Violence in America

Violent Crime - Violence in AmericaScholars, pundits, and activists have been more and more frequently mentioning the decreasing homicide rate in our society while the media paints a very different picture. We are at the low point of a near twenty-year decline in violent crime in America. Despite this quantifiable decrease, American perception stubbornly holds on to the idea that America has become a more violent and dangerous place. While in some major cities we can see evidence that trend is potentially reversing, the bottom line is America in much safer then it was twenty years ago.

Much of that perception is based on the frequency of reporting of violent crime by our media. The statistics are well documented and present a grossly inflated view of crime as a percentage of other events. As we look at media over time, we can see a steadily increasing diet of violence, crime and social unrest fed to the American public via movies, TV shows, gaming and the news. Unfortunately, the reporting percentages have no correlation with the incident rates and are purely providing programming based on what American viewers choose to watch.

The American Psychological Association has published study after study finding that violence viewed on TV and in person, is associated with increased aggressive behavior. The classic example of these types of experiments is the Bobo doll experiments conducted by Albert Bandura in the early sixty’s. In two subsequent experimental iterations, Bandura deliberately exposed children, ranging from two and a half to six years old, to adult acts of aggression directed against a Bobo doll. The first exposure was in person and the second iteration was exposure on television, but the results were the same. Exposure to violence results in increased violent actions.

Age of OffendersFrom the results of these studies and many more like it, many Americans make the claim that we are raising an ever more violent generation of young American. This reasoning fits with our predisposed notion that society is becoming more violent despite evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately, our perception often has little to do with reality. The average age of violent offenders has actually increased, and not decreased over the past thirty years. Sixteen to twenty-four year-olds have always accounted for the lion’s share of violent crime. As the boomer generation ages, we are at the end of a historically rare reduction in the youth bulge in America. Despite that fact, the demographic shift alone is insufficient to account
for the decrease in the violent crime rate.

Two factors are easy to quantify and simple to explain. First is the massive expansion of our judicial system. We have increased spending by nearly 171% over the past 30 years. That spending has increased the number of police on the streets, the number of judges and the number of jails. As a proportion of GDP, which has remained pretty flat over same period, we have massively increased the percentage of resources dedicated to security services. Continue Reading…

Author : Patrick Henry

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Concealed Carry Weapon Permit in Orange County, Part II

This article is Part II of a III part series on the concealed carry weapon process. In this article we will be discussing 1) Selecting an instructor, 2) Selecting a firearm, 3) Clothing.

So you have decided you want to be able to legally carry a concealed firearm; this comes with a lot of responsibility and is not to be taken lightly. Be sure you take the required training seriously and invest some time in selecting an instructor.

I am going to give you some things to consider when making the decision to select an instructor. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth from an instructor who has real, verifiable experience related to carrying a firearm for his or her profession. In my opinion, your instructor should have military and or law enforcement experience. There is a big difference between an instructor who has had to carry a firearm for work in real world conditions and one who has not.

Tactical Pistol TrainingThere is no substitute for experience — period. Law Enforcement personnel carry guns on their person when they are working and most carry firearms concealed when they are off duty. As a community they have the most real world ccw experience of any type of people you might come across. They are up to date on the newest types of firearms, training, ammo and equipment. You should want to take advantage of their experience to help you weed through what works and what doesn’t work.

An instructor who is prior law enforcement can also tell you what you could expect if you had to use your firearm to defend yourself. He or she may be able to give you some advice on how the process works and some of the do’s and don’ts.

Pick up the phone and ask to speak to the instructor who is teaching the course. Inquire as to his or her background. Ask the instructor if they have a ccw themselves. If the instructor does not have a ccw for the state he or she is teaching inquire as to why. How can an instructor teach a course on ccw if they themselves do not have one? If the instructor has a ccw ask him or her how long they have had it. Ask the instructor if he or she was prior military or law enforcement? Remember there is no substitute for experience.

Once you have selected your instructor complete the required training course and submit a copy of your certificate of completion to the sheriff’s department either through fax or email.

