Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gun Fact or Fiction?

I have a non-violent Quaker background. One of the Scoutmasters in my son's troop is a police officer who does Neighborhood Watch training. We have some challenging conversations about guns. He believes every civilian needs to be trained in the ethics and safe use of a gun and be able to choose to defend or not defend one's self accordingly. The founders of our nation believed every citizen needed to be armed to defend ourselves from intruders, whether the intruder be our own government or someone else.

One thing is for sure: a law officer is usually called after the crime is committed, and often arrives too late to prevent your distress. It's a dangerous world. You have to decide in advance and prepare yourself for what you will OR WILL NOT do if you or your family is attacked or threatened.

To further our thinking, here are some things to consider, mostly fact and some might be fiction, about guns and self-defense. I note where I got the "fact" if on the web (Web Fact) or otherwise. I invite you to join the dialog.

Gun Fact or Fiction?

    • On average, it takes between six and twenty-three minutes for a law officer to answer your call. (Neighborhood Watch Fact) How long does it take for a serious crime to occur?

    • The average gun fight is over in about three seconds. (Web Fact) Did you have time to call 911 yet?

    • It takes a thief less than four minutes to rob your home. (Neighborhood Watch) Did you call the law yet?

    • If you fire more than four shots, you will probably need a lawyer. (Bob, retired military) Call your lawyer first?

    • After 10 years nobody will remember the details of a mass shooting. They will remember how bad it was that nobody could save all the people who got killed. (Web Fact) What year was the Columbine School massacre?

    • (Remembering the details) The Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999 lasted for over 45 minutes with no law officers effecting a rescue until after the shooters committed suicide. During this 45 minutes, 12 students and one teacher were killed, 21 other students were wounded. Timeline: shooting began at approximately 11:19 AM; a law officer arrived at approximately11:24 and began returning fire from outside the school at approximately12:08 the shooters committed suicide inside the school. (Web Fact) When would the law have come to the rescue if the shooters had not killed themselves?

    • Israel and South Africa both faced a problem of mass school killings, and their solution was to arm and train school teachers and administrators. (Web Fact) As long as schools are gun-free zones and bad guys have guns, how will we make schools a less easy target?

    • In analyzing 100 mass shooting incidents, Davi Barker found that: The average number of people killed in mass shootings when stopped by police is 14.29, and the average number of people killed in a mass shooting when stopped by a civilian is 2.33. (Web Fact) How come we don't hear about the citizen interventions on the news?

    • In cases of home intrusion where the homeowner has a gun, over 50% of homeowners get shot with their own weapon. (Scoutmaster Police Officer) Once you decide to get a gun, what training do you need to use it when your adrenaline is pumping your brain into mush?

    • If guns are banned, all the bad guys and crazy people will turn-in their weapons too. (True or False?)

    • President Thomas Jefferson quote: As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun  therefore be your constant companion of your walks. (Web Fact) How did he conclude that games are too violent and don't build character compared to carrying a gun?

Your thoughts?

What we do know is, if you are not prepared to be wrong,
you will never come up with anything original.
And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity… We stigmatize mistakes. We now run national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make, and the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities
—Sir Ken Robinson

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Final New Year's Resolution

  The last New Year's Resolution I made was over 30 years ago and I have kept it faithfully. Here it is: I will make no more New Year's Resolutions, and here's how come.

  Your brain will make a habit of anything you do, and you will get better at doing it whether it's positive or negative or neutral. Resolutions are your self-directed rules, and you create these rules, or structures, as a way to improve your life. If you make rules (resolutions) that you don't keep, after a while you get to be very good at breaking your own rules.

   If you keep breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you get better at it, and it becomes harder to commit to a long-lasting relationship because you practice breaking up.
   If you get angry often, then it gets easier to get angry more often because you practice getting angry.
   If you can't keep a budget and don't have much in savings, are you practicing spending money?
   If you can't lose weight, are you practicing eating and not exercising or what?
   If you can't get to the gym, is it because you practice doing other things?
   If you can't keep your resolutions, what else are you practicing and "hard-wiring" into your brain's habit zone?

   The reason that coaching works is that your coach is your partner dedicated to help you succeed. We create structures that actually work for you or else you have someone to help you modify them until they do work for you. You can't see yourself like your coach sees you. You don't have the same conversations with your friends and others like you have with your coach because your coach pushes the edges that you decide to push. To walk away from your coach is to keep your problem, to meet your challenge alone, and to find your own solutions by yourself.

   Hey, in addition to the white hat, the white horse and the silver bullets, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. If you're going to make a resolution for 2013, do it so it will stick. Don't just keep your problem, get a success partner, call your coach.