Saturday, September 6, 2008

Confessions Of A Firearms Instructor - Part IIA

Confessions of A Firearms Instructor IIA: Our Greatest Frustration

The very best firearm instructors have a vast knowledge of information relating to the hot-button issues surrounding the topic of guns. They can quickly and soundly debunk many popular lies and blatant falsehoods that have been continuously spread for decades upon decades by those individuals who want a disarmed U.S. populace.

Perhaps, you have heard some of their anti-gun propoganda: Guns Cause Crime, Pistol-Free Zones are Safe Hazens, Criminals Buy Guns Via The Gun Show LoopHole, and that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution only applies to the National Guard.

The well informed instructor belongs to at least one national or state level firearms organization. Amongst many functions, this association keeps him abreast of the many assaults upon our right to keep and bear arms.

For example, some states are trying to adopt unproven and technologically infeasible cartridge case microstamping features into newly produced handguns. Laws of this type - in effect - create a de-facto ban on new handgun sales as the technology to conform to the law does not exist.

The best instructors let their students know that if they want to retain their newly exercised firearm ownership rights, they must exercise eternal vigilance over their legislators at all levels of government.

Moreover, the firearms organizations also keep involved instructors abreast of current national trends such as the systematic closing of gunshops and target ranges across the country, the rapidly shrinking amount of public land available for hunters to help assist with much needed conservation efforts on the state level, and the lack of will amongst our federal legislators to enact a national "Right To Carry (RTC)" reciprocity law despite overwhelming support at the state level as evidenced by the amount of states that have RTC laws currently on the books. In fact, two states - Alaska and Vermont - don't require a permit at all to carry a firearm, concealed or not.

Furthermore, the most sought after gun instructors devour news stories at all levels (i.e. national, state, and local) to "drive home" important concepts to students in their gun safety classes. For example, at the national level they often point out the fact most successful mass killings occur in so-called gun safety zones: Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, Robert A. Hawkins killed 8 people at an Omaha, Nebraska Mall despite being under surveillance by unarmed security guards, and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

In contrast, informed instructors like to also point out the fact that a bloody carnage of untold proportions was averted when an armed security guard shot and killed Matthew Murray after he had already killed four people at a mega-church of 10,000 plus members just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In a likewise fashion relative to their monitoring of national and regional issues, professional firearm instructors in the local Detroit metropolitan area valiantly attempt to keep up with the numerous and all-too incessant flow of local gun-related issues. Violence by criminals, usually with a gun, typically dominates this local news scene. It's not easy to keep the tallies current, as the flow of bad news occurs much too rapidly to ponder and enumerate before the next atrocity against humanity and society occurs.

Recently, local Detroit-area media broadcasts have informed the public at-large about the execution-style deaths of two children in a known "drug-house," the beating death of a gay man at a bus stop solely because of his sexual orientation, the death of a police officer's wife during an apparent car-jacking at a local drugstore chain on the east side, a Washington Township plumber that repeatedly stabbed and eventually killed a former customer for her diamond necklace, and the much publicized Stephen Grant case in which the convicted subject not only killed his wife, but also dismembered her body at a machine shop sawing station and sprinkled her assorted body parts all over town like Johnny Appleseed trying to sow a new forest.

Although it is extremely desirable for a firearm instructor to be well versed in the politics of guns, it is not a requirement. Essentially, if a person is deemed qualified by a respected national or state level firearms organization (e.g. the Michigan Coalition Of Law Enforcement Standards) of being capable of teaching new shooters how to safely load, use, unload, store, and carry guns, he can lawfully and ethically carry out his function.

However, it is my fervent belief that students acquire a better appreciation of the rights they are about to exercise - gun ownership - when an instructor can navigate the gun-politic environment and show students how the uniformed masses are brainwashed and fed lies in an effort to keep them voluntarily disarmed.

Professional firearm instructors are often consulted for advice on issues that relate to firearms. For example, one instructor might receive an email inquiry on the proper way to transport a checked firearm on an airplane. Another question may ask for the proper way for a Concealed Pistol Liscensee to conduct himself during a routine traffic stop. It is not uncommon for a firearm instructor to know the gun laws better than a full-time law enforcement officer.

The flip side of being a knowledgeable authority on gun laws and gun politics is that the instructor will often find himself involved in a debate. The professional instructor can effectively debate gun issues at length with reasoned logic and common sense. He doesn't necessarily want to engage in this conversation because he knows that even if he refutes and rebuts every argument made by his debate opponent, the opposing side will relent and make the following emotiotional proclamation: "I just don't like guns!"

So why does the firearm instructor even bother to debate if he can't convert his "emotional" opposition? The answer is very simple: Other people with open minds that haven't taken an official position on this issue are listening.The objective in many debates with anti-gun folk is not to convert them into pro-gun folks. The true prize is winning the argument in the hearts and minds of the onlookers. Besides, many anti-gun folk will suddenly become pro-gun folk after they have survived a violent crime; they'll come around sooner later. I know I did.

The single greatest frustration of a seasoned firearms instructor, especially in a violent town like Detroit, is wondering exactly what unspeakable acts of terror or heinous crimes must be committed by hardened predators before area residents will finally acknowledge that now - not tomorrow - is the time to take up arms to defend themselves and their families.

Let's examine and survey the known facts.

First, the courts have told us repeatedly that the police do not have a legal responsiblility to protect any single person from crime. The duty of the police is to uphold the general peace and to investigate crimes. In fact, when the aforementioned assassination of the two boys in the alleged drug-house happened Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummins was quoted as saying the following at a news conference, "It shouldn't be me, as chief of police, saying we have to put a blanket on our city and take it back."

Second, local and state budgets across our country have been hit hard. Less money from the federal government and a lingering recession-like economy have left many local and state communities strapped for cash. Accordingly, less funds are being used for law enforcement. Thus, police officers have been laid off or taken off the streets.

At one point in time, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm threatened to take 200 felonies off the books and as a consequence threatened to flood and inundate already over-crowded county jails across the state. This idea prompted Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson to quip, "Everybody should go out and buy a gun. I recommend an Uzi. If you don't like guns, then I suggest you buy a pair of guard dogs, preferably a pit bull and a Rottweiler. You're going to need them."

In Detroit, the number of police stations in the city were sliced in half during a controversial downsizing effort a short time ago. The inevitable result was that response times to reported crimes have increased. I appreciate the job that Detroit's finest perform for us on a day-to-day basis. However, I believe that they can't do it all.

They consistently show up after the criminals have left and have a poor record of closing the crimes that they investigate. In fact, just a couple of days ago it was reported in the Detroit Free Press Newspaper that Detroit Police have a one-in-three clearance rate for homicides. This means that in 66% of all murders in that happen Detroit, the police have failed to identify the killer.

Third, Detroit has consistently over the years been rated as a rough place to live. On November 19th of this year, Detroit was named the most dangerous city by CQ Press in their 14th annual publication "City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America." Reportedly, the study is based on the FBI's crime statistics and had examined 378 cities with at least 75,000 residents and based its rankings on per-capita rates for auto theft, burglary, homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. After all the numbers were calculated Detroit was number one and Flint, Michigan was ranked number three.

I am a firearms instructor, a defender of freedom, and an empowering force in my community.

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