Archive for the ‘Guns & Target Shooting’ Category.

“Gun Violence” In Turkey

Just a reminder that both full-auto and semi-auto weapons such as this AKM (AK-47 variant) dropped by ISIS attackers at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul are illegal to possess or own in Turkey, as are the two 30 round mags. Full story here.

FWIW, the full-auto version of this weapon is also illegal to own in the USA. I showed  this pic to the in-house weapons expert (the Kid). He confirmed it was an AKM with a sawed-off flash-hider and noticed it was set to full-auto. “Idiot,” he smirked. “Everyone knows semi-auto kills more.”

Enthralled by Victims Left Seeks to Boost Their Numbers

I belong to Pink Pistols, a group of 2nd amendment supporting LGTBQ and their allies, and would like to see local chapters to volunteer to post armed members at gay nightspots around the country. All it would have taken to save lives in Orlando would have been a single club goer carrying a handgun. Terrorists plan their attacks thoroughly. Orlando’s shooter had been to the club over a dozen times so he knew exactly what to expect and could carefully plan to maximize the carnage. Just the possibility of an armed defender changes the dynamic of terror, introducing an element of uncertainty that either forces the attacker to choose another target or causes him to stop and seek cover during the attack, giving victims precious seconds to escape.

Unfortunately liberals are taking the exact opposite approach, trying to convince the LGTBQ community to disarm itself further and take on the cause of gun control. As Ed Krayewski notes at Reason, this completely ignores the reality of attacks outside of the US where gun control is rife yet terrorists in France and Kenya have no difficulty obtaining full auto weapons banned in the United States.

But countries with stricter gun control laws than in the U.S. are struggling to find something to do to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists too. In Europe, while it may be far harder for law-abiding residents to acquire legal firearms, terrorists are able to acquire actual “weapons of war,” automatic weapons, that have are largely banned in the U.S. despite the misleading rhetoric used by the anti-gun left. Neither were tough gun laws able to stop the 2013 radical Islamist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya or the 2015 attack on Garissa University in Kenya or numerous other terrorist attacks around the world.

As I wrote in a previous post, I find this tactic of using terror attacks to advance gun control by the Left not only misguided but downright evil. Disarming law abiding citizens does not make us safer when terrorists have shown no difficulty in obtaining weapons in nations where they are banned. But the Left likes victims, so I suppose it makes sense to push policies that increases their numbers. Still, that’s pretty sick.

Why Liberals Aren’t Stupid They’re Evil

I found out about the shooting in Orlando while I was out of town. I watched on my smartphone as the body count doubled, and the major news outlets avoided using the term “Islam”. The “Religion-That-Must-Not-Be-Named” continued so when President Obama spoke and pushed banning guns as the solution, choosing to ignore the so-called Religion of Peace’s role in the slaughter.

How many people have to die before liberals admit they are wrong about Islam?

I avoided social media until today, but as I expected my mostly liberal friends followed the President’s lead, focusing on the type of rifle used instead of the terror ties, the shooter’s father’s belief that g-d will punish the gays, or that he attended a mosque where a visiting Imam preached gays should be executed.

As an ex-liberal myself I recognize the change is tough. 9-11 was the moment that I understood I had a choice: I could continue believing the fantasy that Islam wasn’t the problem, or I could accept the evidence to the contrary. 3000 people in 3 locations within 2 hours was enough evidence for me, and for weeks afterward I struggled with changing a lifetime of beliefs to fit the post-911 reality.

I saw the posts by ex-lovers and friends-for-life, and struggled with how to respond. Europe has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet yet they didn’t stop full auto AK-47s from being used by Islamists to kill non-believers there last year. The recent attack in Brussels airport used bombs, which I would point out are also illegal in Europe. I didn’t point out that if banning works, why are people dying of heroin overdoses in my county? Liberals seem fixated on the AR-15 as being an “assault rifle” yet used a picture shared from Huffington Post showing an AR-15 that had been photoshopped into having an impossibly short (and illegal) barrel. And no mention of Islam anywhere.

