By Kellene Bishop
A few days ago I sent an e-mail to a list of my family and friends who subscribe to my emergency preparedness blog, Preparedness Pro. The most recent blog posted was on the necessity of firearms and ammo (along with necessary skill and practice) for a properly prepared state. Unfortunately, my message was not well received by one of my friends. He sent me back a message that simply stated “I’m anti-gun. Please take me off of your list.” While I can perfectly understand why a person is not comfortable with the subject of firearms for self-defense, I was certain that my friend was not fully aware of the ramifications that invoking such a vow as being “anti-gun” truly entailed. In my work I find that the majority of individuals who are “anti-gun” are women. And thus I felt that addressing this topic was appropriate for our Women of Caliber audience today.
What does it really mean to be “Anti-Gun?” I’m convinced that a person who makes such claims does so based on the following misinformed or incomplete reasons.
1- Fear of the power behind the tool. Yes, a firearm is deadly. Thank goodness. Because I do not know of any other tool I can reasonably employ to defend myself against a alcohol and drug-crazed, 6’4”, 280 pound man who’s intent on harming me. I can’t run fast enough. The police can’t respond fast enough. I can’t talk my way out of an encounter. And I can’t rely on my physical strength and skill to properly combat them. Self-defense is an equal opportunity freedom. We all should be entitled to defending ourselves regardless of our medical history, weight, physical fitness, etc. That’s why I often refer to my firearm as the ultimate equalizer. What I do know is that I can have easy access to my firearm, pull, point, and shoot to effectively stop a would-be attacker.
There are plenty of other valuable tools in our world that are dangerous if used incorrectly. Medicine, exercise, transportation, food and farming equipment to name a few. All are very powerful for good. Yet all of these can be misused to even cause death to ourselves and others. Fortunately for us though, the media, Hollywood, and our government don’t typically have agendas to vilify these types of tools. And yet there are many others who occasionally promote misinformation on these tools as well. Nothing is without some controversy or a difference of opinion. But differences of opinion never alter the truth. Only statisticians do that.
2- Belief that only criminals (thugs, drug dealers, bad guys, etc.) have guns. Just because criminals have guns does not mean that those who have guns are criminals, anymore than the fact that a plane has crashed means that all planes will crash, or that 500 high school students killed per year playing football means that football should be banned. For every thug out there who carries a firearm, there are hundreds of thousands of guns owned by law-abiding citizens. Out of over 4.7 million crimes committed in the U.S. in 2005, less than 10% of them involved the use of a firearm. Even among homicides, where one would assume a firearm was always used, less than 67% of them involve the use of a gun. (http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/guns.htm) Consider the opposite side of things. Over 2.5 million crimes per year are STOPPED by the use of a firearm in the hands of citizen. (John Lott, More Guns, Less Crime) You’ve got less than 6% of 4.7 million crimes involved a gun, and yet you have over 50% more of those same kinds of crimes being prevented BY a gun. Sounds like there’s a skewed perception there, folks. Don’t you think?
3- Fear of the safety for our children. This is a very strategic propaganda put out by the anti-gun supporters, knowing full well that no parent in their right mind would put their children in danger. And then of course, on those rare circumstances when a child is tragically killed by a gun, the media runs the story over and over again as if it was an announcement of Armageddon. It’s a highly emotional, and unfortunately successful angle used by our national manipulators. But the real facts don’t lie. Children are less likely to be killed by one of over 300,000,000 million guns held by 94 million gun owners than they are to be killed by an automobile, drowned (in a bathtub or a pool), burned in a fire, or suffocate on plastic! In fact they are at least 6 times more likely to die from any of these causes, and in some cases as much as 40 times more likely. (Kids and Guns, 2000, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention) Now think about this. Out of all of the crimes that were stopped as the result of a firearm, how many children’s lives were saved as a result, or better yet, allowed to remain normal with a loving parent still alive as the result of the use of a firearm. If someone is “anti-gun” do they really realize that they may just as well be stating that they are against protecting their children, loved ones, friends or communities at all costs? Do they realize that they might as well be saying that they are “Pro-Crime?” While you may think this is an audacious leap of logic, the statistics are there to support such a claim. Unfortunately, those who truly are “anti-gun and to heck with the consequences” really don’t care about the truth.
