The Reality of Firearms

Posted by Herb7734 1 year, 10 months ago to Philosophy
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I have decided to devote my writing to my life experiences and the conclusions I have drawn from them based on Rand's philosophy.

"Martial arts were developed by those who couldn't afford guns." Tran.....? Vietnamese General

A long time ago, before the age of computers, police wireless tansmitters looked like dial telephones, no internet so teletype machines did the paper communications. Police side arm most common was not the 16 shot Glock semi automatic, but the S&W 38 caliber with hollo point rounds.

I owned a small camera shop and photo studio in a small suburb of Detroit.I knew pretty much everyone in town, as everyone seemed to have been in my shop at one time or another. The one police station was around the corner from the shopping center where I was located right in the heart of town. As a result, many of the cops were my pals. One in particular let me ride patrol with him now and then. This is the story of one such ride.

We were cruising along (it took 15 minutes to cover the whole town) when we got aa call to visit an address of a woman who we both knew who had a restraining order against her husband.My riend sat looking at the house for quite a while. He knew that he was the only cop on patrol that night. Finally, he said to me, "You stay in the car. If you hear anything hincky, get the hell out. Don't worry for me, I got the gun." He got out of the carand drew his gun. Never one to obey , I crept behind him.He knocked on the door and a trembling woman with a little boy around ten and a girl arounf 8 clung to her, She quickly stepped aside and there was dad holding a long gun. Words were shouted back and forth when the dad raised the gun in our direction. Then I heard what sounded like a hundred huge explosions (actually three).

What the movies and TV fail to portray since most of us, including myself, haven't the stomach for it is the reality of a shooting. It is a messy death by violence when caused by a 38 hollow point.It blows great gouts of dad flesh all over the tweed couch, and the framed family picture on the end table, and the nice beige rug, and the blood continued gurgling and hissing out of the blown aorta, and the blood mist filling the airand sprayinga fine patternover chairs, and ceilingand the copand two little kidsand their mom.And then the smell of blood and guts mixed with gun powder. I could hardly hear the cop who said to scram and I was never there. He didn't need to tell me twice.

I love guns but realize I hate what they do. Stay tuned for another trip down memory lane..

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  • Posted by $ mminnick 1 year, 10 months ago
    Great story. Makes the points that TV and most movies don't make.
    I had a uncle and two cousins on the Atlanta police force. One cousin had to use deadly force once. That was 30 years ago. He still has nightmares about it. He described it once at a family gathering. about 1/2 the people got sick and told him to never ever bring it up again. He hasn't except to say it still haunts him, every day.
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  • Posted by Orwellian 1 year, 10 months ago
    "The Gun Is Civilization"

    I offer you another example of a letter (written by a Marine), that places the proper perspective on what a gun means to a civilized society.

    Read this eloquent and profound letter and pay close attention to the last paragraph of the letter....

    "The Gun Is Civilization" by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

    Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.
    If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.
    Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

    In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.
    Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

    When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force.
    You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

    The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

    There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations.
    These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job.
    That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

    People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

    Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury.
    This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

    People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst.
    The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

    The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.
    It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone.
    The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.
    It removes force from the equation... And that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

