Children and Guns Part 3

 

This is part of a four-part blog series addressing Children and Guns.  Part I – want to ensure your kid never commits a crime?  Give him a gun.  Part II addresses myths of gun safety – what you must know in order to truly protect your children.  Part III  addresses when it is safe to educate your child on firearms.  Part IV explores what’s really responsible for the death of our nation’s children.  If you enjoy what you read, please comment and share on your blog or Twitter.  Thank you. 

When Is It Safe to Educate Your Children On Guns? 

 

                                      Range


A friend of mine relayed an enduring story.  As a gun owner he has diligently practiced safe handling procedures with his children, even down to the youngest. One day he had occasion to take his youngest child, a 4-year-old son, to the emergency room to accompany an ill family member. The 4-year-old insisted that he get to wear his cowboy garb complete with the hat, and boots, as well as his belt, holsters, and pistols.  As the two of them were walking in the entrance, a police officer was walking out.  The 4-year-old cowboy was irresistible to the jovial police officer, so he couldn’t help bending down in front of the boy and making a comment, “Hey there cowboy, you gonna shoot me with those guns you’re slinging?”  The boy instinctively put his hands on his guns just like a gunslinger from the Wild West days and then paused.  He put his hands down and said, “I don’t point my guns at anybody.”
Fortunately there are simple gun safety programs such as the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program which teach simple, memorable rules to ensure gun safety.  The Eddie Eagle program has been taught on a volunteer basis to over 26,000 school systems nationwide.  Civic programs have also used this program nationwide to reach over 21 million youth since 1988. This program is even formulated to begin teaching children as young as kindergarten. 

So, when should you talk to your kids about guns?  Consider the following:

According to federal statistics, there are guns in approximately half of all U.S. households.*  So even if you do not have a firearm in your home, it’s very likely that there will be one in another home your child visits.  Thus regardless of your own personal feelings about gun usage, you will be unable to ignore the reality of their presence elsewhere in your child’s life. As such, gun safety education should occur as soon as your child is likely to encounter a gun, real or fake. Another ideal barometer for education your child on gun safety is as soon as your child begins asking questions about guns.  This is also indicative of an ideal time to educate.  Even if such questions are relevant to toy pistols or rifles, it’s imperative that parents do not ignore or deny a child’s interest.  Delaying education will only heighten any sense of mystery your child may have.  Education is much more effective in gun safety than a passionate instruction for them to simply leave them alone. Be sure that any rules you establish with your children also apply to any visiting friends. This will prevent your child from being pressured into showing a gun to a friend.  Be sure to discuss gun use that may be viewed on television or in movies or in video games that your child may see as well.  It’s especially important in these categories because your child is likely to think that the use of a gun merely requires a “reset” button or the switch of a channel, rather than respecting the permanent nature of its use.  Your education of guns should not only ensure that a gun is never used without supervision, but also that a real gun is never mistaken for a toy.   eddie eagle

The essential rules of the Eddie Eagle program are as follows:

STOP!

Don’t Touch.

Leave the Area.

Tell an Adult.

To reinforce this program, there are always posters, activity books, certificates, 7 minute animated DVD program, and reward stickers which accompany the Eddie Eagle training. In many instances, an Eddie Eagle mascot is even available. Note that the Eddie Eagle program does not teach whether or not guns are right and does not promote NRA membership.  No firearms are used in the program.   It focuses strictly on accident prevention.  (If you would like the author to present an Eddie Eagle program for your school or civic group, call us at 801-788-4133.)

 

learning-how-to-shoot

Should you desire to teach your child about actual gun use, the guidelines for doing so will be determined by their physical and emotional maturity.  However, research has found that the sooner a child understands the true impact of a gun, which is best achieved with supervised gun-use education, the more respectful of guns your child will be.* I recommend that parents who do want to instruct a child to shoot begin with an air soft gun for technique, then graduate to a BB gun, then to a .22 caliber. This process will assist them in physical coordination and technical learning.

 

 *Statistics provided by the National Rifle Association’s web site

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

To Serve and Protect

serve-and-protectThe illusion that the police are there to serve and protect YOU is propelled by the media and Hollywood.  Be it known that believing that police are there to protect you in any way is indeed an illusion.  The fact of the matter is, the motto “to serve and protect” is not referencing everyday citizens.  Instead it’s about protecting the STATE, although it is everyday citizens which foot the bill for the execution of such a philosophical stance.

The only time you can be assured of true protection is with a private contract between you and a security guard—from someone else other than yourself, that is.  Such individuals would be required under contract to protect you. Should anything happen to you while they were under your employ you could hold them accountable.  However, the police are government employees.  This is exactly why there are so few law enforcement officers in relation to the crime in your area and the number of citizens to protect in your area.  It’s not about protecting the citizens.  It’s about protecting the state. 

Meltdown PrisonsThe release of thousands of inmates from California (and other) prisons reinforces this flawed thought process.  The release has been ordered as a result of the best interest of the financial standing of the State of California, not the citizens of California.  And yet it is the citizens who literally pay (through their taxes) for the legal representation of these criminals, the jury of citizens who are asked to make a fair judgment, the judge to oversee the case, the city employees who push the papers around for each criminal case, their care and well-being while incarcerated.  Yes, this is like making the citizens pay dearly for a high-tech weapon, only to have it scrapped and released to wreak havoc on the same citizens who paid for it.  Talk about “bait and switch!”  Ultimately it will be the citizens who pay a heavy price for any recidivism of any of these convicted criminals.  For centuries we’ve been paying our taxes gladly for such “services.” And yet we’re truly paying (in more ways than one) to be oppressed and overcome by such power and authority, regardless of the fact that it was free, law abiding citizens who bestowed such power. 

