Hello again folks, Shadow here!  And I want to talk to you about something that is guaranteed to make liberals wet their pants out of fear and a country boy to wet his pants out of excitement!  YES, I am talking about GUNS!!!  Or rather, my experiences and observations throughout my lifetime.  Don’t worry, it won’t take too long!

My first contact with a firearm was when I was about 12.  I was in Pennsylvania with my parents visiting some friends of theirs.  Those folks were loaded and had quite the collection of weapons of various calibers.  We had a “boys outing” with my brother, my stepfather and his friend we went to go visit.  That outing consisted of shooting stuff out in the middle of nowhere.  That was when I got the chance to fire my first 22 cal rifle.  Honestly, I don’t know how well I shot, but it was an interesting experience from the perspective of a boy who was always taught that guns were bad.  Yes, I grew up in the northeast, and you know how draconian some of those states can be.  Anyway, the day I shot the rifle was the day that I realized a gun doesn’t make someone bad, and that guns themselves have no capacity for evil.

I never did understand why people were upset when waiting periods were first introduced.  Growing up in Massachusetts, I was accustomed to the idea of having to get a Firearms ID Card in order to own a weapon.  I thought this was the way it was in all the states.

My second experience came in basic training.  Our qualification consisted of 40 rounds, after practicing with many more.  We had to get a certain number on target just to qualify, though in order to obtain expert, we had to shoot better than 35 on target.  I got 34.  I eventually got my expert marksman ribbon, but it wasn’t until I was a few years into my first duty station.  At any rate, I didn’t buy my first gun until much later.

It was in 2006 when I was told I was going to be working at Nellis AFB, in Nevada.  Not exactly a quiet town, for sure, and our section of town wasn’t at all crime free.  In fact, the first night in the house we were living in, we heard gunshots.  My wife got a little concerned, shall we say.  She did ask me if I was scared, and I calmly told her no because none of the rounds hit the house.  We bought a gun almost immediately.

The purchase process for your first handgun in Las Vegas consists of filling out the form you would fill out at any dealer and waiting 3 days.  Future purchases did not require the waiting period.  This was the first time I realized the stupidity of many gun laws.  Criminals won’t fill out the forms and certainly won’t have a waiting period.

Ever since that time, I realized that guns are our insurance against a tyrannical government.  That our forefathers sought to ensure we would always have at our disposal the power to defend ourselves from oppression is a tribute to their genius.  We are a rare country in that we have the opportunity to acquire guns.  This right enshrined in our Constitution has led to over 80 MILLION gun owners, and that is just an educated guess.  From November 1998 to December 2010, the FBI conducted 124,427,448 NICS background checks.  Each purchase requires this background check to be done.  It is not based on the number of weapons purchased.  I personally own 7 guns, and had to have 7 checks done.  Given that many gun owners are owners of multiple weapons, it is safe to assume that over 80 million people are gun owners.  This is bigger than the worlds militaries put together.

Why do I say that?  Just to give you an idea of the level of difficulty that would be needed to disarm the country.  Even if the President were compelled to call for martial law, it is doubtful that much of the military would actually disarm civilians.  Let’s look at a few numbers:  Total number of military, active and reserve is approx 2.28 million.  Approximate number of gun owners: 80 million.  Who has the advantage?  In shear numbers, the people do.  Another thing to keep in mind is what I said previous…I doubt much of the military would actually obey those orders.  If martial law were to be declared, that means the country has gone to hell in a handbasket.  Katrina provided a great model of what would happen when the breakdown of society occurs.  Many police and security personnel abandoned their posts and went to take care of their families.  Yes, there was confiscation.  But the outcry and reaction prompted many states to ensure that would never happen in a time of crisis.  However, I digress.  Back to the Katrina example.

The exact same thing with regard to people protecting themselves and their loved ones would occur in the event of martial law.  Many police would abandon their posts to protect their families.  A few military (reserve mostly) would do the same.  We military are not robots.  We are human.  And we remember all too well the civil war and our history.  We know where we came from.  I know there are those among us who would revel in the idea of having power over people, but not me.  Not the many that I know.  We are an all volunteer force who took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  The enemies are not the citizens of the United States.  They are not the gun owners of the United States.  The enemies are those that seek to destroy our way of life.

So, knowing that the US Military would largely disobey an order to disarm the citizens, what would be the action of a tyrannical government bent on controlling the population?  Keep the military busy with multiple wars, and invite a foreign entity to “assist” in the effort of disarmament.  The only body I can think of that would be willing to undertake that would be the UN.  And thankfully, they can’t even manage a humanitarian effort correctly.  That organization is so dysfunctional it isn’t funny.  If it weren’t for US funding, it would have disbanded years ago.  But that isn’t to say it wouldn’t be an option.

Now that all the doom and gloom is out of the way, what about current laws?  Again, as I said, it wasn’t until I became a gun owner that I was awakened to many things.  Chief among them was this:  Criminals don’t care what gun laws are passed or currently exist.  By their very nature, criminals are going to break the law.  Guns are easy to get on the street, if you know the right person.  And that right person isn’t a licensed gun dealer.  It is going to be the crackhead down the road who will steal one and sell it to you.

