An open letter to all the #guncontrolnow and #gunsense people crying the sky is falling over 3D printed guns.

Stop all the lies or complete ignorance. Like anything else to do with firearms if you only knew about a 10th of what you need to you would know how silly your articles and postings are.

OK, I am going to probably give you a heart attack by what I am about to say if your anti-firearm and worried about these 3D printed guns, but here goes. We have been making un-serialized and homemade guns for decades. Do you need CPR now? Yes, that’s right it has been completely legal to manufacture your own guns at home and use them for many years. In fact, a whole industry has been born out of this. If you would research a bit about the 3D printing of guns, you would realize that they are not printing the entire gun, only parts. And no they are not able to pass through metal detectors undetected, what utter hogwash. You are being lied to and misled by those very people that want to make you helpless and remove your rights.

A 3D printed gun must have certain parts made from metal. In addition, the ammunition is standard ammunition and that alone is made from lots of metal and detectable by metal detectors. Oh, and maybe one of the most important parts, it can only hold and fire 1 round at a time. All of your anti-firearms crying about “high capacity magazines” should be pushing for these guns to become the standard used by everyone! But that is not the most egregious part of all your crying about 3D printed guns.

For many years we have been making our own, workable, well-functioning, “un-serialized” guns from metal without a 3D printer! Yes, that’s right, it’s called making a gun from an 80% lower. Google it. There are many of us out here that like working with our hands, we like firearms for fun, sport, and self-protection. And we like to combine our hobbies, so we create our own firearms. They are perfectly legal, have no serial numbers, and yes, they are untraceable by the government, but what does that matter? You are not allowed to sell them. Once you make it, you must keep it, unless you put a serial number on it and register it with the Feds, but what fun is that?

So, you folks wailing and gnashing your teeth about 3D printed guns are just laughed at by 99% of the gun owning population or anyone that knows anything about them. Why because we realize that only a silly person, with way too much money on their hands, would by a 3D printer, print that huge ugly 3D printed gun, and then try and use it in a crime as a single shot firearm. Not when real guns are cheaper and easier to come by. No, they can’t sneak them on a plane (remember it has metal in it and requires regular ammunition which is made of metal), no people will not be churning them out by the thousands. Why do that when you can buy a nice, commercially available 80% lower and build your own gun for far less than the cost of the 3D printed firearm?

Oh, and to really get the anti-firearms folks going, the 3D printed firearm issue was not a case about the 2nd Amendment. I know you probably have been told otherwise, but the court case was being argued on a First Amendment rights issue. I guess now that you #gunsense and #guncontrolnow people know that you will be against the first amendment also? Please if you do nothing else after reading this, do a google search and learn a little about the topic you are trying to speak on, you’re making your movements look foolish with your sky is falling cry. The sky isn’t falling, intelligence is it seems.

Can an “unarmed” attacker be a threat to your life? What is “disparity of force”?

With the recent shooting in Clearwater Florida of an “unarmed” assailant by a concealed firearms license holder many are questioning why was an unarmed man shot, all he did was violently shove the man to the ground? And even looking further, some saying that you are a coward or not a “real man” if you have to resort to firearms if the attacker is unarmed. To those people, as a 35-year veteran LEO (and LEO Instructor) and U.S. Army veteran I say you’re talking about a subject you have no knowledge of or are being purposefully stupid.

There is an adage that I like to use when younger police recruits talk about the physical part of the job, the fights, the “defensive tactics” we teach in the police academy and other things related to defending yourself. I tell them, “at my age, I don’t fight fair I fight to win”. And go on to elaborate that what I mean is I will use whatever I need to end the fight quickly and without as much injury as I can sustain. If that means throat punching someone, gouging an eye, or otherwise fighting “dirty” then I will do it if I am in fear for my life and cannot get to my self-defense firearm. I am older and have had several medical related issues over the years, I am not able to take as much punishment as when I was 20. So enters the concept of what constitutes a serious bodily injury and what is “disparity of force”?

