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Gun Control, Self Defense and Aurora, CO
By RU Special Guest – Joe R.
This may come across as insensitive and callous, but it is not intended that way. It may be poor in timing, but there is no better a time to be reminded of fact as when tragedy is fresh in our minds. What I have to say here is said with a heavy heart and with grief for the innocent lives lost in a needless, senseless act of disgusting violence that was perpetrated yesterday. It is said only to express my mindset and in the hopes of enticing others to take up the same call: Not on my watch, not in my presence and not to my family.
Over the years I have taken a lot of grief from family and friends over the fact that I refuse to step out my front door, even to run a quick errand 10 minutes there and back to the store to pick up a gallon of milk for my kids without making sure that I’ve got my handgun on my side or immediately ready in my car. I’ve been called paranoid, hyper-vigilant, “Tackleberry”, overly cautious and a whole slew of other negatively intended connotations due to my desire to always be armed. But its incidents like the shooting in Aurora yesterday and all the others that immediately come to mind that only serve to reinforce my commitment to being armed at all times when I leave my house. I will not stand idly by, watching in horror as some evil event unfolds before my eyes, knowing that had I made the right decision, I could have made the difference for one or 71 people at any moment, simply by being there and being properly prepared.
And as inevitably as the sun setting, the news media has already begun making connections between the legally purchased guns used by that scumbag in Aurora and the expiration of the Clinton era assault weapons ban. As if somehow were those laws still into effect, this tragedy would not have occurred.
Don’t misunderstand me, what happened in Aurora is sad, it is sickening and it is deplorable. But the useless pandering and agenda pushing of the major media outlets has long past been tiring.
What they have yet to mention on ONE SINGLE broadcast is the fact that the theaters in Aurora are considered “Gun free” zones. What that means is that in the state of Co, where concealed carry permits are issued to any and all who apply that can legally carry a gun, the theaters themselves have elected to prohibit legally armed citizens from carrying their legally possessed firearms inside the theaters.
Meaning simply that IF there were any CCW holders at the theater that night, they were not allowed to carry their weapons into the theater. Well done Century. So assuming there was a single law abiding citizen with a CCW in the theater, in order to comply with the laws of the state of CO and maintain their right to carry, they would have to abide by the policy of the theater and not carry their firearm into the theater……
While that crazy eff’r proved to us all that gun laws don’t stop gun crime by walking into a “Gun Free” zone armed to the teeth, claiming the lives of 12 innocent people and wounding many more.
What REALLY makes me sick about this whole thing is the knowledge that had just one single person in that theater been armed, and had that one single person possessed the intestinal fortitude to stand in the gap, they may have been able to prevent 12 people from dying. Maybe, maybe not…we will never know.
But we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, from example after example in Columbine, VA Tech, Arizona, Alabama and countless other mass shootings that large groups of unarmed people provide nothing more than a target rich environment for a mentally deranged to exploit at will without fear of being challenged.
Col. Dave Grossman puts it perfectly when he equates everyday citizens in society as a flock of sheep, predators like that sickening a-hole in Aurora as wolves who prey upon the sheep and protectors of society (cops, soldiers and legally carrying armed civilians with the proper mindset and training) as sheepdogs, protectors of the flock.
His purpose IS NOT to belittle those classified as sheep, but rather to explain their mindset: They are going about their daily lives oblivious to the threats that lurk about them at all times. They are focused solely on living their lives, on going to school, driving to work, going to see a movie. Never once does the thought that at any moment, their entire world could come crashing in around them, that life as they know it could cease to exist at any second. They see only what is immediately in front of them, going through life with their heads down. Grazing in the pasture of life, oblivious to the fact that in lurking in the shadows, waiting for the opportune moment to pounce, is the wolf. The wolf goes by many names: Charles Whitman, Seung-Hui Cho, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, Joseph Ferguson, Matthew Murray, Jared Loughner and now James Holmes. The only thing standing between the sheep and the wolf is the Sheepdog: The Sheepdog goes by the name of soldier protecting us from threats from overseas; of cop protecting us from the terror on the street or like in the case of the 2007 Colorado Springs church shooting, by the name of Jeanne Assam, a female church member who volunteered at the church as an armed security officer.
