Sunday, June 14, 2009

Middle of the night realization.

So if you have read my last few posts you know I am with my parents in the SW desert country. My 'rents are living in a very very well off community. Gated and small. Seeing a limo pass by has become pretty normal, lol. Well my little brood is all in one room. Bug on the floor, Squeak in her cribby, and Hubs and I in the bed. It is sweltering here, was still above 80 after 10 last night. So middle of the night I had woken to feed Squeak. It is about 4 AM. Laying there dozing while I nurse I hear a crash. The parents are out of town so it wasn't them and my first thought was "Crap I left my gun in my car." Luckily it was Bug tripping over the car seat rather than an intruder but it did make me dang glad Hubs was here. Also reminded me that we really will need to have a weapon handy at our home. While it is still a very nice neighborhood it is not gated and that makes us targets.


  1. The common American preoccupation with guns and the possiblity of others doing you harm, thus the need for a weapon, is a very sad commentary on the state of the daily lives of many "Americans".

    You and your family would benefit from the relative peace and tranquility of living somewhere other than the USA. Nowhere is completely safe, and there are lunatics everywhere, but the vast majority of the world does not feel the need to sleep with a gun under their pillow.

    Get out of the U.S. before living there makes it common place to expect someone is coming to pay you a visit specifically to do you harm. If you already feel that way, get out so that you can stop obesessing about it.

  2. That is the pain of the 'car gun' plan. Unless you have at least one other effective defensive weapon you've got to take it in and out of the car every time you leave home.

    I don't know what your gun situation is but a short barreled pump shotgun can be had for around $200 if you do a bit of shopping around the pawn shops and used gun racks at the gun stores. If you want to walk into any store and walk out $300 is a realistic figure. Keeping it in the bedroom and the handgun in the car would work and there would be the additional benefit of having a pump shotgun. Or you can purchase another handgun if the budget allows.

  3. Anonymous. I've lived or worked in 35 foreign countries. If you really believe what you are saying, you are naive beyond words. I suggest you go live in Southern Italy, or in the Philippine Islands, or Mexico, and then get back to us. We can all hold hands and sing Kumbaya together.

  4. I agree with Hermit, I've lived and travel to a fair amount of places overseas, and I feel very very safe here. And the 'obssesion' with guns? Uh, you're on a group of websites that is obviously pro-guns, but saying the entire US is paranoid is a big leap.

  5. Granted there are many places in the world where one might be less safe than in Arizona. Some parts of southern Italy, Mexico, the Philippines are probably in the same catagory as Khandahar, Mogadishu and Rangoon. I'm not suggesting you trade one bad location for another bad location. My point was that Lila could choose somehwere that is more safe than where she is now. There are many countries that do provide a much safer day to day environment than many places in the USA these days. Someplace where the police don't beat you black and blue, where the criminals aren't shooting you for your SUV or breaking into your home in the middle of the night to steal your granola collection. No matter where you live, I suppose there are no guarantees. However, the perceived need for a firearm to protect yourself day in and day out is an Americanism that does not reflect the reality in the majority of the world's countries.

    I'm not against all guns per se. As an outsider (not an American) I am merely commenting on the aparrent absurdity of needing a shotgun behind the door, a pistol next to the bed, another weapon in the car and one to carry on your hip as you go about your daily life. American society (starting with the wild west) has fostered an escalating "gun culture". The bad guys have easy access to guns, so the average citizen feels the need to arm themselves. The bad guys get better guns, so do the citizens. It appears to be a never ending cycle.

    Just look at law enforcement in your country. There is the FBI, ATF, IRS, DHS, Sheriffs depts., state police, city police, security guards and private mercenaries such as Black Water (all armed to the teeth) and I am sure there are a bunch more organizations that I don't know about. Where I live, it is an offense for the police to draw their weapon in a situation where there is no readily apparent, immediate threat. During a traffic stop, the police do not approach the driver with a weapon drawn or even with their hand on the butt of the pistol in its holster.


