They Don’t Feel Safe

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They Don't Feel Safe
They Don't Feel Safe
They Don't Feel Safe
They Don't Feel Safe

I am in a position that doesn’t lend to making friends at work. Because of what needed to be done, I fully expected this and this is what I do. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I have experience understanding what it takes to make a place profitable and a major part of that is having the right people to do the job and protecting their efforts by surrounding them with like minded people. SO, needless to say, I have a target on my back by those that feel I am asking too much or stepping on toes.

However, I have to make a comment on recent events.  I carry a gun. I have for almost twenty years. I have had to defend myself with a gun when violent criminals tried to take my life for greed. I have also had to threaten the use of the gun to protect others lives from criminal violence. I train law abiding citizens to use the utility of violence to protect themselves against criminal violence. No matter how much you believe violence is not an answer, I can tell you that when your life is in immediate danger, where it takes less than one second for someone to pull a trigger or two seconds for them to step to you and bury a knife in your chest, and the police are an average of 11 minutes away, violent self defense is almost always the only option you have to save your life or the life of another. The owner of the company I work for understands this, knows my background, and has authorized me to carry at work.

I served my country with honor. While doing so I also was certified as an auxiliary police officer through the D.O.D. police. I have held secret clearance, been background checked on almost a yearly basis. I have had psych eval after psych eval. I’ve been through hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of training in threat assessment, conflict negotiation, violent behavior analysis, unarmed and armed self defense tactics, executive protection, fugitive apprehension, surveillance, etc. I have been entrusted to wear a badge in the name of the law, to break through criminals doors to bring them to justice, to put my life on the line to protect others. I have been vetted.  When law enforcement and private security officers need training to learn how to operate in instances of mortal combat, they have come to organizations I have worked for and to myself for training on how to do it right; How to minimize danger to the public and themselves while engaging violent people to stop them from killing. Anyone who knows anything about me and the few friends I have know that I would put my life on the line to protect them in almost any situation excluding anything that would put my family in jeopardy. If they spent as much energy learning who I am as they do trying to derail my efforts they would not say they don’t feel safe because I carry a gun.

The fact is, there have been people leave this place who have considerable criminal records. Some have had violent pasts they have done jail time for. Some have and were actively trafficking prescription drugs. There were and are thief’s in this organization. If any one of them decided that they were going to come in here and take life; while everyone else would be cowering under their desks or running for the nearest door, hiding and praying that God get them through the situation; I would be moving toward the threat after having pulled my gun, passing in the opposite direction of those who were not able to deal with the reality of life, and putting my life on the line to stop the evil. Stop the intention of that person who was willing to take lives because of their self imposed failures that they want to blame on someone else. I would be praying to God to keep my aim true, allow me to be able to strike first because if I’m killed everyone else could be killed before police arrive. I understand this. This is who I am.

The sad thing about this is that these people will go through life looking at people like me as some outdated or paranoid person; an anomaly. But if, God forbid, they happen to find themselves faced with the reality that people kill people for personal gain all the time, they will sacrifice their lives because they couldn’t do a damn thing about it. I’ve lived it and am still alive because I prepared. I feel sorry for their children if someone decides to invade their home, or tries to rob them on the street, they will have almost surely doomed them to be at the mercy of their attacker. Look up the details of the Petit family murders a couple years ago. Two attackers against a family, no guns in the house, and no one was trained for self defense. The mother and two daughters were killed and set on fire while the father was beat senseless and tied up in the basement. That wouldn’t happen in my house. My wife and older children are proficient at shooting a gun. They can, and most likely would, be able to use it in self defense. Could everyone be saved?….maybe not, but I’m sure we have a much better chance than if we had only the option of hoping for the mercy of the person who had already shown they were not against violence toward others. I have no problem saying I am absolutely livid at any parent who doesn’t prepare their child to defend themselves and doesn’t prepare themselves to defend their child.  I’m not talking about playground squabbles. I’m talking about when a human being decides you or your child needs to die for their personal gain.

Get out of the damn social media long enough to get a grip on what the world really is. I guarantee that you cannot think up any possible thing of violence or twisted, sadistic perversion of human decency that hasn’t already been done to someone by another human with no regard for life or empathy for another. It happens every day. Just a few miles away, Toledo has been identified as one of the major cities in the U.S. for human trafficking.  There is a major drug issue at play right now in Findlay. DEA is active in this city as I write this.

I know it’s hard to connect the dots when you’re hanging out with friends, snuggled up on the couch in the cushy little bar enjoying the buzz from the joint you just had. Laughing and flirting, being witty and talking about whatever seems apropos. I used to smoke some weed back in the day. Yes it was fun. But, I also know where that comes from now and what it costs in human terms and it’s not worth it to me. I don’t fault you for it. I just made a decision that it wasn’t for me. This stuff doesn’t just come from someone’s friend in Logan county or Toledo or BG. It also comes from those who commit the atrocities you can find on sites such as bestgore.com (check out the decapitation videos from the Mexican cartels) or the archived videos on drudgereport.com from the border towns in Mexico.  When I see someone “burnin cause they got ‘em”, I don’t think about the buzz their going to experience. I think about the wasted lives I’ve seen that got that weed to the street. The tennis star in Columbus I put in jail in ’98 who wasted her life and promising career by becoming a “posh” dealer for her thug boyfriend, the mother who dealt from her efficiency apartment and when her house was raided her baby was found sitting in a crib with a puppy and dog excrement because she used the weed money to by crack and was in a crack coma when her door was kicked in. The men who tried to kill me in my driveway in ’95 (high on weed and booze) who stated in court they said “let’s rob this nigga” before they pulled in behind me and opened fire when I got out of my truck.

