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by Steven White on January 5th, 2016

Your basic right to protect you and your family, are not given by any government, it is a basic right to live. In today's world, and I imagine all through time, things are dangerous. We can't ignore it and it will go away. We must hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. 

In my humble opinion, life safety starts at home. Your home is your castle, you feel safe there, and it is a place where the evil of the world can't invade. That sounds nice, and it is desirable,'s wrong. There are burglaries galore, and home invasion robberies. There are many scams out there, such as people posing as contractors, such as driveway paving services, roof repairs, air conditioning repairs, you name it. Basic defense there: don't ever give anyone money up front. Any legitimate company will do the job then get paid. Make sure they are licensed and insured. Check around for their previous work. Ask for references. 
Burglars are easy, lock all windows and doors, good locks! Keep them locked when you and your family are in the house. Get an alarm system. Watch your property. Anything unusual, report it. 
Armed home invasions are most serious. Keep your "head on a swivel" when you come and go. Is there a car parked near your home? Take a picture of it with your cellphone. Make sure you get the tag. Is it occupied? How many people? Get the best description of them you can. If you're coming home, take extra care to look for anything unusual. If you see a car by your property, and it does not belong, follow your instincts. Does it feel like a threat? Keep going, call the police and tell them there is possibly home invaders waiting for you. Let them approach the suspicious vehicle/people. If it's nothing, no harm. At least the police will identify the occupants. If they cannot take action, they will certainly be discouraged from your home.
These measures may seem extreme to most people. And most don't want to live this way. But soon it will be second nature. What is more important, you and your loved ones being afraid to offend someone, or you and your loved ones very lives? Like the saying goes, an ounce of prevention can go a long way!

Moving on, purchasing and owning firearms! Oh my, that is scary for so many. Doesn't have to be. The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in the United States is 270,000,000 to 310,000,000. Wow, that's a lot of guns. These are estimates only, as there cannot be a true count. Considering the USA has a population of roughly 330,000,000, that is almost a gun per person. The United States Constitution, and the US Supreme Court, have stated We the People have the right to keep and bear arms. This right is for personal protection, and for hunting, and, to protect us from tyranny from our government. Why did the Founding Fathers put that pesky Second Amendment in there? Well I believe it's because our ancestors fled British tyranny and gave up what they had, and fled to a strange, wild, continent, and risked their lives for freedom from oppression. The Founding Fathers added that amendment so it would not happen again. As of 31 December 2013, 1,369,532 people were on active duty in the armed forces, with an additional 850,880 people in the seven reserve components. And since then, it is much lower, as cuts in defense have been instituted. And the citizens have up to 310,000,000 guns? It is clear the power of this nation is our people. 
Each State has enacted laws governing owning and carrying firearms. We must follow current laws which include background checks (a good thing), and promises on federal forms that you are not under indictment for a crime, and you aren't mentally ill (a very good thing). However, at this time there is no way to check on a mentally ill person. Privacy in the medical field and HIPPA, prevent a database from checking into this. It is known that the mass shootings that have occurred are primarily the act of mentally disturbed individuals. Some are Islamist terrorism, but most are mentally disturbed people. None of those people should have guns, period. But they do. In response, we all need to make the decision to purchase, and carry, firearms. Imagine if in these mass shootings there were trained armed citizens there, the outcome would be much different. These mass shooting subjects are cowards, they seem to pick no gun zones, and kill innocent, defenseless, people. The response to that is to arm all who wish to take that responsibility, not take legal citizens rights away. And of course re-write the laws concerning mentally disturbed privacy rights. After all, the NSA took our private phone data easy enough.
Okay, so you choose to buy a gun. How do you choose one? Go to a well stocked gun dealer, and talk to the sales clerk. Guns come in different sizes, calibers, colors, etc. Find one that suits you in the grip, easy to use, one that you might enjoy. Guns are a tool. You control the gun, not the other way around. Okay, you find one and buy it. Next step, take a concealed carry class and/or a gun safety class. Learn the workings, use, and care for that gun. Know how it functions, how to use it safely, and then practise a lot with it. How much practise? Until you are proficient at using it and hitting the target. And then, practise more! You can never get enough practise. Proficiency is an ever going process. Now, you've done all that and decide you want to carry concealed. Now you need a holster that feels comfortable and easily conceals your weapon. That also is a personal choice. There are pros and cons to each. Hip carry is good for availability, but is harder to conceal. Ankle holsters are great concealment, but take a few seconds longer to retrieve the weapon if needed. It's all what makes you comfortable. That accomplished, you must know the laws pertaining to your carry. Some stores won't allow guns. Fine, don't go to those stores. You can't drink alcohol while you carry. Most states prohibit carry in schools, government buildings, etc. If you get stopped in your car by the police, keep your hands on the wheel, and tell the officer you have a carry permit and where the gun is. He/she will instruct you on what they need from you. Go through various scenarios regarding what could happen and what you will do. Be ever vigilant in your surroundings and watch anything suspicious to you. You are not a law enforcement agent, but you are protecting your right to live. Finally, decide how would it affect you if you had kill someone. Law enforcement have a saying, "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6". Sometimes the decisions you have to make will be split second. Know you are right when you act. To know that, go over scenarios and decide what you would do. In my years in law enforcement, I plan everything I can. Where I sit, say in a restaurant. I want by back to a wall and a position where I can see in every direction. You will have an advantage, of surprise. Such as in a restaurant, a shooter comes in and has a whole room at gunpoint, and you wait until he is distracted, pull your weapon, and fire. Your training and proficiency pay off and you hit the perpetrator with every round, stopping a catastrophe. The police arrive, you have your weapon holstered, or safe and laying on the table, with your ID and carry permit out. Personally, I would not make a statement until you have an attorney present. The police will do an investigation, get all witness statements, and forward their investigation to the State Attorney. Your attorney is there to protect your rights. Some say, why do I need an attorney when I was right? Because, you may make a mistake in your statement, say too much, or the wrong thing. You meant to say, I was in fear for my life and others, but it comes out different. And then there are possible law suits. The dead armed robber's family will say he was a god boy, and want to sue you and the restaurant, and anyone else they can get a payout on. Even the gun shop you purchased the gun at, and the manufacturer of the gun. So, with all this in mind, why get the gun in the first place? Because otherwise, you could be dead. Or your family members, or innocent other people. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

​Peace, and Happy New Year!


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