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Old July 17, 2005, 12:54 PM   #1
Capt. Charlie
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Scenario with a dilemma

Here's a different kind of scenario for you in which a gun may be a problem, not an answer. You have a friend you've known and respected for many years. He's easy going, friendly, generous to a fault, and slow to anger. After years of trying, you finally get him interested in shooting for both recreational and self defense reasons. You take him to your local gun shop and help him pick out a quality handgun, and try your level best to teach him the basics: safety and marksmanship. Over the period of several months, you begin to notice a subtle change in him. At first, there's nothing alarming; questions about center mass, penetration of solid objects, etc. The usual stuff most shooters talk about at some point. But his questions and comments become more insidious, and lean more towards violence. He talks aggressively about answering his door with gun in hand even when there is no threat. And finally, when another man shows an interest in his girlfriend, there are hints of threats of using it to end the competition. What do you do? When you talk to him, what do you say? This is a real life scenario for me folks, and I need to bring him back on track before a possibly tragic ending. I think I may have created a monster.
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Old July 17, 2005, 01:03 PM   #2
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Hmm, that is a problem, but I would like to point out that the gun isn't the problem, the guy is. You haven't created a monster, he aparently was a monster before. Not sure how I'd handle that, though.
If we look at the black record of mass murder, exploitation, and tyranny levied on society by governments over the ages, we need not be loath to abandon the Leviathan State and ... try freedom.
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Old July 17, 2005, 01:09 PM   #3
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I would spend a little money to do this, but probaly not more than $200.00 tops. I would make an appointment with a good criminal trial attorney, and I would explain to him the situation with your friend, and then ask him to help you this way:

Ask the attorney to meet with you and your friend, and have the attorny explain in no nonsense terms to your friend the situation he will find himself in if he uses his gun inappropriately. Have him explain how much it will cost him, how long it will take, how it will disrupt his life and what his odds of ending in prison are, and what prison life is really like.

This will need to come from a seasoned criminal trial attorney who can tell it straight and factual. Coming from that kind of attorney, if your friend doesn't wake up, he will at least have an attorney to contact when/if he needs one and you will have gone beyond the call of duty to help/protect your friend in the most realistic way possible.

Good luck and let us know how it works out if you do this.
‘‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.’’ ~ Mahatma Ghandi, "Gandhi, An Autobiography", page 446

‘‘The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.’’ ~ Patrick Henry
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Old July 17, 2005, 01:11 PM   #4
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Those types of feelings are there long before you ever taught him about the proper use of firearms and or the use of. The "monster" was there long before you got there. But you made a judgment call and it seems to have **** back in your face.

I would have to confront him directly with my concerns about his actions and intentions " as perceived by me". I would take action immediately, as time allows, making sure he knows he would face a severe judgment for his actions as it concerns the use of deadly force or intimidation with a weapon.

As far as you "bringing him back on track" it ain't going to happen. Another person can ever know what's in another persons mind, or the actions they might take especially under stress or emotional instability.

It's like oil & water, some people and guns just don't mix.

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend, it is my life. I must master itas i master my life.Without me my rifle is useless, without my rifle i am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I Will. Before God i swear this creed. My rifle and myself are defenders of my country. We are masters of our enemy. We are saviours of my life. So be it until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.
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Old July 17, 2005, 02:12 PM   #5
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Whatever you do, don't stare at his girlfriend's rack....Take his gun away from him and buy him some nice sap gloves, or give him your old slapjack.
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Old July 17, 2005, 07:21 PM   #6
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I think Butch has the answer. Owning and carrying a firearm is a very serious responsibility. Anyone who does needs to be vividly reminded of the serious consequences of misuse. IMHO
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Old July 17, 2005, 07:48 PM   #7
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Some people don't need to be armed. 2nd amendment or not.
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Old July 17, 2005, 07:50 PM   #8
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It's amazing how some people will change once they are introduced to firearms. I'm selective in who I will teach. I one time had a woman come right out and say she wanted to learn to shoot because her husband needed shooting!
Personally, I don't see a problem with answering the door with a gun in your hand, or at the least in your belt. Hinting he might use it against someone is premeditation though, and he needs to know that. You are his friend. Do what you must to straighten his butt out. Tell the knucklehead his girlfriend will probably not even visit him in prison.
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Old July 17, 2005, 08:45 PM   #9
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Capt, haven't personally run across this, so this is just a recommendation, but since the guy is your friend, maybe you could suggest some very reputable firearms training for the guy, that really stresses the importance of gun safety. You can approach this to him in a way that "it will make him a more responsible" gun owner, and therefore not cause any "ill feelings" by being to blunt. (I guess this is the approach you are wanting to take as the guy is your friend. On the other hand, I can see how just being forthright and blunt might be beneficial.) It may be that more training is the key for this guy. Some times it is not as much a case of being a knucklehead, but, as mentioned, not fully grasping the seriousness/role of being a "responsible" gun owner. Just my .02 and good luck.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lighting they
Do not go gently into that good night.

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Old July 18, 2005, 02:46 AM   #10
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What Butch50 said - or have a long talk with him yourself perhaps. It is very difficult without any in person evaluation to make opening suggestions. If he is very vocal about all this I am tempted to suggest that it is alot of hot air - but you know him better than anyone else here.
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Old July 18, 2005, 10:17 AM   #11
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Pretty much what most of TFL has been saying. You need to have a serious talk with him and ask him if he is dead serious about committing Premeditated Murder, if going to prison for at least 25 years is worth killing the "competition"...because even if the "competition" is out of the way, so is your friend. The fact that he does not take this into account, tells me that he is either playing a Macho Man role and is just blowing smoke, or he is in need of some counseling...hopefully it is the former and not the latter. Unfortunately, it also sounds like your friend should not be owning a weapon.
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Old July 18, 2005, 11:05 AM   #12
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Cap - that is a tough one.

The only thing I can say is that I would expose my friend to the after effects of shooting. Lawyer fees, legal troubles, jail time etc. Its not all adrenaline rush and good times. Perhaps if shown ahead of time what the consequences are of his potential actions - your friend will reconsider.

IF not - I would invest in a good L3 bulletproof vest. Just in case he decides to come after me.

You did what every other good natured person would do, share his hobbies with a friend. Nothing wrong with that. Some folks perhaps do not take well to this new found responsibility.
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Old July 18, 2005, 01:02 PM   #13
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Your friend had a problem before you introduced him to guns. Having the gun in his hand has just made him feel more like he can carry out what may have been a private and perhaps fearful fantasy.

As harsh as it may seem, I see only 2 choices for you to consider. Take away his gun (with his permission) and monitor him 24/7 to be sure he does not get another one, or refer him to a mental health counselor as his only alternative to a visit from LEOs. He has means, motive and opportunity, and has expressed intent at what may be the slightest provocation. In most places that puts him square inside the box marked "presents immediate danger to others" and could earn him an involuntary trip to the psych ward. If that happens, he loses his "privilege" of ever owning or touching a gun again.

The legal consequences (trial, prison, etc.) may not sway his mind as much as learning how close he is to an involuntary commitment and how he will be treated when they put him away for 180 days of "evaluation and treatment".

Worst of all, you have announced that you are aware of his mental state. If anything happens, the plaintiff's lawyer will be looking at your pockets to see what they can get from you as well as from your friend. As much as I dislike working for a living, I sure would hate it more if I had to go to the office every day just to turn over all my income to somebody else because of another somebody else's behavior.

stay safe.

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