Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Discussion About Guns

**I spoke with a libertarian minded old school conservative. An “I want my freedom and guns” conservative. Not, as he describes, a “the government is coming for us conservative.” He is an expert shooter, well-trained and a military man—concerned citizen. The subject of our conversation was about guns, the values underlying gun ownership, and various other related issues. Given the recent events in Connecticut we avoided hypotheticals and tried honestly to be respectful of the memory of the many lost to gun violence each year. We also, of course were conscious of the constitutional right to bear arms and the limits that imposes.  Both of us have discussed in detail the recent events and have been deeply affected--nothing herein should be construed to denigrate the pain and suffering of those lost.**

I always learned you gotta ride hard, shoot straight, and speak the truth. I feel that people—especially politicians—that doesn't happen.

I feel that Bush had our backs. I mean, he's a well known-idiot, but I felt like he had our backs.

I value self-reliance. Self-reliance means you have the means and the ability to make a good life and protect a good life for you and your family. It means there will be jobs available, and money for the middle class. I'm not an economist- if that means tax and regulate the 1%, go for it. I just don't want the Government breathing down my neck, telling me what standards I have to hit. Take NCLB, it was a perfect example of the Federal government forcing you to adhere to their standards. My feelings go beyond party lines. NCLB was a GOP law, pushed on us from a Federal level. By and large, the Federal Government doesn't value our ability to make decisions for our own communities.

Talking about guns—there's an old saying that the response time of police is measured in minutes and the response time of a gun is measured in fps. I want to be able to defend myself and feel safe. I don't want to have to rely on anybody, at any time, for my safety, if I can help it.

We as a nation have to realize that we are facing an enemy—there is an enemy out there—there are people out there actively plotting to do us harm. The sooner you accept no amount of wishing and hoping can stop that, the sooner you can respond to that threat.

No amount of, “they've got it covered” can create individual preparedness. Not through taking away our civil liberties. Not through DHS. Inherently we the people are the first responders. If there is an attack the first people on the scene will be citizens—police and fire are second responders. Look at United 93—that's a perfect.

**I don't want to carry a gun. I want to live in a society where that's not required. Now, given that, I don't believe we currently live in a society where we can say that 100% of the time. How do we get there?**

I don't have an answer to that. I'm concerned with the short term solution but if you want to plan for ten years then here are a few things we've already discussed.

Requiring FFL transfers and closing the gun show loophole, coordinating databases between agencies. Those are some good immediate solutions.

We as a nation were born with a gun in our hands, we expanded with guns. Guns are an integral part of our life.

Lt. Colonel Grossman—his big thing is that we need to be more prepared to meet threats. Zero kids have died in school fires in the last 50 years. No one thinks firemen are paranoid for having sprinkler systems.

There are deranged gunmen out there ready to hurt our children.

**When you go out in public do you feel safe?**

Depends on where I am. In Seattle I do not. Where I go to school I do. At least where I'm from there are a lot of people who I feel share my values and frankly, carry guns. What if someone were to go into Westlake mall and shoot the place up? The unarmed security guard is useless. It's a soft target.

This house, I don't feel particularly safe sleeping in your house. To me it's about how I can feel safe without having to rely on the police for help.

It's not just about owning a gun though, it's about being safe and trained in using a gun. It's about being prepared. And that doesn't just apply to guns. It's about being prepared for a natural disaster, I have a 72 hour bag. People call being prepared a sort of paranoia, but we don't say that for the fire department.

**Is there a world where you don't need to be as prepared as you are?**

I don't think so, because there is the day that you need it and you have it and you are thankful but if the event never comes then you never think, “gosh it sucks that I was prepared.” No one thinks that.

**Is there a world where you would feel safe without some of those things?**

I feel safe because I am prepared. The world we live in is one rife with uncertainty.

I'd like to though. But some people take it to the extreme, in gun circles, they call it tactical residential architecture and defense. I think that people need to look at it from a big perspective. How do you stay safe from people who would actively do you harm?

A healthy level of awareness is something I think our country could do with.

**What about prevention?**

Short of a complete ban and the prevention of imports, there is little we can do beyond response, as far as legislating guns is concerned. I can't tell you anything about the mental health stuff. The number one step is preparedness. You are never going to prevent 100% of crime. All I know is, if you take away my guns, that doesn't mean the threat is gone—it means I, a law abiding citizen, can now no longer effectively respond to threats to my person. The Supreme Court ruled we have a right to self defense.

People want to treat the symptom rather than the cause. What causes crime? Perfect example, look at drunk driving, we've seen a precipitous decline in drunk driving and we didn't take away guns and we didn't take away cars.

Just because other countries do something doesn't mean we should. This is the United States of America—we roll hard. We have our freedoms. A freedom we inherently have is gun ownership, so any sort of federal legislation on gun ownership is not the answer. Our Constitution guarantees us rights that come from our creator—they are privileges to be legislated. Gun control is not an answer.