A Lesson In Racism

With the recent events being covered by local, national, and international media, it appears racists are crawling out of the woodwork, and it’s from both sides of the political spectrum. But so have many non-racist people been labeled as racists for using stereotyping and incorrect politically-correct labels. But is stereotyping racism? Are labels racist? The answer might surprise some people: Usually not.

Intent. Remember that word, it is key to determining what is actual racism and what isn’t.

Unsurprisingly, people looking for excuses to be offended by racism are generally the most racist people. Reverse racism is still racism. Policing the words of a different race, with intention to find offense is just as racist as someone meaning to offend someone of another race. Did you just see that? Intention, or intent.

Wait, what was that? There is more than just offensive racism? You better believe it! Just like a ball game, there is both an offensive and a defensive side. Defensive racism is still racism, it just isn’t as widely acknowledged because it isn’t used to force racism onto a victim, but it is used to create an aggressor by trying to make oneself appear as a victim. Confused yet? Well, once again, when properly crafted, offensive and defensive racism can look nearly identical. The key to finding who the real racist is, is by determining the intent of parties involved. There goes that darn word again: Intent.

Racism comes in all colors, Black, white, red, olive, yellow, polka-dot, and tartan. If I left any skin colors out, it wasn’t my intent to display racism, it was just an oversight. See that? Intent.

Take for example a white person who, in the course of trying to make a point about social problems, gives a list of factual statistics that state all the problems of a known community, for instance the black community. This seems like a very negative list coming from a white person, so everyone jumps on the racist thumping bandwagon. Black are offended that a white person would talk about the problems of a black community and scream racism, while whites trying very hard to show just how non-racist they are start crying racism too.

But what is racist about the example I just gave? Because it is a white person giving statistics on another racial group? Believe it or not, that in itself does not constitute racism. It is no more racist than if a black person had recited the same list of statistics. Facts are facts, and statistics are statistics, no matter who recites them. Facts and statistics cannot be racist of their own accord.

So what would make it racist then? It depends on one little word. Can you guess that word? If you guessed “intent”, give yourself a gold star! If it were used to create a negative dialog about the other race, to harass, hurt, or otherwise punish, then it is racist. If it is used to call attention to an issue so that awareness is raised and solutions can be looked for to help improve a situation, then one can hardly cry racism.

Not all white on black, black on white, etc., crimes are race crime or hate crimes. Sometimes a criminal just doesn’t care what color you are and only wants what you have and they don’t. Of course, the mainstream media won’t tell you that, there are no increased ratings in such humdrum stories. They have to sensationalize the story, embellish it with overtones of hate crimes and other assumptions to make it grab attention and drive up those news channel ratings. That’s why you’ll see national coverage of crimes committed by one race on another more than you see national headlines of similar crimes that consist of all parties being the same color. Make no mistake about it, news is agenda driven. Peace and harmony don’t make for very good headlines. News outlets benefit from your misfortune, so the more they can sway public opinion to turn one group against another, the more they benefit in the form of sensational headlines and other newsworthy events.

Another example might be in order. Describing a person as black, white, asian, and so-forth is not racist. Labels are not always racist, but can be useful tools. If a white guy is talking about someone, and describes him as a tall black guy, someone is usually going to get faux-offended and cry racism. “Why can’t you just describe the guy as a guy, why are you labeling him black? That’s racist and offends me.” Well no, if he is a black guy, then there’s nothing racist about saying he is.

Lets go a little deeper. You’re at a gathering with 300 people. 200 of them are white, 70 of them are black, and 30 of them are asian. You’re trying to point out a prospective client across the room to your co-worker. Half the people are wearing red shirts, but only three of those people are black. So, how do you describe him best? (Note, I am not figuring women into this as it gets too far off track, and doesn’t help make the point one way or the other, so just assume all persons are male at this gathering.)

  • That guy over there. (OMG that’s so sexist, it’s that PERSON over there!) Yes, had to throw that absurdity in there too. Well, that narrows it down to 298 people, assuming that you and your co-worker are part of the 300 initial count. Great!
  • That guy in the red shirt over there. Well whoop-dee-doo, that narrowed it down to 148 people. Like that helps much.
  • That black guy in the red shirt over there. Now we’re getting somewhere, that narrowed it down to 3 people! That would sure save time and effort, wouldn’t it?