I shut the site down. What’s the point in opening up myself to harassment from people who honestly don’t know what they are talking about? Few have ever fired a gun and I doubt that only a handful know the difference between semi-auto and full-auto. If I’m going to be beaten up online I’d prefer it to be done by someone who at least knows what they are talking about. I’m too scarred from previous attempts to try to educate these people and help them change their minds. If 50 dead gays won’t do it, I’m not sure what will.

Accepting that the threat isn’t from an inanimate object but a twisted idea in the form of world religion is pretty daunting. Blaming a scary looking gun is so much easier than blaming a world religion yet refusing to do so is like a drunk looking for his car keys under a street light because that’s where he can see them. It’s magical thinking that has no bearing on reality. So you ban AR-15s, how would that have stopped the Charlie Hebdo or the Bataclan Theater attacks in Paris? There’s a whole airplane missing in the Mediterranean and another that was blown out of the sky over the Sinai, how would the ban stop that? And what about the two men kissing that set him off. Should we ban that? How far down the slippery slope do we go before we realize we’ve realized we’ve traded freedom for security and gotten neither, to paraphrase Ben Franklin?

“Enough with the obfuscation. The killer of Orlando was a homophobic Muslim extremist, inspired by an ideological take on my own religion.” The “islamophobe” behind those remarks? Liberal Daily Beast writer Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim who recognizes “(j)ust as we encourage others to actively denounce racism wherever they see it, so too must we actively denounce Islamic theocratic views wherever we find them. Enough with the special pleading. Enough with the denial.”

It’s been said that conservatives think that liberals are idiots while liberals think conservatives are evil. The silence after these terror attacks, the refusal to see them for what they are and to accept the clear motives of the attackers at face value, and the usage of the carnage to further their own political agendas instead of preventing attacks (how can you stop it if you can’t even name it?) not to mention the promotion of gun-free buildings and the disarmament of the public isn’t stupid, it’s evil.

How many people have to die before liberals admit they are wrong about Islam?

It’s evil that liberals support flooding the country with people who follow the religion of a 7th century warlord then blame guns when they decide to kill in the name of their religion. It’s evil that liberals call anyone who questions the tenets of that religion an “islamophobe”, equating the questioning with a form of racism. It’s evil that liberals seek to turn gays into martyrs for their cause by disarming them and forcing them to rely upon the police, often the same homophobic force that arrested them for indecency and sodomy and raided their hangouts just a few years ago.

And that’s why liberals are evil.

A Kurdish Teen

Wonder if her dad would be open to an arranged marriage with my son? He’d get her a better rifle than the Dragunov – like this Barrett.

If the Media Were As Sympathetic to Gun Owners as to Muslims

Take this article and substitute the words “gun owner” or “gun owning” for Muslim and Islam.

WASHINGTON — Cities across the USA are preparing for the next phase that inevitably follows a gun attack: anti-gun backlash.

Across social media, in public forums on college campuses, and even in mainstream political rhetoric from presidential candidates, anger over the deadly gun attacks in Brussels has spawned discontent and suspicion directed at gun owner groups.

The aftermath of an attack “is always a difficult time for gun owners in the United States,” said Nabil Shaikh, a leader of the Gun Owner Students Association at Princeton University.

“On Princeton’s campus, students took to anonymous forums like Yik Yak to comment that there are gun owners at Princeton who are radical and would therefore condone yesterday’s attacks,” Shaikh said. “These comments not only are appalling and inaccurate but also threaten the well-being of gun owning students.”

Unlike in Belgium and Paris following the November gun attacks, the backlash in the U.S. is not as confrontational.

Europe has seen occasional anti-gun rallies in Flemish cities such as Antwerp and Ghent. Some gun owner leaders have accused police in Europe of overtly targeting gun owning communities in lockdowns and raids of homes.