    By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

    So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.
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  • Posted by Roland_Porter 1 year, 10 months ago
    I sympathize with your experience. Having to take a life, especially under such hostile circumstances is never pleasant. I know that I'd probably require therapy if I ever encountered or had to do something like that. We both know in an ideal, rational world that though government has no right regulating weaponry, there would be no need to self-defend with any weapon.
    Ultimately though, I'm sorry you had to experience that. Thank you for being comfortable sharing something so violently informative. If I sound condescending or patronizing in any way, I do apologize.
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  • Posted by jimmyDJV 1 year, 10 months ago
    We are much better off WITH them, then without! The hollow point saves bystanders lives and incapacitates criminal faster! A good samaritan with a gun is the only way to stop a bad man with a gun.
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  • Posted by 25n56il4 1 year, 10 months ago
    It saddens me when an Officer is forced to use deadly force. My guy spent 20 years 3 months and 28 days in the Army. Combat three times. Then he went into law enforcement and was a Lt. for the Sheriff's Office and Chief of two agencies. He shot his weapon once while in law enforcement, a warning shot!
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  • Posted by dansail 1 year, 10 months ago
    While the story is a poignant one about the taking of a life, it also seems that the father/husband in that story was already prepared to take the life of the cop. The man raised the long gun toward the cop and didn't seem like he was going to stop. I am a gun owner and practice with it at the range. It's a preparatory step knowing how to use the weapon, just like I prepare for first aid and CPR. I always consider the damage it can do as a weapon and know it can take a life. I hope I never have to use it against another person. That being said, it is still carried and is still by my side.
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  • Posted by GaryL 1 year, 10 months ago
    We are all wired a little different. I am a killer but only of hunted game animals. I do not enjoy the killing part but I do enjoy the hunt. I don't have any nightmares from the deer I have killed except on the few times the first shot did not get the job done instantly. I have also hunted with a bow and don't honestly like that much because the deer usually does not die instantly. I served during Vietnam and never shot a man. I am a retired LEO and never shot a man. I certainly could shoot a man and doubt I would have much anxiety over it as long as the shooting was necessary. Killing on the big screens is not killing at all and completely phony. I have seen plenty of shot dead victims and it is an absolutely gory scene and those who serve as first responder's on ambulance and fire departments see more death than most could ever handle. Tough jobs but someone has to do them but many of us are just not wired for it.
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    • Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 1 year, 10 months ago
      I know what you mean. I've taken a couple of deer and an elk, plus a few ducks, pheasants, and cottontail rabbits. I always use what I take (food for the table). But, I now prefer big game hunting mainly because, with the taking of a single life, big game does a better job of filling up your freezer, and I don't enjoy the actual killing part. (But, on the other hand, my way of taking a deer is a lot more humane than the way a wolf will take the same animal - at least I don't start eating it while the poor animal is still alive.)
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      • Posted by GaryL 1 year, 10 months ago
        I did a 27 year career in max security prisons and believe me, there are many men and woman who do not deserve to breath the same air as the rest of humanity. I would have no regrets flipping the switch or pulling the lever on the gallows or the plunger of the injection. I think a firing squad is every bit as humane where the inhumane are concerned. In every day life where faced with Kill or be Killed I will hope to be the killer and in war I would want to be the sniper. There is nothing Insane about a man or woman doing what needs to be done.
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 year, 10 months ago
    I know of NO SANE Person who envies shooting/killing another. (Although I might dream about it with regard to some, the absolute horror of it stops me). I would not have an issue in a life or death situation, especially for my daughter.

    But it is as brutal as beating someone senseless with a club, and much more bloody!

    Thanks for sharing the story. I grew up in the Fraser, MI area, outside of Detroit. Were you close to Gratiot, by chance? Major Mile Road was?
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  • Posted by chad 1 year, 10 months ago
    I think if anyone has respect for human life the desire to end one makes you reluctant to do it. I saw a man sneaking up on my friend while holding a gun, he was unaware that I was nearby. I pulled out my .45 caliber pistol and aimed at his thigh knowing that if I hit his femoral artery it might still kill him. He began to lower his pistol to sight on my friend and I raised my gun to sight on his center mass. The thought of shooting someone made me uneasy but I also knew that I wasn't going to let him shoot my friend.
    My dad had to kill a man at very close range during WW II and although he had no choice if he wanted to escape with his life it bothered him the rest of his life. After shooting the soldier my dad gave him first aid and tried to save his life but failed. Afterwards he went through his pockets to see if he could find any identification to turn in so that someday his loved ones might know what happened to him. He found a photo of this man standing with his wife and children. He wept when he told me about this saying; "I killed someone's dad."
    In close combat men will avoid killing if possible. Although the training to get them to fire has improved and more will shoot in combat they still are reluctant to kill. In Viet Nam for every 'enemy' soldier killed 300,000 rounds of ammunition were fired.
    When I was in the Marines I had a man in my platoon who was excited to be there, he said; "I get to kill people and no one can do anything about it!" I got rid of him, he was going to get us in trouble and I knew it. I think most people don't want to be there, some do.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 1 year, 10 months ago
    Combat studies have shown that a significant number of troops have never fired a shot in battle. Analysis of the interviews with many of those who admit to being non-shooters showed that the main reason for them not shooting was not wanting to witness the result of their action, much like hunters' "buck fever"- not shooting when having a real game animal in their sights. Few of us are eager to kill.