Selecting a firearm:

Purchasing a FirearmYou may already have this part figured out. If not discuss it with your instructor so they can help guide you on your purchase or selection. I suggest if you are unsure that you go to a local gun range and try out a few different guns to see what works best for you.
Keep in mind a couple of important factors: a.) in Orange County you can have a maximum of three firearms on your permit, b.) the firearms must be registered to you, c.) the sheriff’s department will check to see if the guns you list on your application are registered to you, if they are not you will not be able to add them to your permit, and d.) the firearm must not be altered from its original factory design — meaning you cannot change the internals of the firearm. For example, you cannot change or alter the trigger in any fashion such as installing an aftermarket trigger kit or having a gunsmith alter the factory components so that the trigger is lighter or smoother. You can change the cosmetics if you want such as the color, the sights, and/or the grips.

Clothing:

You will have to decide how you are going to carry. Most people have no idea how this can affect their daily life until they try and leave the house carrying a concealed gun on their person. For example, if you are carrying a gun inside the waistband you may have to buy a pair of pants that is one size larger to make room for the gun. You will probably need to buy a sturdy belt that can support the weight of a gun.

HELIOS_ALPHA_JACKET_BLACKYou may need to start wearing a light jacket or a button up shirt to help conceal the gun you are carrying. More than likely you will need to make some changes to your wardrobe. The last thing you want to happen to you is for you to accidently expose your gun while you are out in public. (I will be doing another article that will cover Unwarranted Detection.) Law enforcement officers know this inside and out as a result of experience. If you have an instructor who is prior law enforcement, be sure to ask for their advice on this subject.

In closing, remember to always store your firearm in a safe and lawful manner and always adhere to the terms and conditions of your permit. If you want to reach me directly feel free to contact me via email.

 

Author : Jason Granados
shootsafe@outlook.com

First Posted on Aegis Academy

Personal Security – Prediction, Prevention, and Response

Personal Security PredictionPrediction, prevention, and response are the general terms for the three options each of has when dealing with potential risks. We can predict that if we drive a vehicle at high speeds with a flat tire, we are more likely to be involved in a accident. That typically leads us to avoid the risk by taking some sort of action. We can prevent it from occurring by checking tire pressure periodically, or visually inspecting the vehicle prior to operation. We could respond by decreasing vehicle speeds when the car starts to become unstable. Clearly, response is the inferior option here. When it comes to safety these concepts are easy to grasp, but when it comes to personal security, they are largely ignored.

The term ‘personal security’ brings up a variety of thoughts, ideas, and definitions that vary widely from person to person. Some view it as a locked door, a security camera, a policeman or security guard, or an alarm. Having participated in, managed, and taught security practices for most of my adult life, I am continually confronted by two common misconceptions about security. These misconceptions hold true for military personnel, law enforcement and private citizens alike, and they likely stem from our tendency to generally define security in the terms previously mentioned.

The most common approach to personal safety and security is to simply ignore the potential that violence will impact you. We see this attitude in the bulk of people with whom we interact and it spans the spectrum of experience and backgrounds. This slice of society chooses to ignore the fact that criminals and miscreants might choose to target them. While they will readily acknowledge the existence of crime, they simply cannot conceive that it will impact them.

There are a number of factors in our society that reinforce this belief. The first is that, statistically, two-thirds of our society will not be the victim of a violent crime in their lifetime. If each day I look back on my lifetime and I have never been the victim of violence, then I have quite likely conditioned myself to believe that I will not be a victim today, or on any day in the future. This self-reinforcing delusion, is a powerful motivator to ignore potential risks and focus on “more pressing issues”.