  6. The cycle of arms escalation within a society generally does not lead to greater individual safety-all that is accomplished is the greater certainty of increased levels of violent harm when good guys meet bad. It increases the likelihood that someone will get killed over a granola collection or a SUV-is your life really worth some granola or a SUV? A plasma TV? I didn't think so.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too. If a society permissively allows for the easy availability of copious numbers of firearms, it has to be expected that these guns will have a direct impact on the lives of its citizens. You don't have to subject yourself to this never ending self-fulling prophecy. If a bump in the night causes you to reach for a weapon because you believe that someone is there and they are more likely to do you harm rather than run away when they realize they have been discovered, the battle has already been lost. Me, I'd kick the dog out of bed to investigate. In the unlikely event that I hear shots, I'm out the window. There is no posession in my home worth defending with lethal force at the risk associated to me with exercsizing such force. The laws in my country don't allow me to confront and shoot an intruder as a matter of course.

    As an aside, if my dog bites someone who has climbed the fence surrounding my yard, I am liable for the damage to the intruder (dog bite). The fact that this person was trespassing is imaterial in the eyes of the law. On the surface, this sounds, rather ridiculous. In retrospect, this exention of the sanctity of human life and safety being extended to everyone goes along way to creating a society of individuals that do not immediately feel the need to resort to extreme measures to defend themselves or their property.

    We all have choices. I choose not to travel to the USA any more than aboslutely necessary (usually only to catch a connecting flight that is then leaving the country). I choose not subject myself to the state trooper pullng me over for going 15 mph over the speed limit, with a gun drawn, ordering me out of my vehicle and them proceeding to insist on searching said vehicle.


  7. You couldn't pay me enough to live in a place where it is not unusual to expect that someone is more likely to shoot me than not. I choose to live in a place where people don't blow up buildings, don't shoot the store clerk for $100 and a handful of chocolate bars, where people don't enter a museum and start shooting, where kids don't take guns to school to settle their social difficulties and I choose not to be forced into an escalating arms race with my neighbours.

    You, like me, are free to choose where you live and the amount of paranoia and violence you expose yourself to. I am merely pointing out, that what seems perfectly reasonable to you (an American, who lives in the reality of what America has become) appears really bizzare and unnecessary to those of us who have a differing perspective of what "quality of life" means. Most of the world does not measure personal safety by the gun standard.

    God bless Charleton Heston, here's hoping that you do not meet him again before you are truly ready...

    Please understand, as long as you willingly choose to participate in what I guess is the "American Dream" I support your right to do so as defined in your constitution. Please don't bring your guns with you when you visit my country and don't be surprised to learn that most of the world does not support or endorse the use of wanton violence (guns) as a dispute resolution mechanism. It also shouldn't surprise you to learn that most of the world doesn't consider forgetting a firearm in a car at night as a really big deal because most of us are not likely to find ourselves down range in a hail of gunfire. The fact that some Americans feel differently, is a sad commentary on the "American way of life."

    Moral of story: If you forget your gun in the car regularly, then buy another gun...wasting an opportunity to shoot someone is inexcusable.

  8. A few points. 1- We live in a pretty violent city, ranked fairly high on the crime list. 2- We live here because my husband does an important and dangerous job to improve the city and surrounding areas for the benifit of all. 3- I am a hunting, fishing, cooking, loving, independant American woman who refuses to wear rose colored glasses about the fact we live where we do.

    Sure I would love to pick the place we live based on the criteria mentioned however my husband's career is spent improving areas that need it. That usually calls for living in a place that needs some help. I will follow my husband anywhere. If we get lucky that some rich law-abiding city needs my husband then I will count my blessings. Until then I will live where I do and take steps to protect myself from people who do not value my rights as much as I do theirs.

  9. Anon,
    It is fairly safe to assume nobody has ever jumped you and beat the living daylights out of you. Or mugged you. Or broken into your home. We have a saying here "the only difference between an anti-gunner and a pro-gunner is one mugging."

    Until you have experienced a life threatening situation, you can't make a rational decision on the issue because you are doing your talking based on philosophy, not life experience.

  10. Lila,

    I understand your position. You choose to live where you do, the reasons for that decision are not all that important to the main point-you have chosen to live in a place, that you know places you and your loved ones in some degree of increased peril. Is a job worth dying for? If your answer is an unequviocal "yes", then there seems to be a flaw in the decision making process.


