Archive for the ‘gun control’ Tag

Granny with a Gun   Leave a comment

I try to post these when I see them — times when ordinary citizens protect themselves, their families or strangers with a gun. This is exactly the reason why gun control is a STUPID idea.

Gun Safety Lesson   6 comments

This is a repost of a gun safety article I wrote three years ago. Here in Alaska, a photographer was shot yesterday at a gun range because he was down-range taking photos. It is unclear whether the shooters knew he was there or if he was being stupid. He definitely knew he was at a gun range because there were photos of the shooters on his camera. So, I thought it was a good idea to repost this article … with the addition that … gun ranges are not inherently unsafe places. Accidental shootings are rare at the ones I’m familiar with. But, folks, if you break the rules there, you put yourself and others at risk. The only safe place to be is behind the firing line and you should only venture down-range with the  full knowledge of every shooter on the line.

My children grew up around guns and so did I. Most of what I learned about guns, I learned from my parents. There are a handful of rules that come with gun ownership and maybe a handful of suggestions that might be entertained by gun owners. Most of these are taught in NRA gun safety programs, but they can also be taught by an Alaskan waitress at her kitchen table with her 12-year-old daughter.

My first time handling a rifle was when I was about six years old and it was my brother’s 22 bolt-action. My mother always carried the 357 when we’d berry-pick, but I’d always been under the impression that lightning would strike if I touched it. No, I don’t know how my parents inculcated that belief into me, though I’ll share how I inculcated it into my children in a bit. I just knew that touching a gun — any gun — without an adult present would result in immediate death by heavenly electrocution. I’m pretty sure it involved something like FEAR OF MY PARENTAL UNITS. They didn’t spank often, but the one spanking I remember (the very last one when I was seven) was firm enough that I never forgot it.

When I was 12, the incident I previously posted on prompted me to ask my mother to teach me how to use her gun.

Lesson #1 involved cleaning it. Yuk! Gun solvent stinks. But it taught me a lot about the parts of a gun and how they fit together and it got me over my fear of touching a gun.

Lesson #2 was all the safety rules — and there seemed like a LOT of safety rules. More on that in a second.

Lesson #3 was how to load and unload the gun.

Lesson #4 (and yes, we were about four days into Mom’s Fire Arms Academy) was on loading, cocking, uncocking and unloading the gun. This was important because if you do this wrong with a wheel-gun, the gun will go off when you don’t intend.

Lesson #5 we went to the local gravel pit and killed cans. Lots and lots of cans.

Lesson #6 was cleaning the gun.

Overall lesson? Gun ownership is 5 parts boring, one-part exciting and then you go back to boring.

So, what did I learn from my mother of value in her Fire Arms Academy and what have I passed onto my children.

One, I instilled a respect of guns into them. I didn’t know how my parents did it with me, so when my strong-willed daughter reached for my unloaded gun when she was five (this was a set up to determine if she would break the rules) I took her to the shooting range and fired six rounds into a target down range. She burst into tears because her ears hurt and I never had to convince her not to touch the gun after that. My son was less impressed when he was 5 (I think his hearing was less acute, making him normal), but he was also more likely to follow rules than his sister. He hadn’t actually reached for the gun, so the noise experiment was unnecessary. “Don’t ever touch any gun without my permission” resonated with him because he believed adults knew what they were doing. The loud bang just reinforced why you obeyed adults. In fact, when he was going to learn to shoot a 22 at camp, the camp had to let him call me to get permission because he didn’t believe them that it was okay.

When they were a bit older, they learned the real rules of gun safety. Don’t ever touch a gun is a great rule for little kids, but not so much for young adults. Here in Alaska, you may be called upon to protect a family member from a bear or rampaging moose, so opting out is not an option.

First, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FIRE ARMS USE. If you violate a safety rule, admit it promptly and don’t do it again. If someone gets hurt, it IS a DIRECT RESULT of YOU violating a safety rule. This is my rule, but it’s also an unspoken rule of every gun safety course I’ve ever encountered.

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR GUN POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION. Thank you, Joe Nava, local NRA training counselor and concealed carry instructor, for stating this simple rule that my mother made so danged convoluted. If your gun is always pointed in a safe direction, nobody gets hurt if it does happen to go off. It won’t go off accidentally, but that’s a later topic. Point it at the ground or point it straight up in the air. Don’t point it at someone and don’t point it at your own body. The stupidity of someone “accidentally” shooting themselves in the foot is just that — stupidity. If you follow the first rule of gun safety it can’t happen. Whether the gun is loaded or not is immaterial. All guns, regardless of status, need to be pointed in a safe direction at all times.

