Justice Stevens was wrong.

“Justice Stevens wrote that legislative bodies, not the courts, are best suited to determine appropriate firearms regulations. But does he truly believe in that doctrine?”  Washington Post, April 16, 2014

This is probably the canned response you expected from me, and I’m certainly not equipped to argue with Justice Stevens’ legal mind, but I could not disagree more with him – or those under the misguided perception that disarming United States citizens will somehow make us a more civil and safe society.

From the founding of our country, millions of law abiding citizens have owned weapons and firearms for sport, hunting, collection interests and self-protection.

That firearms are misused as a tool of mass destruction around the globe – specifically in areas with the most stringent gun control laws in the world – tells me that legislating weapons out of the hands of responsible Americans is not going to solve the serious and present threats facing our society.  

I served in the military. I was a law enforcement officer for 31-years. I have seen up close and personal how the criminal element and those who seek the destruction of our way of life operate, and I understand the psychology and ideology of the domestic and international threats we face.

Based upon my training and experience, I can assure you that prohibiting the personal possession of weapons by citizens of the United States will not alter the methods, mindset or operational strategies of these individuals and factions.

They are apex predators – and they will not be dissuaded by well-intentioned laws, civil debate, or your outrage and overriding need to “do something” to ban the tools they use to commit these horrific acts. They don’t care about your sensibilities – they want to kill you and those you care about. They want to take your insecurities and use them against you. They want to rape, rob and take the possessions you care about and have worked hard to achieve.

Weakening our individual liberties, and our ability to protect ourselves from those who seek to kill us and destroy our free society (and make no mistake – that is their goal) as a personal/national security strategy is both naive and contrary to a way of life that values personal freedoms, self-expression and the right to self-protection from crime, victimization and tyranny.

Frankly, it’s akin to a herd of sheep that must rely on the vigilance, sharp claws and teeth of the sheepdog for their very survival because they have no other means of protection – other than huddling close and hoping the wolves are satisfied with taking a few weak members.

I’m not prepared to do that.

For me and mine, we will support the police, the military and our government but we will not rely on those institutions for our self-protection.

We will use our lawfully owned weapons, training and proficiency to do that. We will defend ourselves. By our strength of will and vigilance, we will prove more dangerous to the lives and welfare of those who seek to victimize us than they are to ours – and that alone will keep them at bay. We are not looking for a fight – but if it comes to our door, we are prepared.

If you choose to rely on the protection afforded by law enforcement and our government that is your right. I pray that when you need them most their response is swift and their aim is true.

But in the end, I suppose that’s what this is all about – my right to live my life in the lawful manner I choose, just as it is your right to live your life. I remain ready to defend that basic principle.

One thought on “Justice Stevens was wrong.

  1. kim says:
    January 3, 2016 at 12:57 am Edit
    Great column! Seems the world is getting to be a very scarey place with each passing day. I am scared to own a gun. Scared because of the responsibility that comes with it, With what’s going on in the Middle East I try to assure myself I’ll be safe as will my family we are good people, and we stay out of trouble. Lately though my mind is changing and I find myself wanting to own a gun and learning how to use one because it gives me that added sense of courage, freedom and peace of mind. One could only hope that after all we’ve endured we all could one day live in peace, but I realize I’m more of a realist . Learning how to use a gun properly under intense pressure, quick response doesn’t come easy to all of us.


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