBay's Trust and Safety team along with executives at the company felt it was important to re-examine our existing Firearms policy and evaluate if it still met the needs of our marketplace and our company.
While no items related to the incident were purchased illegally on our site, it was important to make some changes to ensure we do everything possible to provide a safe marketplace.
Currently we do not allow actual firearms on the site. After careful consideration our executives and our Trust and Safety team determined that any item required to fire a gun has no place on eBay. All of our policies are under constant review. As the Internet and the way our communities use the Internet evolves, our policies and our marketplace must evolve with it. We determined that this policy change was in the
best interest of promoting a safe marketplace for all members.
Thank you for your time.
Office of the President
I then sent the following response:
Thanks for your response. Actually guns are not designed to cause harm. Guns are simply a tool no different than a box cutter. A gun is designed to be used for target practice, personal safety, officer safety, family safety, citizen safety, the safety of a woman to fight off a rapist, etc. A gun is a great equalizer - in the hands of a 100 Lb woman she becomes equal to a 300 Lb rapist, and can chase him away simply by showing it or pointing it at him 98% of the time. In the 2% of the time that she has to pull the trigger, even then it is better the bad guy take a hit rather than she be raped & possibly killed. In the hands of good citizens a gun is a tool for safety which is what they are designed for. A box cutter is deigned primarily for opening boxes, but as witnessed on September 11th box cutters were used inappropriately to do unimaginably awful things, much worse even than the incident at VT. How can eBay honestly go about censoring perfectly legal items every time someone uses one of them to do an evil deed? By that thought process, box cutters should be banned as well, since box cutters in the hands of those evil terrorists did much more harm than what happened at VT.
Perhaps black vests should be banned as well since bad people often wear black while perpetrating bad deeds. It is a slippery slope to start politicizing such a good auction site. My recommendation would be to stick with what eBay has been doing in the past - ban illegal & regulated things, but stay away from politics.
Since the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms) estimates that about 50% of American households have at least 1 firearm in the home, and the 2005 census estimate is that there are 111 Million households in the US with an average of 2.6 people in each household, that makes about 144 Million potential members of gun owning households in the US alone that eBay may alienate by taking this political stance.
Thanks for considering my viewpoint, and keep up the otherwise great work, as eBay is still the best auction site out there bar none. I know because today I had to start using a competitor's website when buying some additional gun magazines for my .22 rifle. They have a lot of room to grow just to catch up with where eBay is already at. I wasn't even able to use my paypal account because of a similar anti-gun paypal policy - I had to use my credit card directly & risk it being stolen by some hacker. If eBay is still unwilling to alter this stance, than hopefully some other auction & pay site will someday rise to the challenge & fill the giant gaping void eBay just created for 144 million law abiding American citizens who wish to be able to buy gun accessories & other non-restricted items at market prices via an auction site.
I never received further replies, I guess they ran out of form letters.
Friday, September 14, 2007
John R. Lott Jr. Really hit the nail on the head today on foxnews.com with the below great article listing statistical truths which overturn the lies & miss-truths being told by those who support the DC handgun ban. Check it out, it's very well written:
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
A teacher in fear for her life from her x-husband is being denied her second amendment rights to carry a concealed weapon for her own self defense even though she has a valid CCW permit. What is she supposed to do, walk around defenseless & hope that she won't be attacked while she is away from her home, or that the Police could come & save her before any harm is done? The more Mr Moran opens his mouth, the more he proves that he has a lot to learn. How exactly did this guy become Chairman of a School Board? Just a few of his statements & my response to them:
1) "You can be an undiagnosed psychotic or you could be a criminal, a serial killer even, who just hasn't been caught and you can come onto our property with a concealed weapon and we can't do much about it," Moran said.
What, are psycho's going to decide not to bring their gun onto campus because of a "gun free zone"? How many times has that been proven to be false? Has everyone already forgotten about VT or Columbine that took place in so-called "gun free zones"?
2) "It's a loophole kind of a thing really," said School Board Chairman Mike Moran, a retired lieutenant with the Medford Police Department. "If they have a concealed weapons permit it seems to grant a privilege that I don't think the Legislature intended."
He might as well be calling his legislators moron's because that is the only way they could "accidentally" add the CCW exception as an "unintentional" loophole.
3) Paraphrased: closing the "CCW loophole" needs to happen ASAP to make schools "safer"
Has he not heard of VT or Columbine? How does forcing all teachers to be defenseless sheep make them & our children safe from criminals? It's ok to guard our money in Banks with armed guards, but the defense of our most valuable asset - our children - is left up to the speed of responding police after a 911 call? If that works so well, why don't all Banks do that?
4) "But where we have our most vulnerable and valuable treasures, in our public schools, there is not a willingness as this point, or clear direction from our Legislature, valuing the security of our children."
Actually there is clear direction from your legislature, Mr Moran - you're either incapable of understanding it, or you're a liar. The clear direction from the Oregon Legislature is to allow valid CCW permit holders to have the ability to protect themselves & our most valuable asset - our children. Perhaps Mr Moran should hire a 5th grader from the television show "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" to help him understand Oregon law, as he either is NOT smarter than a 5th grader, or is simply not as honest. Every single mass school shooting has been in a "gun free zone" - even Utah, one of the few other states that currently allows teachers to carry concealed in public schools has only had a mass shooting in one of its few gun free zones - a privately owned mall that was posted as no weapons allowed. Lucky for the shoppers that day there was one person there who had ignored the "no guns allowed" sign & was able to stop the madman before he was able to finish his intended rampage.
