Guns and Holidays Don’t Always Mix

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

As we head into Christmas, I have to admit I have mixed feelings. While I personally enjoy the holiday and am looking forward to spending time with my kids and grandkids, I also recognize that Christmas isn’t a time of joy for everyone. There are many people for which Christmas is a time of sadness, either because of divorce, a death in the family or because they can’t spend the holidays with those they love.

There are people who seem perfectly normal on the outside, but who are struggling on the inside. These people will hide their struggle as best they can; but it often manifests itself in unhealthy ways, like drinking too much. While drinking or not drinking is their choice, we all know that drinking and firearms, just like drinking and driving, are a bad mix.

Sadly, it seems like every year there are some shootings which happen during holiday celebrations. Whether those are family celebrations or just friends getting together, the shootings usually come from a combination of booze, some underlying emotional problem that the shooter has and a disagreement with someone else in the gathering. They end up confessing to the police, saying something like “Why didn’t they just back off?”

This is the kind of thing the anti-gun left loves to get hold of, claiming it is indicative of how even guns really are and how the only reason why anyone would own a gun would be to kill someone. But you and I know differently. We know that such things are due to poor judgment, mixed with a broken heart and too much to drink.

The reason why I bring this up is that I don’t want to see anyone’s holiday ruined. I have a profound regard for my fellow gun owners; but I recognize that none of us is perfect. We need to watch out for one another and we especially need to watch out for those who don’t have the years of experience carrying a gun, that some of us do. It is those people who are most likely to find themselves in the midst of this sort of disaster.

I’m not suggesting in any way that we should take anyone’s Second Amendment rights away from them. I’m not in favor of red flag laws. When I was going through my divorce, the court took my guns away from me, based upon nothing more than my ex-wife claiming that she was afraid of me and that I was dangerous. It didn’t matter that I had never abused her or that there was no record of that with the police force. All that mattered was that she said she was afraid. A mostly ignored federal statute gave the courts all the authority they needed to take my guns away. Fortunately, I got them back when it was all over.

Excuse my digression there, but I was explaining why I am personally against taken guns away from people. So I would not be part of taking anyone’s guns away from them, unless it was proven by competent psychosocial authority, proven in court, that they were a danger to themselves and others.

Nevertheless, I’m not blind to the fact that there are people who are a danger to themselves or to others. Some of those people are in our own families, given the right circumstances. Others might be amongst our circle of friends, again, given the right circumstances. Mixing the alcohol that some people think is part of a Christmas or New Year’s celebration, with their underlying emotional problems might just be a bad mix.

So what I’m proposing instead, is that we, you and I, take it upon ourselves to keep an eye on these people. Not, I might add, with the idea of beating them to the draw and being the hero, but from the viewpoint of being there for them, to talk them down, being another kind of hero.

While I’m a firm believer in always being armed, being trained and in practice, and in our Second Amendment rights, I recognize that my gun is a tool of last resort. Before reaching for my gun, I’d rather do everything else in my power to avoid using it. While that may not always be possible, there are many times it will be. I’ll take those chances when I can, because as far as I’m concerned, the mission is to protect people, not to shoot them. Shooting is only for those times when we run out of other options.

So let’s police ourselves. If you know anyone who owns guns and especially anyone who carries one, either legally or illegally, keep a friendly eye on them. Make sure they’re okay and not going through some rocky times that they’re not talking about. Watch their alcohol intake, to see if they might be getting a bit out of control. And if they are getting to that place, be there to make sure they don’t get in trouble.

Let’s keep the holidays safe this year, just like we keep our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.

Thank you,

Dr. Rich

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