Confessions Of An Anti: Part IV


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ForeignDude
April 29, 2008, 04:41 AM
Confessions Of An Anti: Part I (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=358269)

Confessions Of An Anti: Part II (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=358304)

Confessions Of An Anti: Part III (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=358526)

The Early Service Years (2001-2005)

It may come as a surprise to those who have not been in the service, but there is relatively little exposure to firearms in what is supposed to be an Armed Force. This is particularly true for combat service support units (e.g., Judge Advocate, Medical).

During the Officer Basic Course (OBC), I never fired a single round. During the core component of OBC, we had a Field Training Exercise; at the start of this exercise, we were issued one M16 rifle sans magazine and sans ammunition. We carried the rifle everywhere, and it was required to be “on safe” at all times, despite the lack of a magazine. At the training site, we were allowed to handle an M9 pistol, but we were not issued one; M9s were shared among us, as there were not enough to go around. During the day, the M9s were brought out to a central area, where one could examine them more closely, and they were locked back up at night. Although my exposure to firearms in OBC was minimal, I must admit that I learned quite a bit. I learned how to field-strip each weapon, the various parts of the M9 and M16, and how to oil and clean them. I found that I was actually pretty good at it, though I still had no idea what relevance this knowledge would have in my personal life, outside my official duties.

My first posting after OBC was in the Washington, DC, area. I rented an apartment in Maryland, although my choice to live in Maryland was not based on this state’s strict gun control laws. At the time, I was still woefully ignorant of the laws pertaining to purchase, possession, or carry. Most of what I knew about firearms laws came mostly from the media, and it was obvious to me even then that most media outlets derived their knowledge from gun control groups. I simply assumed that these groups were honestly devoted to public safety, and that their reports on firearms laws (or lack thereof) were trustworthy. Thus, I continued to live under the impression that anybody could walk into a gun shop, put down the requisite amount of money, and walk out with a gun – “no questions asked”. Put simply, my views on gun control, fully cemented by this time, were based on woefully inadequate knowledge.

Not too long after I arrived in the DC area, I met my future wife and shortly before we got married, I received orders for a posting in Europe. So, we got married, packed up all our stuff, and left for Germany late in 2004.

Western Europe is an entirely different world: it is the embodiment of the leftist, welfare-state philosophy I had subscribed to since college. First, the majority of the population views government as benevolent; solutions to social problems are arrived at collectively via government action. Second, gun control is seen as a fundamental good, and reflective of the government’s dedication to the “right to live free from violence”. Third, intellectuals of all stripes have a substantial impact in shaping public opinion and policy. Finally, non-governmental organizations wield considerable influence in the halls of power. Needless to say, the “American way” (broadly defined) is viewed very negatively and regarded as the epitome of selfishness, brutality, and violence. It may be a cliché, but it is nonetheless true: Europeans consider themselves far more civilized than Americans.

So, the months passed for me here in Germany. In mid-2005, I got word that I would be deploying to Iraq. Since I wasn’t assigned to one of those Über-tacticool units, I was informed that I would be schlepping an M9 pistol as my only defense against head-chopping, sandflea-crazed jihadists. The good news in all this was that it was a short mission. The bad news was that I would traveling all over Iraq, via transport planes, helicopters, and ground convoys (i.e., frequently “outside the wire”). None of this was particularly comforting: if my ride hit an IED (or got shot down), and if I managed to survive, the only thing standing between me and “CNN Breaking News” was my little pea-shooter. (Don’t get wrong: I consider the M9/92FS a perfectly adequate pistol for civilian CCW use. However, when the other guy is toting a full-auto AK or a grenade launcher, that pistol suddenly seems somewhat – ah – inadequate.)

One of the tasks I had to complete before deployment was to qualify with the M9 pistol. I failed three times; on the fourth try, I barely passed. It was obvious to me that if I wanted to maximize the protective value of the M9 I’d be carrying in Iraq, I needed considerably more practice. It was here, for the first time in my life, that I came face-to-face with the reality of gun control.

The Challenge, Disillusionment, and Reformation (2005-Present)

I started doing some research in preparation for purchasing a firearm. Since I had a specific purpose for purchasing a firearm of my own (improving marksmanship on the same pistol as I would be issued for deployment), I selected the Beretta 92FS as the pistol I was going to buy.