We teach this in the police academy and teach law enforcement officers all over the nation about it because it can be what they come across on the job, but it applies as much to the everyday citizen as it does law enforcement. What is “serious bodily injury”? It is recognized in court cases and case law as that force which is likely to cause severe pain and injury that will require protracted recovery or permanent scarring is considered serious bodily harm. When it comes to the law of self-defense, you have to look at potential injury from the victim’s point of view, not the attackers or their intent. A blow to the throat, eyes or other soft areas of the body. Hitting someone with a closed fist to the side of the head, or base of the skull can be seriously crippling or even deadly. Throwing or pushing someone down hard onto concrete or asphalt, all can cause serious bodily injury or even death.

That is not even adding in the “disparity of force” factors. If the victim is old or physically disabled in any way, their ability to defend themselves may require the use of a weapon or firearm. A large attacker, even if unarmed, attacking a smaller weaker victim causes the danger of serious bodily harm or death to rise. And in the victims mind (remember that the fear spoken of in law is that of the victim, not the witness or the attackers), a small framed, weaker victim being attacked by a larger more powerful attacker may form in their mind a well-founded fear that they are going to be seriously injured or killed.

Let us use an example to explain this. You are an older person who has some issues with mobility. Nothing that requires a cane or wheelchair but you can’t get around as well as you used to. You are walking down the street when out of nowhere you are hit in the chest with a blow hard enough to send you flying backward several feet and land on your butt. Your dazed and your breathing is hard and painful. Your chest hurts as well as your back and legs from the fall to the ground. You realize you were just physically attacked by a much younger and larger attacker. And the attacker is there just a few feet away. You look up and think to yourself that the attacker is going to attack you again and that this time you may not be so lucky as to not be seriously injured or worse, maybe even killed (remember the law does not say only fear of death, but serious injury also, and rightfully so). Do you have the legal right to draw your self-defense firearm to defend yourself from further attack? Do you have the legal right to fire at the attacker to stop him from attacking you again if that is what you think he is going to do? The answer is of course yes. No one should have to just sit there and be seriously injured (or worse). No one should have to wait to be hit several times and just before losing consciousness be able to fight back. No one should be attacked physically or have to be seriously injured in the first place.

This ladies and gentlemen is what happened in Clearwater, Fl.
Would all people react the same way? Probably not. I doubt that I would have reacted the same way as the victim on the ground in this case. But what people seem to be forgetting is that you don’t get to make that decision based on what you would have done and what you are capable of, you have to look at it from the point of view of the person who used force to defend themselves. A disparity of force is what happens when you have factors that make the victim in a self-defense case more fearful of the attacker and the attackers ability to cause them harm. Size, age, physical ability, number of attackers, weapons, all of those things (and more) need to be taken into account when looking at the attacker verse victim issues in any use of self-defense.

So back to the original question. Can an unarmed attacker seriously injure or kill you? Of course, they can. Can you use force including deadly force to prevent an attack or stop an attack if you (the victim) feel that you are in fear of great bodily harm or death? Of course you can that is the way it should be. Did you look at and consider the possibility of things like the disparity of force in this case? Maybe you should.

Imagine if people had to try and run away or flee before they could defend themselves from criminal attacks. Imagine what the criminals would think and do. Self-defense is a right that we have had long before the Constitution and laws. The laws are there to try and explain it to those who are too stupid to understand that if you do not attack anyone else you have no fear of being shot by someone defending themselves then. Pretty simple when you think of it.

And don’t be foolish and try and bring up other cases that have caused media attention to focus. Especially those that have gone through the court system and been justifiable. That’s why we have a court system.

A simple solution to these supposed problems with the self-defense law is to present the case to the Grand Jury and let them decide if charges should be filed. If they do, the person using force still has the court to present their case, if not it has been reviewed by more than your standard Jury and has been put to rest.

Florida’s Justifiable Use of Force Laws…

OK, I think it’s time to educate the public on something that they have been so misled on in the media and from the anti-firearms, gun control, and other anti-rights groups.

With the recent shooting in Clearwater, the media and many others seem to be misquoting and misunderstanding Florida’s “Justifiable Use of Force” laws. So maybe a bit of simple education is in order.

