Mourning Violence While Considering Reasonable Force

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Top Tier Gear USA

Today is a terrible day. This post is certainly late to the story: 28 people dead, 20 of them children at the hands of a lone gunman in a Connecticut elementary school.

As a gun blog, folks will likely assume I will fall to so called “political” lines, that the choice here is keep guns legal and increase risk or to ban guns and to create safety. It is my experience that most crimes like this have little or nothing to do with the tool, and everything to do with two things: how we manage and address force, and how we handle emotion.

In terms of force, the key question I think our society needs to consider is what is force to be used for? Can we reach some common ground on use of force? So many of our conceptions of force are about getting revenge or getting advantage. I am not one to blame media, but I believe it can be a representation of perceptions people hold in society. The fictional character Dexter in the HBO hit show captures and slaughters people he perceives as “killers” in an attempt to reach justice that cannot be attained through conventional policing. The show explores what may be a broad perception of a justice gap between what can be proven through legal means and evidence that cannot make it to the courtroom. On ABC television Revenge tells the tale of Emily Thorne, whose father was cast, unjustly, as a terrorist. Emily, through a web of subterfuge, endeavors to bring down the family who caused her father to go to prison and who murdered him while he was there.

In my current research I have even been reading about nonviolent coercive force, such as used by activist groups around the world. In these circumstances, protests against business, governments or between political factions is used to GET something.

In all of my reading on force the only uses of force that are NOT for the purpose of getting something are policing (all aspects, including SWAT, Bail Enforcement and daily patrol), security, and self-defense (including all aspects of martial arts and concealed firearm training that I have studied).

I think, and this is a little off the cuff, that when people feel an emotion like, fear, frustration or anger, they jump to the conclusion that they are not just feeling the feeling, but that they are wronged in some way, and that they have to “fight” to get justice. They immediately lash out, often becoming offenders, assailants – offenders that feel like victims. By the time that someone has reached that level it is almost impossible to pull them back. There are some organizations that try to restore this type of offender, but often, in my perception, they only increase the risk of the community they try to bring these offenders into.

This mindset, to lash out to get justice, includes broad swaths of our society. It includes liberals who ostracize, castigate and disparage people who do not think, act or buy the ‘right’ way for social justice. It includes conservatives who do the same, rejecting people because they don’t utilize big box discounters, “prep” for disaster and rely on family and community support over federal agencies and social safety nets. It includes “in clubs” from elementary school to business associations that act to manage and control members and to ostracize others to remind members why they must hue to the norm.

To explain my approach, to the above issues, I’ll prep for emergency as best I can while not judging others who are ill prepared. I’ll work for social justice, but I’ll take social justice messages with a grain of salt and I will refuse to participate in mass movements and ideological positions of all stripes. I avoid “in” clubs. That’s that.

The way that the security mindset differs from what I’ll call the ‘reactive/assaultive justice’ mindset is that protection is more important than emotion. Would you protect the person who cheated on you in college? Would you protect the person your former partner cheated with? Would you protect someone you perceived had wronged you in the past? Would you protect someone who you believe failed to protect you when you believe they ‘should’ have? If you can answer yes, and I certainly can, then you have the security mindset. You are a protector.

I believe this is at the core of today’s challenge. You can take every weapon from somebody except those that matter: their hands, their legs, their head and their mind. What no one can regulate is what goes into the mind, what occurs in the mind, and what comes out through action.

To provide a couple of examples… (continued)

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  • Recall I was the first to pick up children being used as a propaganda campaign. Breaking the law is not worth it and most have common sense. There will always be more and more loose screws. If they do not get guns it will be other weapons. I feel sorry for parents of mentally ill, no help and big bills from corporate America who turn everything into profit for a few.

  • Mark

    Bill of rights protects my right to have and bear arms. BUT…even if they did take th guns away from the criminals there is always a way for them to obtain more… ie: the black market.. just ask Eric Holder and Obama our Criminal in Chief. Maybe if some of the teacher would have had a means of a firearm this could have been stopped before so many got killed. This is such a sad day and I truely feel bad for all family and friends effected by this waste of life. GUN CONTROL WILL NOT STOP THIS KIND OUR ANY KIND OF KILLING.

  • Locus

    Ours is an intelligent, complicated, permissive society. We like it that way. Just as there are countless ways things/people may go ‘wrong’… there are countless way things go ‘right’.

