Pulling a gun

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These are the stories of my experiences pulling a gun to stop crimes, and how it differs from the stereotypes. In my life, I have personally used a gun to end an altercation three times. A rape, an armed car robbery, and a drug dealer or pederast trying to pedal something on a not so helpless young lad.

1980 🔫 Rape is not OK
1980 🔫 Rape is not OK.png

While hunting in the woods where I grew up (rural Orange County). I heard some screaming altercation, and when I investigated, a guy had torn the top off a struggling woman and was progressing towards rape, when I said in my outdoor voice, "is there a problem here?!" He saw the rifle, and decided that it was time for him to leave the scene. I gave her my jacket, drove her to a gas station, and that was that. When seconds count, the police are often 20 minutes away. more...

1994 🔫 Grand Theft Auto
1994 🔫 Grand Theft Auto.png

I saw a kid looking in car windows at the condo-complex where I lived. As there had been breaks-ins, I decided to investigate. It turns out 4 of them had just broken into a VW Jetta, and while they didn't leave at first sighting me (one had a knife or tool to remove stereos), they rethought playing tough and coming towards me when my gun came out (and the safety came off). I considered a citizens arrest, but I didn't want to have to kill idiot kids just because they might have been stupid enough to move on me, so shoo'ing them off was, "good enough". After that, all the car break-ins were on the other side of the complex. more...

1978 🔫 Those Hollywood Hills
Like any other 14 year old kid, I had sewn a holster-pocket into my L.A. Dodgers wind-breaker to carry my suppressed (silenced) pistol, and a game bag, so I could hunt rabbit/quail/squirrel in Griffith Park / Hollywood Hills. A large predator guy was following me, but I kept ditching him on the trails. Then, while stalking up on a bunny, he approached me and said, "You want some excitement". I never found out whether he meant sex or drugs, as the bunny popped his head up at the voice, and I drew my gun and dropped the bunny with a muffled pop and a bunny death-scream, and the guy ran off. I had switched from prey to predator in one impotence-inducing instant, and that perv wanted nothing to do with that (or me). There is no way to know how far the guy would have gone had the teen not been armed, but I'd like to think he stopped approaching kids in the park after that. The rabbit was delicious.



Now I realize the plural of anecdote is not data, and I'm not trying to say this is representative of everyone with a gun. But the media loves to bombard us with selective anecdotes about how guns ruined lives, but almost never about the many, many millions of times a year more, where they are just used for hobby, sport or self defense. This is just some of those. You can read about my experience shooting, if you want another.

In all three cases the results could have been far more tragic had I not had a gun.

Of course these experiences are rare. Most people will never have to deal with any of these events. Let alone 3 different ones. I'm just lucky I guess (sarcasm) -- I've been hit by a car 4 times (not one even vaguely my fault), broken my left arm 4 different times, found one suicide victim, saw another jump (actually more land outside my window of a rather tall office building). Cracked my head open in the Sierra Mountains (and get flown out by Helicopter). Survived two (very minor) parachute malfunctions while skydiving (out of two jumps). Oh well, it keeps life interesting and gives me stories to tell. I'm just one of those people that has things happen around (and too), and has learned to be observant enough to catch on to what is going on around them. (Call it a defense mechanism).

In all cases I could have ignored the situation or been apathetic or concerned only about self-preservation -- and some say should not have done anything and just let society continue its entropy into anarchy out of disinterest or fear. But I think society is made better when people stand up for what is right, do get involved and stop injustice. I'm not saying they should seek out trouble or be vigilantes, but we should not hide from our societal responsibilities (and what goes on around us) out of blinding fear.

My wife (then girlfriend) was anti-guns and afraid of guns before we got together. But I believe in guns and gun safety. I wouldn't tolerate her being around guns (which I had in my condo) without learning how to handle them. So I quickly taught her the basics of guns -- how to unload, reload, activate the safety, and gun safety basics. This gave her enough confidence to ask to go shooting. After that, her attitude flip-flopped 180 degrees after a few quick lessons. She "got it", guns are a dangerous tool that deserves respect and proper safety, just like a car -- but like a car is used far more often for good (or for fun) than for harm. Guns are used 2.5M times a year to stop crimes or preserve self, and only 8K to murder, and 3/4ths of those are by blacks and latino's, usually in gang related crimes. So the good to bad ratio is extremely positive. Which makes sense since most people are responsible, law abiding, and would only use a gun for defense or to stop a wrong rather than to commit one. If you fear/distrust guns, it seems like you really just fear/distrust your neighbors. I also recommend that everyon take a gun safety class, take a shooting class, and learn about the tool before they fear it, so they can at least make their opinions from a position of experience and not ignorance or fear of the unknown.

A bad law is never going to convince me that I shouldn't have the right to defend myself (or others). The only thing bad gun laws can do is convert me from being a law-abiding peace-loving citizen (that feels a responsibility for protecting himself and his neighbors/friends/family), into a law-ignoring peace-loving criminal (that may eventually be imprisoned because some well-meaning fascists think it would be better for society than to allow me my constitutional and inalienable rights).

I often ask gun-control advocates how many people they're willing to persecute (imprison or have killed) for their cause. I'm not just being a dick, I'm sincerely asking the question. But most are afraid or unwilling to answer. If they could learn to answer it to themselves, we might have a lot more liberty and tolerance in the world.

What’s shooting like?

This is a story of what shooting is like for me, and how it differs from the stereotypes. Now the plural of anecdote is not data -- but lies of omission, are lies. The media loves to bombard us with selective anecdotes about how guns ruined lives, but almost never about the many, many millions of times a year more, where they are just used for hobby or sport. This is just some of those. more...

Air Rifles
There's this common myth that Air Rifles ("BB Guns" or "Pellet Guns") are toys, however, while they don't have quite the velocity of our top of the line modern rifles, they easily exceed black powder rifles that brought down buffalo and won the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. People hunt Buffalo and Elk with them, and they have no problem going through humans. Fortunately, since the gun-ignorant don't understand their threat, they aren't highly regulated (one last bastion of liberty, for now), and mass shootings and crimes are usually committed with gunpowder-based weapons. Which makes them especially popular in countries/place with hoplophobia.



Pulling a gun : Air RiflesGetting my CCWWhat’s shooting like?
Experiences : 1986 Just a burger1987 Skydiving2001.09.11 The Towers Fell9/11Air RiflesAirline AttendantGetting my CCWHousing and Urban DevelopmentHow I spent Christmas Vacation (1997)Jury Duty 1998Jury Duty 2013Speed Traps 2002Suicide is PainlessThinking outside the boxTired of suppressing my whitenessWhat’s shooting like?