I Am Standing By What I Believe In

This post is for me to share with those of you who are interested a well written article on gun control issues.

The piece is written by Larry Correia and posted on his blog, and while it is very long, he states in clear terms everything that I have grown to understand and believe from my own personal experience about the subject of gun control within the United States.

To be clear, I agree with Mr. Corriea in every single respect that he wrote, although I have less faith than he does that there would be as many teachers or administrators in each school across the country that would be willing to volunteer to be properly armed, trained and committed to using those weapons in the defense of the children in their care.

I personally lean more towards schools having a budget for local off-duty law enforcement professionals to be hired to serve as security during school hours. There is already an established practise of off-duty law enforcement officers being allowed to hire on as uniformed security at bars and nightclubs, so the issue there would be cost, not establishing a process.

If you disagree with my position, I understand. Everyone has their own experiences in life that inform their beliefs, and there are few things in this world that inspire as much of an emotional response as guns do.

But just as you have your own experiences and beliefs and I respect your right to hold them firm, I have lived my own life and come to my own understanding of these issues, and I stand by them just as strongly.

What Larry Corriea expresses in his article is what believe to be a true representation of gun control legislation and the facts behind the various issues. And because I do feel this strongly about the subject, and because my blog is about me being honest and up front about what I believe or am passionate about, I’m sharing it here.

Everything I write here on the blog from my own life is true. Absolutely true. In an age of internet anonymity and attention seeking through lying, I write about what I’ve actually done and seen, and I’m not going to pretend that the current political advantage people are trying to derive from a horrible tragedy doesn’t make me feel a bit sick.

When I write a storytime about getting drunk on Parris Island and sleeping it off on the top of a water tower, by God that is the literal truth of what happened. I’m not trying to make myself seem cooler, or smarter, or whatever. You read some of my stories, you’ll see. I’ve done some incredibly stupid things in my life, and the real story is I’m a lucky son of a bitch who could have been dead for, well, for being careless with my own life.

Maybe it’s just how I grew up being exposed to the black humor of law enforcement officers like my father, and then the rough humor of the Marine Corps that leads me to think there is a funny side to my stories. Maybe when you read them, instead of amusement you think “What a stupid bastard.” It doesn’t matter, whether they are funny, sad, or stupid, they happened the way they did.

It was all real life and how I responded to it, and that is where I’m always trying to come from.

How is this at all relevant to gun control and my sharing it here on my blog?

Here is some more of my true life.

I don’t talk about my first ten years of life on the blog for a reason that seems good to me. To my mind, there wasn’t anything positive in those first ten years to talk about. There are no funny stories, no cute anecdotes, I don’t have a touching teachable moment.

My folks got divorced at a real early age, my mom was manic-depressive and violent, VERY violent, and she got custody. She wasn’t able to hold down a steady job, and so we went where it was cheap and she could get emotional support from her family – the inner city of Miami.

My childhood was one of violence. Serious violence. I have been stabbed before, I have seen shootings and beatings, I have been chased by a pack of kids bent on beating me bloody with sticks, chains and broken bottles on a football field after school.  There was nothing thrilling about it; I was running for my life, as scared as it is possible to be. Whenever I hear the song “Here come the high astepper”, I think about that moment, and believe it or not I smile, because I can smile now at shit that scared me to death at the time. I was a high-steppin’ son of a bitch THAT day, that’s for sure.

I had a bottle smashed over my head by another kid, just because he wanted the bottle and I had it in my hand, and it drove him into a rage. I was three. My head was split open and stitched up, and I can still feel the scars.

I was attacked by a group of much older kids when on my bike. I was smashed right off the bike, and then beaten bloody. It is hard to remember, since nothing got broken that time.

In Miami schools, I was once threatened, seriously threatened, to be killed by gang kids. not joking, not bravado, but a serious threat to kill me if they were able to catch me after school. I tell you now, with absolute honesty, that for over a week I carried a gun to school with me, every day, in fear for my life and knowing that if I told my mother I would simply be beaten, beaten as hard as you can imagine, for daring to lie to ‘try to get out of having to go to school’.

For those curious about such things, the gun was a Baeur .25 automatic, a small pocket pistol kind of thing, and yes, it was loaded and yes, if those kids had managed to corner me, and come at me, I would no shit have drawn that weapon and used it. I was absolutely certain they meant to kill me, and I did my best to scurry like a rat scared out of my mind of being caught by the kids, and also of being caught skipping school by my mother.

I never showed the gun to anyone else at school. It wasn’t a cry for help. It wasn’t something to be cool. It was something I prayed I wouldn’t get caught with or get in trouble for having, and that I hoped and prayed I wouldn’t need by being cornered by them. I spent most of my time that week not being seen, heard or caught by them. I was invisible.

Fortunately, I hid well. I found places to be, like the library, anywhere but the school at any time except a millisecond before and after the bell rang. They couldn’t find me, so they went after other kids and forgot about me. But, ah what could have been. I could have been just another senseless statistic in the news.

