A Culture of Entrenched Cowardice

22Jan13

Everyone knows of Flights 11 and 175, which hit the Twin Towers on 9/11. We understand that passengers on those flights thought they were facing a “normal” hijacking. They expected the hijackers to land somewhere and make demands, then release hostages. They followed the old advice of, “stay calm, cooperate, don’t fight back and nobody will get hurt.” They did what they reasonably believed was right, which wound up being wrong.

Everyone in America knows the story of United Flight 93, the flight that fought back. Everyone knows of the brave passengers who refused to die as helpless victims. Everyone knows they charged the cockpit and fought for control of the aircraft, forcing the hijackers to crash into an empty field instead of the Capitol. Those passengers are justifiably regarded as heroes.

But how many Americans consider the actions of passengers and crew on American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon? As far as we know, the plane was hijacked, its crew forced to the rear, then the aircraft began descending over Washington D.C. – and the passengers and crew did nothing. They apparently sat quietly in their seats, fully aware that they were about to die a horrible, fiery death. At least one passenger knew hijacked airliners had hit the Twin Towers (and to me it’s inconceivable that she didn’t tell the others). But even though they knew they were doomed, even though they literally could not have made the situation worse by resisting, they didn’t lift a finger to stop it. They died as cooperative, unresisting victims.

I’m not blaming them for their inaction. We as a nation learned a hard lesson about trusting those with evil intentions that day. Instead, I’m blaming a widespread mindset that’s poisoned the United States over the past several decades. I think this mindset is directly opposed to traditional American values, and would have been ridiculed by braver generations.

This mindset advocates passive acceptance of victimhood. This mindset tells people, “it’s better to stand by and do nothing as you and other innocent people are brutally murdered.“ And worse than that, it elevates such cowardice to a virtue.

The debate over gun control sparked by the Newtown shooting has partly devolved into a debate about whether citizens should defend themselves from mass shooters. Much of America believes private citizens can and should use weapons to protect themselves and their families. But a very vocal portion of the population considers this idea to be total stupidity.

Since I began writing about mass shootings and armed citizenry, I’ve read many comments to my articles. While most have been positive, I’ve also seen a number of readers who don’t just disagree but can’t seem to think of armed citizenry in anything other than derisive terms.

Here are a few examples, from various internet forums:

“And I think that’s a perfect example of the egoistic hero fantasy BS that fuels this whole problem. . . . everyone with a gun thinks they’re going to be John Mclane.”

“I describe these scenarios as hero fantasy because that’s precisely what they are.”

“’Super good guys with guns to save the day’. Check.”

“I don’t think some overconfident chippy with a pistol in her handbag is going to be of any use whatsoever to anyone. Tell me, Miss Annie Oakley, precisely how you determine who the good guys are and who the bad guys are when everyone pulls out a gun?”

This quote from an article in the Huffington Post directly equates armed teachers with “movie hero fantasies”: “Bruce Lee’s son died in a gun accident on a movie set, but I’m sure that won’t happen in your classroom. Your classroom isn’t a movie set. Well, not until some gun-toting lunatic barges in, in a slow motion climax after about two hours and a classic three act structure, scored by whatever composer Michael Bay uses for his films, and probably while he eats breakfast, and does his laundry, and sits on the toilet.”

A blog post from last year was titled, “NRA gun-toting-Rambo-citizen-hero ‘theory’ soundly disproved in New York at Empire State Building Shooting”.

These sentiments, often expressed by people with little to no experience, training or apparent understanding of lethal violence, are all over the internet. Those who hold this belief view every private citizen who carries a weapon for self defense as a delusional, wannabe superman who is capable of only creating more problems and mistakenly killing more innocent people. They see armed citizens as simply another threat to the public, maybe a bigger threat than the statistically insignificant number of mass shooters.

I don’t claim to know the true motivations of everyone who opposes armed citizens’ response to mass shooters. But I do know that this mindset certainly can be a cynical, self-serving way to disguise blatant fear of taking action as “good sense”. I fear that this mindset is changing us from a brave culture, a culture where people are expected to defend the defenseless, to a culture of deeply entrenched cowardice. A culture where outright refusal to defend even one’s own family is celebrated as a mark of high intelligence.

The realities of sudden violence against private citizens always point to an inescapable conclusion: the only way to protect citizens from violence is to let them protect themselves. I say this as a police officer who spent years training for and teaching other police officers how to respond to mass shootings. Anyone who thinks we police can be everywhere, or can respond within seconds to any public place under attack, are fooling themselves.

We’ve experienced a long string of tragic mass shootings. The Killeen Luby’s, the Amish School shooting, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University, Newtown, the New York subway massacre, the Sikh Temple shooting, the Aurora Colorado theater shooting, the Giffords shooting in Tucson, the Colorado Springs church shooting, and on and on. In every one, police arrived too late to stop the massacres.

But remember that one shooting, where police arrived in seconds and managed to stop the shooter immediately? No? Me neither. It never happened.

We have a well known, easily understood set of facts regarding mass shootings. We know, without question, that a mass murderer who faces no resistance will kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. We know most mass shooters will keep killing until they’re forced to stop. We know police won’t respond in time. And yet, some people take that set of facts and conclude that no private citizen should act to defend themselves.

I understand if someone makes the personal decision not to defend themselves. I don’t agree with it, but a reasonable, intelligent person can decide not to carry a weapon. Some people know they wouldn’t be able to control their fear, or can’t handle a firearm, aren’t prepared for the responsibility, or could never shoot another human being. That doesn’t make them bad people, and the majority of our population is probably made up of people who feel that way. Their attitude might be summed up as, “I’m not the right person to carry a weapon, so I’m glad other people have them.” My comments aren’t directed toward people who make that honest, rational assessment of themselves.

My comments are, however, directed at committed victims who deem themselves morally and intellectually superior to those who would fight back. It’s not enough for them to make a personal decision not to act; for some reason, they have to try to stop others from doing what they themselves won’t.

We’re not talking about intervening in a robbery, or jumping in when a crip shoots a blood over dope-deaing turf. In most of these cases, the best thing to do is be a good witness. We’re talking about the closest thing to black and white, no question, pure evil we’re likely to see in America: a coward brutally gunning down as many innocent, helpless people as possible. If that doesn’t demand an immediate, lethal citizen response, nothing does.

When pacifists advocate passive resistance to violence while smugly assuming armed citizes are stupid and violent, they accomplish two things. First, the pacifists don’t have to accept the true cowardice inherent in their decision. After all, how can any honorable man or woman refuse to act when innocent people, especially children, are being murdered in their presence? And second, these pacifists actually enable violent criminals who specifically seek a mass of unarmed, unresisting victims.

I would like to offer a deal to those who refuse to carry a weapon, yet insult and deride those who do. I won’t hold your decision, which has no bearing on how I should live, against you. I won’t speak badly of you. If I happen to be near you and the unthinkable happens, I will risk my life to defend you. If I’m mortally wounded and have time to recognize my impending death, I won’t feel anger over dying to defend someone who wouldn’t defend himself.

Your part of the deal? Shut up. Stop speaking out against those who would face mortal danger to defend themselves, their families and you. Stop telling good, intelligent people not to fight back against evil. Stop trying to convince people that if police can’t protect them, they therefore shouldn’t protect themselves. If you have zero experience in the subject, stop spreading your tactical wisdom, gained through years of sitting in classrooms and discussing with likeminded friends how stupid gun owners are, about what a gunfight is really like. Stop citing Mother Jones “studies” and 20/20 “videotaped experiments” that were specifically engineered to convince people not to defend themselves. Stop telling me that cowardly mass shooters with no skill or training are unstoppable monsters who no citizen should even attempt to fight, but brave law-abiding citizens with training and good sense are powerless. Stop telling me it’s better to let a childish coward keep shooting at me than to shoot back. Stop projecting your passive timidity onto others. Stop hiding your cowardice behind a veil of smug superiority. People see through it.

When faced with the horrible evil of Newtown, Columbine, or Virginia Tech, we all face a decision. Are we the passive victims of Flight 77, who sat quietly in helpless acceptance of their impending murders? Or are we the men and women of action who took responsibility for their own lives and those of the intended innocent victims below, banded together and charged the cockpit of Flight 93?

You victims made your decision in advance. Just like the Flight 77 passengers, you know the end result of that decision will be tragedy. But I respect your rights, and accept what you’ve chosen not to do.

I, along with many veterans, police officers and armed citizens, have rejected your culture of cowardice. At the very least, you should respect our decision. And if the worst case happens, all you should do is duck out of the line of fire, shut your mouth, and let the rest of us follow the path that we, not you, have chosen.



86 Responses to “A Culture of Entrenched Cowardice”

  1. 1 Kathryn Greten

    the only thing I have to say about this..bravo! But, I do believe in the 2nd amendment…and besides…are criminals going to do anything different? I think not.

    • Kathryn,

      Just today we were shocked – shocked! – to hear that a couple of people didn’t honor the “gun free zone” signs at a Houston college campus. Criminals not following the law? Inconceivable.

      Chris

      • 3 Kathryn Greten

        yes these things happen, and all the signs in the world won’t keep criminals from doing what they do. It is too bad that innocent people have to suffer for a few bad apples…But, do I think the 2nd amendment needs to change? No, I do not. Just like the laws on the books…they can’t even enforce what they have why make new ones you won’t enforce either…Don’t get me started….

      • 4 Ed

        Good thoughts, Chris. Maybe you should use some other examples than the airliner hijack stories, thjough.. Nobody living knows what went down on those planes. There were no survivors and the reports presented in the media are so ridiculous (as well as being anonymously sourced) that the whole series of airline hijacking stories fail the smell test.

        All the suggestions to submit to violence and all the criticisms of people who bravely defend themselves and others come from the same source as the silly tales of airline passengers’ cowardice or heroism: government and their controlled media. The ones parroting that line on internet discussions are repeating what they’ve heard from the same source, at least those of them who aren’t paid online trolls.

        You’ve made some very good points here. I don’t agree so much with your choice of examples that lead the post, the airliner stories from the 9/11 official history, but that’s a minor difference.

        You obviously have good critical thinking skills. Exercise them a little harder and they’ll get stronger.

        Thanks for the post.

        Ed

      • This is in reply to Ed’s comment. No major disagreement, but I wanted to point out that we know a little bit about what happened on the planes from family members who had cell phone conversations with some of the passengers. I don’t have any concerns about the truthfulness of family members’ accounts of those conversations.

