We’ve got to do something!

No, we don’t.

A rare editorial commentary.

In the wake of the recent ‘mass shootings,’ an amazing amount of rhetoric has arisen on both sides of the political spectrum and from the Venn diagram of those who bridge the continuum. Both sides are wrong. I’ll probably annoy some people with this commentary and lose some subscribers but so be it.

On one side, commonly referred to as the Left, we hear renewed call for various forms of gun control, ranging from Universal Background Checks to outright banning of ‘assault weapons.’ These calls are the continued extension of a propaganda campaign that would have made Nazi propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels proud. In numerical terms, the probability of being involved in a ‘mass shooting’ is so small a possibility that it’s not even worth considering in our daily lives much less for making public policy. There were more one-on-one homicide victims last year than in all the so-called ‘mass shootings’ of the 20th and 21st Centuries combined. I feel sorry for the victims of active killers but no more so than for the Dekalb County murder victims who annually outnumber ‘active killer’ victims but who get about one minute of news coverage every few days.

The whole ‘mass shooting’ thing is an invention of the mass media elites to boost their ratings and push forward the topic of gun control. Anyone who thinks that media personalities making millions of dollars a year care one whit about the plight of the average person is seriously naïve. What they care about is their ratings and how much money and power they can accumulate.

In terms of absolutely preventable deaths, the victims of ‘gun violence’ represent a tiny percentage. As I’ve said for many years, if we were really concerned about nutballs going out and slaughtering people, every car in the country would have a mandatory breathalyzer interlock on the ignition. But that would inconvenience everyone, which is unacceptable even if it would save tens of thousands of lives every year. I’ve been accused of deflecting for saying that because it’s a fact that everyone wants to ignore. It would inconvenience everyone who drives at least twice a day and “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Having some way to keep the texting function of cell phones from working while you’re driving would probably go a long way toward preventing death and injuries, too.

The fact is that people’s convenience and choices are far more important to them than other peoples’ well-being. If we really cared about the welfare of the population at large, we’d ban soda pop or limit the amount of it that can be bought. We’ve already seen how popular that idea is. Inconvenience is an automatic no-go.

The gunowning community side is no better. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen the phrase “Carry your gun with you everywhere” as a result of these incidents. This is usually about two posts down from a diatribe about how stupid the average gunowner is because they don’t carry the right kind of gun in a holster the poster finds acceptable. Which is it, everyone carry a gun or nearly everyone who carries a gun is incompetent?

Everyone should get training! As I’ve pointed out, there’s a serious numerical problem with the idea that everyone needs training. Folks who advocate that everyone needs training should do some research and then plug the numbers into Excel. It would take 500 years, that’s not a typo, to get everyone who owns a gun trained to even a mediocre level. The idea that those who carry a gun should be able to make a 25 yard head shot on an active killer is so far out of reach that I won’t even hazard a guess at how few people could be trained to that standard. Nowadays, many USPSA Grandmasters can’t accomplish that task with their raceguns.

Speaking of Excel, being able to use it correctly and effectively should be mandatory for anyone who makes or opines about public policy or legal issues. Psychobabble looks a lot different when you start plugging numbers into a spreadsheet and find out that the numbers aren’t what you think they are.

So when we feel “We need to do something,” what do we do? NOTHING DIFFERENT! We accept the fact that life can be dangerous and then get on with our daily lives. We get in our cars, go to work, and at least carry a can of pepper spray to deal with the much more likely possibility of having to apply some social lubricant to a run-of-the-mill criminal. While we’re out, we’re judicious about using our Smartphones so we don’t have our head stuffed up our fourth point of contact (paratrooper term for buttocks) most of the time.

When we get home, we give thanks for the fact that we are so fortunate as to live in the USA. After all, we could be stuck in some Third or Fourth World shithole or a repressive Second World autocracy, such as the UK or FRG, where we can be imprisoned for saying something on Facebook or Twitter.

What we don’t do is SOMETHING STUPID, either individually or as a Nation.

If we choose to carry a gun to protect ourselves and our loved ones, perhaps we buy the Tactical Professor’s Concealed Carry Skills and Drills book so we at least have some vague notion of what personal protection skills actually are and what we’re capable of.


Maybe we even buy the Tactical Professor’s Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make recording. That might help ward off a gun related problem that could have been avoided.


None of those are the answers either side wants but they are the real answers.

14 responses

  1. One who agrees whole heartily

  2. Those words look common sense to me. Maybe that’s the problem.

  3. Your post offers a reasoned response to the recent terrorist attacks. But right or wrong, I think most Americans want some action to try to prevent future attacks.

