Of Sheep and Wolves

In this world, there are sheep, and there are wolves. Sheep go about their business, do no harm, and never bother anyone. Wolves prey on the sheep. It is how it has always been.

Somewhere around 1960 a bunch of leftists and liberals, many associated with the Communist Party, began to tell the giant lie that if we all just laid down our weapons, and threw our nuclear weapons in a giant trash can, we could all live together in peace. It sounded like such a great idea that Star Trek even built an entire generation of television series on it (of course, after admitting that a nuclear war nearly wiped out humanity in the 21st century).

Peace, love, drugs, sex, rock and roll …  and everything is just fine. Right?

No. It has never been that way, and it is never going to be that way. And the reason is very simple. Ever since Ug had one more lizard than Og, greed and pride and lust have motivated men to violence.  Think Cain and Abel.

Now, no one’s saying it wouldn’t be nice to live in a utopia where everyone got along, no one went to bed hungry, and you didn’t have to work if you didn’t want to work. But that’s not reality. More importantly, it never has been and it never will be. As long as there have been men walking the earth, there have been men who used violence to take what belonged to others.  They show no remorse.  They have no care for how harming you will affect others.  They care only about themselves.

For these reasons it frustrates me immensely that people aligned with the anti-gun movement in this country believe that confiscating guns, controlling guns, shutting down access to guns, and generally restricting all manner of self defense weaponry somehow advances an agenda where “no child will be killed.” This because all you have to do is pick up the paper to read stories of people being killed with knives, rocks, hammers, baseball bats, venomous reptiles, fists, cars, umbrellas, fire extinguishers, chairs, sweatpants, pickle jars, shovels, nail guns, bowling balls, floor lamps, corkscrews, pens, guitars, chainsaws, prosthetic legs, katana swords, dildos, dessert spoons, human breasts, microwave ovens, poisons, spatulas, x-boxes, chess boards, shoes, jump ropes, and toilet tank lids.

Of course, it is difficul to kill 20 people with one jump rope, and a katana sword only lets you get through 15 or so people before your arms get tired. But the fact is there are people out there that want to kill, maybe even feel like they need to kill, and guns are indeed an efficient way to do it.  Background checks catch prior offenders, but they don’t catch people who are just batshit crazy but able to hide it from everyone else.

So the common refrain from the anti-gun people (if you can hear it over their knees knocking together in abject terror) is that your right to self defense should not trump their right to live in a peaceful society. Yet, they refuse to see that even if we banned every gun in the country there would still be people out there more than willing to use guns to kill and commit crimes.  No one really thinks anyone in this country is going to voluntarily give up their firearms.  And certainly no thinking person thinks that criminals who don’t obey any other laws will pony up their pistols because the ATF says so.

The key thing that no gun control person wants to admit is that laws against crime do not stop crime, they punish it. No one ever put down the hammer before they were getting ready to kill their spouse because they suddenly remembered there was a law against it. Neither did any person ever in the middle of a bank robbery go “what, we can’t rob a bank legally?” Criminals know the risks, they just assume they can outwit (or more often, outshoot) the competition. Laws do not stop crime.  They are locks that keep honest people honest, but they do not stop crime.

The recent San Antonio mall jewelry store robbery is a good example. The criminals went armed, they had no problem killing a good Samaritan who was unarmed, and shooting and wounding people who were not even involved, because they knew that these actions would delay the police response to their criminal activity. In just a few days they had gone from smash and grab robberies of jewelry stores, to armed robberies. They were violent offenders unconcerned with collateral damage. And how did this crime spree come to an end? For one of the pair it ended when 118 grain hollow points tore up his insides. For the other, it ended when he crashed his stolen vehicle and walked right into the cops.

Violent men and women are always going to exist. The only way to avoid becoming the victim of a violent man or woman is to arm yourself and train to prevent it. While alarm systems and common sense (staying out of high crime areas) go a long way toward reducing your risk profile, the fact is that criminals are not scared of alarms because they know it will take no more than four and possibly as long as fourteen minutes for the cops to get there, and they can be gone in two with enough high-value items to make the job worthwhile. Perhaps more importantly, they know that if they meet resistance, they can simply shoot the homeowner and still beat the police response. This is not to say police are bad, or lazy, or too busy eating donuts to do police work. It is to recognize the sad reality that 2.4 cops protect every 1000 people, and that’s in well-staffed departments. And that doesn’t account for variations in response time and the fact that those 2.4 cops work over three shifts, 24 hours a day.  Cops work hard.  They deserve our respect and our thanks, but counting on them to protect you is a losing proposition.

While no firm statistics are available nationwide, we can look at response times published for various departments to calculate the average response times. In Denver, the average response time is 11 to 14 minutes. In New York City its 9 minutes. Dallas has a response time of 8 minutes, while Milwaukee has a response time of 14 minutes. The Department of Justice says the best response time nationwide is 4 minutes, and some response times exceed one hour.

Thus, while the police can often catch the perpetrator of violence, and the courts can punish them, the police do not have the manpower to prevent these crimes. Rather, they come and pick up the pieces afterward. That’s the core reality of the way it works.

These are the reasons why I conceal and carry a Glock 19 every day of my life. I had a friend say “you live in a nice subdivision, no criminal is going to do a home invasion over there.” A good friend on the St. Louis County Police told me he never had his gun out of his holster when he worked the poorer sections of town, but he had been shot at twice in the nicest section of St. Louis County because “criminals go where the money is.”

There is no greater enemy to your life and health than a complacent attitude about crime not coming to where you are. There are sheep, and there are wolves. I like to think of myself as a sheep dog. Lots of sheep don’t like me. But the wolves…they are scared of me.

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