To Protect and Serve

As the nation continues to recover from the latest horrible mass shooting incident in Florida, the gun control debate is predictably once again front and center. The media, anti-second amendment groups, and politicians are unleashing the usual flood of misinformation and falsehoods. The NRA is once again the target of emotional misplaced anger. The goal is always the same; to use tragedy to undermine or eliminate our second amendment rights.

Yet amid all this there are signs that we may actually be on the verge of discussing viable ways to minimize loss of life during these incidents. For example leaders including the President are seriously discussing allowing school staff to protect themselves and ending dangerous gun free zones.

Part of the discussion should address the belief that police have both the responsibility and means to protect us. The discussion should also include what responsibility each citizen has regarding self-protection. This subject is likely to come up in the debate on national reciprocity and as a result of the investigation into the response of several Broward County deputies.

Four Broward County deputies remained safely outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while the shooter was inside killing innocents. While the investigation is ongoing and all the facts are not in one thing is certain, deputies in that case chose not to protect civilians.

Most police officers and deputies are dedicated professionals who often risk their lives in the defense of others, however according to the Supreme Court they have no constitutional duty to do so. Realistically law enforcement (LE) officers also lack the means to protect us 24/7 even if the intent were present.

Anti-gun groups and politicians tend to portray LE officers as the only people capable of safely and effectively using firearms to defend human life. Trained civilians are routinely dismissed as not able to achieve the same level of firearms expertise. Those of us actively involved in the gun community know how foolish this view is.

While I have great respect for LE and I am truly grateful for the service they provide I also understand they are human and not perfect. In this example a civilian who disarmed a gunman was mistakenly shot by arriving officers.

In the civilian world, those of us using firearms are trained that we are responsible for every bullet that leaves our gun. In a recent LE incident in San Francisco, police officers fired 65 rounds in 15 seconds at a murder suspect who opened fire on them. Not one of those 65 rounds hit the suspect and by some miracle no one else was hit either.

This leads us back to the rights and responsibilities of individuals regarding personal protection. The right to self-protection was believed to be a God given right by many of the Founders of our country and not something that could be controlled by government. Notwithstanding the second amendment is intended to ensure that right.

Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own safety and that of our family. Some of us choose to employ firearms as tools in that effort. In addition we train to avoid criminals and to avoid becoming involved in potentially violent situations. If we are attacked we train to have the ability to effectively respond to a deadly threat.

In San Diego County we are in the process of regaining our concealed carry (CCW) rights for the purpose of self-protection outside the home. Those of us who accept this responsibility have an obligation to train and educate ourselves continuously so that we can carry safely and so that we fully understand the law governing CCW. In addition we need to be skilled enough to hit our intended target should we ever be required to use a firearm in self-defense.

We are regaining our CCW rights due in large part to the hard work of Michael Schwartz, Executive Director of SDCGO and many others. If you want to keep your rights help defend them by joining San Diego County Gun Owners, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, and the National Rifle Association. Join the fight and help us restore and preserve our second amendment rights. Together we will win.

©2018 Joseph T Drammissi


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