MANY THANKS TO PASTOR BALDWIN
Pastor Baldwin wrote an outstanding article "Buy a Gun" on NewsWithViews.com, December 14, 2007. I have carried a firearm in a law enforcement capacity the majority of my life and have also interacted with armed citizens along the Border of the U.S. and interior for several decades. Working alone on many shifts along the Rio Grande in 1972 and beyond, I appreciated law abiding citizens that were armed and provided backup in several serious confrontations. They could have chosen the "see nothing, do nothing and never get involved" attitude of the time, but did not.
In most remote areas from Presidio, Texas to Southern Arizona, men as well as women had a pistol or rifle within easy access while traveling by vehicle or at home. This was a matter of survival in dangerous territory when border bandits, burglars, as well as narcotics smugglers were a continuing menace and usually armed. These concerned citizens were rarely involved in "shooting" incidents" and the few cases involving homicide or injuries were justified. Texas state law firearm restrictions applied only to establishments where alcoholic beverages were served. In Presidio County, the vast majority of the populace, ranchers to outlying rural residents were very familar with shotguns, rifles to handguns which were used for time honored purposes, hunting, eradication of varmits, to self defense.
This fact was well known on the other side of line in Mexico. An eight man station of Border Patrol Agents, One County Sheriff and two deputies for a massive land area of border territory was not a major threat to organized criminal elements. The fear for most was vigilant citizens, not vigilantes, but people who were "watchful," knew what transpired on their property as well as their neighbors and reported suspicious activities to authorities. Neighborhood, community watch involvement has been around from the dawn of history of mankind, before Christ and long after.
Chuck Baldwin covered all points in his article with the exception of "be proficient," and know the weapon " as well as your own personal capabilities.
A gun is only a tool that can be a lifesaver or a harbinger of doom depending on the use in the hands of the untrained. Concealed weapons courses state to state stress this fact as well as the legalities of lethal force and firearms range practice. As a former law enforcement agent and certified gunsmith, I still qualify monthly at pistol ranges with weapons I have carried for decades, a routine I consider very important and worthwhile by my prospective. Safety and Skill is a prime factor, always.
With an Arizona Concealed Weapons Permit, I rarely go anywhere without a firearm, retired credentials and this includes " malls," resturants to public parks.
Criminals, to people with homicidal intentions against innocents are not deterred by " gun free signs" nor fear of the law. The same hold's true with terrorist factions who are also a reality in this nation. Extra canteens of water in the desert, needed water is a matter of life or death in emergency situations. A firearm, when needed in dangerous situations is also a vital element of survival, a "pucker factor," hopefully most will never experience in a lifetime.
In these politically correct times, I'm proud to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and Merry Christmas to all, not happy holidays or generic greetings. Merry Christmas, happy new year and God Bless.
© 2007 John W. Slagle
- All Rights Reserved
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John W. Slagle is a U.S. Navy Aviation Veteran, Commercial Pilot, Multi-Engines rated and was a Firefighter, Engineer Lt. prior to United States Border Patrol service spanning 30 years. Duties included Agent/Medic, Special Tracking and Rescue Unit, Intelligence Officer, Sector Pilot to Criminal Investigator.
Slagle spent 12 years in undercover operations nationwide as a Special Agent, Anti-Smuggling Operations involving organized human trafficking, narcotics, certified Master Gun Smith and second degree Nidan black belt Goshin Iaido.
The laws regarding foreign national visitors, immigrants, non-citizens are as clear and concise in Mexico as are our own U.S. laws which are considered unenforceable by many politicians in Washington, D.C.