As soon as I figured out they forgot about me, I slid that gun back in the dresser drawer I found it in, because I was just as scared of being caught with a gun as I was that I’d get beaten or stabbed to death.

I wasn’t afraid of being bullied. Everyone gets bullied at some point, and in my school all the damn time. There is a lot of truth that standing up and fighting back, and doing it so as not to make them feel they HAVE to fight to prove they aren’t scared of YOU now, that makes you more work than they were looking for, and they go torment someone else. This wasn’t that, this was a gang thing, and there was nothing else to do but hide and pray and be ready if they caught me.

Everyone has their own experiences. Mine don’t make me better or worse than other people.

I’m putting it out there so that you understand, before you talk to me about gun control,  inner city violence, abject poverty, the availability of guns and how effective gun control laws are or could be, please don’t make the mistake of stereotyping me as a clueless middle-class suburban white guy sitting fat and happy with a cigar and a brandy, relaxing in my wealth earned by stepping on the faces of the proletariat. I have a pretty firm grasp of what inner city life is like.

If you don’t want to hear about it, if you believe that if I oppose gun control I must be evil, biased, heartless or greedy, then I do understand. I am not sharing Larry’s article out of a misguided sense of trying to convert the gun control advocate faithful.

What I hope is that someone out there has read about gun control and the issues surrounding it, heard a lot about gun control and violence through the news, but aren’t quite convinced they have the whole story, and are still open to learning more about it from other sources.

Will I alienate and anger some of you, who have been long time readers?

Unfortunately, I am sure I will, and that saddens me. I never start out the day hoping I can piss someone off or offend them. I don’t get my rocks off by hurting anyones feelings.

This is smiply what I believe. To pretend otherwise for fear of offending readers would be cowardly. This is a part of who I am, and I am quite happy about it. I can only hope that most of you either believe the same, are open to a different point of view, or are able to respect, if not my beliefs, than the fact that I am willing to stand by them.

So long as I have this venue for expressing my own strongly held beliefs, I am going to take this chance to share Larry Corriea’s article with everyone I can.

I keep saying how important this is to me, and I want to be clear why. I’m old now, I’m 44. I am well past the age of your usual activist. The world is what it is, and my ability to influence it in any way is small at best.

My son is nine years old now. He’s almost ten. I grew up in violence that he could not even remotely dream of. To me, that is the one major victory of my entire life. Everything else, EVERYTHING else in my life is meaningless crap, except that the life my son is living is so much better, so much more loving than anything I ever knew in my own.

My son, to my knowledge, has never been bullied at school, the playground or at home. Not in any way I would recognise. He might have had some pushing thing or an argument over whose turn it is to use a toy, but nothing where a knife or broken bottle might come into play. I have a hard time even conceiving what that would be like; I have no frame of reference for it. There is a reason why I am wholeheartedly behind paying so that my son can go to a small private Catholic school, and it’s not because of the stirring religious message and the Friday mass.

One of the things I worry about is how to keep him from absorbing a message of intolerance or hatred towards others with different lifestyles or views. I have accepted that worry in exchange for being free from worrying over whether he’s going to get shanked between classes. Okay, yes, that’s a joke. I live in Minnesota in the suburbs, I’m pretty sure that if he goes to public class out here, he’ll be okay, no shanking.

All of it, all of his life, all of our care to help him grow in love and kindness can be wiped away in an instant, in a heartbeat, simply because the school that my son and all other children his age attends is wide open to any predator with a will to make his name as a psycho, without any possibility of an effective response within 10 to 15 minutes of that first moment of horror.

As a former Marine, I know how useless a response ten to fifteen minutes after the first gunshot would be.

I feel that what we hold most precious in our lives, what we cherish the most, is what we should protect and defend the strongest, with everything that we have.

And I also feel that gun control legislation, in all of it’s many proposed forms, is useless in addressing that problem.

The only issue in all of this debate that I care about is, “How do we ensure the safety and security of our defenseless children”, and no matter what anyone says, I do not believe we are going to accomplish that goal by placing new rules on what types of guns are allowed to be sold in the future, by actively taking existing guns away from law abiding citizens, or by keeping better records on people who have had mental health issues or are on certain medications.

If the debate does not center on a proactive response that provides a fast, immediate reaction against violence at the time it occurs, than it does nothing about the core issue that I care about.

I want my son to have the life that I never had, and the opportunity to grow into the kind of man he chooses to be. And I will oppose with everything I have any son of a bitch that turns it into a sound bite for votes or a power grab for bigger government, or a chance to get a personal agenda rammed through out of fear and the passion of the moment.

Thank you for your time.

53 thoughts on “I Am Standing By What I Believe In

  1. Andrew, Babb, In what universe do you two think this blog is your personal forum for an argument? That this is where you both have the right to try and dominate the discussion by responding to everything anyone says?

