Power of the Gun


March 9, 2009, 02:16 PM
I've been meditating on this a great deal lately, the "Power of the gun", and Death Wish was on this weekend while I was studying my brains out over spring break. Also I've been watching Sopranos on A&E, I refuse to pay for HBO, and of course the History Channel was running it's gangland series. And I can't get the saying from the latest Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro movies "Righteous Kill", "some people maybe respect the badge, but they definetly respect the gun." And the fact some kin of mine on my mom's side from New York(my aunt was born New York from a southern father and northern mother and when they divorced and my grandpa moved back he didn't take her with him) had some outrageous reactions to finding out I'm not only a gun owner but an NRA certified pistol instructor.

Here in Florida, the southern tradition and culture is largely gone, but still plenty of folks around who grew up with guns being a natural and inherent part of growing up, just another tool in their Dad's retinue of hammers, screwdrivers, and power tools. A gun was to protect the home, and bring home delicious deer meet or wild pig. Guns weren't for bad people to persecute, rape, rob, and murder. They weren't just for the cops to laud over the citizens and use as an instrucment to demonstrate their authority.

Now, we got cops with Full-Autos walking around the streets of New York City, reality TV shows with law enforcement 'showing off' talking about guns (DEA, and Real Vice Cops), and a lot of folks believe it is wrong to own guns. Parasite Criminal Scum rule entire neighborhoods, supported by their populaces, to use firearms to wage terror. And so many places(state's, cities, and counties) in this country tell the law abiding citizens that they can't own guns because that will cause the drug dealers, murderers, and rapist, to kill children playing in their own yards, even though that's what they are doing now while people go unarmed.

A lot of folks say the first "Death Wish" movie was just some immature fantasy fest, and it is somewhat I'm sure. But it spoke to a real truth of the times as I have gathered talking to retirees who left New York(I had 12 retirees in my first class, and they were all from New York and we talked at great length about crime and muggings in New York, and "Death Wish"). Folks were being terrorized by any scum bag who had a knife or gun, sometimes acting in concert with other scum. Someone arming themselves and limiting themselves to self-defense situations(let them start it, and be the one to finish it), is thought to be....disturbing by a lot of folks, but don't we as Americans have a right to be able to walk our streets and parks at any time of day and be safe, if someone wants to do wrong, should they not be the only one to suffer the consequences for their actions (a mugger with a gun getting ended by a double dose of lead core jacketed-hollow-points). As long as the person doesn't inniate the encounter, why is it wrong for them to justly defend themselves.

Then there is "The Sopranos", these guys aren't skilled criminals or murderers, just some scum running around with guns, all their power tied to a willingness to ignore the law and kill people at times. What power would they have if they had to face a populace that could readily arm themselves (either with CWPs, open carry, or live in an area where permits aren't required to carry), prepared to shoot back, unafraid to kill some scum in self-defence. They'd be largely on equal footing.

Scum tend to only prosper where states and government want to strip Americans of their rights, or where poverty is subsidized and unconscioulsy encouraged, where the scum can easily prey on law-abiding people. Why isn't there major crime in Georgia in the rural areas, where in Kennesaw(the city that has a law on the books where every head of household must own a gun, they have celebrated 28 years without a murder), or in Vermont or New Hampshire. An example closer to home is my Seminole County where I live and Orange County where I go to school. Orange County had a 118 murders last year (yes more than 80% were drug dealers), and Seminole County had 22 murders (15 drug dealers, 4 they couldn't confirm undeniably to be drug dealers[were supposedly turning their lives around], and few unfortunate domestic spouse murders, only one done with a gun). Folks from Orange county say us Seminole County folks are hicks and crackers, but we don't have the severity of drug dens like they do, or the massive number of murders. And we in Seminole County are largely southern born or native floridians who are southern influenced, and yes a great deal of us own guns, so go figure. Admittedly the number of self-defense by gun, going on have not been largely in Seminole County.

