December 2, 2009
Let me preface this by telling you that I am a shooter. In fact, I have been a competitive shooter since I was 8 years-old and have won state championships in two disciplines, multiple matches in the military and was on the Penn State Varsity Rifle Team in college ( ahem, we even beat both West Point and Annapolis that year. We Pennsylvania boys are shooters). I still shoot on a frequent basis, love doing it with my son, Sam, and I have great respect for the sport. I have also been following trends in the shooting sports and in shooting in general. Recently, I saw a piece on The Outdoor Channel that I found very disturbing.
On Wednesday nights, there is a show called “The Best Defense”. It’s focus, as its name implies, is on self-protection and home defense. Okay, I get that. People are worried about things like home invasions, armed robberies, car-jackings and there is a feeling across the land that these are dangerous times. Of course, it doesn’t help that the nightly news is loaded to the gunnels with stories of people acting badly. Why wouldn’t people feel threatened in the face of this barrage?
However, as I was watching this show, one of the hosts--Michael Janich, see above--glibly volunteered the opinion that in a social emergency, you might find yourself in a situation where it becomes necessary to shoot your neighbor. Yes, that is what he said, in plain language. HOLY COW!!! What happened to the idea that Americans pull together and help each other out when things get tough? Well, this fellow, and apparently a host of people who are willing to pay for his instruction, and, one must surmise, untold thousands of Americans who are arming themselves for God knows what (there’s a list: Armageddon, 2012, ‘social chaos’…take your pick)—are adopting the idea that cooperation is only good as long as it benefits YOU. When it comes to sacrificing anything for the sake of others, well, that’s a whole different matter, bucko.
[aside: to the person who had issues with the above statement. I stand-by it. Janich did say that in a pinch you may have to shoot your neighbor, and he did say that you could use a .22 to get a better weapon from someone else. ]
On another segment of this show, Janich stated that having at least a small caliber .22 rifle was absolutely a necessity and that in a pinch you could use it to ‘upgrade’ your armament. He was saying that you should hunt down somebody with a better weapon and use the .22 to take it from them. He did not imply that you should merely ask them for it at gun-point, and common sense tells one that you will probably have to shoot them to get their gun.
In “The Death of Honor, Part I” I mentioned that we are headed towards a society in which the idea of ‘doing the right thing’, i.e. Honor, is slowly being dismissed as irrelevant. I went on to state that we will be in a society that approaches being unlivable if this becomes a reality. Well, here it is, right in front of God knows how many people on their televisions. “Is this for real?” you might be asking yourself. It is absolutely a true reflection of a growing sentiment across this nation that we are now out for ourselves. No mistake about it. If you have to actually shoot your next door neighbor to maintain your own ability to survive….well, buck-up, fellah, put on your big-boy/girl pants and mentally prepare.
Okay, think about this. Our cross the street neighbor is an 80-something woman who lost her husband this year. She comes over to ask for anything from help with a clogged sink, to putting up a Christmas decoration that requires getting on a step-ladder. She’s going to need some extra help this winter too. When another neighbor’s grass got ahead of him this summer and was in danger of becoming a ‘meadow’ instead of a lawn, I felt fortunate to be able to knock it down with my riding mower, and they gifted us a loaf of bread for doing so. So, let’s suppose things do get tough, even REALLY tough, maybe even dangerous…”wicked hahd”, as some Mainers would say…I am supposed to be ready to f**king SHOOT these people? Who is this a**hole kidding? According to him, this is just a hard, cold reality. Get used to it….regrettable, but so it goes.
But, apparently, the Outdoor Channel feels this is current wisdom. By putting this amoral turkey on the air—as a self-styled ‘expert’ on self-defense, they are endorsing his views, whether or not they cop to it. And, they are reaching a nationwide audience who is already starting to think about our lives as potentially becoming a scene from a Bruce Willis movie.
Is this really the America you want to live in? I spent three years in the infantry as a way of demonstrating through action that I believe in America and all it stands for…and if this is where we’re really headed, then it’s time for me to start looking for a home abroad because this is no longer the country I was willing to die for.
No, no, no!!!! Get this straight, Americans: WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME LIFE-BOAT. If it sinks, we ALL drown.