Let me start by saying you all had some interesting and valid points of view. Thank you for not only taking the time to read the post and commenting, but thinking about what your opinions were and the basis for them. There were a number of comments on The Difference, but one stood out to me. As luck would have it, it came in the form of an email, so I was able to co-opt it (with his permission, of course) and reproduce it here.
It reminded me of the kind of conversation either HM
and I or my Dad and I would have over beers whilst giving each other a hard time. Without further brou and/or ha-ha, and with appropriate thanks to Pete, I give you his response…
I would expect Mr. Average to entertain thoughts of entering or possibly actually entering the house that is on fire. The house with gun shots gets a “did I really hear that look” with an increase in walking speed as he exits the immediate vicinity. I think it’s all about perception of personal risk. We “play” with fire almost every day and don’t harbor a deep fear of death from it. Maybe a burn now and then but not a lasting or life threatening injury.
With guns it’s different. As time goes by less and less people handle firearms. This lack of knowledge and ownership increases the perception of risk and thus the walk by.
Now on to my family…staring me as the fire dweeb and my brother as the grizzled veteran cop.
Me: Fire? Help? It’s a two story ordinary construction single family dwelling with smoke showing from side D. Life safety issues are paramount. Engine and Truck are not on scene. Seek ingress and perform primary survey for victims. Save damsel in distress. Make attempt to put out fire while calling for help. Receive, aw shucks medals and awards. Remain loved by community.
Brother: Fire? Help? Shit! Where’s my idiot brother? Probably sleeping in his Lazy Boy chair. Mame, can you come out here so I can talk to you? Keep your hands where I can see them.
Brother: Bang! Help! Unusual weapon discharge? That was the sound of a Sig Sauer 1911-45-SSS with an eight round magazine. Probably hasn’t been cleaned in a while.Young female inside a home at 1313 Mockingbird Lane sounding distressed while speaking in a loud voice “help?” All while simultaneously reaching for his concealed weapon, making sure others are safe, getting in his low run stance, moving toward the house, and using his senses to obtain intell on the location of the shooter and the vic. Ends stand off immediately and brings woman out to EMS for care.
Me: Bang! Help! Shit! Where’s my idiot brother? I’ll bet no one is taking pot shots at the donut shop. Run toward house and hide in bushes. See person with gun leaving. Save damsel in distress. Make attempt to call for help. Receive, aw shucks medals and awards. Remain loved by community.
Epilogue: Brother receives a “paper” in his personnel file indicating that even though he used his concealed weapon in self defense he had not re-certified on it within 365 days and was therefore not authorized to carry it. If it happens again he will get three days. The call happened in a neighborhood watch area and the citizens are asking the mayor to convene a hearing on off duty police officers indiscriminately entering homes without reason. Woman is now suing the city because she did not want to be saved. However Brother’s Sargent mentions that the shooter is wanted on ten different warrants in six states and has previously shot a cop. Brother and entire shift go out after work for “stress reduction.”
Well at least we both still have jobs. We hope you do too, and any problems with the police side of the story chalk up to me because I tried to think like him!
Thanks again (and a special nod to Pete) for taking time out of your collective days to interact with me (and by extension) each other. This was one of my more favorite posts!