If You Train Them…Trust Them

I’ll never forget my tactical training – particularly my live-fire course. For five minutes, I had to wend my way through a mockup of a detention facility, making split-second decisions on which pop-up targets to shoot (and firing with high accuracy). Is it an armed suspect? A civilian? An officer? That five minutes felt like an eternity. It was for a worst-case scenario that was extremely unlikely, but the training was important.

I had a rifle and a pistol and I was sweating bullets the whole time. That five minutes felt like it would never end. I cannot imagine being unarmed and trapped by a maniac with guns who is shooting at everything that moves. That must be a hellish experience, one I pray no other human being ever has to face. After the Ft. Hood shooting, a friend who was much younger than I asked how a psychologist could attack a room full of soldiers and be the only one holding a gun.

My response confused the hell out of her at first:

Bill Clinton.

One of the very first acts that Bill Clinton made after being elected to the Presidency was to declare military installations “gun-free zones”. He immediately issued an order making it illegal for soldiers to carry personal firearms on base. More than that, though, he also made it close to impossible for XO’s (executive officers) to issue firearms to their troops to carry on base for protection. Since March of 1993, our troops – highly trained individuals who spend weeks learning everything about their rifles and pistols – have been disarmed on their own bases. It is because of President Clinton, an outrageously liberal and breathtakingly arrogant man, that our troops were disarmed and vulnerable at Ft. Hood and, tragically, yesterday at NAVSEA.

I can certainly appreciate the desire to make people safer. For many who have never been victims and have never had anything resembling law enforcement or tactical training, it seems to be logical to want to make all guns illegal. The problem comes in when they refuse to let go of that belief even in the face of overwhelming evidence that proves banning guns only makes things worse.

One of the biggest factors that determines how many deaths there are during a mass shooting is the amount of time it takes for an armed good guy to show up. In almost all of the recent mass shootings, the longer it took for police to arrive and return fire, the more deaths and injuries resulted. The only exception is the Tucson shooting – Loughner’s extended clip (as many of them are wont to do) failed to load a round properly, causing a jam that he hadn’t trained to clear quickly. Folks who want to ban extended clips ignore this fact; the springs in those clips have to do more work and they’re no more sturdy than the springs in standard clips, causing loading issues after the first few rounds.

That’s beside the point, though. All anyone who wants to ban certain cosmetic features can see is that it “looks more dangerous”. Never mind the fact that the term “assault weapon” is nauseatingly redundant.

At NAVSEA yesterday, it took seven minutes for the first armed police officers to arrive and begin an actual response. Seven minutes of terror for those innocent people. Seven minutes where any of the military members in the building could have pulled a weapon and taken Alexis out before he could kill twelve people. For those that were hiding, it was actually closer to an hour or two before police were able to locate them and lead them out of the building. In all of that time, not one of the highly-trained sailors or Marines in that facility was able to do what they were trained to do: take the fight to the bad guy.

It is a sin and a shame that we train these men and women and then tell them we don’t trust them with the very tools we trained them on. It is unforgivable that they are almost safer in a war zone than they are on their own soil. The history of mass shootings the statistics that come out of them tell us that they always target gun-free zones and they are deadlier with every second that ticks by without a good guy with a gun responding.

Aaron Alexis should have been prosecuted on felony charges in 2004, when he first walked out of his grandmother’s home and deliberately fired several rounds at a car. We don’t even need to have a discussion about his obvious mental illness – his actions nine years ago should have been enough to make him a prohibited person. The whole point of current gun laws is to identify those who will be dangerous with guns, prosecute them, and shut down their ability to legally purchase a gun. The system failed twice. He was able to carry out this shooting for two reasons: because police and prosecutors failed to do their jobs and because innocent people were disarmed and unable to defend themselves.

Side note: it’s hilarious to me that with all of the problems going on in The District, lawmakers there are focusing on the evils of body art. They’re trying to pass a law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for getting tattoos or piercings.

GUN CONTROL NOW!!! (Updated)

I knew it was going to happen, and it did. As soon as the news hit that there was a shooting going on at a DC Navy shipyard, liberal commentators the world over began renewing their calls for gun control.

There’s some reality that we need to look at here, though.