    I’m pissed at both of you. You want an argument or to try and control a conversation, go share your emails and have it somewhere else.

    Complete lack of respect.

    Thanks so much, wave bye bye to my dream of an honest discussion, post shut down.


  2. Me Im from a country where handguns are illegal, I think assault rifles are, there is a very rigorous police process to getting a licence and guns just really arent that common. Sure rifles and shotguns do exist. Our police arent armed with guns (though they are pushing for it – me, Im anti police and I dont trust them or the idea they have guns) they do have specialists who are armed of course (Armed Offenders Squad).

    For you, I have no idea what you can do to solve your problems. Maybe you are right for having off-duty cops patrolling about – that may foster the spirit of community with the cops and reintroduce trust at a young age? Maybe ammend Ammendment 2? Make it compulsory for licences?…

    I did like one thing you said: the choice to place children in schools to foster better environments for growth. Does your son wear a uniform? (Most kids here at schools do wear uniforms – I did right through to final year when we were finally allowed to wear mufti).

    Finally, Im getting sick of seeing video games being blamed for all the violence (when there is evidence to suggest otherwise).


  3. It most certainly is a natural right.

    Humans have the natural right to protect their life and the lives of others under their protection (family, friends, etc) from immediate threats.
    Humans also create and use tools. This of course means humans naturally have the right to use tools to aid in defense of life. We call this class of tool “arms”

    Historically, these tools took strength, exceptional skill or both to wield effectively which limited defense of ones person to the strong, the young, or the wealthy who would hire the young.

    The invention of the firearm changed this paradigm. Compared to the arms invented before it, the firearm requires minimal training and strength. The firearm allows the poor, old, infirm, and weak the ability to defend themselves against the strong and the young.

    Every human universally has the right to defend themselves and use tools to aid in their defense, just as every human has the right to speak freely, to think freely, to petition their government for redress, to worship (or not) as they so choose, the right to be secure from arbitrary and unreasonable searches of their person/property, and other rights.

    What is not universal among political institutions is respect for these rights.
    Even the right to speak and to think freely is infringed by many nations that we would typically consider ‘free’

    The right to defend your life (and the lives of those under your protection) is the most basic of rights.
    When you deny the means of defense, you deny that people have the right to defend their life.


    • And yet, this is where we disagree.

      Even the universal rights of man are in the end a document written by a group of like-minded people, which was then accepted as truth by other like-minded people. Just because those like-minded people tend to be the majority of the worlds population, does not mean it is therefore a universal truth.
      Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the universal rights of people, among which is to defend yourself. I’m just trying to point out that the rules of society are made by the participants in that society, not by some general truth.

      This means that if your population in majority disagrees with your constitution, you should change it. No man (or group of men) is smart enough to write the rules of a society for millenia to come. Again, this is not a stab at the constitution (or in a broader sense, at christianity), I am merely pointing out that YOU and your countrymen decide how your country should be ruled and organized.

      I, as a citizen of the Netherlands, have chosen to live in a country where guns are outlawed, because I believe this will increase the security of me and my own. I also believe that my government will not try and wrest control from the public. I willingly give up the right to defend myself with a firearm, because I believe that if the majority of the population of this country disagrees with the government, they will either listen, or we will make them listen in a non-violent way.

      I also agree that – as I have stated in a previous comment – this solution will not work in the US. That’s fine. It is up to you and your fellow citizens to debate how you wish for your society to be governed. There are no wrong opinions in this matter.


      • Among the somewhat unique concepts in our Constitution that even many Americans don’t realize (and too often would like to ignore) is that being a majority (51%) is not enough to violate the rights of a minority. Sadly, we haven’t always lived up to that standard, but we are getting better…usually.

        Societies can certainly abrogate their rights to their governments…here it just takes a more than a simple majority.
        Changing a part of our Constitution requires 2/3 of both our National legislative bodies, and 3/4 of the States to concur.
        Its difficult to make these changes for good reason…majorities are fickle and ever changing.

        Not disagreeing with you per se, or saying ‘our way is best’ Just kind of laying out why a majority (if a majority to greatly restrict firearms even exists) is insufficient to do so here.

        And I find that writing is a good way of learning, and focusing your thoughts for oral arguments.


      • You may think I’m joking, but you can legally purchase all those items (in some form) in the US, and yes they can still go boom.

        Mostly, its just a question of ‘how big is your checkbook’ since those items are all ridiculously expensive because private demand is so exceptionally low.

        You do need to go through a somewhat more extensive background check for the things that actually go boom, though I’m pretty sure most Americans could pass it.