The second is that the education system in America is convinced that if you insulate children from failure, risk, or negativity, we will produce happier, healthier citizens. We see this in the ‘no grades, everyone gets a trophy, everyone is special’ mentality. Worse, we see
it in zero tolerance policies towards altercations or the suspension of students for pointing “Finger guns” or “pop tart guns” at fellow students. These police and actions remove the learning experience surrounding violence or simulated violence. Certainly, if I was the victim of a finger gun day after day, I could ignore it, enlist classmates or teachers to assist me, or change my behavior so that my finger gun pointer would choose to point it at someone else… Unless of course, I had no option save dependence on the system to protect me. It places the responsibility on the education system to protect them, leaving the child helpless in the equation.

Pistol Training at Aegis AcademyWhile I understand the theory, unfortunately what these attitudes and policies actually produce is a society of victims. From an economic perspective, that upward pressure on the supply curve (supply of victims) places downward pressure on the price of crime, creating more incentive for criminals activity. The more victims in a given population, the more criminals that will be produced to accommodate them. Creating a system of dependence is exactly how third world politics is played, and it is sad to see the American political system following suit.

Another counter-productive societal norm is that there is a persistent belief that someone else is responsible for an individual’s personal security. The reality is that no one can effectively take responsibility for someone else’s security. People who live in an environment where they are told they are helpless, or that it is unnecessary to take a personal interest in their own security, are unlikely to do so on their own. This leads to the next most common misconception; that personal security is the responsibility of someone else.

Be it police, military, or firemen, any safety or protective services professional will tell you that it is impossible for another person or group of people to guarantee the safety and security of any single person. Read more >>

 

Author – Patrick Henry (President at Aegis Academy)

Patrick Henry received his operational training and experience from the U. S. Government, 22 years of which were spent in the Marine Corps where he served in the Reconnaissance, Infantry and Intelligence fields. During his active service, he spent more then five years deployed overseas in combat, operational and training assignments. After the military, Pat worked as a contractor and as the Director of Operations at a private paramilitary firm specializing in training military special operations forces and providing protective services to select private clients. His education consists of an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC), and a BS from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. He holds an extensive list of security and training related certifications from a variety of government and nationally recognized entities. He currently sits on the advisory committee at USC’s Master of Veterans Business Program, and is an active member of Infraguard and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS). He has been a guest speaker at ASIS, the San Diego Industrial Security Awareness Council and other private organizations on physical security, travel security, and competitive intelligence collection counter-measures.

ISIS – Can they target American Military Personnel on U. S. Soil ?

ISIS recently issued a global ‘order’ to target American military members, publishing a list of 100 names along with a variety of personal details. Undoubtedly by now, the U.S. Defense Department has provided security assistance for those named in the publication. Additionally, they have issued a list of instructions to all military families to effectively do what they should have been doing all along which boils down to: keep private and personal information off of social media. There is no simple long term solution to this potential problem.

News ReportAdditionally, this is not the first time this has happened. The self-proclaimed Islamic State made this request about a year ago on Jihadi social media sites asking Muslims to attack military personnel, and determined that their families were acceptable targets as well. This attempt to extol the followers of Islam to do violence against military members and their families has resulted is ZERO attacks. I am not saying there is no risk, nor that all American military families should not start to be more careful with the amount of personal information they display on Facebook. What I am saying is that the threat from ISIS here in the United States is rather remote.

When ISIS calls for Muslims to commit acts of violence globally on their behalf, we have a precedent for who responds. Men like Aaron Alton and Zale Thompson, Man Haron Monis, and Martin Roulea respond. These are individuals with extensive criminal backgrounds (all but one violent), who had been recently “radicalized” (converted to Islam), and decided to act out. Is it terrorism when a criminal acts out in the name of Islam, or is just an extension of there penchant for violent behavior? That is the question analysts will study and likely never be able to answer fully; but from a practical perspective, it doesn’t really play into solving the problem.

Social MediaWhat ISIS specifically provides violent criminals is an excuse to act out. The emotional appeal of supporting the establishment of a global caliphate probably has less appeal then the sensational media reports that are likely to ensue. Acting under the banner of Islam provides a higher purpose, then just attacking as a local cop. How much that justification plays into the actions of long-term criminals on the outskirts of society remains to be seen.

