April 18, 2007

The Gun School


What I said to my "concerned" friends that asked was, "I like to collect permissions to do things." I lied. Being freaked out that anyone they knew would take gun training and get a concealed weapons permit, they tacitly agreed to believe that lie. It kept everything smooth and "non-political," which I how a lot of my friends and I like it these days. All part of the little lies we tell because we cannot face reality in the world and in our relationships.

I took pistol training because one day it dawned on me that if I ever actually needed a gun it would be too late to shop.

It dawned on me after an unarmed mother and daughter were shot to death hiking in the mountains around Seattle. (Mother Daughter Shot While Hiking). It dawned on me after an enraged Muslim had bluffed his way into the Jewish Community Center of Seattle last summer and shot six women and killed one. (Six Women Shot One Killed at Jewish Federation) That was the week I went and signed up for gun training. After the training I felt I would be qualified to get a gun.I would get it because it was my right to get it. I would get it because I could. I would get it because Washington, no matter how deeply mired in denial and dementia Seattle may become, Washington itself is still a "must issue" state. And how long that would last in the demented rush to disarm and make all citizens effective wards of the state for their "protection" was anybody's guess.

Tracking the killings of over 30 unarmed, effectively disarmed and therefore helpless students, at Virginia Tech this week confirmed me in my decision. It took many bullets for this tragedy to unfold. It would have taken just one going the other way to stop it. That and the training to know what the situation was and how to react.

Unless you are morally, spiritually, and politically blind to human reality, you know that this is the truth.

Just one weapon on one person in the hundreds that ran and scattered in front of the maniac could have written a much different ending to this sordid and vile rampage. But there were none because the regents and officials and politicians responsible were mired in yet the persistent liberal utopian dream of a world that never was and never will be. In a very real sense, those students that died were sacrificed to the flaccid and unexamined politically correct beliefs of those charged with their education and their security. What they made in their yearning for perfection was a perfect "free-fire zone" for maniacs. This week one maniac took advantage of this officially safe killing zone. There are thousands of others.

There will be massive lawsuits. There SHOULD be other public consequences of dramatic proportions for those that failed and those that constructed the failed policies. Otherwise the whole thing will drift off into the vague whisps of woulda and shouda and the whole massacre will be repeated, somewhere else somewhere down the line. For those that live in the happy world, the real world never instructs because they always avoid any consequences.

The people who sit around and dream up their "perfect world policies" never suffer any consequences to a great enough extent to give the others of their ilk pause. It's a consequence of decades of dementia among those that gain positions of trust and tenure at our colleges and then hire other similarly demented people to chum up with them. It's the "old liberals' network" that is every bit as protective as the "old boys' network" it so preeningly replaced.

We've handed off our colleges to weaklings and the intellectuallly insane. No surprise when fresh insanity breaks out and kills our kids. No surprise at all. And the kicker is that these people with these mindsets stand ready to do it again in exactly the same way at some other location. What happens in the real world doesn't dent their wooly womb at all. Their school is not now and never will be The Gun School.

In the real world, the Gun School I attended wasn't what anyone here who would never consider taking gun training would think. Everyone I spoke with here when I was taking the training expected a place surrounded by pickups sporting Confederate Flag bumper stickers and gun racks. It didn't matter that The Gun School existed a half a mile from Microsoft in the deepest heart of soft and fluffy nerd land. They had their internal image of 'gun nuts' and they were sticking to it. Reality cannot hope to displace insular group fantasies decades old.

In reality my class at The Gun School was composed of about 14 people and it met four times for three hours. It was basic gun safety and handling. Everyone who want to get a gun needs to take such a class. A gun is not a pick-up and go play kind of thing. As we are all aware, it is the kind of thing that will, to say the least, hurt you or someone else real fast and permanently if you get stupid with it. It can hurt you even worse if a maniac has one and you don't. Then you're just a target for their rage and an instrument of their twisted pleasure. You're going to go and you'll go cheap.

Of the 14 people in my class, seven were women -- of which four were two lesbian couples. One and all told me they were there because of the killings of the mother and daughter who had been shot while hiking near Seattle. They had, I noted, the regulation number of anti-Bush stickers on their cars.

Two somewhat elderly Jewish couples took another four chairs. They were, I discovered, lifelong and committed Democrats and both drove the same model Prius. They were there because of the shootings at the Jewish Community Center. One of the wives, a grandmother type, said almost in passing, "It could happen again."

