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“Say Her Name” by Shayna Lopez-Rivas

October 18, 2017
Carol Bowne

Carol Bowne

Dear Gun Control Activists,

Do you know who Carol Bowne is?

Since you advocate for more gun control, you absolutely should know who she is.

When you go to sleep at night, her face should be in your dreams.

When you pray, if you pray, she should be in your prayers.

You should repeat her name every single time you promote laws that restrict law abiding citizens from having and carrying guns.

Carol Bowne.

Carol Bowne died waiting for the state of New Jersey, specifically her local police department, to allow her to protect herself with a gun.

Had national reciprocity been passed, had shall-issue concealed carry been the law of the land, Carol would still be alive.

Carol Bowne died at the hands of her violent ex because you allowed her to. Because you advocate that women like her shouldn’t be allowed to choose how they protect themselves.

I am advocating for choice.

Choice. So that women like me are not raped because I am not allowed to carry my gun when getting my education, though I can carry my gun everywhere else I go.

Choice. So that women like Carol can protect themselves before it’s too late when the police department is incapable of providing protection.

Make no mistake, Carol Bowne died BECAUSE of you and people like you.

Say her name.


Shayna Lopez-Rivas is a rape survivor.  She condemns so called “gun-free” zones, and advocates for the right to choose self-defense. I am proud to call Shayna a friend. Shayna’s original article is here.

My article about Carol Bowne is here.


Who Are We?

October 15, 2017

A lot of labels have been thrown around in the last few weeks. We’ve seen the worst and best of human behavior. Each event is a snapshot.  People see what they want to see, and then generalize from there. Let’s look at the larger picture. The overwhelming evidence is right before our eyes.


-Heroes come in all sizes. Unlikely heroes helped flood victims after hurricanes. Tens of thousands of ordinary people stood up and helped people they’d never met before.

-Thousands of neighbors helped neighbors after fires in California.

-An unarmed usher defended his congregation from an armed murderer.

-Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of heroes risked their lives as they put their bodies in the way of bullets to protect people from the murderer in Las Vegas.

That is the good side.

-We’ve also been called out as evil and corrupt. Again, talking about the mass murder in Las Vegas, we were told that all white men, and/or all NRA members, are mass murderers in waiting.

-We saw corrupt Hollywood executives exposed as sexual abusers.  There are now dozens of victims.  Weinstein is only the tip of the iceberg and there are more abusers hiding under the surface.

So which is it? Are we good or evil? The answer is yes.  We are capable of all that and far more.

Our tremendous capacity turned neighbors into heroes when it rained on Texas and Florida. You can remember a few months ago when terrorists used trucks as weapons in Europe. The truck wasn’t evil; the evil was behind the steering wheel. In contrast, we used trucks to haul boats and supplies to flood ravaged areas.

A young man who had his concealed carry permit used his capacity for violence to save lives in his church. He had the same capacity for violence as the murderer, but he used his strength to save lives, not to take them. Evil doesn’t live in the holster.

Time after time, we see enormous benevolence and craven self-interests on display. We’ve heard politicians and celebrities say that guns should be confiscated, as if the evil that we do is embodied in our tools rather than our character. I wish virtue were that simple. We can wrap the appeal for disarmament in tearful emotion, but I’m not superstitious. We can’t achieve virtue by casting-out plastic demons.

We heard these celebrities confess their motivation in a moment of honestly. “But we have to do something!” they said. We can complete the sentence for them. “I can’t stand this feeling of being helpless in the face of evil so we have to do something even if it is useless.” Our law books are filled with tens of thousands of gun regulations that don’t stop criminals.

We seize onto superstitious solutions because they feel good. They restore our feeling of control. We’ve seen celebrities and politicians say we should pass a new law..a law they admit wouldn’t have stopped the Las Vegas murderer. Doing things that won’t work simply because they make you feel better is the very definition of superstition.

So which is the right view of human nature? We saw human beings display enormous creativity..for good and for evil. We have millions of examples of virtue..and a dozen examples of vice.

We see human nature the way we want, even when the truth is in front of our nose. Only a few percent of us are dishonest, even in the worst parts of town. Evil never goes away, even in the best parts of town. There are simple black and white answers, and they are wrong.

That is the human condition. We are wonderful, but can be evil. We’d best learn to live with it and see both sides.


Please share and leave a comment.

The Real and Imaginary Dangers of Firearms Training

October 12, 2017

The most dangerous thing about guns is….

… I could accidentally wound my pride.
… I need a new gun before I can take a class.
… I could make a mistake in a self-defense class.
… I might look clumsy or unsafe, and leave my ego bleeding on the classroom floor.

