Dear Soccer Mom:
I see the “Mom’s Demand” sticker on your rear window(just below the four stick figures), and I can understand how someone with two kids, even two like yours who act privileged and entitled, would want to protect them. Your children’s sheer willingness to push past the lady in the walker at the entrance to the grocery store is testament to the fact that somewhere down the line they have a bloody nose, or worse, coming.
I Get It
I truly do understand why you want to protect them. But, you’re afraid of the wrong things. Guns are not the enemy, evil is the enemy, and you cannot beat evil by taking away one of the many weapons it uses: you can only make it easier for evil to use that weapon and all of its others against you. Still, I can understand how if you fail to put much thought into it, that the idea that guns are the problem seems to be the easiest way to attack the issue. Surely if everyone gets rid of their guns, there would be less violence. Right?
Nope! Wrong! Are you paying attention yet? Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer. Sheik Khalid Mohammed used airplanes. OJ Simpson was alleged to have used a knife (the jury acquitted). Dr. Michael Swango used paralyzing medications. Casey Anthony was alleged to have used duct tape (the jury did not believe this was proved). ISIS uses bombs, drowning in cages, beheading, and burning people alive as a means of spewing its evil. And, of course, Cain slew Abel with a rock.
As long as man has walked on this earth violence has been his legacy. And long before there were guns, men found instruments to make the job of taking life easier. Thus the logic of taking guns away from the law abiding to protect the law abiding is much like a person afraid of rattlesnakes killing all the Kingsnakes to protect himself from rattlesnakes. There is not a parity of purpose there.
The Lies You’ve Been Told
I understand the lies you’ve been told by Bloomberg and Shannon Watts. They say there is some mythological “gun show loophole” that prevents a person from having a background check. If someone buys from a dealer, whether that dealer is in Seattle or Key West, they have to have a background check. Firearms purchased from other owners don’t require a background check, but a person who sells multiple firearms at gun shows is more likely than not to require a federal firearms license.
I understand you want “reasonable regulation,” but then again, “reasonable” in California means you are restricted, if you’re a lawful owner, to having a magazine with 10 rounds while the bad guys can have as many as they can get. Even certain police agencies are stymied by California’s regulations, which in some sense is like tying one of the police officer’s hands behind his back.
We Obey the Law
But, here is the bottom line: you have very little to fear from lawful gun owners. We are law abiding. We don’t get drunk and get into fights. We do not go “howl at the moon, and shoot out the lights,” on any Saturday night. This is because we prefer to be left alone; and like you, we protect the ones we love. We can’t do that with diminished senses. We do that with quiet watchfulness. We avoid violence. We try to de-escalate confrontations. We are far more likely to offer an apology (even one that makes us appear weak) than we are to push back. We understand the grave responsibility with which we are entrusted.
What You Don’t Know
You would probably be surprised at how many people around you carry guns on a daily basis. Oh, sure, you’ve read in books that guns “imprint” on clothing and that trained officers can spot people carrying guns. This is nonsense. With an inside-the-waistband holster my firearm disappears from sight. You can’t see a bulge. You’ll never know its there. When police do manage spot wrongdoers wearing guns concealed, it’s because a guilty conscience needs no accuser. They stand out. They are dressed inappropriately for the area. They get nervous when they see law enforcement. They keep tapping the gun to make sure it’s there. Or, being basically individuals who do not understand value-for-value transactions, they use their pants as their holster and have to keep adjusting the gun to avoid serious injury to their reproductive organs. Let’s face it, in almost any situation even you can pick out people in the crowd that stand out. The bad guys are usually easy to spot because their behavior separates them. That’s how police spot people carrying guns. And because the righteous are “as bold as lions,” they do not suffer from these telling signs.
Clueless in Cleveland
Here’s what’s really amazing to me, Soccer Mom: you are completely indifferent to the world around you. You have two kids below the age of twelve, you’re walking across the parking lot to the grocery store, and your kids are skipping out in front of you as you talk on your cellphone. Sasquatch could walk up on you and you’d never know it. Because, instead of being aware of your surroundings (or what your mutant spawn are doing to the nice old lady with the walker) you’re trying hard to convince Lydia that you are “simply not going to that party!” In short, you’re exactly the kind of person a predator looks for, because you don’t have a clue. You’re not aware. More importantly, you’re not situationally aware. You are not watching out for your kids, yourself, or the people around you. If you were, you’d have noticed me move into your blind spot behind you on your weak side, and seen me paying your attention. You would have turned and looked at me, to know whether to ratchet up your level of concern, to be calmed by my genuine smile. But you don’t even know enough to look. Because, you know, Lydia and that party are going to save your life, and your children haven’t been run over in the parking lot…yet.
So, when evil strikes, chances are you will be unprepared. Your encounter with evil will be swift and violent. You will not have a chance to think. Fear and panic will control your actions, not muscle memory and training. If you’re lucky, you’ll survive physically but you’ll bear painful memories for the rest of your life. If you’re not lucky, well, your children will get to bury you.
But the Police Will Protect Me
Like most folks you believe, rationally, that the police will protect you. But that’s never the question. It isn’t whether they have the will to protect you, but whether they’ll have the opportunity in a given set of circumstances. More importantly, that assumes you have recognized a threat, called the police, and taken steps to prevent bad things from happening by having an alarm system, security lighting, and deadbolt locks.