That’s why when you hear on your police scanner the cops talking about chasing a black male, it isn’t racism, though many bemoan that it is. They are just using a useful label designed to help them find the right person more efficiently.

Notice how there was no racist intent in labeling that person? Labels are great, it’s how we distinguish green beans from wax beans, and white milk from chocolate milk. People are no different, describing someone’s appearance is not racist. Only an idiot looking to be offended would find it insulting.

You want a racist label then? Sure I’ll give you one that’s used every day by non-racist people. “African-American” as broad sweeping term for any black person in America. If you want be offended by something, be offended by that.

Were you born in Africa, then became a naturalized citizen, regardless of skin color? Then you are an African-American. Even white people can be African-Americans!

If you were born in America, and are black, then you are a black American, or just an American if you so prefer, not African-American.

My best friend is black and was born in Cuba, as were generations of her family before her. She came to America and became a naturalized citizen. Guess what? She is black, but she is not an African-American. She is an American (by way of naturalization), or if you insist on being more specific, she a Cuban-American. Gosh! So by calling every black you see an African-American, chances are you are labeling them incorrectly.

You would argue that all black people originated from Africa? No they didn’t. Maybe their ancestry did, but they, themselves did not. Some black people’s ancestors were slaves too. Do you call those who’s great-grandparents were slaves “Slave-Americans”? I didn’t think so.

Racial profiling may be inconvenient, but rarely is it racist. Racial profiling, like all other types of profiling work. Racial profiling is based on a form of stereotyping, which is not racist either. Stereotyping is based on statistics, which are a means of assessing what percentage of what is likely to be or do something else. Stereotyping would not exist if there were not some form of truth behind it, so even if you have to be inconvenienced by racial profiling, that’s because its an effective tool. Even though it may seem unfair, very little in life is truly fair. Life itself is a competition from the time we are born til the time we die. We compete for everything, entertainment, jobs, money, recognition, food, housing, parking spots, potential mates, or getting the last pack of batteries on the store shelf when a hurricane is on its way. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Racism is hate. Racism is intentional. Not all perceived racism is racism at all. The vast majority of the world is not blind; color is a visual indicator. Survival mechanisms of our most base of instincts make us wary and initially distrustful of things that are different from us. Experience makes us wary too. How many times do you have to be bitten by a dog before you start fearing and distrusting that dog? What if you were bitten by several dogs? Would you start fearing dogs in general? Most who have experienced that do. Wariness and distrust is not racism, its instinct, an integral part of human nature. To ignore instinct is to deny ourselves our built-in survival mechanisms.

It’s no different than why any sane white person would cross the street if a pack of black hoodlums wearing gang symbols and giving menacing looks were blocking their path, but wouldn’t think twice about walking by a group of black men in business suits holding briefcases while laughing and smiling. That’s not racist, its street smarts.

It all boils down to intent and perceived intent. Life isn’t fair, and we all have to do what we can to make our lives easier and to ensure our survival. If wanting to be efficient and having the will to survive is racist, then so am I.


Dick Cheney Heart Transplant

I cannot begin to describe how sickened I am by the lack of moral fiber coming from the left over the 46th Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney’s heart transplant.

It seems to me that any person of good character would wish the man and his family a healthy life and speedy recovery.

This is not the case from the left; they spew out filth, wishing death upon him. These are the people we can expect on the Obamacare Death Panels. “You deserve to die because I don’t like you” would be the verdict for anyone but the leftists.

These same people wishing death upon Mr. Cheney because he successfully received a heart transplant after a 20 month wait, would be the same people to scream about the injustices of the health care system if were their 70 year old mother or grandmother who died waiting for an organ transplant.

There is a woman who lives in my county who just celebrated her 107th birthday. If Mr. Cheney were to be blessed to live to that age, who are we to deny him those extra 36 years?

Mr. Cheney, I wish you a speedy recovery and a long life.


Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States

M-Pro 7 Products Review – First Impressions

Back when I first started shooting, I did what almost everyone did at the time and cleaned all my guns with what was probably the most well known products in gun cleaning, good ol’ Hoppe’s No. 9 Solvent and Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil. I can still remember the unique, almost sweet smell of the solvent to this day, even though I haven’t cracked open a jar of it in well over a decade. I still have a jar of it that’s well over 20 years old around here somewhere.