God made man, but Colt made them equal(quote from Quigely Down Under). A lot of times we are questioned about the need to own guns, and it should never be a matter of need, we all have the right to own property for ourselves as Americans, as guaranteed to us by the founding fathers (and encroached by un-American politicians). But there is an essential need, a fundamental need, the need to be at no greater disadvantage to those who would rob our homes, rape our loved ones, and murder us at a given chance. To stand on equal footing, and at least have a chance to defend ourselves. The only use for a phone is when they were the old heavy rotary kinds you could at least chance using to smash in the skull of knife wielding maniac, now when you need the phone to call the police they are only minutes away when it'll only take seconds to kill you, and that's hoping your phone line is working. The 'Power of the Gun' can be used to persecute and oppress, to wage terror and harm, but it can also be used to liberate and save, it is a tool that's purpose is guided by the one's who wield it. Then why should not the 95% of the country's population that abides by the law, wield a gun, for what could happen, that they might be safe.

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March 9, 2009, 02:32 PM

March 9, 2009, 02:32 PM
Ah, maybe now I understand why I felt like I "fit in" while visiting Seminole Co.
More so than over to titusville or KSC, too; though those were not bad. Or maybe it was that downtown Orlando gave me that creepy "like Atlanta" feeling.

March 9, 2009, 05:00 PM
5 star post.

March 9, 2009, 05:30 PM
Then there is "The Sopranos", these guys aren't skilled criminals or murderers, just some scum running around with guns, all their power tied to a willingness to ignore the law and kill people at times. What power would they have if they had to face a populace that could readily arm themselves (either with CWPs, open carry, or live in an area where permits aren't required to carry), prepared to shoot back, unafraid to kill some scum in self-defence. They'd be largely on equal footing.

I applaud your post and the reasoning behind it.

However, the question "what power would they [organized criminal actors] have if they [had to face an armed citizenry]" is a bit short-sighted. The answer is "plenty." A concealed weapon is not a magic force-field. If a man becomes the target of the focused and pre-meditated attentions of organized violent actors, the chances that he will escape unscathed become very slim. We just can't exist at such a state of readiness -- and perpetually strategize to avoid every moment and angle of vulnerability -- that we become untouchable.

Heaven help you were you to kill a member of even a small-time gang in a self-defense shooting. The criminal trial may go fine. You may have no troubles in the civil trial. Friends of the dead guy will have long memories.

A concealed weapon is an emergency tool against random acts of violence, in the vast majority of cases. It may save your life in a street mugging, carjacking, or even in an "active shooter" situation in a public place. But it cannot protect you against a gang or "the Mafia" if you are unfortunate enough or unwise enough to raise their ire.

I can imagine a number of horrifying situations in which a completely unarmed member of such an organization could approach you (and you could be packing a .44 Mag.) and say one sentence that would have you helplessly at their mercy. Or a million other moments where you could be easily murdered without ever having had the chance to get out of "Code Yellow," let alone draw your gun.

My point is, bearing a firearm for personal protection is probably the most effective thing we can do to defend our lives. But it still has grave limitations. Some issues are much larger than our carry guns can deal with. It is right and good that we remind ourselves of the benefits of an armed society, but we must not be so self-congratulatory that we forget how vulnerable we still are.

Just some thoughts...


March 9, 2009, 07:01 PM
Sam, you are quite right. I was merely trying to make a point, granted limited one because most folks are not prepared to deal with my failings in brevity.

But to counter your point, and maybe this has been my family and kin's unique experience. My great-grandfather in his lifetime admitted(there was some going-ons during Rosewood that have been lost to myth and confusion) to killing five klansmen, granted all in horrific violent manners and he did tend to mutilate the bodies after the self-defense situation had ended and he admitted to shooting a couple of them in the back as the fight had left them after watching their cohorts get killed in short order, and it was a different time and day where the technology of law enforcement was quite limited, and populations were still quite spread out and quite able to ignore large numbers of gun shots. And my grandfather was a former Horse Marine(changed his Jewish last name to a non-Jewish last name, and he had married a part African woman) and had fought in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion and grew up a rough neck (one of the few jews around at the time and him having a part African wife tended to make life difficult, and he always liked a fight as my grandfather told me, and my mom who knew him quite well said he was often eager for a fight, to me he was great-gramp, a short quiet kind man). Sum of the point is that after the second time, folks learned to leave him be