c2-logo-whiteInstead of relying on any government entity to protect you, why not invest in protecting yourself?  Get a permit.  Get a gun (or two, or three, or more). Get appropriate ammo—I don’t care how expensive it is.  And then get trained with REAL unquestionable skills to use that firearm safely both physically and emotionally.   For REAL self-defensive firearm skill, go to www.womenofcaliber.com for exclusive training for women, by women, or www.castledefense.com for those of you who don’t want to be outdone by the women in your life. ;)

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Children and Guns—Part 2

This is part of a four-part blog series addressing Children and Guns.  Part I – want to ensure your kid never commits a crime?  Give him a gun.  Part II addresses myths of gun safety – what you must know in order to truly protect your children.  Part III  addresses when it is safe to educate your child on firearms.  Part IV explores what’s really responsible for the death of our nation’s children.  If you enjoy what you read, please comment and share on your blog or Twitter.  Thank you. 

The Myth of Gun Safety

By Kellene Bishop

Wow! Our first installment in this series reaped the most feedback, e-mails, and responses than all of our other posts from Women of Caliber.  I hope that you will find this installment at least as equally beneficial.

In this piece I’m specifically addressing real gun safety. I’m referring to the avoidance of accidents, and putting the safety of guns around children in its proper perspective.  I’ve read far too many statistics which inflate the danger of guns around children.  My objection to this is not only that it’s false information, but that such information is the foundation for many women who would otherwise elect to possess a firearm and the accompanying self-defense skills.  So let’s provide the real facts so that we can make an educated decision, shall we?

children-gun-accidentMyth #1: “Children are constantly killed by accidental gun usage.”

The fact of the matter is that the reason why the media highlights the deaths of children via gun accidents is because they happen so rarely.  Obviously, it’s much more headline worthy when an innocent child is killed via a gun than a headline reading that a child is 6 times more likely to die in a car wreck than by a gun.  In fact, the likelihood of children dying via a car wreck is 14.5 times more likely than from a gun. 

There are approximately 300,000,000 guns owned legally by 94 million people in the U.S.  There are approximately 40 million children in America.  In 1999, the last year for which a detailed breakdown was available, 31 children younger than age 10 died from accidental shootings.  The Center for Disease Control only noted 4 children under the age of 10 dying from accidental gun deaths.  With 300 million guns and 40 million children, you would think that there would be a lot more deaths if the firearms in our homes were as dangerous as the media makes them out to be. 

children-swimming-pool2Based on statistics in the same year, roughly 550 children ages 0-14 were run over by cars, 800 drowned, 660 were burned to death in fires, and 1,850 died inside cars.  Most of the 800 drowned were as a result of unattended children in a swimming pool, 93 drowned in bathtubs, and 36 died in 5-gallon buckets, yet we have no “mothers against bathtubs, buckets and swimming pools” organizations to speak of. 

Eight times as many children die from non-gun violence acts than from gun crimes.  (Kids and Guns, 2000, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquincy Prevention)

 

82% of homicides against children age 13 and under were committed without a gun. (1997, FBI Uniform Crime Statistics)

 

While less than 0.1% of all deaths for children between the ages 0-14 are from firearms, 0.6% are from motor vehicles, 5.3% are from being struck in beatings or bludgeoning, 6% from poisoning, and 42.6% from suffocation. (1997 National Center for Health Statistics National Vital Statistics Report)

Why aren’t more children dying at the villainous hands of 94 million gun owners throughout all of America?  Because, with few exceptions, law-abiding gun owners are conscientious of educating children on gun safety and likewise practice it themselves.  And yet so many parents, and particularly women, relinquish their freedoms to defend themselves based on the warped reality spoon-fed to them by the media.

While one would think that enough has been said about the exaggerated accidents involving children and guns, I still feel it’s necessary to address this next myth.

children-gun-reachingMyth #2: “If I don’t have a gun, my children are safer and better protected.”

This concern is falsely founded for so many reasons.  For starters, if you are not familiar with the workings of a firearm, how are you able to appropriately stop an accident from happening?  Suppose you walk in on your child who’s holding a firearm in his hands.  What do you do?  Do you grab it from him?  Do you instruct him to put it down?  HOW do you grab it?  HOW would you instruct him to put it down?  Do you know when a firearm’s safety is actually engaged on every possible gun your child could get their hands on?  Do you know the proper manner to TAKE a firearm from an unauthorized child?  Why should you NOT holler at the child, even to “freeze” and put the gun down?  If you don’t know the answers to these questions then you could actually CAUSE a firearm accident by simply trying to prevent one.  (I’ll answer these questions specifically in a further post as the instructions for such an instance are an entirely separate piece.)  Additionally, is a child’s exposure to a gun solely relegated to your own home?  Not teaching your child (and yourself) about firearms doesn’t protect them, it exposes them.

If they don’t know what a gun really is, then how are they supposed to respect its deadly power or to even be an influence among their less educated friends who may possess a firearm in their presence?  Parents who choose to ignore the reality of a firearm in the midst of their children only promote a greater percentage of danger to them.  

If you are not in favor of possessing a firearm yourself and teaching the accompanying rules with such a responsibility, then at least teach your child these 4 simple rules when they come in contact with a gun.

STOP!
Don’t Touch.
Leave the Area.
Tell an Adult.

(Eddie Eagle Education Program sponsored by the NRA)

video-games-gunsWhen the only exposure to guns that children have is on video games—where they “kill” people who get right back up to play some more—you are increasing the chance of them or their friends being injured in a gun accident whether you possess one or not.