“The average gun owner still feels intimidated, still feels scared, still feels insecure.”

Khusro Elley, Chappaqua, N.Y.

Gun owner communities in the U.S. face opposition more in the form of rhetoric — but in an election year, such rhetoric can lead to sweeping change.

 

The Purrfect Rifle

One of the reasons why some people are afraid of rifles like the AK-47 and the AR-15 is they look scary. Here’s an idea to make them less frightening to the non-gun owning public.

AR-15 owners may ask, “Where’s the ejection port?” The obvious answer, “Where do you think?”

Ammo Tax? How About an Abortion Tax?

One of the posts at The American Interest suggests the tactic of gun grabbers should switch from gun confiscation, which the writer says is unlikely to ever happen, to taxing ammunition. He even tries to make it more palatable by saying ammo could be tax free at shooting ranges and for police but in the free market a 10,000 percent tax – making a $.19 9mm round $19 – would curb gun usage and ultimately, gun ownership. Chris Rock raised the same argument, saying gang-bangers would shoot more carefully if each round cost $5,000.

Legally it would be much easier to raise the taxes on ammunition than ban its sale completely. A similar tactic could be used by pro-Lifers to discourage abortion.

For the sake of argument I’m going to make the following assumptions: The wealth spent on raising a child would be spent on other goods and services, making the economic activity from a social perspective the same whether a child is born or not. The expenses in retirement are covered by social taxes paid earlier in life – a big assumption on my part I know.

From Society’s point of view a child consumes resources until adulthood, at which time s/he generates income by working and paying taxes until s/he retires. For argument’s sake let’s assume the aborted child would have held a job. started earning at the age of 25 and stopped at the age of 65, a total of 40 years of productivity. S/he would then die 15 years later, assuming the current life-expectancy of around 80.

So 40 years of productivity. The average income in the United States is roughly $50,000. Multiplying the two together we get $2 million in lost earnings. Earning $50,000 means contributing about $10,000 a year in taxes, making a total tax bill during the productive years of $400,000 in lost tax revenue.

So each abortion costs the government roughly $400,000. In 2014 there were roughly a million abortions, meaning the potential lost revenue of $400 billion. Since abortion was legalized in the US over 25 years ago, this means that the US government today is missing out on the taxes that would have been paid by the “lost taxpayers” who were aborted in 1991 – about 1.4 million. Just this cohort could have contributed $14 billion in taxes this year. There were nearly 23 million abortions in the US from its legalization in 1973 until 1991. Applying our numbers to these lost taxpayers and we find that abortion has cost the state, local and federal governments in the US $230 billion in 2016.

Shouldn’t the government recoup that cost somehow? Perhaps if a woman had to pay a $40,000 tax she’d be more careful about getting pregnant just as gun grabbers claim extreme taxes on ammunition would discourage people from shooting others.

As a pro-Life, gun owning libertarian who supports legal abortion I believe such taxes whether on abortion or ammunition prohibit liberty instead of enhancing it. But the above little “thought exercise” shows how easy it is to take a tactic used to curb one freedom and use it to justify curtailing another. Gun-grabbing Pro-Choicers take note.

 

 

Popehat Talks Productively About Guns

Ken White, writing at Popehat, explains the difficulty gun owners have talking to gun phobes. It’s something I’ve run into myself having gone from being irrationally afraid of guns to having several in my home, and having to explain to my gun phobic friends and family why.

He writes:

It’s hard to grasp the reaction of someone who understands gun terminology to someone who doesn’t. So imagine we’re going through one of our periodic moral panics over dogs and I’m trying to persuade you that there should be restrictions on, say, Rottweilers.

