My West Point Dad-Part IV PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Capt Bob   
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 21:51

My West Point Dad-Part IV

 

I wanted to match wits with Dad one more time about gun owners’ rights, so I did some more research and found some facts he did not know about. In Russia even under the brutal dictator Josef Stalin, there were approximately 12 million “hunters” who had their own guns. Most of them had double barrel shotguns, their preferred weapons (24 million blasts without re-loading).

Stalin and his successors under communist rule usually did not interfere with these gun owners with their double barrel shotguns. The totalitarian rulers apparently did not like the odds as the “hunters” overall clearly outgunned the Red Army and the KGB (secret police). Very few of these “hunters” were sent to the notorious “labor” camps in Siberia. Those “hunters” who were in the communist concentration camps were usually there because of active political dissent or some crime and not because of gun ownership.

We could discuss other possible reasons why Stalin and his successors usually did not interfere with the gun owners. Russia is a huge nation, the largest in land area in the world, covering many times zones. It is impossible to have enough police to control such a vast area. The “hunters” contributed to stability and to ordinary law and order where the police were spread too thin.

When I told Dad about gun ownership in Russia, he simply said, “I did not know that”. I was finally one step ahead of Dad in the knowledge department. However, he quickly added, “It is well established factually that when gun ownership goes up, crime goes down. To make a case against gun ownership by law abiding citizens, you must be in denial about the facts.”

“But, Dad, what about mass murder shooting sprees by deranged individuals with guns?” “Bobby, there will always be a few crazy people, and bombings pose a more lethal threat than guns. However, one law abiding person with a self-defense weapon can stop a mass shooting spree before dozens more die and before the police arrive too late. It is more difficult to defend against attacks with explosives. We need to do a better job screening the mentally ill and possible enemy individuals who are determined to cause devastating destruction. This requires a variety of combined efforts to identify dangerous individuals before they strike. This is another area where citizens could help by being alert.”

Dad wanted to use common sense in matters of public and personal safety, avoiding excessive dramatization and hysteria while taking common sense measures against terrorists and ordinary criminals. If there is a threat, simply show responsibility and deal with it effectively. Don’t deprive potential victims of their self-defense rights including gun ownership.

Dad was ready to return to reading his history books, and I left him as I was thinking about his insights into what we discussed during our after-dinner conversations.

 

Capt. Bob Bell

USN (Ret), JAGC

 

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