Now, since a criminal doesn’t care about gun laws, what good do they do?  A waiting period?  The only people who are going to go through that are the law abiding.  A background check?  Same people.  Spend time filling out forms, paying for an ID (which amounts to paying for a right that is guaranteed in our Constitution and therefore is free)?  Nope…  No one but the law abiding are going to go through that.

First ting I learned I read some time ago, in a few books really, that one of the reasons criminals target foreign tourists AND people in certain locations is that they KNOW those people aren’t carrying.  Same cannot be said of citizens.  You never know who is packing in many areas in the US…unless you live in California, DC or Illinois.  No, gun laws only affect those who obey the law.  Just as a lock only keeps honest people out.

Second thing I learned was that Open Carry is a great way to carry!  I know many people won’t agree with me about that, but I think of it this way…would I want to fumble with my shirt, pocket or jacket trying to draw or do I want to have it at the ready when I need it?  I would take a thigh rig over a shoulder holster any day.  Besides, when you really think about it objectively, who should you be afraid of?  The guy with a Beretta 96 in a thigh holster or the guy in the hoodie who seems to be a bit too nervous?  I am going to side with the guy with the thigh rig any day.  He probably knows how to shoot accurately (and I do).

Third thing I learned was that magazine limitations don’t actually limit anything.  You can always carry additional mags, and if you are good at changing them out it won’t matter if the mag you have is limited to 10 rounds.  US Rep Carolyn McCarthy is a loon for thinking the resolution she introduced, HR 308, would do ANYTHING to prevent mass casualty anywhere.  I personally can change out a mag pretty quick, and if someone were bent on killing a lot of people he or she would either have a lot of magazines or a few extra guns.  This person, and Sen Frank Lautenberg don’t live in the real world.

Fourth thing, gun-free zones are only free of the guns law abiding people own.  I could run through many instances, but the most memorable is Columbine.  Almost every school and college is a gun free zone.  Most churches restrict carry to concealed carry, but some are clearly gun free zones.  Every military base, ironically, is a gun free zone.  I would hazard to say that Hassan would not have killed near the number he did if military bases were not gun free zones.  He may have even reconsidered the idea of shooting deployers.  Some of you may remember the University of Texas shooting in 1966 with Charles Whitman.  What is MOSTLY reported is that he killed 16 (in the end 17 people died because of the shooting) people from a watch tower at UT.  What ISN’T reported often is why he didn’t kill more.  Even the Wikipedia link doesn’t really say why.  Actually, the first responder was a professor that happened to have his deer rifle with him.  This professor was the sole reason Whitman didn’t kill more people.  Since Whitman could not take aimed shots any more, he was reduced to randomly shooting from drain spouts on the tower.  This is but one example of guns being used for good.  For more stories, see The Armed Citizen blog.  It isn’t updated any more, but you can read the older stories.

Fifth thing:  What the hell is the reasoning behind “duty to retreat” laws?  Duty to Retreat means you have to retreat as far as possible and have no means of escape BEFORE you use deadly force to protect yourself.  My opinion is, once someone breaks into your house, they surrender any legal right to sue.  In fact, given that YOU don’t know their intentions, you have every right to shoot to defend.  That is not to say you shoot until you run out and reload.  That is you shoot to neutralize the threat.  Police are only the cleanup crew for crime anyway.  Security is YOUR responsibility.

Sixth thing:  How you carry should be up to you.  There is nothing in the second amendment that states HOW you carry is right or wrong, only that you have a right to bear arms.  Debate all you want, the historical evidence on the matter in the writings of the founders supports private ownership of weapons.  They did not mean for only the military and police to have them.  They have them as a matter of duty requirements.

Personally, gun ownership is a private choice.  Just as much as speaking out against tyranny or whatever cause you choose to adopt is a personal choice.  The Constitution provides the framework, and ALL states agreed to abide by the Constitution as a matter of inclusion in the Union.  Yes, I am purposefully ignoring the incorporation argument because it shouldn’t even be an argument.  All arguments regarding how to deal with the second amendment are nothing more than progressive/liberal interpretations of phrases and clauses when the whole of the document should be considered.

I personally believe that every able bodied person, who is of sound mind, should own a weapon.  The condition of our society almost demands it.  Take these headlines from 9 October 2011: Protester defecates on police car, Entire Global System of Trade is at Risk, Owners baffled by theft of 50 foot bridge, Thieves steal from veggie garden, Officials: ‘Zeta Killers’ kill 32 more in Mexico, 3 killed, 17 injured in overnight shootings…  and all the Occupy (insert location here) movements and you have all you need to see how crazy things are getting.  Prices for everything are out of control.  People stealing bridges because the scrap is worth so much?  People stealing veggies from a veggie garden?  Mexico drug wars spilling into the US?  Global trade at risk?  I will tell you, IF an economic collapse happens, the rule of law will cease to exist for a time.  You will only have YOU to depend on.

I leave you with a phrase I say all the time, “I would rather have one and not need it than need it and not have one.”

That is all for now.  Shadow out.