What we do know is these Islamic converts are, in these four examples, is ostracized from social opportunity by virtue of their criminal past. They have poor social skills, and were all grossly uneducated. These are the types of people who are attracted to a random call for violence in support of a far off cause. They are quite different from the Boston Bombers, the Charlie Hebdo attackers and other comparatively educated Islamic Extremists. These individuals had received training and support from Muslim Terrorist organizations. These people developed a specific plan and executed it reasonably well.

It is the latter type of Muslim terrorist that has the ability to mount a successful attack against a specific target, not the former. TerroristWhen you look at the impact of a successful attack against military members, it would be significant. While most people are intelligent enough to differentiate between the two types of attacks, the ignorant criminal type of Islamic terrorist is probably not. Meanwhile ISIS takes credit for every criminal follower of Islam who does violence against the West.

What we can expect to see is more of the same. Socially inept, disenfranchised, ignorant criminals committing violent acts under the banner of Islam. Those are hard to predict, difficult to identify, and nearly impossible to prevent. Conversely, those capable of planning, waiting, and executing an act of terrorism requires training, support, and intelligence. In seeking this information and skills, they often identify themselves to national and international security forces. This is where we catch and prevent attacks from occurring – and occasionally fail to prevent.

American military families probably have nothing more to fear this week then they did last week or the week before. Yes, they are targets, but the random criminal attracted to Islam is unlikely to successfully pull it off. The Muslim terrorists have yet to pull it off in the United States, and probably not due to a lack of effort. In short, the media frenzy over the threat to U. S. military personnel is not well thought out. It espouses a capability that ISIS has yet to demonstrate and who has largely touted that ability for years.

In closing, ISIS requesting more attacks has not changed the threat profile of their intended target. Hopefully it has raised the awareness of responsible social media use among potential targets (and everyone else).

Author: Patrick Henry (President)

Patrick received his operational training and experience from the U. S. Government, 22 years of which were spent in the Marine Corps where he served in the Reconnaissance, Infantry, and Intelligence fields. Patrick has worked as a contractor and as the Director of Operations at a private paramilitary firm specializing in training military special operations forces and providing protective services to select private clients. His education consists of an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC), and a BS from San Diego State University in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. He holds an extensive list of security and training related certifications. He is an active member of Infraguard and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS). He has been a guest speaker at ASIS, the San Diego Industrial Security Awareness Council, The Counter Terrorism Symposium hosted by New York’s Mobile Trauma Unit, and other private organizations on physical security, travel security, and competitive intelligence collection counter-measures.

Source: http://aegisacademy.com/community/isis-can-they-target-american-military-personnel-on-u-s-soil/

Obtaining a Concealed Carry Weapon Permit in Orange County

I decided to write this article to try and provide some insight into the Conceal Carry Weapon (CCW) permit process. This article is Part 1 on a series of articles I will be writing related to CCW. Please check back with us so you can read the complete series.

I have come across many people who have not even tried to obtain a California CCW out of fear of being denied. Ca Gun Control Patrick Henry Gun lawsFortunately and possibly due in part to some recent court decisions, obtaining a CCW firearms permit has become much easier.

For the most part, the process will look very similar no matter where in California you might live. Being that I am an Orange County approved CCW instructor, I will write about obtaining a concealed carry weapon permit in Orange County.

Orange County CCW Process

You will first want to contact the sheriff’s department in the county you reside in. Most city police agencies have an understanding with the sheriff’s department that they will defer CCW applicants to the sheriff’s department for processing.

Once you are in contact with a sheriff’s department representative, request an initial interview. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to do this through the department’s website. Essentially, you provide your name and email and within a few days you should receive a response to your email, which will include your appointment date, time and location. Now, don’t let the email scare you. It will probably tell you that your appointment date is six to twelve months away, but you have to start the process sometime!