The shooter was identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. According to news reports throughout the day, we’ve discovered that on May 6, 2004, Alexis flew into a rage and shot out the back tires of a Honda Accord parked in a driveway next to the house he was living in. He was about 25 years old at the time. According to police reports, there had been some kind of dispute with a nearby construction site about parking in the area – but the Accord wasn’t even parked in HIS driveway. Witnesses say that for several days, he stared and glared at workers passing by his house. He was later arrested and Seattle PD pressed charges.

Shortly before his 28th birthday, Alexis joined the US Navy Reserves. How he was able to do this with a violent felony on his record I don’t know. He was not active duty – he served in Ft. Worth and worked at a Thai restaurant while he was there. In September 2010, Ft. Worth police responded to a 911 call of shots fired from Alexis’ apartment. He was 28 by this time. When police first arrived, he didn’t answer the door. As they prepared to make a forcible entry, he finally did answer – he claimed that he hadn’t answered because he “thought it was his neighbor.” He reported having a “contentious” relationship with the woman. He then claimed that the gun had discharged accidentally; he said he’d been cooking, his hands were slippery, and as he cleaned the handgun it discharged by accident. The neighbor, however, says she was terrified of him because he frequently got angry over the noise he said she made.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it is believed that he was not accepted for re-enlistment because of the second shooting incident. At least one senior defense official has commented that he had a history of misconduct.

Here’s my problem with this picture. In the 2004 incident, he gave police some song and dance about having been involved in rescue efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11 and said that he was “disturbed” by what he experienced. I’ve been disturbed by a lot of things I’ve seen – I’ve never used that as an excuse to fly into a rage and shoot at a person’s car. In light of that, I cannot believe his cockamamie excuse that his weapon “accidentally discharged” while he cleaned it. I grew up with guns. The way I’ve been trained, the first thing you do when you clean your steel is unload it. You don’t do it while you’re cooking and your hands are slippery – you pay careful attention, make sure your hands are clean (I actually wear gloves now), and use extreme caution. Add to that his own admission that he didn’t get along with his upstairs neighbor (whose floor the bullet traveled through) AND the previous incident, and I am convinced that he did it on purpose.

I don’t care if he played violent video games. I play Assassin’s Creed all the time, it doesn’t make me want to go out and shoot people. I don’t buy that he was so deeply disturbed by what he saw on 9/11 that he was that prone to “blank rage”. Especially considering what happened today, I think it’s likely that he was prone to outbursts of anger long before the 2004 shooting. That incident alone should have made him ineligible to possess a firearm. Legally, anyone who commits a violent act with a firearm is supposed to be considered a prohibited person.

What raises questions here is not whether we should all have to give up our guns. It’s not even whether we should have to go through more stringent requirements to get guns. It’s why he had guns after what he did in Seattle when he was 25. I can’t find whether he was convicted, but considering what happened I’m sure he worked out a deal. After the 2010 shooting, he was not charged, which tells me that whatever deal he worked out in Seattle included not being convicted of a felony and not being stripped of his civil liberties. THAT is what we should be questioning. The very instant someone deliberately walks out, pulls a gun, and shoots at anything in a populated area, whether they argue that they flew into some kind of rage should be irrelevant.

I’d be willing to bet we’re not going to find that Alexis was some kind of right-wing nut. I know the liberals are hoping he will be. Today was a tragedy that we should mourn, but it makes me nauseous that the political claws have already been bared.

I wish more than anything that we lived in a more peaceful world. I have said many times before that I wish we didn’t have to carry guns. I long for the day when we can “fashion our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks.” I love being a caretaker and wish I didn’t have to protect anyone, but the world we live in is full of fallible human beings who are capable of not caring about doing the right thing. If we lived in a perfect world we would not need armed police or military and we would not need prisons. The sooner everyone grasps that concept, the safer we’ll be.

***UPDATE***

According to another news source, Alexis arrived with only a shotgun. He collected the AR-15 and the handgun after storming the NAVSEA shipyard.

It Just Can’t Happen Again

Somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 marched for life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 25. There wasn’t much said in the media – in fact, the last time one of the MSM shills interviewed someone about the abortion problem in America, Andrea Mitchell slapped down Juleanna Glover – after Glover had called herself “deeply pro-life” Mitchell insisted that she call herself “anti-abortion” in order to “use the term that I think is more value-neutral.”

