I recently bought a new handgun. Itís a .45 caliber of course. I prefer not to carry anything that doesnít start with the number 4. (A 9mm round is all well and good until it scratches somebodyís retina or ricochets off a window.)
Caliber is one of those topics that gun owners, or as I like to call us, Americans, love to debate. We know that caliber isnít the real debate. The real debate is our right to carry. Itís not a "second amendment right." Self-defense is an inalienable right. We had that right long before the second amendment. I suggest that you never call it our second amendment right as that waters down the right. I offer this as a tactical suggestion that might help solidify our side of the self-defense argument.
Virtually everything about the weapon is nice. Virtually everything works great. Everything except the warning they put with it.
The Warningís Author
Warning from the Massachusetts Attorney General:
Without reading anything else, you know already the warning is flawed and should be avoided. If it comes from a Massachusetts Attorney General, you know that every word is steeped in an agenda that will be biased against your ability to defend yourself and your family if some creep attempts to harm you when youíre minding your own business.
Some of the strictest gun control laws appear on the Massachusetts books. Itís a good thing that wasnít true 1776 and before.
The Early Warning
The warning card goes on and on just like any government writing will do. The only thing germane to this discussion is its opening line:
This handgun is not equipped with a device that fully blocks use by unauthorized users.
What does "unauthorized user" mean? How does one become authorized?
If Iím licensed to carry (and I am) (and I understand and applaud you if you refuse to get licensed as long as you carry anyway) and my father is not licensed, then how would any device know that I have that license? If Iím with Dad and someone begins shooting at us and Iím harmed, I want my father to be able to grab my gun and shoot back! I donít care if heís licensed. Personally, I admire the fact that heís not licensed.
A device that somehow knows who is and isnít authorized is a far deadlier weapon than one that doesnít.
Letís think for a moment at how well the Feds or any other law enforcement official blocks unauthorized users. How many banks are robbed each year by individuals who were unauthorized to take the loot? Hundreds? How often is a government agency compromised such as the CIA by a spy? How much information has been taken by unauthorized people from Los Alamos? How many airport terminals have been closed since 911 due to unauthorized people getting through security (it seems like 5 a year at least)?
How many unauthorized border crossings have taken place just this month?
I donít like the governmentís track record at limiting unauthorized users. Iíll do my own limiting. If a weapon ever had such a device, Iíd make sure it could be permanently disabled or I wouldnít own it.
The Warning Actually Is Effective
The warning card goes on to list scare tactic after scare tactic trying to weaken your resolve to keep that gun.
Actually, this tactic works well for both sides: if a law-abiding, liberty-loving American reads the warning brought to us by the same state that handed us the Kennedy thrones, such a warning will work to solidify one of the reasons he or she purchased the gun to begin with. I know because it made me want to own the gun more. And if some left-wing (which includes most Democrats and Republicans in office today) university-like freedom hater reads the card, theyíre likely to get rid of the gun at their first opportunity which gives us freedom lovers a chance to buy a new weapon at less than retail. Everybody wins!
The Ultimate Safety
If you purchase a gun, you have a grave responsibility to protect not only yourself and your loved ones but you have a grave responsibility to protect the gun itself! You must keep the weapon away from children whom you havenít trained in proper gun handling. You must keep the weapon hidden away when youíre not home (and thieves know all the common hiding places so use discernment).
If you own a weapon, it is your responsibility where every bullet goes when it leaves that barrel. The immutable four rules of gun safety which I outlined here ("Will the BTF Seize Cheneyís Gun?") cover that fully.
You must get professional training with your weapon. This means more than the one-day concealed carry course the state required you to take to get your concealed carry license. That course is a joke and true gun handlers know it. Such a session gives new (and most often untrained) gun owners a false sense of security which is far more dangerous than complete ignorance where they would respect the weapon more.
If you have a gun or if you are thinking of getting one, the very first thing you need to do is read this article on proper safety and training. Ignore any and all warnings written by the Massachusetts Attorney General and don't think you are any wiser than you were before you read it because you will have fewer productive brain cells as a result of reading his malarkey.
You must understand that many guns have a safety on the frame somewhere and some guns have multiple safeties. All mechanical safeties are worthless if your gunís ultimate safety, the gray matter between your ears, isnít at the ready.
An Avoided Fight Is A Win
The gun owners I know, read, and fellowship with at events such as the annual Jeff Cooper Reunion are some of the calmest people I know. They are the opposite of what Hollywood makes them out to be. They are self-assured and collected.
They stay alert. If a situation breaks out, they try to avoid the situation. Many gun experts such as Jim Grover carry a less-than lethal weapon as well as their sidearm and they do everything in their power to avoid a situation, calm the situation, then perhaps use OC spray if the situation escalates. The last thing they do is draw their gun. Groverís Street Smarts book is a must-read before you can consider yourself anything but completely ignorant in the use of your weapon for self-defense.
Thatís why they are so calm and cool. They know they can stop a fight if they have to. Theyíd rather find another way if possible. If not possible, they will stop the fight immediately and ferociously with a firearm.
Itís the untrained and unpracticed who give people such as the Massachusetts Attorney General ammunition (and not the good kind of ammo) to write and say the things he says and lets him allow laws to be put on the books that work to ensure you cannot protect yourself when the need arises.
If you have no gun, get one now before the day is over. Youíve told yourself you need to get one. Ask several people you trust what kind will work best for you and then consider your own situation and make your own decision. Only ask those who have carried a gun for years and who have been trained at multiple courses and who practice shooting on a regular basis. If you do get something that doesnít work well for you, then youíll have a back-up weapon for you or someone else in your family some day.
Get training. Then get more training. Then read books by Jeff Cooper, Boston T, Louis Awerbuck, and Jim Grover. Then get more training. Then learn to stay alert and give yourself a fighting chance to avoid a conflict if one begins to escalate. Be able to stop the situation if the need arises.
The Scouts still have it right: Be prepared.
May 11, 2006
Greg Perry [send him mail] is the pistol-packing author of more than 75 books. What he does best is teach others how to maximize their eBay income. That's because he smashes his eBay competitors by implementing time-proven Direct Marketing techniques that others completely ignore. If you've ever considered eBay, you'll make far more money when you read his newest book, eXtreme eBay Ė How to Quickly Apply the Most Powerful Direct Marketing Techniques in the World to Every Item You Sell on eBay.
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