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The Tucson Massacre and Armed Citizens

I’m sure everyone has heard or read something about the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend. Some reports are calling it an assassination attempt, but the attack wasn’t on just one person, it was on a large group of people — normal, every-day citizens as well as government officials.

Apparently the gunman was stopped when some of those normal, every-day citizens bravely responded by counter-attacking when the gunman had to reload his pistol. They attacked with their bare hands and bodies.

I don’t throw around the word “hero” as easily as some people do, (especially like those in the media do), but a person who chooses to physically jump on a gunman instead of running away qualifies as a hero in my definition. (This is *not* to say that someone who runs from a gunman is in any way a coward — running away from a nutcase with a weapon is a wise and perfectly sensible thing to do.)

Now imagine what could have happened if even one of those citizens was armed. Instead of jumping the crazy shooter after he shot off all the (30!) bullets in his first magazine, maybe someone could have dropped him before he fired more than a handful of bullets.

If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

An armed society is a polite society.

Some people are scared of the idea of weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens. I’m not so much. I’m much more fearful of weapons in the hands of criminals and lunatics.

My brother has a concealed-carry permit, and he regularly carries a concealed weapon. He’s had the proper, official training, (not to mention he grew up, like me, with many guns in our home), and I know his temperament — he’s not a hothead likely to pull a weapon for any reason other than dire danger. A room with my brother, armed, in it is safer than a room without him. (Excepting a police station full of cops, or a military base full of soldiers/marines/etc.)

Brogrit moving boxes at our mom’s house over the Christmas holiday:

If I lived in a less complicated environment, (that is: without young children), I might also carry a concealed weapon. But my life situation makes carrying a weapon more of an everyday complication weighed against the likelihood of ever needing a weapon right at hand. I do own quite a few firearms, but they aren’t ready for immediate action. Given an hour’s warning, I’d be very ready for a Russian Invasion or the Zombie Apocalypse. (I even have a fully functional sword and shield.)

But, so I’m not completely defenseless against random outlaws and lunatics, I have black-belt training in tae kwon do, (as well as lower-level training in karate and jujutsu), to at least give me an edge in any situation short of facing a gun. I’m not self-delusional enough to think I’m Chuck Norris — I know I’d probably be beat up by a big, strong, determined, enraged, and/or crazy attacker, but I feel I could at least fight long enough that my wife and children, (and anyone else around), could get away before I was destroyed.

A lunatic with a gun is a terrible thing. But a lawful citizen with a gun can be a wonderful thing. I hope I’m never in a crowd with the first, but I’m pretty comfortable in a crowd with the second. In fact, if I am ever in a crowd with the former, I hope the latter is also present.


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