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Monday, December 24, 2012

Two sides of the issue or ONE RIGHT

Thomas Paine once said, “Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.”

Are there two sides of this issue? Or is there simply one right to own firearms for the very reasons Thomas Paine and other founding fathers articulated?

The recent debacle about Gun Control from our President and some members of congress continue to stun many. I could, in this article, list statistics and give many real-world examples where guns have saved lives as citizens intervened during a violent assault. Instead of doing that, I would like to appeal to your individual sense of fear and insecurity. If you share the notion that guns, their attachments, or what they look like are the issue, and that the solution to stop violence is to remove the gun, then I beckon you to read more.

First of all, the premise of gun control, when dictated or sought by governments, is most often to simply control the population. Without weapons, the ability to defend individual rights and liberties is diminished. In their absence, eventually political power by those who posses them will wield to much central control. One only needs to review the world we live in past and present. Dozens of countries where this has happened has resulted in totalitarianism, dictatorships, and communism. If personally you believe any of these forms of government are alright, then please stop reading this article and I will see you down range one day to decide the issue. If you are open minded to the fear and insecurity that takes place when pandora’s box of gun control is opened then please read on.

You can pick ANY scenario that places you alone with an evil person bent on your demise. It does not matter if it is in your home, school, place of work, or a public setting. Someone who has objectified you and thinks killing you is the solution to their twisted logic has to be stopped. Who will do this if not the one being assaulted? Law Enforcement, by their own honest admissions, rarely stop crime. The investigate it and look for trends that can mitigate crime in certain areas and by long term criminals. They are, at best, 15 minutes or more away. Average response time in Salt Lake City is about 20 minutes. How much damage can be done in that span of time? Considering one can only live for about three to four minutes without oxygen, I propose that to disrupt this evil behavior the individual needs the right to protect him/herself.

Two key principles apply regarding this protection. First, the bad guy needs to have his behavior disrupted to stop his violent act. As I have instructed and been a student of self-defense with open hands and firearms for most of my life, I have found that in the absence of breaking contact (preferred), which is simply running away, that measured violence is needed to disrupt the bad guys’ assault. Just like war, where the core objectives are to remove the ability of the enemy to fight and to remove their desire to make war upon us, we must strike with that same philosophy.

The second principle is the weapon and its application. What do you have on you or immediately at your disposable to accomplish these two objectives? A knife, while lethal, is a close contact weapon and requires dangerous proximity to use. Pepper spray is a great option as are Tasers, yet they also require moderate proximity to the threat. These defensive tools might well work under some circumstances. However, when an armed assailant is hunting for mass murder, a stand off (distance) lethal solution is needed. A handgun, shotgun,or rifle are the preferred tools to combat violent assaults. SWAT Teams to not normally apply knives, pepper spray, or Tasers in a lethal encounter where mass murder is taking place. The Secret Service trains continually with their guns in the application of lethal force to protect our elected leaders. As a body guard in Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, I was armed with a Steyr Aug style rifle and a Glock 17 pistol. These were needed to ensure the doctors and nurses in our charge could be defended. Sean Penn showed up in Haiti with twin Stainless Revolvers on his belt and a detail of several body guards. Even he understood there that no one else was coming to protect him if he did not provide it himself.

The simple and often skewed truth is that we as citizens of the United States of America have the right to bear arms. We have the right to do this not only to protect our individual rights, but the rights of our families. We bear these weapons to also ensure that governments cannot establish principles or principalities that are contrary to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. All one must do is search the Internet for quotes from our founding fathers to substantiate this. While times change and perhaps the opinions of some of our leaders also change, those opinions that are diametrically opposed to the second amendment are in violation of some of the core doctrine of the founding of this nation.

Those opposed to our possessing arms will flatter us by saying that we have the right to have a gun, but minor adjustments to our rights are required because of the potential of mass violent crime. They will propose adjustments such as the type of the weapon (assault rifle), the amount of ammo it can hold at one time, etc. This is inane rhetoric since behavior is the key--whether the assailant is wielding a knife, club, or firearm. How many times the bad guy has to reload is complete nonsensical banter and falls on deaf ears to those who know tactics and weapons.

One of my final thoughts on this narrow, but critical right, is the documented fact in every city and town in AMERICA that the criminal mind does not respect the rule of law and, in many cases, the consequences of their actions. Because of this, the legislative process that restricts the ownership of guns can deeply inhibit the law abiding citizen and make it dangerously difficult to have a stand-off defensive tool, like a handgun, when things go badly. Safe and legal ownership of firearms is essential for all who desire it. It is our right as plainly provided buy those who knew tyranny and how to keep this land free.

I am the father of five children and my wife is a school teacher. Of my five children, four are biological daughters. They have the personal right to defend themselves with all means possible in a violent confrontation. Their right to defend themselves should not be tied to laws wherein evil gives no heed.

Finally, there are many who say that even with a gun they could not kill another human being. They feel a deep sense of distaste when they contemplate gouging the eyes out of a rapist, or shooting a mass murderer in the process of doing his work. My response to this is that you have the right to choose to be a victim and let others impose their will upon you. In that same voice, I say that I have the right to gouge out the eyes, or kill the assailant to defend my loved ones and myself. As the chicken will fight the fox to ensure the survival of her chicks, so too eventually the mother will fight to the death defending her children. Sometimes it take the visualization of a mother’s children being harmed to get her to the point where she will fight back and disrupt the attacker. Once that level of realization has happened, she will not only agree with her right to bear arms, but she will buy a gun, a Taser, pepper spray, and train with all of them. She will be completely committed, however dreadful the thought, in using these to defend life.

Gun control law is easy to support from the white house where thousands of Secret Service and Military personnel guard the walls and the inner sanctum of the palace of the President. He will have personal security the rest of his life. We, however, must find a way to deal with the behavior of the street while on hold with 911.

May each of us visualize the reality of life without a stand off defensive option. May we exercise our rights and be verbal about those rights to bear arms. May you prosper in safety and confidence as you live your life knowing that you have the ability and right to defend yourself at any time and in any place.

David Burnell