I was viewing a Facebook Wall of a gentleman who works for the TSA, aka, the Transportation Security Administration. He posts a weekly, showing the amount of handguns confiscated from people either intentionally or unintentionally, try to bring hand guns, knives,and other banned substances, onto planes.
This is an odd thing as legally transporting is rather easy, albeit to me, a little weird. You take your gun and lock it UNLOADED in a case. Walk up to the check up window and tell the clerk you have a restricted item you wish to transport.
It's that easy.
The weird part is more anecdotal.
You walk up, and because you're in a secured area, and there are armed guards with REAL, large, scary looking guns, the LAST thing you want to do is proclaim, I HAZ A GUN! So, I say it in a gentle voice, I have a restricted item.
100% of the time, the clerk, typing and otherwise busy, says, excuse me?
So, in a slightly louder voice, but not really louder, just more emphasized and slower, aware of the crowd of easily panicked people standing right there, I repeat, I have a restricted item.
And what is the restricted item? I can feel the ears pricking up all around me.
Well, here we go, dilly dally will only cause more alarm, just say it, your credentials are all in good kit, just keep your hands where they can see them at all times and say...
"I haz a FIREARM."
Because firearm is friendlier than, GUN!
"Is it unloaded?"
"Open the case, please."
So, here comes the weird part. We don't go off to the side or behind a curtain, RIGHT THERE, in line I take out my locked case and I UNLOCK it and open the case showing my gun to the world, RIGHT THERE! I mean, if I wanted to show it off I woulda worn my Lone Ranger get up.
Then the clerk looks at it. The clerk doesn't manipulate it in any way or do anything other than look at it. For those who do not know about guns, let me state there are many guns and they look and work many different ways and none of them, NONE of them will tell you they are loaded or not.
Wait, Frodo, I'm certified gun professor and I can name several guns that have a notch that pops out indicating the gun is loaded.
Mr. Big Gun guy, when I see that notch it tells me you didn't clean your weapon and the notch is filled with gunk and giving a false reading.
Treat all guns as if they're loaded. It's a rule!
Here's another sub rule;
You can't look at a gun and say it's safe, or unloaded, or anything other than a potentially dangerous instrument. I don't believe in safeties on a gun. They WILL fail when you need them not to. The safety is YOU. Keep your meat hook off the trigger and the gun will be fine. Lesson over.
But, the airline clerk looks at the gun and then says, "Are you sure it's unloaded?"
Ah, a poker player, looking for tells. I look the clerk in the eye and say, "It is unloaded."
She then hands me a chit and says, "sign this, lock up the case, put it back in your bag and put your bag on the scale, have a nice flight."
Really, wot was that all about?
Here's an idea; leave those chits at the door. I fill one out, attach it to my suitcase, the clerk will see it when I put my bag on the scale and will know there is an unloaded gun.
But, I digress.
My friend posted on his wall in the last week of April 2018 95 dangerous items, mostly guns, were confiscated at the airport security, and when I say, mostly, I mean 93 guns. That place with all the TSA agents looking at you and where you take off your shoes and belts and pants and false teeth and walk through only to be hand searched while surrounded by signs warning you not to carry a gun there followed by an announcement every five seconds on the off chance you were temporarily struck blind as you walked past the sign that specifically prohibits you from doing exactly what you're doing, which is carrying a gun through the check point.
I mean, you're standing in line, you pull off your belt and think: "Oh, God! I'm packing HEAT!" You politely say, "I've changed my mind." and walk away.
Crisis, and criminal arrest and confiscation of your firearm and your right to bare arms, avoided.
93 guns a week. Multiply that by 52 weeks a year, that's a lot of guns.
Fact is, there are a stoopid amount of guns in the U.S. I've seen estimates of over 500 MILLION guns in the United States. That fact isn't frightening. The fact that it is estimated is frightening. Meaning, WE DON'T KNOW how many guns there are.
One of my jobs was to process firearm permit applications. I was to do an cursory investigation, background check, and make a packet with the documents and prepare them for the chief's signature. One day he says, "I used to believe in the 2nd amendment. Now I only believe in the 2nd amendment for me."
I believe there are many people who believe in the 2nd amendment for themselves while giving the Byzantine Side-Eye to everyone else. Just as you can't shout 'fire' in a crowded movie house, or play the Sousaphone on Main Street in Noank, there has to be limits on things like fundamental rights.
When it comes to firearms, there is a middle ground, but no one wants to accept it.
For a few thousand bucks you can buy a 3d metal printer. This bit of wizbangery has already crafted fire arms for demonstrative purposes. Making guns isn't very hard, the science has been around for hundreds of years. Even if we round up 500 million guns, it doesn't stop the new market of illegal weapons. We've given up on enforcing pot laws not because we didn't want too, or because it was 'a victimless crime' (is isn't), but because we couldn't afford to prosecute all the pot heads. They grew it everywhere, or smuggled it in. Heck, we couldn't stop a whole person, how do we stop a gun?
A friend of mine lives alone. She knows her neighbors and lives in a relatively safe neighborhood. She wants a gun for her house. She's taken a gun course, she's tried and fired several, she is developing an opinion on them based on actual hands on experience.
When she asked me my thoughts, I responded, 'Wot's the mission?" What is the purpose of the gun? Protect the house, protect the farm, go into combat, scare people? (Scare isn't an option, but some people think it is.) What do you want this gun to do?
"I want to kill any fucker than comes into my house and tries to rape me." (Paraphrasing)
Well, okay. We then spent a good amount of time on what she really wanted, which was to stop someone from harming her or her dog.
Reason this is important is because we get into caliber. She thought 9mm was good. I agreed. Wide variety of ammo, bullet selection, expansion, velocity, power, the whole gambit. She lives in the suburbs where over penetration, (the bullet passing through the target, through the wall, through a neighbor) is minimal. 9mm comes in all shapes sizes and there will be something that works for you.
She then mentioned that someone in her town, a single woman living alone, was raped. Her assailant broke into her house, raped her, then left, and to this moment has not been caught.
This is dreadfully important.
Her neighbors all have guns. Hunting is big in this area. She is a trained archer in fact, with a 30 lbs compound, sights and string release trigger. She is strong, a rock climber, golfer, runner, and she's smart, working in a high tech field, (I'm not allowed to go into specifics, it's that high tech) and pulls in a rather handsome salary.
She doesn't take shit from anyone.
She's attractive and single.
I know, right?
Her criminal history is clear.
Issuing her a gun permit from her local constabulary is a no brainer.
Here is the responsible (future) gun owner. Some one who knows the response time to her neighborhood for police is anywhere from 12-15 minutes, a lifetime when you're getting your ass kicked. She's made the decision, her line in the sand.
I'm a BIG fan of Tori Amos. If you haven't heard her, sorry. When I first heard this song, well, it's chilling.
I'll make it easy for you:
Now, in this scenario, it is the bad guy, the guy we don't want to have the gun, who has the gun.
So, wot's the mission? Survival.
What dynamics would change is she had a gun also?
I know what my friend would say.
"That fucker would be dead." (Not paraphrasing)
I know some of you are gun/no gun. But just as you would not want me to tell you how to live, don't tell me how to die. I can figure that out myself.
In my story,
at the end of my story,
That fucker would be dead.