Firearm Related Problems & Suggested Solutions

© Copyright 2012, Chuck Klein



PREFACE: Once again the "gun issue" has been written about, discussed, whined-over, screamed about, praised and cursed since the latest nut-with-a-firearm rampage. Notwithstanding the tragedies of Sandy Hook, Norway, West Virginia, Columbine, et. al., compare this to the equally innocent and young fatalities of the Holocaust - victims from a country with the strictest of gun laws. We have never lived in a perfect world, we don't now and, until the arrival of the Messiah we will never experience a utopian society.

While you're grieving for the above noted losses, try empathizing with the thousands of Americans who are spared rape, robbery, or murder, because they did have a gun. Many of these incidents, usually ignored by the main stream media, are recorded in articles like this.

SOLUTION: When solutions are raised, the usual suspects include banning various types and kinds of weapons and/or their components in addition to the cry of, "more cops." I am convinced that all Americans can agree that intentional, horrendous, homicidal acts (and the media coverage/portrayal thereof) are a complex situation. Hopefully, we can also agree that the current GUN FREE ZONES (read: self-defense free zones) don't work. America, since its inception, is a gun-culture society. That is not going to change. A huge number of citizens use guns for hunting, collecting, target shooting and self-protection, and employment/taxes generated by the firearm industry is intertwined with our economic status. Thus, if the culture can't be changed, it might be in American's best interest to learn ways to live with it.

PROBLEM: Defensive Protection. The knee-jerk reaction has been to place uniformed police officers in each school. Certainly that would be a powerful method of protecting our children. However, the numbers don't work. There are about 650,000 sworn law enforcement officers (LEO) in the USA and over 300,000 schools. Placing one officer and covering his/her off/sick days would increase the number of total LEOs by at least 50%. Most communities today are struggling to meet current payrolls where police departments consume up to half of city and county budgets. The NRA's mantra of placing paid police officers in every school might just be a political ploy, taking this stand allows ostracizing anyone for opposing protection of children. It's also a high level starting point from which they can negotiate down.

SOLUTION: Encourage the placement of volunteer armed personnel in each school. Retired LEOs and civilians/parents who have undergone background checks and training (most CCW permit holders) would be an economical and viable option.

PROBLEM: Restrictions on firearms. Anti-gun protagonist's wish du jour is to limit magazine capacity. They miss the obvious: a murderer can change standard-capacity magazines very quickly when no one is shooting back. There is little difference between a killer with a 30-round magazine, and one with five 6-round magazines. Well, maybe the killer is at a disadvantage should the 30 rounder fail, whereas the killer with back-up magazine could just insert a fresh magazine. Cops carry extra magazines to counter such threats.

SOLUTION: Repeal burdensome, American anti-gun laws.

PROBLEM: Human Nature. Many American citizens are afraid of guns. Those so afraid, fear that a person with a gun will resort to its use if provoked by a parking dispute, family argument or to resolve matters of a personal nature. This reasoning is most likely due to transference - the fear of what they would do if they had a gun. A hoplophobe (link to Sarah Thompson's article) reasons that they don't trust themselves not to abuse a gun, so why trust anyone else? Memo to those people: There are tens of millions of gun owners who engage in various quarrels and never resort to lethal force.

SOLUTION: Institute mandatory classroom and range training. Beginning at an early age children should be taught the importance of self-defense, the inherent dangers of mishandling firearms, the power/life-ending use of such weapons and the legal consequences of the use of deadly force.

PROBLEM: Posting of Signs. Signs saying "No Guns Allowed" are an obvious encouragement to the criminal bent on violence. Criminals entering "Gun Free Zones," know that there will be no resistance to their evil deeds.

SOLUTION: Signs saying: "CRIMINALS BEWARE, PATRONS AND/OR EMPLOYEES MAY BE ARMED." The potential for criminal behavior will be significantly reduced. Even if there are no armed persons on location, it will give robbers/killers pause to think. It may cause mass killers to change their target if it is no longer a "soft" target.

PROBLEM: Vicious and Gratuitous Media Violence . TV, movie productions and computer games glorify not only killing, but multiple and mass deaths, sans consequences to the victims and aggressors.

SOLUTIONS: We need to stop the depiction of violence as entertainment.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It's tragic when innocent children are killed, but it's cowardly when media and interest groups among us blame the inanimate gun for their loss. There are over 300,000,000 Americans, and of those a tiny portion are killed by firearms. Most gun related homicide is either gang or drug related. Far too much of it exists in the Black Community. What we, the armed civilians know is that there are more persons saved by the use or even the mere presence of a firearm than those illegally harmed by one.

I know! I wouldn't be writing this now had I not had a gun with me on more than one occasion -- not only as a police officer or licensed private detective, but as a civilian also. These accounts are documented in court records and in my books.

I'll end this with questions I have put to anti-freedom folks -- none of which have yet to provide an answer:

Would You Feel Uncomfortable:

• In the presence of an armed uniformed LEO? How 'bout a plain-clothes cop? An armed soldier? Someone like me, a former LEO, licensed and trained by the state to CCW?

• Would it make a difference where you were - in a mall, on a street, in a school? In an unsecure building with "no guns allowed signs"? In an unsecure building with signs posted saying: "Criminals Beware, Patrons And/Or Employees May Be Armed"?

• Where do you draw the line?


Chuck Klein, a JPFO Life Member, is the author of GUNS IN THE WORKPLACE, and other firearm related articles, columns and books. He may be reached through his web site:

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