Now, let’s address the last myth. I warn you in advance, this is going to get a bit dicey as it will address a topic that most parents do not want to even think about.

Myth # 3: “Waiting until my children are grown so that they can make their own decision on using a firearm is the best policy.”

First of all, let me ask you this question, when has your child EVER waited according to your time-frame to do anything?  They grow up too fast, date far too soon, get married when you swear they are still only 8-years-old, and make you a grandparent while you’re still feeling in your prime.  So let’s debunk the myth that they will actually wait until YOU are ready before deciding for themselves about firearm usage.  The best thing you can do is to give them proper knowledge and education early on so that when they do make that unprecedented decision for themselves, they do it fully informed. 

We communicate regularly with a lot of single moms on the topic of gun ownership so I’m going to create this scenario specifically for you, Super Moms.

knife-to-womanSuppose a criminal enters your home just as you’re about to put your 3 children down for bed.  He’s got a knife and he’s holding it at you and making vile threats against you if you don’t give him money.  He’s also made it clear that he intends to fiercely violate your virtue in the presence of your children.  Sounds a bit melodramatic, you may think, but unfortunately this is exactly the situation that numerous children have faced throughout the nation (See examples below).  Of course as a mother you don’t want to ever have to think about your child needing to defend your life with a gun.  That’s a natural instinct.  But if this same scenario is thought out rationally, think about the alternative.  Would you rather that your children have to witness a heinous attack on their mother, then her death, and perhaps even be subjected to more violence to themselves afterwards?  That’s obviously an even more disturbing thought.

So what do you do?  You train your child not to be a victim and to handle a firearm properly.  Why a firearm?  Because out of all of the championship karate matches I’ve ever been to, I have yet to see a “power pint” who is truly capable of kicking the butt of a drug-enraged criminal intent on causing death and mayhem. 

MD004853If you do not prepare them mentally for such a situation now, they won’t be ready if such a horrific event does occur and you’ll risk more than one life being lost.  By preparing them for such an instance you are NOT emotionally scarring them.  You are preparing them to win with the best possible situation.  You’re not treating them to bully others.  You’re treating them to heroically defend the lives of those around them.  Such a mental fostering has a much more powerful effect on their lives than fearfully and helplessly reacting to a crisis.  If they don’t decide when they are young, they may not be able to make a decision when someone’s life depends on it.

See:

In closing, I want to reiterate that the maximum way to ensure your children are safe is to be an involved parent.  We can’t control what they are exposed to, but we can have a great influence in what happens when they are exposed.  While I’m fully aware that parts of this article are quite uncomfortable to consider, I believe that even putting yourself mentally “there” goes a long way to assist you in your progress to be fully capable to defend yourself and your loved ones.  I simply don’t want you to NOT make that decision out of misguided information fed to you by the media.  As I’ve said before, I respect individuals who elect not to possess a firearm, so long as that decision is based on sound knowledge.  I hope this piece has assisted you in making wise decisions regarding your own self-defense as well as that of your children. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Children and Guns—Part 1

This is part of a four-part blog series addressing Children and Guns.  Part I – want to ensure your kid never commits a crime?  Give him a gun.  Part II addresses myths of gun safety – what you must know in order to truly protect your children.  Part III  addresses when it is safe to educate your child on firearms.  Part IV explores what’s really responsible for the death of our nation’s children.  If you enjoy what you read, please comment and share on your blog or Twitter.  Thank you. 

I have been shooting firearms for about 8 years now.  As a woman who’s convinced this is the best method of self-defense, I regularly communicate with other women on this topic and frequently hear 3 primary reasons why women are fearful of owning a firearm.  The most common reason is the safety of their children.  Rather than seeing a firearm as a method of defending their children, they see it as a willful danger that they bring TO their children.  Rather than simply telling them that such wasn’t the case and they were simply falling for the mainstream media story of the day, I decided to do some very, very specific research on what really happens in this nation when it comes to children being around guns.  Frankly, my research astounded even me.  So much so that while I intended to write one article about it, I realized that there was far too much information to cover in just one.  So I’m breaking it up into a 4 part series as follows:

Part I—Want to Ensure Your Kid Never Commits a Gun Crime?  GIVE Him a Gun.

Part II—The Myth of Gun Safety.  What you must know in order to truly protect your children.

Part III—When is it Safe to Educate Your Children on Guns?

Part IV—What’s Really Responsible for the Deaths of Our Nation’s Children?

Part I—Ensure your child never commits a gun crime by actually giving him a gun?  Sounds crazy, but it’s true.  Of course you would NEVER hear the media spout off such a statement, but in a GOVERNMENT study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention revealed the following bit of valuable information. 


Fact: Children who get guns from their parents don’t commit gun
crimes
(0 percent) while children who get guns illegally are quite
likely to do so
(21 percent).

Fact: Children who get guns from parents are less likely to commit
any kind of street crime (14 percent) than children who have no gun
in the house (24 percent) – and are dramatically less likely to do so
than children who acquire an illegal gun (74 percent.)

Fact: Children who get guns from parents are less likely to use
banned drugs (13 percent) than children who get illegal guns
(41 percent.)

Fact: Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of
delinquency and drug use (than boys who own illegal guns) and are
even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns.

This study covered a period of 3 years (1993-1995).

When you take the mystery out of a gun, you take the
mischief out of the child. 