Me: I don’t want to take away dog owners’ rights. But we need to do something about Rottweilers.
You: So what do you propose?
Me: I just think that there should be some sort of training or restrictions on owning an attack dog.
You: Wait. What’s an “attack dog?”
Me: You know what I mean. Like military dogs.
You: Huh? Rottweilers aren’t military dogs. In fact “military dogs” isn’t a thing. You mean like German Shepherds?
Me: Don’t be ridiculous. Nobody’s trying to take away your German Shepherds. But civilians shouldn’t own fighting dogs.
You: I have no idea what dogs you’re talking about now.
Me: You’re being both picky and obtuse. You know I mean hounds.
You: What the fuck.
Me: OK, maybe not actually ::air quotes:: hounds ::air quotes::. Maybe I have the terminology wrong. I’m not obsessed with vicious dogs like you. But we can identify kinds of dogs that civilians just don’t need to own.
You: Can we?

Guns and dogs are an excellent analogy. Both can be your best friend but disrespect them and they can become the stuff of nightmares. I know both, and the more I am around them the more I appreciate what they can do and what they cannot. I try to never make assumptions about either one of them since doing so leads to trouble. I have learned that both make my life richer in ways that I cannot explain to people who don’t own guns or dogs. You’ve got to do it to understand it.

Anyway, White’s piece is worth the full read. I’m going to take the dogs out for “last call” before bedtime.

To Hell With ‘Pray for Paris’ – Arm Parisians Instead

The Failure of Gun Control in Europe

Since March 2012 there have been 7 terrorist attacks in France involving illegal guns plus 8 more attacks using knives and guns, killing a total of 162 people and injuring 414. As Adam Taylor writing for the Washington Post noted a day after the recent Paris massacres, France has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe, yet “(d)espite these strict laws, France is awash in guns.” Taylor states currently the call for citizens to demand legal access to firearms for self-protection “doesn’t have much support in France,” but he doesn’t provide evidence for this so I’m left wondering whether the French feel the same after replacing Israel as the destination of choice for every jihadi with an AK-47.

Every gun control advocate bears within him or her three competing yet irreconcilable facts: Government prohibition is no guarantee of elimination – as verified by the presence of prostitutes and heroin in society. All citizens do not follow the law. The police/military cannot be everywhere in a free society. As a result of these facts people who follow the law and are made defenseless by the Law end up shot point blank at a rock concert in Paris where the attackers know they won’t face resistance.

It wasn’t always this way. Europe’s gun control frenzy only took hold after World War I, and has even been implicated as contributing to the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany,  a fact which the American Left vehemently denies. Prior to World War I even European men were expected to protect themselves and their families and to provide assistance to the State when threatened, a tradition that the Swiss maintain today.

Terrorism is at its core a very logical and rational process. Terrorists will always seek out “soft targets” that are undefended because terrorists are very poor at improvisation. They need predictability in order to achieve their aims of causing the most casualties with the manpower and materials at hand. An armed victim shooting back changes the calculus of the attack, as the unarmed victims of the Aug 2015 failed train massacre proved.

France, and Europe as a whole, has now reached a point where it must decide whether it is prepared to accept the deaths of its unarmed citizens – given that protecting every soft target from every Air France flight to every Jewish deli is impossible, or provide its citizens with the means of their own self-defense.

I am realistic. I fully expect there to be more attacks, many more dead before Europe awakens to the need to arm its citizenry and reverse decades of failed gun control ideology. I wish them luck in the meantime and hope that the French are the first to awaken from their self-imposed coma, stand up and fight back.

Gun Grabbers Silence on Paris Shooters

I’ve read many viewpoints about last month’s attack in Paris by jihadis, but one viewpoint I haven’t seen is a good explanation about where they got the guns. Contrast that to the US where it seems every shooting that makes headlines always ends up with Obama making a speech with the line “we must do something” about guns in the US. The liberals then gleefully try to paint every gun owner as the shooter’s accomplice.

France has some of the strictest gun controls in the world yet these laws haven’t stopped jihadis from getting a hold of fully automatic AK-47s (a very rare item here in the USA). It’s not just last month’s attacks. The attack a few months ago thwarted on a French train by American soldiers on vacation was with a jihadi wielding an AK-47. The Charlie Hebdo massacres and the Jewish Delicatessen massacres also were done by men with full auto AK-47s.

