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I n 21st century America, we find ourselves blessed to be living in the most prosperous and technologically advanced time in human history.  This era of physical abundance, however, is contrasted by an equally pronounced period of moral malaise.  

Increasing numbers of our nation's inhabitants lack the ethical framework necessary to effectively function in a civilized society.  As a result, these opportunistic individuals choose to operate without conscious or pity on the primitive level of "predator-prey".  Unfortunately, their "prey" often consists of the ignorant, the infirm, the elderly, the unwary, and those they otherwise perceive to be vulnerable.  Any of us can be the target of crime, given the right set of circumstances.  Victims, too often, are those among us least able or willing to defend themselves.

The gang problem in the United States continues to grow.  The FBI's national gang assessment report for 2011 estimates there are now 1.4 million members in some 33,000 gangs.  Ethnic and racially based gangs are on the increase, including African, Asian, Caribbean and Mexican.  Drug cultivation, manufacture and trafficking flourish, with cartels becoming stronger and more violent.  The "reconquista" of the American southwest is well under way.  Add to this explosive social mix the presence of Islamic terrorists determined to destroy both U.S. citizens and the fabric of our country.

And what about the prophetic revelations that predict cataclysm and disaster for December 21, 2012?

And of course, we all know that the zombie apocalypse is coming as well! 

As Dorothy exclaimed in the "Wizard of Oz":  "Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!"

Could this be a good time to cling to guns and religion as BO implied?   

The cultural tragedy of America lies in the fact that we live in a society where the normal tranquility of our lives can be quickly and violently shattered by the senseless and remorseless aggression of others.  It is difficult to contemplate the possibility of having to defend ourselves and our loved ones against violent attack.  It is equally distressing to imagine the consequences of being totally helpless and subject to the maniacal whims of a merciless attacker.

Many people feel that the possession of a firearm may offer the needed insurance to guarantee a favorable outcome if they are ever faced with a criminal encounter.  This belief, supported by statistics, inspires one to resist becoming the victim.

In any given year in America, the actual use or threatened  use of a gun by the intended victim stops approximately 2,500,000 violent crimes from occurring.  This equates to one deterred crime every thirteen seconds.  

Eleven years after Sam Colt's death, his vision resulted in the invention of  the Single Action Army or Peacemaker revolver in 1873.  It was universally regarded to be the "great equalizer". 

Little has changed in America from the perspective of personal protection since that time, with the exception that honest citizens are subject to increasingly onerous laws which have placed restrictions on their ability to exercise the "choice" of self defense.

The presence of a firearm in the hands of the intended victim represents both a physical and psychological force that can diffuse violence in a criminally threatening situation.  Most criminal confrontations can be thwarted by the application of superior force by the perceived "prey".

In many cases, merely the threat of superior force is sufficient to dissipate an otherwise dangerous situation.  "Bark" without the will to "bite" is a risky substitute for taking absolute control of a criminal encounter,  however, and a vigilant individual must be prepared to follow through with the proper amount of force.

The thought of taking the life of another is repugnant to most people.  Against this abhorrence must be weighed the horror and anguish one would experience should they be powerless to defend themselves and their family against a criminal assault.  Hence, it becomes a very introspective decision whether or not to select a firearm for personal protection.    

In contrast to conventional perception, the police have no responsibility or obligation to provide security or protection to American citizens.  Their function is to investigate a crime and apprehend the perpetrator of the crime after it has been committed.  

The myth of "911" suggests that local law enforcement can somehow miraculously materialize before the law has already been broken.  This, in fact, is impossible.  At any given time in the United States, only about 150,000 police officers are on duty.  America is a country with more than 300,000,000 inhabitants.  Do the math.  

Police do their best to respond to a crime "in progress".  It is up to the individual to decide how best to protect themselves, their family, and perhaps other innocent lives during the interim.  Hopefully, the choices made will either diffuse the threat, resolve the confrontation in their favor, or " buy time" until  law enforcement authorities can arrive.  Poor choice, or no choice, will unfortunately result in yet another "victim of crime" statistic.  

If you do decide to possess a firearm as a means of protecting yourself or your loved ones, responsible gun ownership requires that you become proficient in its use.  Along with knowledge of your gun's safe operation and handling, it is important that you also learn how to maintain and store it properly.

Numerous resources are available which provide firearms related instructional information.  Among these are included www.nra.org, www.gunowners.org, and www.2asisters.org.

General discussion of a wide variety of topics of potential interest to the gun owner or prospective gun buyer are  available within the various "munitions rooms"  here at the Armory.  Enjoy your stay. Should you decide to purchase a firearm for self defense, target shooting, hunting or plinking, welcome to the American gun community!  You are in good company.  

               

 

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