Half a million people marched. That’s pretty impressive. Guess how many marched in support of gun control in Washington, DC the next day?

The best guess anyone is willing to offer is “thousands.” That’s it. Nobody is willing to say for sure because the left-wing media knows full well that it won’t come close to the volume of people that showed up for the March for Life.

I, personally, am thoroughly disgusted by how biased the media is being right now.

They have made clear that they don’t give a damn about the facts. They aren’t interested in actually protecting children; they see Sandy Hook and other mass shootings as a stepping stool to complete gun control, eventually even an outright UK-style ban. They have always wanted guns to be banned. Guns are only used for killing, you see. For that reason we have no right to own them. If you ask Sylvester Stallone, he’ll tell you that “it’s not 200 years ago, we don’t need this [the Second Amendment] anymore!” Yes, he actually said that. In fact, he said it in 2008 when he endorsed John McCain for president.

I hate to tell you this, Sly, but we do need it now. We need it more than ever.

The most disgusting thing about the march for gun control yesterday were the signs that said, “We Are Sandy Hook, We Choose Love.” Really? You think that because you are against guns, you are somehow more loving than I am? Let me explain something…I love every child in my family. Every single one of my nieces and nephews is a gift from God. I love them so much that if anyone ever tried to harm them, I would kill that person with my bare hands. I would rather they see me kill a person who is trying to be violent than have to bury them. What would I say to them in the aftermath? That there are bad people in the world, and you should never choose violence, but you should always be ready to defend yourself if the need arises. Yes, I believe those children are worth far more than the animals trying to murder them. Yes, I would be willing to kill to protect them. Yes, it is because I love them. The fact that anyone would accuse me of not loving those kids is an insult that I refuse to abide.

March organizer Molly Smith said she was “horrified by it [Sandy Hook].” Do you think we weren’t? Does anyone really believe that those of us who believe in and actively exercise our Second Amendment rights weren’t absolutely tortured at the thought of what those families were going through, what those children experienced in their last moments of life? There is a word for those who do believe such nonsense: narcissists.

My little brother has picked up a gun and gone to war twice because he loved his country and his family. He didn’t want us to have to survive another 9/11. He didn’t want his wife and children to live in fear. A good friend of mine died in that war because he believed in freedom and taking the fight to the bad guy rather than cowering and begging for mercy. Other friends came home in pieces because they believed in the cause of freedom. Now you want to tell them that they can’t defend their families on their own soil, in their own homes? You want to tell them – tell ME – that we cannot be trusted with the same tool that won our freedom in the first place and has won peace many times since?

Perhaps the absolute silliest parallel drawn during the gun control march came from 78-year-old James Agenbroad. He carried a sign that read, “Repeal the 2nd Amendment.” He said, “you can repeal it. We repealed prohibition.”

I don’t think Mr. Agenbroad really understands what he’s saying here. Prohibition was an outright ban on the manufacturing, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages. It lasted from 1920-1933. You could drink, you just couldn’t brew or distill or transport the stuff (making it a little hard to drink). Prohibition was a spectacular failure. It did absolutely nothing to stop alcohol from being produced, sold and transported – in fact, it made the trade a more lucrative business. It was Al Capone’s business.

You cannot make a point about gun control – repealing the Second Amendment and banning and confiscating all civilian-owned firearms – by invoking the repeal of a law that banned alcohol. If you don’t understand the ludicrosity of his statement, you are beyond my help.

What do you do when someone like Adam Lanza shows up with guns that the law prevented him from buying to shoot innocent people? Well, first you hide. Then you call 911 to beg for rough men and women to bring their guns to shoot him and stop his killing spree. There is nothing wrong with being afraid and wanting to hide. The problems come when you expect me to do what you’re doing. It will never happen. The fact that I see how evil people can be and am willing to stand up to them does not make me dangerous, nor does it make me different.

I’m not sure how much more I can take of these blithering nitwits declaring that “it just can’t happen again.” You keep saying that, and yet you’re setting us all up to be walking targets.