Then there was the programmer from a company he declined to name ("My coworkers and manager would think it really weird if they knew I was here.") and one man in his 20s who "just wanted to learn how to shoot." He drove a muscle car with no bumper stickers proclaiming his ideological persuasion. And then there was me.

The only thing vaguely ideological about my car is the license plate that says LEM for "Law Enforcement Memorial." When I registered the car I had my choice of "theme license plates" that would let me celebrate the woods, the streams and a host of other ecologically correct Washington themes. Way down at the bottom was a new one that gave the extra fee to a memorial in honoring Washington police who have died in the line of duty. These days it somehow seemed more fitting to me, but then again I'm strange in my Seattle set. I go to things like The Gun School. When they ask me about why I have a plate on my car honoring law enforcement -- a function without which their happy perfect world could not exist -- I tell them I think it will give me an edge if I'm ever stopped for speeding.

Like my reasons for going to The Gun School, I'm lying, but it helps keep their happy world intact and, really, once you're armed you always want to keep everything very polite.

But am I armed? Maybe. Maybe not. As far as institutions with demented policies and hardcore fantasies like Virginia Tech are concerned, it really is none of their business. They'd be better off today as would the students they sacrificed if they'd had that attitude to begin with.

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Posted by Vanderleun at April 18, 2007 8:15 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Absolutely, positively 100% correct.

They fantasize about more gun control- well on that campus they *had* gun control- nobody except police could carry firearms.

Posted by: Yanni Znaio at April 18, 2007 8:32 PM

You HAVE to come to Utah again someday.

I'd be happy to load up the Dodge, head south for a meet and show you a thing or three about safe and effective shooting. I can't lie; there might be some moments of fun. Nothing brings a smile to a person's face like accomplishment. And hitting what you aim at is way high on my list of fun things to do.

Posted by: TmjUtah at April 18, 2007 10:13 PM

With a little research you will notice that no communist currently running for President loudly endorses gun confication. Don't upset the Red States. Good call.

After decades of leftist/socialist "sensable" or "common sense" propaganda about guns, the body politic has answered with complete sensability by aquiring more firearms and carry permits. At last, the law of unintended consequenses strikes back at the leftards.

Just another skirmish in the on-going civil war over the future of freedom. As the would be slave masters, and now the VT victims, know all too well, those in possession of the guns, wins.

Posted by: rexrs at April 19, 2007 7:52 AM

I will not ask you what type of firearm do you carry but might I ask what type did you do your training with?
Personally, I like Glocks.

Posted by: ChiefTestPilot at April 19, 2007 1:45 PM

You have just been moved to the top of Hillary's list of AB personalities (anti-bolshevik).

Posted by: dave harris at April 19, 2007 1:48 PM

I have tried to use your "send" feature twice today, without success. I get a "page cannot be found" screen. This is really good. I'd like to share it. Thanks.

Posted by: SCATTERSHOT at April 19, 2007 6:42 PM

I grew up around men who hunted and were comfortable having and using guns. I loved to trapse around behind my father when he went quail hunting. He taught me a lot about guns. I learned to shoot when I was a teenager.

Anyway, many years later my former husband and I had a weekend cabin on a lake. Since it was considered somewhat rough country, we bought and hid a handgun in our bedroom, near the bed.

One summer evening I escaped the city and was at the cabin alone for a night. I had turned off all the lights, gone to bed with my night gown on and was in the process of dozing off to sleep. It was summer and all the windows were open with only screens on the windows.

As I fell asleep, I heard footsteps coming through the woods towards our house. I sat up in bed in the dark, frozen with fear. I listened. It was definitely a man outside and he must have known I was there alone.

I was as frightened as I've ever been in my life. I remembered the gun hidden nearby. I could hear the man breathing outside through the screens.

I remember my father teaching me that I should never pick up a gun, never touch it, unless I fully intended on using it.

For a split second, I hesitated to frightened to move. And then I made the decision. I went for the gun knowing I was going to have to use it.

When I picked it up, something in me said to make loud noises. So in the darkness of that warm summer night I got out of bed with the loaded gun and reached for a drawer and started banging it, stomping on the floor and shouting at the top of my lungs:

"I know you're out there. I know who you are. And I have a gun and am going to kill you if you come any closer." I meant what I said, just like my father taught me. There could be no more hesitation on my part.

I repeated it several times, and then stood in the silence with the gun loaded, cocked and ready
to fire. I held my breath. The tension was unbelievable.

And then, I heard the man, right under my window, turn and run away through the woods. He was gone. Never to return. I called my husband who was a hundred miles away, and the police. I sat up in bed for the rest of the night caressing my little loaded pistol. There was no rest that night for the weary.