For more on children and guns, click here.
4- The absence of a passion and understanding of freedom. During the monumental Revolutionary War, there were plenty of individuals who took up arms who were unskilled and uncomfortable in their use. After the war, they recovered thousands of rifles in which multiple wads were found stuffed down the barrel, but never fired. Why? Because although these men believed in fighting for their freedom, they found it very difficult to actually aim and fire upon another human being. They would go through the motions of loading the firearm, lifting it to point, but never pull the trigger. And then in their confused and panicked state they would go through the motions again and again until their lack of firing caused their death. Harming another human being purposefully goes against our peaceful grain, of course. And I thank God for that “sensitivity chip.” It’s a mental fight that has been prevalent through the ages. But going through the motions is also what gets people killed and no longer able to live their fulfilling life and provide for their family. Even police officers struggle with firing on a human being. They practice with silhouettes, not live targets, of course. So the mental preparation to completely defend themselves is oft times missing. (As a result, many police departments have begun using more realistic looking targets in order to help law enforcement with this vital mental preparation.)
What does this have to do with freedom? When I hear someone is “anti-gun” I cringe to think that they are the very persons who would have permitted the British, the Romans, the Japanese, the Germans, and any other enemy Freedom has experienced through the ages, to take everything—and I do mean everything—that they hold dear. It nearly brings me to tears to hear that “anti-gunners” would hold the defenders of our freedom in the same light as criminals in our day. Freedom is not fought just on a battle field. It is fought every single day, even in the sanctity of our homes, restaurants, our parks, our streets. The only reason why our Freedom has not been utterly destroyed is thanks to the 94 million gun owners who are still willing to lay claim to its merits. Somehow it just doesn’t seem fair that those same 94 million gun owners are the very reason why anti-gunners have the freedom to attempt to lay neutral on this issue and still have some semblance of safety. To put it plainly, “anti-gun” is clearly a member of the “anti-freedom” camp.
5- Naïveté. I agree that life would be a whole lot better if I didn’t even have to consider the horrific “what-if’s” that exist out there. I would much rather live in a community where I could leave my door unlocked, trust that my children and family members would never be violently harmed, and that the world was one solely of peace and happiness. Unfortunately, the stark reality of the presence of sheer evil interrupts that fantasy. It’s also naïve of me to believe that my husband will always be there to protect me. Or that simply by owning a firearm, I will instinctively know what to do with it under threat of violence or death without any concerted practice. It’s naïve of me to believe that in an earthquake all of the criminals will stay securely in their jail cells, or that the most well organized and violent gang in the U.S., MS-13, will never invade my peaceful neighborhood. It’s naïve of me to believe that a 9-1-1 call will result in my immediate safety. I could go on and on with the naïve thoughts I have entertained in my younger years. Instead I choose to face reality. And the reality isn’t so much the horrors that are out there as it is that I’m STRONG, CAPABLE, AND COMPETENT. As such I can ensure my own safety and the safety of those who are important to me. I need not be fearful. I need not be paranoid. I simply need to be armed with the proper tools and skills necessary. I don’t walk around with a gun because I’m paranoid. I walk around accompanied by real peace and practical awareness because I carry a firearm. I’m friendly to those around me because I do not fear their violence. I’m happy because I do not fear becoming a victim with no justice to balance. I’m more confident because I know I am an active and beneficial participant in the safety of my community.
To all you self-proclaimed anti-gunners, I implore you to forsake your fear, rekindle your patriotism, get knowledgeable in the facts, and eliminate naïveté from your life. There are countless benefits in doing so that will last a lifetime. In the meantime, you only make yourself more vulnerable to the harmful realities that inevitably await you as you leisurely bask in your ignorance.
Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
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Filed under: children and guns, media and guns, politics, second amendment, self defense, women and guns | Tagged: anti-gun, children, children and guns, criminals, fear, firearms / guns, freedom, gun owners, gun statistics, homocide, john lott, kids and guns, media, ms-13, naivete, police, preparedness pro, revolutionary war, self defense |