I’m fortunate to never have had a personal moment where I’ve needed a firearm – though I’ve had a handful of situations that fortunately deescalated before I felt the need to draw my firearm. That being said, I live in many many of other peoples moments where they are glad to have a firearm or wishing they had one.
I’m a 9-1-1 and police dispatcher.
It is not uncommon for one of two scenarios to play out for me when a homeowner calls in what they suspect is someone breaking into their house (sometimes it is a false alarm going off, or a drunk banging on the door, or legitimate home invasions – but it always is real to these people when they are waiting for police.)
1.They have a gun and they usually listen to my advice to patiently maintain a defensive stance in bedroom or with kids in kids bedroom. Wait for police to arrive.
2.They do not have a gun and they spend the same time either hiding in complete fear, arming themselves with utterly ridiculous items (seriously I’ve had grown men tell me they are armed with a wiffle bat.), or spend the whole time worrying about if the police will get there in time.
In my professional opinion the majority of people in group 1 while being afraid enough to call police generally do ok knowing they have a viable means for defense. The people in group 2 generally wish at that moment they were a member of group 1, and owned a firearm.
*there is a very minority group of people who have chosen to arm themselves with other weaponry with varying levels of practicality and are more similar to group 1. Samurai swords, throwing knives, crossbows, etc… I respect but question their choice of defensive weapons over a firearm but they generally seem confident.
James Darkhollow’s answer to the question “What are some specific examples where being a gun owner got you out of a bad situation?” at Quora.com
One of the advantages of having a ten-year backlog of posts is pulling up stuff from the past and linking it with current web content. Several years ago when Steven Den Beste was still doing regular blogging, he wrote a post, Non-European Country that discussed some of the differences between Americans and non-Americans and why America really is different from all other nations. I’ve quoted from it several times, but this is the excerpt for today’s post:
European “nations” are based on ethnicity, language or geography. The American nation is based on an idea, and those who voluntarily came here to join the American experiment were dedicated to that idea. They came from every possible geographic location, speaking every possible language, deriving from every possible ethnicity, but most of them think of themselves as Americans anyway, because that idea is more important than ethnicity or language or geographical origin. That idea was more important to them than the things which tried to bind them to their original nation, and in order to become part of that idea they left their geographical origin. Most of them learned a new language. They mixed with people of a wide variety of ethnicities, and a lot of them cross-married. And yet we consider ourselves one people, because we share that idea. It is the only thing which binds us together, but it binds us as strongly as any nation.
Indeed, it seems to bind us much more strongly than most nations. If I were to move to the UK, and became a citizen there, I would forever be thought of by the British as being “American”. Even if I lived there fifty years, I would never be viewed as British. But Brits who come here and naturalize are thought of as American by those of us who were born here. They embrace that idea, and that’s all that matters. If they do, they’re one of us. And so are the Persians who naturalize, and the Chinese, and the Bengalis, and the Estonians, and the Russians. (I know that because I’ve worked with all of those, all naturalized, and all of them as American as I am.)
You’re French if you’re born in France, of French parents. You’re English if you’re born to English parents (and Welsh if your parents were Welsh). But you’re American if you think you’re American, and are willing to give up what you used to be in order to be one of us. That’s all it takes. But that’s a lot, because “thinking you’re American” requires you to comprehend that idea we all share. But even the French can do it, and a lot of them have.
That is a difference so profound as to render all similarities between Europe and the US unimportant by comparison. But it is a difference that most Europeans are blind to, and it is that difference which causes America’s attitudes and actions to be mystifying to Europeans. It is not just that they don’t understand that idea; most of them don’t even realize it exists, because Europeans have no equivalent, and some who have an inkling of it dismiss it contemptuously.
It is that idea that explains why we think being called “cowboys” is a compliment, even when Europeans think it’s an epithet. It is that idea that explains why we don’t care what Europeans think of us, and why European disapproval of our actions has had no effect on us. It is that idea which explains why, in fact, we’re willing to do what we think is right even if the entire rest of the world disapproves.
It is that idea which convinces us that if by our actions we “lose all our friends in the world” then they weren’t really friends to begin with, and that we’re better off without them.
And it is that difference that continues to mystify and frustrate Europeans, who incorrectly assume that America is a European country, and who try to explain our behavior on that basis. And because our behavior is inexplicable for a European nation, they conclude that it is the result of foolishness and immaturity and lack of sophistication.