    I’m very concerned about the safety of my 3-year-old granddaughter. She will be attending public school in two years and our country seems unable to protect our children in schools.

    My thought is that our country has thousands of soldiers and marines who are trained in close quarters combat. After they leave military service, local school systems should hire them to protect their children, teachers and staff.

    However, these security personnel should not be law enforcement officers. Instead, they would be like Secret Service agents whose mandate is to protect first and arrest later. They would have legal authority to shoot armed intruders on sight, with no warning necessary.

    Of course, all shootings would be investigated by the local LEO agency. But the investigations would result in a public hearing – not a trial – to determine if the shooting was justified. If justified, no further legal action, criminal or civil, would be permitted against the security personnel.

    I realize many state and local laws would need to be rewritten; or maybe a federal law could be enacted. But I have heard of no other viable solutions being offered. Certainly, the latest gun control proposals would not protect our children and teachers.

    My second thought is the Israelis have fought attacks for over 70 years. What actions do they take to protect their citizens in schools, shopping malls, etc.? Can Israeli strategies be used here?

  4. The urge to ‘do something’ is natural. It’s just awful that within minutes of that first urge, the urge turns to zealotry and fanaticism on both sides.

    Do I support or oppose gun control? I’ll just say we can have a talk. As long as we are both clear that DUE PROCESS should be part of the dialogue.

  5. Pithy and spot on as usual

  6. I only “liked” this post (via WP) because “LOVE” wasn’t an option.

  7. Mr. Werner,

    I have bought several of your books, and really appreciate the resources for my own practice and training. I agree with you wholly on the subject of what we can do, as far as new laws – NOTHING DIFFERENT. Personally, I’d go a bit farther and remove some of the worthless restrictions we currently face in any number of areas in our lives.

    I don’t think it’s an issue of passing new laws, convenient or otherwise. I regard the brethalyzer interlock in cars as being akin to “safer bullets” and “smart weapons”.
    A knee-jerk reaction, treating a symptom, and not the problem. Likewise the banning or limiting of soda purchases, which amounts to the same fascism as background checks for, or limits on ammunition purchases. None of these “solutions” will solve anything. Want to know how I know this? The 18th Amendment, and it’s repeal in the 21st Amendment to our Constitution. No amount of “good will” and intent to “do the right thing” can be legislated into a populace.

    So, what could we do to actually fix this problem? I’d argue it’s not a matter of convenience, but a matter of will, and culture. We must, as a society, exhibit the will to punish people who violate the law. Our judicial system has actively and consistently failed to protect us for the last several generations by not enforcing the laws already on the books, and we are raising children with no sense of consequence.

    That brings me to the second thing we can do – return to and teach our children an inviolate set of principles to live by. Our morally relativistic culture claims that everyone’s experience validates their desires and beliefs, when nothing could be further from the truth. A culture not bound and directed by universal principles is doomed to fail. As Franklin said, when asked by a group of citizens what sort of government had been created: “A republic, if you can keep it.” We are failing to keep and uphold the principles we were founded upon, and this is reflected in our elected leaders, our judges, and our violent culture, which has no respect for life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.

    In any case, please do keep up the good work, providing training for those who accept the need to be responsible for themselves and their own.

  8. Thank you. Bob Duckworth

  9. Claude is spot on (as usual) with the TRAINING issue. Go to any gun range and watch the folks who have less than zero training, and in too many cases, endangering others with their negligent gun handling. It’s frightening to the point of wearing body armor in case Dumbquavious sets into motion a chain of irresponsibility.

    Does anyone remember, before Algore invented the Internet, that it was thought that the cause of collective stupidity was the lack of access to information ?? Well . . . that wasn’t it.

    It doesn’t matter what make, model, caliber, or size of gun that you carry. It matters that you (a) learn how to operate it with proficiency to the point of it being reflex, and (b) forget about the internet chairborne commandos and mall ninjas – work on developing your actual physical and mental shooting skills – with emphasis on the mental.

    Your brain is your most efficient ‘weapon’ system.

  10. I have liked so much that now it’s available in Spanish too:

    I hope you don’t mind me translating it, Claude. I will delete it if you prefer.

    1. Spread the word. I’m happy that you translated it.

      1. It is my pleasure. Reading you is really informative.

  11. Reblogged this on securelosangeles and commented:
    Great commentary.

  12. Francisco de los Cobos

    Great post with realistic views, be aware and be prepared (training).

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