First Florida does not have any law titled “Stand Your Ground Law” or “Castle Doctrine” law. Those are names given by the media and anti-self-defense legislators to a very simple, and for a law, easy to read law that governs when you can and cannot use force to defend yourself or another person. It also spells out when you can and cannot use force in defense of property and gives immunity from arrest and prosecution when self-defense is lawful. So, let’s break it down for everyone.

Florida’s self-defense law is Chapter 776 of the Florida statutes and is titled “Justifiable Use of Force”. The first subsection is “776.012 Use or threatened use of force in defense of person.” In subsection (1) it discusses when you can use physical force (but not deadly force) to defend yourself against another using illegal force against you.

“(1) A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.”

It says that you can threaten to use (make verbal threats or raise and shake your fist for example) or use physical force against another when that person is using illegal physical force against you. And that you do not have to run away or try and flee before doing so. Pretty simple. But it specifically says you cannot use deadly force to do this. That comes next.

“(2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.”

Now subsection (2) spells out when you can threaten to use or use deadly force. And this is the whole thing that the recent shooting in Clearwater was viewed under. You can threaten or use deadly force (that includes shooting someone, stabbing them, even running them over with a car if that is all you can do) to stop or prevent someone else from killing you, causing you great bodily harm, or to stop or prevent the commission of a forcible felony. So let’s break those down. Killing you, I think most people understand that one, but what many do not know is that what does it take to kill you? Can being shoved hard to the ground kill you? Yes, it can. If you Google it you will find many examples of it already happening. And the law allows you to prevent this from happening if you think the criminal is about to try this, they do not have to already have tried and failed or try a second time.

While the term “great bodily harm” is not defined in Florida Statute it is in many cases citing’s taken as “face value” meaning that it is talking about an injury that causes great harm. Or more importantly “imminent” great bodily harm, meaning it does not have to already have occurred, you can use force to stop it from happening if you feel it is going to happen unless you do something.

The last part of that subsection is the forcible felony part. This is where the law spells out crimes that it considers so serious that you can use deadly force to stop them if they are being committed against you, or another person (person not property). Those forcible felonies must be committed against a person and are spelled out in:

776.08 Forcible felony.—“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

If you are having any of those crimes committed against you, or another person, you may use the threat of, or actual deadly force to prevent them. The important part to remember is that those crimes must be committed against a person not just a piece of property. So the burglary listing must be a burglary of an occupied house, not an empty one. You can’t shoot someone for stealing property, although in some states you can!

In both subsections, the law states that you have a right to not flee your attacker as long as you are legally where you are allowed to be. That is the entire “stand your ground” part. As you see a very small part of the law itself.

So, in summary, you can use non-deadly force to stop a non-deadly attack on you. TASER’s, pepper-spray, and other devices are non-lethal and can be used. You may use deadly force ONLY if you fear that you are going to be seriously (great) injured or possibly killed by the attack. And you may use it to stop the attack once it has started or even to prevent it from happening, like someone threatening you with a knife and trying to rob you.

Next lesson will be on the law allowing the defense of your home. If you like this and find these lessons helpful, please leave a comment so I know they are useful to people to help them understand the practical application of Florida Law.

NOTE! Of course, I must state that I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but I have a fair amount of experience teaching this law to police officers (almost 28 years’ worth, and also using the law myself as a LEO for 35 years).

Florida’s misnamed “Stand your Ground” law and the term “Castle Doctrine”.

OK, I think it may be time for some education and clarification on the history and use of Florida’s misnamed “Stand your Ground” law and the term “Castle Doctrine”.

First a little history, how did Florida’s “Justifiable Use of Force” statute, Chapter 776 in the Florida State Statutes, become referred to as the Florida “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) law? Why if those words do not appear in the statute do we keep hearing it referred to as that?