If you’re clueless you will never get that chance, because you’ll never see the threat coming. Evil will strike and the first warning you’ll have will be the arm of the attacker choking you. And even if someone sees what’s happening and calls 911 for you, you’ll have a bit of a wait. Average response times vary between four and fourteen minutes all over the country depending on what else is going on. Suffice it to say, you could be dead in four minutes. You will be dead in fourteen.
Like the fire department that manages to save the foundation, police departments often catch the offenders. Police do not prevent crime, they investigate and detain offenders. Yet, that rarely is much consolation to the victims. Now, in addition to having been victimized by the offender, you’ll get a chance to be victimized by the defense attorney. Or perhaps you’ll get a visit from the offender’s gang friends who will encourage your loss of memory. Oh happy day!
Your Best Friend
But today, as you multi-task with the little evil gnomes that share your DNA, talking on the telephone, and pulling all manner of coma-inducing carbohydrates into your shopping cart, you have a distinct advantage. You have me. You don’t know me, but I am today your best friend. Doubtless if you got to know me you’d like me, even if you didn’t like my politics. I voted for Trump; your bumper sticker suggests you were “with” The Loser. You’d find me funny and charming. And you would never suspect that behind my right hip, at the 3 o’clock position, was a Glock 19 with Critical Defense ammunition loaded into a 15 round magazine. You wouldn’t notice the extra magazine on my left hip. You might be impressed that a Crimson Trace lasergrip is installed on the pistol, to ensure that if I have to use that weapon I hit what I aim at. Then again, you might not. Because, you don’t see me. I’m just a guy in his late fifties walking slowly through the grocery store. You probably can’t even tell I’m annoyed by your two failures of birth control that are using two summer sausages to sword fight. But then again, you’re not really aware of them either.
Today is Not the Day
Fortunately for both of us today is not the day that someone who can’t hold a job but who can hold a stolen shotgun walks in and announces a robbery. Likewise today is not the day that someone tries to abduct you from the parking lot. Today also isn’t the day someone lunges from a car and tries to kill a law enforcement officer. Statistically you are unlikely to have those things happen to you. Most of us live our lives outside the ambit of criminal violence. But today, had any of these things happened where I was required to intervene, I could have, because I carry concealed.
No, that does not make me Charlie Bronson from Death Wish, nor does it mean I consider myself a junior G-man just looking for a crime to prevent. I don’t search out trouble. I’m just ready if it finds me. I hope to live my entire life without ever seeing someone point a weapon at me or anyone else. But every month I go to the range and spend both time and money practicing in the event I need to act to save someone’s life. You see, shooting is a perishable skill, and if you do not practice frequently, you lose your edge. So I do. And I do that for people like you who remain ignorant of threats on a daily basis and who go through life thinking that the guy wielding the claw hammer with malice and intent to kill is somehow less dangerous than the law-abiding citizen who carries a compact 9 mm pistol for protection. I recognize your ignorance. I recognize your loathing of the Second Amendment for what it is: misplaced fear. I see this, and I pity you. Because, while I’m your best friend in public, you are your worst enemy at home.
Chances are you do not routinely lock the doors. Chances are good you don’t have an alarm system. Chances are even better that other than a butcher knife secreted away in a kitchen drawer, you have no means to defend yourself. And if you do have a gun in the house, perhaps at the insistence of your children’s sperm donor (who is to blame for trusting you to look after birth control), you’ve never shot it, you’ve never practiced with it, and it will more likely than not be used against you. And if it isn’t, and you are lucky enough to get a shot off, chances are good that it will miss, over-penetrate, and harm one of the little angels (who will likely be tearing the wings off flies in the next room). And if that happens you’ll blame the gun, or the ammunition, or your husband. You’ll never blame the criminal, or yourself for not having learned how to use the firearm and what the risks of using the weapon are.
But surely today is not that day.
Statistics of Victimhood
Today is not the day you become a statistic. Today is not the day become one of the 300,000 (Department of Justice statistic) or 1.3 million (Centers for Disease Control) who are raped. You have a one in five chance. And if you are raped, you might be one of the 32,000 women who become pregnant as a result – a gift that keeps on giving (although, let’s face it, the kid is blameless and might wind up being a better kid than the two mutants you already have). And if you are raped, your attacker may never be caught or convicted because in departments like Houston, some 6,000 rape test kits go unprocessed. That might help explain why 97 percent of rapists go unpunished.
Today is not the day you become a victim of a home invasion. An estimated 3.7 million burglaries occurred each year on average from 2003 to 2007. A household member was present in roughly 1 million burglaries and became victims of violent crimes in 266,560 burglaries. According to the FBI a property crime like burglary happens every three seconds in the US. But today is not your day.
Today is not going to be the day you’re carjacked. According to the FBI, a weapon is used in 74% of carjackings. Firearms are used in 45% of carjackings, knives in 11%, and other weapons in 18%. Your chance of being carjacked is greater because, based on the Chevy Suburban you’re driving, your income is greater than $50,000 a year. Your higher income makes you a very attractive target.
No, none of these things will happen today. But tomorrow is a different story. Every day the roulette ball drops and the wheel spins and your number could come up. If it does, you won’t be ready. You need to hope that me, or someone like me, is close by and able to help, because four minutes is a long time to wait when someone is choking or raping you.
Gunsense is Nonsense
So, Soccer Mom, gather your children, take your groceries, and go home in your smug arrogance knowing that you’re morally superior to a Neanderthal like me that carries a concealed firearm. It is my firm hope that you never learn in a personal way just how much nonsense is contained in “gunsense,” or how unilateral disarmament makes you and your family unsafe. As for me and my folks, we’ll keep paying our dues to the NRA and voting Republican.