Presenting a firearm in an appropriate manner, as a tool of critical
self-defense, along with the appropriate safety rules, means that
you don’t have to worry so much about your life being turned upside
down by your child living a life of a gang-banger criminal.  Why?  
Legal gun owners tend to take their right of owning a gun very
seriously.  As such, they do not want to do anything that will
compromise that right.  They are typically a very law-abiding people. 
Bringing your child into that culture will enable them to associate
with other like-minded, law-abiding people that you can count on
being an example to them even when you’re not around.  
Now, let’s talk about the other aspect of gun ownership… a sound
knowledge of appropriate safety rules.  Whether your child has a
gun or not, this should be taught to them ad nauseam until they
truly get it.  Every single “accidental shooting” that has EVER
occurred has done so as a result of a violation of one of these gun
safety rules. 

First rule: Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. 

Second Rule: Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot

Third Rule:
Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded

Fourth Rule:
Always protect your firearm from unauthorized use. 

Learn for yourself and teach these rules to the children in your life
to ensure their safety and to foster a respect for firearms.  It is also
important that you teach these rules in this particular order as well. 
One leads to the other.  

Stay tuned for Children and Guns – Part II.  
Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Do You Have Enough Ammo to Last You 4 Years?

3/18/09 Update: While we’re ecstatic to hear that the NRA-ILA and a couple of good politicians have rectified this wrong, there’s still merit to this particular blog below in showing just how vulnerable we are to the minds and wills of a select few. 

I would suspect that there are very few readers who do.  And that’s a huge problem with the latest twist in the government soap opera.

ammunition-firearmAs you may know, Obama previously proposed as a Senator that ammunition would receive a 500% tax hike.  He did so as a crafty way to essentially take away our guns.  Obviously, without ammunition, gun owners had better get good at throwing our firearms at an assailant or using them as batons without ammo.  You and I both know that with his penchant for taxing the American people worse than any president ever (even through the liability of his spending packages), he’s not likely to get past a deaf and moot Congress this proposal for a 500% tax hike on ammo.  So what does he do?  Nothing.  He doesn’t have to do anything because his Secretary of State is interpreting a Department of Defense directive to favor this new administration’s distaste for guns.  And it’s done without Congress having any say in it.  As of June 11, 2008, the Department of Defense is to no longer allow the military to sell fired casings to ammunition remanufacturers until they have been “mutilated”, aka shredded into scrap brass.

Let’s break this down a little bit.

AmmoIn order for you to shoot, you have to have ammo.  Duh, right?  Bear with me here.  When you practice shooting, you will typically use remanufactured ammunition because it’s less expensive.  For example, 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammo (115 grain) which is remanufactured costs $207, while new ammo, 9mm (115 grain) costs $269 at a bargain price.  So the savings can be substantial.  The key to the pricing advantage of remanufactured ammunition is that the remanufacturers are able to buy their once-fired casings primarily from the military.  As you can imagine, the military uses a LOT of ammo and due to their rules they can only use new ammo.  This makes them an ideal source from which to purchase used casings.  However, now that the DOD has determined that they are only permitted to sell their ammo casings AFTER they have been shredded, this means a whole lot to your wallet.

1)     Yes, the “remanufactured” ammo will be more expensive (as if the past year of price increases haven’t been bad enough.)  The reason being is now there is an extra step in the process in order for the remanufacturers to have foundries turn the shredded brass (and other metals) into the casings they need. The reason why I put the “remanufactured” in quotation marks is that it’s doubtful to me that the new product should be called “remanufactured” as opposed to new since this additional process entails what new-ammo manufacturers have to do to produce their ammo.

2)     Your tax dollars now pay for the shredding of the casings which the military will now perform on all of their casings prior to selling it. 

Law enforcement

3)     The remanufactured ammo represents approximately 65-75% of the ammunition market among civilians AND law enforcement.  Law enforcement regularly uses remanufactured ammo for their target practices.  Thus, now law enforcement is paying a higher price either for the remanufactured ammo, or a higher price to buy new ammo.  Guess whose tax dollars pay for that?

4)     Due to the interpretation of this DOD directive, there are a great deal of ammunition remanufacturers who will have to lay off a sizeable portion of their employees.  Hello, unemployment.  Hello, extra foreclosures.  Hello, extra bankruptcies. 

5)    china-flat1 This all presumes that since the casings are being shredded they will still be sold to the remanufacturers.  This is doubtful as China is the largest buyer of such metals from us in its shredded condition.  Don’t think for a second that they won’t get first crack at buying this shredded brass.  After all, we owe them for buying up so much of our debt, right?   This means that we may have put out of business ALL of the remanufacturers in the U.S. with this one strategic directive.  If the remanufacturers go out of business, then we have the small number of new-ammo manufacturers to provide all the rest of us with ammo.  And the military gets first shot in front of any buyer to obtain their ammo. 

Now think about this economically.  You have what used to represent about a third of the ammo sales in the U.S. and now they are the primary source to handle nearly all of the ammo manufacturing.  That’s called a serious supply-and-demand problem.  If you talk to anyone who buys ammo, you will undoubtedly hear stories of empty shelves, and hard-to-find ammo.  Are you starting to see why ammo is so hard to obtain now and why prices have increased substantially?  Expect an even greater supply-and-demand imbalance as the dominos continue to fall, folks.

gold1So why do I ask if you have enough ammo for 4 years?  Because if you don’t, that situation is not likely to change unless this administration reigns-in how the directive is being interpreted, or an administration change occurs four years from now.  It won’t matter how much money you have.  You simply won’t be able to buy enough with the military standing in line in front of you.  NOW some of you may know why I predicted that there would come a time when a bucket of ammo would be worth more than a bucket of gold…on so many levels. (see www.preparednesspro.wordpress.com)

Clearly the economists who thought this one through are on the same team as those who are running Wall Street and are devoid of much in the form of patriotism or intellect. 