Well, you must go back to when the law was being debated on the floor of the Florida Legislature prior to being passed. Prior to 2005, Florida residents already had the right to use deadly force to defend themselves, but they had to prove they could not have escaped the threat. Basically, requiring them to try and run away, or be cornered and not able to before they could use deadly force to defend their own lives. A terrible way to live and putting people at the mercy of violent criminals. In a quote from a 2005 article (https://wapo.st/2LJzEio) on the law being considered Rep. Dan Gelber is quoted as saying “”It’s almost like a duel clause” and “People ought to have to walk away if they can.” Meaning that if you did not retreat from a threat, you cannot use force to defend your life.

The press needed something to call the law that had negative connotations to it and they figured that something uttered by an opponent to the law at the time, was a good choice. It makes the law sound like, as it was also referred to, as a “dueling” law. When it is nothing of the sort.

Something of interest from back then also is this little tidbit from the same article “Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, a leading candidate for the Republican governor’s nomination in 2006, was among those who wrote letters of support.” So back then Ole Charlie was a Republican and in favor of the Self defense rights of Floridians. What happened to Charlie?

In a CBS article dated April 26th, 2005 (https://cbsn.ws/2LKU5f1), CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen said: “It says to people: You can stand your ground and if you feel reasonably threatened that harm is going to come to you, you can fire away.” This is the first reference to the term “Stand your ground” that can be found in the press. The term caught on and the bill and law were forever after referred to by the anti-self-defense rights as the Florida “Stand your ground law”, even though the words in the text of the bill is “stand his or her ground” and only a small part of the statute.

The term “stand your ground” is a huge disservice to the statute that allows a person to defend themselves, wherever they have a legal right to be, without having to run away or flee first, or try to flee. There are several parts to the law and the ability to defend yourself is not bound by location and should not be.

So where did the term “Castle Doctrine” come from? Well, that now the famous term that describes the ability to defend your home (and in Florida your vehicle or other places you are residing or occupying). Several studies try and show that the original reference to “castle” refers to English common law rules protecting a person’s home and the phrase “one’s home is one’s castle.” It is also reported the actual coining of the phrase “Castle Doctrine” to refer to Florida’s and now other states similar laws came from none other than our very own 2nd Amendment rights supporter, Marion Hammer! The Washington Post article I used above for some quotes also states that the Florida bill was given the name the “castle doctrine” by Florida lobbyist Marion P. Hammer, a former National Rifle Association president.

But in researching the actual 2005 Bill that was submitted we find that the drafters of the bill wrote the following in the preamble of the bill; “WHEREAS, the castle doctrine is a common-law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a person’s home is his or her castle, and…” so in reality the first reference to it being called the “Castle Doctrine” law was written in the preamble of the law itself. (http://laws.flrules.org/files/Ch_2005-027.pdf)

What has happened is that the law repeatedly being called these terms has diluted the true meaning and understanding of the law by the public, and they have no clue what the law really says or actually means. They now believe the media’s portrayal of the law and have never even bothered to read the law. Maybe now understanding where those terms come from and why people might want to learn more about the law that allows them to defend themselves and not have to flee criminals. A basic human right that should not even have to be written into law, but as humans we have this tendency to do just that, have to write down common sense to make sure those without it can read it. (http://bit.ly/2Lzis2g)

If you are going to rely on a law for your safety and that of your family, maybe you might want to actually read it, and not base your knowledge on the media and biased reports by those who want you to have to run away when threatened by a criminal.

It Happened Again in Santa Fe, Texas, and We Could Have Done Something!

With today’s shooting in Santa Fe Texas, it brings to the forefront once again that the people of the United States are not looking at these issues with logic and experience in how we can help lessen these types of incidents or at least minimize the damage done when they do happen.

Wake up America. Criminals, as the name applies, commit crimes. They violate the laws already on the book and any others that may be thought of. What then can be done to stop these types of attacks? We should look at what has worked other places and in other types of places.

The military has a specialty called “physical security”. It is used to provide security for anything the military considers important. Things like nuclear weapons, specialty equipment, and locations that need protection are “hardened”. Rings of various levels of security measures are put in place to make things secure and safe.