    To me the greatest tragedy in CT was a principal and a teacher who gave their lives — in vain — because neither had the one thing that would have eliminated the threat and SAVED lives, a gun. We as a people failed THEM.

    Fire extinguishers may be used to hurt or even kill people. Let’s make schools ‘Fire Extinguisher Free Zones’. The risk is too great. If some student or teacher feels the need to stop a fire, they can just throw themselves on top of it. Right?

    Well that is what has been done to those teachers who took those bullets. In vain.

    The liberal idea of removing stage props from the play to prevent the show from going on, nightmares from unfolding, is a failure. Bad people do not play by the rules, bad people improvise.

    Unless good people are given the lethal power to intervene and understand they have the ability and responsibility to do so, no good will come of this.

    It pains me greatly to be driven down to the level of explaining this. It should be so unspoken and obvious.

  • ncjoe

    Equating fire extinguishers with guns is just plain stupid. From their invention to the present day, guns have had one and only one primary purpose; to kill something, human or animal. And before you fall of your high horse and have a cerbral aneurism, or perhaps you would be doing the world a favor if you did, I own guns, I shoot guns, I carry concealed where legal. I do believe the gun culture has run amok in this counrty and many “gun rights” supporters are no better than a drug addict. They are a bunch paranoid delusionals who see a non-existant threat around every corner.

    • Jean

      What about the delusional individuals who think they’ll be eternally safe?
      Are they not inflciting violence on others by FORCING this who gun control question, in their quest for Utopia?

      Passive-Aggressive is STILL Aggressive against others, sir. We have enabled the true predators to remain armed, while harming and killing those who would use those VERY same tools to protect us.

      Even if you want to talk cops – they have a dozen steps (I hope that’s an exaggeration) they need to go through to be able to even draw their weapon – which makes their abuses all the more egregious. We expect them to use kid gloves on killers, and be social and even respectful with “us” (law-abiding citizens). Yet, if you carry concealed (legal or not), you could get yourself shot just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. think about that! And the cop could get away with it, have it swept under the rug, so to speak – you “reached for your waistband,” or he “had imminent fear for his life.” And it’s a good shoot – facts don’t matter.

      28 people died here. NO ONE could shoot back. NO ONE had a force multiplier, and I’d even bet that no one can carry a knife on “campus”. Yet – who in fact will violate the rules? The person who wishes to HARM, or the person who is carrying as a matter of course? i’m carrying, I know it’s not permitted to carry on campus; I lock the gun in the glovebox or a gun box. I enter the school to conduct my business. Right behind me, someone who is thinking murder comes in. They don’t CARE they’re not supposed to have guns on campus – they are present with the PLAN to commit murder and mayhem.
      And now everyone ELSE is disarmed.

      Yeah, if THAT makes us “paranoid delusionals,” I think YOU need a shrink. And just to be safe, why don’t you surrender your guns to the local police department? I hear they’re even giving you a flu shot for your guns…

      If you find that insulting – maybe you need to re-evaluate how you see us. YOU started in with insults about us “paranoid delusionals,” obviously we’re just LOOKING for a chance to go Dirty Harry or Rambo on your @$$. Fingering our guns slyly, touching them to feel the power they contain, playing with them when no one is looking, we go to the men’s (or women’s) room just to whip ’em out where no one can see… And just barely contain the chortling laughter as we imagine how we’ll use them on the next evil person we meet on the street…

      The fire extinguisher comparison wasn’t the best, true; maybe we should talk about gas heat for the schools? Gas leaks blow up buildings every year. Electric heat can burn people if they get too close to the element, and it’s VERY costly to heat whole buildings with electric heat. And oil usues steam pipes; ever see (what’s left of) someone after a steam burn? Very ugly. Google it. And oil still has the flammability risk, the elements (radiators), plus there’s all the maintenance…
      Obviously, the proper solution is to ban heat in schools!

      If you wish to argue there are no threats to be concerned about – the headliens imply you’re lying. further, by your own definitions, you don’t need the guns you have – you ARE a “paranoid delusional who see a non-existant (sic) threat aroudn every corner.” This doesn’t change the fact that some of us end up in bad situations, and need to find a way to deal with those situations – OTHER than, “get shot and die.”

    • SKIP

      Ever the entertainer I see!