Once upon time in the west… it’s 1875 on a colds winters evening, just a half hour before midnight, if I recall correctly, the doors to the saloon swayed repeatedly in time with the wind blowing crisply across the entry steps. Busy inside, it seemed anyway, there was more patrons than normal for that time of night and for that time of year. Load laughter, comradery and the clinking of an old time rag played effortlessly about the upright in the corner. I heard no singing, but the mood seemed joyful and cabal. Normal for this town on the weekends. A festivity in recognition to a long week’s excavation at the quarry. Winners in ore, most of the inhabitants profited, adding more joy, drinking and celebration to the evening’s festivities.

Through the dim lit gas lamp lighting just shy of the entry steps to the saloon an outsider rustled up towards the louvered doors. He sported the normal cowboy attire, boots, spurs, hat and of course a Navy Schofield about his waist. Revolvers, fairly new to the west, anywhere for that matter, allowed anyone to repeatedly fire off destructive rounds of ammo, greatly increasing the effectiveness of the firearm…

We all can use our imaginations and generate an ending to the story above. Remembering tragic events of late coupled with a little Hollywood impressionism, the cowboy takes the gold and forever scares the community.

Guns, considered tools at the time: this was something you never left home without, necessary for survival in your daily life. The thought of banning such a tool would be ludicrous.

Is a comparison of the lawless old west and modern events even valid? After all, we have regulations and channels of enforcement today. The question arises regarding the mentality of individuals that commit immoral offences towards society. Medically, does it fall under schizophrenia? Severe depression? Let’s call it schizo-terrorism, for a lack of a better term. University studies show, terroristic acts are rare and so are the mental disabilities that result in such consequences but, they remain proportional to the population.

John Lott, author of “More guns, less crimes” states, “With the largest increase of gun ownership in America, we also have the largest decrease in violent crimes”.  A study published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy reveals that strict gun laws do not correlate to low violent crimes.

The following excerpt has been floating about the internet:

“I stand behind you in line at the store with a smile on my face… and a gun under my shirt and you are none the wiser, yet you are safer for having me next to you. My gun won’t pull its own trigger. It’s securely holstered. However, rest assured that if a lunatic walks into the store and pulls his gun… I will draw my pistol and protect myself and my family and therefore be protecting you. I may get shot but, I won’t die helplessly. I won’t be a victim. If you are not comfortable carrying a gun then don’t, but there is evil in the world and if evil has a gun, I want one too.”

The unfortunate truth of the matter is: No matter what gun control the government imposes upon us, a criminal will always find a way to get a gun. It’s a hard pill to swallow but, it can’t be denied. They plan to take away my Second Amendment rights because of one troubled individual. Not going to happen!

So, where should the politicians be focusing their efforts? Where the problems really are: How did Mateen purchase a firearm while on the FBI watch list? Oh, he fell through the cracks but, let’s blame the semi-automatic weapon. How do we monitor terrorist while still preserving the freedoms we hold dear? We need to learn how to better enforce the laws already on the books rather than haphazardly adding more.

Aside from our government, what responsibilities do “we” as citizens have and when should observations become actions? Mateen’s wife and co-workers all noticed tell-tale signs in his behavior but no one acted. If our rights are to remain status que, citizens must also get proactively involved. Maybe actions like these would show legislators on both sides of the fence we support our freedoms and support them responsibly. By actively doing these things we can promote greater social control and still respect the rights of our upstanding citizens.

Are criminals scared of the police? I don’t think so, but they do effectively seek out targets that will result in a low resistance to their threat or a defenseless location that will create a slow response time by authorities. If I was the criminal and I was not sure if the citizen next to me had a concealed weapon under their shirt or not, I’d move on to the next location.

“If evil has a gun, I want one too”

 

AR 15 barrels

by: Gregg Fikes