PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT: https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2020/06/kalamazoo-man-23-charged-with-open-murder-in-killing-of-wayland-woman.html?fbclid=IwAR12TPwXHZwhjq8ayCYZ5zFONUa2IdC4dCHlL-nwHz_LpbOgNSIF1bzq6mo
Good day everyone. If you continue reading, standby and be prepared for what is not a typical “pro-2A protected rights” post.
Why? Because it’s kind of a given.
You, as an American have the right to keep and bear arms. Americans have the right to own and carry tools that have the chance of preventing the taking of things by force and make other entities that like to take things from good people by force to either 1.) Ask for it. or 2.) Think long and hard about the consequence of trying to take things from others.
(Yes, there are politicians who constantly violate their oaths of office and neighbors that know nothing about facts, laws, or the realities of ‘why’ an armed citizenry is a good idea who continue to try and strip rights away from Americans of all walks of life, race, creed, color, and national origin on the daily, but that is not the topic for today. If you aren’t supporting the @FirearmsPolicyCoalition, you should be.)
Today I am writing to talk to all of you who have already chosen to be a ‘Gun Owner.’
My Fellow Armed Americans, Ladies and Gents, we need to do better.
If you are brave enough to venture into any online pro-2A forum, I can guarantee that you will see 20,000 variations of “It’s my RIGHT!” in conversations when it comes to guns, but we very rarely see anyone discussing, “Its my RESPONSIBILITY!”
Now, those that believe that firearm ownership is a right are absolutely correct. All humans, regardless of any descriptor that might set them apart in appearance or way of life has the RIGHT to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (And more specifically to protect it from those who would take it.) All Americans have those rights specifically protected by the Constitution of the United States (Its kind of a big deal.)
What separates a Gun Owner from a Responsibly Armed Citizen, is that they don’t just stop at “My rights” and they also embrace the true discipline of, “My Responsibility.”
Here is the truth.
We have no more time to give and should waste no more time on those who are steadfast in only being, “Gun Owners.”
It is time for this country to build, dedicate more time, and only tolerate, “Responsibly Armed Citizens.”
If you do a search on the good ol’ internets for the term “Accidental Shooting” (Negligent/Reckless) be prepared for more news stories than you can handle. All* of the tragic stories that you find are written, produced, and acted out courtesy of ‘just’ Gun Owners.
Cue the coffee being spit out, the hate emails, the removal of Trek from your Xmas card and Bookface friends list.
“How dare you say that!!!”
Oh, I dare.
But “we” made me say it because it is very, very true.
A constant and valid argument that Americans have when it comes to another knee-jerk firearms law authored by politicians that are either too-stupid or too-intentional in their anti-liberty agenda is, “How about you enforce all of the other laws already on the books instead of trying to criminalize the rest of us with more restrictions?!”
Why are we mad?
Maybe it’s because anyone with a pulse knows full-well based on facts and data that said law has no chance of fixing anything but the “feels” of those who live in blissful ignorance in this country.
A reoccurring event that is infuriating to any free-thinking American.
Well, news flash folks: We Armed Americans have “laws” (rules) already on the books that can keep us as safe as possible all while exercising the protected freedoms we have and “We” are not doing good enough at them.
Our failure to live within the “law” (rules) constantly brings the above-mentioned idiots/tyrants in power into our mix all in the name of scoring political points with more ridiculous laws and regulations. (actual laws unlike the Pirates Code.)
And here is the sad part.
The “laws” of the Responsibly Armed Citizen are pretty freaking simple yet tons of folks can’t even adult hard enough to live within them, and sadly, every year lots of other Americans pay the price for the criminal action of the ones who wanted to shout “my rights” but couldn’t even adult enough for, “my responsibility.”
As someone who spends each year with over 1,500 folks on a firing line, one of the scariest things you can here is “My background with guns? I’ve been a gun owner/hunter/collector for over 20/30/40+ years” and “I am/was a cop for this long…”
Why? It’s not a dig on collectors, hunters, owners, and cops.
It’s that those statements when in relevance to gun experience is the same as asking someone before hitting the Formula 1 track, “Hey, how much experience do you have in this 1000HP car?” and you receive the response, “Well, I’ve had one in my garage for 40 years but this is my first time driving it around other humans at 200mph.”
Hopefully by now you are smelling what I’m stepping in.
The “ownership” part is the right. You can have that beautiful car in your garage. As many cars as you want, and no one can take them from you by law.
The “Responsibly Armed Citizen” part is how you act when you put a hand on that car and especially when you roll it onto the track with me and the other drivers.