Gun owners have said that if you take guns away from legal gun owners only criminals will have guns and France is proof of that. Meanwhile the American gun-grabbing Left has moved on and is positively giddy over the so-called “Planned Parenthood Attack” (in which oddly enough no one at PP was killed). They now can demonize legal gun owners with impunity while ignoring the inconvenient truth of the abject failure of gun control in France to protect the French people.

Hillary Is Going to Miss

Liberal writer Doug Henwood is under fire for the cover of his book “My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency”. According to the MSNBC article Salon editor Joan Walsh and former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett called the cover by Sarah Sole “Gross.” In one of his Twitter posts Lovett sarcastically writes, “It’s going to really disappoint the right wingers who buy (the book).”

Here’s the cover in question.
Hillary Shoots and Misses the Presidency

Speaking as a “right winger” who won’t buy the book, the first thing that struck me about this cover was how badly drawn it was. Although Sarah Sole is a Hillary fan, “I love Hillary Clinton, I support Hillary Clinton, I very much want her to be president,” she has managed to make Hillary look even older than she is, with the ashen faced look I associate with the perpetual “5 o’clock shadow” illustrators used to show on Nixon’s face when they caricatured him. The Hillary in Sole’s illustration also needs a bra – badly. Far from appearing “pulpy and sexy” as Sole claims, Hillary looks ill, decrepit and about a dozen years older.

Sole’s talent also fails with Clinton’s eyes. I assume Sole meant to have Hillary staring directly out of the cover and at the viewer in order to illicit an emotional response, like “hey, this woman is pointing a gun at me.” Instead the eyes don’t quite connect, and it appears to me that she is looking somewhere over my right shoulder.

The gun is even more badly drawn. I suppose Sole being a typical liberal didn’t have access to a revolver to point at a mirror and see what the thing looks like from the “business end.” Since the typical liberal believes only guns kill people, merely holding one makes one an accessory to murder, so it’s not like she had one to use as a reference. And given the hatred liberals have for them, walking into a gun shop to actually hold a gun would be the equivalent of a pro-lifer walking into an abortion clinic to hold a vacuum pump, so I guess it’s no surprise it’s so poorly rendered. The trigger guard is drawn as it would be if the gun were pointed directly at the viewer, but the further you move away from that the worse the drawing becomes. The barrel isn’t even pointed in the same direction as the trigger guard, and like Clinton’s eyes, appears to point above the viewer’s right shoulder. And what’s that below the hand grip? Is that Hillary’s saggy forearm skin? Ewww… Are they absolutely SURE the artist isn’t a Republican?

If a gun existed as drawn by Sole and Hillary fired it, it could blow up in her hand, although the way the gun looks melted it’s likely to not fire at all. But if it did fire and it didn’t blow up, it would hit high and left from Hillary’s perspective.

Below is a target used to help shooters improve their accuracy. According to it, Hillary is anticipating recoil, pushing or no follow through.

Given how long Hillary has been running for the Presidency it’s no surprise she would have anticipation issues. I’m sure she saved the White House drape measurements from her stint as First Lady. And “no follow through” is an apt description of her handling of Libya. Like most marksmanship problems Hillary could work through her issues with training and practice, and the illustration makes it clear she needs both if what she’s “shooting at” is the Presidency.

Unfortunately for Clinton, guns are only tools that are as accurate as the person using them. If Clinton really wanted to improve her shooting here’s what she needs to do.

While the revolver is simpler, for accuracy I would recommend a semi-automatic handgun like a Glock. When you pull the trigger of the revolver your muscles have to turn the chamber into line with the barrel and pull the hammer back. With a semi-automatic pistol all your finger muscles have to do is release the firing pin (assuming you have charged the gun first by pulling the slide back.) Since movement is minimized semi-auto handguns are much more accurate as a result.

