Why I’m (now) a gun owner. (Part 4)

Back to part 3

So how did this become political for me?

I think the thing is that since the most pivotal day in US history — September 11, 2001 — it’s changed the entire landscape of this country. The whole “we will not live in fear” was and is bullshit because that’s all we do. It’s how our government conducts itself, it’s how things are being robbed from us… all in the name of keeping us safe. I really refuse to fly on an airplane now because it’s ludicrous to have to prove myself innocent and not a terrorist before I’m allowed to ride on an airplane. It’s just unreal. And the so-called security measures are a joke. Constantly violated, selectively enforced, and a load of bunk. I don’t feel any safer, I just feel more violated, more restricted, and a lot less free — but no safer.

I read something from Brian Enos’ websiteFreedom is letting things be.  Think about that. It’s quite true in so many ways.

But we’re Americans and we can’t let things be. We have to be busy-bodies, we have to stick our noses into everything, and we just can’t leave anything be — especially other people. Think about how little freedom we have, because we don’t let things be.

And politically? Well, since I originally wrote this the DC vs. Heller case decision was handed down by the SCOTUS and yes, it’s an individual right to keep and bear arms. The victory seems almost pyrrhic tho. Look at how much has been lost and will continue to be lost, because people just don’t let it be. But in a way, it’s a start because well… moreso to think what would have happened if they said we individuals did not have a right to protect ourselves. What could that mean?

I look back now at all the various anti-gun reasonings and I just can’t get it. Maybe 15 years ago those would have resonated with me, but they don’t any more. I Googled on “NRA” and found a set of political cartoons that positioned the NRA well, as you typically might expect anti-NRA folks to portray it. And feel that in my prior ignorance I would have agreed. In my current more enlightened state, I just can’t. 

Pass more gun laws… that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals. How? Criminals don’t adhere to the law (by definition) so how will more laws keep guns away from them?
Ban guns, that will do it. Look at countries like the UK or Australia. Criminals still get and use them.  Or if they can’t, they find something else, e.g. knife-based violence is high. Banning anything won’t stop the thing you want to stop (e.g. violence, killing, death, hurt, pain, suffering), it just finds another avenue to get to the destination.
We ourselves seem to already understand this to some extent. We allow police to carry guns. We allow the military. We seem to understand that to stand on at least equal footing we’ve gotta be equal, or maybe a little greater. Look at how the US builds up our military… we’ve got nukes. That keeps people in their place. Imagine if the US got rid of all their nukes and dismantled the military tomorrow… how quickly would we be attacked on our own soil? No, we can’t stop the problems, we can’t 100% eliminate them from the face of the Earth, but keeping ourselves armed keeps things fairly quiet.  So why can’t that parlay down to a smaller scale? To the individual?  If you want to commit a crime, you only do it if you’ve got either 1. zero care about consequences, and then that’s a bigger issue to deal with or 2. you only do it if you believe there’s a good enough chance of not getting caught or things backfire or whatever. So if you could figure this Joe is armed, are you really going to mug them?
The sad thing is, evil people exist. They always have, and they likely always will. If you aren’t aware of this, you live a far too insulated life — and if you don’t believe me on that, then go find the “bad part of town” where you live and go walk around there tonight… alone. Now what do you think?
Note that self-defense is far more than just having a gun. It’s being skilled in empty-hand combat. It’s having knowledge and awareness to avoid problems and not get in trouble in the first place. They say things like you shouldn’t do anything different with a gun that you do without one, e.g. if you wouldn’t go into that part of town without a gun, then don’t go there with a gun either. First rule of a gunfight? Don’t get in one. But the thing is, ultimately things may come to that… and wouldn’t you rather have a gun and not need it than need it and not have it?  Ask folks in LA in 1992… ask folks in New Orleans after Katrina hit. 
Why have a gun? Are you paranoid? Are you afraid? Well, if I am, is that not a good enough reason to have one? Tell the woman with some man stalking her…. she’s afraid, is that not enough of a reason?  Do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you have a first aid kit, or at least some Band-Aids? Do you wear your seat belt in a car?  What are you worried about? Are you afraid of a fire? or a cut? or a collision? Aren’t they the same sort of thing? Wanting to be prepared in case something horrible happens? Slim chance as it may be, we’re all willing to take a little extra precaution to protect ourselves and preserve our lives… why would being capable of defending yourself be any different?   

It’s about hunting and sports. Well, perhaps in part, but ultimately no it’s not. It’s about protecting ourselves from tyranny.

Yeah yeah, Homer Simpson said “If I didn’t have this gun the King of England could just come in here and start pushing you around.  Do you want that, well do ya?” But really yes that’s what it’s about. We’re getting to a point where our government is forgetting who it is to serve. The culprit? Ourselves. We refer to those people as “our leaders” but they are not… they are not to lead us, they are to serve us. Of course the best leaders know they serve: Tao Te Ching 68: “The best leader follows the will of the people”. (also see #57). We as a people have given up too much control to a few, and have meddled and fiddled and continue muck with things. We manipulate too much, we mess with the natural order of things, we’re just too much busy-bodies in some ways and too apathetic in other ways. And it comes back to bite us.

Look at any country in the world throughout history. When someone comes to power what’s the first thing they do? disarm and weaken the people. If the people are in equal footing and there’s injustice, the just will rise and conquer. If there’s injustice, the best way to keep injustice going is to weaken the opposing side… keep them oppressed, disarm them. Note that we can’t have unequal footing and justice, since unequal itself is unjust. So the only way to be just really is to be on equal footing. Difficult to achieve, sure, but not impossible. My Taoism is showing I guess. 🙂

But the more “the state” and “others” try to control us, try to force power over us, the less equal we will be. If the state can have massive power and control over us, what will happen? What’s the net consequence of this? How just will things be? We cannot allow for that to happen. The founders of this country knew that if government could become corrupt and need to be overthrown once, it’s well possible it could have to happen again. They did it, they wanted to leave the door open to do it again, should it be necessary. The only way? Arms. So it’s not just about hunting or sport (in fact it’s barely about that… that’s just a side-effect). It’s mostly about protecting ourselves, primarily from government and “rulers”, corruption, and anything else to defend our freedom.

To defend our ability to just be.

But hey, if everyone else just let things be… then we’d all be free, and wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place.

 

The crazy thing about this? I originally wrote this back in mid-2008. It’s now the start of 2009, and we’ve had massive government bailout after massive government bailout. An “economic stimulus package” is in the works. There are many things on the horizon that signal massive government growth and intrusion and control into every facet of our lives. Is this good? Is this how a free people live? 

 

So as you can see, I’ve changed. Years ago I was one way. But the past some years I’ve changed. I consider myself a logical person, and as I went through my life experiences and learned about how to take care of yourself, I found my old prejudices and ignorance fading. There’s just a sound logic to taking responsiblity for yourself, be that in providing for yourself or defending yourself and what you believe in. I just listened to all sides of the issue, and I just can’t find logical faults… which is how I’ve ended up where I am now.

4 thoughts on “Why I’m (now) a gun owner. (Part 4)

  1. The truth is, I took him out to range and he got hooked. All this other stuff is just rationalization of a gun habit. 🙂

    • Believe what you want to believe. 😉

      For the record tho, yes… you gave me my first handgun experience and I loved it. And if you hadn’t prodded me, I wouldn’t have the rifles I currently have. So yes, I blame you for a good portion of this. 🙂

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