  2. 6 Angela

    I believe every criminal should be afraid of having the ables turned on him or her should they decide to commit a crime.
    I don’t know that I would go as far as to call these people out as cowards. I do see that a lot of these gun toting people on TV and internet are radicals, sometimes to the point of being cartoonish, and that turns a lot of people off. I’m sure that there are many well trained armed people out there that are able to communicate effectively and intelligently. However, these are not the people being shown to us by the media. A lot of people get their information solely from mainstream media.

    • Angela,

      Whether or not they’re personally cowards, they’re spreading a cowardly mentality that enables mass murder. Maybe they would be brave in a violent incident, but if they weren’t armed they would likely be ineffective (and dead). “An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity”.

      Unfortunately yes, lots of pro-gun people come across as clowns. There are plenty of people who have done more damage than good with their hysterics.

      Chris

      • 8 jugatsu

        Even more anti-gun people come across as worse than clowns. I’d rather be a “right” clown than a “wrong” coward/moron/fascist/etc.

  3. 10 SSG/Deputy Erick Becker

    Here I am laying in bed, half way around the world, and I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I’m here in Afghanistan, away from everyone I love, risking everything, to preserve our way of life. I am here because my Nation called, and as an American, as a soldier of this great nation; I willfully answered, again. I am here because I have sworn an oath to defend my Country from enemies both foreign and domestic. I am reminded of what my Commander and Chief said only a few months ago after the incident in Benghazi, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for…” I have taken great solace in such expressions of commitment and resolve from our leaders. It’s comforting to know that the sacrifices that so many of us have endured aren’t going to be wasted by a change of heart, a change of position or policy but, that is exactly what is happening.

    I think I can safely say that while the United States has experienced terrorism, mostly through the catastrophic attack on the World Trade Center, and other tragic events like the federal building bombing perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh, we as a nation have experienced relatively few terrorist incidents within our borders. I would like to make a comparison of sorts and perhaps you will see my logic and perhaps you will not. However, it is how I feel and after much thought, I am unlikely to change my position. Let’s look at Israel for a moment. Israel, whether you support them politically or not, has endured countless acts of terrorism since their creation in 1948. Being such a small country, and surrounded on one border by countries who have vowed to destroy them, and an ocean upon the other, has left very few options for them in regard to terrorism. If they were to continue to exist as a Nation and as a people they would have to fight terrorism, and fight they have.

    The list of terror attacks against Israel is longer than I have time to write but, the point I’m trying to get at is every Israeli citizen wakes up everyday concerned about their children, and their families. Will the school bus their children are going to school in be the one that is blown up today? Can any of us imagine what that would feel like? Kissing your kid’s goodbye as they got on the school bus each day and walk back to the house wondering if at the next stop a suicide bomber wouldn’t get on? It’s absolutely unfathomable to imagine isn’t it? Well folks, these feelings are ones that many Israeli’s are still coping with today. Acts of terror are still a major concern in Israel. Perhaps they don’t occur with as much frequency as they have in the past but, the threat is always present.

    More importantly, Israel answered these acts of terror by arming its citizens. Because Israel is so geographically small, soldiers take their weapons home with them at night or at the end of the day. That way, if the enemy invaded, or terrorist strike, all one had to do was step out the front door and engage the invaders or terrorist. When Israel experienced acts of terror within its schools; their answer was to arm the teachers. Interestingly enough, terror attacks in schools have virtually become non-existent in Israel and this ladies and gentlemen, is arguably one of the most targeted countries in the world. So do you think disarming the Israeli populace was an option for Israel? Of course not, nor do I. Did acts of terror “shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values” that it stands for? Well hell no it didn’t! We all know Israel is still in existence, and still surrounded by its enemies.

    Now let’s look at terrorism real quick. The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes is the essence of the definition. The achievement of political goals through violence is perhaps the easiest way to describe it. Now I know that most of you hear the word terrorist and instantly a dark skinned bearded man with black shades and turban, yelling Allah Allah Akbar appears in your mind. Admittedly, there are indeed some who definitely fit that description but, it is my contention that many do not. It is my belief that many terrorist’s look just like you and me. As a matter of fact they look like Timothy McVeigh, John Allen Muhammad, Lee Boyd Malvo, John Eagan Holmes, and most recently Adam Lanza. I contend that we as a nation are experiencing terrorism in our country much more frequently than anyone would care to admit.

    This brand of terrorism is of a slightly different variety in that the motivations are less political but, as we all know; the motivations behind acts such as Sandy Hook are equally as disturbed as those behind the World Trade Center in September of 2001. What disturbs me is our Nation’s reaction to these acts of terror, which for no other reason than semantics regarding definition; these horrific acts have not been considered terrorist acts. Well my friends, I think that is a bunch of horse crap! These are acts of terror! The goal of terrorism is political change through violence. Is that not what is happening? Because we can’t picture a clear political motive in the perpetrators mind we don’t consider their horrible and horrendous acts to be acts of terror yet, we react to them as if they were the most artfully implemented and successful terroristic acts ever to be used.

    Our President, whom I have avidly supported up until recently, is playing right into their hands. Perhaps people with mental illness have different motivations behind their acts in the fact that they wish to do something so horrendous the world will never forget them. However it is strikingly similar among terrorist of different design, in that they want their “cause” or their “plight” to never be forgotten. They wish to alter the lives of Americans so that every day you stand in a TSA line at the airport you will remember the Jihad. They want political policies to change so that we don’t support allies such as Israel because if we do, we will feel their wrath. Well I would suggest to you that Adam Lanza was a brilliant terrorist. His motivations may have been slightly different from the Jihadist that appears when many of you contemplate the image of a terrorist in your mind but, his act of terror has been successful! Our government’s reaction is making him a successful terrorist! He has effected political change, he has horrified a Nation!

    Now let me change everyone’s image of the tragedy at Sandy Hook for a moment. Remove the young disturbed American boy from the scene and replace him with a radical Islamic terrorist. I use the example of Islamic terrorist not because I wish to offend believers in the great religion of Islam but, only because we all know that there are a disproportionate number of Islamic terrorist around the globe. So now picture an Islamic terrorist attacking Sandy Hook. His message, America will fear the Jihad. We will attack you at home, we will hurt you where it hurts most, we will kill your children! We will kill them at school, we will kill them on their playgrounds, we will kill them when they go to the movies with their friends. We will hurt you America like we have never hurt you before!!!

    What do you think our President would have said to that? Perhaps something like “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for…” Do you believe for one single moment that our Nation’s reaction to terrorist attacks that targeted our children would have been to disarm our populace? Well Hell No! I don’t believe that either. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe that anyone would suggest the way to combat terrorism is to capitulate or to weaken our citizen’s ability to protect themselves and their families. It is absurd! Did Israel respond by disarming their populace? No, they responded to attacks on their children by making sure teachers were armed. They even armed the school bus drivers! If the Sandy Hook shooter was the image of terrorist that many of you picture in your mind, do you believe we would not have called for all schools to have military like security around them? Hell yes we would have!

    However, that is not our Nations response. That has not been our government’s response. Our Nation’s response is to weaken our citizens in the hopes that the criminals will be included in the masses. It is this failed logic that will make us more and more vulnerable. Perhaps if America wasn’t the world’s leading superpower, perhaps if we didn’t meddle in so many other countries business, perhaps if we practiced a policy of Laissez Faire. Perhaps then we wouldn’t be considered high value targets for terrorists around the globe. Would you rather face terrorism with a gun in your hand or empty handed? I contend that acts like the one that occurred in Connecticut are indeed acts of terror, because they are effectively accomplishing the goals of terrorism! Perhaps it is a new kind of terrorism or perhaps we are just too naïve and arrogant to realize it but, it is terror at its finest!

    In the military, we talk about “target hardening.” What that means for you non-tactical types is essentially “don’t make yourself an easy target.” Do things; take actions that make you more difficult to kill. I think about this regularly as I go to sleep at night. What are my weaknesses? What can I do differently tomorrow that will help keep me alive? What can I do to make sure that I can shoot that bastard in the face before he shoots me? It goes on and on and can become quite exhausting actually. The good thing about mental rehearsals is that you always win. Anyway, I digress. Target hardening is a concept that is very familiar to those of us who have a tactical mindset. It is something we do every day in virtually all situations. However, I contend that our society as a whole does not think tactically. They have grown away from this necessary survival skill. The vast majority of Americans have not had to use any of their primal survival skills in more than a century. They haven’t had to use them because other people, now less than 1% of our society do their dirty work for them. I would contend that unless you are in the military or in law enforcement for example, these target hardening skills become very dormant if they are even able to manifest themselves at all. Few people imagine scenarios where people are actively trying to kill them. We think about what we have to do when we get off of work etc… We don’t think about what would be a good position for a sniper to be in that wants to kill you when you arrive home from work. So without going on and on I think most of you get my point.

    Well what we don’t think of, in addition to snipers shooting us as we arrive home from work, is terrorist’s attacking our children at places like schools, and movie theatres. We don’t think about this because terrorism hasn’t manifested itself here like it has in countries such as Israel. Even after the Sandy Hook shooting people were sending their children to school business as usual the following day. Why is it that we act this way? Why is it people have this mentality that it will never happen to me? It is because these terrorist attacks are infrequent enough that we don’t really respond as we would if they were happening much more regularly. Let’s say that we knew that at least one school in America would be attacked each and every day. What would our actions be then? Would we insist on disarming the law abiding populace of gun owners? Hell no we wouldn’t! Would there be increased demand for armed and capable security at every school across the land? I think so too. Would the American people start thinking about “target hardening” if they knew someone was targeting their child? Well absolutely! Suddenly this tactical mindset, this instinctual survival skill would begin to return. We as a society would start thinking tactically in terms of how we can better increase our chance of survival. How best we can avoid being a victim.