So, I went down to the nearest Army “Rod & Gun” club to buy the pistol. After all, I had learned that all you need to do to get a pistol is to put your money down on the counter. Boy, did I get an education! All American servicemembers are bound by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States and Germany. So, in order to buy a pistol, I would need to: (1) join a shooting club (e.g., the nearest Army “Rod & Gun Club”) and provide proof of membership-in-good-standing for at least 12 consecutive months; (2) request enrollment in a firearms safety course, and pass the exam administered at the end of the course; (3) obtain a letter from my commander providing clearance for me to purchase a firearm; (4) submit to a criminal background check from the German Federal Police; (5) submit a request for NICS background check to be carried out by the FBI; (6) submit an application to the local German authorities for a pistol and ammunition purchase permit, specifying the pistol to be purchased and the caliber of the pistol; (7) register the pistol with the local German authorities and the US Army; (8) maintain a written record of ammunition used (where purchased, in what quantities, in what caliber). Any pistol I purchased would have to be certified as meeting German “safety” standards. Importation of a firearm without the requisite safety certification is strictly prohibited. Believe it or not, we have it easier than the locals: they also have to have a certification from a mental health professional that they are stable enough to own a firearm. If you think a seven-day waiting period to take possession of a handgun is onerous, try waiting an entire year!

To make a long story short, I gave up on getting the pistol, I did deploy to Iraq, and returned safe-and-sound. Upon my return to Europe, I began doing more research into the technical aspects of firearms, the Second Amendment, the history of gun control, and the politics of gun control. Thus, finally, the scale fell from my eyes: I found that everything that I had been told about guns was a lie.

More than anything else, I felt betrayed. I realized that I had been manipulated by gun control advocates. They had lied to me about the origins and scope of the Second Amendment. They had lied to me about the availability of guns, and the ease with which firearms could be obtained legally. They had lied to me about so-called “assault weapons”. They had lied to me about the effectiveness of gun control laws. They had lied to me about the history of gun control, never mentioning how it was used by Jim Crow-era southern governments to disarm blacks and make them easy prey for the Ku Klux Klan. All of it was a pack of lies.

Gun control advocates had lied particularly about the reality of western Europe. American gun control advocates tout Europe as proof of the superiority of gun control: it is safer, less violent, more civilized than the United States. This, like everything else, is a lie. I live here and I have seen the rot beneath the veneer. Only a fool continues to believe that Europe is a paragon of peace. Britain, Wales, and Scotland are drowning in violent crime. There are areas in the major cities of France and Germany where even the police fear to tread. Germany has a serious gang problem, especially in the larger cities, where roving groups of neo-Nazis and Turkish youth find easy pickings among the unarmed populace. Spain has seen a sharp increase in violence, fueled by Moroccan and Senegalese gangs. Gay-bashing by north African youth is routine fare in France, Holland, and Germany.

The heart of Europe is beating its last. Gun control is but one of the manifestations of that slow death. Here, the populace relies entirely on the police for protection. The police cannot be everywhere, of course, and the people are legally bound not to protect themselves. Self-defense, as legal concept, has virtually disappeared in western Europe. A person is left with two choices: (1) resist with all available means, and risk a longer prison sentence than the criminals who attacked him; (2) submit, and hope that his assailants spy other prey or that the police arrive in time. With few exceptions, the average European has chosen submission, and considers himself the better for it. In this place, this Europe, I learned the most horrific lesson of all: this civilization is where gun control advocates would take our country. Europe is the magnum opus of deliberate campaign to elevate defenselessness as a virtue, and government as a postmodern God. It is the fate of the few, by luck or chance, to die for the self-righteousness of they who shape the Law: the disarmament lobby, the politicians, the bureaucrats. As with the mass herbivore migrations of the African savanna, the old and the weak must be sacrificed to the predator so that the herd may live for one more day.

That would not be, could not be, my fate. Faced with the option to resist or submit, the choice would be mine. No longer would I be bound to a bloody utopian vision, carried forward by a cadre of zealots leveraging the armed might of the State to nullify my right to Life.

I am a gun owner, I hold a concealed carry permit, and (when in the States) I carry a concealed pistol. Should the unthinkable come to pass, I shall be ready. I will not throw my wife and son to the wolves to save myself, nor will delude myself into pretending that cowardice is "courage".

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coelacanth
April 29, 2008, 05:37 AM
and I must tell you that I find it stunningly lucid and well written. Part of my own history mirrors yours and I also came to the realization that there is such a thing as objective truth. It was jarring revelation but a necessary one as I had no intention of going back into that "cave" to spend the rest of my life denying it. Nicely done, sir. We are in your debt.

Rose62
April 29, 2008, 06:14 AM
Thank you for this series of posts. I live in Europe and agree with what you have observed about several things. I'll just comment on one. People here depend solely on the police to defend them but it just does not work. Today there is a news story about a family who huddled in a bedroom while eight burglars (one with an axe) robbed their home. The police took three hours to arrive (too late to do anything but take a statement). See story here (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=562603&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&expand=true#StartComments).

I'm going to have a couple of my older children, and my husband (if he will) read your story. Thanks again.

karandom
April 29, 2008, 06:24 AM
Thank you so much for your postings. Them have been interesting and informing. If you don't mind I plan on having some antis I know read this.

loneviking
April 29, 2008, 06:44 AM
You, sir, need to take and turn these chapters into a book. It would be a valuable addition on the bookshelf.