I can’t really complain too much about Hoppe’s, the solvent always got my bores reasonably clean with a lot of elbow grease and a good portion of patience. The oil was fine too, I never once had a gun develop any visible discoloration or signs of rust or corrosion.

Of course like most people, I wanted to go in search of something that worked faster, and required less effort to get the same or better results. This led me to Birchwood-Casey Bore Scrubber and Birchwood-Casey Sheath. I used these two products from the late 90’s up until just a couple weeks ago. The Bore Scrubber solvent was very effective at removing copper fouling, and about average with carbon fouling. It contains ammonia, which makes it very harsh, and also very strong and unpleasant smelling (Hoppe’s No. 9 Solvent smells sweet like perfume in comparison!) and the odor of the Sheath was quite strong and almost as unpleasant. It’s wise to have good ventilation when using these products to keep from getting overwhelmed by the potentially harmful fumes.

As for the Birchwood-Casey Sheath, that gave me mixed results. It was a mediocre rust preventative that dried up quickly. I found I had to reapply the product monthly to prevent any rust from forming during the humid months. When it started drying out, it got gummy as well, not a great thing for precision machined moving parts with very tight tolerances. It also tended to burn off the rails of my semi-automatic handguns after just a few rounds, so it was vital to keep reapplying it every 10 to 15 shots to prevent galling or else use a different lubricant. What it did do well was protect the metal exteriors of my guns for short term moisture protection, like hunting all day in a light drizzle, where I never once had an issue with it washing off or any problems with rust forming.

Fast forward to a week ago, when I received a box of products I ordered from MidwayUSA. I ordered a total of 3 M-Pro 7 products. M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner, M-Pro 7 Copper Remover, and M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX which is a CLP type of product with an emphasis on it’s lubricating and protection qualities if one goes by the label and the description of the product on their website. They even claim it is excellent for long term storage, though I won’t be able to claim any experience with that for some time to come.

M-Pro 7

If I can find anything at all to complain about these products it would be one thing, which I’m sure is just a fluke. The factory sealed bottle of M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX only felt about half full, it was very “sloshy” inside and didn’t have the heft to it a full bottle should have, so it matched my assumption that I got about 2 oz. worth of product in a 4 oz. bottle. Considering the shipping costs (a little over $9 just to have it shipped to me) to return that bottle and get another one, I just kept the half-filled bottle to use. Yes I’m essentially paying double per oz. by keeping it, but it’s probably cheaper this way than going through the hassle of returning it and waiting for an exchange. I’ll just try to find a place that sells it locally from now on so I can I be sure of what I’m getting. Update: The good folks over at M-Pro 7 graciously offered to send a replacement bottle of Gun Oil LPX. This is excellent customer service on their part, and shows just how dedicated to both their products and their customers they really are; they deserve major kudos for that.

Taking my guns that I had previously cleaned to “white patch” cleanliness, I decided to clean them all over again, without even shooting any of them first. M-Pro 7 products are non-toxic and if they have any sort of odor, I wasn’t able to detect it. The folks at M-Pro 7 recommend using their products in a specific order, and that is exactly what I did.

First I started off with the Gun Cleaner, which I sprayed inside the barrels of my handguns, or applied with a damp patch to long barrel guns. After waiting 5 minutes on each gun, I swabbed the bores out with a clean, dry patch. To my surprise, the patches came out dark grey to black with fouling that the Gun Cleaner had managed to lift. I reapplied a second dose, let it sit another 5 minutes, this time giving the bores a good scrubbing with a bronze bore brush, then patched them out again which netted me not much more than faint traces of discoloration that I assume was some of what came off the bore brush itself. Just to be sure, I tried soaking the bores a 3rd time and patching again, which came out just as pristine white as before they were used. A little scrubbing a nylon scrub brush removed the carbon fouling from the exterior surfaces of the various guns that nothing else had managed to lift for years. Amazing!

Next up I ran the M-Pro 7 Copper Remover through the bores with clean patch dampened with the product. It says to leave it set up to 15 minutes, so I opted for the full 15 minutes. This time clean patching produced only slightly discolored patches from trace amounts of copper fouling that the Birchwood-Casey products had previously missed, and the M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner hadn’t managed to get. Just to be sure, a second application was in order and yet another 15 minute wait. This time the clean patches came out discolored only the color of the cleaning product itself. One more clean, dry patch to assure all of the product had been removed, and it was time to move on.

