Going soft…

I posted on Facebook last week about a couple of deer hanging around the front yard. Someone, several someone’s actually, provided the obvious recommendation for how to resolve that issue expeditiously.

Don’t get me wrong, I love deer bologna, jerky, and steak, but the truth is I’m not sure I’ve got the motivation any more to take the time and effort involved. Part of me gets more pleasure from watching them foraging in the yard than I’d ever get from their meat.

I’m not anti-hunting by any stretch. I like knowing I can field dress a deer and gut a fish of it comes to it. I like knowing I have the ability to put meat on the table. Maybe I’m getting soft-headed in my old age, but the idea of putting one in the crosshairs and pulling the trigger when I don’t have to doesn’t have the same appeal it may have done a couple of decades ago. Plus, sitting up a tree freezing my ass off has absolutely never held any charm at all for me.

That said, I’m glad there are still people out there doing it, because there are a couple of good sized bucks that like to crowd the road on my drive in to work. I’d much appreciate it if someone could put them down before one of them ends up in my grill instead of on it.

With no apologies…

One of my younger sisters was working at The Mall in Columbia yesterday morning when an as yet unidentified douchebag walked into a shop on the second floor and started shooting. That’s my way of saying that this one is something close to home and not simply an academic exercise in which I take my beliefs out for a walk. Yesterday, she did what she was supposed to do – sought cover and concealment, made sure her people were safe, and waited. Knowing our shared family traits, I would never go so far as to say “waited patiently.”

On any average day the vast majority of law abiding citizens of Maryland go through their day with nothing standing between them and the violent acts of a few than the tacit social compact that says the state should have a monopoly on violence. By extension, when you find yourself in harm’s way, the only course of action is waiting for the machinery of the state to come to your defense. While someone is committing the most violent of crimes even a few yards away, the state wants you to sit quietly and wait for them to take action on your behalf. That’s not a criticism of the Howard County Police Department, Maryland State Police, FBI, or any of the others who, by all accounts, were on scene incredibly quickly and did yeomen’s work to secure the area. It is a criticism, however, of a system that expects and encourages people look to the organs of the state to clothe, house, and protect them.

Despite the quick response of law enforcement, there were a few minutes – even if it were only one or two – where the first, last, and only line of defense was a locked door, patience, and hoping for the best. That’s not acceptable level of self defense to me – and shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone, really. I wish Maryland recognized the right of its citizens to defend themselves in equal and opposite measure to the force being brought to bear against them. In a world where only criminals have access to firearms, only criminals will use them – leaving the average person in the street beholden to the state entirely to provide for their personal defense. Some people – perhaps the majority in Maryland – are perfectly happy deferring their self defense requirements to the state. I’m not one of them.

Yesterday’s events hit close to home. I’m convinced now more than ever and with no apologies that free men and women must be allowed (and prepared) to defend themselves with all possible force at a moment’s notice. Sadly, I’m sure the leadership here in the great state of Maryland will politicize Columbia and use this as another excuse to lay even more onerous restrictions on those of us who try to live inside the bounds of the law.

2+2 = Ardvark…

I want to make one thing clear up front. What I’m about to say isn’t political. There are plainly idiots on both sides of the issue and I have no wish to associate with either flavor of crackpot. With that said, here’s the deal as simply and plainly as I can lay it out for you.

I am an armed American citizen. I’ve lived in a home where firearms were present since the 20th of June 1978 and I’ve personally owned, maintained, and used a variety handguns, rifles, and shotguns. In 34 years I’ve never used any of those firearms to kill anything more threatening than a paper target or the occasional marauding watermelon. You see, I was taught to respect firearms long before I was old enough to really understand the incredible power they have to destroy. I was taught how and when to use them, on the range, in the woods, and in my own defense. I was never taught to fear a firearm any more than I was taught to fear a hammer, saw, or other tool.

Sitting on its own in a dresser drawer or propped in a corner behind the door, I’ve never known a firearm to discharge itself. The only time I’ve ever seen a round leave the barrel is when a living, breathing person pulled the trigger. The weapon itself didn’t have any intent, evil or otherwise. The bullet simply went where the barrel was pointed when the gun was fired. That’s all a long way of saying that if you’re looking for someone to blame when it comes to violent acts that involve a firearm, start with the person who pointed it at another human being and pulled the trigger.

Blaming the gun is pretty much like saying it’s the bat rather than the player who hits the home run. Just how far out of the park would the ball go if there wasn’t a player swinging that bat? Take away the visceral, emotional reaction that so many have when it comes to having a reasoned, logical discussion about firearms and I find we’re really talking about bad people performing heinous acts. The fact that a gun, or a knife, or a rock, or a thermonuclear bomb was involved becomes secondary at best. To mix my metaphors even further, it’s the criminal who commits the crime, not the car that he drove to reach the crime scene. Sure, you could make that argument, but it makes about as much sense as 2+2 = Ardvark.