Let me start with an apology. I made a promise to myself when I started writing this blog that I’d keep it light and humorous. The news reports these days are always so full of gloom and doom that I had hoped to be an outlet for laughter and a little food for thought. There are enough political blogs out there with a never ending range of viewpoints. I don’t want this blog to become one of those, but I feel so strongly about this week’s subject that I’m compelled to say what I’m about to say.
The never ending, rhetorical chant from our elected officials and liberal news media to make villains out of gun owners with their misguided, ad nauseam, plea to the masses from their bully pulpit about America’s need to render the victims (those being the honest, hard working legal gun owners) unarmed and at the mercy of the animals who, of late, seem to be coming out of the wood work has finally plucked my last nerve.
Let me first say that my heart goes out to the victims and loved ones of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. What happened there is so tragic and senseless that no words of sympathy or comfort could ever console the victims and grieving families of this senseless tragedy. I pray that your friends, loved ones, your memories and your faith help you cope with your sorrow in your time of bereavement. This despicable, premeditated act was committed by a deranged coward who should die a very slow and painful death in the public square.
Unfortunately, immediately following the movie theater tragedy, and after just about any other major crime involving firearms, the liberal news media and our clueless elected officials were again ablaze with their patented war cry: “Gun Control!”
The matter of gun control hits very close to home for me. This is not a story I like to dwell on; one I would love to be able to forget, but I will tell it to show my credentials for making the point I’m trying to make in this post.
For those of you who don’t know me, I was the victim of an armed home invasion two years ago that, to this day, still haunts me to my very core. During this nightmare, I was shot three times. I no longer feel that warm-fuzzy that the warmth and safety of being “home” brings to most people. Every strange sound I hear in the night sends ripples of fear throughout my mind and body as I’m reaching for my gun. On those rare occasions when I don’t have the horrors of that night on my mind, I have two lead slugs in my right hip to remind me of what happened in my own kitchen two years ago.
Two weeks prior to this incident, I was away for the weekend and came home Sunday evening, in the pouring rain, to see my shed door swinging in the breeze and one of the front windows broken out. After closer inspection, I found that the tools I had stored out there were gone and the inside of the shed was in shambles. My cornice flood lights on the corners of my house had been extinguished when the perps killed the main breaker to my house so they could take their time in the dark back yard without fear of being seen by the neighbors. They weren’t even kind enough to turn the power back on after their cowardly act so, over the weekend, without power to the house, all the food in my freezer thawed and everything in the refrigerator was useless. The police made a cursory investigation, tsk tsk’ed a few times and told me about the terrible times we were living in as they took the report that, I knew, would never be investigated.
I work a weird shift and usually get home at around three-thirty in the morning. I got in that fateful morning, two weeks after the shed robbery, went through my usual routine; a glass of tea and a quick perusal of my email and Facebook page to wind down, and went to bed to watch some mindless TV before I went to sleep.
Just as I was drifting off, the TV and the lights went out. I initially suspected a power outage, common to this area on rainy winter nights, until I looked out the window and saw the street lights on. Suspecting the worst, I grabbed my gun and a candle (my flashlight batteries had died) and went outside in the freezing rain to reset the breaker. When I went around the back of the house to reset the breaker, a cranked up neighbor slid in the back door to hide and wait for me. This was someone who lived right across the street from me and who knew my schedule, knew when I was home or away and knew that he had ample time to do his dastardly deed while I was at work. He wanted to break in while I was home!
I came back in, locked the door and stepped up into my kitchen, only to be met by a masked, gloved maniac awaiting me with a gun pointed inches from my head, screaming at me to get down on the floor. A gun which we later found out was borrowed from someone else of questionable credentials for the soul purpose of insuring that it couldn’t be traced.
It’s amazing how the mind and the bladder work together, believe me, but I knew in an instant that if I went down on the floor, I wouldn’t be getting back up. Running entirely on my most primal fight or flight instincts, and not the machismo that most who profess the bravery they’d exhibit in a similar situation say they would show, I jumped back behind my refrigerator and started shooting blind from around the corner. A lot of that night is still fuzzy, but sometime amid the ear-splitting booms and the thick blanket of acrid cordite smoke that permeated the small kitchen, I took three in the gluteus and, as I later learned, so did he. I made a dash for the back door while he bolted for the front.
Fortunately, he didn’t have time to take anything but my sense of peace and tranquility. He did, however, leave, to date, two years of nightmares and two of the three bullets still in my right butt cheek…….and an almost new pair of jeans that are probably still in the evidence room at the police station.
One day I’ll be able to write this story with a humorous twist and throw in all the unspeakable acts of debauchery performed on me, both by the police and the staff at the hospital, with the comedic slant that they now so deserve but, to date, I haven’t been able to muster that amount of mental healing. I fight daily to clear it from my mind and stop being a victim, but I have been unable to, as yet, fully achieve that. It will come, I’m sure. If nothing else, I’m an optimist. One thing is for certain; I wouldn’t wish that feeling of helplessness on my worst enemy. However, thanks to my gun, I lived to tell this tale of woe.