The final step is to lightly, and I do mean lightly apply the M-Pro-7 Gun Oil LPX. A couple drops applied to a patch for swabbing the bores with, and then wiped down the rest of the friction points with the damp patch to get them lubricated. This stuff practically seeks out bare metal parts on it’s own. After sitting overnight, the metal on my guns had developed an even and ever so light coat of the LPX product, which I found rather reassuring.

A range session with my first generation Kimber Hi-Cap Polymer/Stainless .45 ACP netted me a huge smile. 100 rounds later and the rails were still slick with lubrication, I am truly ecstatic that the LPX didn’t burn off! A trip home and a cleaning was still in order, though surprisingly the cleaning was noticeably easier. It appeared that the bore of my gun was slightly less fouled than usual. One swabbing with the Gun Cleaner followed by a scrubbing with the bronze brush and then a patch. Then a fresh light coat of LPX and I was done. I didn’t even bother with the Copper Remover this time, since I’m curious to see if I get any copper fouling on a clean patch after a week of the gun sitting with nothing but a light coat of M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX in the bore.

Keep in mind this is my first-impressions review, but so far its looking great. I am excited to see how the products fair with extended use, and especially how the M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX holds up to rust and corrosion resistance during an extended outing in one of northern Florida’s hot, drizzly summer days. At this point however, I think its safe to say I found the right products for my needs, thus I don’t see the need to keep looking for the proverbial better mousetrap. I have a hunch it doesn’t get any better than this, and that’s fine by me.

Mindless Ignorance

There are online forums for nearly everything these days. Forums for perfumes, soaps, cars, bicycles, furniture, electronics, pets, and so on and so forth. Sometimes its interesting to visit these forums to see what the current trends are, or read reviews of specific products of interest.

But I’m finding a large percentage of what I read is none of that. What I do read is disconcerting and makes me wonder just how brain dead people have become. These forums are filled with people that don’t ask or discuss certain products, but simply filled with mindless drones asking other mindless drones what they should purchase for themselves.

Why are all these people asking complete strangers what to purchase for themselves? Can the current generation of people not make simple decisions for themselves? Is society really so bad that we must ask others to make our decisions for us, because we are too weak minded to decide things on our own?

Then commences the search for back patting after the purchase of an item some complete stranger told them to buy. The quest for others to validate the choices they did not make for themselves. “XXX told me to buy this, so I went out and bought it! I did good, right?”

I find it mind boggling. Whats so hard about using your own brain to make your own choices? What has caused society to become so shallow and mindless they can’t even make the simplest decisions for themselves?

Islam In A Nutshell

Basically the following events transpired:

Some pastor of a small church in Florida decides the Koran is bad and decides to hold an event burning it.

Media sensationalizes it, and there is a huge uproar around the world.

Pastor backs down for a while.

Media continues to sensationalize the issue.

Pastor comes up with another excuse to burn the Koran a few months later, and follows through with it.

Media once again sensationalizes it, instead of ignoring it.

Every frigging nutcase in Afghanistan come crawling out of the woodwork and starts rioting, attacking and killing any foreigners they can, regardless of nationality or religion, using the excuse that some guy on the other side of the world burned a book.

Media sensationalizes it.

Riots continue.

Media sensationalizes it.

With me so far?

Not really seeing Islam as a religion of peace too much here. What I do see is a bunch of overzealous nut-jobs killing and maiming people in the name of their religion. See my point here? You can’t go around telling people your religion is peaceful while carrying out acts of violence against anyone who dares disagree. People will eventually catch on and see the hypocrisy. Apparently some people are slower to see it than others, like the ACLU people who seem to be dumber’n a pile of bricks.

The big question is, if the media knew when to ignore things instead of making a media sensation out of some central Florida hick, would these senseless deaths in defense of a religion of “peace” have even happened?

I took the time to read a copy of the Koran recently. I don’t blame the old coot for burning it. I do blame the media for making an international incident of it.

Keyboards & Consumers

It’s a shame how the quality of some things seem to be declining instead of improving. Take computer keyboards, for instance. There was a time when they were made with buckling spring switches, and keycaps with the letter molded into them from a second layer of differently colored plastic. These keyboards would last a decade or longer under heavy use, without ever experiencing a hiccup, nor would the lettering ever wear off as it was as much a part of the keycap as possible.