A.D.D. moment here — guns cannot accidentally go off by themselves. They are inanimate objects that require human agency to do ANYTHING. Besides that, they have built in safeties to prevent accidental (meaning non-human-caused) discharge. Have you ever wondered how bad buys pistol-whip a victim without shooting themselves? Yeah, that’s because guns can only go off if you pull the trigger. Although not recommended for other reasons, you can drop them and they won’t go off. The father who “accidentally” shot his kid in the car a few months ago depressed the trigger. That wasn’t an accident! That’s negligence! Sorry your kid died, but now you get to spend time in jail for your negligence. That may sound cold, but the police and prosecutors actually cause a lot of gun negligence by putting out this idea that guns just go off by themselves. No, they do not!

KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO SHOOT. I cringe at the range when I see someone point their gun down range and stand there with their finger on the trigger while folks are coming back from setting their targets. There have been times when I’ve confronted soldiers from the base who are the most likely to commit this offense. Don’t point your gun at people and don’t be ready to shoot until people are behind the firing line. Yes, United States Army soldiers are the most likely to break this rule. Why? Maybe poor training. Maybe training toward killing people. Just a thought. But the gun control freaks think it would be better to have these guys guarding our schools than a concealed carry holder who has had actual training in how NOT to kill people. Amazing!

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR GUN UNLOADED UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO USE IT. I disagree with Joe on this one because at three in the morning when I’ve been awakened out of a sound sleep by the sound of someone breaking into my house is not a good time for me to be loading a six-shot wheel gun. I could get around this by using a semi-auto so I can just slap home the magazine, but I’m a small woman and my hands really can’t handle the grip, so I prefer the six-gun. I compromise by having a trigger lock on my loaded gun.

Those are the three basic rules of gun safety, but there’s a few others that are useful, especially with little kids, but I also went over these with my son and a 13-year-old friend last weekend.

IF YOUR GUN HAS A SAFETY, USE IT UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO SHOOT. Most semi-autos and rifles have a safety that should be engaged until you’re ready to shoot. It’s similar to keep your finger off the trigger — it’s another safety step that will prevent an unintended tragedy from occurring. This is an instance where an NRA training counselor may say I’m promoting an unnecessary step, but it’s one of my rules and it works!

DON’T TOUCH A GUN UNLESS A SOBER ADULT IS PRESENT TO GIVE PERMISSION. My son and his friend, both raised in gun-owning households, knew this rule.

IF A FRIEND WANTS TO SHOW YOU A GUN, LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY AND TELL A SOBER ADULT. Timothy was the one who kept bringing up sobriety. He’s an Alaskan Native, so this may be an issue in his extended family, though his parents are teetotalers. The point is that guns and kids don’t mix unless under close supervision by a sane adult. You can’t always count on the neighbors teaching their kids this lesson, but you can teach your kids this and that will up the safety factor.

ALWAYS ASSUME ALL GUNS ARE LOADED UNTIL YOU HAVE UNLOADED THEM YOURSELF.  With permission from Tim’s dad, the boys and I handled my gun and I was very pleased to see that both of them checked the breach and dumped the bullets before they inspected the gun without my telling them to do so. My son remembered from previous sessions and Timothy had been taught by his dad.

KEEP YOUR GUNS IN A SECURE LOCATION THAT IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE TO THOSE WHO SHOULD BE USING THEM. A gun safe is best, a locking cabinet will suffice. Of course, your home protection gun should be close at hand, preferably near where you sleep, but it doesn’t need to be sitting on your night-stand (though maybe in the locking drawer of your nightstand).

TEACH YOUR KIDS THAT THINGS THAT DON’T BELONG TO THEM ARE OFF LIMITS. I know many parents who claim they couldn’t possible teach their kids this, but I taught my daughter — a very strong-willed child — this lesson. It can be done and it should be done. It’s not specifically a gun safety rule, but all parents should be teaching this to their children. There’d be fewer burglars shot by armed homeowners if all parents taught their children this rule.

So that’s it. Gun safety in synopsis.

