Posted with permission from Frank Borelli:
Every now and then I find myself in a conversation with someone who firmly believes that:
1) Guns are evil
2) No one except cops and soldiers should have them
3) The government knows best what is for us
4) If guns were simply banned all would be right with the world.
For a long time I dreaded such conversations and felt they were a waste of my time. After all, only a complete fool would believe such things, right? Maybe… but I was raised by such a fool. My father knew next to nothing about guns. He knew what he’d seen in the movies. So, what did he know?
He knew that mobsters had guns. He knew that bullets were magical – they could blow full size men ten feet through the air. He knew that everyone who got shot died (unless they were the hero of a movie in which case it didn’t matter how many times they got shot; they never died). He knew that modern day detectives (modern day being the 1980s) carried snub-nose revolvers. He knew that soldiers were the only people who ever carried or needed “machine guns” (select fire rifles). He knew guns sometimes just happened to go off with no explanation why. He knew you could put a silencer on revolvers and it worked just fine. He knew that guns would shoot forever… or until the script writer decided it was time to run out of bullets.
You get the point I’m making? What he KNEW was a crock of crap. He “knew” what script writers had decided should be to make a movie more dramatic or a hero more heroic. The first time I ever handed a revolver to my dad (a Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special 5-shot .38) he closed the cylinder, pointed it at my brother-in-law and pulled the trigger twice. Yeah, you read that right. It was a good thing I had been taught never to hand over a loaded weapon. The cylinder was empty but my father had no idea how to check. If he had and did, then he was obviously completely ignorant of that primary rule of firearms handling: Treat every weapon as if it’s loaded.
After snatching the gun back from my dad I apologized to my bro-in-law and then chastised my father. It didn’t go over well. None of his children, no matter how old, were allowed to correct him in his own living room. Okay… so I simply never let my dad get hold of a gun again. Anytime I was there the gun I was carrying was unloaded and disabled.
My father, in his complete and utter ignorance of guns, was one of those people who felt that no one should ever have a gun unless that person was a police officer or a soldier. In one of our early conversations about the topic (when I was an MP in the Army) I expressed my belief that if the government ever banned the private ownership of firearms we’d see the beginning of the 2nd Civil War. He actually laughed at me and reassured me that any citizen dumb enough to take on the government would be easily overcome. When I asked, “You mean ‘killed’, don’t you?” he didn’t know how to reply. He didn’t like thinking that the government he believed in would ever actually wantonly kill citizens but by the same token he recognized that there isn’t really another way to disarm a man with a gun who was willing to use it. In discussion after discussion he maintained his position: the government was all-powerful and citizens had no legitimate need or use for guns. Never in his life had he been hunting. The only people in his life growing up who had guns were mobsters or criminals.
What really ate me up about my father’s outlook about guns was that he knew better. Think about it…
The person who simply doesn’t see the need for anyone to have a gun is either
- Perfectly willing to become the victim of a crime or
- A firm believer that no human being is evil.
After all, if you know and accept the fact that some people are evil – they commit crimes without remorse, victimizing those who can’t or won’t defend themselves – then you’d recognize the need to have a tool of self-defense. That’s simple logic. If you don’t want to be a willing victim of crime you have to be prepared to defend yourself against any criminal assault or attack. To insure your ability to successfully defend against an assault or an attack wherein the criminal has a weapon of any kind, you need to either be VERY highly skilled or you must have a weapon yourself; one that overcomes what the bad guy has. So, if he has a knife or a baseball bat, you have a gun. My father never accepted that argument. He had “drunk the kool-aid.” He believed that criminals only used guns because guns were available. If we simply stopped making guns then criminals would stop stealing them and eventually there’d be no more guns used in crimes… anywhere. I loved my dad but he was a silly man sometimes.
Considering all that it becomes obvious that unless you have complete, utter and blind faith in the benevolence of all human beings, you must accept that humans are capable of committing acts of violence for personal gain. It is a fact of human nature that we must recognize. If you don’t, then let me ask you this:
Do you trust EVERYONE you meet? I don’t suspect any of you said YES, so I have to ask WHY NOT? If every human being is benevolent then every one of them can be trusted to do whatever is in YOUR best interest. If you DO trust every single person on the face of the planet I seriously recommend you seek immediate psychiatric treatment / therapy. The news is filled every day with stories about people who aren’t trustworthy. We call them criminals. They are robbers, rapists, murderers, etc. Some of them commit these crimes serially and they’d happy make you a victim if the opportunity presents itself.
