I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.
--Some Still-Alive Citizen
I held an introductory pistol class this weekend. All women. I'm really likin' this trend of more and more women taking the step to learn about firearms and self-defense. I don't know if it's just because I'm in California - with our virulent anti-gun culture - but most women I come across are afraid of guns. I'm very happy to see that changing, at least in my little slice of the world.
One of the ladies taking the class this weekend attended it with her mother. She is a college student, and her apartment was broken into (she was not there at the time). The maggot that did the breaking in was a convicted rapist.
Her dad insisted she learn how to shoot. Good on him.
Dad had a nice S & W .38 Special five shot revolver. The plan was for her to use this gun during the range time of the class. Mom elected to do the rental program we've got set up with the range (use of a .22LR revolver and semi-auto).
Before the students start shooting, I put a round down range so that they can hear what it sounds like with their ear protection on. If a student brings their own gun - larger than a .22 - I'll shoot a round from that gun as well.
I shoot the .22, and everyone is A-OK. I shoot the .38 Special, turn around, and the girl's eyes are all red, and then there are tears streaming down her face.
Oh crap! My first "crier". I've taught over 500 students at this range over the years, and never even had puffy eyes. Lots of shakes, fidgeting and sweating, but no tears.
Her mom suggests that they swap stations - daughter will use the .22's, and mom will shoot the .38 spl.
The daughter does great shooting the .22's. I'm giving her lots of encouragement, and slight adjustments to her stance and grip. Her mom is just about finished, and has 2 rounds left. I tell her to wait.
I tell the daughter that I want her to shoot the remaining .38's. She has a look of horror in her eyes. Seriously. I reinforce that she's been doing great, and can easily shoot the .38. I make a deal with her: I'll load up 1 round, and she'll put it down range. If it's too tough, she can call it quits, and no one is the worse. If it works out OK, she can put the next shot down range as well.
I load up the gun, and hand it to her. She cocks the pistol, bends her knees, leans into the shot, locks her elbow, brings the gun to eye-level and squeezes the trigger.
You've never seen so much happiness on a face in your life! I loaded up the next round, and she damned near put it through the same hole. It was awesome.
Not too long ago, a woman in Oakland was working in her front garden. She's digging around and finds a black duffel bag buried in the garden -
Inside was an assault rifle, shotgun shells, a black ski mask, black gloves and a towel.Twenty years ago, if you found a bag of guns buried in your yard, you wouldn't even miss a beat. You'd be on the phone to the police immediately. Not so, any more.
Vanaman's heart raced as she stared at her discovery and tried desperately to figure out what to do.She was paralized with fear. Why would that be? Because in Oakland - and many surrounding cities in the SF Bay Area - gangs run the joint. If you cross the gangs, you can end up dead.
When Vanaman returned, four young men stood in her frontyard. "What did you do with the guns?" one of them asked. "I called the police," she told him. "I didn't know what to do. I'm sorry."She and her roommates have moved out. The police were called numerous times, but only showed up on rare occasions. They were there to provide protection when she was moving her stuff out.
The man scowled and told her she owed him $800 and said she had a week to come up with the money. "I don't make that much," she replied. "Bitches get killed for that," he told her. "Bitches get tortured for that."
A keen observer of others, Vanaman noticed the young man used the passive voice so she couldn't accuse him of threatening her directly. But the implication was clear. "Bitches get raped for that," he shouted.
Suddenly, she felt torn. For years, she had rationalized her choices in coping with the danger outside her door. Now, she knew turning in the gun was the right moral decision, but it had put her life at risk.
With the man still berating her, Vanaman said she would sell whatever valuables she could to get the money.
Two stories of fearful individuals. One appears to be taking the path of not allowing herself to be intimidated. She seemed more fearful of being raped or killed than she was of learning how to shoot a gun for self-defense. She fought through the fear and learned the skills to defend herself.
The other lady is folding up her tent, and getting out of Dodge. The bad guys won that one.
In the same situation as the second lady, I don't know that I'd have acted differently. This horrific State of California has stripped her of her ability to keep a means of deadly self-defense (to be used against weapons of deadly offense against her) with her at all times. She might have a gun with her in her home, but venture outside, and you're stripped naked, while the bad guys are still heavily armed.
Being caught by "the authorities" with the means to defend herself - a loaded handgun - outside of her home or business makes her a felon in this state. You don't need to shoot anyone, you just need to be in possession of the loaded handgun. An otherwise law-abiding citizen merely possessing the means with which to defend her life or the life of another, and she goes away for many years.
And, ironically, once she becomes a felon, she now forfeits her right to possess a handgun in (I believe) all states.
The various arms of our government keep telling us that crime is down. We're safer than we've ever been. Our nation's police agencies are takin' care of business.
I just don't believe it. And judging from my perpetually sold out gun classes, regular citizens aren't swallowing the tripe either.
Related: THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!
A 66 Year Old Texan Vic Stacey Puts Four 357 Magnum Pistol Rounds into a Killer Rifleman at 165 YardsSome whacko had killed his neighbor and her dog, and the first responding cop was pinned down by the bad guy. The citizen's first shot hit the bad guy in the thigh. Three of the next 4 shots also hit their mark. This gave the cop the ability to turn his AR-15 on the bad guy and take him out.
Once again, a responsible, armed citizen helping to keep his community safe.
Accept The Challenge
Which fears have beaten you down? Which have you beaten? Which have you figured a "work around" to make the fear irrelevant?
Anyone who's dropped by here more than once knows my stance on the issue of self-defense. I'll not end up dead simply to ensure I'm following the law. It's really that simple.
Are there risks in this approach? Hell yes. Each of us has to do the whole risk/reward calculation for ourselves.
This moronic state has even criminalized your ability to possess an unloaded, cased gun, unless you are traveling between "approved" locations or activities. From your home to the firing range, for instance.
Keep a cased gun in your car while on your way to pick up some burgers, and you've broken the law.
This issue is number two on the list of reasons why my wife and I are leaving this state after her retirement (number one being the financial idiocy of our state government). We will be moving to a state which recognizes the Constitutionaly guaranteed right of citizens to keep and bear arms. California doesn't do so, and won't for a very long time. Longer than I have left on this earth, so we're bailing out.
Until that time, I will likely, on occasion, be breaking the law. So be it.
Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com