Response to Violence

Across the country, we have seen instances of random acts of violence, assaults on our homes, neighborhoods and communities. They are frightening and remind us of our vulnerability to fall prey to selfish thugs who only care about themselves and what they can get with minimal effort. They aren’t interested in working for what they want, they want you to work for it so they can take it from you.

There is a growing trend coast to coast. Citizens are pushing back. There are events such as Light the Night, Neighborhood Watch groups, and neighbors looking out of their windows in response to a strange noise, and then following up with a call to the police. And, yes, communities are arming in record numbers. Search “Neighborhoods Arming against Crime” and find the myriad of stories about communities defending themselves, a Sheriff in Vance County, N.C. advising citizens to protect themselves, their property and their children, hinting at the use of firearms.

This trend alarms some residents, who are more afraid of the gun in the hand of the law-abiding neighbor than the threat from an unknown attacker. How do we reach these people? Some are never going to see the light, accept that. But for those with an open mind, demonstrate your responsibility by not just buying a gun, but by getting trained, exercising responsible and safe gun ownership and practicing. Guns do not shoot themselves, it requires human intervention. Also, having a gun does not mean you are safe or invulnerable to attack.

A gun is not a panacea.

Shooting is a perishable skill, much like playing an instrument or typing. I used to play the piano quite well, if I sit down at the keyboard now…I would struggle, badly, focusing on each note, through a piece I used to play with ease as my eyes scanned several measures ahead on the music. I haven’t practiced. Sure, I still read music, I know which key is which, but my mind doesn’t process the inputs of all the notes, and the corresponding keys, like it did when I was playing every day. In other words, I remember the fundamentals, but my skills are so rusty that I can not execute them effectively or efficiently, or without a lot of thought. To have a gun for protection, you need to be able to respond, quickly and without thinking about the mechanics of the steps involved.

Safe Shooting.

Lynne Finch-Charlesworth

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