Whatever the location, whenever the time and whoever the wolf, the sheep or the sheepdog, the story remains the same: A sick in the head individual singles out a lightly protected or unprotected target – a school, where carrying of firearms is federally banned, a church, where historically people feel safe and attend unarmed, a street-side political gathering, a movie premiere and launches a devastating armed assault on a group of unsuspecting people, free from any real fear of anyone fighting back.
The wolf tears theses people’s worlds apart, shatters their belief of safety and does so without remorse, without compassion and without concern over who his victims are. His only thought is to create as much carnage as possible. For some it is the hope of fame, or more accurately, infamy that drives them. For others it is retribution for some perceived insult. Whatever the motivation, the end result remains the same: People’s lives are torn to pieces. Our collective belief in safety and security are shattered. We mourn the loss of life, be it someone’s 100 year old grandmother or 5 year old daughter. And time and time again, those powers that are supposed to be looking out for the good of society fail to turn their ire on the parties most responsible. They do not place blame on the individual as much as on the makers of the tools used in his assault.
They refuse to take an honest look at a justice system that repeatedly returns life-long criminal predators loose on the streets. Rather than blame the one person solely responsible for the mayhem he has caused, they seek to use their position to attempt to rile up the public against the gun manufacturers and gun owners of America. They call out for still more gun control laws, more gun bans, more regulations…all the while absolutely IGNORING the fact that in EVERY case of an incident like this last one, the gunman who killed a bunch of innocent people ignored a multitude of LAWS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS in committing his crime. They refuse to accept the fact that someone intent of committing such an act is by very definition a criminal: One who breaks the law.
Last I checked, it was illegal to kill someone, yet murders occur every day in America. It was illegal for Holmes to bring a gun into the “gun free zone” of the theater; surprisingly, that didn’t stop him. It was illegal for Cho to bring guns onto the campus at VA Tech, but he did. Klebold and Harris violated numerous laws just in possessing many of the guns and ALL of the homemade explosives they used in Columbine; yet they did it anyway. The list goes on and on….proving nothing more poignantly than the fact that laws DO NOT prevent criminals from committing crimes. They are called criminals because they break the law. Ergo, without laws to be broken, we could not have criminals.
How many more times do we have to learn this lesson before it sinks in to our collective minds?
Bottom line: If you have the right and ability to carry a firearm for the defense of yourself, your family or, God forbid, the general public and you fail to do so, you are actively joining the ranks of the sheep, no more capable of stopping the wolf than they are. You have CHOSEN to make yourself just another target, waiting on and hoping for an ounce of mercy or good fortune that may not come your way. You are failing yourself, your family and your community. But sadly, you are doing so with the full knowledge that had you made the right decision, you could have, possibly, been the one hope of rescue, of safety, of security that you, your family or your fellow citizens may have been able to count on to ensure that they get home safely to their loved ones on whatever day the wolf comes knocking.
We can never know if the tragedy in Aurora could have had a happier ending had there been even one person physically and mentally prepared and with the right tools for the job in that group of moviegoers, but we can rest assured on one thing: We know that the end result will always be a high body count and rely solely on the stroke of luck or good fortune to stop it when the wolf breaks into the pen and finds nothing but sheep ripe for slaughter in his sights. Rest assured, guns won’t always jam early in the massacre, the bad guys won’t always run out of ammo just 15 minutes into their spree and one cannot count on an evil madman to flee or turn his gun on himself after killing only two or three innocent people.
There will come a day when the only difference between another mass murder and a narrowly avoided catastrophe will be one sheepdog, mentally prepared and physically equipped who is ready to take action. We can never know when or where that day will be. But we can, if we choose, always know that we are ready to be the one, should we be there in the wrong place at the right time to stand in the gap on that day that evil comes calling for innocent prey.
Dum spiramus tuebimur – “While we breathe, we shall defend”