March 26, 2018, Frankfurt, Germany
Easy Solutions. We all want them but they are elusive. I would say common wisdom is that there are no easy solutions but this is not entirely true. There are areas of life where certain issues can be resolved easily. If you are a forgetful type and you are constantly behind on your bill paying, there is an easy solution: Set up automatic reoccurring payments. Your bank will make sure that all your bills are paid on time and you will never have to worry about your electricity being turned off or your mortgage payment not being made. There are areas where an easy solution is indeed a reality.
With modern technology indeed it is amazing how many easy solutions do exist but we must remember two things:
1. This solution did not come easily. Some very clever person identified a problem and then spent years developing a solution. A little APP on your phone can make sure that you never forget the time of your flight but someone, most likely many people, spent years developing this technology.
2. Even with these easy solutions you must be willing to realize that you need them. Reading glasses are an easy solution to reading books with small print, but if you do not recognize that you have reached the age where you need reading glasses this simple solution will not help you.
But there are other areas in life where there are still no easy solutions. One of those areas is personal safety. All we can do is try and improve our chances but there is no guarantee and no system is fool proof. We are constantly working on improvements and striving to increase our chances of surviving in a rather violent world.
Today there is a fierce debate going on about guns; are they good or bad? Do they provide for greater safety and security or do they put our lives in greater danger?
To me the key issue here is people are looking for easy solutions. Some feel that the issue is quite simple; eliminate guns and you eliminate the problem. Others feel that it is also simple; carry a gun, train in the use of a gun and thus the problem is solved.
The debate is taking place in America today but it also took place in Israel recently. With more and more knife attacks many citizens began advocating for an increase in gun licenses. The felt the best way to stop the spree of knife attacks is by purchasing a handgun and basic a certification course.
Both solutions are hopelessly naive. The premise of both is - I really do not want to make an effort.
The one who advocates buying a gun is suggesting that the mere fact of owning a gun provides protection. But this is totally false. It is the same as thinking that purchasing a set of tools is equal to being able to fix your own household problems. It is not. The tools only have value in the hands of a trained master. I own a screwdriver but I am not an electrician. And I am wise enough to know the difference. Merely owning a gun does not mean that I can access it and employ it effectively when needed.
In fact most gun experts would agree that guns in the hands of non experts only increases public danger. The last thing we want are individuals who took a 2 hour course running around with loaded weapons in a shopping mall or a school trying to shot the bad guy. This would not only create total chaos but they would most likely miss the intended target and shot those they wish to protect.
The truth is that a gun can be a very effective solution but it is not an easy one. To use a gun effectively and responsibly is a lifetime pursuit. Owning a gun is a lifestyle and those that do so are involved with their weapons on a daily basis. They did not simply purchase one years ago and put it in the closet. Regular training, refresher courses, keeping up to date with the latest developments, properly maintaining your weapon, all this required time and attention. This is not an easy solution. It is a solution that requires a commitment.
Now those who advocate eliminating guns as the "Simple and Obvious solution" are clearly delusional. Just look back at attempts to outlaw liquor and prostitution, the result was the Golden Age of crime.
As we all know most American massacres happened in areas already designated as Gun Free Zones. Criminals do not abide by the rules. Demanding an end to guns is the same as a small protest I witness years ago in Santa Monica California: A group of women dressed in black with signs demanding "An end to all wars".
Wow, pretty ambitious for a group of 8 women, an end to ALL wars. They had gruesome photos ranging from the Jews being murdered in the Holocaust to Jews fighting back against Arabs in Israel. (the later being an equally bad war in their limited vision).
An end to all war, really? Simple solution but not one applicable to this planet. Sounds more like a beauty pageant contestant saying that one of her many goals is "World Peace". Simply wonderful.
Now here is another idea; stop looking for simple solutions. Marching on Washington and insulting politicians is not a solution. Insulting the man in office who has accomplished more than you can ever dream of, is not a solution. Using foul disgusting language and mocking the generation that raised you, is not a solution.
Here is an idea: Study, train. You can make yourself an expert. You can train in self defense rather than demand that others take the responsibility for your safety. You can study the Israeli approach to terrorism and mass shootings, we are a few decades ahead of you. You can start doing rather than demanding.
But this is not simple, empty hand self defense, and gun handling both require a serious commitment, a change of mindset and attitude, a change of perspective.
Marching on Washington and crying on TV while insulting real fighters is nothing but a sad display of immaturity. March yourself into the dojo, the training hall, humbly submit to training with a proven expert, speak little and listen much.
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