See the link below the draft of this directive. 

www.dla.mil/j-6/dlmso/Archives/JSACG/meetings/11Jun08/ADC_220_Small%20ArmsDefinition_DRAFT_JSACG_11June2008.doc

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Why This Woman Carries a Firearm

U1122527This is a derivation of a very well written piece by “Syd” on a fellow blog.  I felt that it was very indicative of many of the reasons why sensible people do carry a firearm, but I felt that it needed some insight spiced with a tad bit of estrogen.  J

I carry a firearm to ensure my children are educated about firearm safety, not the victims of some other child’s (or adult’s) ignorance. 

I know that the best way to teach a child about firearm safety is to remove the air of mystery from it and truly educate them about the “when’s” “why’s” and “how’s” of a firearm.  I know that if I am not educated on the use of a firearm then, should I come across one in the hands of a child, my ignorance may add to a dangerous situation instead of eliminating it.

I carry a firearm because I know what looks good on me—confidence. Possessing the ability to defend one’s self has an amazing affect on confidence. The opposite of confidence is fear.  I’ve discovered that fear masks a great deal of my wonderful attributes, such as kindness, love, and charity.  When I’m more confident, I’m a much better person to share with everyone else in my life. 

I carry a firearm because I don’t trust my “gift of the gab.”  As great as I am at talking to complete strangers in ideal circumstances, it’s unlikely to do me any good against someone intent on causing me harm.  However, there is a great deal of research that says a firearm is a much stronger negotiator than I could ever hope to be.  

mother-children1I carry a firearm because I am a mother (or an aunt, grandmother, sister)—a calling which I take very seriously.  As a mother I have no other more critical responsibility than to take care of myself AND those entrusted in my care.  Should something threaten to eliminate me from this earth and my influence upon my children, or threaten to remove them from my arms of love, I am sufficiently armed and adept to ensure this does not happen.  If some harm does come to my children, it will not be because I could not overcome my own fears or foolish prejudices.  I cannot stop everything awful from happening to them, but I can ensure that I am the best prepared to stop most. Only then are my hands clean before my Maker, knowing that I truly did my best to protect them.  In doing so, not only do I raise my children well, but I give them a chance to do the same with their own families. 

I carry a firearm to help the nation I live and raise my family in to be strong and secure.  Protection of a nation begins with protection of an individual.  What good is sending my husband, father, brother or son off to fight in a war—whether in a foreign nation or within our cities—if I’m not willing to do my part to protect our nation as well?  This nation is strong only because of our freedom.  I carry a firearm to ensure I keep my freedom should someone else attempt to usurp it.   

criminal1I carry a firearm because I know my physical limits.  While I may run the equivalent of several miles every day and work out regularly to strengthen my muscles, none of this prepares me sufficiently for a violent encounter.  Whether I like it or not, the prospect of a 6’4”, 280-pound, drug-crazed criminal acting against my freedom is realistic.  A good right hook or kick to the groin, however well planted it may be, may just be the provocation my assailant needs to kill me.  That’s unacceptable—unacceptable that the criminal’s actions against me could eliminate my freedom to live.  I’m not willing to gamble with the use of weaker forms of defense.  A firearm may be exactly what I need to stop the assailant because I fight back to win unequivocally, not to wonder if I have done enough.

I carry a firearm because I prefer my close encounters to be for love, not fighting.  I prefer to never have to remember the alcohol and drug-induced breath, or the color of rage in the assailant’s eyes, or the feel of his powerful fists against my head.  Instead I prefer to let the bullet do the fighting for me.  I believe I will be much more sane after such an encounter.  

911-phone1I carry a firearm because I hate waiting and wondering.  Given the number of police officers who work in any community at any given time, I know that the number of criminal offenses out-number law enforcement an average of 10 to 1.  Only after I’ve done my part to ensure my safety do I wait on 911, instead of relegating my safety to the unlikely odds that someone else can defend me in my time of need.

I carry a firearm because I am an independent woman, not a statistic.  I refuse to be weak, afraid, and naïve and insist on mastering my domain by asserting my time and talents to take responsibility for my own safety and peace of mind.  Too many women are statistics of crime rather then examples of strength.  The only one that can stop this false impression from perpetuating further is me.  

purse-firearm2I carry a firearm because as a woman, I’m all about being prepared.  That’s the reason why I never let my gas tank go down below half, never open the door to someone I don’t know, and I never give out my credit card number to someone I didn’t call… just in case.  If you were to look in my purse you would see band-aids (just in case) lipstick, face powder, hair brush, and hair spray (even though I leave my home properly made up… it’s just in case), more cash that I would ever think to use in a day (just in case), a fuel credit card even though I don’t believe in using credit… just in case… and a small sewing kit with safety pins… just in case.  Suffice it to say that I rarely use my “just in case” items, but I sure hate being without them when I need them.  If you were to delve further into my handbag you would also find a knife, an Asp, red-dyed pepper spray and a firearm with a spare magazine.  You guessed it…just in case.  

I carry a firearm because as a woman I have the privilege of giving life.  That’s right.  I don’t carry a gun to take life, but to ensure that it’s fully given to those who choose to live.

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

News Flash: Drug Cartel in Mexico

This is simply one of those things I just can’t keep to myself.  While it does involve a bit of “she said, she said” I still believe it’s credible and wanted to pass it along to all of you.  As a forewarning, this issue may be considered disturbing by many, so you may want to wait to read this message on a blasé day.

Yesterday, (March 11, 2009) I went to get my nails done.  As soon as I walked in, Heather, the gal who has done my nails for nearly three years, got a call on her cell.  Seeing Heather regularly over the last couple of years has allowed me to meet and come to know her family and even friends of the family.  When Heather looked who was calling, she noticed it was her daughter, then apologized to me for the delay and took the call, while she readied herself for our appointment.  As I waited patiently, I could easily hear her side of the conversation.