My specialty in the U.S. Army for half my time in the military was as the training coordinator for the security forces in charge of the physical security of several hundred nuclear weapons in what was at the time, West Germany.  We, of course, had fences, alarms, and various other physical barriers, but also had armed security on the sites. These were trained and equipped soldiers that took the security of these special weapons very seriously. We could be up and out into the fray in 30 seconds or less on these sites. We trained daily for it.

While I am not recommending that we place military units in our schools, I am recommending we take some of the lessons learned by the military and by other countries that have school security (Israel comes to mind) and look at what has worked and what could be implemented to protect our schools. It is simple really. As long as have no or little physical security measures in our schools, they will remain a target for depraved minds and those wanting to cause mass casualties. Armed response to an armed attack is also another thing that must be thought about. Why do you think you call the police when something like this happens? Because they are bringing guns to confront the armed suspect. Again I call it common sense.

I train law enforcement for a living. I teach law enforcement firearms and have for over 2 decades. I will be the first to tell you that police for the most part (not including specialty units like SWAT Teams) are not any better at using firearms than many civilian firearms owners and carriers. Putting law enforcement officers in the schools, called school resource officers can and has been effective at stopping mass school shootings. Just this same week in Illinois a school resource officer, Ofc. Mark Dallas, confronted a 19-year-old who was armed and started shooting at Dixon High School in Dixon, Il and was able to stop the shooter, by confronting him with an armed immediate response. Yet that, of course, did not make much in the way of news, because the only casualty was the criminal himself.

So let’s stop panicking and becoming emotional and trying to pass laws that only affect law-abiding citizens, and takes away the rights of regular citizens to be able to protect themselves, and we need to make some changes to the physical security in our schools, and allow or place armed security in the schools. For heaven’s sake, we require fire extinguishers in schools. fire alarms,  and fire education. Yet we do not require bullet resistant glass in the doors, or entry control points with armed security or officers or other easy things that can absolutely reduce or mitigate the damage for these types of things.

America, stop listening to the media, stop listening to the right or left, stop getting emotional about things like this and let those with the knowledge and ability of those that know about these types of things help make “common sense” changes to our schools and the security that they have.

There are many things that we can do in the short term to help secure the schools until physical changes are made to help also. Police Officers placed it he schools is not a negative thing, it’s positive. An armed immediate response is what is needed to stop these types of criminals.

Until America realizes that you don’t stop these things with just laws and emotion and demonstrations, we are doomed to continue to repeat it over and over. They say that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. So America, let’s stop the insanity, and give our schools the armed security they need and realize you fight fire with fire, in this case, it is you fight an armed attacker with an immediate and armed response.

Get over it America, stop arguing over “common sense gun safety” and focus on the real things that will make a difference. Making changes to our schools and the security we provide them.

To Those Who Want More “Gun Control” and Think We Have a “Gun Crime Epidemic” in the U.S.A.

I find it very distressing, and actually a bit disgusting, that there are people out there calling themselves “Americans” who do not understand the very basics surrounding the issue of firearms crime and use in the United States and yet are crying for the removal of certain firearms, or the reduction of the ability for law abiding citizens to arm and defend themselves. How can anyone with half a mind and says with a straight face that they are for disarming law-abiding citizens to try and reduce the number of murders by firearms in the US? In what fantasy world do they live in where murder, violent crime, school mass murders and virtually any other crime involving firearms has become an “epidemic” or “risen sharply”?
 
Why can’t those same people that cry for “common sense gun control” use that same supposed common sense they claim to have to look into and deal with the real facts surrounding firearms use and crime? The only answer I can see is that they have decided that they don’t care about facts, they don’t care about rights, and they don’t care about safety and would rather give up their rights to make themselves “feel” like they did something. I hear it over and over we have to do “something”! Why? And is a uniformed, ill-conceived something better than taking the time to look into the facts before taking action?
Let’s take a hypothetical situation and see what those same people think. Let’s say for discussion sake that we reduced or removed the vast majority of firearms from American society. And that after that was done, while murder by firearm goes down some, other violent crimes rise sharply. Crimes like rape, battery (hitting a person), and other physical crimes go up. The criminals are still using guns, but those citizens who would have been able to defend themselves before, no longer can so those crimes happen more and more frequently. And the criminals then also turn to using other weapons, say knives. In fact, let’s say knife crime and other crimes go way up, to the point that combining those crimes and the still happening gun crimes, the crime rate is called “out of control” and “worse than New York City’s crime rate”? What would you say about the firearms being the problem then? Well, this hypothetical is not so much one since it’s exactly what has happened in Britain.
 
