Gun Addiction… It could ruin your Masculinity!
Gun addiction is something I have seen numerous time over the years and from a tactical and security point of view can be a serious problem. I am not a big TV fan but the other week was watching/listening to a survival show called “Alone” which, I think is on Discovery Channel. It has a good concept where ten men are stranded individually in locations on the Canadian coastal wilderness with some equipment, where they have to set up to live long term using their outdoors and survival skills. The challenge is to see who can last the longest living off the land.
What I found amusing and disturbing was that several of the competitors dropped out due to what they perceived to be aggressive wildlife (bears & wolves) and them not having a firearm. Okay, from a survival point of view; wildlife can be very dangerous in such places but shouldn’t these problems identified and contingencies planned? From a mindset point of view, in a survival situation I am going to be thinking how I can trap and eat these animals, if they come to me then it saves me having to find them. What did mankind do before guns, I don’t think the Native Americans who lived in that area were living off veggie smoothies from their local Wholefoods store or calling an attorney when they had issues with bears taking a dump outside of their tents… This to me was an example of addiction to guns, the inability to operate without a firearm.
The above example is a bit extreme but I have come across many people in the continental U.S. who also seem to be terrified at the thought of being without a firearm. For the records, I am very pro-gun and think everyone one should have the right to carry a firearm when they are properly trained to do so. But, guns are part of a security or survival plan not all there is to the plan!!
Another example came to mind and I give as an example on my courses. I was speaking with someone last year about security issues etc. And this person was former U.S. Military, law enforcement and a DOD contractor was telling me how he turned down a government job in Abuja, Nigeria because he could not carry a firearm; “Got to have a gun in Africa”! I think he was trying to impress me but I have spent time in Africa, mainly unarmed. I have been out partying in Abuja and worked there providing bomb prevention services to Churches, unarmed! Abuja is a pretty safe city as long as you’re sensible, as with any major city, and is one of the safer places in Nigeria in general.
To put things into context, about the same time Mr. Tactical Ted was telling how he would not set foot outside the U.S. without a gun I had someone handing out terrorist attack and bomb prevention booklets to churches in volatile part of Nigeria. This someone was a young lady I knew, Ms. Jenny, who was a student at the time and a local beauty queen. There have been numerous terrorist attacks in her area, but she was still traveling around distributing the booklets and she was unarmed. I am sure to Mr. Tactical Ted the distribution of these booklets would have needed an armored convoy with air support but….. Things are different in the real world!
So, in the terms of basic self-confidence, composure and operational procedures who would you say rates the highest; Mr. Tactical Ted or Ms. Jenny? I think Ms. Jenny wins hands down, job well done way before I expect Mr. Tactical Ted would have finished writing his kit list! While Mr. Tactical Ted would be thinking body armor and hollow points I am sure Ms. Jenny was thinking would her nail varnish match her shoes and handbags.
Guns have an application in a security program but many people seem hooked to the belief that all there is to self-defense and close protection is having a gun. Most places in the world, including of 99% high crime countries, are very restrictive on firearms and as a visitor you are not going to get legal permission to carry or possess a firearm. It is also a fact that street criminals in high crime areas are very good at what they do, so I would say the majority of those carrying firearms for self-defense would end up dead pretty quickly if all they are relying on is their target shooting skills. Fact: You must be able to defend yourself without total reliance on firearms.
When I am on shooting ranges, including nice air-conditioned indoor ranges in suburban South Florida, and see shooters, including instructors dressed up with plate carries, chest rigs, daggers and drop holsters trying to look as mean as their YouTube heroes, I find it pretty worrisome. I know for a fact many of these guys never joined the military for whatever reason, I expect most have never been in a bar fight let alone in a high-risk country, but they seem addicted the tactical lifestyle. What are they trying to over compensate for, I am sure Viagra would be cheaper that the thousands of dollars of guns and gear they walk around in.
Maybe they need to take some tips from someone who has operated successfully in a high-risk area like Ms. Jenny, I think most would be happier! Instead of worrying about the speed of their magazine changes she could teach them to be confident in how to properly apply their makeup… Instead of stressing about a new holster for their new gun she could boost their self-worth by ensuring their high-heels always matched their handbags… Maybe they would become empowered enough that armed with their new skills and wardrobe they could occasionally leave their guns at home….
So, if they are legally available learn to use and include firearms in your security and survival plans but also have other options available. I understand for many that gun addiction is a serious issue but it does nothing but gives you a false confidence and security… And when the guns are not there it can result in extreme anxiety and panic for the addict… The best way to avoid any addiction is education, so learn other options to avoid or deal with hostile situations…!
Stay safe!! 😉
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