  4. I wish that our nation was willing to treat guns like we treat asbestos, or even second hand smoke, but we don’t. I think that any serious discussion about the problem – and we have a problem – is stymied by knee jerk reactions about upholding the second amendment. To me, that’s like saying “there are tons and tons of chemicals out there that can hurt our children, so there’s no point in putting locks on our kitchen cabinets. That’s foolishness. Yes, there are an absurd number of guns out there. Yes, it would take an effort greater than that used to put a man on the moon. But guns don’t occur in the wild – they are man made – and as such, they are a problem men should be able to deal with. In the mean time, sure – a pragmatic approach exists to bolster safety, and we should take it. But: to everyone saying Second Amendment! Second Amendment! You are letting your childish, paranoid idealism defend the ease with which criminals and psychopaths can mow us down. I want the safety that other nations enjoy.


    • I don’t think its a childish, paranoid, nor a knee jerk reaction for people who have done nothing to warrant having their natural rights violated to expect and demand their government actually respect their natural rights. Particularly when those natural rights have for good reason been singled out as worthy of specific protection from government interfering in those rights.


      • What do you even mean by that? It isn’t a natural right at all, and why we have government in place. All these nations where people don’t have this “right” seem to be doing a better job of protecting their citizens’ natural rights to life.

        The only particular right singled out was the importance of maintaining a militia in a set of political circumstances that have not existed in this country for a century and a half, and in no way resemble today’s circumstances except in the minds of the childish and paranoid.


    • Benjamin Franklin in 1775 wrote “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I think you should begin looking at those other nations, because you certainly seem willing to trade away others’ liberty. How very sad.


      • I think you undervalue the safety you enjoy that we obtain through our democratic, societal institutions. Also, it is clearly the case that this liberty is costing you a great deal of safety.


  5. BBB,

    I’d love to have a face-to-face discussion of this (and probably many other topics) with you over a beer or three. Unfortunately, in this media (blog space) I don’t feel I could express myself well enough, or that we’d really have a dialog about the issue. So, I’ll just hold off on posting my thoughts.

    But, all due respect to your post. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I understand where you’re coming from and why you feel that way.


  6. I can see parts of both sides of the argument. I am hopelessly torn. I personally hate guns unless they are hunting rifles. That being said, I do not want legally owned guns to be taken away from law-abiding people. It feels like a no-win situation to me. 😦


  7. There is no simple answer. Any knee-jerk emotional reaction by the government will simply result in another set of laws that do not accomplish anything. Anything except giving the useless sacks residing in Mordor on the Potomac another way to obfuscate their other, much more spectacular failures.
    I do firmly believe that those who make their way through this world ignoring the law and preying on those who do, will continue to do so regardless of any law. The police can’t stop all crime. indeed a good portion of their time is spent on crimes that have already been committed.
    I am also of the school that says if someone feels that they can invade my home, and ignore my rights, they should have no expectation of safety or rights themselves.
    On the whole criminals are a cowardly lot. To put it another way if you were scum and wanted to harm someone materially or physically, you going after someone armed or unarmed?

    It is also important that realize that the 2nd Amendment was intended to insure that the people of this country could or would not be subjugated by their own or a foreign government. If you truly believe that this is an obsolete view, please read the news. I’ll bet there is more than one person in Syria that wished he/she had more than sticks and bricks with which to fight. And if you don’t think that could happen here, check out the “Patriot” Act. Our founding fathers did know what they were about.

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
    “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
    James Madison

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Benjamin Franklin

    I’m sure there are those that will think I am a bit paranoid, the or maybe over reacting. They are entitled to their opinion. But tyranny and crime has been part of the world’s history for thousands of years and has shown no signs of disappearing anytime soon.

    Me, I’ll keep my gun, I prefer my chances more with it than without it.

    Furthermore, a large part of the reason this country exists is due to an armed populace. It was an uprising by that armed populace that created a country and society that literally changed the world.


  8. I believe laws against guns. Are like the the lock on your front door.
    It only keeps honest peope out.
    It wasnt that long ago. A guy (I believe in china) attacked a grp of school kids with a knife. I believe they have good gun control there.
    If someone can prove too me that gun control would fix the problem. id be first on board.
    I guess i just have so much faith in the dark side of humanity. That i can see no answer too the probllem:(
    welll written bear as always


  9. Here’s the thing. It’s not about “gun control” to me. It’s about the loss of rights that were hard fought and hard won. And the fact that the administration and activists would use this as a feather in their hat to bolster their claims. No different than what GWB did witht he 911 bombings and prayer/faith/etc.
    Politics is politics and they are all as useless as tits on a frog.

    That aside, this is America. We are and have always been a Constitutional Republic. Our Constitution was what made us free and now we’re going backwards? There was a group of people that got together one time and decided to effect change when their government started pushing them around and forcing things on them that the majority didn’t want. Sometime back in the late 1700’s. . .


  10. I have yet to read the linked article, and whether I agree with you or not is rather beside the point of this comment.

    No, I just want to say that I and grateful to see someone with strong convictions who understands what is true for one person may not be true for all. Whether I agree or disagree with your position, I respect the mature way you address the topic and give some understanding of how and why you reached your decision.