But the truth is, I am forever grateful that I had that little loaded pistol there with me that night and I was willing to use it, if I had had to.

Posted by: Webutante at April 19, 2007 6:55 PM

Knowing how to shoot is a big help no doubt, but being willing to shoot is even more important. If you can't kill, then having a gun with you is the worst thing you can do.

There were tables in those class rooms, there were chairs. I expect there were all sorts of things that could've been thrown or swung or thrust at the gunman, but nobody thought to use them. If nothing else the human body is a deadly weapon, but people were more concerned with saving themselves than bringing him down.

That is normal human behavior. When you're not taught how to handle yourself in such situations you tend to go by instinct, and instinct tells you to save your ass.

Instinct that was also reinforced by our myths about firearms, and what we've been taught about resisting authority. Believe me, the man with the guns is the guy in charge. That's what we've been taught, and that's what we've accepted.

The only real answer to occasions such as this is to teach people how to take the initiative, how to act on their own to take down men like Cho. To kill be that the best way to stop the carnage. We can't rely on the authories to protect us, we must protect ourselves.

The authorities are not the solution to the problem, the authorities are the problem. We have placed too much faith in our authorities, and have lost the will to take responsibility for our own safety. Either we learn to take responsibility again, or we will lose even more freedoms.

Author S. M. Stirling is posting chapters from his new Emberverse trilogy up on his official website. In one there is a scene where one of the main characters has a vision. He has a vision of a farm at planting time. The planting is being done by simple creatures, happy creatures. Creatures who's ancestors were human, though they have fallen far from their former estate. They don't know of their once lofty place. They're not capable of knowing of it. They're also happy at what they do. Content and at peace. We're heading for such a future, a time when our descendents will by simple, happy creatures. When a dream will be forgotten and we shall produce nothig that will stand as a memorial to us, and a promise for the future. Do we want this? Or are we willing to make the sacrifices necessary to win our freedom?

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at April 19, 2007 9:23 PM

Gerard, maybe you don't care to specify whether or not you are armed (with a gun) but you're always armed with the perfect words. Brilliant post, and sadly accurate I fear, as to the future of more massacres of the helpless at our schools.

I grew up in a family that believed and acted on the old saying "an armed society is a polite society." Our children, as they grew, slowly won the privileges of learning to respect, clean and care for, then ultimately load and shoot guns.

We are all quite polite. And quite deadly. Welcome to our company, sir.

Posted by: askmom at April 20, 2007 6:18 AM

The murders at VT are a wake-up call to America. The police cannot protect you, and our so-called gun control laws only disarm the good guys. With luck, our 40 year experiment with victim disarmament will be shown for the cruel fallacy that it is. 38 states now practice shall issue concealed carry (including 2 which allow all citizens to practice CCW without any state permission whatsoever). Their experience is that CCW holders are more lawful than others, and that crime falls when criminals know that citizens have the legal means to resist them.

I have a dream, a dream that one day, the plain meaning of our Constitution's Second Amendment will be the law of the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I dream that the thousands of clearly unconstitutional "gun control" enactments (for they are only laws in the hands of our black robed masters) will be stricken down and repealed. We live in an imperfect world, but the first law of nature will not be denied. May the days when we insanely chose to give criminals advantage over our lives end soon.

Posted by: RKV at April 20, 2007 6:26 AM

From an emailed comment:

Sir: I tried the "send" feature on your site and it didn't work. I got a page that said "can't find server". I mistakenly sent this in as a comment instead of an email . Please fix "send". I'd like to share your article with some friends even older than I am and therefore even less comfortable with computers.

I am a member of the Class of ' 62 at VPI. Almost every freshman was issued an M-1 rifle. There were no rules about students having guns/ammo . There was an indoor shooting range and a student gun club. The faculty adviser was the Physical Chemistry professor whose name escapes me now. He spent most of his time over at Radford Arsenal I believe. We heard thunder from that direction about every week. Nobody even made a joke about rain although we all had black umbrellas. When it did rain, the campus looked a bit British. When my mother saw that aspect of our campus life during her visit at my graduation,she cracked up with mirth. I never understood what struck her as funny. Her father worked at Georgia Tech so maybe it was a childhood memory. At that ceremony the graduate degrees were awarded by name and the recipients got to march across the stage, shake hands with the president of VPI, receive their diploma, etc. We lowly batchelors recipients were seated together, by department, in the bleachers (this took place in the football stadium). When your department was called by the Dean, its members were to stand up and wait. He forgot my department (Engineering Mechanics). WE weren't standing when he pronounced us to be vested. Maybe my claim to a degree is illigitimate.

