Archive for the ‘gun control’ Tag

Common Sense on Self-Defense.   Leave a comment

Which would you prefer?

I Want a Gun   1 comment

A friend of mine attended this training at UAF that, coincidentally took place during the San Bernardino shooting.  It was all about appropriate response to gunfire in the workplace.

Active Shooter TrainingMy friend came away from the “training” more convinced than ever that he (and his wife who also attended the training) both want to be able to conceal carry on the job at UAF.

They are prevented from doing so by stupidity. After this training, they spoke with several of their coworkers, most of whom agreed that hiding just makes you a sitting duck and fleeing just makes you a moving target. Hiding might work for you, until you’re found, at which point you need a gun to keep from being killed.

What is it about this that we don’t seem to get? These shootings almost always happen in gun free zones. What if the people in those zones were no longer helpless victims, but people with the means to protect themselves?

We can’t know for certain because we haven’t tried it (yet), but we can extrapolate from Clackamas Mall, Trolley Town Square and New Hope Church that a potential victim with a gun can stop a shooter. In all of these cases, and there are more than just this three, people ignored the “no guns allowed” sign and took their guns in anyway. In all of these cases, the carnage of a mass shooter was reduced because these people stepped up and pulled their weapons. In two of these cases, the brandishment alone was enough to cause the shooter to turn his gun on himself, even though he had a clear intent to continue shooting many more people.

Yet our solution is to continue to do what we’ve done in the past — disarm citizens so that they have no choice, but to be victims of a shooter. I hope it never happens where I am put in that position, but if it ever does …

I want a gun.

Posted December 5, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control, Uncategorized

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Do I Have A Right to Protect Myself?   2 comments

There’s been yet another shooting in a GUN FREE zone.

Why is it that we think disarming ordinary citizens makes us safer?

Do I not have a right to protect myself?

Are you really safe? – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Letters To Editor   Leave a comment

Are you really safe? – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Letters To Editor.

Posted July 6, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control

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Simplistic Thinking about Mass Shootings   4 comments

Perhaps it is human nature to blame something other than ourselves for the events we see in the world. The South Carolina church shooting shows that tendency in full view.

  • Guns caused the shooting. Their very existence demands that they be used for the mass killing of folks.

Do we really believe that? Certainly our president and some pundits say they believe that, but isn’t that the equivalent of saying “the devil made me do it?” I’ve been around guns my whole life. It’s stupid to go into the woods where there are bears, wolves and moose without a firearm. I shot a 22 when I was 7. I first handled my mom’s 357 when I was in junior high right after three soon-to-be rapists tried to break into our house and Mom (all 95 pounds of her) scared them away.

My guns have never whispered to me that I should go out and shoot up a church, a movie theater, a shopping center. Guns are inanimate objects. If there’s any whispering going on, it’s coming from the mind of the shooter, not the guns. Guns are simply a tool for keeping users safe. Make them illegal and it leaves law-abiding citizens at the mercy of law-breakers, because law-breakers won’t be obeying the gun laws.

  • Racism caused the shooting.

There may be some validity to this argument in the case of this particular church. It was a historically black church and the shooter seems to have had some racist beliefs. He was also high on drugs and may have been mentally ill. So is that racism or mental illness or some other problem not yet identified. The shooter spent an hour in that church during Bible study before he opened fire. If it were my church, I’d be asking “What happened during that hour that escalated rather than de-escalated his violence?” Maybe it was nothing. Maybe he was just bent on killing people and it took him an hour to get the courage, but … as I said, if it were MY church …. Is it possible they weren’t very welcoming to the weird white guy in their haven for the dark-skinned? If you think that’s a racist question, note the number of fingers pointing back at yourself before you pop off.

  • Mental illness caused the shooting. Lock up all mentally ill or make it illegal for them to have guns and all will be better.

I worked in the mental health field for 15 years. I’ve met some mentally ill people who would mow down a church group because the voices in their heads told them to do it. Not the gun, not racism — mental illness. But I’ve also met mentally ill folks who would never hurt anyone (except maybe themselves) and others who stay on their meds because they don’t want to ever hurt anyone else. Delusional disorders are not all the same and it’s wrong to treat some folks like criminals because they are ill.

  • Churches are at fault.

I actually heard this from an atheist neighbor this weekend. If churches weren’t these monolithic structures that judge people, he said, they wouldn’t become targets for crazy people. Do away with all churches and people would be free to love one another and violence would be reduced immeasurably. Wow, you just can’t make that up.