They come to those conclusions because that’s the only way one can explain how a European country could act the way America has acted. What they miss is that America is not European, not at its deepest levels. It derives from European roots, and the majority of us are derived genetically from European stock, but it is utterly unlike Europe in the ways which matter most.
I get occasional emails from the Quora.com website with interesting questions answered by the membership. Today’s included this question: What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? The answers are fascinating, because as much as other cultures do not grok Americans, the reverse is equally (if not more) true. I will only excerpt one answer that I found particularly insightful, but I do recommend you read the whole thread, comments and all:
Convenience is rather pleasant.
Everything one knows about American convenience culture: 24 hour shops, fast food, “have a nice day” etc. appears tawdry and degraded when you only know it exported elsewhere in the world. At best it looks sad and desperate to be copying the US, and at worst, like a bad case of cultural imperialism as US companies come in and try to impose their models on your society.
But actually *in* the US, there’s something rather charming about it. A McDonalds in a mall in Beijing or Brasilia is a horror. But go to one for breakfast in Los Angeles and it all kind of works: the design and appearance, the food, the behaviour of the staff. Not a wooden formula but a living culture.
Americana travels badly but is surprising comfortable in its native environment.
A young Palmview, Texas woman is now glad that her husband insisted on getting a handgun, and also insisted on her learning how to use it:
She told us she heard a man banging loudly on her front door while another walked around to the back.
“I’m a young woman, I’m pregnant, I’m home alone. I’m not going to answer the door – I mean, I know better,” said Alex.
Alex said her husband had just left 20 minutes before. Immediately, she knew something wasn’t right and made the split decision to grab her husband’s handgun.
“By myself with 911 on one hand and the gun on the other and I’m just a nervous wreck. I don’t know what to do …I yelled and I told the 911 ‘Oh my gosh, he broke in!'”
Alex said she’s never felt comfortable with the idea of using a gun.
Still, her husband insisted on showing her how to use one just a few months ago.
“Nervous…It took me a very long time to pull the trigger and he said, ‘when you’re in a situation like that- you’re not going to think twice,'” recalled Alex.
She said that exactly what happened.
It could have ended very badly. It did not, because she had a gun and was willing to use it. I wonder what Piers Morgan would have to say to her. (Not really.)
I wonder how they’re feeling about these clips now?
Oh, and yes, Godwin has been invoked!
Back in 2004 when I wrote Those Without Swords Can Still Die Upon Them, I cited Steven Den Beste’s piece The Four Most Important Inventions in Human History:
In my opinion, the four most important inventions in human history are spoken language, writing, movable type printing and digital electronic information processing (computers and networks). Each represented a massive improvement in our ability to distribute information and to preserve it for later use, and this is the foundation of all other human knowledge activities. There are many other inventions which can be cited as being important (agriculture, boats, metal, money, ceramic pottery, postmodernist literary theory) but those have less pervasive overall effects.
I still think he was correct.
Thanks to David Whitewolf at Random Nuclear Strikes, I listened to what I think is a critically important speech given by Juan Enriquez just a couple of weeks ago at the 2013 Fiscal Summit presented by the Peterson Foundation.
It’s twenty-five minutes long, but well worth your time, I think.
Change continues, and it’s still accelerating.
If we don’t go off the cliff first.
It feeds into this notion that government is either inept, or it’s corrupt. — Sam Stein, Huffington Post @ 1:15
How about BOTH?
A pack of up to four pit bull terriers has been blamed for the death of a jogger in rural Los Angeles, with officials warning on Thursday that the dogs remained on the loose.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant John Corina said a woman in a car saw the dogs attacking the female jogger, 63, on Thursday morning. The witness called police and blew her car horn to try to get the dogs to stop.
“When the first deputy on scene saw one dog still attacking the woman, he tried to chase the dog away,” Corina said. “The dog ran off into the desert, then turned around and attacked the deputy, the deputy fired a round at the dog and tried to kill the dog, and the dog took off into the desert.”
The woman died while she was in an ambulance on the way to a hospital, said Evelina Villa, county animal control spokeswoman.
Residents near the site of the attack said stray dogs were constantly roaming the area and had attacked people before. “It’s really scary,” Diane Huffman, of Littlerock, told KABC-TV. “I don’t know what to think. I really think I’m going to be getting a gun to protect myself.”
Everyone repeat after me: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!”
Good luck to her. Should be interesting when she finds out what the hoops are she has to jump through to get a gun in California, much less a carry permit.