    Thank you.


  11. It’s not about making people *feel* safer. It’s about making them safer. There’s a huge difference. People tend to *feel* safer in “gun-free zones”, but those are the easier targets, so statistically, people are *less* safe in them. If you’re going to talk about actually keeping people safe, you have to look past “feeling” safe and see what criminals actually do and how to stop them. As Correia’s article points out more than once, criminals don’t care to obey the law. When that’s the case, guns can’t be magically wished away, and bad guys will get them whether or not they are legal, the hard reality is that no amount of legislation or sanctimonious moralization will stand up to their actions on the ground.


  12. There is a fascinating book out on Columbine by the same name, that sheds a lot of light onto that particular incident. The one that stuck out to me the most however was that there was indeed an armed guard – an experienced one at that – on duty at that high school. And he did indeed fire on the two killers – and missed, 4 times.

    With the slaughters of innocents in my backyard, that school had a ‘safety door’, a secured room/vestibule before one was supposed to be able to enter the school. Didn’t stop the shooter. He wasn’t a legal gun owner, but his mother was. her neighbors indicate she had the weapons for ‘self-defense’ … unfortunately for her, when her time was up, it was her own guns that took her out. It would be rude of me to point out the irony of that, but I will anyways.

    I grew up in a decidedly middle class town, one that literally bordered one of the biggest cities in my state. And while I didn’t see the types of things you did, there was always talks of gangs and plenty of violence. One young man getting stabbed to death because he ‘sounded different’. At least 2 different bomb threats while I was in high school.

    People like you, and my godparents youngest (a former Ranger) – I have no issues with you having guns. You’ve been trained how to properly use them, to properly safekeep them. But people like me? What the hell do I need a gun for? As a form of self-defense that probably wouldn’t defend me at all?

    That all said, I respect you for putting this out there.


  13. I lived in the States for five years as a kid, and what used to terrify me was the mania that grips the country. There was always this sense that everything has to be one way or the other, no middle ground, all clashing ideals and stalling and mortal combat between political parties.

    Part of the problem I can’t help but think the USA faces is that it just cannot have a proper discussion about what will be done immediately and what will be done in the future, because for the anti-gun lot to say yes, we do need armed security in schools is to cede a point to The Other Side, while the gun lobbyists don’t want to work toward a longterm programme that could make things safer in the future by steadily reducing the guns available out there.

    And I do think you’re right, I do think the children of the United States need active protection. I think that protection, as things are presently, will have to involve lethal firearms, because how the hell else do you stop someone with a semi-automatic? And I say that as someone who hates guns, I’m from the UK and the idea of weapons of war being present in people’s homes makes me shudder.

    When my family moved over there and found the firearm department of… Target? one of those big everything-shops, we were so amazed we tourist-ed out and took photos of us by gun cabinets with the homeware aisle in the background, and giggled over it, and eventually the giggling wore out, and we were all silent in the car, thinking about just what we now lived within.

    But that’s the thing, isn’t it. The people who feel they need guns for personal protection (which I feel is a separate issue from trained, armed guards in schools) live within a gun culture. It’s going to take an awful lot of very careful work to break that culture down and make good people feel safe enough to hand their weaponry in.


  14. As a Brit, when the topic comes up, I naturally gravitate towards the ‘more gun control’ side of things, because over here guns are so much rarer than they are in the States, there’s not the same culture of ‘a random person you meet on the street might have a gun’. If I encountered a mugger, I’d expect him to have a knife a hundred times over before I’d expect a gun. So the viewpoint I tend to get is ‘we don’t have guns, we don’t have mass shootings, so take away the guns, end of story’.

    But, of course, in England we have an entirely different culture regarding guns. Trying to make the States like England in that respect is NOT going to work.

    In the situation where that kind of violence is possible? You’re right. People need to be able to defend themselves. I still don’t like guns, but I respect that they may be necessary to ensure a safer life.


  15. But how do you protect your son from other children?

    The focus seems to me to be on external armed threats. Personally, all the violence I experienced as a child came from other children. There’s not a damn thing an armed guard is going to do about that.


  16. Honestly, I don’t think much of anything really needs to be done. The likelihood of a crime like that being committed in a school is so astronomically low as to be, forgive me for saying it, a statistical anomaly.

    Over the past 22 years, the US has become much much safer…violent crime and murder rates declining by 50% (FBI Unified Crime reports bear this out)
    Even the mass shootings that get so much media attention are declining since the 90s. (Criminologist James Allen Fox at Northeastern University, Boston)
    Rifles as a whole (not just the so called ‘assault weapons’) are rarely used (less than 1%) in criminal activity (FBI Unified Crime Reports again)

    I would also submit that you can’t truly look at the US as a whole and compare it to Europe, or any one European country.
    The US is a very huge country, and the people from state to state vary greatly. Utah and New York State could almost be considered part of different countries.