    Now I realize this concept is disturbing to the flock. This concept of the “bad man” lurking amongst us is very disturbing. However, choosing to disarm the law abiding populace does not “harden the target.” It does not increase our chances of survival. It only makes us powerless to defend ourselves; it makes us the likely victims of the infrequent terrorist attack. I would also remind people that terrorism is much more common in the rest of the world. It will eventually arrive in the States, that fact my friends is inevitable especially considering our nations status as the world’s super power nation. So that being said, I would call upon our government; I call upon our President, my Commander and Chief to treat these attacks against our children, against our fellow Americans as acts of terror committed by a new breed of terrorist. I ask him to “harden the target” by securing our nation’s schools, I ask him to combat these terrorists with mental health reform, and I would have him argue even more emphatically for our 2nd amendment rights. I would have him repeat his words, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for…”

    Disarming the law abiding populace does nothing to protect your child. The fact that I can no longer buy or own a rifle with a 30 round magazine does not make your child one tiny little bit safer. I will keep my guns, I will keep my “evil black rifles” and I will keep my 30 round magazines. Why do you need them you might ask? I need not explain because it is my right granted to me by my forefathers, by the Constitution of the United States of America!

    • 11 Angela

      Excellent writing!!!

    • 12 Garris

      Your comment and service are very much appreciated by myself and my family… God bless you sir!

    • Erick,

      I’ve been thinking about the right way to respond to your comments. First of all, you are a good writer with a lot to say. I hope you start your own blog and speak out, as soon as you’re home safe from Afghanistan.

      I agree in principle with your post, although I don’t agree on all the specifics. For example, I think if we refer to acts like Newtown as terrorism, it confuses our understanding of what real terrorism is. But you’re right that functionally they’re the same thing, and we should respond to them the same way.

      For anyone else reading, Erick and I deployed to Afghanistan in the same unit in 09. I didn’t know until I read this post that he was back there. One thing I am immensely proud of is the huge number of veterans who are standing up for our Constitution.

      Good luck and a safe journey home, brother.

      Chris

    • Well said, a very interesting perspective.

      However, I do have to disagree with you on one thing. I do not believe our current Presidents reaction to Sandy Hook would have been very much different had it been carried out by an Islamic Terrorist.

      Not matter the circumstances, Obama and his ilk will use any and all situations to further their agenda, mainly, growing government. And one thing leftest have learn throughout history is you must disarm the populace, lest you leave the door open for a public uprising.

      More than likely, in your scenario of a Islamic terrorist attack against a school, you would have seen the following reactions:

      A) First, they would say it was some right wing gun nut inspired by Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.

      B) Once it became obvious it was indeed a Islamic Terrorist attack, they would classify it as an isolated incident and not part of some organized terrorist effort.

      C) They would say we need to figure out what we did to make the person so mad at us that he was forced to carry out the terrorist attack.

      D) They would call for more gun control so that terrorist won’t have access to the weapons, because as we all know, terrorist and criminals always get their weapons through legal means.

      E) To “harden targets” they would call for the expansion of “gun-free” zones” around all schools.

      My point is Obama is not who you think he is. From your post, you are starting to realize that, but it is also obvious that you still want to think the best of him. Obama is a Marxist and has always been one. Just a little honest research into his upbringing and background make it obvious to anyone willing to see it. If you really want to understand Obama and why he does what he does read Saul D. Alinsky’s, Rules for Radicals.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_for_Radicals

      Obama is purposely creating the crisis and hardship we are facing in America today in order to facilitate the creation of a “Fundamentally different America”. He does not believe in America as founded and views the Constitution as an impediment to government doing what is “right”. “Right” being a completely subjective term.

      I know you don’t believe me, but I also have faith that time and experience will enlighten you, as it did me.

  4. 15 Paraic Mulgrew

    Well written Chris.

  5. 17 Heather

    Try this again.
    I am one of those who have chosen NOT to carry a weapon. I have been trained in many types, but chose to move off the mainland to a small island where it is really hard to pack a piece in your board shorts or bikini.
    Had I had a weapon prior to living here things might have turned out quite differently. My home was always open with children in and out even when I wasn’t home. It was best I refrain, trust me.
    That being said I am appreciative of those who choose to arm themselves and to carry legal CCW’s. That usually shows a background check, small arms classes, etc.
    I am not afraid to say it scared the hell out of me to know that when I went to the nearest city to my home, that most of the people were carrying weapons and they were not of a civil nature.
    As I said, I no longer participate, ya’ll on the mainland are carazy…. and I go there seldom .
    Heather

    • Heather,

      You lost me a bit with the “try this again” comment. I don’t have a problem with people like you, who don’t carry but don’t try to stop others from carrying. Sorry if that wasn’t clear from the article. I’d ask you to read it again, because I made that as clear as I could. Your decision to receive training, and then choose not to have a weapon because of the presence of children, makes sense. And the fact that you appreciate those who do carry definitely excludes you from the group that I was writing about.

      Chris

      p.s. I’ve never been called a “crazy mainlander” before. It’s kind of cool. :)

  6. Got this on FB from a friend who prefers to remain anonymous. I have his permission to post it here. Thought the exchange might be enlightening.

    Friend: “In my opinion, it’s not that I don’t want citizens to defend themselves, I do. It’s the vigilantism mindset that I oppose. I don’t view every armed citizen as a trigger-happy lunatic(but there are some). I have several friends who are gun enthusiasts and I applaud them for their diligence in continued gun safety and training practices. But as a peace officer, what is your advice when I see 3 men entering a house through a broken window? Should I approach and confront these alleged burglars just because I’m armed? If I witness a non-injury hit and run, do I engage in a high speed pursuit to detain the perpetrator? I understand and agree with your statements, but we cannot just look at the obvious reasons for armed citizenship(defending oneself an others, govt tyranny) and discount the potential false sense of security that someone may have, and deciding when to engage. You have been trained as a peace officer and a soldier, to confront, diffuse, and engage such criminal acts.
    Also, how do you know no passengers fought back on those ill-fated twin tower flights?

    Oh….and don’t get me wrong, your points are strong and hard for me to disagree with them.”

    Me: ” Marc, I also oppose vigilante justice. In the incidents you described (burglary, hit and run) it’s quite possible that no armed response is necessary of desirable. That’s why in my essay I made the point of differentiating mass shootings from “normal” crime. A mass shooting is about as far from the typical crime as you can get. The only desire of a mass shooter is to murder as many as possible; how can anyone advocate not acing in that situation? You’re right that simply carring a gun, without training or forethought, create a false sense of security; if you’re a dumbass and carry a gun, you’re a dumbass with a gun. That definitely isn’t what I’m advocating. But the majority of citizens aren’t dumbasses. Here in Texas we’ve had concealed carry for almost 20 years, and we don’t see the mass idiocy that was predicted when the law was passed.

    Regarding the Twin Towers flights, we don’t have any evidence of resistance from cell phone calls from passengers, or indications from the actions of the aircraft. I like to think someone resisted, but I don’t have evidence for it. From United 93 we have numerous phone calls, and the aircraft was behaving erratically as the passengers fought for control.”

  7. 20 Garris

    Your points are all valid may friend and I do agree with you whole heartedly… But you forgot the Ft Hood incident, where officers did stop the shooter.
    But you must remember that the liberals who would never don a uniform or put themselves at risk for anything or anyone, are always the first to try to take advantage of the rights that you and I served to defend… They are also the first to complain when we do get there after the incident is over

    • Garris,

      No doubt, police have shown up and stopped several massacres. Ft Hood, The UT tower shooter, Killeen Luby’s, Trolley Square Mall, and a few others. But the point I was making is that many people died needlessly before the police were able to stop the shooters. Police stopped the massacres, but couldn’t prevent them. I believe citizens could stop the killing much faster, because they’re there when the shooting starts.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and congrats on the promotion.

      Chris

      • 22 alcade

        Very great article. I would point out though, that in the UT tower shooting it was a concerted effort by both LEO and private citizens that responded with their personal arms that finally stopped the killer.

        • Good point. The UT incident was probably the best example of police and private citizens working together to protect the innocent. Since then, we’ve tried to force the “stay out of it and let the professionals handle it” mentality, which hasn’t worked.

          Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • I think there might have been some confusion over this line in my article: “But remember that one shooting, where police arrived in seconds and managed to stop the shooter immediately? No? Me neither. It never happened.”

      Definitely not suggesting police have never stopped a mass shooter. What I was pointing out was that we have never managed to get there quickly enough to stop the massacre from happening. Sorry if I didn’t make that point very well.

      Chris

  8. 25 Angela

    Valid point Garris!

  9. 26 Heath

    Another great piece, my friend!

  10. Reblogged this on Carl Stevenson's Blog and commented:
    Great article for those who don’t believe citizens should defend themselves with guns …

  11. 31 Jeff Butler

    Excellent write up. I couldn’t agree more. I hope to read more from you in the future!

  12. 33 delftsman3

    There are Sheep dogs and then there are the sheep. Most people run away from the sound of shouts or a fire; the Sheep dogs run TO the shots or fire.
    I respect anyone that conciously decides that he/she is unwilling to take the risks involved, all I ask is that they respect our right to try to make a difference in the outcome.

    • One of the proudest moments of my life was in Kosovo, seeing American cops sprinting toward a hotel where a Kosovo Police Service officer had just been shot. A few cops from other countries were going the other way, but we charged toward the danger. That was inspiring.

      Thanks for your comments, and your service.

  13. Very well written. It expresses my beliefs and feelings very well. While I hope to never again be faced with a “shoot/don’t shoot” situation, it would be foolish to allow that hope to lead me into being unprepared.

  14. 37 Aesop

    “Much of America believes private citizens can and should use weapons to protect themselves and their families. But a very vocal portion of the population considers this idea to be total stupidity.”

    As a matter of historical fact, the Gestapo found those persons of the latter type much easier to usher along and load into boxcars.

  15. 39 jessemathewson

    Reblogged this on Jesse Talks Back and commented:
    An absolutely great article, and I agree with the sentiments shared. If you dont like guns, dont own one but stop trying to keep me from defending myself and others.

  16. Well said sir, very well said.

    My 26 years on the street leads me to the same conclusions. I might note that I have seen some of what you speak of in cop circles, most especially when we started “active-shooter” training at my job after Columbine.
    I had folks tell me they wouldn’t go into a building, wasn’t “safe”.

    Later I started pushing the idea of the single officer response. That got even more people talking about “officer safety”.

    You might find this bit I wrote awhile back interesting;
    http://www.thetacticalwire.com/feature.html?featureID=3593

    of not, but I thought I’d share.

    • Sarge,

      That is a fantastic, well-written article. I agree that whatever our training dictates, there are times we have no choice but to go with “One riot, one Ranger” and just go in. An active shooter incident can be one of those. Respond with backup if possible, go alone if necessary. If we wait, it just gives the suspect more time and space to kill people.