All of those simple causes are probably partially at fault. Churches ought to be more welcoming to those who are odd. Yes, that puts them more at risk. Jesus never said being His followers would be safe. There is a lovely man who occasionally comes through our church. We call him John the Baptist and I can’t say his real name because I signed agreements years ago. He is a Christian who is also bat-crazy with schizophrenia. Often when you talk to him, it’s like reading Alice in Wonderland on acid, but he also cuts right to the truth of the gospel in a way that sane people rarely do. He knows his Bible and his application is spot on. And (some people find this creepy), he seems to know things about you that he shouldn’t know, but he uses that knowledge to help the Christians he meets. I wonder if he’s not talking to angels, who are the demons who chose to obey God. Yeah, I worked in the mental health field for 15 years and I believe in demons. That’s another topic. Churches should be more welcoming to people who are not stereotypically “church” people.

Mental illness is a tough nut to crack. Europe and other nations handle it by doing what we used to do — locking folks up and forcing them to take their meds. There is a growing movement in this country by mental health advocates to never force anyone to take medication against their will. Did you know that? Yeah! So maybe there’s more to these mass shootings than just undiagnosed mental illness. But maybe in a country that prides itself on individual liberty, we really don’t have a right to force others to be medicated against their will. There are some folks who think we should treat mental illness like a crime. I don’t, but I also acknowledge that some people won’t stay on their meds and they aren’t John the Baptist motivated by God’s spirit to share the gospel. Some of them are scary scary people and we need to have a discussion about what to do with that. Currently, if you call for help because you think someone might be developing schizophrenia and about to harm someone, you have to show that they really are an imminent risk to themselves or others. In essence, they have to mow down a church group before the police will act.

Notice that I’m sitting on the fence with this because I’m an individualist who has experience with both good people who are mentally ill and scary people who are mentally ill. I’m not sure what the answer is here and I suspect there is no “good” solution.

Racism is a swinging door. The first time I ever saw racism directed at me was not because I’m an American Indian and white folks don’t like Indians. It was a black man who had decided I was white and he didn’t want me in his shop. Racism doesn’t have a color. A traditionally ethnic church of any stripe might think its meeting separately because that’s how white folks want it, but in reality, in this day and age, they are meeting separately because they feel most comfortable with that. Guaranteed, if a group of any ethnicity showed up at 90% of traditionally white churches, nobody would turn them away and most might not even notice the color of your skin. Racism and reverse racism are not excuses for mowing down a church group, but it is certainly something churches need to consider. And, not just churches. Society as a whole exhibits this problem. When you’re pointing a finger at someone else as a racist, pay attention to how many fingers are pointing back at you.

Guns do not kill anyone by themselves. They are simply a tool. If we didn’t have guns, mentally ill people and racists would find other ways to kill people. Knives, gasoline bombs, cars, baseball bats, bow-and-arrow, hammers …. As a small woman, I’m not going to go mana a mana with a man swinging a baseball bat or wielding a knife. With a gun, I become his equal and therefore, equally able to protect myself and those around me. If you disarm me, you relegate me to the role of victim, leading to my death.

I know we don’t want to hear this. We want simple causes and simple solutions, but we don’t have those and until we accept that the issues are more complicated than we want to believe, we can’t hope to solve the problems.

Cops Were How Far Away?   Leave a comment

My post — from more than a year ago — When Seconds Count, Cops are Hours Away — has been getting a workout of late. I can only guess it is because of the school shooting in Marysville Washington.

I have not changed my mind.

The most sensible solution to the problem of violence in our society is to allow sane people to go forth armed. I have friends who are teachers who have significant gun collections and the skills to use them. Some of them are concealed carry permit holders. And, yet, if a student comes into the cafeteria with a gun and opens fire, they can’t do a think about it. They’re forced to hide under the tables … or behind their dead students .. in hopes of surviving to go home to their families. The death toll is a great deal higher because we do not allow effective defenses in “gun-free zones”.

A few weeks ago, we were at the movie theater and a drunk GI went off on a guy who was supposedly his friend and I watched as at least five men in the crowd stood up. One of them unzipped his coat and said “Leave! Now!” The GI did. His friend gave the concealed carry patron a thumbs-up and followed his friend out.

What might have happened if there’d been nobody but cops — 10 minutes away — to discourage this violent man with impaired judgment and access to select fire weapons? How many people might have died that night? A half dozen concealed carry and one willing to take charge and the potential shooter never reached into his jacket. Was he armed? I don’t know, but I do know that many soldiers are. They’ve been to a war zone and they come back paranoid and they carry because they suspect society is dangerous. They’re right. Sadly, many of them don’t stay sober and therein is the problem. I have no problem with anyone carrying if they’re sober. Anyone who chooses to go forth armed with the understanding that they might have to protect themselves or someone else are a first-line of defense against the bad guys. Or against the mentally-ill teenager or the drunk GI.

A cop won’t fit under my arm. Sadly as a small lady, the gun that fits under my arm isn’t as big as I would like. My 357 will punch a big dent in body armor. My 38 won’t, but I feel better carrying it in many circumstances.