Orange CountyFortunately, there is good news. What typically happens as your interview date draws nearer is you receive an additional email telling you that an earlier date is available, and asking you if you want that appointment instead. This can shorten your wait time by months at a time. Be sure to keep track of the initial email despite anticipating a second email: the initial email will also have an attached CCW application and checklist.

Preparing for the interview

Be prepared! Make sure you have brought in everything that was requested by the sheriff’s department including a completed application, proof of residency, a driver’s license or some form of government identification such as a passport, a birth certificate, and a recently taken passport quality photo. There will be a checklist; be sure you have brought in all the items on the list in order to expedite the process. You may want to consider dressing professionally, it can only help you.

Gun-WorkplaceMeeting with the investigator for your interview may sound intimidating, but in most cases it is a very easy, relaxed process. The investigator will go over your completed application with you. Depending upon your background he or she may ask you to clarify a few things. Be truthful about everything. At the conclusion of the interview, which will take probably less than 20 minutes, the investigator will have you sign your application in their presence under penalty of perjury. Remember what I said about being truthful!

In all my dealings with these law enforcement professionals I have always found them to be very easy to deal with. I am sure you will leave there feeling like that was a lot easier than you thought it would be.

Residency Check:

In Orange County you can expect that a uniformed deputy will be knocking on your door within the first week of submitting your application. The sheriff’s department must verify that you live in the county and at the address you provided. If you are not home they will knock on your neighbors’ doors to see if anyone can verify that you live at the address you provided. The deputies will not discuss with the neighbors the reason for the request, so it may leave your neighbors a little curious.

policeworkOnce the residency check is completed and verified you move to the next step, which is rather informal. An initial background check will be done on you and your file is sent up the chain of command for initial approval. A supervisor will look over your file to make sure nothing is missing. If there is nothing out of the ordinary you will move forward to the next step.

Initial Approval:

About 4-6 weeks after your initial interview you may receive an initial approval email. The email will state that you have been initially approved to move forward in the process. The email will include instructions on completing your live scan and on completing your CCW training course. Be sure to complete the live scan as soon as possible because it can take 4-8 weeks for your background to be conducted and cleared. Next, select an instructor (look for an upcoming article on how to select an instructor) from the approved list, complete your initial CCW training course, and obtain your certificate.  Send a copy of your course certificate to the sheriff’s department CCW unit either through email or fax.

Final Approval:

Once you have completed all of the above there is nothing more to do except wait for your background to be completed. If you are approved by the department you will receive a final approval email. The email will have a date for you to return to the sheriff’s department to sign the terms and conditions and pick up your new permit.

In Closing:

Training and educationCarrying a concealed firearm is a big responsibility. Negligent discharges are important reminders of how serious this responsibility should be taken. Negligent discharges can occur for a variety of reasons, but it is usually the fault of the person holding the gun. Many people who first obtain their CCW become over confident in their skill set. Just because you have been approved to carry a loaded gun doesn’t mean you have developed the necessary skills to do so! Most of the negligent discharges that I have witnessed occurred when the shooter was either drawing or holstering their firearm. It is in your responsibility to practice on a regular basis. I would suggest you continue your training and education by enrolling in further firearms training to supplement your CCW course. Lastly, always store your firearm in a lawful manner; and always adhere to the terms and conditions of your permit.

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have questions feel free to contact me directly via email.

Author: Jason Granados (Firearms Instructor)

Jason Granados is a law enforcement veteran with more than 10 years experience. His duties and responsibilities were as follows. He spent more than five years assigned to the departments special tactics unit. During his time in this unit he was a supervisor in the unit as well as the team leader. He also served as the departments firearms instructor where he taught pistol, shotgun and carbine. During this time he was responsible for maintaining the departments qualification standards. Jason has also testified in State Superior Court as a firearms expert. Jason also has more than 10 years experience in martial arts and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Jason continues to compete in Martial Arts competitions and is currently ranked #5 in the world by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.