These excuses feel familiar to me. Most gun owners have never taken a concealed carry course, so the feeling might be new to you. If we did get our permit, then most of us stopped there. We haven’t been to the range or taken a class in years. We like to shoot, but our fear of embarrassment keeps us from taking the next step.. from getting training.

Our fear also leaves our family at risk. When we step back and look at it, we would rather fail on the street in a self-defense encounter than submit to correction in a firearms class. Our fear of embarrassment in a firearms class is unfounded. That is the good news.

The person who puts his ego on the line is the shooter, not the firearms instructor. Every instructor I’ve ever met would much rather have willing students in his class, than have a person who is afraid to make mistakes and accept correction. The classroom is the perfect place to find out what you know and what you don’t. The classroom and range are where we can discover what works and what needs improvement.

It isn’t the instructor who will judge us or criticize our character. We are afraid of falling short of our own unrealistic expectations. How can we gather our courage enough to learn something about firearms safety and self-defense?

As a statement of fact, very few of us are as good as we imagine. On average, we’re average. I speak from personal experience.. and have the competition scores to prove just how average I am!  The solution is simple.

Back up and take a basic course where you feel comfortable.

I need to step back an take refresher courses from time to time. I have NEVER taken a class I didn’t enjoy. I don’t know anyone who has, and that covers some extremes. I’ve been hot and cold and wet, but I left with a smile every time. I always came away smarter.

Maybe I convinced you, but not your friend. Your friend says, “I already know how to shoot.”

Then show us.  Go take a class and be willing to learn.

  • Do you safely load, unload, and handle your firearm with confidence?
  • Do you hit stationary targets at intermediate distances?
  • Do you shoot on the move?
  • When you carry a gun on your body, do you get a perfect grip on your firearm every time?
  • Do you consistently present your firearm while wearing a concealment garment?
  • Do you remember the legal use of lethal force?

Take that first step. Ask the gun owners in your area where to train, because the course that fits an experienced gun owner in Hawaii won’t work for a beginner in Maine.

Believe me, there is so much to learn. I guarantee that you will learn something new. Even if you are in a basic class that you took years ago, you will remember things you’ve forgotten. You will also demonstrate what you know when you are out on the shooting range. Now you know what you know.

As a bonus, you will also discover what to learn next after you take your class. It is simply one small step at a time.

Guns, Sex, and a Guilty Conscience

October 10, 2017

I’ve noticed a pattern.  Some political and entertainment elites are horrible people. Most of them also want me and my family disarmed. That makes sense. These elites abuse their inferiors. Then, they buy their own protection. They buy physical protection and pay protection money when called out for their abuse. Examples like Weinstein, Clinton, Allen, and Polanski come to mind. There are a few counter examples, both good and bad, but I think the rule applies.  Weinstein is only the latest example to be outed.

To paraphrase L Neil Smith, “The elites in society work to take guns away from you so they can do things that they couldn’t do if you were still armed.” Substitute the words power for guns, and you see the larger principle at work.

The latest list of accusations against Weinstein, and I expect the list to grow with time, are here from the Kansas City Star and from Fox News. There are many allegations of both rape and sexual abuse. In case you think this is a right-wing hit piece, The New York times helped break the story.

What makes this doubly hypocritical is that these elites abused their inferiors in private
while they pretended to be our moral superiors in public.

They hate us having the means of self-defense, while they hire body guards. They pretend to be for women’s rights while they are serial abusers. They pretend to be working for the common good while they are busy with backroom deals that deliver power and money. It seems that sexual abuse, gun control and socialism are cut from a common cloth.

“Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion.” -Harvey Weinstein

Let me be clear; I’m not damning wealth. I’m damning hypocrisy of claiming superior motives when you’re really out for yourself and cheating on everyone in sight.

I learned this from the gun community, “Disarming innocent people does not protect innocent people.”  To complete the analogy, “Making honest people weaker does not make honest people safer.  It only makes the elites more powerful.”

If the rule works, use it.



Child Rapist has Joint Custody of a Child

October 9, 2017

A child rapist was granted joint custody to the child he created.  He forcibly raped a 12 year old girl when he was 18 years old. The rapist threatened to kill the victim, and god only knows why he is out of jail. The victim is now an adult.  It is easy to be outraged by the result of this legal decision granting custody. Please restrain your outrage until you understand how we got here.  Follow me down this slippery slope. I hope we’ve reached the bottom as we’ve distorted marriage, sex and family over time.