By the way, I think EVERYBODY in America over the age of 12 should have to take a fire arms safety class or be trained by a competent adult. A lot of this gun control nonsense would be put to rest if people were familiar with weapons and knew that they don’t just go off by accident. Unfounded fear and unchallenged myth are the biggest drivers of this argument. Guns are a tool, like a car or a chainsaw. I can kill someone with any of those three tools, but to be perfectly honest, the car is the only one that can be accidentally involved in killing someone. The other two have safety rules that, when followed, will assure that nobody will get hurt — ever. Unless, of course, that person needs to be hurt because they are a bad guy intent upon robbing or otherwise harming someone.

Public Carry   3 comments

This is normally Writing Wednesday for me and I will probably post the last of the Taste Treats from Mirklin Wood, but this being the day after Super Tuesday and my suffering from some serious writing break distraction, I decided to skip it one more time this week.

I fully intend to return to Writing Wednesday next week.

I happened to be at the grocery store last night after the surreal experience of voting in the Alaska Republican Presidential Preference Poll. I’ll get back to that later.

I happened to see this woman. She was with a fella I assume was her husband, who did not appear similarly armed, though he might, as I was, been carrying concealed. Yes, I carried into the ARPPP. Why? Because I couldn’t think of a place in Fairbanks more likely to attract a mass shooter than a place that was processing 600 voters per hour for six hours. I suspect I wasn’t the only one there as it was warm in that crowd and there were a lot of people who weren’t taking off their coats. Maybe they just didn’t want to carry their coats under their arms or maybe they were avoiding showing their sweat stains, but I suspect at least a few of them were like me — wanting to have the capacity to defend myself if necessary while also not wanting to freak anyone out with that capacity (or make myself an immediate target if a mass shooter did enter the civic center).

There are two things I wanted to point out:

This woman was carrying openly in the grocery store and nobody was panicking. No children were being shot. No store managers were asking her to leave. The police weren’t called. We happened to be on one of those reverse courses where you keep passing each other in every aisle. She wasn’t acting jack-booted or aggressive. It seemed as if it was something she did normally. She smiled pleasantly to me and her husband reached down a box of crackers for me that were on an inexplicably high shelf. We didn’t talk about our guns. It was just an ordinary day in the grocery store in a town where people are not, by and large, afraid of guns.

This woman and I were both carrying correctly. We were both in complete control of our weapons because they were on our bodies. They weren’t in our purses (the photo shows she had one; I don’t personally carry a purse if I’ve got a coat to put my wallet in). I chose to conceal mine because I don’t like to make people uncomfortable. She chose to carry openly — well, I didn’t ask her, but I think she probably was making a statement that this is okay and we need to get used to it again. It used to be considered pretty normal and people didn’t used to be so afraid of guns, so convinced that an inanimate object strapped to a nice person was somehow just going to mow down a crowd. A lot of fear is a function of unfamiliarity.

CNN’s Liberal Bias   1 comment

This is 2nd in a series.

Back in 2008, X declared that he got a thrill up his leg whenever he heard Obama speak. X is a commentator and commentators are allowed to be biased — they’re dealing in opinion — but it sort of set the table for CNN’s “news” campaigning for Obama. Conservatives switched the channel in droves and Fox became the #1 news station in cable because of it.

But it’s eight years later, so certainly things have changed. I will admit that CNN has returned to more moderate reportage, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have a liberal bias.


I chose to look at just one issue – guns. CNN has an anti-gun bias, so I knew when it started the series that it would not be balanced.

A balanced approach would have taken that paragraph that said police departments think it’s a good idea for kids to be trained in gun handling and placed it after the Brady Center statement that this makes kids too comfortable with guns so as not to seem to contradict the gun range or the police. It is not CNN’s job as a news agency to insert its reporters’ political bias into news stories.

Here’s another one. The pastor says he supports the 2nd amendment, but he’s also for “common sense” control  measures and he preaches to his congregation that God agrees with him. One man’s common sense is another man’s tyranny.

I’m assuming he’s found those verses in the Bible that support his position. For the record, I read my Bible a lot and I haven’t and neither has my pastor, who has a PhD in New Testament theology. Speaking of my pastor, who I think owns a gun or two, nowhere in the CNN article does it mention that the good pastor is violating the law. Assuming his church is a federally-recognized non-profit, he has agreed not to talk about political issues from the pulpit. That gate swings both ways. My pastor can’t speak out against the government from the pulpit and Pastor Hamilton should not be able to carry water for the current administration from the pulpit. Maybe CNN should do another series on how some churches try to dictate the politics of their congregations from the pulpit while others do not.

