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CrazedJava 01-08-2013 07:59 PM

The illusion of security
 
I know this particular subforum is generally for "lighter fare" but since this is not about guns or politics, but specifically about American culture it seemed pretty miscellaneous to me.

One of my frustrations with American culture is our ongoing obsession with safety and our recurring illusion of security.

The non-productive reaction of the Sandy Hook killings combined with the attempts to capitalize on it by pushing an agenda that would have done nothing to prevent the tragedy had the proposed legislation already been enacted all but guarantees we will see another spree killing sooner rather than later. When these killings occur people are stunned. They simply cannot imagine what would drive a person to commit such a heinous crime. I would think after 9/11 we would all be more aware of the extremes a person’s hatred will drive them. Yet we are still stunned when it happens and we want answers.

The problem is the answers are not simple, the problem is complex. We propose reactionary simple solutions that does nothing to address the problem. For those that remember Columbine, the finger largely pointed to videogames and bullying. Many tried to blame the parents but I think anyone with a teenager can attest to how little control a parent often feels. I’m not saying Adam Lanza’s mother was perfect but she didn’t pull the trigger either and found herself on the wrong end of the barrel. The point is that in many cases the answers are complex and in some cases not politically correct or culturally comfortable. There are some murmurings about Adam Lanza’s father or the use of drugs to control behavior. Again, merely factors but not causes but it causes an uncomfortable stir in our collective consciousness as we try to pretend like the traditional family structures are no longer important or relevant. Easier to blame guns, or videogames, or mean people, or rock ‘n roll, or whatever.

We as a country are obsessed with bad things and seem to think if we could just regulate away all these awful objects than we’d be safe. Of course that ignore the routine acts of terror committed with innocuous devices, the mass stabbings in China, or even the Oklahoma City bombings. There are simply too many ways for people to kill other people. Our ineffectual response in creating the TSA and ongoing security theater shines as an example of how to appear to be doing something while accomplishing almost nothing at great cost in both time and money.

We want to believe we are safe. We move to “good” neighborhoods but are shocked when bad things happen. Last week a women was jogging in the park before 8pm less than 2 miles from where I live. Two men ambushed her, knocked her unconscious, and raped her. Although it was dark, it was not late. I have rode my bike and jogged through that very same park many times and was personally stunned that there were no other people around. I have tried to resist using this incident to push my wife into learning how to use a gun, but we don’t live in a bad neighborhood.

What we need to teach is situational awareness and threat assessment. Situational awareness has been a good skill to have. Having a keen sense of my surroundings has saved me from many a car accident. It is not just about looking out for criminals looking to do me harm, it protects me from idiots who are a threat to themselves and others. In my mind, situational awareness also means you don’t cut through dark alleys late at night in unfamiliar parts of town. Having good threat assessment skills was crucial to an old line of work, but it’s something every father should teach their sons. In layman’s terms think of it as “sizing up” an opponent. In my case I had to do this routinely when someone was a potential threat. Instead what do we teach? How to download songs on iTunes. We’re raising a generation of Americans who rarely exit their own personal bubbles. Is it any wonder our reaction to tragedy is so emotional and reactionary?

If we give up our guns what happens when the next tragedy strikes? Whether it is a terrorist act or another mass murder, something will happen because we’re not actually making ourselves safer. There will always be bad people and they will always do acts that normal citizens would consider atrocious and unthinkable. Yet somehow our society looks at the Adam Lanza’s and others like some freak anomaly. The next one is coming, it is a matter of time. No amount of gun control, school security, armed teachers, or TSA Agents will change that fact. At what point does our society adopt vigilance instead of sticking our heads in the sand?

orangello 01-08-2013 08:29 PM

Your wife might be more accepting of the C2 taser from the Taser people. If you light up an attacker and split but file a police report on the incident, it is my understanding they will offer you a credit towards another C2 to replace it.

Tell her it is for evil, cat-eating coyotes.

Tackleberry1 01-08-2013 08:34 PM

Very Good Post!