    Duh! If I never get mugged or physically assulted, I'll consider myself lucky. My "life philosophy" keeps me out of that kind of trouble. I don't find the fact that violence "can happen to you" to be a particularly persuaive argument to get half bent preparing to defend the ramparts. Especially when there are more rational alternatives.

    If violent crime is that real a threat to you, it goes to further my argument-that place is too dangerous for a law abiding family to live.

    You cannot foster the building of community and culture on the basis of mutually assured destruction.

    If you don't like your job, you get another one then quite the one you do not like. Or you quit and then get another job, whichever. If you don't like brussel sprouts, you don't order brussel sprouts at the restraunt. You can't live in a hell hole and expect it to magically become anything other than an unsafe violent hell hole. That's called denial.

    I don't believe the solution to living in a "bad area" is to buy a gun. I believe in moving somewhere more conducive to living a better and more rewarding existence without having to step down to the lowest common denominator. If the neighbourhood is bad, I'd move to a better neighbourhood. If the city is bad, I've move to a better city. If the country is bad, by the same logic, I'd immigrate to a better country.

    Originally my intention was to point out how skewed the logic was to rely on a firearm to get a good nights sleep. I sleep with my bedroom window open. Where I live that is not usually a problem. I don't know how else to convey the point. If I want to sleep with my window open, and if that is not a good idea due to a criminal element, and I am not prepared to sleep with the window closed, buying a gun does nothting to protect me from the existing dangerous situation, it only exacerbates it.

    You are taking this discussion to a whole new level. Causually dismissing my argument doesn't automatically support yours. As I said earlier, I conscientuously make decisions to protect my family and myself from harm. If Iceland was the only place on the planet that is safe from a level of violence that would otherwise require me to live in fear of that violence, I'd be on the next plane. Thank-fully that is not the case. There are plenty of places to live a decent life without the need to obsess that someone is going to do you harm all the time. If we wish to be obstinate and live in a culture where the biggest gun prospers, I think humanity is in trouble.

    I prefer to think that all of this can be atrtributed to the fact that the USA over time has and continues to slide further into social destruction. Life isn't supposed to be about "you", it is supposed to be about "us". If "us" can't live without the gun, then humanity is doomed. Where are the trouble spots in the world? They seem to be located where everyone is running around with AK's, AR's and more pistols than a belt can support.

    You choose to live where you do. You have the power to change your reality, but you can't do that by just peering down the sights of a gun. Open your mind to the possibility that the grass can be greener elsewhere and the rest will fall into place. As Mikey said, "Try it, you'll like it!"

    In conclusion, violence begets more violence. Guns beget more guns. A waring mentality begets more war. Someone has to break the cycle, why not you? I already do all that I can to not fall into the cycle of violence and retribution.

  11. Annon: You say that your argument was dismissed, but did you completely pass over mine? I think you are making very very large generalizations about American's in general.

    Not everyone I know feels the need for "a shotgun behind the door, a pistol next to the bed, another weapon in the car and one to carry on your hip as you go about your daily life". In fact, quite the opposite. Most the people I know don't even lock their doors.

    "You couldn't pay me enough to live in a place where it is not unusual to expect that someone is more likely to shoot me than not."

    Uh, according to who? Death by firefight is at about #74,354 on the possible list of way for me to die. Slightly below death by a horde of jellyfish.

    I don't understand why so many of the world's people feel the need to take to heart so many American stereotypes. When I lived in Norway, I was regularly asked if I knew someone in the mob. Ah, no.

    "There is the FBI, ATF, IRS, DHS, Sheriffs depts., state police, city police, security guards and private mercenaries such as Black Water (all armed to the teeth)" Yeah, I've never seen a 'mercenary' guarding the local mall. And DHS and the IRS are not law enforcement Agencies. Yes we have local and state police. I've never been involved with either the FBI or ATF, and generally people who aren't up to no-good, don't. Oh, I've also never been beaten "black and blue" by any law enforcement officer.

    In summary: I happen to love the USA. I don't feel my life is constantly threaten by living here.If you don't like it, that's your choice.

