A Message to the “Choir”
by Barbara Renner
Director, Operation Self Defense
A Project of KeepAndBearArms.com
October 27, 2001
Frequently, those of us who pen gun rights articles are told we are simply preaching to the choir. That may be so in many cases, but we always hope that one of our readers will pass along our words to someone who is "sitting on the fence" or on the verge of joining that choir. With each article or book we write, we hope that someone out there will see the truth and join us in the fight to restore and preserve the right to keep and bear arms.
This message, however, is not meant for the fence sitters; it is expressly meant for the choir.
Earlier this year, Detroit News columnist Laura Berman stated,
"So many people insist their lives are safer because they own guns. Where, then, are the stories of guns doing good? … I'm still waiting to hear the story about a gun that has a happy ending."
Of course, Ms. Berman was soon inundated with tales of people who had successfully used legally owned firearms in lawful self-defense. Alert gun owners sent stories and links from a variety of sources such as KeepAndBearArms.com, the NRA's "Armed Citizens" columns and a large array of other sources that occasionally capture an armed self-defense article. Ms. Berman also received at least one copy of Robert Waters' book The Best Defense.
Most gun owners find it incomprehensible that any person could claim they had never heard of someone using a gun to lawfully save a life, particularly if that person is employed in the news industry. What is truly shameful, however, is that columnists and anti-rights gun control advocates can make such statements and expect to get away with it. And we all know why they think that way, don't we? Because the "stories of guns doing good" are buried so well that the average American rarely hears one.
Consider this for a moment. Each time we hear one of the anti-self-defense proponents tell us how many children are killed each day by guns, a number of questions come to our minds. Where did these incidents take place? Who was killed? Who did the shooting? Were the children really children or were they gang-bangers engaged in turf wars? Were they drug dealers and/or users? Where are the details to back up your numbers? Where is your proof?
Well, guess what? The anti-rights crowd asks the same types of questions when we relate how many people are saved by guns. Where are the details? Where are the names, the places? Where is the proof of your claim?
We all know the details are out there. But because those details are scattered throughout the country, often relegated to a few lines in a small local newspaper, all we can say is, "Well, the mainstream media doesn't publish those stories" or "The liberal media doesn't find such incidents newsworthy" or "The media suppresses stories like that." Folks, that just doesn't cut it!
Robert Waters realized quite some time ago that the issue of armed self-defense is one of our most valuable tools in the fight to retain our Second Amendment rights. While people may not relate to court cases, legislative matters or even (astonishingly) our founding documents, they can and do realize the importance of defending one's life, loved ones and property from the vermin in our society. So Robert and Angel Shamaya, Director of KeepAndBearArms.com, founded Operation Self Defense (OpSD) to collect those stories, make them available and give all of us (the choir) the details - the proof - we need to answer the anti's questions.
OpSD's team of net detectives choose one or more online news sources and monitor them for the stories we need. It costs them nothing more than a few minutes of time and provides invaluable "proof" that we all can cite when we are challenged by people like Laura Berman.
The question is: What are you - the choir - doing to help provide that proof? A few tenors and an alto or two cannot carry the tune for the entire choir. The tune only succeeds when each member does his or her part. Are you doing yours?
If not, this message is meant for you. It's time to get to work and the job is not difficult. Visit the Operation Self Defense home page at www.KeepAndBearArms.com/OpSD, check out the online news sources that are available, pick one or two (or ten if you're so inclined) and help us gather the proof we need to back up our numbers. With every member of the choir singing, the melody will come through - - loud, clear and undeniable!
With VPC releasing its bogus handgun study today (see http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=71475), I thought it would be a good time to post this. I participate in Op Self Defense and found a self defense incident just this morning:
San Antonio Express-News:
Official headline: S. Side shooting hospitalizes one
Three people forced their way into a house in the 4100 block of Scarlet Oak Street on the East Side about 4:30 a.m. Monday and seriously wounded one of the residents in a volley of gunfire, police reported.
Police reports indicate no motive was apparent.
Amij Garcia, 20, was wounded in the lower back and taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in poor condition.
Witnesses told police that intruders demanded to see "the skinny one," and then attacked Garcia, throwing him on the kitchen floor and then shooting him.
The noise awakened another resident, who got a gun and fired several shots at the intruders through his closed bedroom door.
After they came under fire, the attackers backed out of the front door and fled, police were told.
--- End story ---
Consider this: I remember, back in the early-mid 80's I think, when a couple had a son who was killed when he was playing with a loaded handgun he'd found in the kitchen drawer, which had been intentionally put there by one of the parents. They received national press coverage as they implored congress to, "...do something to prevent this from happening again!"
Your efforts are fine. The bigger problem is illustrated by pathetic individuals like this, who view life as a tidal wave that simply washes over them, thereby allowing them the comfort to eschew personal responsibility for such stupidity violations. I'll bet all those responses that Laura Berman received wound up in the circular file, in her mind. She, and like-minded others, won't ever rethink or question themselves, no matter what. It's really a mental sickness. Reminds me of the overthrow of the the Romanian dictator, Nikoli Chouczesku (sp?). After everything they'd put the country through, he and his well-heeled wife were defiant right up to their moment of execution, "offended" that their "authority" was not "respected" (There are tapes documenting this).
Your drive can affect others willing to consider, but it seems like press-types are stonewallers who aren't interested in entertaining opposing arguments in a neutral forum. They control it, and they intend to keep it their way - right or wrong.
Laura Berman is a hardcore liberal and a friend of a friend. You would be wasting your time to send her anything. What she means is that even if you exercised your right to self-defense and shot at someone, and they then left, it would not be "a happy ending."