Modern mass-produced keyboards haven’t been an improvement over their elder brethren. Instead they are a testament to just how poor quality of products that people are willing to blindly accept, and even sing the praises of.

Take for instance two of the Saitek keyboards I have owned. People were shouting such compliments about them, how sturdy and well-built they are, how flawlessly they work. So I go out and buy a Saitek keyboard, thinking all these people with similar praises for this particular brand and model keyboard surely couldn’t be wrong. Boy was I ever in for a shock. The keycaps were loose and rattly feeling when not depressed or lightly touched. The key-presses felt spongy and slow to return. The thing slid all over my desk and wouldn’t stay put.

This was just with a new product, what about after it had some use? Three weeks into using it, and the paint they colored the keys with started wearing off. The blue back-lighting for the keys, meant to aid my finding the proper keys in less than stellar lighted environments, started turning into blue blobs in place of letters. Not even a month old, and I couldn’t tell what 8 of the letters were on the keyboard anymore, and I cannot touch type anymore due to physical limitations.

Four months into owning this product and some of the letters would no longer register when pressed, while others would register multiple presses, or even presses that would result in the letter next to it being registered.

Okay, it must have been a fluke, a lemon board. It can happen to anyone, or anything so I thought I’d give a different model of the brand a chance. This time I decided to try a non-backlit model. Surely this one would be better than the last, right? Wrong.

Saitek keyboard number two, this one felt even worse than the last one, brand new out of the box. They keycaps were so wobbly and rattly right out of the box handling sounded like I was shaking a box of Tic-Tacs. Key presses felt even spongier and sloppier on this one, not only was there vertical movement of the keys, but also horizontal wobble, it was absolutely atrocious. Still, I did not want to go through the hassle of returning it, paying restocking fees, return shipping, and waiting for a new one to arrive. I needed a working keyboard, so I kept it. Well, at least the lettering on the keycaps didn’t start wearing off until 5 or 6 weeks of use. That’s right, not even 2 months old, and the letters already wearing off! The keyboard stopped registering the N key altogether after just a few more months of use. It could not be salvaged.

I never had any letters wear off of keyboards I owned that were made in the early 1990’s or before. Yet somehow they wear off every keyboard I’ve owned since, within a few months or sometimes much less. Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Logitech, Saitek, Microsoft, all modern keyboards that failed to stand up to normal use. Lettering gone within weeks or months. All quit working altogether in two years or less. Keycaps are mass produced and then pad-printed, basically painted on the surface to be quickly worn away, or in rare cases laser-etched and filled which is slightly more durable, but nothing compared to the dye-sublimated or double-shot molded keys of years past. The innards now consist of cheap electronics with a thin sheet of rubber-domes. Think of the top layer of somewhat thicker bubble-wrap without the bottom layer to seal air inside, and you get the basic idea of what the inside of most mass-produced modern keyboards look like. These little rubber or soft-plastic domes are what provide modern key-caps with the initial downward resistance and push them back up into place after you move your finger away. There is a small piece of conductive material in the center of each dome that makes contact with the circuit board below it, completing a circuit whenever a key pressed. Each time they are flexed with key presses, the weaker they become until they eventually wear out. The conductive material in the rubber dome, as well as the copper-tracing on the circuit board are prone to wear and corrosion on contact points at a much faster rate than in the typical sealed mechanical switch as well.

Somehow people manage to still call them quality products and praise them as durable. I don’t know how or why, but assume people are prone to believe the hype in advertising and are drawn to eye-candy over the functionality or lack thereof of what’s “under the hood”.

I’ve even been blamed for causing premature wear of the lettering on my keyboards, not only by other consumers who should know better, but also by manufacturers who wish to duck out of responsibility for mass producing low quality products with parts that should be deemed as defective craftsmanship in comparison to the daily rigors they are subject to. “Wash your hands before typing”, “You have oily or acidic skin”, “Cut your fingernails”, and “You’re rubbing the keys instead of pressing them” have been among the most common blames cast directly on me, instead of on a poorly designed product. It’s not me though, it wasn’t a problem with older keyboards. I haven’t changed. The manufacturing process has changed, they use cheaper and poorer quality processes to construct modern keyboards. It’s the manufacturers fault for using inferior production methods in order to increase their profit margin.

