Why Gun Ownership Will Rise for the Next 100 Years

As it turns out, the huge increase in legal gun ownership in the United States has proved expert criminologists Gary Kleck and John Lott loudly correct: more guns in the right hands means less crime. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported in 2012 that participation by women increased both in target shooting (46.5%) and hunting (36.6%) over the past decade. Also, 61% of firearm retailers responding to a NSSF survey reported an increase in female customers. A 2009 NSSF survey indicated that the number of women purchasing guns for personal defense increased a whopping 83 percent.

As it becomes more and more obvious that the first responder is always the individual, never government, more and more soccer moms and single women are refusing to be unprepared victims. That sentiment has recently been publicly articulated by Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, repeatedly. “I believe that some colleges may potentially be afraid of having a bad reputation and that would be a reason it could be swept under the rug, because they don’t want that to come out into the public,” Sanchez said during the competition. “But I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that’s something that we should start to really implement for a lot of women.”
Later, Ms. Sanchez repeated, “I always believe in women empowerment and women's encouragement and for me, in my life, that's self defense," she explained. "Maybe for somebody else it's a Taser or something else, but that's the way I could relate to it personally."

Well, no kidding. Life requires the Boy Scout's Motto of “Be Prepared,” a motto shared by member organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It is hardly exclusively or even primarily a firearms notion, for being prepared applies to most everything.

It is avoiding the very common “simple fall,” flammable substances, toxic substances, having respect for water, electricity, temperature, and acting (or dressing) accordingly. Defensive driving of an automobile is something that gets little media coverage, yet is something few would ever object to. Just as the ability to defend ourselves is integral to daily life, acquiring the experience and skills requisite to avoid or deal with danger is something all adults acquire and seek to teach their children to be prepared and self-reliant as well.

Dressing appropriately, using equipment appropriately, having respect for what is potentially poisonous, slippery, having respect for drugs, learning CPR and basic first aid, all of these things are loudly non-controversial. Who wants to rely on government or “the other guy” for all of this?

If you surround yourself with private doctors, aides, advisors, nurses, well-trained and armed private security, perhaps you need not be concerned. Most humans are not in this mythical protective bubble. Drive your own car, mow your own lawn, maintain your own house . . . surely, the notion of eye and ear protection and avoiding dangerous practices is not a peculiar notion, but just common sense. Rather than lighting a candle and having your heart go out to those who have lost a loved one, isn't it a better practice to be prepared to prevent injury or loss?

It is a matter-of-fact, straightforward discussion. It is no call to extreme survival-ism, no obsession, nothing about offensive maneuvers at all. It is acknowledgment of what is known. Often, we are in positions were there is no formal security, they are a few out there prone to violence, and they prey on the unprepared. Response times for a 911 call vary, and 911 has not eradicated problems from society . . . far from it.

Firearms are used over 2.5 million times a year to prevent or stop crime. Laws mean nothing to the those who commit crime, much less violent crime. The insane sometimes exists and cannot be legislated away.
Given the taste of liberty and self-reliance, we are loathe to give it back. Too often, rights are attempted to be legislated into “privileges.” If you have to ask your government for it, it cannot be a fundamental right . . . or much of a right at all.

The world is hardly a safe place for everyone, nor has it ever been. Few seem to consider that there has been over 3,500,000 motor vehicle deaths in the United States alone. That's far more than the combined U.S. military combat deaths in history. In eight years, the American Revolutionary War saw 8,000 U.S. combat deaths from 1775-1783, far more than that out of combat. Of course, there were no automobile deaths. In 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 crashes, killing 32,885 and injuring 2,239,000, actually the lowest number since 1949. Since 1946, not a year has gone by without a minimum of 30,000 traffic deaths in the United States.

No death of an innocent individual can be considered any better or worse than another. As for firearms, tells the tale. There were 11,101 firearm homicides in 2011, down by 39% from a high of 18,253 in 1993. No one thinks there should be any, of course, but as legal firearm ownership rises, crime falls commensurately. More prepared directly equates to less violence and less crime.

Being prepared, being aware, as noted by Miss USA, cuts the number of needless traffic deaths, drug deaths, firearm deaths, deaths and injuries due to falls. Lowering all of those numbers is pretty darn patriotic, as far as I'm concerned. Education, awareness, and being prepared always has worked. Clumsily attempting to legislate stupidity and insanity never has.

Mothers and fathers care far more about their children and their families than a bureaucracy ever could. As obvious as it has become that the first line of defense is you, it becomes even more obvious every year. Gun sales to individuals for personal defense will climb for the foreseeable future.

I want everyone in my life to be aware and to be prepared. I was, and it quickly ended a surprise late-night break-in and related threat to my wife and myself. Although I want those I care about to be prepared, I hope with equal fervor that they are never forced to use their preparedness.


Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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