      I would really like to hear your thoughts on citizens’ response to active shooters.

      Chris

  17. 45 Richard Besser

    Great article. My question is always why do those who take the pacifist position seem to have to accuse those of us who live by the “old rules” have no sense at all? Without being snarky here, I notice that most of the folks who believe as I do, seem to be more informed, calm and collected and less likely to snark on others who do not believe as we do. I was in LE and have carried a weapon for nearly 50 years. I have never, as a non LE civilian felt the need to draw my handgun. I firmly believe it is better to be a witness in some incidents. For example: If I were to come home and find my home broken into, I would not enter. I would step back, take some cover, call 911 and observe, if possible, till LE arrived. There are many instances where common sense would dictate other than violence. Sometimes, though, one might not have the choice and that is when self defense, or defense of others is not optional. I agree with you on the mindset that is prevalent today with respect to defending oneself.

    • Richard,

      A huge problem is that the anti-gun side thinks we gun owners are going to go for the gun first, in every situation. I’ve drawn my weapon twice off-duty (I thought it was once, but I recently remembered another instance). In neither of those incidents did I point it at anyone, and nobody except a fellow soldier next to me was even aware I did it. The perception many anti-gun people have is just wrong. But those guys are the ones driving the debate.

      Thanks for commenting, and for your service.

      Chris

  18. 47 Damsel

    Well written and you bring up a number of excellent points.
    At the moment, I teach mathematics at a university and nothing I’ve ever experienced is more frustrating than not being able to at least try to defend the fifty or so young adults in one of my classes. The biggest problem, as you so succinctly pointed out, is that others force their decision to be a victim upon those of us who have not made that decision.
    I’m a small woman; I have run of the mill Arnis training but I’m much more thoroughly trained, and better able, to deal with a mass shooting scenario with a firearm. It is perhaps odd to say it, but as one entrusted with the future of our country for a few hours every day, I feel obligated to protect that future from harm and yet portions of our society are so filled with an unwillingness to stand up that they would rather commit fifty more students to death or injury that let one trained individual carry a concealed weapon. It boggles the mind.
    Again, great article. Thanks for writing.

    Damsel

    • Damsel,

      For the life of me, I just can’t get why anyone thinks it’s better for people to be defenseless. If I wee you, I think I’d search for another university that allows teachers to carry.

      Good luck, and thanks for your comments. It would be great for the public to hear from more teachers who support on-campus carry.

      Chris

  19. 49 Zack

    Thank you for this article. I have had my CHL for nearly 5 years now, and I regularly carry. However, there are many times when a concealed weapon feels too heavy and I leave it at home. It’s not the physical weight, mind you, but the responsibility. It really is a heavy moral burden, the ability to meet violence with violence. I often pray that I never have to use my weapon, but that if I do, I won’t hesitate and I won’t miss.

    Having said that, whenever I am not armed (by choice), I feel an almost equally heavy burden – the knowledge that someone else, now, will have to fight for my safety if my life is threatened. Someone else will have to risk their life and deal out violence to fight for me. Someone else will have to bear the psychological scars from engaging in a fight. I never felt that burden before having my CHL. And I think that is the world that most unarmed people live in. They don’t think violence will ever find them. Or they assume there will just suddenly be someone else there to defend them. Frankly, this is a symptom of the larger problem of entitlement in our culture.

    Whenever I am disarmed, not by choice, but because of “gun free zone” signs or laws, it feels like the stupidest thing in the world. I mean, what makes me such a danger on one side of the sign, but a trustworthy citizen on the other? More than that, though, I often hear a ticking clock in my head: it’s unfortunately just a matter of time until a tragedy happens in this “safe zone,” so I want to get out here as fast as possible. How do people dream up such illogical ideas? What makes them think a rule, all by itself, will stop the ultimate rulebreakers?

    I have come to the conclusion, like you, that there are many good people for whom the burden of carrying a weapon is too great. I completely understand and respect these people, as like I said, I know how heavy that burden can feel. But then there are a lot of other people who simply do not live in reality, and for whatever reason do not understand evil and how to fight it. Unfortunately, many of these people are put in charge of everyone else.

  20. On 9/11, men armed only with box cutters hijacked 4 planes. They were able to bring down the Twin Towers, and fly into the Pentagon. Resulting in the deaths of 2,996 people.’

    The events of 9/11 lead to two Wars, Iraq estimated deaths 62,570 to 1,124,000 and Afghanistan: between 10,960 and 49,600 deaths.

    The horrific figures do not take into account those wounded, maimed or left with health issues

    If at least one pilot on each of the planes had been allowed to carry a handgun, four firearms intended for self defense would have prevented the entire incident.

    I believe that there is no greater lesson to prove that,Gun Free Zones are Kill Free Zones! However, the Pilots faced stiff opposition from anti-gun groups, individuals and the majority of the media over their request to be armed, Fortunately, the pilots prevailed and no one, not even terrorists have tried to hijack another plane..

    • Yet there are still people who think it’s better to be unarmed in the face of evil. Go figure…

      Thanks for your comments, and the numbers you’ve cited. That’s good information.

  21. 52 WCanyon

    You are just buying in to the fantasy that if there were enough guns in the world there would be less violence. The science says the opposite. Having a gun in your house makes you *more* likely to die by firearm homicide. Maybe you should listen to more science and less rhetoric.

    • “You are just buying in to the fantasy that if there were enough guns in the world there would be less violence.”

      My concern isn’t about the entire world, it’s about my country. What happens with an armed population in Somalia doesn’t happen with an armed population here. I’m not calling for more guns; I’m calling for more armed, trained Americans to be prepared to take action when necessary. More guns doesn’t equal less violence. But unarmed people guarantees helpless victims. 9/11 proved that, as did every mass shooting in recent history.

      “The science says the opposite. Having a gun in your house makes you *more* likely to die by firearm homicide.”

      Driving a car makes you more likely to die in a car wreck. Traveling by air makes you more likely to die in a plane crash. Working as an electrician makes you more likely to die by electrocution. Every freely chosen activity carries its own risks as well as rewards.

      I’ve heard bits and pieces of the science you’re referring to. My understanding is that those studies factor in suicides (which constitute the majority of firearms deaths) and domestic violence homicides. Roughly 20,000 gun suicides per year do not make me more likely to commit suicide. Women murdered by abusive husbands and boyfriends do not increase the likelihood that I will be killed by my own weapon, in a home and family with no domestic violence.

      Simply having a gun may not make someone less likely to be killed; however, I don’t advocate simply owning a gun. Carrying a weapon is a lifestyle change, not simply a matter of possessing a weapon. Training and good judgement are just as important as being armed. And while carrying a weapon may not save my life, it does guarantee that I won’t die as a helpless victim at the whim of a murderer.

      “Maybe you should listen to more science and less rhetoric.”

      My opinions aren’t regurgitated rhetoric. My opinions are formed by almost 19 years of dealing with criminals, victims, brave citizens and cowards. They are also influenced by over twenty years of military service, and almost two years at war. My opinions reflect my understanding of human nature and American culture. I’d like to hear what forms your opinions.

      I obviously don’t agree with your point of view, but thank you for commenting. I don’t want my blog to be an echo chamber where everyone agrees with me.

      Chris

  22. 54 Daniel

    “And if the worst case happens, all you should do is duck out of the line of fire, shut your mouth, and let the rest of us follow the path that we, not you, have chosen.”
    Same things are said by drugs legalization advocates. “Just let me follow the path of self-destruction I, not you, have chosen”. It would be great if that kind path of self-destruction and the paths of normal people never intersect. Unfortunately, Newtown and other tragedies taught us it is not so.. It would be wonderful if you were to die alone as consequence of your own irresponsability, but life is not always fair.. Thanks to the ready abundance of guns, we have the most violent society among the developed countries (yes, I know, the gun-worshiping background of Newtown shooter’s home is a coincidence…). How come the most gun-obsessed country in the World is also the country of those mass shootings? Maybe, it’s Al Qaeda doing… How can our “brave” (yeah, killing helpless people is way braver than not doing so, go figure) people be killed much more often than those “coward” Europeans and Asians? Who are the helpless victims, them or us? And who are the real enablers, if not guns advocates? They are as morally responsible for the lives claimed by gun violence as drug advocates are responsible for the lives traffic claims.
    Thanks for your generous offer, but I prefer Civilization, a society of laws, and I understand that a society of laws has a price. Sorry, but if it comes to it, I don’t think the razor-thin chance of being saved by a lunatic who is willing to fund the nefarious commerce that kills tens of thousands of his countrymen every year is worth it. Our forefathers were right: neither life is so dear nor peace so sweet to be purchased by submission to a selfish and cruel minority. Not to mention that the “worst case” would be much less frequent if not for the aforementioned gun advocates, who keep enabling murderers and defending their holy “right” to keep. Yes, there is an entrenched cowardice plaguing our society, the cowardice of leaders who are not brave enough to defend their constituents rights and fight the money of gun manufactors and the hysteria fomented by their shills, the gun owners’ “rights” groups. How many lifes will be sacrificed to those idols of our time? May God’s wrath smite them as He smote Moloch’s worshipers.

    • Your comment, seething as it is with righteous moral indignation, means very little. You equate those armed for defense of others with those armed for destruction of innocent life. You equate justifiable self-defense with intentional murder. And you cite the supposed safety of other civilized paradises (which are abviously so perfect that you choose to live here instead) which don’t have our history, our culture or our promise of unalienable rights.

      I had to read your post twice to make sure I got your points. Maybe I still misunderstood you, but it certainly seems like you consider what I advocate, armed self defense by trained, law-abiding citizens, equal to the mass crime committed at Newtown. If that’s the case, you either completely misread my writing or you’re incapable of distinguishing a force for good from a force for evil. A robber is a force for evil and a cop arresting the robber is a force for good, even though they’re both armed. The fact that they both have a weapon doesn’t put them on the same moral plane.

      You don’t think “the razor-thin chance of being saved by a lunatic who is willing to fund the nefarious commerce that kills tens of thousands of his countrymen every year is worth it.” That’s fine. YOU don’t own a weapon then. As I’ve stated before, your decision to be a helpless victim has no bearing on how I should live. Massacres such as occurred at Newtown also have a “razor-thin chance” of ever affecting you, yet you still use that incident to justify your vitriolic resentment toward people like me who haven’t murdered anyone, aren’t a threat to innocent people and who would risk their lives to stop an incident like Newtown.