I agree that the deteriorating Familly, lack of moral values, and the inclination of many to "medicate" there kids into compliance is the root cause of school/mass killings...and that GFZ's provide a soft targets and ensure large body counts.

I do not think the "social" argument however is productive. Too many heads in the sand and simply too easy a path for many to deviate from.

For my part, I am arguing for change by pointing out that the singular similarity in every recent mass killing except Giffords was a GUN FREE ZONE.

And I'm asking every politician why a gun that protects them is "a good gun" but a gun that protects our kids "is a bad gun"?

...and challenging them to practice what they preach by dismissing there armed security and declaring there offices and homes Gun Free Zones.

I then like to follow up by asking for one example where a Government prohibition of a formerly legal product has been succesful?

Alchohol...nope failure...Drugs...nope failure...20,000 existing gun laws...nope failure...

...so, how stupid would I need to be to believe that any gun ban would be more successful than our past attempts at banning booze and drugs?


Tack

orangello 01-08-2013 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tackleberry1 (Post 1085354)
For my part, I am arguing for change by pointing out that the singular similarity in every recent mass killing except Giffords was a GUN FREE ZONE.

Don't the security people with a congressperson make a temporary GFZ around the congressperson, just not a statutory or permanent one?

CrazedJava 01-08-2013 08:53 PM

The societal issues are simply too uncomfortable for America at large. In conversations with people I work with, family, etc. when we talk about security and safety I do point out that crime happens everywhere. All you can do is reduce your odds. We can get rid of gun free zones and we're still not going to be "safe", we're just taking away easy targets. Not that I'm a fan of the ole GFZ and would like to see them done away with but we'll still struggle with bad people doing bad things.

That is my sticking point. Americans seem unable to cope with the thought that bad people are out there waiting for their next victim. I don't want to make people paranoid, I just wish they were aware.

On a personal note I'm not just venting about this stuff. I am starting to teach my teenage son situational awareness. I had a head start from growing up playing flight simulators, which were great in training me to keep aware of my surroundings, especially since videogames at the time were primitive and checking your six was not easy. Learning to constantly file and update information of the world around me became important and I carried it on to my driving habits.

I did convince my wife to get some pepper spray. Ok, let's be honest, I convinced her to let me get her some. I promised it would be in a pink bottle. Hardly ideal but at least the conversation about getting my CHL is going to be that much easier for her to accept.

PanBaccha 01-08-2013 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrazedJava (Post 1085324)
I know this particular subforum is generally for "lighter fare" but since this is not about guns or politics, but specifically about American culture it seemed pretty miscellaneous to me.

One of my frustrations with American culture is our ongoing obsession with safety and our recurring illusion of security.

The non-productive reaction of the Sandy Hook killings combined with the attempts to capitalize on it by pushing an agenda that would have done nothing to prevent the tragedy had the proposed legislation already been enacted all but guarantees we will see another spree killing sooner rather than later. When these killings occur people are stunned. They simply cannot imagine what would drive a person to commit such a heinous crime. I would think after 9/11 we would all be more aware of the extremes a person’s hatred will drive them. Yet we are still stunned when it happens and we want answers.

The problem is the answers are not simple, the problem is complex. We propose reactionary simple solutions that does nothing to address the problem. For those that remember Columbine, the finger largely pointed to videogames and bullying. Many tried to blame the parents but I think anyone with a teenager can attest to how little control a parent often feels. I’m not saying Adam Lanza’s mother was perfect but she didn’t pull the trigger either and found herself on the wrong end of the barrel. The point is that in many cases the answers are complex and in some cases not politically correct or culturally comfortable. There are some murmurings about Adam Lanza’s father or the use of drugs to control behavior. Again, merely factors but not causes but it causes an uncomfortable stir in our collective consciousness as we try to pretend like the traditional family structures are no longer important or relevant. Easier to blame guns, or videogames, or mean people, or rock ‘n roll, or whatever.

We as a country are obsessed with bad things and seem to think if we could just regulate away all these awful objects than we’d be safe. Of course that ignore the routine acts of terror committed with innocuous devices, the mass stabbings in China, or even the Oklahoma City bombings. There are simply too many ways for people to kill other people. Our ineffectual response in creating the TSA and ongoing security theater shines as an example of how to appear to be doing something while accomplishing almost nothing at great cost in both time and money.