A concealed weapon doesn't make us invulnerable, and shooting scum in the back once they lose the fight in them is against the law certainly. I'm speaking as a society, we stand a better chance. If a gang of teenagers knew or thought with great certainty that if they were to open fire on a neighbor's of yours house, and that you'd step out with a 12-gauge or AR(take your pick) and riddle their car with holes as they are attempting to slay your neighbors, it might make them think twice. An armed socienty is a polite society, and a polite society can be a united society.

For men to do evil things, it only takes good men to do nothing. That's become a facet of our society. Too many of us are closed off from one another, it astounds me how many folks don't know their neighbors. Maybe cause I grew up with my parents always doing cookouts with the neighbors, I've carried it on and I know everyone on my lake(even if I don't care for a few of them). Just last Sunday we had a massive cookout (did give racks of ribs in my infamous style [really just marinating in Corona beer and sauces of your choosing for seventy-two hours to get that fall off the bone effect) and guess what. A lot of neighbors after seeing my barbecue gun (a S&W 19-4 6", just love that gun, not incredibly expensive but certainly more respectable than a Ruger P90), got back on their boats and got theirs out to wear on their belts. We all got a big laugh when my nosey good for nothing neighbor was watching us with binoculars.

Now I know eleven households that all own guns(not just .22lrs). I got to fondle Redhawks(allowed my Redhawk 4" .44 Magnum to get handled, must be nice and share) in .45 LC and .454 Casull. A few 1911s and of course Glocks. And one of my neigbhors toting his Glock 19 mentioned in his rather flamboyant(yeah he's gay, it's not an issue, so are a few of my other neighbors, but they're gunnies and I'll take them where I can find them) "someone best not come around here to cause trouble, we've got ourselves one hell of a posse'." And we all got a kick out of that.

So Sam, you are right as individuals guns won't make us invulnerable and we can't always prepare for everything, but a society that accepts guns will chance to unite and make those seeking to do harm, consider if the one they seek to harm to, might have a measure of friends to help him.

Hungry Seagull
March 9, 2009, 07:58 PM
We are but a heartbeat from passing over. The problem is time. Do we have the time to do something about a problem? Yes. But we waste this time thinking perhaps it's not time yet.

I have been in situations where but a few seconds of decision making needs to be completed and action taken extremly quickly and correctly. Hopefully all things considered no one gets hurt. Sir Issac Newton is unforgiving of mistakes or failures in engineering design, bad brakes, poor tires etc.

Guns make people think of two things. They either go 1- Tool time, let's shoot some dinner or chase off the bum. Or 2- Take over the street and chase off good people and steal for thier own greed.

Long ago I was able to rely on physical and mental abilities in dangerous places to stay more or less out of trouble. Not so for some unfortunate few. Now that I am aged, I see a gun as a tool or equalizer if you please.

But in today's situation versus the Cold War years I see a Nation where elements or people fracture or break up into various... groups or go to other places around the USA more supportive of Guns. That is a good thing.

But one day Everyone is going to have a gun and are going to be good shots. When that day comes, are we going to have peace and quiet in the neighborhood and towns? Or are we going to suffer a continous cycle of killing/counter killing?

That is for us to decide and not all of us are going to live long enough to learn what that future will be.

But as far as Im concerned, America is still a good place to live, just need to find other like minded people to share the life with.

March 9, 2009, 08:02 PM

Well said, and you've nicely captured a segment of what I meant. We are armed. That's one level of protection. We are together. That's a whole 'nother dimension of protection.

Still no magic talismans...but the more layers of protection we can give ourselves and each other, the better.


Dr. Fresh
March 9, 2009, 10:18 PM
Well, in the Sopranos, most of the shootings were against other criminals. The element of surprise was used most of the time to prevent return fire.

Also, rent the DVDs or something. Watching the Sopranos edited is worse than not watching it at all.

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