“What?!

“When?!

“Are you SERIOUS?!

“Why isn’t this on the news here?!

“OK.  Just calm down.  There’s nothing we can do about it from here.  I’m so sorry!

“No. It’s not even on the news here.  I’ve seen no coverage of this.”

The conversation was brief, but clearly disturbing.  When she got off the phone she shared the conversation with me.  Keep in mind that after three years of doing business with her, Heather knows me and my firm beliefs.  (After all, what else is there to do while you’re getting your nails done but talk, right?)

The Story the News is Not Telling You DOES Affect Your Life

mexico-drug-war-deaths 

Heather’s daughter’s best friend is from Mexico, who I’ve met on several occasions at Heather’s.  Part of her family is here legally in the U.S. while a great many more are in Mexico.  Apparently her Mexican friend had just recently spoken with her family in Mexico.  They conveyed to her some atrocious facts that have serious bearing here in the U.S.  Heather’s daughter was clearly shaken up by a recent conversation she had with her Mexican friend which was relayed to Heather.  

The drug cartel are attempting to take over the Mexican government…all of it.  They are on the run throughout parts of the country and are intent on their design, senselessly killing Mexican citizens in their wake.  Entire small cities have been completely abandoned as many have left their homes and fled in hopes to find safety from the power-crazed drug cartel.  Along the path of flight from these cities are piles of decapitated bodies.

border-influxHere are some of the ramifications of these atrocities.  As you know, illegal immigrants have become more flagrant in their attempts to enter our nation.  With the drug cartel’s actions to compel them, obviously fear will spread throughout areas of Mexico.  Our borders are not prepared to handle or defend against a mass exodus of fearful Mexican citizens.  If sufficient communication is conducted between the U.S. and Mexico government officials prior to a completed coup, I suspect that our nation may even intend to permit a massive flight of Mexican citizens across our borders.  If that were the case, how do we differentiate between the innocent citizens trying to flee for safety, albeit illegally, and the blood-thirsty members of the drug cartel?  If the cartel successfully takes over the Mexican government, what kind of international neighbor will we have on our hands?  I don’t know about you, but it makes me very concerned to think we may have a tyrant for a next door neighbor who has committed Nazi-like atrocities on its own citizens. 

mexico-drug-warWhile I was able to find one piece of news on the 11th of March about the “improving drug cartel crack down in Mexico,” the article stated that “90 percent of the killings in Mexico are drug related.”  This would have you believe that only “bad guys” are being killed.  Bad guys, even in Mexico, don’t get decapitated by officials, folks, and they certainly aren’t left in piles on deserted city streets.  This is certainly NOT the report being conveyed by citizens of Mexico seeing it first-hand.  Innocent citizens in the vicinity of the attempted coup efforts are indeed suffering heinous deaths.  These violent gangs are apparently increasing in their level of–and demographic spread of—sheer violence.  In Arizona, kidnappings at the hands of Mexican drug cartel members have increased significantly in the first part of this year along with the number of all-out assaults on the U.S. border.  In Mexico, reports show that twice as many deaths have already occurred in the first 8 weeks of 2009, compared to the same time last year, with over 1,000 deaths reported.  Some of the decapitations are reported in the cities on the U.S. / Mexican border like Tijuana and Juarez and surrounding cities.  A small online newspaper reports that a note attached to a pile of decapitated bodies said, “For each one of mine you kill, I will kill 10 of your soldiers.”  The beheadings were also accompanied by serious mutilation of the bodies.  

Considering that Mexico has an agreement (albeit highly unconstitutional) with the U.S. government to use Mexican forces on American soil to aid in anticipated massive civil unrest and the event of the declaration of martial law, this is even more frightening in my opinion.  These “aiding military” members could be corrupted officials by the drug cartel, or could be the cartel members personally.

I’m also concerned about a potential mass exodus (illegal or not) and an escalation of violence in our neighborhoods here as a result.  At present, over 60% of all violent crimes are committed in the U.S. at the hands of illegal immigrants.  Over 90% of all criminal shootings throughout our nation are committed with a weapon illegally imported into our nation from Mexico!

cocaineOver 90% of the cocaine in the U.S. comes from the Mexican drug cartel.  90%!  This means that the drug cartel has been alive and well within our own borders for some time, and with the financial pinch they are feeling from heightened attempted crack-downs by their government—as indicated by fighting in a never-before-seen manner in Mexico—you have to believe it’s going to affect you here as well.  The drug cartel is clearly becoming more desperate and brazen.

So, what is my point in telling you all of this? It is not to make you afraid.  It is to make you aware and thoughtful of the consequences of the violence in Mexico and its effect within America.  A crisis of significant proportions can be at our doors much sooner than you think.  So here’s the question: are you ready for it?  Do you have appropriate food, water, and medical supplies should your normal way of life be interrupted by chaos or other unexpected events?  And most importantly—DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF?  If you have martial arts training, great, but that’s simply not going to help you in a street fight or a violent domestic break in.  Women especially, since they are the top of a criminal’s list of easy targets, MUST learn how to protect themselves and not rely on someone else to do so. That requires women to become familiar and skillful in the use of a firearm.  Such a tool is the only appropriate equalizer against the level of violence that the Mexican drug cartel is willing to wield to get what they want.  Your peace of mind and safety can no longer afford to be the result of your perceived environment.  It is the result of the environment of safety you proactively create for yourself.  If you have not fortified that environment with the skills and mindset that will better protect you, then you will not have the peace of mind you seek.  Simply having fired a gun out in the field or on a gun range doesn’t cut it either.  It’s important that you take the acquisition of such a skill just as seriously as you would a babysitter for your children.  Get expert training that you can use in a real-life situation which will undoubtedly involve an emotionally climatic situation.  Contrary to some common notions, preparing yourself to fight such a battle doesn’t give you nightmares; it gives you peace—peace, knowing that if the time did come for you to use such skills, you’re going to know exactly what to do and how to do it in order to protect you, your family, and, if necessary, your community.