And that stance… What is she doing, mugging the presidency? The gun is held too low and is unlikely to hit whatever Hillary is looking at. She should hold it much higher so that her line of sight goes down her arm and between the sights of the gun. Plus the way she is holding it is making it much easier for the Presidency to disarm her. To avoid that I would recommend she used the Modified Weaver Stance pictured below. It’s much more stable and improves accuracy while at the same time protects the shooter.

Next I would spend a lot of time at the range, preferably with a good instructor. Given her wealth I’m sure she could hire one of the best trainers around, and time spent with him at the range would vastly improve her accuracy. Of course since she’s already surrounded by top shots carrying an assortment of semi and fully automatic weapons, Clinton doesn’t need to learn to shoot well, just like she hasn’t needed a driving license for 20 years. But hey who knows? Maybe if she spent as much time around firearms and legal gun owners as she does demonizing them she might become a better person. At her age I doubt it, but I suppose anything is possible.

The bottom line? If Reality mirrors this fantasy Hillary is going to miss the Presidency, likely by setting her expectations of the Left too high, missing the center.

Now if we could only get the GOP to shoot straight…

Libertarian vs Conservative vs Liberal

As I state in my bio, I am very much pro-Life but do not believe the government should be given the power to control women. Legislation is a very blunt instrument and no matter how well intentioned, well thought out and well-written the Law of Unintended Consequences make it a certainty that someone somewhere is going to fall afoul the law and suffer needlessly. So I accept the fake right to privacy at the heart of Roe v Wade, believing it is up to us pro-Lifers to make abortion rare and ultimately unnecessary without resorting to the law banning it.

It would be nice if pro-choice people reciprocated with the very real right to bear arms for a similar reason. But they don’t. Instead they want to disarm those of us who choose to protect ourselves, forcing us to suffer at the hands of criminals or a tyrannical government. They are just as blind and ignorant as the pro-Lifers who demand victims of rape carry their babies to term.

 

 

American Magical Thinking – Flag Edition

I remember immediately following the 9-11 attacks everyone needed to fly the American flag. Suddenly they were hard to come by, even the flag stickers that people slapped on their cars to show their patriotism.

Today something similar is happening to the Confederate battle flag. Because of the Charleston Church attack people have decided to remove or outright ban the sale or display of the flag to show their anti-racism.

Both cases show the power of symbolism to the American psyche, and their meaningless outside of it. In the aftermath of 9-11 people felt they needed to do something to help, so they waved flags. Today a week after the church attack people want to do something, so they want to burn the Confederate battle flag.

The sudden appearance of the American flag didn’t damage al Qaeda, the perpetrator of the 9-11 attacks, and the removal of the Confederate battle flag from our society will not stop racism. Islamic terror and violent racism won’t succumb to such magical thinking no matter how well-intended the gestures may be.

Update: Reason.com, in “Massacres and Magical Thinking“, points out several examples of magical thinking in statements of the Left and Right.

Some Ironies of GunPhobia

Last night one of my liberal friends posted an anti-gun screed on Facebook. This morning in a completely unrelated thread she’s posted that the son of a friend is threatening her. Only someone who appreciates the value of the 2nd Amendment can see the irony between those two posts.

On a related topic, PRI did a segment last night about the prevalence of mass shootings in the world, and the Harvard professor they interviewed provided the only viewpoint (surprise) that the US gun laws are behind the mass shootings. This agrees with Obama’s press conference condemning the massacre. IJ Review has a different take. When adjusted for population the US is behind 5 other countries all of which have restrictive gun laws.

Gunphobes have no idea how many legally owned guns there are in the United States. Statistics I have seen run from .75 t0 1.25 guns per person in the United States – anywhere from 250m to 350m legally owned guns. When you compare that number to the legally purchased weapons used in mass shootings, such as the Glock purchased by Dylann “Mushroom Head” Roof, and the ratio of legally owned guns USED in mass shootings vs legally owned guns NOT USED in mass shootings is infinitesmal.