      Maybe that’s an interesting psychological phenomenon. You don’t assign blame for murders to the actual murderers, instead you blame gun owners, gun-rights advocates, and gun rights organizations who haven’t murdered anyone. That’s pretty amazing. I tend to place blame for evil on those who actually commit it. I also tend to train and prepare to counter those evil acts. Some people choose to broadcast to the world that they refuse to arm themselves or take action because it’s “it’s not worth it” to defend others, then project blame onto the people who actually would. That’s very brave of them.

      Thanks for commenting. Your viewpoint illustrates exactly the mindset I was describing.

      • 56 Daniel

        “As I’ve stated before, your decision to be a helpless victim has no bearing on how I should live.”
        It would be wonderful if your willingness to fund and flatter death merchants had no bearing on how decent Americans live. Same goes to drugs advocates, as I said. Unfortunately, ideas have consequences (an old conservative mantra professional conservative politicians cast off the moment they saw how much money the nice men and women from the guns lobby had), and evil ideas have evil consequences. As we saw in Newtown and elsewhere, the culture of death fomented by gun advocates does have a bearing on how and how long Americans-specially the most innocent and vulnerable among us- live.
        “And you cite the supposed safety of other civilized paradises (which are abviously so perfect that you choose to live here instead) which don’t have our history, our culture or our promise of unalienable rights”.
        Do our women and children have the unalienable right of living (if they are luckier than their Newtown counterparts, that is) in the most violent society among the developed countries? Maybe we should care less about the “unalienable” right of criminals to a ready access to guns and more about the unalienable right of our children and women to live and thrive. Eventually we will, some of us already do.
        Regarding the supposed contradiction between being against countrymen of mine being murdered and living here, I still remember when the Soviet government decided Solzhenitsyn was unworthy of living in the great worker’s paradise since he was not a big fan of communist murderous policies and criticized severely the cruelty and the waste of lives. All death preachers,no matter which desguise they choose, are alike. Anyway, keeping with the vein of your comment, if you get too tired of American “entrenched cowardice”, you can go to Iraq, where the abundance of guns did nothing to prevent Hussein from “taking care” of the country for decades, but now is doing a lot to keep Iraqis kiling one another for the most idiotic reasons. I am sure that would be a “paradise” much more to your liking than an America with no Newntowns would ever be. To each his own.
        “.You don’t assign blame for murders to the actual murderers, instead you blame gun owners, gun-rights advocates, and gun rights organizations who haven’t murdered anyone. ”
        Let’s see how concerned with blaming criminals for their deeds you really are, as opposed to be a shill for gun manufacturers: “And second, these pacifists actually enable violent criminals who specifically seek a mass of unarmed, unresisting victims.”. I think we have enough here, don’t we?
        Well, I just countered your lie and pointed out the truth, the true enablers are those who make sure criminals always have an ample supply of tools to commit their crimes and a generous amount of motives for their behavior (yes,I forgot, the Newtown shooter’s background is a coincidence).
        The Israelites lived centuries in slavery in Egypt and spent four decades wandering in the wilderness. As sure as God freed Israel, he will free America. In His own good time.

      • This is for Daniel’s second comment, which I just saw today. So you countered my lies, eh? Sorry, I didn’t see it that way. Once again you’re assigning blame and evil intent to people who have literally done nothing wrong. But since you’re invoking God’s will, the argument is pretty much over. There’s no way to win an argument with God.

        Accusing someone of being an NRA member, gun lobbyist or “shill for the gun industry” is modern version of “I’m rubber and you’re glue…” It’s an ad hominem attack and intentional refusal to address the substance of an opponent’s argument.

        I am in no way connected to the gun industry, except as a customer. I don’t represent any part of the gun industry and it doesn’t represent me. Calling me a “shill” doesn’t address any part of my argument, but it’s a nice way to demonize.

    • 58 Stephen

      I reply to this first comment of yours because your second comment, as strange as it is, doesn’t seem to have a ‘Reply’ button to click. If this is the wish of the author of this blog, I’d apologize to him, but I don’t think he’d care much either way.

      In any case, you seem to imply vehement, frothing-at-the-mouth behavior from gun advocates when you yourself seem more unhinged than I’ve seen any of my fellow “shills for gun manufacturers” or “lunatics who fund nefarious commerce that kills tens of thousands of his fellow countrymen”. I think I’ll kindly stop right there, to save you from reading your own babble any longer. No doubt you find it as insufferable as I do.

      But, I digress, because ad hominem arguments never make any headway no matter how accurate they may be. Allow me to first address a few gun-free nations to illustrate the profound inaccuracy of your arguments: The United Kingdoms, we’ll start there. They have the number one ranking of violent crime, not just in Europe, but in the entire world. Allow me to dis-spell this non-existent point about how our “gun obsessed” country is supposedly “dying ground” of unmitigated death, and destruction, all enabled by selfish gun owners and gun manufacturers.

      The United States isn’t in the top 5. The United States isn’t even in the top 10. Not only that, but we’re not the only highly developed country who still believes in the right of the citizen to be something other than a lamb, walking willingly into the slaughterhouse. Take Switzerland for example. Every male without exception in Switzerland goes through basic military training, and is provided with the option to buy their service rifle after their mandatory military term has been finished. The majority of them do. The result? There’s very, very little violent crime in Switzerland.

      All of your arguments are empty conjecture with not even the slightest bit of grounding in reality. I am sorry to say it, but you, the opponent on the other side of the fence, who takes up the rallying cry to misguide and misinform members of the public into taking irrational stance based on blatant lies and misinformation you’ve given them, you, are truly the plague of this country.

      We the people are the ones who have made our country a “civilised society” that you would choose to live in. We who choose to protect that way of life with a gun and a round in the chamber are those who keep it that way.

      I hope you learn the fallacies of your ways. To quote the amazing fiction author Robert Jordan, “There is no man so deep into the dark that he cannot be turned to the light.”

      -Stephen

      • 59 Daniel

        Lie Number 1: “The United Kingdoms, we’ll start there. They have the number one ranking of violent crime, not just in Europe, but in the entire world.”
        Go get a list of countries by homicide rate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate , for instance), America has the highest rate of any developed country,including UK.
        Lie Numer 2: ” Not only that, but we’re not the only highly developed country who still believes in the right of the citizen to be something other than a lamb, walking willingly into the slaughterhouse.”
        Why, then, Americans has the highest homicides/population among all developed countries (unless you are considering Venezuela,, South Africa and Brazil developed countries)? Our children and women are the sacrificial lambs to the guns religion. Moloch lives among us and preys on the weakest of them all, our children.
        Lie Number 3: “The United States isn’t in the top 5. The United States isn’t even in the top 10.”
        Irrelevant unless you think America should be held to the same standards as chaotic hellholes like Brazil and South Africa instead of being compared to other developed countries.
        Lie Number 4: ” The majority of them do. The result? There’s very, very little violent crime in Switzerland.” There is very little violent crime (compared to American standards, at least)in most developed European countries, singling out Switerland is astonishingly dishonest and disingenuous. Still, I must concede that if America could get death merchants to stop selling to virtually all prospective buyers and to limit their sales to those who are serving or have served-and have being honorable discharged- in the Armed Force,it would be-more than a big step-a giant leap in the right direction. It, however, is made unlikely by the political clout (that is, campaign contribuitions) of NRA and other shills for death merchants.Oddly enough, those who feign interest in the Second Amendment pretend the words “. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”are not there. Hey, a mass shooter’s money is every bit as good as the next guy’s (specially if the next guy is a chid-those pesky children don’t spend their lunch money on guns, let them die).
        Lie Number 5: “Once again you’re assigning blame and evil intent to people who have literally done nothing wrong.”
        Said the guy who blames those who don’t go around irresponsibly brandishing guns for the crimes of those who do!
        If the merchants of death had a solid moral (logical, legal) case, they would have to resort to all those lies (and many, many other ones)? I wonder…

        • 60 Stephen

          “Lie Number 1: “The United Kingdoms, we’ll start there. They have the number one ranking of violent crime, not just in Europe, but in the entire world.”
          Go get a list of countries by homicide rate”

          You cite homicide rate while I am citing OVERALL VIOLENT CRIME. This means assault, armed robbery, anything that involves using violence or the promise of violence to commit crime.

          Now, I consider overall violent crime a somewhat more important statistic because I believe in living in a voluntary society. You don’t have to kill someone to do something wrong and something that should be repelled by a justifiable application of force, lethal if necessary.

          “Lie Numer 2: ” Not only that, but we’re not the only highly developed country who still believes in the right of the citizen to be something other than a lamb, walking willingly into the slaughterhouse.”
          Why, then, Americans has the highest homicides/population among all developed countries”

          Once again, if you’re unarmed and unable to defend yourself, and your family, then you are helpless. You call it a lie yet refuse to address the underlying problem.

          “Lie Number 3: “The United States isn’t in the top 5. The United States isn’t even in the top 10.”
          Irrelevant unless you think–”

          I’m going to go ahead and cut you off there. If you aren’t even disputing the accuracy of the information then why would you call it a lie, if nothing else than to sling mud and attempt to call me a liar? Please, attempt to form a rational argument BEFORE your fingers touch your keyboard.

          “Lie Number 4: ” The majority of them do. The result? There’s very, very little violent crime in Switzerland.” There is very little violent crime (compared to American standards, at least)in most developed European countries, singling out Switzerland is astonishingly dishonest and disingenuous.”

          I singled out Switzerland because they have the most similar gun legislation to the United States than any other European country. You’re only AIDING my argument that guns aren’t the problem if I bring the UK: Small amount of firearm, LARGE in violent crime, Or really any other European country with anti-gun legislation in place — They all have -much- higher violent crime statistics.

          “Lie Number 5: “Once again you’re assigning blame and evil intent to people who have literally done nothing wrong.”
          Said the guy who blames those who don’t go around irresponsibly brandishing guns for the crimes of those who do!”

          I have no idea what made you think this was a bright or intelligent thing to type.

          You understand by attempting to deny the ordinary citizen’s right to purchase weapons — BECAUSE of mass school shooters…

          You’re doing exactly what you’re attempting to accuse me of? Very simply, please try to form a coherent, rational argument and READ MY POST out loud to yourself so that you do not misread any of my points again and continue to waste my time.