Phil DeGraves
April 29, 2008, 08:40 AM
That was a terrific essay. Thank you very much for that.

Sans Authoritas
April 29, 2008, 08:46 AM
Well-written. I second loneviking's motion.

-Sans Authoritas

1911 guy
April 29, 2008, 08:50 AM
I'd like to second everything that has been said above. Especially turning this essay into a book. Even a relatively short 100 page book would be worth the cover price. It sounds, though, like you could expand these thoughts into more detail, both descriptive and the thought process that led you to the final conclusion.

Standing Wolf
April 29, 2008, 08:59 AM
More than anything else, I felt betrayed. I realized that I had been manipulated by gun control advocates. They had lied to me about the origins and scope of the Second Amendment. They had lied to me about the availability of guns, and the ease with which firearms could be obtained legally. They had lied to me about so-called “assault weapons”. They had lied to me about the effectiveness of gun control laws. They had lied to me about the history of gun control, never mentioning how it was used by Jim Crow-era southern governments to disarm blacks and make them easy prey for the Ku Klux Klan. All of it was a pack of lies.

Well, yeah, but some representatives of the Democratic (sic) party have issued press releases in which they support the Second Amendment.

In full seriousness: anti-Second Amendment bigotry is merely one more manifestation of leftist hatred for individualism. At its core, leftism is feudalism with a fake "scientific" or "humane" face.

Sans Authoritas
April 29, 2008, 09:01 AM
Standing Wolf,

I'd hesitate to put the collectivist mentality squarely on the "liberal" camp. The "conservative" camp merely has different manifestations of its collectivism.

-Sans Authoritas

Henry Bowman
April 29, 2008, 09:11 AM
To make a long story short, I gave up on getting the pistol, I did deploy to Iraq, and returned safe-and-sound. Upon my return to Europe, I began doing more research into the technical aspects of firearms, the Second Amendment, the history of gun control, and the politics of gun control. Thus, finally, the scale fell from my eyes: I found that everything that I had been told about guns was a lie. Please don't "make a long story short." This is the very core of the story that we want to hear. Give details, please. What information did you find? Where did you find it? What convinced you to believe what the "gun lobby" had to say over what the antis and the media had been drumming in unison for so long?

Henry Bowman
April 29, 2008, 09:13 AM
SA: Standing Wolf did not say "liberal" camp. He said "leftists."

Sans Authoritas
April 29, 2008, 09:23 AM
I concede that is what he said. I here amend my statement to say "leftist" and "rightist."

-Sans Authoritas

Cmdr. Gravez0r
April 29, 2008, 09:26 AM
Single best essay I've ever read on this forum.

The entire series was extremely well written, convincing, and pretty much just the tops.

Baba Louie
April 29, 2008, 09:45 AM
ForeignDude,
You simply MUST find a publisher for this essay. Simply. Even tho' I've read it here on THR, I will buy it in whatever form it is published, I tell you that now.

I wish you success in any and all of the journeys your life takes you sir.

And now, I hunger for more.

Leitmotif
April 29, 2008, 09:49 AM
Remarkable. When Foreign has provided some of the information that Henry suggested, these posts should be collected into a single thread and stickied. At least for a while.

Cmdr.: wat het van Bok van Blerk geword? Of is die nuwe een van sy ander liedjies?

Ons drome is soos skadu teen die muur.

Pilot
April 29, 2008, 10:19 AM
Excellent, well written essay on gun control. Please have this published!

Prof. A. Wickwire
April 29, 2008, 10:34 AM
ForeignDude,

Agreed regarding a book. I would buy copies as gifts for people who have not yet had your revelation and I think could handle the information.

This is a perfect example of what the Big Lie is all about.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Sincerely,

Prof. A. Wickwire

cleardiddion
April 29, 2008, 10:38 AM
That was probably one of the most stunning reads I've ever seen here, or anywhere for that matter.
Thank you so much for posting this!

I am wondering, with your permission, if it is possible for me to make a copy of your essay and use it this upcoming fall. I have just been elected as the vice president of my school's firearms club and like to use it to help educate our members.

Leitmotif
April 29, 2008, 10:46 AM
It's inspiring for gun owners, but doubtful whether it'll make a difference in an anti's life. They're unlikely to read further than the description of their home grounds - the universities - being anything less than open-minded bastions of clear thought.

The real meat of this is contained in the last section - the revelation that he was lied to, and the details on how exactly the disarmament proponents misled him. That's what needs to sink in to the antis and fencesitters' heads.

MechAg94
April 29, 2008, 11:26 AM
First, great write up. I need to go read the rest of it.