In what reality does it make any sense to disarm the victims and let the criminals be the only ones able to use a firearm? How can that possibly protect people? Of course, it can’t. Removing the ability of people to defend themselves does absolutely nothing to reduce crime. If you had two people standing in front of a store, and a criminal was looking at who to rob, would they choose the person that they see is armed and take the chance of being shot or possibly killed, or would they choose the unarmed person who they know they have the upper hand on? Please don’t try the stupid line “well they can rob the person of the gun.” That’s idiotic. Of course, they would choose the easy unarmed victim. In fact, a 1985 Department of Justice survey of incarcerated felons reported that 57 percent of felons polled agreed that “criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police. Did you read that? Criminals worried more about armed citizens than the COPS!
How can anyone who considers themselves an American EVER think about reducing or giving up the very rights our founding fathers fought and died for? I find it repugnant that people who live in this country and enjoy the freedoms they have become so used to they don’t realize they are using a right and are willing to give some up based on fear and nothing more.
 
Wake up America! Let’s set the record straight once and for all. DO NOT tell us, the law-abiding armed citizens of the U.S. that you only want to restrict certain firearms and pass “common sense” laws. Murder is already against the law, yet it still happens with and without firearms. The cry is for making “assault firearms” illegal to own (although there are millions of them in the US already and are one of the most popular firearms in the U.S.) is blatantly ridiculous in the light of the fact that more people are killed with hands and feet and baseball bats than those terrible “weapons of war” as they like to call them. Oh and that brings up the point, many against the owner of the AR-15 say that the 2nd Amendment does not say you can own such “weapons of war”, and that even if the 2nd Amendment meant weapons that you can use to overthrow a tyrannical government were protected, no one could fight the US military with AR-15’s. Yet it is a weapon of war? So which is it, either it’s a weapon of war and one that should be allowed under the 2nd Amendment, or it’s not a weapon of war and therefore should be OK to own. Make up your minds, please.
 
But the FACT of the matter is that murder in the United States is down from the highs in the 1980’s by 48%. While it has increased by single-digit percentages in the last two years (2015/2016) overall the murder rate down by almost half of what it was in the 1980’s. It still is way down over the last 30 years. So let me understand this, even though murders by firearms are down by almost 50%, it’s still an “epidemic”? Violent crime of all kinds is down it the US. All one has to do is look up the numbers from the FBI and Department of Justice. At the same time, while violent crime is way down and firearm crimes included, firearms ownership has increased dramatically. If firearms were the problem, would not the increase in firearms ownership and the number of firearms make the murder rate increase as well as other violent crime? It’s a simple concept. People claim that murders and shootings are increasing not decreasing. Yes, they are for the last two years only but are still 48% less than 30 years ago.
 
So to all those people who claim to know what they are talking about and want the reduction in rights and firearms in the United States, my simple question is this, WHY? What fact supports your stance for this need? There is none; you have nothing to base your “fear” on. You have been convinced by the media and anti-rights groups that firearms are bad and firearms murders are an epidemic, yet that is not the case. So now what? Now, what do you base your unfounded fear on since you now know you have based your fears and wanting for “common sense gun control” is no longer based on facts but media and anti-rights group bias. Anyone with half a brain and common sense and even a bit of intellectual integrity would realize that there are real issues out there that need to be addressed, and it’s not firearms.
 
So when you, those calling for the removal of rights, and the restriction of the ability of people to defend themselves, want to try and justify your position, come back when you have something to base that position on and can talk about real facts and issues. Otherwise, no you cannot have our firearms or our rights. That’s the beauty of rights; they are for everyone, even those that don’t understand them.

What Type of Person Wants to Give up Their Own Rights?