          • 61 Daniel

            “Now, I consider overall violent crime a somewhat more important statistic because I believe in living in a voluntary society.”
            I see, the murdered ones voluntered to be disposed of… Are fewer wedgies (the definition of “violent crime” comprehends everything from “boys will be boys” fist-fights to armed robbery to torture to rape to murder, some of those things being much more important than others) more important than being four to twelve times more likely to be murdered by your own countrymen? Are you really saying human life is not important? By the way, America leads in rapes too, roughly the same numbers as UK minus Scotland- which sports much less frequent occurrences-, higher numbers than any comparable country.But maybe America doesn’t lead the world in nasty words, paper cuts and wedgies, I really don’t know.
            Must I point out to you that when you are robbed , unfair and traumatic as it may be, you lose something, but, when you are killed, your beloved beings lose much more and you lose everything you had, everything you have, everything you could ever come to have-your past, your present and your earthly future? I don’t kow how to break the news, but you can’t take your money with you to the next life! Maybe it will lead you to some insights of your own concerning the seriousness of wedgies and paper cuts compared to homicides
            “You understand by attempting to deny the ordinary citizen’s right to purchase weapons — BECAUSE of mass school shooters…”
            Not only mass shooters-and you know that, even if you have elected to obfuscate the point- homicides, commited by the very people gun lobbyists enable-are much more common in American than mass shootings and are much more common in American than in ANY comparable coutry.
            Small amount of firearm, LARGE in violent crime, Or really any other European country with anti-gun legislation in place — They all have -much- higher violent crime statistics.”
            I got it, poor British, they are much, much less likely to be murdered or have their children murdered by their own countrymen… My heart goes out to them. What about the Germans, the Scandinavians, the French, the Japanese, the damn Indians, virtually all citizens of any civilized country? I still wait for an aswer. Are those European and Asian “socialist” Welfare States so great that human nature itself has changed and their citizens lost the urge to kill and rape their fellow countrymen? I am still waiting for a coherent answer: If not the generous supply of tools of evil, then why are Americans so keen on killing and raping their neighbors? Are we all a race of savages? Is the water we drink, the air we breathe? Don’t we value human life as much as snobbish Frenchmen, Hindu Indians and Shintoist Japanese do?
            “I’m going to go ahead and cut you off there. If you aren’t even disputing the accuracy of the information then why would you call it a lie, if nothing else than to sling mud and attempt to call me a liar? ”
            You and I know it is an implied lie. You were trying to compare America with countries facing civil wars and state collapse. You are trying to compare apples to oranges, I insist, why American homicides statistics are the outlier among the rich countries which share with us religious and moral roots, not to say outlook? But you can keep comparing American citizens to Colombian narcoterrorists if you will, you don’t have much of a choice if you are to keep pretending American homicide statistics are not shameful and not a predictable consequence of America’s permissive guns legislation.
            “Once again, if you’re unarmed and unable to defend yourself, and your family, then you are helpless. You call it a lie yet refuse to address the underlying problem.”
            The underlying problem is, the people you keep shilling for keep selling guns to the very people who keep killing thousands of innocent civilian Americans year after year. Let me say it again, we lose every year much more civilians on our own streets than we lost battle-hardned voluntary professional soldiers in Iraq in ten yeans fighting a treacherous, barbaric, relentless and armed (as an aside, all those guns did nothing to overthrown Saddam, but are being a good help to keep Iraqis killing each other- so much for the “guns will protect us from our own goverment crowd”) foe. The second problem (yours, not mine) is, countries with strict guns legislations have much, much less violent crime (defined as “things that really matter”) than America! Again, why? As H.G. Wells would say, “Aren’t we men?” Or as Shakespeare would have said, “O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason.”

      • 62 Daniel

        Correction: “Why,then, do America has the highest homicides/population rate”…

      • 63 Daniel

        Sorry, a problem with my keybord. “Why, then, does America have the highest homicides/population among all “

        • I think this is the only part that applies to what I wrote: “‘Lie Number 5: “Once again you’re assigning blame and evil intent to people who have literally done nothing wrong.’

          Said the guy who blames those who don’t go around irresponsibly brandishing guns for the crimes of those who do!'”

          I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about. How am I blaming those who don’t act irresponsibly for those who do?

          • 65 Daniel

            You blame people who want to prevent criminals and madmen from getting their hands on guns (those monsters value human lives over gun industry profits, how dare they?) for the crimes of those who could commit their heinous deeds because the United States has the most dysfunctional guns laws of any developed country. But I see, it must be a coincidence the most violent rich country in the world being also the one with the most permissive guns legislation (and the most powerful and callous guns lobby). I stand by my comment, it is disingenuous at best and plainly disnonest at worst to keep pretending American unacceptable (and otherwise unexplainable) homicides statistics have nothing to do with America being also an outlier (among the richest countries, at least) concerning the so-called guns rights (i.e. the rights of those with guns to murder American children).
            Year in, year out, guns kill more than three times more Americans than 9/ 11 terrorists once managed to do more than ten years ago (the fact that gave you an excuse to pretend caring about your neighbors’ lives).Those are the real WMDs, they are the real risk to America’s future. Every year, the number of American civilians murdered on our streets is almost three times the number of professional American soldiers killed in almost ten years of Iraq War! Yet, the issue is not serious, those silly British are the real victims here, Stephen tells us.
            No, those who stand against that state of affairs, against the powerful guns industry lobby and their shills are not “cowards”, those who keep preying on American children and women in order to make a quick and easy buck, are. Sooner or later, America will rise again,
            “Justice will roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” and those who plotted against America will pay dearly.
            “Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” -Matthew 5:26 His Truth is marching on.

        • “You blame people who want to prevent criminals and madmen from getting their hands on guns (those monsters value human lives over gun industry profits, how dare they?) for the crimes of those who could commit their heinous deeds because the United States has the most dysfunctional guns laws of any developed country.”

          No. I don’t blame people who want to prevent crime for those who commit crime. I do blame people who want to make everyone helpless victims for facilitating mass crimes against helpless victims.

          • 67 Daniel

            That is, you favor those who turned Americans into sacrificial lambs for the guns industry lobby cult You stand for the state of affairs that makes America the most violent developed country. Concerning homicides, it is safer being Indian or Greek than American! Thanks to the guns lobby, we live under a Sword of Damocles, a random American is 12 times more likely to be murdered than a random Japanese, four times more likely than a random UK denizen (still, shills tell us those poor British have it much worse than we have!). Which kind of “freedom” is that which has our country slave of fear? How come “gun rights” shills never mention the unalienable right to life of those tens of thousands of victims of gun violence -specially children (well, they don’t contribute much to political campaigns, they probably deserved to be murdered anyway…) You favor the kind of system that has claimed much more American lives than any terrorist group is likely to ever do. More lives, every year, than bloody Antietam. How can it not be treason? How can keeping American civlians living under civil war conditions not be per se a war crime against our people? It is time to fully follow the spirit of the Second Amendment and limit the possession of firearms to those who have the legal duty to carry them. It is time to put Justice over Vengeance, it is time to punish swiftly and severely those who keep feeding the industry of death.
            I insist, if those who defend the murder of Amerian citizens-in order to allow guns sellers to make a killing, literally- had a solid moral. logical case, would they have to resort to blatant lies? Would they have-to justify their hatred and greed- to lie about American homicides statistics (those poor British…), would they have to lie about those who stand against the lobbyists’ power, would they have to keep pretending American violence is not a side effect of America’s suicidal permissivinesss concerning firearms? I doubt it. America will rise again.
            “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
            He is trampling out the wine press, where the grapes of wrath are stored,
            He hath loosed the fateful lightnings of his terrible swift sword,
            His truth is marching on.”

          • Daniel,

            Unless your comments undergo a drastic change, this will be the last time I respond to you. Your posts are perilously close to incoherent rants reinforced by a “god says it so I can’t be wrong” mindset.

            The individual right to bear arms has nothing to do with the gun industry. If every gun company ceased to exist today, we would still have the right to bear arms.

            It is not “treason” to believe in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

            The right to bear arms actually keeps children alive. Weapons ownership and right to carry has increased nationwide while gun homicides have fallen dramatically.

            Guaranteeing that children, or adults, will be helpless, unarmed victims, gathered in schools or malls for a murderer’s convenience, does not improve the safety of those children.

            “I insist, if those who defend the murder of Amerian citizens-in order to allow guns sellers to make a killing, literally- had a solid moral. logical case, would they have to resort to blatant lies?”

            Yes, all this time I’ve been defending the USC I’ve actually been defending murders. Right.

            Apparently you misunderstand. The right to bear arms gives us a means, among other things, to defend ourselves against murders. I’ve been a cop and gone to war to defend our people’s lives, and I’m fairly certain I’ve taken more actual, physical action to defend the innocent than you have.