 

To your peace and safety,

Kellene Bishop

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Media Hype or Firearm Facts—You Decide

Fact: 100% of ALL firearm “accidents” occur as a result of someone violating one of the four most critical safety rules in the ownership and use of a firearm.  Firearms don’t kill people as the media would have us believe, any more than pencils are responsible for making spelling mistakes.  Your ability to STOP an firearm accident is strengthened by your knowledge of a firearm.  In contrast, if you are not familiar with the workings of a firearm, you may actually encourage a deadly accident if you encounter one in the hands of an unauthorized person.  That said, why don’t we ever hear a news report that says something like “There are over 80,000,000 gun owners in the nation today, and only 5 accidents were caused as the result of error on the part of the gun owner”?

mccain-obama2Fact: Every person in the U.S. has the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property.  Fit or fat.  Blonde or brunette.  When a drug-crazed criminal has a gun point at you, your political affiliations do not lessen the impact on your body or your mind.  A bullet will sufficiently kill you regardless of whether you voted for McCain or Obama.  So how you supposed to fight back under such circumstances?

Fact: According to FBI statistics, over 5,500 violent crimes are PREVENTED EVERY DAY by the mere presence of a firearm.  So why are our newspapers and television screens only reporting the horrific scenes of crime and bloodshed at the hands of “crazed gunmen”?  All we ever hear about are the terrible and criminal uses of firearms – school shootings, gunmen clipping off innocent bystanders one by one in a mall or a neighborhood, or gangs who murder and plunder with guns.  Why aren’t we woman-defending-herself5being given a clear picture of the use and importance of firearms in America?  Why aren’t we hearing the real stories from the media – like the 83-year-old woman who shot a would-be rapist in her home.  Or the woman who was raped, then given a rifle by a friend, and when the rapist RETURNED to her home she was able to defend herself and killed the rapist.  Or about the female convenience store employee that was able to save her fellow co-workers from abominable acts at the hand of a robber by grabbing for the gun, and shot him.  Or when a concealed-carry permit holder was able to thwart a massive shootout between police and a liquor store robber because he was willing to draw his gun and shoot the body-armored gunman squarely in the skull.  Violent crime rates have fallen dramatically in right-to-carry states. 

thomas-paine1Fact: Having a firearm and knowing how to use it does not make you a violent person.  In fact, you will find that responsible gun owners are peaceful, law abiding individuals because they are able to function without fear hanging over them.  Yet firearm owners are never portrayed such an image in the national news.  Instead we hear the irresponsible and oppressive mantra of, “Don’t resist.”  “Don’t fight back.”  “Just give them the money, it’s not worth your life.”  What they forget is that while money may not be worth your life, the freedom to be free IS worth your life.  Ironically what Thomas Paine and his associates did to the king of England to protect free speech (particularly the media) is actually being used to give us a false education and thus strip us of other freedoms because of the false and criminalized picture of gun owners that we are confronted with every day. 

Why do we only hear about the terrible encounters with firearms?  Because blood and sex sells.  And it can’t simply be just anybody’s blood.  No, it needs to be the blood of an innocent person, not a violent criminal.  Yes, the so-called education of the facts of gun use for self-defense in America is being steered by money and mindless sheep, plain and simple.  

toilet-paper-constitution2According to Thomas Jefferson, history has proven time and time again that the option for citizens to arm themselves is what ensures protection against a “tyrannical government.”

 

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)

 

 

You see, not only can this type of “preservation of property” give you peace in your ability to defend yourself against violent acts, but it also gives you peace in defending your nation against the loss of freedoms as well. 

“Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised… to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia…” (In Virginia’s Ratifying Convention, Elliot p.3:379-380)

  

“The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless – by disarming them.” (Elliot, p. 3:379-80)

 

constitution1The men and women of America are not only the sole stewards over their own lives and that of their families – they are also the sole guardians of the Constitution.  In the ultimate act of freedom, specifically for the women of our nation, I say that we must take on a more proactive stance in order to fulfill our roles appropriately.  With the increasing numbers of women raising families single-handedly, the extended hours our husbands are forced to work to sustain us, the increasing threat of brazen crimes being committed against women and children in broad daylight, the consistent attacks which are made on our freedom, for all of these reasons, women need to become informed and skilled in the use of a firearm—not just in matters of self-defense use and safety, but also as a Constitutional right.  We cannot relinquish our safety, our lives, or our freedom to the hands of strangers who may or may not be available to defend us when the need arises.  We must take this responsibility for ourselves.  After all, when all of our liberties are gone, there will be nothing left to protect.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Why We Fear Guns

If guns are good for us, then why are they so controversial?  Why are we afraid of them?

Well, the answer is short and sweet—manipulation.

Even in the movies we love, guns are typically portrayed in a negative light.  They are used by “bad guys” to commit unspeakable horror, and they are used by “law enforcement officers” to fight the bad guys, they are used in times of intense war, or they are used by decent people who mistakenly take the law into their own hands.