After seeing the groups of people marching around different parts of the country, and watching some of the videos of just how uninformed they are on the real facts and issues surrounding firearms, mass murders and violent crime in general, it brought to my mind a question that I just figured out the answer to.

What kind of person wants to have their own Constitutional Rights taken away? I thought about that for a very long time and could not come up with an answer. Being uninformed on the topic does not excuse it, being misled cannot excuse it. Someone telling you that it is for your own good definitely should not excuse it. Being completely ignorant of the Constitution and what it stands for should not even excuse it.

So what kind of person would rather give up inalienable rights, that we have had for over 240 years, to make absolutely no difference? What kind of person cannot see that regardless of what laws you pass, what kinds of guns you ban, the criminals will still get the guns, or turn to bombs, or turn to trucks to cause their carnage?

The school shooting in Parkland was a tragedy, for everyone, but what we are not addressing is the failures of the system already in place to address these types of people. Instead, we are focusing on the tool used and not one the person pulling the trigger, even though we had plenty of warnings that were not followed up on. Then just a month after Parkland a school shooting in Maryland was stopped by a good guy with a firearm. So which is it, they cannot stop them or they can? Well, obviously firearms can stop mass murderers, and have.

So back to my original question. Why would a person or group of people want the Government to take away their rights? When taking away that right will do nothing to change the outcomes they want to be changed?  Our rights, including the 2nd Amendment, have stood the test of time for more than 240 years and in that time there have been many things this country has gone through. Wars, recessions, many ups, and downs. Men and Women have gone and died in wars to prevent the take over of our world by people who wanted to do just the thing these people are wanting, the removal of your rights.

Despots like Hitler, Stalin, and others did the very thing that these people are asking of their own Governing body, the removal of the ability of the people to defend themselves. The removal of firearms, of the right to own and possess firearms, was one of the first actions taken by these dictators, just before the mass executions began. Why could they get away with it? Because the ability of the people to defend themselves was removed and a defenseless people are nothing more than slaves.

What makes this whole topic insane is that the numbers just do not support the reactions we are seeing. Many more things kill far more people than firearms do every year. Yet we do not see marches in the streets to make cars safer (although the technology is there), we do not see marches to end the drug epidemics, we do not see the marches to end medical malpractice. All of those things kill far more people than firearms. Yet firearms seems to become a lightning rod for anger and hostility from those opposed to ownership and those who want the right to own them. Why? What is it about the firearm that drives what should a be a sane and normal person into a frenzy that they will not listen to rational talk and common sense? Fear of the unknown? Fear of being helpless?

I think it is a lack of the basic understanding of just what our rights are designed to do and why you need them. Violent crime is way down in the U.S., that is a proven fact. Murder is way down, firearms victimization is way down (more than murder!). So why would this equate to people being willing to give away freedom they need to protect themselves? Because they have never had to use it, so they see it as not being needed. You see the U.S. has become soft. Violent crime is so rare people have become used to being safe that when we do have an act of violence like parkland, with the media and instant 24 news cycle we feel like its something out of the ordinary. Even though school shootings are way down since 1990.

So unless you have been the victim of a violent crime, or had to use a firearm to defend yourself, or carried one as part of your profession, I think your perspective is that of a person outside the experience and knowledge base needed to appreciate the need and even necessity for having firearms for personal protection and the ability to defend your rights from those that may wish to remove them.

So I get it, your scared because the news and others tell you that you should be afraid. You should fear those big bad assault rifles. You should fear those who want to keep their rights and be able to defend themselves. Why? Because someone told you that you should or you researched, made up your own mind because of the facts you uncovered? If you are fearful it is not because you should be, it is because you have chosen to not take your own safety into your own hands. You have chosen to be fearful, you have chosen to give your rights away, BUT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to give mine or anyone else’s away.

If you don’t want to own a firearm, that’s fine, don’t buy one. You don’t want to own an assault rifle? Fine don’t, but you have no right to tell me I can’t. That’s the great thing about rights they apply to the individual, not the group. That is why they are called individual rights, not group rights. But most of all, you have no right to give away my rights.