          • 69 Daniel

            “Your posts are perilously close to incoherent rants reinforced by a “god says it so I can’t be wrong” mindset.”
            Really? How does that mindset compare to the “lie about American homicides statistics”(read Stephen’s post, for instance) your position seems to welcome? Which “mindset” bothers you and which mindest you welcome both tell more about your position than you probably would rather let out.. I don’t need a “God says so” mindset to be able to read crime statistics, but I need to know what God says about those who shed their brothers’ precious blood. In vain, the wicked try to elude the holy voice saying ” What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”
            “Apparently you misunderstand. The right to bear arms gives us a means, among other things, to defend ourselves against murders.”
            That alleged right is the real reason evil-doers have an almost infinite supply of tools of desctruction to choose from That alleged right is the reason America is the most violent country among all rich countries. That alleged right is the reason a random American is 12 times more likely to be murdered than a Japanese citizen. American homicides statistics are only surpassed by the ones of veritable African and South American hellholes.
            “Weapons ownership and right to carry has increased nationwide while gun homicides have fallen dramatically.”
            Those small variations (none of them significant enough to make American statistics something other than a disaster) are probably due to other factors (NYC under Giuliani experienced a dramatic fall in the violent crimes department even if there wasn’t significant increase in firearms ownership there). Now, what is more likely, that among all rich peoples Americans are the only savages, monsters uniquely predisposed to murder their brothers or that our uniquely permissivinesss concerning firearms gives the few evil-doers among us the opportunity they need to commit the crimes they want?
            ” I’ve been a cop and gone to war to defend our people’s lives, and I’m fairly certain I’ve taken more actual, physical action to defend the innocent than you have.”
            As far as I understand, one can do good deeds in a field and bad deeds in another one. The Red Army both protected Soviet soil and citizens against Nazi agression and helped round ethnic minorities up (Germans and Chechens for instance) and enslave Eastern Europe. By the way, you’d have a tough job proving any enemy our goverment manufactured since WW II has ever posed a real threat to America lives. When they do- like the Taliban, the terrorists our leaders helped in the past because, according to Reagan, they were the Muslin version of our own Founding Fathers-, we are subject to diversionary sideshows: Mr. bin Laden is elusive? Let’s pretend atacking Iraq will protect us from terrorist atacks. Don’t get me started on Clinton’s nation building (and nation destroying) in the Balkans. I mean no disrespect at all to our brave soldiers, they fulfill the missions they are given and they are the best in the world in what they do, but the missions they are usually assigned since WW II have had precious little to do with protecting American lives. By the way, have I mentioned the we lose three times more civilians on American streets every year than we did American professional soldiers in almost ten years of a war against treacherous fanatical militias in Iraq? What does it say about the kind of life we are forcing our children to live (if they are lucky enough to live)? What does it say about the nation we have become? Why are we patroling the streets of the world when we can’t ensure the safety of ours?Why are we bringing “freedom” to peoples who never asked for that and have no idea what it means when at home our children lack the inalienable righ to live?
            “It is not “treason” to believe in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
            The original intent (interstingly, enough the cherished idea of original intent gone with the wind the second neocons saw how much money guns lobbyists have at their disposition) is clear: people can only keep firearms as far as it furthers American military position. American military doctrine has had nothing to do with guerrilla and individual firearms possession since the Secession War days. Our Founding Fathers went out of their way to clearly state why they were granting Americans (white male land owners Americans, I mean ) the right of carrying firearms (muskets, not Colts, Kalashnikovs and Magnums): their belief in the strategic advantages of a “well REGULATED Militia”, not their belief in the inalienable right of every loon to play god with the lives of their brothers.
            “If every gun company ceased to exist today, we would still have the right to bear arms.”
            But that fake right would be protect by a much less formidable wall of money. Consequently, American citizens would be safer.
            “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” Deuteronomy 30 :19

          • Gosh Daniel, where do I begin?

            Are you locked up in your house, cowering behind cover because of all the gunfire on the streets? Or do you live your life like everyone else, go where you want to go, do what you like to do, without getting shot? The vast majority of the murders you’re talking about are targeted; criminals killing criminals, and domestic abusers killing their partners. Those murders do not increase the chances that Joe Regular Guy will be shot down in the street.

            Your comment about “no government since ww2 has been tyrannical” is true and pointless. The 2A wasn’t written for the time period between 1945 and 2013. It’s forever, for the time when it’s needed. I’ve had car insurance for the last ten years, even though my last wreck was ten years ago. Should I stop carrying insurance?

            By the way, we didn’t wreck anything in the Balkans. I lived there for 18 months. All that slaughter wasn’t because of anything we did.

            I’m sure you simply cherish our troops and hold them blameless for all the horrible violence you accuse me of supporting. Well, check this out: our troops went to war to defend our nation and Constitution. That means they defended the 2A that you hate so much. Too bad for you. The 2A is part of the USC and Bill of Rights. If you don’t like it, go right ahead and advocate total overthrow of our government. Tell people how much you want to alter the Bill of (unalienable) rights.

            If you think passing gun control laws will reduce gun crime, you don’t know criminals very well. Do you think they’ll all turn in their guns?

            And yeah, keep throwing biblical quotes at me. That really highlights the logic of your argument.

            “And lo, tens of millions of good guys owned guns and never committed a single crime. But yea, those who hate the Bill of Rights blamed them for crimes committed by criminals. And God wept over the pure stupidity of their argument.” – Chris 5:17

          • 71 Daniel

            “Are you locked up in your house, cowering behind cover because of all the gunfire on the streets? Or do you live your life like everyone else, go where you want to go, do what you like to do, without getting shot? The vast majority of the murders you’re talking about are targeted; criminals killing criminals, and domestic abusers killing their partners. Those murders do not increase the chances that Joe Regular Guy will be shot down in the street.”

            Wow, we really have lots of criminals, don’t we? Just their dead distort our homicide statistics! Twelve times more murders to inhabitant than Japan! It must be the water or Obama (or Bush). Maybe, we don’t have many criminals, ours are just clumsier than their European counterparts. By the way, we lead the rich countries in rapes, but I am sure the victims (like the murdered) asked for that, too. Self-defense, like Coke, is it! Be it far from me mentioning your cavalier attitute toward rampant (according to you, enough to distort our homicide statistics) domestic abuse leading to deaths. I can see why the Bible bothers you.
            By the way, my Brazilian cousins (and their South African, Colombian and Venezuelan friends) live (or try to live) normal lives (despite knowing they live in a very violent country), but, to their credit, if someone tried to tell them clumsy criminals are the reason their country violence statistics seem so awful, there would be a fresh addition to those very statistics. Apparently, what you are saying is that, unless I am forced to play Anne Frank and hide in my basement, I have no business at all being sorry about the suffering and deaths of my own countrymen. Well, I am not allowed to complain about economic mismanagement, government waste, unemployment statistics and financial fraud because I am not starving. right? As a matter of fact, since most Soviet citizens survived Stalin and most Germans survived Hitler, no one is allowed to complain about anything (with the sole exception of gun lobbyists, they have the God-given right to complain about the country with the most permissive guns legislation in the civilized world)

            “”If you think passing gun control laws will reduce gun crime, you don’t know criminals very well. Do you think they’ll all turn in their guns?”

            At least, they will stop getting new ones-to your consternation, I fear. Their supply will dry up. When the police seizes a gun, it will not be immediately replaced by a newer, shinier, better gun.

            “It’s forever, for the time when it’s needed. I’ve had car insurance for the last ten years, even though my last wreck was ten years ago. Should I stop carrying insurance?”

            No, I said no mission our soldiers were assigned since WW II was relevant to America’s safety. You were boasting about your actions in defense of American citizens’ lives-while defending the killing of thousands of innocent American citizens every year-, I thought I should put in perspective the real usefulness to American citizens of the missions our uniformed men have been assigned since WW II. You were the one who changed subjects, I just followed your lead. As an aside, the WW I veterans (including one Adolf Hitler) in the Nazi movement could-with much more reason than you can-make the same point and play the same card: they had (in WW I) done more than their enemies to protect Germany. Ready to give them “carte blanche”?

            “The 2A wasn’t written for the time period between 1945 and 2013.”

            As I pointed out, the 2A was written to further American defense (as the words “well-regulated militia” and “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” bear witness). American military doctrine has had nothing to do with guerrillas since the Secession War days. It means only professional soldiers, under specific orders emanated from the command chain, have undeniable legal right to bear guns. The Founding Fathers went out of their way to state the reasons they were givig (white, male) Americans the right to bear guns. that is, muskets, not Kalashnikovs and Magnums. By the way, why not nuclear weapons? They are every bit as “arms” as any other “arm” the Founding Father also didn’t have in mind because they (the guns, not the Founding Fathers) had not been invented yet. The Founding Fathers stated as clearly as possible that ” to bear guns” is not one of the unalienable rights they were standing for, it was a practical military matter. I also must point out that our boys had much more problems with Iraqis’ guns than Saddam ever had in more than 20 years (so much for guns as tools against despotism). I also must point out to those who say dictators tend to take away their subjects’ guns (Saddam hadn’t) that, if permissive guns laws were an antidote to despotism, the aforementioned dictators wouldn’t be in power in first place, not to say be able of taking away other people’s guns.

            “I’m sure you simply cherish our troops and hold them blameless for all the horrible violence you accuse me of supporting. Well, check this out: our troops went to war to defend our nation and Constitution. That means they defended the 2A that you hate so much. Too bad for you. The 2A is part of the USC and Bill of Rights.
            If you don’t like it, go right ahead and advocate total overthrow of our government. Tell people how much you want to alter the Bill of (unalienable) rights.”

            I hadn’t figured out unalienable rights are stated like the alleged unalienable right to keep arms is. You mean, if I were to state your unalienable right to keep your money, I should write something in this vein, “Chris keeping his money being essential to him giving it to me tomorrow, his right to keep his money shall not be infringed.” Wow, as unalienable as unalienable goes, I see. Seriously, would an “unalienable right” be preceded by such a mundane justification as the one our Founding Fathers advanced?

            “And lo, tens of millions of good guys owned guns and never committed a single crime. But yea, those who hate the Bill of Rights blamed them for crimes committed by criminals. And God wept over the pure stupidity of their argument.” – Chris 5:17″

            “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8

          • Your persecution complex is revealing. Did anyone say you’re not allowed to complain about crime? Think a little, Daniel. This web site isn’t some public square where you have full 1A freedom of speech rights; this is a personal blog where I don’t have to allow anyone to say anything. Yet even though I disagree with almost everything you say, I’m not stopping you from complaining, am I?

            You have no ability whatsoever to argue logically. Your attempt to paint my comments as blaming rape victims for being raped are pathetic. I’m not saying the deaths of criminals distort our crime stats. I’m saying many murder victims are criminals who died as a result of their lifestyles, not innocent people. We lose about 30,000 people per year to gun violence. About 20,000 are suicides, which in general are no danger to the public. Of the remaining 10,000, a large percentage are either targeted domestic violence murders or criminals being killed by criminals. Those aren’t dangers to the public at large either.

            This is the last time I’ll say this, since you’re apparently incapable of understanding it anyway: I don’t support murders. I support people’s right to defend themselves, from both crime and tyranny.

            Keep quoting the bible, Daniel. It’s easier than making logical arguments.

          • 73 Daniel

            “Keep quoting the bible, Daniel. It’s easier than making logical arguments.”

            How would you know? You haven’t tried either yet.

            “Your persecution complex is revealing. Did anyone say you’re not allowed to complain about crime? Think a little, Daniel. This web site isn’t some public square where you have full 1A freedom of speech rights; this is a personal blog where I don’t have to allow anyone to say anything. Yet even though I disagree with almost everything you say, I’m not stopping you from complaining, am I?”