    If you take into account those regional differences, many areas of the US are really not all that much different than our European friends when it comes to murder, lower in some cases.

    Even going to data within a state you can see where a lot of areas are quite peaceful.
    In my home state of Illinois for example more than half the murders in the State take place in a handful of neighborhoods of Chicago. While the rest of Illinois doesn’t quite match Euros for murder rates, one would not consider anywhere in Illinois (except Chicago) to be significantly more dangerous than almost anywhere in Europe.

    I know we tend to think that Europeans (and Aussies) have in large part handed in their firearms, but I’ve read that’s not truly the case, and that there are quite a few unregistered firearms all throughout Europe….more than most people probably want to believe.

    According to one study I read, France for example as much as ~80% of firearms are believed to be unregistered. (3 million registered, 15 million unregistered)
    I apologize for no source on this one. I will accept that it is notoriously difficult to count ‘unregisted’ firearms and that these are estimates…though they are scholarly.


    • I completely agree with your post, Babb.

      It’s easy, and understandable, to have an emotional reaction to events like a school shooting. It’s natural. The problem is, when the media spreads it so widely, it makes it look like it’s happening all over the place. It’s not. It is, as you say, a statistical anomaly. With that in mind, should we do the typical knee-jerk over-reaction? or, should we take a step back and anaylze what really happened and why?

      I have very conflicted views on gun control. But, I have a lot less conflicted views about having armed guards in our schools. I don’t want kids growing up in an atmosphere of fear and the perception that they need protection at all times. We can all get hit by lightning or die in a car crash, but the odds of it happening are so slim that it’s not worth being afraid of. I understand parents want to protect their kids. Of course. But, the potential negative side-effects of armed guards in schools is simply too big, in my opinion.

      My first response to armed guards in schools was, “What happens when one of those guard goes postal and ends up shooting a bunch of kids?” I guess you could say that’s pretty unlikely, but then any school shooting is unlikely in the first place.


  17. BBB, I have always enjoyed your blog, and the humour and candour you bring to so many things. I love how WoW is only a part of why you write.

    I value and prize your thoughtful posts as much as your humorous ones – perhaps more so. I appreciate you putting yourself out there, warts and all, for what you believe is right and useful.

    One this particular issue my view is that we could not be more far apart, but (a la Voltaire) while I disagree with your opinion I would defend to the death your right to express it. You have expressed it, and expressed it powerfully, and from the heart. Well done.


  18. I think you might be underestimating teachers, Bear. This has become a hot topic in my employing school district recently. While those of us who would like to be armed at work are a minority, this has become a more socially acceptable position. The work environment generally encourages those of us with “different” viewpoints to remain quiet. The fact that this is actually being discussed openly at schools is a sign of progress and allows those of us who would prefer being armed to more easily communicate with one another.

    I’m not too optimistic about legislation passing in my state, but there is at least some progress.


  19. Bear
    I both agree and disagree. Removing weapons has to be the focus. It doesn’t happen overnight though, so protection in the interim is imperative.
    We here in Australia don’t have the firearms issues that you guys have, so it’s a little different in our cultural assessment.
    I have followed you for a while and held the perception that you are an alright kinda guy. After reading what you have overcome to be the man/husband/father that you are is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.


    • You have no idea how happy I am that you and others are, even if you disagree with me or my point of view, open to talking about it and presenting this as a personal decision based on experience rather than as a universal truth.

      I have a link I’d like to share as well, something that very recently addresses the idea that guns equal violent crime, and less guns automatically equals less violent crime.


      It is a link to a program called Reality Check, a show investigative reporter Ben Swann of WXIX Fox in Cincinnati does. The idea is to take the issues of the day, and simply fact check the statements being made to justify or strengthen an argument.

      I did not include this in my post, because i have not fact checked the fact checker. It makes for an interesting program, and so far I have not seen anyone refute his figures or his conclusions, but I have not personally verified them. Maybe he’s full of shit.

      But, if he’s correct in his figures, than he does have a case based in facts to suggest that less guns do not automatically result in a decrease in the number of crimes of violence among people, just plain folks, you me and the kid in my bathroom upstairs. That perhaps the culture and the environment also play a huge role, just as you say.


      • FWIW, I believe the US and UK, like US and Canada, have different definitions of ‘Violent Crime’ in terms of the centrally reported statistics. Because of a wider definition of ‘Assault’ the UK’s figure is higher than the most direct US comparison, and the UK stats don’t have finer gradations to allow us to assess how much higher. That said, it doesn’t stop Piers Morgan from being an ass who doesn’t known when to keep his mouth closed and let the US sort it out for themselves without putting his all in.

        As for me, I think that Gun Control is the right fit in the UK, but have my doubts that the number of guns in the US available makes the approach feasible. I’m fairly sure that adding more guns to a teaching environment wouldn’t be a good idea – for all it *may* deter mass shootings it could also turn out to increase overall risk to children. You’ll need to look at incidence of violence between teachers and children in the schoolroom to be sure. This is to say nothing of the relatively poor opinion those in the US seem to have of teachers and how that would impact such a program.

