Are legal firearms for military purposes or for sporting purposes? Both?

So Congress is at it again with a plethora of firearms-related bills this time around. Some are good, and some are bad and some I’m not sure yet. I’m not sure because the current run has some bills that may end up with riders that can be good or bad. I will be keeping a close eye on all of them on the website. (I’m also watching at the state level for my state, and I suggest you should do the same.) Something occurred to me though, and there is a problem between the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. These two laws have text that directly opposes the other.

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Building your own rifle

A few good friends of mine hunt feral hogs in the area using some custom-built AR-15s and allowed me to use one of these rifles when we invited them out to some family’s property to help reduce the feral hog population there.  The rifle I own uses a smaller caliber, and while it would work for hunting feral hogs, a larger caliber would be much more effective, so I decided to follow in their footsteps and build my own. I’ll talk about how I did so, some of the proposed laws around this (and my opinion of them), and how well I did or didn’t do in putting everything together. Yes, mistakes were made.

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When to join the Circus

There is an old Polish proverb that is making the rounds in self defense circles, and pretty much just in general; “This is not my circus. These are not my monkeys.” Of course it’s been shortened to simply “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” but the meaning is the same. What does it actually mean though? After doing about 30 seconds of surfing around the internet, I found this brief explanation;

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If it only saves one life, it is worth it.

While the title of this post alludes to the misguided reason that some people want to place restrictions on firearms, that is not the purpose of this post. What I am going to describe could actually save lives, and isn’t just a feel good, useless measure to mistakenly substitute complacency for safety. This should be something that everyone can get behind, regardless of how you feel about firearms, and that I hope everyone does. I also think that people of most ages should have this skill, even high school and junior high school aged children. Out of all the protesting, and town halls, and media interviews, and marches and political campaigning going on, my wife and I thought it would be wise to do something that might actually do some good.

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Words have meanings

It’s time for gun owners to do a brake check, step back for a minute, and then carefully choose our words going forward.  We are constantly trying to correct the language of those who would choose to ban guns, or restrict their ownership, and they seemingly just invent new ones for us to correct, like “full semi-automatic,” as soon as we have gained any ground. This post isn’t about them, but more about us, and how we are doing something similar now, and we need to knock it off.

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Words on Paper

So there was another shooting and as always there are people who are calling for more laws to prevent tragedies like this from happening.  Of course what is lost on them is that there were already laws in place, and those laws were broken when this tragic event occurred. So I began to wonder what laws they would want, and what they would actually do.

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The “Mythical” Good Guy with a Gun.

I had a discussion online with an old acquaintance from high school a short while back. It was shortly after a mass shooting event happened, and the discussion centered around what could be done to prevent or at least mitigate such occurrences in the future. Somehow he was under the mistaken belief that stronger laws would have prevented the tragedy, and had gone so far as to call out a political representative for being supported by the NRA, as though the NRA was in some way complicit.  Nevermind the fact that the perpetrator violated countless laws already. He asked me what I thought was the best solution and I told him my answer; get rid of gun free zones, and let armed self defenders, be armed. His reply was “oh, so your answer is the mythical good guy with a gun.” Mythical? I need to explain why the “good guy with a gun” is not a myth.

Through the rest of this post, I will try to define what a “Good Guy with a Gun” (GGWAG) actually is, and why I believe it is the best solution for mitigating these instances of assholes. To be fair, it is just a component of a solution, and other things need to be addressed also.

We’ll start first with the incident that began the conversation.

On October 1st of 2017, an asshole broke several laws and sneaked multiple firearms into a hotel in Las Vegas. (The hotel was a gun free zone, so that law didn’t stop him. Not sure why anyone thinks any other laws would have been any more effective than this one.) He shot out the window into a large crowd of people and caused an immense amount of carnage.  A security guard for the hotel (unarmed, so I guess the security guard was well equipped with harsh language?) was one of the first victims. What stopped his rampage? Armed intervention. When about to be inevitably confronted by police (armed with more than harsh language), the asshole shot himself and died.

Shortly after this incident, another asshole decided to be an asshole at a church in Texas. This asshole broke several laws. First and foremost, being a convicted felon, he was not eligible to purchase firearms. On the form that you must fill out for every firearm purchase, he lied (felony) about his background. (Just one in a litany of errors that allowed this individual to illegally possess firearms.) In any case, laws had no effect on preventing this asshole. Another person saw what was happening, and was armed, and shot at the asshole. When confronted by an armed individual, the asshole fled, shot himself and died.

Those are just two examples from recent events, but in every case that I have researched, at some point, when faced with armed intervention, the asshole either dies from it, or shoots themselves and dies. So let’s define what a GGWAG actually is.

Good Guy with a Gun [goo dwith ā guhn] n. : A legally armed individual with the ability to intervene during the commission of a violent crime to prevent further casualty or loss by confronting the individual or individuals committing the act . abbr: GGWAG

Now that we have defined it, we need to break down what that actually is. Any on duty law enforcement officer, or off duty officer who is still armed counts as a GGWAG. Any active duty military personnel, acting under orders, and armed at the time, counts as a GGWAG. In the case of the Vegas shooting, it was law enforcement who played the role of GGWAG. No one else was legally able to.  In the case of the Texas church shooting, it was not a law enforcement officer, but rather a civilian, who was legally armed, who provided the armed intervention.

In most cases where some asshole decides to commit a violent crime in a gun free zone, it is still a GGWAG that ends the event. The GGWAG in those instances just happens to be a sworn law enforcement officer, because they are the only ones who are legally allowed to be armed in that area.

So, when properly defined, the Good Guy with a Gun is not some myth, but proven fact.  I cannot find a single example of a mass shooting event that was not ended by some definition of a GGWAG, whether it was a law enforcement officer, or an average citizen legally allowed to carry a firearm.

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