You may not feel safe because I have a gun, but I can assure you, if someone decides to take a life when I’m around, I’m your only hope of survival for at least 11 minutes (the average police response time to a 911 call). Then the guys who have the same training and vetting I’ve been through will be here in uniform, wearing a badge, to cordon the area off and fill out reports after you have “pumped out” on the floor.

Think about this, there are more than 250,000 concealed carry permit holders in the State of Ohio. That’s more than the Canadian Army. That’s an average of 2,840 per county. Knowing this, I know that when I walk into Walmart and I see the NRA stickers on the cars in the parking lot; there’s a pretty good chance there are several other law abiding citizens carrying their gun in there at the same time. Chances are, if someone tries to resort to lethal violence, I’m not going to be alone in my effort to stop them. I like that a great deal.

I like it when I see elderly women in line to get their CCW license renewed or when they come into a gun shop to get the wood grip repaired on their “pretty little pistol”; when I have people in my classes that have never shot a gun before that end up being greatly surprised at how well they do after realizing it’s just a tool. If you know the correct way to do it, it can be more important than medical training because it can prevent the need for medical care for you if you are the intended victim. I got a warm fuzzy when I saw a gun protruding from under the shirt of a guy in his late twenties walking with his toddler in a Penn Station in Perrysburg. He’s not going to let his daughter be killed for a lack of shooting back. Bravo-Zulu to him would be my comment. You would probably set and worry what his intensions are and scoff at the fact that he has a gun on him while he is with his daughter. I like the fact that his daughter is going to grow up knowing it’s ok to carry a gun.

One of the greatest stories I can tell is of a twelve year old boy in Dayton, Ohio whose family was vehemently anti-gun. He told them he wanted to learn to shoot and compete in pistol competitions. His family was open minded despite of their fear of guns and agreed to let him try it out with proper guidance. They enlisted the services of a great instructor who took the boy under his wing and trained him right. The boy is now competing in USPSA matches in the junior division with a 9mm. Seeing the great fun the boy was having and seeing the great responsibility and discipline training with a gun instilled in him, his family got involved. He taught his own father to shoot and it’s now a family sport they do together.  Why is it ok to put a child through martial arts training, to learn to use violence against another for sport for the discipline and respect it instills in the child, but it is not ok to train them with firearms for the same reasons, plus the added benefit of them being able to defend themselves with the gun? I have news for you; those Karate techniques are worthless against an attacker who’s 10 feet away with a gun and most criminals are cowards and use the gun to prevent injury to themselves. It gives them power over you they otherwise would not be willing to try to gain without the gun.

I DON’T FEEL SAFE….knowing that the majority of people around me are so uneducated and in denial to the reality of the capability of violent criminals that they refuse to arm themselves and don’t want me to be able to defend myself as well. I know that there is an almost certain chance, around these types of people, that I will be utterly alone in my effort to stop a violent attack, much like all the students at Virginia Tech who died because nobody could shoot back and stop the vermin.  People like me have been through training, been through background checks to show we are lawful people. The criminals are able to bypass all laws because they don’t care about the law. If you think you can predict what laws they will chose to break and which they will uphold, you’re simply an idiot. They simply get a gun, put it under their clothes and use it when they see fit for personal gain.  Their names are on no lists, they don’t show up as a firearm carrier on an officers’ screen when he pulls them over, the list goes on. A review of local police reports that have recently involved BATF, DEA and local SWAT officers will reveal just how many guns are in the hands of criminals here. A recent raid, in the last three months, involving all of the previously mentioned law enforcement, seized a considerable amount of marijuana along with numerous firearms and an RPG Launcher.  You think that joint you just smoked didn’t get to you through the hands of a criminal who has violent potential?  Sure, you got it from your friend who drives a new Isuzu, has a dog, a set of Bebe’ designer glasses and a cardigan; but where did they get that ounce? And where did that person get it before him. They are here just as they are in any major city. The difference is I know it because I have experienced it and survived it because I was carrying a gun because it happens. Your outcome would probably vary greatly.

Not even talking about drug related violence, did you know that more than 70% of all rapes were committed by someone the victim knew? How about the fact that one of every three women will be the victim of some sort of sexual violence? Or the fact that you could fill a 747 and crash it every month and it still wouldn’t equal the number of women killed by a husband or boyfriend every month in the U.S.? How about the fact that 70 children per day are killed at the hand of a parent or guardian? Think about that. Read that again and THINK about that. Have you prepared your daughter for this reality? I know it seems harsh to introduce a child to the fact that people may try to kill them at some point in their life. It goes against that whole warm and fuzzy, love filled childhood experience we all want to give our children. But what is your culpability in the situation that they come into such a circumstance and they have no means of surviving it because they were never told they had an option? They were never introduced to the concept of defending yourself or what people are capable of.

People spend thousands of dollars to buy sports equipment, toys, video games, etc. so their children have an enjoyable childhood. They spend thousands on education so their children have the chance to have a comfortable life. They spend hundreds every month on insurance to provide health care in the event of an illness and spend hundreds per year for life insurance so their family can get along without them in the event they die prematurely. Yet they won’t spend a dime to enable them to defend themselves and actually prevent their death or serious bodily harm in the first place. INCREDIBLE!  Are you kidding me?  They are able to live like this because there are people like me and like our military and law enforcement who are willing to do violence on their behalf, to keep the wolf at bay, to be a deterrent. There is a reason that as more and more people, law abiding good honest citizens, are arming themselves the violent crime rate is at a 47 year low. If I put a sign in my yard that said “I carry a gun and have used it to defend myself” and then put one in your yard that said “we don’t believe in guns” or “we oppose the carrying of guns by citizens”, who do you think is the preferred target of a would be home invader?

I, along with my friends and students, am a sheepdog, not a wolf.  You should be afraid, but not of me.