First, the majority of the population views government as benevolent; solutions to social problems are arrived at collectively via government action.
This sentence caught my eye. IMO, that is also another lie of socialist govt. The idea that solutions are arrived at collectively via government. The "Collective" is not of the people but of the bureaucrats and politicos. They don't want to be bothered by what the people want.

Last year or the year before, one of the newspapers in England did a special where readers would vote for the law they most wanted and the local parliamentarian would introduce the law. Much to their surprise, the a law to allow self defense won out. I forget the actual language. I read some snide statements from the parliament guy about how he didn't support it, but would introduce the bill anyway as he promised. It just underscored that these guys don't want to have to listen to what the people want or what they go through. They want to dictate what is important.

fiVe
April 29, 2008, 11:29 AM
Well written.

Unquestionable credibility.

A wide-open revelation to all liberals/gun-haters (if they will only open their eyes and see it).

JohnL2
April 29, 2008, 11:50 AM
Sir, I dearly hope that you are an NRA member. We need more people like you. I too almost bought the drivel of the anti-gunners, but a part of my upbringing kept me anchored.
I found your comments on Europe particularly illuminating. Odd that the media never covers it in that angle.
It is my belief that disarming a populace, however piecemeal, is indicative of how idiotic and incompetent said society is.
I would not be surprised if Europe is going to have to be bailed out again in the next half-century or so.

Rudy Kohn
April 29, 2008, 12:03 PM
ForeignDude, this has been a phenomenal series of short essays. I have enjoyed them greatly.

I would like to add my voice to that of the others asking you to try to get this piece published.

At the very least, I think that a combined version of these essays would be an excellent addition to the "Essays" portion of the THR Library.

Thank you for the opportunity to read this.

Soybomb
April 29, 2008, 12:03 PM
Thanks for sharing!

Jolly Rogers
April 29, 2008, 12:56 PM
If you decide to expand your essay into a larger format this area,

"More than anything else, I felt betrayed. I realized that I had been manipulated by gun control advocates. They had lied to me about the origins and scope of the Second Amendment. They had lied to me about the availability of guns, and the ease with which firearms could be obtained legally. They had lied to me about so-called “assault weapons”. They had lied to me about the effectiveness of gun control laws. They had lied to me about the history of gun control, never mentioning how it was used by Jim Crow-era southern governments to disarm blacks and make them easy prey for the Ku Klux Klan. All of it was a pack of lies. "

is where I suggest you add some meat. Tell us the lies in detail and how and what you learned about them. The Jim Crow comment needs some companionship here.

I am truly gratified that you are writing this and thanks!
Joe

SSN Vet
April 29, 2008, 01:33 PM
most excellent!

Well done!

kevin davis
April 29, 2008, 01:58 PM
great essay. it shows how little critical thinking is actually used by those who would "lead" us into this sheepherd utopia. just follow the leader, do not ask any questions and definitely do not go off on your own, lest you find out our truth is not so.:banghead:

Danus ex
April 29, 2008, 02:07 PM
Superlative four-part essay. Your discussions of graduate school and Europe are especially poignant because the two are closely linked in the minds of many graduate students and other "elite" posers who relish snobbery. While Europe is a real place with real people and real issues, reality never stopped anyone from believing anything, and thousands of America's "best" young minds think Europe is heaven's guest house.

coloradokevin
April 29, 2008, 02:09 PM
FD,

Very well written. Thanks for sharing your experiences in Europe. Always wondered what it was like over there on the other side of the pond!

ForeignDude
April 29, 2008, 02:16 PM
Thank you very much to all of you have written all of these awesome supportive comments.

I hope that my original intent has been satisfied: to give you a no-holds-barred, honest look inside the mind of a gun control advocate.

If any of you find this helpful, by all means, please make use of it. Print it, e-mail it, share it with others. Perhaps my experiences will encourage others to do what I did: to question the information they have received from gun control groups, and to seek the facts for themselves.

SSN Vet
April 29, 2008, 02:24 PM
all done?

I was hoping for more.

IllHunter
April 29, 2008, 02:30 PM
I say: BZ

TwitchALot
April 29, 2008, 04:46 PM
WRITE MOAR! :cuss: :fire: :evil:

Pilot
April 29, 2008, 04:50 PM
Where's Part V? I can't put it down!!!

:D

MGD 45
April 29, 2008, 07:54 PM
I just copied & pasted all 3 parts to a word document and sat down & read them.....all I can say is WOW! What a wonderfully written essay. I have printed off several copies and passed them around to some of my friends who have anti-gun beliefs and asked them to read it......hope ya don't mind me doing that, but I had to share this!

rainbowbob
April 29, 2008, 09:53 PM
I just copied & pasted all 3 parts to a word document and sat down & read them.

Good idea to save this great essay in a word file.

kentucky bucky
April 29, 2008, 10:15 PM
This should be required reading in high school. Well written!

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