  • The social norm was marriage for life.
  • A widowed father or mother may remarry.
  • Divorce was allowed for causes like violence, addiction, or adultery.
  • Divorce laws changed and the state grants unilateral divorce at the convenience of either parent.
  • The state becomes the second parent through welfare payments, and we saw young women become single parents by intent.
  • Couples became parents through a medical procedure. The goal is to give the adults the child they want rather than guarantee the child the parents they deserve.
  • Single women became a parent by a medical procedure.
  • We normalize adults having sex with a partner of widely different age. We ignore the disparity of power in the sexual relationship.
  • We normalize an adult having sex with children.
  • Sex by force is normalized to simply be another sexual lifestyle.

Marriage and sex were eroded through this long progression of incremental steps. It delivered us to the point where a rapist got joint custody of his child. The rapist wanted joint custody to limit his financial obligations, not for the benefit of the child.

Remember that the original purpose of joint custody was supposed to be for the benefit of the child in cases of divorce. Joint parental custody established continued contact between a child and the reluctantly divorced parent. Now, joint custody has become a way for a rapist to continue to demonstrate his power over his victim.. and a judge agreed to it. How did we get to that decision?

We said that adults have the right to select any sexual partner they want, for as long as they want, and not a minute longer. That eroded the definition of family. We then extended the rights of adults to choose the child they wanted.  We excused adults doing whatever they wanted by claiming that children are “resilient”.

No, children are not “resilient”. Being a single parent, or a rape victim, are not isolated lifestyle choices. These choices have profound and detrimental effects that go on for generations.

I might be called a “hater” for bringing up the inconvenient fact that children grow best in a family with a married mother and father. So be it. Being called names says more about the accusers inability to confront the facts than the content of my heart. Pointing out that even heterosexual marriages are not perfect does not justify abusing children. No fault divorce and 3rd party reproduction are both legal and harmful, and they will continue to be.  That is no excuse for our bad behavior.

Please protect your marriage. Marriage is how we join fathers to mothers and fathers to their children. It matters today, and for generations to come. I thank all of you who are doing it right.


Don’t Think With Your Stomach

October 8, 2017

A friend said that politics makes her feel like a cranky, awful person. I get that. I’ve also felt enough to have another perspective.

I used to fly small planes on windy days. I used to sail small boats in rough weather. You can want to throw up, think you might die, and have fun..all at the same time.

True story.

After Las Vegas, the Gun Grabbers are Serious but Dishonest

October 7, 2017

A murderer killed innocent people in Las Vegas. This was a horrific attack that caught our attention and drew our sympathy. That is why the anti-rights spokesmen repeated their usual ineffective proposals to disarm the people who didn’t do it. The gun grabbers want to fill our opinions at a time when we feel empty, a time when none of us have answers.

The anti-rights spokesmen made their usual claims-

If only we had background checks
..and outlawed silencers..
If only we had magazine restrictions
..and closed the non-existent gun show loophole..
If only we made hotels into gun-free zones..
..and outlawed “assault weapons”…

None. Of. Those. Would. Change. A. Thing.

I wish they would, but the murderer passed background checks..didn’t use a silencer..had plenty of ammunition and time to reload..bought his guns legally..the hotel was already a gun-free zone where the good guys were disarmed..and the murderer used a semi-automatic firearm of a type that has been in existence for over sixty years.

The honest answer is that if we implemented these proposals then this murder would have happened anyway. What is more, the recently attempted mass murder at a Tennessee church would have happened with these proposals in place. Even the attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the most recent similar event, would have happened anyway.

Why do the anti-rights advocates come up with these ineffective proposals since nothing they propose would change the outcome?

The answer is inside us. Most of us are not used to horrific violence. I know I’m not. That is a good thing, but it leaves us unprepared to deal with real violence when it happens. Violence leaves us groping for answers. We feel out of control.

The anti-rights advocates say they know the way to peace..after they tell us to kill all the NRA members. Their proposals are irrational but we are not rational in a time of grief. We cling to any suggestion that sounds good. We will cling to nonsense as long as it pretends to make sense of our uncontrollable world.

Here is what we know would work to deter the next mass murderer.

Refuse to publish the name and image of murderers. That would help stop the next attack.
Put shatterproof plastic films on hotel glass windows. That is the same solution we now recommend for schools and churches.
Mental health treatment helps.
Armed security guards and armed civilians would help since the murderer killed himself as soon as he was confronted.

That doesn’t make horrific violence easier to deal with, but those actions would actually help prevent the next mass murder.

Now you know.

I gave you 500 words.  Please leave a comment.

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