I kind of like the way Number 2 looks.
There are a number of people who, when they find out about my charity work, decide to attack me verbally.
They are angry, livid even. They don’t like the idea that I teach violent crime survivors the rudiments of armed self defense, and they are certain that they have found a flaw in my reasoning that proves all my efforts are in vain.
“So what happens if the bad guy gets the drop on you? Huh? What happens if they already have their gun in hand before you even know they are there? What happens if they come up behind you in the street and shoot you in the back of the head without you even knowing they are there? Your gun won’t do you much good then!”
I have encountered people presenting this argument, if you can call it that, ever since I started my charity work more than two decades ago. My answer is always the same.
Carrying a gun doesn’t ensure that anyone will be able to escape a violent criminal attack unscathed. In the face of unreasoning and active violence, there is no certainty that the innocent will prevail. Instead, the only thing that a gun carried by a trained citizen will do is give the good guys a chance.
The people who raise the objection detailed above seem to think that there is no reason to bother playing the odds unless there is some sort of guarantee. I, however, deal in reality. The real world is messy, full of chaotic factors that are beyond the control of anyone. You do your best and you take your chances. My job is to make sure that innocent people have that chance.
So I don’t give guarantees. If you want a guarantee in the real world, you better go buy a washing machine.
In the light of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, there has been some discussion here in the US concerning whether or not it a good idea for journalists to arm themselves against violent extremists bent on taking their lives. This has caused some rather overwrought hand wringing from the usual suspects who claim that having a gun just leads to more violence, or that the best defense for violence directed against the press is the fact that journalists are assumed to always be unarmed. In fact, the only objection that makes any sense whatsoever is that a handgun would be of little use against a rifle, such as the AK-47’s used by the terrorists that attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices.
So the argument against journalists arming themselves is that they have a better chance if they continue to be helpless against rifle equipped terrorists who are willing to die as long as they kill the members of the press?
The logic escapes me.
So far as the point that handguns are little match for long guns, it seems obvious to me that not having any gun at all when someone is hell bent on shooting you is not a strategy that will enhance your chances at survival. Better to have some chance, no matter how small, than to suffer and die with no chance at all.
I work the midnight shift for a large company. The building where I toil contains about six thousand people during normal business hours, but is virtually uninhabited after the sun goes down. The vast parking lot outside is empty except for a few cars clustered near the employee’s entrance.
My coworker approached me last night with a tale to tell.
“You know what I saw as I was coming in? A guy in the parking lot trying to break in to a car!”
“And you know what? The security guards didn’t know about it! I walked around the building to the front lobby, where the security offices are, and I found the guy inside asleep in his chair!”
“What did you think he was going to do about it?” I asked.
This question brought my coworker up short. He cast about for an answer, confused and taken aback that I wasn’t sharing in his contempt for the guards.
“Well, I … I don’t know! Something!!!”
“You mean like call the police?” I asked.
My coworker seized upon this tidbit that I threw to him. At last, a reasonable response from me!
“Yes, that’s it!” he exclaimed. “They should have called the police! And they should have done something to stop the bad guy!”
“So why didn’t you do it? You had a phone. You wasted five minutes walking around the building. Why didn’t you call the police?” I asked.
Once again, confusion reigned. He just didn’t see what I was getting at.
“It’s just …That is … It isn’t my job!” he said with anger.
“It isn’t their job, either.” I explained.
A line from a movie that could bee applied to oh so many situations.
I read a book titled True Crime, where an author who gained fame writing about baseball decides to turn his attention to lurid tabloid crimes which have been popular long before there were tabloids in America.
The book is an entertaining read, but don’t expect any great understanding of crime or criminals to be gained as there is little in depth analysis of any worth.
The author does provide an interesting look at how outrageous crimes which caught the attention of the public and the media have shaped the criminal justice system in the United States over the century. Sometimes accepted procedures that the cops or the courts have performed for years are changed when the public starts to yowl.
One such case, mentioned in passing, is that of Yale tutor John Dwight. He and another man were walking along in October of 1843 when they came across a group of underclassmen who were gleefully breaking windows. The gang of vandals broke up an ran, so John and his buddy gave chase.
Unfortunately, John Dwight was a fit and athletic 21 years of age. He caught up to one of the ne’er-do-wells, sophomore Lewis Fassitt, and was stabbed three times for his trouble. Mr. Dwight died a few days later.
Fassitt was arrested but he was released on a $3,000 bail, which is about $350,000 in today’s currency. Instead of subjecting himself to the blind scales of justice, he went back home to his wealthy family in Philadelphia and never set again foot in Connecticut for the rest of his life.
The police and prosecutors let him go without any attempt being made to go get their man. Their response to the predictable outcry was, Why should they? Fassitt forfeited his bond when he failed to appear for his day in court. What does the lay person think putting up money for bail is for, anyway? They smugly suggested that those untrained in the law should just shut up and let the professionals get on with the serious business of bringing justice to criminals.
Unschooled in the law they may be, but the general public knew when justice wasn’t being served. The case brought about an incredible sea change in the way suspects of crimes are treated by the courts. Bail was still set, bonds were still posted, and the accused was still released from jail for a time in order to allow them to prepare their defense. But the days where the accused could turn their backs on the cash and move outside of the jurisdiction where the crime was committed in order to escape justice were long gone.
Or were they?
An old friend was staying over. I inflated an air mattress in the living room to be used as a bed. Before retiring to my bedroom with my pets, I turned to my guest.
“Would you care for a dog or a gun while you sleep?”
They looked at me askance.
“What a strange question! Why would I want dogs or guns?” they asked.
“For comfort.” I replied.
An interesting project to be found at this blog. What 10 items can you find at a discount store that you will use in your tabletop gaming sessions, the total purchase for the items being no more than $10?
Doesn’t seem like there is much potential, but you would be surprised. Howsabout dominoes as dungeon walls?
Lots of great ideas. You will find the entire list of posts here, and there are some great ideas.