The point of that story is this: Had I been unarmed that night, and left to the devices of a crank infused, mentally unstable, would-be thief/potential murderer, I probably wouldn’t be here to write this blog today.
My guns are registered and I carry a legal concealed weapons permit. I went through all the requisite steps to legally carry a gun. How many of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes do you think have done that? As a matter of fact, current laws would prevent most of them from legally possessing a firearm at all.
According to Wiki, it is estimated that between forty-three and fifty-five million households in the United States own at least one gun. That’s a liberal estimate because those are the guns owned by people who went through the necessary steps and bought their guns legally. These “ordinary people” have proven to the extent required by existing, satisfactory law that they aren’t felons, don’t have a history of mental illness and all the other mandated criteria the federal and local government requires of those who legally own guns.
Of those approximately fifty-five million legal guns, only one percent of the crimes committed in the United States with a gun were committed by those fifty-five million legal gun owners. One percent! I’d have to conclude from those statistics that it’s fair to say that the legal gun owners who follow the rules aren’t the people we need to fear or place further restrictions on.
I could mention the extremist’s view and say that if law enforcement were doing their jobs, we wouldn’t need to be armed. The more rational among you all know what a foolish statement that is. Police departments everywhere are all woefully understaffed and under funded. Police men and women are underpaid and over worked. Given the alarming crime rate, due in part to our plunging economy and the amount of drugs available on every street in every city in the country, the police are basically outnumbered and doing their best to put out the small fires while the raging inferno continues to blaze hotter by the hour.
I read constantly. I’m a bit of a news-a-haulic and spend a great deal of time sifting through the news on the internet to weed out the hogwash and pick the gems out for future reference in my ever growing font of useless information. Like it or not, a lot of the tidbits I picked up along the way hit really close to home.
I learned that before the Nazi’s took over control of Germany, the preceding Weimar Republic put into place gun laws that were later reinforced by the Nazis which, in 1938, effectively disarmed the citizenry. From 1939-1945, over 13 million Jews and others, unable to defend themselves, were sent to their deaths.
In 1929, the government of Russia imposed gun control. From 1929-1953, approximately 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
During WWII, one of the key reasons the Japanese never invaded US soil was because they knew that a great many Americans were armed.
These are but a few of the many things I’ve picked up in my reading. The list is endless but this is a blog, not a book, so I’ve whittled the list down a bit. The point is that if you take the guns away from the law abiding citizens, only the criminals will have guns. It’s so blatantly obvious that the question of gun control should never even be broached in intelligent company……which explains why the politicos keep waving the gun control flag.
More to the point, the Constitution of the United States was written for a reason. It has, in effect, ruled the land and brought this country from the revolution to the strong, free, wonderful country that we have enjoyed for over 200 years. It is the very foundation that our culture was built on. The 2nd Amendment is a part of that constitution. Thomas Jefferson said it best when he said, The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution. If we start changing the very basic principles of our country to satisfy the whims of a few, as we seem to be doing with the current trendy fad of political correctness, (another blog) we’ll have anarchy. Does that sound extreme? Possibly, but it is something I believe deeply and, considering that this is my blog, and because I’m an American with the right of free speech, also thanks to the First Amendment of the Constitution, I can express my views as I like without fear of reprisal; other that that which I’m sure I’ll get from those who disagree with what I’ve had to say here. Feel free to comment below. While it is my right to voice my opinion, it is your right to disagree. Welcome to America. She may have a few chinks in her armor, but she’s still the greatest country in the world…….and we speak American English here. If you would care to view this blog in Spanish, push the escape key numerous times and, please, let me know how that works for you………..reply in English, please.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Agree to disagree with me? Just keep this in mind: According to the New York Times, police response times to priority 9-1-1 calls has increased to an average 8 minutes, 25 seconds in metropolitan areas. Even longer in rural areas. In that amount of time, you and/or one of your loved ones could possibly be murdered or assaulted, your home cleaned out and the scum who committed the crime well on their way to the pawn shop where everything you’ve worked and slaved for will be sold for drug money. While owning a gun, and knowing how to handle it properly, may not save your life, it will certainly level the playing field somewhat and possibly save your life or the life of someone you love.
Responsible and legal gun ownership is our constitutional right and, to coin an old phrase, the only way they’ll get my gun is to pry it out of my cold, dead hand.
Until next week, I wish you peace, love and every happiness.
©Brian Greenleaf 2012. All rights reserved.
My latest book, Born Bent Over: Flashing the Vertical Smile at Middle Age, is now available as an ebook as well as in paperback and hardbound editions. Order your copy today. I promise there are no tangible political opinions in the whole book. There are, however, laughs galore.
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