The Gross National Debt

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Packin' heat

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Dad walked around the farm on Fridays with as much as $10,000 in cash in his pocket. In the late 70s and early 80s, that was a lot more money than it is today.

He kept the cash for payroll. Yeah. he paid in cash.

He also carried a snub nose .38 revolver in his pocket. Concealed carry. I do not know if he had a government-issued permit to do this.

Periodically he pulled the pistol out and shot something - a watermelon, the rare poisonous snake, fence pole, etc.

I asked him why he did that.

"So they know I have a gun," he replied. That's paraphrased as I cannot recall his exact words.

"They" were the people he employed. Not the most savory types. Some, not all, had criminal records and one was a convicted murderer. There was some question if one or two others had also murdered someone and gotten away with it.

I bring this up in light of the recent idiot at a little league baseball game who walked around with a piece on his hip telling people he was carrying and that they couldn't do a thing about it. Lemme state here, that was bloody stupid. They could see the gun. Nuf said.

In Dad's case, no one could see the gun, but he made sure the farm employees knew he carried, knew he could shoot it and knew he would shoot.

Some people will lump Dad into the same category as the idiot at the ball game. Some people are also idiots equivalent to the idiot at the ball game.

Dad packed and demonstrated not to impress anyone, but to make it very well and clearly known that he had a gun and would shoot if need be. It's called deterrence.

Dad did not want to shoot anyone. He much preferred to put people on advance notice that he would if pushed. Aside from one instance in S. Florida where he ran a contract loading crew, I do not know of any instance where he was actually threatened. In Florida, the hired hand backed down and had to find his own way home when Dad demonstrated he was ready to waltz.

As Robert Heinlein said, "An armed society is a polite society."

Deterrence works. Unfortunately there is no way to categorize and study how effective deterrence is. If a situation never escalates to the point a firearm is needed, how do you quantify that? You can't. How do you quantify situations that never started at all because of the presence of a visible firearm? Cannot be done, short of finding someone capable of reading the minds of other people.

You can google to see the number of times a firearm is used in defense without shots being fired and the number of times a firearm is used in defense with shots being fired. You cannot search and find how many crimes never got started because someone had a gun handy.

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