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Two wins
The first one is quick, but amusing as hell.

I was getting a drink at the Sunoco where E. Washington St and Butler Ave split when this cute looking girl steps in behind me. I give her a quick look and see she's wide eyed while staring at my firearm.

I'm expecting her to be apprehensive considering how she's staring at it, but instead she breaks out into this grin and playful tone with a Southern drawl, "Wow, boy is strappin'... I like it." At this point I'm grinning now too.

So she's still grinning at me while the cashier is giving me that look of 'you're kidding me'. Girl asks, "Are you a cop or something?" My reply, "No, miss, but I am a Marine." And she starts giggling. I give her another grin, finish paying, and head out so I can get to work after.

Moral of the story? Girls think guns and Marines are sexy. Right?


Slightly more serious one this time around.

I'm at the range with some buddies when I get a call from an old friend from NJ. So we start chatting, and the conversation soon turns to firearms...

He doesn't think that the nation should be disarmed, or that being able to carry in rural areas is at all a bad thing. However, he doesn't like the idea of carrying in urban settings. I ask him why.

He feels that there is too high a likelihood that an innocent bystander can get shot in the crossfire in the event that there is a shooting, defensive or not. There's also too high a chance of over penetration from misses in crowded areas. Or there's too heavy a concentration of idiots in crowded cities who don't know how to handle firearms safely.

I agreed somewhat, that there is always the chance of someone getting shot if they get stuck in the middle. I also agreed, that rounds do have the chance of penetrating through walls and hitting someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, in order for those probabilities to even come into play I'd have to already be in serious danger of being killed or seriously injured by an attack on me taking place. At that point it's more likely someone is going to get hurt regardless, and chances are it's going to be me if I'm unarmed. I also pointed out that most defensive shootings aren't like in the movies where you're dumping mag after mag at distances meant for rifles. There's always a chance of someone in the wrong place and wrong time getting hit, but they're more likely to get hit by a car before getting hit by a stray round.

He conceded that might be true, but he still thinks there are too many idiots in crowded cities to make it a safe practice. I said that's true about anything though. I also pointed out that, while there are those who aren't deeply familiar with firearms and shooting, it shouldn't preclude anyone from being able to carry and defend themselves. My sister, for example, shouldn't be excluded from being able to carry if she chooses to just because her only real experience has been dry firing my dad's pistol a couple times. Her level of firearms experience has no bearing on her chances of being victimized in a crime, and I feel it's better for her to be able to arm herself in order to defend herself better if she ever has to.

He pointed out that he agrees firearms experience doesn't affect victimization, but there are too many unsafe people. I disagreed for the most part. There are those that don't carry safely, it's true. We've all read articles of someone who has a ND and ends up taking a bullet in the hip/leg/foot/ass because they were doing something dumb or didn't holster correctly. However, how many incidents are there of a ND like that compared to the thousands who reach the end of the day without an incident like that? I pointed out that he's looking at possible worst case scenarios versus the reality (unsafe gun owners who have ND's vs the many who don't).

I also pointed out that the many I know who would carry tend to hit the range at least once a month, or have at least taken it upon themselves to get familiar with their firearm. They don't do USPSA or IDPA matches, but they have taken the time to get familiar with their chosen firearm, have asked for lots of advice, and have practiced with it. What's really disturbing is that they've practiced more than most police departments require their officers to. If he really wants to complain about something, then he should look at the number of rounds fired in a police shooting compared to the number of rounds fired in a defensive shooting. (No offense, SteelCityk9)

He said that doesn't change that there are still idiots, and that maybe there should be training requirements instead. (Well, we all knew that this topic would eventually be brought up...) I said I disagreed entirely on that point. Even if it weren't spelled out clearly in the 2nd Amendment, it doesn't change the fact that the right to defend oneself is something basic and unalienable.

Another look at it would be who pays for the training, who mandates what the training syllabus should be, who mandates who is allowed to do the training, where are the limitations on that? NJ, for example, has requirements that are stricter than getting into a police department. It's also insanely expensive, prohibitively so, and time consuming. If my sister's ex, who has a good 50 lbs of muscle over her, decides to start stalking her, then how long until she can seriously defend herself if he decides to go further? Maybe the police can help her, but restraining orders are just a fancy piece of paper to a lot of stalkers, and the police response time is 5 minutes at best, and more likely 15-20 minutes. Why should she have to wait even longer to be able to stop someone who's seriously intent on hurting her?

He said that my sister is a poor example since she knows martial arts, and she should be able to handle herself. I agreed, that might be true in some cases. However, realistically, she only comes up to my shoulder, and that someone who outweighs her in muscle mass by 50+ lbs will make for one hell of a struggle if the attacker isn't armed. The entire point of being able to carry is not giving the attacker a fair chance in a fight.

I shifted to my wife, who has ankle troubles. She can't really handle stand up fights and go toe to toe with someone, nor can she easily run away. Why shouldn't she be able to arm herself? Self defense isn't something that's a privilege, and shouldn't be treated that way. It's a right for everyone, regardless of skill/experience level.

He shifted direction to point out that the increase in number of firearms would increase violence. I disagreed with him and pointed out that violent crime had been in the decline, despite more states becoming more lenient with their firearms laws. I also pointed out that statistics from the FBI's UCR and the Bureau of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey supports that. Furthermore, cities with extremely strict gun control laws have fared no better than those with less strict laws, and that some the most violent cities also have the strictest gun control measures.

Criminals will be criminals, regardless of the laws in place. Making it harder for citizens to own firearms will just make the problem worse because then we'll limit the ability to defend ourselves against crime, and we'll make it harder to practically educate ourselves on the use of firearms. I made the argument that one reason that there may be unsafe gun owners because there are fairly few chances to actually get practical knowledge and application with their firearms. Making it harder to get firearms and demonizing them doesn't make/help society become safer around them.

At that point we had ballistics gel set up to test fire some rounds into (compliments of the local high school for a science project) and we were ready to go hot. We agreed to continue this conversation another time, and that he's interested in going to the range to check it out sometime in the near future. We parted on amiable terms and a few friendly jabs at each other.

I don't think I changed his mind, but I'm pretty sure that I got the wheels turning a little bit. In any case, the conversation was kept very civil and it was more of an exchange of ideas and knowledge.

My sister and I had a similar conversation a while ago, but she was more or less trying to dispel doubts about what she had learned from NJ after she's seen me be around firearms from the photos I've posted from USPSA matches. Now she's been curious about owning one. Unfortunately she's moved in with her boyfriend (not the ex) in Boston, MA.

[Image: 21122657_10155704889299275_8952212329936901321_o_2.jpg]
There are a lot of idiots on the road. Should we ban cars in the city?

There are a lot of idiots at Starbucks who might very well spill their hot coffee on me. Should we ban Starbucks?

There are a lot of idiots at bars, drinking too much and getting all beer-crazy. Should we ban beer, or bars, or both.

How about we just ban idiots. They won't even care. . . they're fucking idiots!

Big Grin
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On an unrelated note, I notice that people with more typically liberal views of the world frequently do a lot of goal post moving during discussions, as evidenced by the above. But it was good to hear that you both exchanged ideas and got him thinking outside the mainstream message.
~All Knowledge is Worth Having~

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