I’m not a teacher, but if I were, I think I’d be considering retiring because our government seems determined to continue the lunacy of not protecting our teachers and students in an effective manner. And that situation exists in malls, churches, public buildings and …

Well, far too many places.

How many kids could have been saved if just one teacher had been concealed carry?

Posted November 8, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control

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When A Post Just Keeps Going   Leave a comment

I wrote this over a year ago and from time to time, I log in and see a bunch of people have visited it that day. I don’t know what triggers that, but it’s cool. A lot of the stuff I write here is an attempt to get people to think. I am not always sold on everything I write. I reserve the right to change my mind based on new experience.

But I won’t change my mind about guns. When I was in junior high school my 95-pound mother scares three large aggressive men away from our house by brandishing her 357. They went down the road and raped a classmate.

A woman was stabbed but not beheaded last week because a coworker had a gun. An armed society is a polite society. And if I can contribute to that understanding, that’s great.

Living proof…   Leave a comment

Living proof….

Keep the court records open: Senate Bill 108 would seal files, harming public knowledge of official actions – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorials   Leave a comment

Keep the court records open: Senate Bill 108 would seal files, harming public knowledge of official actions – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorials.

I applaud the Alaska Senate for returning to the US Constitution and think the editor who wrote this should be charged with something he did not do and then acquitted, so he too can be denied employment and home rental and wonder why certain children in the neighborhood aren’t allowed to play with his kids.

Because Alaska’s public records are online, they are a go-to source for many in the community for a down-and-dirty background check. The problem is that most of the public are not all that smart. They can’t distinguish between “charged with a crime” and “convicted of a crime”.

I have a friend who was accused of domestic abuse by her mother-in-law. She went through a court proceeding and a judge ruled that she had not abused or neglected her mother-in-law. The old lady was delusional. That non-crime is still on her record, still available for viewing by the public, and it has affected her.

First, there is the embarrassment of having her name on a criminal court list, even though she did nothing wrong. But there’s also a curious federal law that forever brands her a batterer even though she didn’t in fact do the deed. Because she was ACCUSED of domestic battery, she can’t buy a gun through a gun shop. That’s not a huge problem in Alaska where used guns are sold back and forth all the time in the private market, but if she ever wants to buy a new gun, she’ll have to use a straw purchaser.

She did nothing wrong. She broke no laws. She was deemed by a court of law to be not guilty. She retains her right to own a firearm, but because of a poorly-written law, she can’t shop in a certain store for a certain item.

As I said, the editor should go through it and then see if he changes his mind.

His excuse is that the public has a right to know about the charges when someone decides to run for election. Why? If the charges were dropped or the person was found not, then the jury system worked and it is none of the public’s business. We have got to get away from the stupidity in this country that claims a charge is as good as a conviction. While we’re at it, let’s get over the idea that because someone has been convicted of a crime they are forever more an untouchable, unable to get employment they are otherwise qualified for and unable to rent housing. It gives us a very convenient way to make serfs who can work in the shadow economy, but it is an evil in a society that claims it is built around the equality of all individuals.

Why I Oppose Gun-Free Zones   Leave a comment

And believe that gun control is holding a properly sized weapon with two hands ….

I worked as an administrator for community mental health for 15 years. The attached news story tells you all you need to know about my experience with a GUN-FREE ZONE. This was not the only time that a client’s mental illness threatened to harm or kill an employee or three, but it is the time that made it into the papers and the rest we’re all supposed to keep to ourselves because all interactions with clients are considered confidential.

Had Genine or her coworkers had a gun, her death might have been prevented. Notice, Brian didn’t use a gun. He didn’t need a gun. He had a kitchen knife.

In 1994, a Fairbanks man killed his three roommates  … with a hammer. He didn’t need a gun either.

Mental illness killed Genine and these three men. It is directly linked in almost every case of mass murder in the last decade. Brian Galbraith was protected by the confidentiality laws of this country and the State of Alaska. So was Adam Lanza.

And, no, I’m not necessarily calling for all that information to become public because when you publicize the records of the depressed Iraq veteran who is thinking about shooting up the base, you also publicize the record of the depressed Iraq veteran who just wants to talk to someone so he won’t think about shooting up the base.

I recognize that in our world of hyperbolic “the sky is falling” insanity, we don’t see a substantial difference between those two people. Maybe I do because I’ve worked in the field and I’m expecting the rest of the world to be as nuanced as I am. The fact is, though, that mental health treatment isn’t going to fix the Galbraiths of this world. It wouldn’t have stopped the Boston Marathon bombing. We know for sure that it didn’t stop Adam Lanza or the latest Ft. Hood shooter.

We are constantly reminded that we can’t control people because to do so would destroy the very liberty we value. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to pass through security points and be sexually-molested by guards everywhere I go in order to be safe. I’d rather risk an occasional mass shooting because controlling people is tyranny and I don’t want to live under tyranny.



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