Paul Valone, of Grass Roots NC fame, has hit one out of the park. Go read it, now:

How Many Gun Laws Have You Broken Today?

(While you are there, be sure and read the comment left by Jeff Knox)

I've said for many years to friends, co-workers, and relatives- you've committed a felony today. You might not know what it is, but trust me, you did. They have enough laws out there now- not just guns, but taxes, environmental, even traffic- that somehow, some way, you committed a serious infraction sometime, probably more than you realize. If you are thinking it doesn't matter, since they didn't arrest you, know this: They can do something, when they want to. And it's looking very much like the powers that be are getting ready to use (and abuse) as many of those laws as it takes to keep you, the sheep, in line.

Any time the government - any government- passes a law that they can't or don't enforce- the recent 'no recycleable bottles in landfills' bill springs to mind- ask why they pass laws without being able to enforce them. Then remind yourself: they aren't enforcing it- yet. But they will- one day, when they need to keep you in line, or punish you for speaking out- tea party, anyone?

You have been warned.

I really hate this kind of story, but it does bring up some useful lessons:

(via The Columbus Dispatch)
Beaten Ohio man is shot during self-defense lesson
Sat Oct 3, 2:36 am ET
GROVEPORT, Ohio – An 80-year-old Ohio man is recovering from a week in which he was beaten during a home invasion and then shot while trying to learn about guns.
Ralph Needs says he wouldn't want anyone to experience what he's been through.
He was tied up and pistol-whipped when at least three intruders broke into his Columbus-area home Sept. 20. Needs' nose was broken and his pickup truck, a computer and credit cards were stolen.
Four days later, Needs was shot in the hand during a self-defense lesson. A 9 mm pistol went off as one of his sons was loading it.
Groveport police say it was an accident, so there will be no charges. No one has been arrested in the assault, but one person was charged in connection with the stolen computer, now recovered.

Ok, first the obvious: If this had been a success story, if the 80 year old gentleman had been proficient in the use of his firearm, and prevented the robbery in the first place, we would have never heard of it. Perhaps a local story on page three, perhaps not. But of course this story fits the media template, so it gets national attention: Guns are bad, and just waiting for a chance to kill grandpa. This is nonsense, of course, but until there is a dramatic change in the makeup of news employees (some 80 to 89 percent admit being 'liberal democrats) the news bias will not change.

So rather than dwell on the obvious, I'd like to point out the importance of learning skills before they are needed. When you are over 80 years old, have just been traumatized by a beating and being robbed, this is not the time to pick up a gun and try to learn how to use it. Yes, it can be done, but I have seen this scene played out far too many times. Victim, or potential victim, impulsively decides they MUST have a gun for protection before learning the proper safety rules and understanding how the weapon functions. Victim then 'feels' safe, puts firearm in drawer, never to be thought of again unless and until an emergency is upon them.

This is a dandy way to end up as this gentleman did, with a self inflicted injury.

Folks, we live in a world that is growing ever more dangerous, with no reason to expect things to improve in the short run. The prison system is a revolving door, with the average 'life' sentence for capital crimes in my state running around 7 years, average. Drug offences? Domestic violence? Armed robbery? Good chance the offender will be out on bail before the officer gets the paperwork done. When sentenced, look for probation for a first or even second offense. This means an ever increasing number of potential felons near your house waiting for a chance to do you harm. If you wait until it happens, you will be a victim.

If, on the other hand, you would like to avoid being a victim, now would be a good time to get some training, information, and mindset for what to do if the unthinkable happens. The head-in-the-sand crowd will call this paranoia, but any reasonable reading of the current crime statistics is a convincing argument for reasonable precautions. This does not necessarily mean going out and buying a firearm- although for an elderly person with limited strength and skills it is often the best choice- but should include a well thought out plan of what to do in the most likely situations. Recently, someone I know got locked out of the house. They were forced to 'break in.' After this, they admitted to me they were surprised at just how easy it was to force entry into the house. When is the last time you walked around your own house and pretended you were a break in artist? Something as simple as a screw in a window to prevent easy entry may have saved this gentleman a lot of pain. Going down this list, things like alarms, pepper spray, panic buttons, neighborhood watch, and yes, weapons of deadly force can all help the Innocent stay safe.

I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to look around today, and do some planning to keep those they love safe and secure.

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