Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stand and Fight

I grew up with and around guns, mostly shotguns and .22, 30-30, 30-06 rifles (and, in my case, a M1 Garand). Just about everyone had a couple or three. And us kids were always after someone to let us shoot their gun - even if we had our own. Most of us had a .22 rifle, and at least one shotgun by age 13. Then there was deer season, duck season and all-season on just about any small wild animal, if we felt like going after them. Squirrels were a prize. Cottontails were just for target practice - you try hitting one of them little suckers with a single-shot .22, as he zig-zags and leaps across a field. Today, I wouldn't think of shooting any animal for sport, not even prairie dogs, which out west here, are about the equivalent of big rats.

But for us boys, the biggest thrill was getting to go with the grown-ups on a hunt; up before dawn, dogs wildly ecstatic, they knew what was coming. And we learned gun safety from our elders at a early age - by the age of ten or eleven, we could climb a fence with a loaded gun - without shooting ourselves or anyone else, break the guns down, clean them, shoot them all. Rule of thumb: if you were able to shoot a shotgun without getting knocked on your butt, you were old enough to shoot it. But then that's just the way it was.

But oddly enough, after my short stint with the M1, I didn't fire another gun until two months ago, fifty years later.

So when my sister stopped by to visit me out here on the High Plains, and handed me a Rem 870 20 Ga. shotgun, saying,"I don't need this anymore - you just might need it", it got me to thinking seriously about home defense. My sister is a retired county judge in Florida - but when she was still the judge, the occasional miffed miscreant would see fit to drop by her home, unannounced - thus the shotgun handy by the door. She carried then, and still does, a S&W .38 snubbie tucked away "on or about" her person.

Now a pump shotgun is a dandy home/self-defense gun (the sound of a shell being racked in a shotgun is a real attention-getter), but you can't lug the thing around with you all the time. Walmart frowns on such boldness; so instead, I bought a handgun from the gun shop in La Junta- and took a NRA home defense course, and spent a month at the range (way, way out on the prairie) acclimating myself to a handgun, until I felt comfortable with the gun...and I don't feel like a victim. I don't feel like a victim, because I am no longer helpless. Now, I didn't feel like a victim before I had the guns, either - but for sure I felt helpless to defend myself against attack. Now I don't feel helpless, because I'm not helpless.

Incidently, I took my shotgun to the gun shop in La Junta to have the choke checked, and had to park a couple of blocks away from the shop. I had forgotten and left the case at home, so I walked the two blocks to and from the gunsmith, busy street, people everywhere, but no one even glanced at the gun. But then, these are the Eastern Plains of Colorado, and it takes more than sight of a shotgun, carried casually, to spook these people. These Colorado range inhabitants - tough, independent, enduring, deserve respect.

But the world we live in is an increasingly dangerous place to live. One way to make schools safer is to have responsible staff, teachers, administrators carry guns. Even 5th graders agree. Having a carry policy in schools doesn't make the children and teachers immune to violence, but it sure would give a predator reason to look elsewhere to act out any violent tendencies against otherwise helpless victims. Current policy prevents trained, law-abiding, intelligent people from carrying a weapon onto school grounds. This no-gun policy makes our children more, not less, vulnerable to senseless attack. It's common sense.

I have been feeling a kind of dread that Islamic terrorists might do here, what was done in Beslan, Russia. Now, I realize that a couple of .38-carrying math teachers won't prevent these monsters from carrying out such fiendish plans, but you have to admit that under current law, our children and teachers are helpless from such an attack, or indeed, any attack. Helpless children make easy prey, as has been amply demonstrated over the past several years. The "no guns on school property" laws make such terrorist plots a cake-walk for the terrorists. And that's not right. We have a duty and a right to protect our children and ourselves.

And we need to make that very clear to the limp-wristed politicians still holding fast to senseless no-gun policies. They will listen, not because they want to, but because they desperately want to keep their pathetic jobs. Let's get the message to them: untie the hands which can protect our children. Or we will elect someone who will. Never mind the cry-baby liberals. In America, right now, we have a pro-gun momentum going. Let's keep it going, push it to the next level. Not because we're cowboys, but because we're men and women who, when the time comes, are willing to stand and fight.


from The Conservative Voice

by Kevin Roeten

Who is Against a "Packing" Teacher?
November 23, 2007

Schools are different than they were 30 years ago. Now you walk in and you question if today is the day somebody will shoot you. The real problem lies in the fact that if someone decides to whip out a semi-automatic and start blowing you and your friends away, there’s not a thing you can do about it.

When the writer went to school, if the freshman teacher did not like you cutting up in class with your partner, you might be surprised by his reaction. Picking both of the instigators up by the collar, banging their heads together, and physically throwing them out of the classroom actually happened.

Today, that teacher would be brought up on charges, the guilty kids would receive profuse apologies, and the teacher would likely loose his job. But those were the days when teachers were respected or even feared, when you came to learn and not to see how you could weasel “out”, when you never worried about a school bully, never thought about pulling a prank in school, and never thought about smoking on the school grounds.

But in the last 18 years, there have been 23 well documented incidents of guns being used to kill---in school. Some of the well known were Columbine(4/20/99), Virginia Tech(4/16/07), and SuccessTech(10/10/07). There’s been at least one/year for the last 18, and we know there’ll be others.

It sounds like it is past time to remedy the situation. We can have every parent change the attitude of their progeny. In other words, we must insure that those parents instill a sense of respect for teachers. Not many agree that this is a short-term goal, however. The only short-term one is fear. And the only way to achieve that is to have teachers ‘pack heat’ - perhaps visibly.

How many cite claims of having a renegade kid somehow wrest control of guns from teachers who have them? First, not every teacher will have a gun. Second, properly trained teachers know where and where not to put their gun. Third, every teacher must be properly trained and equipped to ‘carry’. And fourth, properly trained teachers know you don’t leave your weapon lying on your desk for someone else to use.

Very few kids will bring weapons of mass murder to school if they know their effort will meet known and immediate resistance. But without any packing teachers, the students know that if they do have a weapon they are free to slaughter as many people with as many bullets that they can carry.

How less likely are kids to bring weapons if they know they face armed resistance? Even if only a small percentage of teachers are armed, perpetrators still know that resistance is present. But it seems we have clearly signaled a “loss” in the classroom, or some measure of resignation.

One thing armed conflict teaches you--a signal of resignation in a battle typically invites more killing and mayhem. There are too many teachers who know exactly how to handle firearms—right now.

And for those teachers who want to lead students to a better life, it is indeed a battle. Teachers and administrators need control to teach—total control. Parents need that to teach their young ones almost everything. Per Doug Giles(http://www.clashradio.com), “We can’t afford to rely on chunky security guards with golf carts, pepper spray, whistles and plastic badges to safeguard against these armed little death dealing b--stards from hell.”

Parents of those dead students certainly wish that someone could’ve been there to stop the chaos and the killing. If more students see a visible weapon on a hip of a teacher, more schools will cease to be a shooting gallery for young culprits.

Those perps will likely think twice upon realizing the limited number of potential victims, and their likely demise. If a student actually tries to take a holstered gun from a teacher, he would and should be met with unqualified resistance.

Some people still don’t want teachers carrying weapons. But they’re for ‘free choice’ for abortion, sex, drugs, and marriage---but not for ‘free choice’ with vouchers, or armed teachers. Is there something wrong here?