Here’s another one.

The article is entitled “The gun shop owner” and has a photo of one looking a bit skeptical, but the reporter apparently didn’t talk to any gun shop owners. The story is really about a suicide prevention group trying to obligate gun shop owners into playing social worker when they sell guns. Saying “they support gun rights” doesn’t mean anything. If this group supports the right to own a gun that is locked up in an armory where you can’t use it, then they don’t support actual gun rights. And, yeah, the program is targeted to gun shop owners, so interview a couple of them and show us what they think.

The entire series is online. What I noticed was that the positive gun stories were very short segments often “balanced” with much longer segments that were negative of guns and many were followed with commentary that tried to make the positive gun stories seem like a really bad idea.

If you’re a liberal who is afraid of guns, you’re not going to see anything wrong with CNN’s coverage of this issue. It’s just one issue. I could have targeted two dozen. If you’re a conservative who grew up around guns and carries concealed, you will very much see a problem with CNN’s coverage on this issue.

And that’s what I mean by liberal bias at CNN. Yes, there are conservative sites that are equally biased on the subject of guns. Their bias is pro-gun and many CNN viewers will insist they are inaccurate in their view of the facts. But here’s the thing — if you live around guns and are not afraid of them, you can judge for yourself what it true about a subject you have personal experience with.

A Good Guy with a Gun Saves People   Leave a comment

It happened right here in Alaska — well, Anchorage, which is sort of Alaska. I happen to know Anna Bosin … she used to be married to a long-time friend. And the comments are incredible to follow. It really shows the lack of common sense from the anti-gun crowd. But it just goes to show that a good guy with a gun can save lives and sometimes do it better than the mall guards or the cops who are 20 minutes away. I have been in the 5th Avenue mall with a friend who always carries concealed. Nothing was going on that day and we had a good time. There’s an excellent coffee shop there and a great bookstore.


A security incident involving an armed robber at the Anchorage 5th Avenue mall in downtown ended safely Sunday afternoon after another armed man helped detain the suspect, police say.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said in a statement Sunday evening that about $1,200 in goods from the robbery’s target, the Buckle Clothing Store, were recovered during the arrest of 18-year-old Yan Bangout. Nobody was injured during the incident.

“Employees believed the man was attempting to conceal the clothing in a bag while in the fitting room and alerted mall security,” Shell wrote. “As the suspicious man left the store, he was confronted by mall security and a struggle ensued over the bag containing stolen goods. During the struggle, the suspect drew a gun from his waistband; however, a good Samaritan, also armed with a gun, stepped in and assisted security in taking the man into custody.”

Anna Bosin, a customer at the mall’s nearby Apple Store, said the incident occurred at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday, when “somebody was trying to enter the store.”

Bosin said the man was tackled before entering the store: “Two guns were involved, and I think the person of interest had a gun — so they were trying to get the gun from him.”

Bosin said the Apple Store was evacuated so quickly that customers weren’t reunited with their personal possessions until after the incident was resolved.

“Everybody at the Apple Store did a professional job evacuating the store,” Bosin said. “We went over to the Anchorage Museum and then they heard from mall security that the mall was cleared.”

The mall’s security office deferred questions to the mall’s marketing staff, who weren’t available Sunday.

Shell said Bangout was charged with robbery, theft and four counts of assault. He was held at the Anchorage jail on $10,000 bail, with a third-party custodian required for his release.

Arguing with the Indoctrinated (Gun Control)   1 comment

This is not a political issue. It is a common sense issue! The indoctrinated fail to recognize that there are practical considerations in this debate.

“Nobody needs guns.”

“Call the cops if someone is menacing you.”

“Guns shoot people.”

“Guns increase crime.”

“If there were no guns there would be no terrorist attacks, murders, armed robberies …. ”

“People are more likely to shoot themselves or an innocent bystander than a bad guy.”

“Your gun is more likely to be grabbed by the bad guy and used against you than it is to be used by you to protect yourself.”

“Society has a right to protect itself against gun-toting lunatics and control does that.”

All of these are statements made by the indoctrinated. Yes. If you’ve ever made any of those statements, you might be one of the indoctrinated.

