Letters to the Editor

Presenting gun can be enough

Re Bill French letter "Carrying gun signals intention," April 17:

In his letter, French makes the argument that it is justifiable to use a firearm for defense if threatened in his home, but it is not justified when walking the streets.

This is incongruent logic. Bad guys are bad guys no matter where they may be encountered, and one must be prepared to meet them with sufficient force to repel their attack.

He, like many on the left who speak without reference to facts, is quick to invoke "Old West" or "Wild West" symbolism in arguments against gun rights. Shootouts were predicted in Florida, South Carolina and the other 40 states that have right-to-carry laws by gun control advocates, and guess what -- it didn't happen. Law-abiding license holders value their Second Amendment guarantees and don't do stupid. The only ones who engage in shootouts are felons -- mostly gang members -- who will not observe any firearm laws in the first place.

Reference to accurate statistics involving presentation of firearms in defensive situations indicates that it happens frequently throughout the U.S.; it also indicates that in the vast majority of the time no shots are required. Presentation alone, without shots -- by far the preferred method -- can make one safe.

Unfortunately, in the case of determined perpetrators/felons, particularly those hyped up on drugs, simple defenses (fisticuffs or the like) will not suffice. Also, no one can outrun bad guy bullets. In these scenarios, the best way (and likely only way) to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Our dedicated police forces are not physically present for 99 percent of all crimes. If they are not present, then we must be prepared either to take responsibility for own defense or be prepared to accept whatever the bad guys do to us and our loved ones; I prefer the former. I simply will not allow my loved ones to suffer harm because I am unwilling to participate in their protection.

A tragic example of laws and attitudes gone very bad is the Virginia Tech massacre. The no-guns-on-campus law ensured that only bad guys had guns there. Had just one student or one professor had the training, the license and the proper weapon, he or she could have ended the spree before 32 students lost their lives (and many others wounded). "Liberal nonsense" killed those young people as surely as did the perpetrator because the stage was set for him; he had easy pickings.

In a public forum French has informed the public, including the dregs of society, that he has not the means, nor will, to defend himself outside of his home. Perhaps he should publish his travel itinerary to make it even easier for the bad guys.

I don't want Mr. French to think I have a frivolous outlook toward life and death. Three tours in Southeast Asia, the taking of many lives, and the loss of many friends will haunt you the rest of your life. Ask my DAV and other service organization friends; we understand the treasure of life and the agony of its loss. Do I want to kill again? No. Absolutely not. On the other hand, do I want my loved ones killed or grievously harmed? No. Absolutely not.

In the final analysis, the decision to shoot is not mine to make ... it belongs to the bad guy(s). It will come when he, or they, leave me no option.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.