Guns and Gun Sense aren't Synonymous

Me shooting a .50 Caliber Machine Gun
(aka Ma Duce)
Despite what the NRA might like you to believe, gun ownership and gun sense aren't synonymous. It's not even a matter of semantics. It's a simple equation. One does not equal the other -- at all, by any stretch of the imagination.

Let me explain with a real-life example if you aren't already on the same wave length about this topic.  And, I have to tell you, although I'm technically putting a friend of mine on blast, I am not demeaning her. She is simply a great example of failed gun sense in the USA.

The other evening I attended my first Moms Demand Action meeting. This organization (working in partnership with Everytown) is about enacting gun sense -- not restricting the 2nd amendment (so get your gun-toting panties out of a bunch and try to get through this blog). The organization is about maintaining or adding back into a legal form some much needed gun sense.

In war (Iraq - I can speak first hand about that because I'm a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom), we complied with Rules of Engagement and Escalation of Force. Basically, these are rules that Coalition Forces have to follow in order to not get in trouble when outside the wire. You don't just shoot to shoot. You don't even shoot if you are indirectly threatened. While these rules change a bit -sometimes more lackadaisical and sometimes incredibly strict for troops operating in a war zone - they are rules CF have to comply with and operate within those parameters. I mention this because troops trained for war who are serving in war have tougher gun laws than Americans do in America where there is no civil war and where there is a functioning federal, state, county, and town police forces.

So, back to the USA and out of a war zone ... we have police officers. We have sheriffs officers. We have federal Marshals. We have CIA. We have FBI. So, basically, we have a shit ton of trained weapon carriers on the streets. Why we need the 2nd amendment in this culture really is beyond me. But, although I'm happy to get rid of the 2nd amendment, that's not even the point of the blog.

Me shooting a .50 Caliber Machine Gun
(aka Ma Duce)
In spite of the wealth of weaponry patrolling our streets, airports and buildings, we still have hundreds of thousands of private citizens who have weapons caches that really boggle the mind. Why do they keep weapons in such high numbers at their homes or in their cars? What in the world are they afraid of that they think that all of those agencies (and there are others but those are just a few) are incapable of handling?

Now, as far as the private citizens go ... some states have practically no gun laws. People can get their hands on weapons without background checks, without registering their weapons with the government (and this isn't a big brother thing ... this is a thing that should be enacted the same way we do with cars, registration, drivers licenses, etc). And, there is no requirement to pass gun safety classes, gun range capabilities training and so on. So, you can simply own a weapon without anyone knowing and without the owner knowing a fucking thing about weapon safety and responsible gun ownership. The onus should be on the weapon owner to get trained but there isn't a requirement. And, states are pushing (thanks to the NRA to reduce already relaxed gun laws into .... practically nothing because according to them, everyone should have guns - even kids).

Photo I took of a Soldier shooting a M-4 Carbine Rifle
Now, let's head back to my friend. I had her over with her son (I've never been to her house, she's only been to mine and otherwise we socialize at a class our kids attend together). We were planning to hang out at her house later in the day and I mentioned Moms Demand Action because the group is now starting meetings locally. I wanted to see if she was interested. In chimes her 9 year old about all of the guns his dad has in the house.

Of course, I ask if they are disarmed and safely stored. Neither have a clue. Do you get that? There are many weapons in their house and neither of them have any idea if they are loaded, unloaded, stored safely, etc. That shit is nuts! Then she says that when her son was 2 years old (as I mentioned he's now 9) he walked up to her holding one of his dads guns. Whhaaaatt theeeee fuccccck.

Me in my CHU in Iraq
Did you know that 2 to 4 year olds are the highest demographic of self inflicted injury / death as well as injury and death of others because they can pull a trigger in a loaded weapon - -they find it, they point it, they shoot it. It's horrible to even know that this statistic exists and isn't changing. She's lucky her kid didn't kill himself or someone else. He's lucky. She's lucky. Her gun-owning husband is fucking lucky.

And yet seven years pass and the kid and she don't know about the weapons safety in the house.

Ahhhhh. THIS is what's wrong with guns in America.

She says he legally owns them. Fine, that may be true. But he's an untrained, dangerous gun owner. Fucking insane.

I offer to find her classes for gun safety. If she has an AR-15, 9mm, shotguns and more in the house ... she and her son should know about gun safety. Basically, my standpoint is that you don't have to shoot a weapon.

Me & JG

Know how to disarm it.
Know how to check if it's loaded.
Known how to safely handle it.

I am not even interested in them firing it. That's not even the point of gun safety. If guns exist in a house, it is such a disservice to EVERYONE including guests to not have basic knowledge in gun safety.

So, I call a local gun range. They have one class that goes over hand gun safety for $35. That's not sufficient.

I call the sheriff's office. Certainly they shouldn't want untrained assholes owning weapons nor their families who are left to fend for themselves with having guns in the house with no basic knowledge. The sheriff's office said they offer no such thing.

Me in Ramadi, Iraq. Fucking hot, miserable,
smiling and embracing the suck.

Why do fire fighters teach kids and adults about how to NOT cause a fire and, if they are in a fire, how to safely leave the house.

Why isn't gun safety a class people teach? Just because one person in a house is a gun owner, that doesn't mean everyone in the house suddenly becomes a weapons expert. In fact, it seems the exact opposite happens. Education is lacking.

If this society of ours is a gun-toting 2nd amendment preaching society where "everyone should have guns" then why fear education about weapons safety? I'm NOT advocating for people to own or operate weapons. I'm advocating for knowledge and training so a weapon could be disarmed.

Let's say there is a loaded weapon ... if you know how to disarm it -- drop the mag, check and clear the chamber, disassemble it to it's basic parts, that weapon is no longer a threat. Most people can't put a weapon back together. STORE WEAPONS SAFELY.

A photo I took of my buddy SSG Fraipont

I'm disappointed my friend has to live in a house with weapons she knows nothing about. I'm sad for her son who is told that his dad will take him to a gun range one day but doesn't. He doesn't need to shoot to be a hero. He has to learn to disarm. He has to learn to identify and handle a weapon safely or contact an adult.

Anyway, that's my venting for tonight.

You can pretend like I'm against ownership but I'm not. I'm against stupid fucking people with guns who put EVERYONE in danger. Weapons are dangerous. All guns are. They can take a life. They need knowledgeable trained people handling them. America needs education or we are all fucked.

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