        Adding armed guards could work in the niche circumstances of mass shootings, though I wonder about lessons on that from Virginia Tech. The cost to the public purse however would be huge, and I don’t see unaccountable volunteers being a viable long-term solution.

        TBH I don’t think that there is a solution, or at least one which is politically palatable. Fundamentally however I don’t believe that adding more guns to the mix will work; essentially I don’t believe that an armed society does indeed mean a polite society.


      • As an American, I am so thankful for Piers Morgan. He may be from outside the U.S., but his viewpoints represent many Americans viewpoints.


  20. I dunno Bear, I always pictured you as a scotch and cigars kind of guy. Brandy? That’s what you use to clean bars…..

    Thank you once again for a clear cut article/post/blog/message in a bottle. Thanks also for the link to Larry’s article. Someone posted part of it on Facebook but neither cited him nor his site.

    I have to tell you that at my age I don’t know what will work, but I do know that gun control is hitting what you aim at. It has nothing to do with controlling illegal use of guns. I am really thinking that getting the media to no longer post names or pictures of killers is one step in the right direction. If they don’t get the notoriety, then not so many will jump on that bandwagon.

    CCW in schools? I am on board if they are knowledgeable trained gun owners. More guards in school? When I am retired I would be happy to do that job. My wife would hate it, so it probably wouldn’t happen but….

    I just hope that someone can get some intelligent debate going, rather than the vitriol I see on all sides.

    Thanks BBB – Oh! A little aside to that young BBB and his school experiences – I got beat up so much I used to purposely trip walking in the house to hide the the damage. I understand and I wish it never happened to any of us. But it did and then we grew up. Thank you for sharing.



  21. I’ve just spent the last hour (that I should’ve spent sleeping) reading that essay on why gun control doesn’t work, trying to understand it. I’ve come to the conclusion that while I appreciate your own background which necessitates guns for protection, my environment does not call for them in any situation. I write this from the safety of my house in the netherlands, where, as you guessed, there are strict gun bans.

    I also recognise that our solution can never be your solution, so I would not dare suggest that your country emulates mine.

    I think it’s easy for us europeans to point at the US and compare deaths by gunfire per capita, and pat ourselves on the back, but the solution is not going to be a simple law in any shape or form.

    For a better understanding of the culture in the netherlands towards guns, I’d suggest listening to a speech by our former highest ranking general of the dutch armed forces. Due to techical issues on this iPad I can’t find his name and a link to the YouTube video, but I’ll post another reply with it.


    • I am a Texan living in The Netherlands. It is hard for Europeans to understand where Americans are coming from as you don’t share a border with countries where crime is rampant and the border between countries is far from secure and illegal weapons are very easy to come by. Even so there have been 2 shooting incidences even here in The Netherlands in the last year. Banning guns in the US will not solve anything as criminals will still be able to easily get a hold of the weapons and it would be the responsible citizens that suffer. The shootings in the US stem from issues unrelated to guns and sadly until those issues get addressed things will never get better. (I also want to note that the politicians who are railing against guns the loudest won’t go without armed guards for themselves or for their children which to me is extremely hypocritical.)


      • I am a Texan living in Japan. But I don’t understand what you mean “where Americans are coming from.” Because I’m an American firmly against handguns and assault rifles. I agree with you about the types of borders making a difference in how easily it is to illegally ship weapons. It is definately much harder to smuggle something here in Japan. But I think the argument of “well…criminals will still be able to easily get a hold of weapons so we responsible citizens need them to protect ourselves” is silly. It is an argument that promotes violence and fear. But I do agree that much needs to be done to promote a less violent society…many of which are unrelated to guns.

        It is interesting how much your background influences your feelings about guns, though. My uncle and cousin grew up with guns and they are so adamantly in support of them. My facebook is constantly being bombarded by their support posters. I, on the other hand, did not grow up with them. Thankfully.


      • Sorry BB,

        @ Max – By “assault rifles” you are talking about “class 3/title 2” machine gun type, military fully automatic rifles, right? I sure hope you aren’t lumping in semi-automatic rifles that aren’t fully auto and require a press of the trigger to fire each round.

        @BB – your tales always bring a chuckle from this old former Marine. Many time I woke up in the brig from fighting squids, aye, pretty silly. And thank you for the post! Semper Fi


  22. I live in Denmark, and have never in my life seen a gun, and I hope I never will, either. Here, guns are something carried by criminals, hunters and law enforcement, so I can’t say I understand the whoæe situation in the US. But your bottom line, I can relate to: Protect those who cannot protect themselves.
    I believe that your society is so used to having guns that it’s impossible to take them all away, even if that seems like the solution to me, from my life experience.
    I hear arguments like “more people would be killed if you banned guns” and I can’t in my wildest fantasy imagine how, but I just realized that’s because I cannot relate.
    I’ve often spoken to friends, shaking our heads at “the stupid americans and their guns” cause to us, it’s natural that guns are a weapon of war, not a tool of the day. But reading your article has made me think.
    Even if we both live in western countries, our culture still differ a lot.
    So I’ll think a long hard time before I form an opinion on gun laws.
    Just my 2 cents.