Source: http://aegisacademy.com/community/obtaining-a-concealed-carry-weapon-permit-in-orange-county/

Gun Rights, Personal Security and You

Gun Rights, Personal Security and YouIn many ways, 2014 had been an exhausting year filled with events that illuminate the triumph of the human spirit as well as tragedies that shake us to our core.  It is unfortunate that the impact of the tragedies often outweigh the buoying nature of the triumphs.  Regardless, near-instantaneous global digital connectivity, the 24 hour news cycle and an unprecedented access to information send us an endless stream of facts, figures and opinions on just about every major event.  Even when supposedly objective data is presented, extreme elements of both sides obscure any kernel of truth by manipulating, exaggerating or committing hyperbole to promote their particular point of view.  This can leave the average American citizen to ask two essential questions: “What should I believe and what can I do about it?”

Gun Shooting, Gun Rights debate

 

In terms of triumph, tragedy and longevity, few social and legal issues can match the Gun Rights debate.  Rather than analyzing the merits of both sides of this long-standing issue, I will focus on the foundation of the Gun Rights debate, place it in the current context of personal security, and conclude with some thoughts on personal actions available to you.

The Gun Rights Debate

The Gun Rights debate traces its roots back to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788.  The original Constitution focused on establishing and delineating the powers of our three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial), but made no specific mention of gun rights.  Over two hundred years of hindsight make the ratification process seem clean and straight-forward.  However, Federalist and Anti-Federalist factions hotly debated each and every issue within the document.  As a result, the Constitution was founded on extraordinary compromise, but many issues were left unresolved.  In order to get the Constitution ratified in 1788, the framers agreed that the document was a foundational “start” to the process, but would continue debates on contentious issues that would be amended at a later date.  In 1791, the first 10 amendments were encapsulated into the Bill of Rights.  The Second Amendment, stating: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” was included in the Bill of Rights.

Since then, any number of events from the Civil War through the Cold War and some of our current tragedies stress ourThe Second Amendment of Gun Rights understanding of those 27 words.  In general, there are three different interpretations of the Second Amendment.  The first interpretation focuses on the initial clause and believes that it only authorizes each state the right to maintain a militia.  The second interpretation expands the viewpoint of the first by purporting that only individuals who are part of a state militia may keep and bear arms.  The third interpretation strongly focuses in the words as written, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Today, these differing interpretations are adopted by the political parties that align themselves with their belief in which entity is most responsible for ensuring and providing public security.  One extreme believes in a very powerful government that provides collective security supported by citizens who willingly submit individual rights to have their security provided for them.  The other extreme believes in a limited government that provides only the level of security required to protect from external attack while ensuring the rule of law supported by those who believe in strong individual rights and the right to provide for one’s own security.

So, where do you fall within this continuum?

If there was ever a metric that was hard to define, it is “American Popular Opinion.”  From our country’s foundation through the current day, there have been extreme views and thousands of intermediate variations on “what is right or what is the collective good?”  In the last 30 years, we have seen public or popular opinion in regard to gun rights vacillate and even spike in relation to major events.  While lawful use of firearms in self-defense tends to be woefully under-reported, unlawful use of firearms tends to be grossly over-reported.  In the wake of major events, parties on both extremes entrench in their respective ideological positions while the flames are fanned by an equally ideological media.  The truth, of course, can be found obscured somewhere in-between. Read More >>

About Author – Howard Hall

Howard Hall “Range Master at Aegis Academy – has served for nearly 20 years in the Marine Corps. He has served as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Regimental Operations Officer, and Battalion Commander. He has multiple combat tours to include serving as a military transition team member in Fallujah. He is an NRA Certified handgun instructor and holds numerous Marine Corps training credentials. An active competitor in action pistol (United States Practical Shooting Association), long range rifle (NRA F-Class), and shotgun (Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association), Howard has earned numerous accolades and medaled during DoD competitions with the 1911 platform in bulls-eye shooting.