The Rules of the Responsibly Armed Citizen are not hard. They are also non-negotiable and they do not expire. They transcend space, location, age, gender and any other descriptor that you want to throw at them. They are a must. They are a priority, and they are here to make things with great ability to do harm, controlled.
Now here is the first step:
Vernacular. Words mean things. “We” keep using the wrong word when it comes to firearms going off when they are not supposed to.
“Accidental” means “an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury…an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.
“Negligent” means: failing to take proper care in doing something.
Well, when an adult** is in charge of/in possession of a firearm and someone gets hurt that does not deserve it. It is not an accident. It is NEGLIGENT. It is RECKLESS. If an adult leaves a firearm around where someone that has no business touching/holding/possessing a firearm and tragedy happens, it is not an accident. It is Negligent. It is Reckless. (*from above, owners properly securing blasters that then become victims of crime did the adult thing but the criminals now bear the responsibility for future happenings)
(Funny note: Google’s online dictionary literally says this for an example of Accident: “the pregnancy was an accident.” Now, I’m not a doctor but unless there was a slip, trip, or fall involved, I don’t think you are using the right example. There were 2 adults there and probably knew how things worked. SEE: definition of negligent (Laugh. It’s a joke))
(**Adult – screw the legal definition in this case. If you as a parent let a child hold a firearm, they better be an “adult.” If they are not, you, the real adult will be accountable for everything they do. Teach them responsibility early.)
[In short and as an example: if you had a gun with the ability to go off just sitting on a table with no one around, AND YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT FACT, we could label it accidental when it goes off. If you knew that it had a habit of doing so, when it fired it would certainly be no accident.]
If you own/carry/possess/shoot/etc a firearm, if it goes off when it was not supposed to, “We” MUST not accept it when you say it was an “accident.” Unfortunately, people eat that excuse up all the time. (Somebody please tell the media this…)
The next word to cover and arguably the most important?
Safe: “Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost”
Why this word? Well, if you’re still reading this far, I will tell you – Its being used WRONG when it comes to firearms.
We keep hearing about the “Firearms Safety Rules” and we do a huge disservice to folks we train when we call them that. The reason? Firearms ARE NOT SAFE.
Now, if you want to argue about the actual safety features on modern blasters, sure. I am not talking about that. I am talking about their task, purpose, and capability on top of the fact that to be utilized, a human being must be in proximity to one.
Every time I hear some anti-rights zealot exclaim, “BUT GUNS WERE DESIGNED TO KILL PEOPLE!!!”
I simply say, “No shit, Sherlock. And they do a great job too.”
When encountering an armed home invader coming through your window at night and given the choice of 1.) Throwing a grapefruit at the attacker or 2.) Making it “bullety” in their direction with a firearm, most people with a lick of sense would make it VERY UNSAFE for the home invader vs making a fruit salad.
So therein lies the rub: The goal of a Responsibly Armed Citizen is to make firearms as SAFE AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE to those that do not present a threat of serious bodily harm/and or death and as UNSAFE to those that do.
The fib of “safety” is one of the most prevalent ones being regurgitated in the firearms world right now.
All we can do is to make our environment as SAFE AS POSSIBLE by KNOWING, UNDERSTANDING, and APPLYING the:
-FOUR RULES OF RESPONSIBLE FIREARMS HANDLING-
By knowing, understanding, and applying these rules at all times personally makes us CONTROLLED. By demanding that all others around us (and all others who call themselves armed Americans) be controlled as well, we can make things as safe as can be.
“But Trek! My range has a SAFE AREA at it so that must be safe.”
You are correct my friend, right up until Billy Bo Bob and his Desert Eagle walks up to the “safe area” and cooks one off, or “Shotgun Fudd McGee” walks by you holding his shotgun like a loaf of bread and the muzzle out in front of him. (I can feel the “safety” power from all those range signs now…)
In order to get our world to be a safe as possible, we have the Four Rules of Responsible Firearms Handling. Each rule is important and has very specific reasons behind it. Violations of a single rule can lead to a bad day. A violation of two or more rules generally ends in loss of life and limb.
RULE 1. I WILL TREAT ALL FIREARMS AS IF THEY ARE ALWAYS LOADED
Yes. Like they are always loaded. Period. Dot. Exclamation point. Yes, they can be unloaded but idiots in this country keep shooting holes in people each year because they don’t consider that they as a human can FAIL.