As a former gunphobe myself I understand their mindset when a tragedy like the church shooting in Charleston SC happens. I am a human being who cares about others, and it is exactly because of that care that I own guns. I should not have to rely upon others for my protection and safety. As I’ve learned cops cannot be everywhere and are never there when you need them. It only takes seconds for someone to harm you or your loved ones, while it takes minutes (or longer in many cases) for police to arrive. Gunphobes don’t get that.

As a gunphobe in college I was robbed at gunpoint, and while at the mercy of the guy robbing me the only weapon I had for my defense was a corded telephone. Had the robber decided to become a killer, there was nothing I would have been able to do beyond hitting him in the face with a telephone before he shot me. A few years later while living in a predominantly gay neighborhood of San Diego, young men and women my age were being attacked for being “gay” in a series of wilding attacks that left a young 18 year old man dead just steps away from my apartment. I marched in a protest rally against the attacks, and that’s when I realized that I couldn’t rely upon anyone else to protect me. Self-defense was ultimately up to me. Although it took years I eventually overcame the unreasonable fear of guns, and now appreciate their presence in my life. In the past I wrote about an incident that even now I cannot say much about except getting over gunphobia allowed me to protect myself, my son, and a complete stranger during the time it took for the authorities to arrive. Once they did the guns were put away, their job complete.

Gunphobes don’t get that, nor are they aware of all the instances where guns are pulled in self-defense and not fired, or when guns are used in self-defense and victims are saved. Those occurrences are much more common than the mass shootings perpetrated by sick human beings like Dylann Roof. Taking those guns away, even if it were possible, would just replace one set of victims with another, and that’s the ultimate irony that Gunphobes are simply incapable of recognizing.

Update: Here’s a case where a similar tragedy was averted thanks to a responsible gun owner carrying inside a church. Note how that story doesn’t make CNN or the New York Times. No surprise why.

There Must Be a Better Way

A few months back I came out strongly against the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson MO. Although I now question the events surrounding his death, and accept there was an altercation between Brown and Officer Wilson in which Brown was not blameless, I still am left to wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong with policing in America. On Saturday a 12 year old boy was shot on a playground in Cleveland for wielding what turns out to have been a replica gun. The boy, Tamir Rice, died of his wounds on Sunday. The 911 caller told the 911 dispatcher that the boy was wielding a “probably fake gun” and scaring everyone, but that information was not passed to the responding officers, and I’m not sure if it would have made any difference had it been.

As a legal gun owner I take my rights and my responsibilities seriously. Everything I have learned over the past 7 years since I took up my 2nd Amendment right has taught me that a gun is always a last resort, and that when I point the weapon I have to be prepared to accept the consequences for what happens to anything in front of my weapon. And I realize cops have a hard job. I know cops, and some of my friends are cops and I have a lot of respect for those who accept the calling to serve and protect, so this isn’t criticism coming from some Leftist who wants all “pigs to die” or wants anarchy in the streets. I don’t see why I have to choose between anarchy on one hand and living in a police state on the other. Both extremes aren’t pleasant for anyone, be they civilians or cops. There has to be some middle way.

Something is wrong, terribly wrong with how we police given the number of unarmed people shot by police in our country. I believe that the decline of neighborhood policing caused by budget cuts coupled with the militarization of police forces has changed the way the Police perceives the Public. The kind of attitude that cops are trained to have is they better control the situation before it controls them. This works in a war zone where everyone is a possible enemy but in civil society, even one as well-armed as ours, that attitude is going to lead to where we are today: hundreds of unarmed civilians dead every year.

Was Tamir Rice being stupid? Yes. Was Michael Brown stoned and aggressive after stealing from a quick shop? Perhaps. But isn’t there a better way to handle these situations, some way between ignoring the crime and shooting the suspects dead?