Shop owners during LA riots

Why I own guns

Los Angeles Riots
A man fends off would-be looters from a liqour store at 3rd and Berendo streets during the second day of rioting.

A friend asked me why I think I need guns for self-defense.  Since I’ve had people try to kill me more than once,  I figured I had a good answer.  I’ve posted my answer here so that you can judge for yourself.

I’ve lived through two riots as an adult and I have lived in many bad neighborhoods.   I also lived in my car for 4 months in a bad part of Los Angeles.  In every case, I was armed.  It’s kind of odd… I was semi homeless, living in my car.  I didn’t have a place to live, but I had a little .22 rifle my dad had given me as a kid.  It served me well during that time.  When my dad found out that I was living in my car he gave me a short barreled “coach gun.”  It was a 12 gauge shotgun like the ones that security people carried on the stage coaches during the 1800s to protect the “Strong box” full of money.  Two barrels and only two shots, but I used it to great effect on several occasions.  Once I got on my feet financially, I purchased my first pistol, a Colt Combat Commander .45 caliber automatic.  I bought it brand new for $186.86.  That was about two week’s pay at the time.

In my experience, when things go bad, people no longer act like people.  They loot, rape, destroy and murder.  God has always protected me from such things by giving me the means to

Man attacks motorist during LA Riots
Man attacks motorist during LA Riots

defend myself. Civil unrest is a genuine possibility as the economy continues to decline.  Being armed is sometimes all that is required to keep your skin, often times without ever firing a shot.  By way of example, I once stuffed the barrels of that double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun my dad gave me forcefully in a guy’s face.  He had a knife and was determined to kill me.  The shotgun brought about an immediate change in attitude. I did not have to shoot him as a result.  I used that same shotgun to run a biker with a gigantic knife out of my house.  He was angry with my roommate at the time and was threatening to kill him.  I said nothing.  I just pointed the shotgun at him and cocked both barrels.  Somehow, the shotgun got compliance where talking did not.  I never worried about the fact that my shotgun only held two shots because I also had the .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol that held eight.  I had it in my waistband during both of the incidents described above, as well as several others.  If I hadn’t had the pistol, I would have wanted a pump action or semi-automatic shotgun with more shots.

Many people say that you don’t need a semi-automatic anything to hunt.  Well, that might be true.  But the people who say that have never faced violence, and many of them are rich people who have security protection provided by armed men with semi-automatic firearms.  So, from a man who has faced violence many times and knows the dangers of doing so, here are some simple facts.


Shop owners during LA riots
Shop owners protecting their stores during the LA riots.

1) Thugs, criminals and rioters have no desire to be shot.

2) The simple presence of a gun will sometimes keep bad people at bay.

3) Even though fact number 2 is correct, you must be prepared to use the gun or the bad guy will know and kill you.  Make no mistake, I’ve pointed guns at many people and each time I fully intended to kill them.

4) Being unarmed is placing yourself at the mercy of animals who have none.

As Christians we don’t like to talk of such things, but these are the realities of the world.  It can be and often is a violent and dangerous place.  While we should not seek violence, in my view we should not simply give in to it either.  My wife and children are all shooters, and now you know why.

Note: The images in this article are from the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

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