We are humans, not robots. Our nails grow out continuously, and frankly some people like having nails that aren’t cut blunt to the quick. Our skin constantly produces oil and sweat. Our bodies have different pH levels. These things were not a problem on older model keyboards, they stood up to the human condition. Now instead of inferior made products being blamed for wearing out so quickly, they try to blame the users for being human!

I find this attitude, not only among manufacturers who’s only care is their profit margin, but but also among fellow consumers! Have we really become so blinded and consumer-centric “fanboys” of names and labels that we willingly accept poor quality products and feel obligated to defend it to the death, all to justify our purchases? Is it pride stopping people from admitting they’ve been duped? Are people so eager to turn a blind eye to poor quality in attempt to wall-off feelings of buyers remorse?

We as a society of consumers have allowed companies and businesses to dictate to us what is acceptable and what isn’t; it should be the other way around. We allow them to reverse the blame on us, instead of forcing them to be held accountable for their products. No longer is the customer right. Now we are expected to hand them our hard-earned money, and then let them slap us in the face if we dare come to them with a problem pertaining to the product or service we paid them for. When will we take back our power as the consumer?

Oh, and as for finding a good keyboard in today’s marketplace, I’m still looking. I’ve been hearing good things about mechanical switch based keyboards, and keycaps with laser engraved lettering, opposed to pad printing that’s so common today. Of course, one is expected to pay a premium for what should be a standard of acceptable quality. Acceptable quality should not be a “boutique only” item. Unfortunately this is the case anyway, thanks to the too-meek consumers who all too often turn the other cheek and accept the unacceptable out of short-term convenience to ourselves. I’ve been guilty of it too.

I Carry Firearms

Whenever I go out in public, I always carry a concealed handgun. Whether it be a simple trip to the grocery store, a visit to the doctors office, or an extended outing, I never go anywhere unarmed. Thankfully, the state of Florida allows me to carry a concealed weapon legally with the concealed weapons permit they issued to me. As of this writing, my permit is recognized in 33 other states, allowing me to carry a concealed handgun when I travel through or visit those states as well.

My Prefered Tools

{These are the three guns I use for concealed carry. I choose the gun based on the clothing I wear that day. From top left, in clockwise order: Kimber Polymer 5″ .45 ACP, Kimber Compact Stainless 4″ .45 ACP, Taurus 85SS .38 Special.}

I’ve had people who don’t understand tell me everything from “nobody needs to carry a gun” to “nobody should be allowed to own guns for any reason” to just flat out being called paranoid and being told I’m endangering themselves and everyone else around me by carrying a gun. Firearms are inanimate object, they pose no threat to anyone when not being physically manipulated, nor does a well maintained firearm pose any type of hazard when being handled by a responsible, properly trained individual. It saddens me that these types of people are so ignorant and uneducated as to the rights granted me by the United States Constitution. It saddens me that they don’t recognize any legitimate need for an armed citizen. What scares me however, is that even though they choose not to exercise their right to protect themselves, their families, and their homes, but that many of them desire to take away those rights from me too. If you don’t want to arm yourself fine, but quit trying to take away the rights of everyone else to do so as well.

Though I grew up around firearms, was shooting and hunting as early as grade school, there was a time in my early adulthood that I didn’t feel the need to carry a concealed weapon. I had faith in the good of my fellow man. I was younger in excellent physical condition. Because I didn’t recognize the importance of arming myself, and being well trained in the disciplines of marksmanship, self-defense, and awareness of one’s surroundings, I paid a dear price. I not only lost the sight in my right eye permanently, but I sustained serious internal injuries that nearly cost my life.

Would the same have happened to me had I been armed and properly trained? No one can say with an absolute yes or no. Chances are though, that had I been more aware of where I was and my surroundings, I would have been able recognize the fact I was walking into a potentially dangerous situation, and thus avoided it altogether. If I had not been able to avoid it, at least I would have had a better chance of walking from the encounter either unscathed, or less life-threateningly wounded.

As with the majority of people, I learned my lesson the hard way, and it was a mistake I never intend to make again. It is sad that so many people think it can never happen to them. Fortunately, for many this turns out to be true, but why take a chance? Gambling with your own life is perhaps your own right if you have no one counting on you, no family to take care of, no loved ones who care about you. But if you think so little of your own life and safety, don’t try to force those lack of values on an entire society.