    • As a European myself (and from a country with ‘shady’ neighbours, I’m in the Balkans, so it’s not like gun trafficing is a foreign concept),
      I’m in the same position. Since I never grew up with guns or never knew someone who owned one, they are completely foreign objects
      and what I’d expect only from law enforcement and (some) criminals to carry.

      It certainly is a vicious circle. America has a lot of guns, leading to shooting, promoting the use of guns for self defense. The whole thing
      reaks of “eat or be eaten” and I don’t think I could ever live within such a culture of fear. On the other hand the States are at a point that
      guns cannot be abolished, simply due to the sheer quantities available and because it’s a very thriving industry, driving the economy forward.


  23. I 100% agree with this. Taking guns away is not going to solve the issue.

    Thanks for sharing that BBB – Larry says what I’ve been trying to tell my anti-gun friends all along much better than I ever could. I’ll definitely be passing it along.

    I went to high school in NJ, in an area that was considered well off, predominately white, and safe. The school where most of the “rich kids” (though there were plenty of poor kids too) went, and it was still a public school. And and the day after Columbine happened, we had an armed police officer patrolling the halls all the time. 12 years later, there is still a police officer there at all times and not one parent opposes it. The only difference, according to my sister, is that the elementary and middles schools now have one too.

    I dunno, but it seems like a small price to pay to me knowing there is someone armed at school ready to keep the kids safe if he (God forbid) needs too.


  24. You know, what’s really amazing is the number of people that will throw away a friendship or “troll” someone just to be contrary or get a reaction.

    I happen to agree with most of what Larry’s said regarding gun control. I also work in very remote locations where self defense is actually a concern – from a lot of not-so-nice-things, so I carry. I’d say we teach more children about firearms. Use, safety, and so on. I can remember going to Jaycee’s BB gun courses early in grade school, and eventually moving on to competition .22 target shooting for many years.

    As a side note, I love Larry Correia’s books – fantastic stuff! The serial stories from their gaming sessions are also great. I seem to remember another person that did something along that line… hmm…


  25. The thing that always gets me is that “gun control” as presented via legislation and pundits really just impacts law abiding citizens far more than those who will just break the law anyway.

    Bottom line, protect the kids. If necessary, and it all too often is, you do that *with* guns and unquestionable, unflinching resistance to predators.


  26. I dunno, Bear. I have no idea what the RIGHT move in on this issue. I hear what you’re saying, but I’m also hearing the words of the blogger right next to you in my feed reader whose grandson was not just killed but *mangled* because that guy shot him so many times with the kind of weapons he had.

    Improving mental health care won’t help if the people don’t think they need it.
    Taking some of the guns away might slow them down a little, but someone who really wants to do this will find a way and it won’t slow them down “on the day” if they’ve planned for it.
    Properly trained professionals as armed guards might be an answer, but not a long-term one.

    Long term? Only changing our entire *culture* would help, and most people would be mightily offended if we even tried to suggest that their way of life was contributing to the problem.

    I dunno. I’m glad I’m not a parent.


    • It is unfortunate that so few Americans have experienced living in a society/culture where guns do not exist. I have friends who keep saying that they respect the opinions of those who have different views. But I am finding it really hard to respect those who support handguns and assault weapons. Where is my right as an American to feel safe knowing that hand guns and assault weapons are off the streets? Or even that my law-abiding neighbor isn’t carrying them? Cause I can know now that where I live…in a country without guns…how safe it feels.

      Yes..the only way to see any long term realization of what no handguns/assault weapons means is to change the entire culture in America. No easy task. But I pray that in time, people will change in their thinking.


      • “Where is my right as an American to feel safe knowing that hand guns and assault weapons are off the streets” So if the gov’t bans handguns and assault weapons then they would be “off the streets”? Since when do criminals follow the law. Isn’t that, by definition what makes them criminals?

        They already have laws on the books that say that felons can’t possess guns and felons commit crimes every day with handguns. Handguns that were illegally obtained. I don’t understand. . .


      • “I don’t understand…” I know. It’s hard to envision what it’s like to live in a country without handguns, etc…until you have.


    • To your last point,

      I would be offended were someone to suggest I am part of the problem because I oppose more restrictions on peaceable citizens.

      Just as I would be offended for someone to suggest I am part of the drunk driving problem because I have a couple beers a week.

      But hey, we all have opinions and they all stink right.


      • I enjoy my beers at home (just making that clear).

        Please don’t think I was being rude with my last line. Now that I read it again, I think some could take it as rude.


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