How can I make that rude statement? Because I’ve looked at the evidence and applied common sense to it and realized you can’t rightfully believe any of those statements without being indoctrinated.

If my use of the world “indoctrinated” angers you, it might be because you haven’t applied the same tests to your beliefs.

Let’s look at some of those statements.

Our Founders in the United States did not recognize the authority of the British Crown to control guns. It’s what prompted the “shot heard around the world.” It doesn’t surprise me at all that they put that belief into action in the government they created. The 2nd Amendment was a foregone conclusion coming for men who had the following to say about an armed society. The American Founders did not want society controlling much of anything for the individual. That’s why they prevented Congress from making laws that infringed on the liberty of individuals.

Someone is just going to take the gun away from you. Really? When I’m concealed carry, only I and maybe my husband, knows that I’m carrying. That’s the point. Nobody knows that I’m carrying, so if I need to pull for my own protection or the protection of others, it comes as a surprise to everyone. While armed guards are often the first people to be shot by mass shooters because they are recognized as a threat, the small woman taking cover with everyone else doesn’t look like a threat until she pulls a gun and unloads a clip into the back of the guy doing the shooting. I hope to never have to do that, but taking away my ability to do so is just playing into the bad guys’ plans.

People are more likely to shoot themselves or a fellow victim than the bad guy. Wow, how stupid! I’ve been handling a big hand gun (Mom’s 357) since I was 12. I have never shot myself. I’ve never had an accidental discharge of my weapon. When I participated in a rogue’s gallery shooting range, I had zero victim hits. Only people who have no knowledge of gun culture actually believe that meme. Those of us who choose to carry practice to carry. I’ve never pulled my gun on a human, but I did once have to pull on a stampeding moose. I chose to put the first bullet above her head and planned to put the second bullet between her eyes, except she veered, so I didn’t have to fire a second time. Do you think I am more likely to be rattled by gun fire or a stampeding moose? Your mistaken belief is not a good excuse for people who know what they’re doing to listen to you.

If there were no legal guns, there’d be no murders and no terrorism. Sigh! Remember 911. No shots were fired … more’s the pity. If the pilots had had guns, things might have been different. France is a national gun-free zone. Charlie Hebdo and the Paris terrorist attacks are proof that gun control that removes guns from use by ordinary citizens doesn’t keep people safe. People will simple find other ways to kill mass numbers of people. All gun control does is remove a tool of self-protection and create free killing zones.

Guns increase crime. Not true. Actually, as the percentage of gun ownership and concealed carry has increased, crime has gone down. The 1.2 million crimes in 2012 is a substantial reduction of crime from 1996, when it was estimated that guns were used 2.5 million times for self-protection.

Guns shoot people. Well, no, guns are inanimate objects. If my gun remains in the cabinet I keep it in, it cannot shoot anyone. Inanimate objects require an animate actor to do anything other than rust and rot.

Call the cops if someone is menacing you. A truism that cops are minutes away when seconds count. The average response time from 911 call to police on the scene is 22 minutes. That’s a nation wide statistics. In case you weren’t paying attention in recent mass shooting incidents — the cops pull up outside and don’t attempt to enter the shooting area. This leaves the shooters free to continue their killing. A woman in Dayton Ohio shot and killed an intruder in September. She waited over an hour for the police to show up AFTER she shot the intruder. She would have been long dead if she had waited.

Nobody needs guns is clearly ridiculous to anyone who has been in a situation where they needed a gun. When I was in junior high my mom scared three rapists away from our home. They went down the road and raped another girl. I thank my mother for having a gun. She protected my quality of life, but she couldn’t have done that without a gun, as the father of my classmate discovered when the rapists pushed themselves into his home.

I can understand if you’re afraid of guns. They are scary. I have a great respect for the force I hold in my hands. But my guns are no threat to you so long as you’re not menacing me. And, here’s the thing … I am not surrendering to your fear. I will continue to do what I know to be right for myself and my family, as is my natural right. If you are still afraid … well, it’s probably a good thing you can’t tell when I’m concealed carry.


Posted December 15, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control, Uncategorized

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Stating the Obvious   1 comment

Posted December 14, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in culture

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Think About Response Time   Leave a comment

Posted December 12, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control

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Common Sense on Home Invasions   Leave a comment

Posted December 11, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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Food for Thought   Leave a comment

Posted December 11, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide

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