Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Faulty Perceptions

I've got my habit of reading all of the blogs on my blog list daily. Sometimes, I'll see something interesting on one of them and read that link as well. These link chasing expeditions can take up a whole day. I'm repeatedly noticing what appears to me, to be a little error in the way the gun rights community is being perceived by the non or anti gun types.

The things I notice are not in what is said, although that is scary enough, but more in what isn't said as much as it seems to be implied. You will pardon me if I don't include any specific links in this missive. You can find references to this on any anti gun page.

It seems to me that the anti gun crowd actually thinks that we pro gun people just wander down to whatever gun show is in town and plunk down some cash and walk out with a gun strapped on and ready to go do some vigilante thing in our local slum. I am willing to bet that 99% of the gun rights folks are thinking of or doing nothing of the sort. Oh sure, there will be the odd and thankfully rare anomaly, but it is odd and thankfully rare.

I want to start with a word that anti gun people like to toss around almost as if it were some kind of curse. Vigilante. From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: vig·i·lan·te
Pronunciation: \ˌvi-jə-ˈlan-tē\
Function: noun
Etymology: Spanish, watchman, guard, from vigilante vigilant, from Latin vigilant-, vigilans
Date: 1856

Could we please note the key word vigilant? Note the etymology Watchman or guard? If we are grey, then are we not all vigilantes? If we're not, then shouldn't we be? The appellation should be one that makes us proud, not one which makes us cringe. See? faulty perception in action.

Now as to the process we go through...I'll go with myself since the source for the information is close to hand. I bought my gun. I went out and tried many different guns before I settled on the Springfield Armory M1911A1 Mil-Spec. Then I got the purchase permit that is required under Michigan law. Then I plunked down my money, in a gun shop I might add, after shopping around to find the best price. Under the law in effect at the time, I took said gun to my local sheriff office to be "inspected" and have a safety inspection card issued. Then I bought a large amount of ammunition and I went to my local range and I fired it....a lot....putting myself through the NRA pistol course to the level of expert. Then I went to a CPL course, many months later after around 5000 rounds, and I took and passed that. Then the $105 for the Michigan Concealed Pistol License. I have put somewhere around 10,000 rounds through that gun since I've owned it. I do my best to maintain proficiency so that should I ever need it, I can use it safely and effectively.

I am my own vigilante in that I am vigilant as to my surroundings at all times. I know who and what is around me and I avoid places where trouble could find me easily. I avoid people who appear to have trouble as a co-pilot. I'm not looking for trouble, au contrare I actively seek to avoid it. My gun is an insurance policy much the same as the insurance I have for my car. I have it because when I need it, I really need it although I hope to never use it. It is a tool for my protection and the protection of my loved ones. It is a tool that is in the tool box I use after vigilance and safe practice have failed or been thrown out. It is not a first line of defense but a layer that I hope never to have to use or expose. I have no desire to confront criminals, I am not a law enforcement officer nor do I have any desire to become one I am merely me, a citizen of a free country who desires to be left alone to take his walks in peace and safety and who realizes that the only thing that truly makes me safe is my own sense of personal vigilance.

No comments: