To quote the words of Eddie Murphy as he was imitating Richard Prior, “Tell Bill I said have a coke and a smile and shut the &^@$ up.”
What that line was in reference to was a skit wherein Bill Cosby called Eddie Murphy to criticize his comedy style. Eddie Murphy then recounts a conversation he had with Richard Prior about the subject.
However, the line is just as appropriate when you consider Bill Cosby’s latest comment regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting. “When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody.” Let that sink in for a moment.
I am a gun owner as are, I suspect, many of you reading this. I can say first-hand that my carrying of a gun has never meant I mean to harm somebody or kill somebody. What it has meant to me was self-defense. The simple act of carrying a gun gives me peace of mind. When deployed, I would carry a gun, as would all military members (and some civilians) around me. Not one person has ever given me pause to think they are intending to kill someone or do someone harm. In fact, the reason to carry is gun is to prevent harm, or should someone intend to do me or others around me harm, I can answer back with lethal force.
That is the very nature of self-defense.
The fact that shootings make the news should also give you pause. How many of those shootings are in self-defense? Few? Less than 5%? Less than that? Statistics are not easy to come by, and here is why…most acts of self-defense do not end with a discharge of a weapon.
Short story: My family and I are on a long road trip in unfamiliar areas of the country. I had my Beretta 96 strapped to my leg in a Blackhawk thigh holster. It is a full-sized handgun in .40 caliber.
NOTE: I personally advocate “open-carry.” For those who do not know what this is, “open-carry” simply means carrying your weapon in the open. In other words, advertising that you have one. I personally believe this is much better, for me, as I would have the weapon at the ready should I need it. However, simply having it visible to everyone is probably enough to deter someone from acting in a threatening manner near me, but I digress.
Not once were we bothered on the road, and not once were we bothered in any restaurant we went into where it was legal for me to open carry. I felt safer with it, as I am proficient with it both in draw and accuracy. I also had to come to grips with two very critical realities. 1. Was I prepared to take someone’s life should the need arise? Yes. 2. Would I hesitate in doing so if by doing so I could save the lives of those around me, especially my family? No.
Does this make me a violent person?
No. Not at all. It makes me a practical person. Guns do not cause someone to be violent. They do not cause someone to shoot another. There are hundreds of millions of guns in this country, the vast majority are owned by law abiding individuals for various reasons. Many just like to target shoot, others like to hunt. Still others like to do both. I would lay money on the fact that if their lives were threatened, they would not hesitate to use deadly force.
My wife is rather good with guns, and since we lived in a particularly rough section of a large city many years ago, I am glad we had a gun in the house. She felt threatened one day by what she perceived as a home invasion (it was not, but she did not know that at the time), and did exactly as I taught her. I taught her that the first thing she does is put herself between the baby and the threat (in this case, someone messing with the door during the day). Announce that she was armed, and wait. I taught her to always keep her finger off the trigger until she meant to pull it. We practiced this, and discussed this many times, so when the moment came where she felt she had to prepare to act, she was ready. The military teaches us that when faced with a stressful situation, we fall back on our training, and that is what she did. No shots were fired, no one was hurt.
Did that make her a violent person?
No, not at all. She felt threatened and wanted to protect our son. And she acted as I taught her. Was there a threat? In the end, no. However at the time we did not know that. Did she mean to harm someone? No. She meant to keep our son safe. Did she feel empowered? Indeed she did, but not empowered to hurt someone simply because she had a gun. She had a REASON. That is the crucial aspect Bill Cosby, and other anti-gun advocates, neglect to think about.
ALL self-defensive uses of handguns, whether a weapon was discharged or not, had a reason. To keep someone and/or someone’s family safe.
In reading through the article, I found out that Bill Cosby was apparently in the Navy. This means he has handled weapons before. Did they turn him into a murder-crazed maniac? No, definitely not. He was taught that he needed a reason to fire his weapon. Of course, being the military, the reason would have been a combat situation. Knowing this, he should know better than to claim the gun caused Zimmerman to shoot Trayvon. What we are lacking in all of this, and what may have prompted Bill to utter those words without thinking about it, is the REASON Zimmerman fired his weapon (and before anyone comments about what the news is saying, know that the news is not known for accuracy when a story will garner ratings…the REASON Zimmerman fired his weapon is muddled in the mire of race-baiting rhetoric and altered “evidence” on the part of the news agencies trying to scoop ratings).
Bill should also realize that criminals conduct their crimes in moments, and sometimes seconds. In those brief seconds, an armed person has to decide whether or not to use deadly force. I am pretty sure police lack the ability to respond to any deadly-force situation in mere seconds, unless they were already there.
This is not to say I am defending Zimmerman. I have no idea what happened that night, and the full accounting will only be had after a complete investigation and/or possibly,at a trial.
I am saying that Bill Cosby is hypocritical in stating that guns empower someone to hurt another person because Bill himself has handled guns, and he (as far as we know) has never hurt someone.
Bill, guns are the reason you have the freedom to spew mindless drivel attacking guns and by extension, gun owners. You may be doing good work in promoting responsibility among the black community, but you are detached from reality when it comes to guns and gun rights.
Bill, have a coke and a smile, and keep making people laugh, including the security at your venues who may be carrying a gun to keep you safe. Stay out of gun politics, you do not know what you are talking about.