            I see, I can complain all I want, but it is silly doing so unless there is a SEAL team and drones after me. Unless I am “cowering behind cover because of all the gunfire on the street” (in fact, I probably should be doing that right now with all those wife-killers and killer-killers at large, you know), I am to pretend American violence statistics are not shocking. By the same token, why do you need car insurance ? Has your car ever spontaneously combusted when you were behind the steering wheel? Are you covering behind cover because of those Christine-like cars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_(novel))? Are you chicken?

            “You have no ability whatsoever to argue logically. Your attempt to paint my comments as blaming rape victims for being raped are pathetic”

            Well, I am told American violence statistics are great, thanks (from a “voluntary society point of view”, according to a fellow traveler of yours-yep, I can’t see anthing more voluntary than being raped and/or being murdered…). Yet, we lead the developed world in homicides and rapes. Which “violent” crimes are those in UK (example provided by your fellow traveler) are troubling the guns crowd? Bad cooking and poor dental hygiene? I am told countries with strict guns legislation are violent hellholes compared to this little NRA paradise of ours. If not homicide and rape,what are we talking about? Jaywalking and badmouthing? Again, if not the almost infinite supply of tools of death, why America is the outlier among all rich countries? Is Obama? Is the water? And you must be fair to me, after you creatively solved the homicides issue attributing it to people letting themselves to be killed for the sake of their lifestyles, I thought you would solve the second problem (rapes statistics) thus.

            ” I’m not saying the deaths of criminals distort our crime stats. I’m saying many murder victims are criminals who died as a result of their lifestyles, not innocent people.”

            Among the wives and criminals of this world of ours, American ones are the only ones with Walt-Disney-lemming-like self-preservation instinct. How convenient, they got an infinite supply of firearms to help them being killed (I am not sure it is wise to make guns readily avaiable in a country where husbands allegedly have a penchant for killing their better halves). By the way, you keep dodging this issue, why not bazzokas and tactical nuclear weapons? They are every bit as “arms” as the Colts, M16s and Kalashnikovs our Founding Fathers also hadn’t in mind because they didn’t exist back then.

            “We lose about 30,000 people per year to gun violence. About 20,000 are suicides, which in general are no danger to the public. Of the remaining 10,000, a large percentage are either targeted domestic violence murders or criminals being killed by criminals.”

            You are just restating (at the same time you pretend you are not) the same (false) thesis: American awful violence statistics are due clumsy criminals and clueless wives. We have every year about 3.2 firearm homicides per 100 000 inhabitants, 6 to 150 times higher than any other rich country (higher than India, Barbados, China, Chile, Bulgaria, Moldova etc.). Any insights on that? Are American wives the most shrew-like ones? Should be send our criminals to learn from Yakuza and Cosa Nostra, that we can stop dodging their corpses littering our streets (again, an American is 12 times more likely to be murdered than a Japanese- Japanese criminals being politer and Japanese women more selective, I guess )

            “I don’t support murders. I support people’s right to defend themselves, from both crime and tyranny.”

            Tell me when it starts working, will you? Quoting Ronald Reagan about economic promises from liberals: “Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer—and they’ve had almost 30 years of it—shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while?” We lead the developed world in violent crime. If guns are the solution-and we have had centuries of that (albeit limited to white males, at first)- why is America one of the most violent countries on Earth?

  23. 74 Rich

    Unfortunately far too many people have gotten to the point where they give up their freedom and rights in order to be taken care of. They believe government will defend them regardless of any facts people can show them
    We of the old school are a dying breed and if this gun grabbing comes to it, this will probably be the final revolution. It’s just a shame people don’t open their eyes to what’s really happening

  24. Chris, my apologies for being that “echo chamber” you mentioned, but your post has put into words what has been bothering me about some of the anti gun crowd. I grow nauseated watching as children are being suspended from school over gun shaped pieces of paper or pastry, pointing their fingers and playing cops and robbers. They are starting young to stamp out any thoughts of self defense or even thinking for themselves. Thanks again for another post that brings hope that all is not lost. Thank you as well for your service.

  25. One reason these idiot liberals think a regular citizen is a useless asset is the media. All of us on the right know how the typical leftist media will bury, if they print it at all, any news story of a citizen using their weapon to stop a crime. The National Rifle Association has about 20 story’s a month of regular citizens saving the day in its magazine and its called “The Armed Citizen”.

    If the typical leftist could somehow see the benefit of an armed society …….pipe dream I guess. Sad that facts do not compute in their willy nilly brains.

  26. 77 Zachariah Norman

    You just straw-manned the pro gun-control voice pretty hard. I read a lot of their stuff, and the person you are responding to doesn’t exist.

    Here is the argument for gun control that actually makes sense to me:

    1) Given that firearm fatalities are the 2nd most common cause of death in the US (CDC 2010) and given that of those fatalities the majority are either 1) suicides over 2) domestic disputes

    2) and given negligent discharges and murders are more common that successful personal defense with a firearm (ibid, Times)

    3) also given that gun owners are several times more likely to be the victims of gun violence themselves (CDC)

    If you think these facts are wrong, link me better sources. Personally, I’d like to see more funding for this kind of research so we can learn what policies do and do not work for limiting violence and fatalities. Discussions like this are always better with facts.

    Personal defense is not a sufficient compelling reason in and of itself to support the right to personal firearm ownership. Rare cases such as mass shootings do not compel this right either.

    And before you call me a pacifist or a coward for advancing this argument, know that I am neither. I carry a buck knife with me for personal defense which I have used and will likely use again. Even if I owned a pistol, I’d still prefer the knife because it’s smaller, easier to handle, and less likely to cause cause harm to bystanders. (And for carrying the knife I risk charges of possession with intent under NYC’s vaguely written ‘gravity knife’ statute)

    I think the case you made in your last post about police officers’ potential abuse of power is a strong argument for gun rights. Giving only a select group of people the right to use deadly force is a scary thing. However, requiring gun owners to demonstrate competence and responsibility before purchasing a firearm, especially in a crowded city like New York, is a reasonable limitation of that right.

    I think part of the issue with the gun rights debate is that what makes sense in the city is very different than what makes sense in the suburbs or country.

    • Zachariah,

      I wrote this essay after reading a few essays on Mother Jones and Huffington Post arguing against citizens’ right to armed self-defense. One of the HP essays even made the point that if an armed citizen responds to an active shooter, now everyone is in twice as much danger because two people are shooting instead of one. The author made no attempt IMO to differentiate between an armed murderer and an armed defender. It’s been a while since I read those essays, and it’ll take a little bit for me to find them. I’ve read plenty of comments on the anti-gun side that are totally against the idea of citizens defending themselves with firearms. I disagree that it’s a straw man argument.

      I don’t disagree with most of your stats. However, the stat “given negligent discharges and murders are more common that successful personal defense with a firearm” is incomplete. Successful personal defense with a firearm doesn’t require discharge of the firearm. Many people successfully defend themselves with firearms by merely displaying them. I try not to cite stats because they can be twisted so easily, and instead I argue principles. But there are estimates of annual successful defensive use of firearms that go into the tens of thousands.

      I also have an issue with “also given that gun owners are several times more likely to be the victims of gun violence themselves”. I think that stat probably factors in gun suicides and domestic violence murder victims as “gun owners”. The figure I’ve seen is roughly 20,000 gun suicides a year; yes those are tragic, but they in no way mean my right to own a weapon should be restricted. Domestic violence murders are also terrible and tragic, but the gun isn’t the issue; the domestic violence is.

      Where I believe your argument falls apart is here: “Personal defense is not a sufficient compelling reason in and of itself to support the right to personal firearm ownership. Rare cases such as mass shootings do not compel this right either.” My rights don’t depend on whether you think they’re justified or not. The Bill of Rights and 2A guarantee me certain rights. Those rights don’t only exist when they’re convenient. The 1A allows for a whole hell of a lot of trouble: neo-Nazi rallies, “Burn a Koran Day”, the anti-Muslim movie that supposedly started the 9/11/12 Middle East flareup, Newsweek’s printing of a false, non-vetted story of Americans flushing Korans down a toilet, etc. At what point does the trouble caused by exercise of the 1A cease to support 1A rights?

      Besides, as I believe you acknowledged, the 2A exists to protect us from the government. Self defense isn’t the purpose of the 2A, it’s a secondary benefit.

      You’ve presented your argument very well and with respect, and I have no reason to call you a coward or a pacifist. However, I think your comments about carrying a knife for defense illustrate a poor understanding of armed self-defense. I don’t doubt that you’ve used a knife for defense in the past; I came close to using one myself, many years ago. But there’s nothing reasonable about an expectation that you can effectively use a knife to defend yourself against someone armed with a gun. Yes, it can happen. The likelihood that it will actually work, unfortunately, is very slim. I’ve trained with knives in the past and have spent decades training with firearms. I would NEVER willingly go knife-against-gun with a murderer. Most people with extensive training only carry a pistol because a rifle is too impractical for carry. Pistols are inherently underpowered and do not cause the damage most people think they do. Relying on a pistol for self defense is already a bad (but practical) choice. Depending on a knife for survival in a gunfight is almost suicidal.

      I appreciate your comments, and again, thank you for the way you presented them. I obviously don’t agree, but that doesn’t mean I have to disrespect you.

      Chris

  27. 79 Lampie

    Chris,
    In your list of reasons people don’t arm themselves, you forgot one that applies to me.
    In my 50 years, I can think back to 3 specific instances in my life that I was so angry, so blind with rage, that if I had had a gun, I would have shot someone. Twice it was the same woman (I’m a slow learner sometimes), but I digress.
    I enjoy recreational shooting, and support 2A, but unless things get a lot worse, I’ll take my chances without owning one. Thanks for having my back, and I promise to help you reload if you need it.

    • Lampie,

      Good catch. People who know they have too hot of a temper shouldn’t carry. That’s part of making a rational and honest assessment of themselves.

      Not everyone should carry a weapon. But those who are willing, capable and qualified definitely should be allowed to.

      Thanks for your comments, and I’m glad to have your back. :)

  28. Thanks for the repost, Joe. I was happily surprised to see my writing on your blog. Please let me know how I can pay you back.

    Chris


  1. 1 On “Why I Wet My Panties…” «
  2. 2 Post up pictures of your GUNS! - Page 36 - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
  3. 3 Our Culture of Cowardice | Joe For America
  4. 4 My Life as a Tyrant - INGunOwners
  5. 5 link dump #3 | Jurmond's Arsenal

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