Children, Guns and Education

Toy Guns Education and SafetyThis morning we woke up to the news that a 12-year-old was shot by police over an airsoft gun for failing to follow their instructions and display his hands. Initial reports are that this gun had been modified to remove the orange identifier from the barrel. We have seen a number of children with toy guns shot over the years by police who were responding to a report of a person with a firearm. Typically it is a kid in the 10 – 14-year-old range. Older teens seem to have the common sense to know that walking around with a replica is going to cause some real problems. Younger kids with no exposure to guns other than what they see in the movies are the ones at risk.

We have a responsibility to make children safer, and education is the key. Children, guns and education is not really and option, its a moral imperative. A twelve-year-old is certainly capable of understanding the risks a firearm can pose. The real barrier is the education systems desire to wish guns away from our society. Their pursuit of some alternate universe where guns don’t exist is ignorant, irresponsible and quite frankly causing the deaths of between 250 and 300 kids a year, who simply didn’t know any better. We have more guns than cars in this nation, and children will be exposed to them. We can control that exposure through education, or continue to roll the dice and hope they figure it out on their own.

By the time a kid is 10 years old, he or she has seen literally tens if not hundreds of thousands of irresponsible role models on TV and in the movies. These tend to depict unrealistic, unsafe and / or poor safety practices. The fact that we are not providing education on firearms in our schools as part of the curriculum is insane. While the education system is busy suspending five-year-olds for making finger guns, about 275 of their peers will die in 2016 because the education system fears that which it does not understand.

Like it or not, your irrational fear of an inanimate object does not trump the basic human right to self-defense in this nation. The concept that we should ban firearms from the education system is about as effective as assuming Hollywood will adequately teach our kids to cross the street and to drive safely. Banning guns in the name of safety is not, has not and will not work. Education is the key to solving a number of social problems and the preventable deaths of young kids is no different.

Next are the parents. Toy guns are a great tool to teach responsible ownership practices, but you cannot treat them like other toys. What parent in their right mind would allow a child to modify a fake gun to make it look more realistic, and then allow them to take it to the park to play with it? I understand kids will do irresponsible things, sometimes without their parent’s permission. If you are going to allow your kids to own replica guns, they should be locked away with the real guns. Otherwise, you run the risk that your child will go to the park with it, be too nervous to comply with police commands, and be shot. When and if that happens its as much or more your fault then the child’s. Misdemeanor, if not felony child endangerment comes to my mind when I hear about things like this happening.

The police cannot differentiate between a real gun and a replica at more than contact distance – especially if it has been modified. In the age of mass murders, we do not want the police to respond to cases of individuals waving guns around with anything other than clear instructions and lethal force if those instructions are not followed. More than 80% of teen firearm-related deaths are gang related. The vast majority of those deaths occur in the 12- to 19-year-old age range. The concept that a twelve-year-old is not a potential threat is simply not the reality of the world we live in, no matter how badly we want it to be otherwise.

Police cannot fix this problem. Smart parenting and education can. If you love your kids, do your part. These tragedies will not stop until we as a nation demand education in our schools. While you may choose not to own a firearm in your house, the chances are that several of the parents of your child’s classmate’s do. Failing to give your son or daughter the education to make a responsible choice is putting them at risk.

This is a problem with a simple “common sense” solution.

Author ~ Patrick Henry

Patrick received his operational training and experience from the U. S. Government, 22 years of which were spent in the Marine Corps where he served in the Reconnaissance, Infantry and Intelligence fields. During his active service, he spent more then seven years deployed overseas in combat, operational and training assignments. After the military, Pat worked as a contractor and as the Director of Operations at a private paramilitary firm, specializing in training special operations forces and providing protective services to select private clients. His education consists of an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC), and a BS from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. He holds an extensive list of security and training related qualifications from a variety of government and nationally recognized entities. He currently sits on the advisory committee at USC’s Master of Veterans Business Program, and is an active member of Infraguard and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS). He has been a guest speaker at ASIS, the FBI’s Infra guard, New York City’s Mobile Trauma Unit and other private organizations on physical security, travel security, and competitive intelligence collection counter-measures.

Originally Published at Aegis Academy