Saturday, October 22, 2011

Arming for Protection

A friend of mine (henceforth referred to as Dave) confided in me yesterday that he and his wife are wanting to get their concealed carry permits.  They have been toying with the idea for some time but have not actually done so.  Just this week, thieves kicked in their neighbor's door in the middle of the day.  They live in a fairly nice neighborhood, and it was a wake-up call for them.  I'm happy that they are choosing to protect themselves, but I wanted to make sure they did so intelligently and in a way that fit their lifestyle.

The most important thing to remember is that you need training.  The firearm is not a magic talisman that will ward off evil.  A good defensive firearms class is worth its weight in gold.  It is an accepted axiom in self-defense circles that you will default to your highest level of training.  When the adrenalin is flowing, you want to have something to fall back on.  GET TRAINING.

Second, you need to define your requirements.  Are you planning to carry at work?  At home?  (Don't laugh.  Their neighbor's door was kicked in, and a gun in the safe upstairs isn't really helping much if you're in the living room downstairs.  We spend a lot of time in our houses, so it's worthy of consideration.)  Are you willing to dress around the gun? 

Dave has a small child and another on the way.  Because of this, Dave's wife is worried about safety (and rightfully so).  Therefore, she is not planning on carrying a gun very often.  Dave then went on to say that he would probably get her a small gun.  I asked him why, reminding him of Newton's Third Law.  Little guns are cute, but if they're chambered in a decent caliber, they kick hard.  Since she isn't even planning to carry, I would get her at least a full-size 9mm for the house and preferably a shotgun.

Dave has a lot to think about, and I hope he proceeds with his plan.  If you are considering adding a defensive firearm to your life, get some sound advice, preferably from multiple sources.  Beware of the know-it-all or the one-size fits all solution.  If you are a shooter, be a good ambassador to those who are interested in getting their feet wet.

Shoot well,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to Remember 9/11

Tomorrow will be Sept 11, 2011--10 years after Islamic extremists flew two aircaft into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and crashed one in a field in Pennsylvania. For a lot of people, tomorrow will be a big event. I'm not one of them. Romans 14:5 says (in part), "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike." I confess that I am one of the latter type. I don't really see how the 3,657th day after this event is all that different from the day on either side of it, but I don't fault those who do. Obviously, this day means a lot to many of my fellow Americans. 

Today, I saw on television that there are folks that believe the NFL should cancel its games tomorrow and force Americans to reflect on the 10th anniversary of this attack on our country.  I ask these people, "Why do you want to cancel football?" Does your television not get any other channels?   Didn't it come with an "Off" switch? You are free to watch football, not watch football, or start your own network that shows exactly what you want it to 24/7/365.

You may have noticed that I have a major problem with this request (or is it a demand?) Those who know me know that I care not one whit about football because I would rather do just about anything than watch something. This isn't about me, however, and it isn't about football. It's about recovering from that horrible day, and it's about freedom.

In my opinion, the best way to recover is to show the perpetrators that they were unable to change us. I believe we have failed on that front. Terrorists seek to create fear. 9/11 scared us. Because of our fear, we grew government by a significant amount. Because of fear, we allow strangers in bright blue shirts to touch our wives and children in ways that would get the average citizen thrown in jail. In return, we get a promise that the government will try to make us more secure. By cancelling football--even for a day--we continue to send the message that they have changed us. We send the message that they have won.   Is that your intent?

The second problem I have with this request/demand is personal freedom.  I understand that different people heal differently, and that you may not want to watch football. Fine by me, but why foist your methods on others? Why is your one-size-fits-all solution better than someone else's solution? If I recall my HS history class correctly, this country was founded on freedom. That's freedom to do what you want to do as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Nowhere does it say that you have the freedom to dictate the lives of others.

Thirdly, lest we forget, there were normal things that happened on September the 11th. It's somebody's birthday, anniversary, or other special day. Would you tell them to postpone their special day because it happens to be on 9/11?  I wouldn't. 

It really doesn't matter to me how you remember 9/11.  All I ask is that you let me do it my way.  I promise it won't hurt you.