The machine (gun) will do what a dumb machine is going to do. The human skips a neuron and thinks that the gun is unloaded when it is not and then fails to live and breathe this rule and the consequences make media headlines (see attached story)
I have watched videos from “nationally known” instructors talk about how important this rule and then post pictures of their hand in front of a student’s gun saying, “Don’t worry readers, we made sure the gun was cleared out.” (NOTE: For the love of all things holy: attention idiot instructors – it is 2020 and they make solid plastic training guns for when a teaching point requires that type of instruction. Sticking a yellow string out of the barrel of a gun and pointing a real gun at students is reckless. If a real gun is needed for the point of instruction, I GUARANTEE YOU that the exercise can be done while still holding true to Rule 1. Please fix yourself because it’s called being a negligent hypocrite and it looks bad on all of us.)
If you point a gun at anyone that does not deserve it and say, “Don’t worry bro its unloaded,” you are actually saying, “Hey human with dreams, aspirations, and loved ones that you would like to see again – F*** YOU.”
Never accept anyone who has this mentality within range of you. PERIOD.
RULE 2. I WILL NOT LET MY MUZZLE CROSS ANYTHING I AM NOT WILLING TO DESTROY OR PURCHASE
We have all heard the “laser beam” analogy. I use it when I teach newer shooters. It’s a great way to help folks visualize what they are doing. Here is the skinny on Rule 2: It is all about CONTROL of the firearm. When a gun is in our hand, the orientation of the weapon is always PRIORITY. Everything else is a TASK. We must get out of the “keep the gun pointed into the berm at all times.” mentality. On the range when shooting? Of course. When not shooting? That might not be the SAFEST way to orient our muzzle.
Example? I go shopping at Meijer (MI Grocery store) a lot. Haven’t seen a berm yet. I have seen lots of people in a 360 degree world around me though.
Rule 2 is always based on SITUATION AND ENVIRONMENT to get our gun pointed in the SAFEST (not safe) direction possible.
If you cannot move around yourself and others without pointing a gun at them/yourself, you should not be carrying a gun.
The way you control a gun is your “business card” that either tells people near you, “I am a professional” or “I am Jojo the idiot circus clown who is going to get you hurt.”
Understand that if you hand out the latter business card, We are going to try and put you out of business. (sadly, no one put the gun owner in the attached story out of business through education prior to his Rule 2 violation)
Rule 3. I WILL KEEP MY FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER AND OUTSIDE THE TRIGGER GUARD UNTIL READY TO FIRE.
Trigger pulls are INTENTIONAL. Dry fire, range time, whatever you are doing it needs to be under CRITICAL THOUGHT not “INSTINCTING.”
We are seeing a huge rash of competition shooters that like to pull the trigger on their guns before going back to the holster when NOT IN COMPETITION. (It’s a ridiculous part of the competition “clear out” process to begin with but DON’T MAKE IT A HABIT.)
When it is time to shoot, safety off (if applicable) and finger on trigger. When not time to shoot, get that finger high and outside the trigger guard. Its life – you might need to run and humans fall. Make your gun handling as SAFE AS POSSIBLE.
RULE 4. I WILL KNOW MY TARGET, IT’S BACKGROUND, AND FOREGROUND.
Why is it written like that? Because we would run out of room on signage. It needs to be: Background, Foreground, the target, left, right, up, down, what is behind those trees, what is two miles away in that direction, etc. etc.
Rule 4 simply means: Know your target, your environment, and your angles of engagement. WHEN IN DOUBT OF A SHOT – DON’T TAKE IT. You missing and hitting the wrong person while trying to stop a badguy changes your legacy. You can build all of the greatest bridges across the globe and sleep with one goat…I don’t think you will be known as a bridge builder.
Sometimes the good-guy needs to not shoot to be the greatest asset.
Good lord you are still reading? Well you have my thanks because I am done for the day. My desired takeaways from this diatribe?
You, Me, We Responsibly Armed Citizens will write letters, serve our country, protest, and fight for the rights of all Americans.
But it is in that discipline that we must also be prepared to tell other fellow Americans, some that we care about deeply, that although they have the, “right to”, that they have zero business exercising it because they are a liability to their fellow man and they cannot “Adult” enough to be trusted.
I know full well that this writ may piss off some people, but I’m confident that if calling for, “not accepting ‘good enough’” makes me unpopular, then I’ll embrace that title until I die and bring as many folks as I can to the “uncool kids table.” (Cause it will the most controlled group of cats around.)
In conclusion, we have but two choices my friends:
We can fix ourselves internally and make stories like the one shared with this article extinct through education and intolerance for those who wish to stay ignorant of the responsibilities that go with our rights, or
Those in power that would have us disarmed will continue to use the examples of uncontrolled gun owners to chip away at the freedoms of those who have the ability to balance their rights with responsibility.
“A republic, if we can keep it.”