Below is the URL for the referenced news story:
The Liberty Zone: Not quite a right
Great blog about our bill of rights & the 2nd amendment.
The War on Guns: Frankly Speaking, Mayor Jackson, You're a Liar
Great blog about Mayor Jackson's recent statements.
Posted by Dustin at 10:41 AM
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Shooting at the gun range is fun. Every person who has ever come with me to the local gun range has had a great time & decided that they'd like to go shooting more often. A recent example was my Wife. Over the last 14+ years she has successfully resisted going to the range with me to shoot despite my many invitations. Recently I finally figured out a way to get her to the range - I made a trade. I bargained with her at the negotiation table, and my payment that we agreed on was for me to go with her to decorate a plate at a local art shop. She had been trying to get me to go do that with her for years but I had been resisting as Art was never anything I enjoyed. It probably stems from some bad art experiences I had in grade & middle school with demanding teachers who did not seem to like my art (as evidenced by the poor grades on my art projects & negative comments they shared). My favorite subjects were Math & Science. Art was at the bottom of my enjoyment scale, even below Social Studies & English classes if you can imagine that to be possible (I liked reading, but I hated writing reports & memorizing dates or names for exams).
After the negotiation she came with me to the range & shot our .22 rifle as well as my 9mm Glock. She loved it, and it turns out that she's a good shot to boot. She even commented afterwards that she'd like to come shooting with me more often, even for some of our weekly date nights. My invitation to all of my fellow Americans (even to other citizens of the world for that matter if you are lucky enough to live in a Country that will allow you to own a gun) is to go try it out if you have not yet done so, or if it was long ago when you last tried it. If you already enjoy it, invite a friend on your next visit. If you have not tried it recently, find a friend to go with, or just show up & give it a try. Many gun ranges offer gun rentals & introductory lessons so that you can try some out to see what kind of gun you like.
It's a bit like the "Green Eggs & Ham" story many of us are familiar with. Try it, you may like it.
I have tried it, and I LOVE it. It is a fun hobby. You can exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, and have fun while doing it.
Friday, September 7, 2007
I am surprised by how often I run into folks who tell me that they were fine with the "Assault Weapon" ban because "nobody needs an assault weapon"
I then explain to them that the guns defined by the now expired assault weapon ban were nothing more than normal semi-automatic guns that have 2 or more "evil looking" features (such as a pistol grip) that make them no more dangerous than any other semi automatic gun.
Some of the "evil features" included in the definition of the expired gun ban were:
Any semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine, and two or more of the following features:
- A folding or telescoping stock
- A pistol grip
- A flash suppressor
- A grenade launcher
- A bayonet lug
I also tell them that the gun grabbers will NEVER take their hunting rifle without first calling it a "sniper rifle." That usually gets their attention.
We should not allow the gun grabbers to take any of our guns - we need to stand together. If we don't hang together, we will hang separately.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I am often surprised by how many times I hear anti-gun folks complain about the "availability" of guns. Yes I can go & buy a gun at a shop after I pass a background check. So can any other American who can pass the background check. What is wrong with that? What do the Brady folks want with more gun laws? Isn't 20,000+ gun laws in the US enough? Especially since all attempts to look at the effects of gun laws have proven that gun laws either increase the crime rate or have no noticeable effect whatsoever, depending on the particular gun law? The simple truth of the matter is that the Brady folks & those fighting with them for more gun laws (such as the Million Moms, Anti-violence groups, etc) are all trying to solve an important problem by going after the wrong source.
It would be like trying to restrict the sale of mops because there are too many irresponsible people who forget to put up the yellow caution sign that says the floor is wet. Even if we were to ban the sale of mops to people who did not pass a background check for past history of forgetting to put up the yellow caution sign, they would still be able to buy illegal mops on the newly created black market.
Just think about it for a while & you'll see what I mean. When has anything we've ever restricted actually been kept out of the hands of those willing to break the law? The great alcohol prohibition comes to mind. Black market alcohol was available to anyone who wanted to pay for it although the ban was US wide. Drug laws come to mind - how hard is it for even kids to get their hands on that awful stuff. Criminals break the law, get used to it. Gun laws only place restrictions on the law abiding.
Here's the correct solution that the anti-gun folks should be working at. Get rid of the repeat Criminals, not the guns. Why are there so many repeat offenders out on the streets these days with long wrap sheets who commit crime over & over again? They go to jail for a short while & are soon released for "good behavior." We need tough 3 strikes you're out laws so that we can keep the wrap sheets shorter, and our streets safer. Once they're out (3 strikes), they should be in jail for the rest of their lives. Any thought that 20 or 30 years in the slammer learning about new types of criminal activity from fellow thugs will somehow make the criminals ready to be put back into civilized circulation is ludicrous.
Guns are simply a tool. I use my guns for protection of self & family, as do roughly 144 Million of my fellow Americans in households with guns (based on data from the ATF that estimates roughly 50% of households have at least 1 gun & data from the US Census). Guns are used about 2.5 Million times a year to ward off criminal attack (98% of the time without even needing to fire a shot), which means they're used at least 5 times as often for good purposes by good American citizens as they are used for bad purposes by Criminals.
How do we reduce the criminal use of all tools for their evil deeds (guns, baseball bats, knives, broken bottles, lamp posts, etc)? We lock the criminals up, and we throw away the key.