Obviously some people can’t be trusted. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer… two infamous serial killers. Would you trust them? I certainly hope not. I’m sure you can think of more examples – the Zodiac Killer, the Washington DC “Serial Sniper”, and more. People, in general, can’t be trusted. The people you know in your life – outside your family at a minimum – have EARNED your trust.
So what about everyone else? Are you a potential and willing victim for everyone else? I like to think not. Certainly there are people in our world who are willing victims. They are the pacifists; the “peaceniks”; those who say, “turn the other cheek”, “make love, not war.” I’m here to tell you… as a veteran soldier and as a veteran police officer, I’d RATHER make love every day of the week and twice on Sunday rather than making war. That said, if the war comes to me, I’m fighting. I’m not going to bury my head in the sand (or under the covers) and pretend that there aren’t things going on that present a threat to me and mine. I’m NOT going to be such a pacifist that I refuse to fight no matter what.
Now, many of you reading this haven’t met me. You might think that I’d prefer violence as a solution to almost every situation. That’s far from true. I actually AM a pacifist. I’d rather NOT fight in virtually every instance. I’ve walked away from conflict when I could. I’ve talked my way out of fights when I could. When it came time to stand my ground though, I’ve done so. And there are simply times when you have no other moral choice than to stand your ground and fight evil you’re facing. You have to stand, fight and win. Nothing else is acceptable. Period.
If you are not willing to fight in self-defense then you are a willing victim and this article is of no use to you. If you will fight back then you need to ask yourself what tools you are willing to do so with. My choice of potential defensive tools include my hands, my elbows, my knees, my feet, my head, Pepper Spray, a TASER, knives and guns. I no longer wear a uniform on the street so I don’t carry a baton. My flashlight can certainly be used as an impact weapon.
So, that begs this question: if you are willing to fight to defend yourself against criminal assault or attack, then what tools are YOU willing to use to do so? Will you use your fists, feet, elbows, knees and head? Are you okay with that? How about Pepper Spray? Are you okay with that? How about a TASER? Are you okay with that? How about a flashlight as an impact weapon? Are you okay with that?
Up to that point I’m usually okay in a classroom full of people who disagree on gun control laws. Here is where I tend to start losing people:
How about your knives? Are you willing to use them to cut, slash and stab someone to keep from being victimized by that person? A great many people will hesitate there. They don’t want to be a willing victim but the idea of cutting someone, slashing someone, stabbing someone is simply so barbaric and foreign that they can’t envision themselves doing it and therefore don’t know if they’re “okay” with it. Such a mental roadblock is easily overcome when dealing with parents. If that knife is all they have to protect their child from a serial murderer they will suddenly and without pause almost gladly stab and slash that murderer.
Then I bring the gun question in. Many folks simply will not admit the need for a gun. When I ask what they would do in the face of a serial murderer with a knife many of them will claim to stand and fight also armed with a knife. Wouldn’t it be easier to stand fifty feet away and shoot the knife-wielding mass murderer? When asked that they acknowledge it would be EASIER but somehow they find moral fault with it. They see the firearm as an object of evil. I have no hope for them. I’m glad they’ll stand and fight against crime and evil, but I’m sad to see the artificial and unnecessary limit they put on themselves.
All of that is discussed to support this one simple point: If you’re in favor of gun control then you carry a personal belief that it is better to be a willing victim than to stand and fight against crime and evil. Criminals have and use all sorts of weapons, guns among them. Every individual is personally responsible for their own safety and security. Not the police; not the government; not politicians; not Congress, the Senate or anyone else. The Supreme Court has even rendered decisions that have said that the government carries no responsibility to insure the safety of each citizen. YOU are responsible for your safety.
If the criminals have guns – and obviously they do – how can you claim to not be a willing victim and yet stand for gun control at the same time? Think about it…