We want to believe we are safe. We move to “good” neighborhoods but are shocked when bad things happen. Last week a women was jogging in the park before 8pm less than 2 miles from where I live. Two men ambushed her, knocked her unconscious, and raped her. Although it was dark, it was not late. I have rode my bike and jogged through that very same park many times and was personally stunned that there were no other people around. I have tried to resist using this incident to push my wife into learning how to use a gun, but we don’t live in a bad neighborhood.

What we need to teach is situational awareness and threat assessment. Situational awareness has been a good skill to have. Having a keen sense of my surroundings has saved me from many a car accident. It is not just about looking out for criminals looking to do me harm, it protects me from idiots who are a threat to themselves and others. In my mind, situational awareness also means you don’t cut through dark alleys late at night in unfamiliar parts of town. Having good threat assessment skills was crucial to an old line of work, but it’s something every father should teach their sons. In layman’s terms think of it as “sizing up” an opponent. In my case I had to do this routinely when someone was a potential threat. Instead what do we teach? How to download songs on iTunes. We’re raising a generation of Americans who rarely exit their own personal bubbles. Is it any wonder our reaction to tragedy is so emotional and reactionary?

If we give up our guns what happens when the next tragedy strikes? Whether it is a terrorist act or another mass murder, something will happen because we’re not actually making ourselves safer. There will always be bad people and they will always do acts that normal citizens would consider atrocious and unthinkable. Yet somehow our society looks at the Adam Lanza’s and others like some freak anomaly. The next one is coming, it is a matter of time. No amount of gun control, school security, armed teachers, or TSA Agents will change that fact. At what point does our society adopt vigilance instead of sticking our heads in the sand?

I remember once when Martin Luther King Jr said: "You can't legislate behavior." It rings true today in light of the frenzy rush to push legislation on honest, responsible gun owners, and not touch upon the criminal element in our society. By the way, nice post above. ;)

Tackleberry1 01-08-2013 10:50 PM

While all that is true, I find it immoral of our leaders to to state that A. Our kids must attend school then not only fail to provide protection but also criminalize any teacher who would.

I don't teach but I personally know several friends and Familly members who do teach, who already hold CHL's, who are quite competend with a handgun, and who would choose to carry at work in a heartbeat if they could do so "legally".

While everyone else likes to canonize the fallen teachers for dying to protect there students, , I'm more interested in destroying the politicians who made sure that dying was there only choice. :mad:

Tack

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrazedJava (Post 1085372)
The societal issues are simply too uncomfortable for America at large. In conversations with people I work with, family, etc. when we talk about security and safety I do point out that crime happens everywhere. All you can do is reduce your odds. We can get rid of gun free zones and we're still not going to be "safe", we're just taking away easy targets. Not that I'm a fan of the ole GFZ and would like to see them done away with but we'll still struggle with bad people doing bad things.

That is my sticking point. Americans seem unable to cope with the thought that bad people are out there waiting for their next victim. I don't want to make people paranoid, I just wish they were aware.

On a personal note I'm not just venting about this stuff. I am starting to teach my teenage son situational awareness. I had a head start from growing up playing flight simulators, which were great in training me to keep aware of my surroundings, especially since videogames at the time were primitive and checking your six was not easy. Learning to constantly file and update information of the world around me became important and I carried it on to my driving habits.

I did convince my wife to get some pepper spray. Ok, let's be honest, I convinced her to let me get her some. I promised it would be in a pink bottle. Hardly ideal but at least the conversation about getting my CHL is going to be that much easier for her to accept.


Tackleberry1 01-09-2013 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orangello (Post 1085356)
Don't the security people with a congressperson make a temporary GFZ around the congressperson, just not a statutory or permanent one?

Probably...hadn't thought of that.

JonM 01-09-2013 01:47 AM

while a good post it does belong in the political/controversery sub-section. feel free to repost there


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