If you are afraid of or otherwise don’t like firearms, then that is your problem, and one you need learn to either deal with yourself, or seek counseling to help you overcome your irrational fears. I don’t try to force you to own guns, don’t try to force me not be able to own them. To try to punish an entire society by supporting causes that wish to disarm the public not only makes you a fool, but it also makes you my mortal enemy. Strong words? You’re damned right they are, and with good reason. If you are not of a mind to allow me to protect myself, then you are supporting those who wish to do me or anyone else harm. You are helping make it easier for criminals to prey upon honest citizens, and if you are unwilling to see that, or you try to make excuses to justify your ignorance, then you deserve no respect from me, nor will you get any.

Unfortunate as it is, a couple years after my being attacked the first time which left me with permanent physical disabilities, I had to put to use my right to own firearms in defense of my home and my own safety, possibly even my own life. Call it bad luck if you wish, I can think of no other description for it that is more fitting. An armed intruder forced entry into my home one evening after dark, while I was home alone.

Even though I don’t need a concealed carry permit to defend myself and my home while on my own property, being a concealed carrier did mean I was already armed at the time of the intrusion, so my gun was already in my hand and I was ready for him to either try to fight or take flight. I honestly wish he would have done the latter, but instead it chose the former, and it cost him his life. He started to raise his gun to me from the foyer of my own home, and at that point I knew it was either him or me, as I was determined to never be a victim again. The last thing he ever saw, I imagine, was the muzzle flash of my gun, as he took a couple steps towards me before crumpling to the floor. In shock myself, I kicked the gun away from him, made damn well and sure he was incapacitated, which a single shot to the brain did permanently. I then called 911 and crumpled to the floor myself until the authorities arrived to do their job.

Even though I came out physically unharmed that time, the emotional trauma is indescribable. I was still the victim of a potentially violent or even deadly crime. It can only be speculated what his actual intents were, or what the outcome of the situation would have been, had I not already been armed and prepared to defend myself. Circumstances dictated the need of lethal force at the time, so I used that force without hesitation. I would do the same again if I had to.

The police can’t be everywhere at once. They can’t magically arrive the moment a crime is taking place, or a persons safety or life is put in danger. It takes time for them to arrive, and they only know to come if they are alerted to being needed. Sometimes, and I believe the vast majority of times, there is no time to call for assistance until after a crime has been committed, that is if you’re still alive to call for help. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it is not the duty of the police to protect the individual. We have to remember also, that the police are humans just like you and I. They aren’t all seeing, all knowing supermen. They usually have families and children they go home to each day at the end of their shift. They have the same desire to preserve their own lives as we do our own.

I’ve been told by several officers they prefer to arrive after the crime has been committed, and the criminal has fled the scene, because it’s safer for them. They prefer not to walk into an unknown hostile situation, when in fact, they can try to track down and apprehend the criminal later on, under circumstances that would likely give them a better advantage over the criminal. You know what? I don’t blame them at all for feeling that way. They are underpaid, under-appreciated, and overworked. They put their lives on the line nearly every day, from pulling over a speeding motorist, to being called in to break up domestic disputes, or being sent to arrest a criminal with a history of violence.

Those media reports of officers saying they prefer an unarmed public? I call bullshit on that, and say it’s the liberal media either lying, or cherry picking who they quote and who they don’t. Every law enforcement official I’ve ever spoken with has always said the same thing: They prefer armed citizens who have been trained to protect themselves. It makes their job easier, and the criminal’s job harder.

Look at the real statistics, not the purposefully skewed ones the liberal media shows. The rate of violent crimes and murders are highest in areas with the strictest gun control measures in place. The lowest are in places where the people are allowed to arm themselves. Ask yourself these very simple questions: If you were a criminal, would you break into a home that is known to have a gun owner living in it, or one that is known to be free of weapon wielding occupants? If you were a mugger, a rapist, or otherwise violent criminal, would you rather do your thing to people in an area where guns are banned from being carried, or would rather it be towards people in an area where just about anyone walking down the street could be carrying a gun? Learn to think with a criminal mind and all of a sudden things become a lot clearer than they were before.

I hope and pray on a daily basis that I’m never put in such a situation again, and for the most part, the law of averages is on my side. But why take a chance? We are each given one life to live, it is up to us to do whatever we can in our power to preserve it. Be a victim or be survivor, I chose the latter but I can’t make your choice for you. Educate yourself, improve yourself, and don’t let other people make the important choices for you.