  12. Maggy stated my thoughts better than I did.

  13. Sorry Maggie, didn't mean to ignore you. You make some salient points. Let's clear the air before
    this degenerates into a mess...

    I like most Americans. Some of them I call friends. I don't always agree with your Governments
    foreign policy but that is neither here nor there.

    I lived in the USA for about a year many years ago, so I have no recent first hand experience with
    the American social fabric. Lila's blog entry on not having her gun and the resulting distress when
    she heard a noise late at night prompted me to comment on how strange that sounds to someone
    who lives where not having a gun to address those bumps in the night is not an issue.

    Not every American lives in a state of perpetual fear - I get that and did not intend to infer such. Like most places, there are areas to live that are safer than others. I also know better than to stand in the way of American patriotism, world events of the past 70 or 80 years provides ample
    examples of how that usually turns out, so that's not my intent.

    I cannot understand why someone would voluntarily choose to live somewhere where they feel a gun is a necessity. I do not understand why average people going about their lives feel the need to
    strap on a concealed weapon as they commute to the office-to a job that does not require a firearm in the performance of their duties. I do not understand, what causes someone to have more
    weapons than can possibly be brought to bare in any given situation. I know that not every
    American has an arsenal.

    However, there is obviously a perceived need for all this fire power. Can you explain it? There has to be a reason why all these guns are being amassed by the citizenry. The only reason I can see to justify a car gun, a personal carry gun, a shotgun, and a rifle to two (or more) is that there must be some perceived threat. A glock is not a hunting weapon and you are not hunting as you peruse the meat counter at Krogers.

    So (some) Americans are carrying firearms all the time. Obviously for personal protection...from
    what or from whom? If criminals are the reason, then, I reiterate my original premise-time to move
    to a safer place, inside the USA or outside. If protection is required from an over zealous
    government, then, either change the government, or get out of Dodge. If protection from terrorists is the reason, then we would need to examine why terrorists are targeting the USA and I have no inclination to go there...

    Obviously, if "you" are happy where you live, if you feel safe enough not to have a shotgun behind
    the door and pistol in every drawer, my comments do not apply to you-you do not need to cross
    the fence to greener pastures. If you cannot say that you feel safe where you live, you should feel
    compelled to move or in this case not move there in the first place. Before someone claims economic necessity, I don't buy that, endangering yourself goes against nature's law of self preservation. Having a gun might make choosing a "not wise" decision a bit easier to make, but does not necessarily make it ok to do so.

    I tried to allude to this in my last comment but I guess I did not quite get there. You know uncle
    Fred who hasn't seen your child in many months? When he does see him/her, usually the first
    thing he says, "my how you have grown". To you, seeing your child everyday, the change is not so
    noticeable. To someone who isn't living with the child, the change is quite dramatic over time.
    I don't live in the US. I don't have to deal with the pressures that you do. My perspective is more circumspect than yours can be. The rest of the world, sees the US and the changes that it has
    undergone perhaps clearer than someone who lives there day to day. I don't speak for the world,
    but it is pretty safe to say, that some aspects of American life scares the hell out of the rest of us.


  14. We see your atrocious levels of violent crime. We see the authorities response to it - property seizures, searches without just cause, beatings, border security zones, drug czars, car czars, you folks have a czar for just about everything these days.

    We see the response from the average citizen too, conceal & carry permits, purchasing so much
    ammo that store shelves are bare (sure stock up before its banned - but really, how much ammo do you really need?). We see the videos on YouTube showing the private use of more firepower than was brought to bare on some battlefields. We see the invasion of Panama (to arrest a drug dealer-yeah right). We see the second invasion of Iraq (to secure WMD - yeah right). We see the conflict in Afghanistan (to secure human rights - yeah right). We see the indefinite suspension of human rights to detain terror suspects at Gitmo (with the reasoning, that those enemy combatants are somehow less than a uniformed solider). To make matters worse, its been years and not a single trial or tribunal has passed judgment on any of them.