I joined the NRA while I was at tech and became a life member in 1966 ( on the EZ payment plan). I think it was a good investment. I have met many very fine people through shooting that I would never have met otherwise. It takes some nerve to stand in front of God and everybody and miss. This gun free zone garbage is such stupidity. I know many people who probably would have stopped Mr. Cho's clock if a couple of them had happened to be in the first classroom that he attacked. If in the second or third room, alerted by the characteristic noise, you could change probably to certainly. The professors' offices are in the classroom buildings. It would be easily feasible to have a competent, armed adult on every floor of every class/lab building for significant portions of every day. The single entrance/ exit classroom is dangerous. Think of deliberately set fire, rather than guns. Add another door and/or lock the substantially made doors at the beginning of class as SOP. Drop the "gun free" nonsense and ballyhoo about concealed carry by the faculty and staff and legally qualified students instead. Be vague about quantity and location of these potential responders. I won't go on with this rant. I think you are part of the choir.

I hope you will become a participant rather than just be an observer of the gun culture's activities. Your first hand experience is not going to correlate with the MSM's claims and fears.
Sam Wilson

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at April 20, 2007 7:52 AM

My favorite is the Glock 21. It is like shooting a .22 compared to my .357 Colt Python revolver. Some say you have to have large hands to use it, but I don't, and have no problem. Extremely accurate, and supposedly jam proof unless you use reloads or non-brass coated ammo which Glock states not to use. Check out the "Torture Test" below. Almost unbelievable, but my research shows that it checks out.


Posted by: Brock Townsend at April 20, 2007 8:10 AM

I know that the socialists in this country can't help but to looked towards such "enlightened" places as Europe to help them in their goal of human castration. I believe the Netherlands is part of the grand "old Europe"(soon to be part of the new Islamic "Europistan").

While the VT massacre is unbelievably horrible, I note one smaller recent event in the wonderfully gun controlled EU:

(from wikipedia)

Mohammed Bouyeri assassinated van Gogh in the early morning of Tuesday, November 2, 2004, in Amsterdam, in front of the Amsterdam East borough office (stadsdeelkantoor) on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat, while he was bicycling to work. He shot him eight times with a HS 2000 (a handgun produced in 2000 in Croatia), and Van Gogh died on the spot. Bouyeri then cut van Gogh's throat, nearly decapitating him, and stabbed him in the chest. Two knives were left implanted in his torso, one attaching a five-page note to his body. The note (Text) threatened Western governments, Jews and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who went into hiding). The note also contained references to the ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra.
The killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch citizen, was apprehended by the police after being shot in the leg. Although born in Amsterdam, well-educated and apparently well-integrated, Bouyeri has alleged terrorist ties with the Dutch Hofstad Network. He was also charged with the attempted murder of a police officer and bystander, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiring to assassinate others, including Hirsi Ali. He was convicted on July 26, 2005 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Imam Fawaz of the as-Sunnah Mosque in The Hague gave a sermon several weeks before the murder in which he called Theo van Gogh, "a 'criminal bastard' and beseech[ed] Allah to visit an incurable disease upon the filmmaker.[1]"

Remember: Big Brother and Sister are there to take care of all your needs for now on. That's what you pay all those taxes for. Vote Democrat at all times, only they can take proper care of you. Suck their teat from birth and all your worries will be addressed. All you need to do to see that this is true is to look at that wonderful city of New Orleans. See how the government took care to make sure everyone was safe as Hurricane Katrina approached that Democrat city and state. The mayor and governor knew just how to keep their citizens safe.

And if any "less that reasonable" (we can no longer call them bad) people cross your path, just call the authorities. They will respond as soon as they can. If you or your family get killed, robbed, or raped by the unreasonable person before the arrival of the authorities, be sure that everyone at least did "the best" that they could.

Posted by: Jim from Occupied NY at April 20, 2007 1:27 PM

Mr. Van der Leun welcome aboard. Handgun skills are perishable. Practice, practice. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Devil Dog Dad at April 21, 2007 4:34 PM

I have a suggestion for the two people in the foreground, especially the hot blond. Ear protection. And the guy next to her? Decent eye protection as well.

Seriously, you only have two ears. If you were the only one at the range, I'd quibble, but not with a long lineup of shooters.

Posted by: Paul A'Barge at April 24, 2007 3:09 PM

As you implied:

"An armed society is a polite society."

Posted by: Noodle Ponderosa at April 25, 2007 7:04 PM
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