Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hey! What's with the Guns, Guys?

     What would you do if the utility guy came to your door to read your meter, and he had a gun in his holster?
     "Wait, let me put on my slippers before I show you where it is," you say, and he pulls the gun on you.
     Or, you reach into the pocket of your bathrobe for a Kleenex--the air blowing through the open door is making your nose run--and he shoots you right through the heart, because you made what he thought was a "wrong move."
     FBI agents, like all police, are trained to shoot to kill.  In some places, police have the benefit of "special training" to override a natural hesitation about killing vulnerable populations.  They practice shooting images of pregnant women, children, and geriatric people until it no longer feels wrong.  Otherwise, they might not pull the trigger fast enough when duty requires it.  The Minnesota-based company providing this training ("Law Enforcement Targets, Inc.")  has contracts with the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security.
     I'm not saying it isn't conceivable that a pregnant woman, or a feeble old man, or a quadriplegic might commit a crime--maybe even one that requires armed police who can kill on the spot to "secure" our "homeland."  But what about the unborn child in that pregnant criminal's belly?  And what if the suspect who gets shot isn't guilty?
     When dozens of armed agents stormed my clinic on June 16, 2011, I wanted to say, "Put away the guns, guys.  No one here is armed."
     Which was true.  Clinic employees don't bring guns to work, even if they do own them.  We're not planning to shoot our patients, nor are we expecting hold-ups or raids.  It's a matter of principle not to bring weapons into a center for healing, but it's also common sense.  There are some places on earth you don't expect to need a gun.
     So, I repeat, "What's with the guns, guys?"  Why did all those agents have to bring their guns, ready to shoot?  Why did one agent hold a gun to a medical assistant's head?  Was the agent feeling threatened?  Had he decided that our "homeland" was "insecure" on that day, because the medical assistant couldn't yank a phlebotomy needle out of a cancer-patient's arm fast enough?  Would one word out of the medical assistant's mouth have cost her her life?
     It's a parenting truism that if you hit a child you teach the child to hit.  If the self-appointed parent-figures in our country, FBI agents and police, take guns everywhere they go, and feel the need to go places they aren't needed, toting their guns, trigger-happy, then the rest of us are going to need guns, too, just to defend ourselves against our "defenders."
     I'm not yet on the side of arguers for the NRA, but I see their point.  Whereas the idea of "maintaining a militia" (our Second Amendment right) for the purpose of defending ourselves as citizens against despotic rulers might have seemed insane to me a few years ago, now it's not so odd.  Funny, what a little experience can do to a person.
     Guns weren't needed when the FBI came to raid my clinic, nor were they required to achieve the government's purposes at Mountain Pure Water, Gibson Guitar, Midamor Meatpacking, or Duncan Outdoors--those other businesses raided at gunpoint. Raids weren't necessary at all, with or without guns, because the only items those agents sought were papers from our files.  There were no hard-core criminals on the premises, no organized crime in progress, no concern about drug dealing, and no weapons. 
     Hey, guys, let's save guns for missions where guns are required, thereby protecting everyone from all of you trigger-happy, trained-to-kill-even-pregnant-women, FBI agents.  If you want papers from our files, you can have them.  You don't need bullet-proof vests, semi-automatic weapons, and all that attitude, just to pick up paperwork.
     And the rest of us tax-paying, law-abiding citizens would like to go home with our lives, whether we're pregnant or not.

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