    We see the news reports about the horribly violent attacks in your schools, colleges, museums, 7-11's, banks, shopping centers, the targeting of doctors who perform abortions. We see the threats to your political leaders by your own citizens. If Americans aren't shooting people, ala Ted K, they're blowing people up, mailing anthrax, shooting the repo man when he comes to take back that car someone didn't pay for and we see the disintegration of the family unit resulting in kids
    forming into gangs and bringing gun violence even closer to the forefront.

    We see a powerful, heavily armed society that appears on the surface to be out of control. Many individuals seem very reluctant to show some restraint in their response to perceived threats.
    Shoot first and ask questions later comes to mind. We see American law enforcement using really terrible tactics on its own citizens. We see all of this and it makes us think...where is the American way of life going and when will it begin to directly affect us in other countries in a negative way.

    While there are bombings and shootings in other parts of the world, its nothing compared to the
    scale and preponderance of violence dished out by Americans every day. When America isn't
    exporting violence, it seems to be inflicting it on itself. It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of Americans who aren't currently living in the continental US.

    I guess in hind sight, Lila's response to personal protection is a mirror of your country's response to its own perceived threats. To me, it looks like it might be time to find somewhere else to live before things get worse and you are all carrying pocket nukes (with permits of course). I get it that Americans love their country, Big Macs and apple pie. I get having a gun or two for recreation and maybe even as a rural necessity, but I don't get why someone needs 20 guns and 20,000 rounds of ammo or a concealed hand gun or a hand gun at all for that matter if you aren't planning to shoot someone-that goes way beyond being prepared for adversity. I don't understand why it seems so easy for (some) Americans to kill others so easily. I don't understand why some
    Americans feel it is a better choice to purchase and keep a gun rather than simply move away and
    solve the issue. Maybe there are fewer and fewer places to go where guns and violence don't meet. Maybe, guns aren't the answer. Maybe guns don't make you safer, maybe they just make you think you are safer.


  15. If you haven't considered how your society appears to others around the world (if you even care),
    if it's the American way or the highway, or if all of the above appears perfectly normal every day
    stuff, now you might understand just a little bit better, when I say, I love you, but I wont live with you.

    It seems so unnecessary to live a life based on a preoccupation of fear or to assume that a gun is
    anything but an equalizer-someone still dies. That gun, isn't really all that much protection anyways, the bad guy has one too and he may be bringing friends along. You reap what you sow, and from where I sit, as great as America is or was or could be, it's sinking faster than you think and it has the rest of 6 billion people more than a little nervous.

    That was a bit of a digression...back on point. I'm not anti-American, I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm merely trying to present a different view. I'm not saying its time for 330 million Americans to relocate, that would just move the problems elsewhere. From a individual point of view, I am trying to explain that needing a gun to feel safe in your own home, is not supposed to be a requirement for a good life. These days, in the USA, a gun just might become a requirement for a
    long life...and that is a sad commentary of the state of affairs in one little section of Arizona, where one house wife forgot a gun in her car when she went to bed...

  16. Lila,

    Don't take all this personally. I'm not trying to critize or poke you with a big stick. Your post just provided an opportunity to address a situation and to provide a differing opinion...after all that's what the comment section is for...'s 10 o'clock, do you know where your glock is?...

  17. Anon, there's no help for you. You think you live in a place without whackos. You think you are safe.

    Good luck to you. I hope you don't find out different. No point in carrying on the conversation any further.

  18. You're right, I've expressed my opinion and there is not much point in drawing this out ad nauseum.

    There are whackos everywhere, and I know that there are some in my neck of the woods. The difference is that "my" whackos aren't conducting their business with hand guns and semi-automatic rifles with high capacity magazines.

    Our whackos run away when they are discovered breaking into a home. My society doesn't actively enable "our" whackos - and "my" society is much safer and better off for it. When the shooting stops, we'll see who's left...

    Glod bless...and good luck.


We love comments! We are happy to answer questions, join in debate and conversation, or just say hi. All we ask is for respect. Respect us and others. Keep it civil. Obviously we aren't afraid of cussing but we don't like anyone degraded or invalidated.

We also know we make mistakes. Feel free to call us out. You can't improve things that need it if you aren't aware of it.

If you have an opinion share it but know if it is going to cause hurt to someone we care about we will not approve it.

Most of all have fun!!