There is an entire generation, maybe two by now, that has had their fundamental human gifts of wonder, ambition and self-reliance beaten out of them by the progressive social engineers that have turned their education into a political brainwashing.
Can I get an “AMEN!”?
I read this morning about a woman who shot an intruder in her home in Blanchard, Oklahoma. Apparently he’d been stalking her, and when he and an accomplice broke into her home, she killed him with a shotgun:
Sarah Dawn McKinley was home alone with her three month old son at the time.She says she heard a knock on her door and looked through the peephole to see two men, one of whom she’d met a couple times before.“I saw that it was the same man. He had been here Thursday night and I had a bad feeling then,” said McKinley.McKinley says she moved her couch in front of the door, grabbed her son and her shotgun, called 911 and went in a back room.She says for an agonizing 21 minutes, she listened to the men try to break in.
“He was from door to door trying to bust in, just going from door to door,” said McKinley. “I waited till he got in the door. They said I couldn’t shoot him until he was inside the house. So I waited until he got in the door and then I shot him.”
Those twenty-one minutes must have lasted an eternity, another example of “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” And to paraphrase Tam, if you don’t have your own gun, you may have to wait the rest of your life for the police to arrive with theirs. But here’s the part that has me scratching my head:
McKinley says she made the tough decision to shoot in order to protect her son. “There’s nothing more dangerous than a mother with her baby. But I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for him.”
(My emphasis.) I was reminded of a post I read recently at A Girl and Her Gun – Labels, Labels, Everywhere, But Not A Single One For Me. In that post the author talks a bit about her decision to become a gun owner. (She discusses that decision in greater depth in another post.) In “Labels-labels” however, she says something very similar to young Ms. McKinley. Discussing her recent reading of the book Boston’s Gun Bible, she says:
When I read…
“Mothers defending their offspring can exhibit terrifying ferociousness, but they must be trained to become ferocious when protecting themselves.”
I actually lost my breath for a minute.
That about sums it up for me.
The old me.
I wonder what would have happened if my daughter wasn’t with me that day. I bought some time by doing things to distract the guy while I tried to get her to a safe place. I never one time thought about myself. In fact, for weeks, she was the only thing I thought of.
I wonder, if I had been alone, if I would have bothered to fight at all or if I would have just given up the second he approached me.
I instinctively knew she was worth every effort to protect, although I was totally unprepared, I didn’t just hand her over to the creep. I didn’t have to be taught that she was worth my life.
What I had to be taught was that “he” was NOT worth MINE.
I am not sure if I am a sheepdog or a warrior. I don’t know if any label fit me before or if any of them fit me now.
What I do know is that I no longer have to be taught to be ferocious.
Read the whole piece, please.
But the old mindset is the one I just don’t get. Being oblivious I get. But being unwilling to defend yourself? I don’t get it. Why is it that people need to be trained to defend themselves? I’m not talking about self-defense skills, I’m talking about self-defense mindset – as she puts it: “I will fight and you will lose.” Honestly, I’d never even considered the question before. It had literally not occurred to me until I read her post, and to see it twice in this short of a span makes me think that the attitude is not the exception.
Discuss. I really want to hear what you have to say, especially those of you on the distaff side of the question. Is it a male/female dichotomy as Boston T. Party states, or is that just a sexist papering over of something that is not uncommon regardless of plumbing?
ETA: Is this part of it?
Edit #2: AGirlandHerGun comments below. Excerpt:
I have read story after story in my email box and on other people’s sites of similar mindsets to my old one and it does not appear to be a plumbing an issue.
Lots of men are exactly the same way. We have socialized the “aggression” right out of society.
It’s a problem. To raise boys and girls to believe that everyone else’s life is more valuable than theirs is stupid and it is making the bad guys job a whole lot easier.
I am reminded of another old post, Americans, Gun Controllers, and the “Aggressive Edge” about the casting of the film Aliens in the UK. Casting Agent Mary Selway spoke of the difficulties she had finding… well, let her say it:
“It was INCREDIBLY hard to do, because, um, James kept saying, ‘State of the art firepower. They’ve got to be incredibly, sort of on the cutting edge of American military…’
“So, what often happens here when American actors come to live in England, they become a bit Anglicized, and they don’t… they lose that really, sort of aggressive edge if you like, that this sort casting required.”
And we’ve been doing that to (some) of our children for generations now. I guess that answers the question.