    Police are not immune to combat stress, either. I had one cop tell me that he and three other officers tried to serve a warrant on a couple of miscreants in a very small bar. Between the four police and the two bad guys, 104 shots were fired in an 8' x 10' space, and no one was hit. The bad guys gave up when they ran out of ammunition.

    A retired LAPD cop told me the story of the first time he had to use a gun during the Watts riots. Seeing a thief coming out of a gun store with several stolen weapons, one aimed at him, he drew his 38. His first shot just missed his own foot; the second hit the ground just in front of the thief, who got rattled and fired a wild shot of his own; he had no idea where his third shot went, because he was listening to a pump shotgun being racked; the fourth shot hit the thief in the head, to little effect (other than to remind the cop to carry a more powerful personal weapon in the future). After that, and realizing he was alone in bad circumstances with a near empty handgun, he got back in his cruiser and left the scene.
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  • Posted by 25n56il4 1 year, 10 months ago
    My husband and I lived in a townhouse near the lake in a large city. We heard a lady screaming and noticed she seemed somewhat frozen on her porch. Two young police officers were standing silently facing her. My husband said, 'snake',and walked over to the lady's porch. My husband introduced himself to the two officers. He directed an officer on how to kill the snake with his service revolver. The officer asked, 'Can you make that shot, Chief?' I handed my husband his service revolver and he calmly lined up on the snake's head and blew it off. No ricochet! The two young officers were amazed. Years of experience helps in situations like that.
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  • Posted by NealS 1 year, 10 months ago
    I had a big story written but (lucky for you) I've condensed it. I'm still afraid to let anyone into my heart and mind. Here is the condensed version:

    Shooting people is what I call a significant emotional event that can and will last a lifetime. I used to hunt at age 20-24, I was a Vietnam Vet age 26-27, I no longer hunt age 28-present. I’ve always owned arms and I only started to carry during the previous administration after they enabled so many entitled psychotics and freaks. But I probably carry mostly because I'm getting too old to run anymore. And (half) my government and half of the population scares the hell out of me.
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  • Posted by wmiranda 1 year, 10 months ago
    Thanks. That certainly sounds a true story. Years past, I'm sure you could still smell the aftermath as if you were there in the moment.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 1 year, 9 months ago
    That is a sad commentary of police interaction with certain members of society. I attended the Citizens Police Academy in the city I live in and it was an eye-opener on how they are trained and on-going training the police officers receive. The last day of the academy went to the police range and training ground where we were taught about different encounter scenarios. Then we went outside one at a time to participate with two officers who acted out different skits. A class participant and one of the officers had a semi-auto pistol with mini paintball rounds. All the class participants got hit in their skits except for me, the one I had was a hostage scenario. The one officer took the other officer hostage while moving together across a small area. I was given a prompt by the training officer of what to say, the hostage taker officer refused to comply ducked partially behind the hostage and started moving away. I stated another warning the hostage taker officer refused then shot at me which whizzed by my left ear. I hyperfocused I raise the pistol I had and shot the hostage instead at about 25ft. away. The training officer asked me what happened so I had reviewed my actions to the skit. I the real world my shot would have taken out both the hostage taker and victim. So, now I understand how difficult a police officers job is.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 year, 10 months ago
    In much of history violence like that required the skills of a knight, samurai, or some other warrior class. They followed an honor code and supported kings with blessing of religion.

    I suspect death from ancient weapons or even beating with a stick is just as ghastly as death from a gun. Today, though, the average person is much much less likely to die of violence of any kind. Mass shootings get attention, but I suspect (someone can look up the data) they kill fewer people than rare perils like allergic reactions to bee stings or lightening.

    Most people will never see such a horrible sight like the one in this post.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 year, 10 months ago
    The only redeeming thought is just think what the long gun might have done to you and your buddy.

    In the Army, I was a good shot...until the targets changed to a more human silhouette...it bothered me a bit but I knew I could pull the trigger if my or my fellow soldiers lives were threatened...not sure of how I'd feel afterward though.
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    • Posted by 25n56il4 1 year, 9 months ago
      Being raised in Texas a lot of years ago, I am naturally well acquainted with firearms. So much so, I am sure I could never shoot another person. I couldn't even shoot a squirrel! But I can assure said person I could to the extent I think they would believe me! I would offer them five good reasons why they should 'back off'.
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