USA-GUNS/COURTAdditionally, the media in general has cast an ugly skewed shadow on the consequences of having a gun in the home, the stereotype of those who carry guns, and the supposed harm that such items cause to an otherwise civil society.  In fact, even the word “assault weapon” was created by the anti-gun individuals and the media as an accomplice to impose a derogatory and frightening mental picture associated with any firearm resembling a rifle (The phrase “assault weapon” is clearly one of many mischaracterizations of a firearm. The word “assault” denotes an act of aggressive proactive behavior. If that were really the case, perhaps we should call all fishing rods an “assault rod”).

the-patriotIn other words, the first reason why we’ve come to fear guns so badly is because the only education we receive typically is at the hands the media or the movie industry.  Now that I think about it, with the exception of the movie The Patriot, I don’t recall seeing any movie that promoted the right to keep and bear arms and the necessity of such to ensure a free country in an appropriate light.  In a movie we see and hear the big blast of a firearm, see the ensuing (and predictably obligatory) blood splatters, and that’s the picture we have training our mind about guns.  We never get to see and thus to better feel the relief one would have in truly being able to defend themselves from a violent crime on the big screen.  And rarely, if ever, do we hear in the media of all of the crimes that are prevented by the use of a firearm in the hands of a responsible and competent citizen.  Nope.  The only way you can find out about that is to join some kind of 2nd Amendment activist group or purchase books which look like they were produced with a small budget. 

fbi-sealDo you have any idea of how hard I had to search just to find the FBI statistic which states that the mere presence of a firearm in the hands of our citizens prevents over 5,500 crimes PER DAY?  Nope.  You’ll never see a mainstream newspaper put that in their headlines. 

In other words, all of our firearm education is through the stunning special effects and loud professional voices of manipulation by those who would have us believe that the use of a firearm for self-defense is a barbaric tactic.

gangsNot to say that your parents were wrong in the choices they made in raising you, but they have a great deal of responsibility in your feelings towards gun as well.  In their defense, they were fed the same “state of reality” growing up through the movies, media, etc.  I’m curious how far back in history I’d have to go to find a time when we actually taught about all of the components of the Constitution in elementary or middle school.  Regardless, your parents didn’t have such education.  AND they weren’t raised in a time where thousands of gangs roam our nation committed to wreaking terror and death throughout, periodic invasions from foreign terrorists, a stark imbalance between law enforcement protection and the citizens, record numbers of overcrowding in our jails, rampant substance abuse, the highest level of violent crime in the history of our nation and a laissez faire attitude and naïveté that opens us to even more crimes.  I could point out many more societal changes which may dictate that we have more reasons to take personal responsibility for our own effective self-defense today rather than yesterday, but I don’t really want this to appear too doom and gloom.  I guess I could have summed this part up by simply saying that your folks were raised in a different time of violence and crime and thus the likelihood that you were raised unaware and uneducated in matters of firearm defense is very likely.  They were subjected to the same glitzy, high-budget media and movie education that everyone else is. 

Now I don’t know about you, but when I find that I’m being manipulated, I tend to resist—fiercely.  In fact, when I’m listening to a professional speaker on a stage who is so predictably trying to get the audience to bob their heads in agreement or to contrive a laugh from the audience, I personally rebel and refuse to submit.  So, when I see that I’m being manipulated by one side of the topic, I make it a point to get the whole story…full education.  As a result, I’ve come to believe strongly in the necessity of learning how to use a firearm in self-defense AND ensure that such a right as a citizen of this nation is never threatened. 

The myths are that guns are symbols of violence, whereas I now see them as a symbol of enduring peace in a violent world around me.

The myth is that guns are used by insecure, mentally deranged people.  I find that my ability to competently use a firearm eliminates fear in my life and thus I’m able to replace that fear with confidence and unmask other positive attributes which I possess.

medical-malpractice-gunThe myth is that guns kill lots of people every year.  The fact is they do, but typically in the hands of criminals.  The biggest killer of our American citizens is medical errors, followed by heart disease, and then cancer.  Seriously, statistically, doctors who cause death by dereliction are 9,000 times more dangerous than guns held by legal gun owners! And yet no one has ever run a news story that paints doctors and hospital staff in the same barbaric light as gun owners.

Additional consideration is the number of violent crimes that are committed by illegal immigrants in our country.  Illegal immigrants kill over 8,000 legal American citizens in our country every year, and are also responsible for sexually assaulting over 2,000 of our children every year and yet we can’t seem to lobby against them. 

Lastly, there’s the myth is that a gun in the house will result in a fatal accident among children or others. The fact is if you don’t know how to use and be safe with a firearm, your chances of an accident happening are sky-high – not just in your home, but in the home of your neighbors whom your children visit.  If you don’t know about firearms and their workings, how do you know you’ll act appropriately if you walk in on a child who has one in their hands?  Education is the key.  Curiosity and ignorance is a deadly combination and is what causes accidents.  Not guns.  Attempting to say as much is like saying that pencils cause spelling errors. 

I’m completely accepting of the fact that someone chooses not to have a firearm so long as that person makes the decision with full knowledge of the facts rather than the myths.  So please, get informed and then make your decision.  If you do choose to get educated on the USE of a firearm, Women of Caliber will be here for you with the most expert training available for women—by women. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Women, Firearms, and Self-Defense

This week, we happened upon a blog called Stuff from Hsoi.  He had some great content that we commented and then found he had blogged about Women of Caliber.  Thanks for the exposure, Hsoi!  Here’s his post:

Women, firearms, and self-defense

Funny how some things come together.

Today I made a post and then I receive a comment from Kellene Bishop from Women Of Caliber. Never heard of her or her group before, but I’m starting to read her blog and she presents some good food for thought. She is of course geared towards women and self-defense issues.

Then I’m reading over at Joe Huffman’s blog and he links to the brief of amicae curiae 126 women state legislators and academics in support of respondant.

Kellene, looks like some good stuff for your cause.

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