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Welcome to my world! A world without guns!

January 17, 2013

I am an American citizen.  I own two guns.  One is a 12 gauge shotgun and the other an antique WWII era Soviet rifle. Many times I wish I had more guns.  I would love a deer hunting rifle, a .22 with a clip which holds about 50 rounds so I could have fun ‘target’ practicing instead of ‘loading’ practice.  Honestly, I would like a handgun, but only just in case I visit Fresno, CA or downtown Memphis again; because I didn’t feel safe in those two places. Being an American living in another country, however, I don’t have the same freedoms which I had in America.  So, all my guns are stored in various undisclosed locations in the US.  All two of them! I honestly believe that many American’s have no idea the value of the freedoms which they are living under.  They take it for granted that they will always be free, but soon, I think, you’ll be just like me.

On a cold December day my wife and I arrived in the US to the news that more than twenty children and teachers were shot at an elementary school.  That’s sad.  When I went to elementary school no one shot at my school, but my school was in the Philippines.  There we had patrolling arm guards 24 hours a day, we had drills in case of an attack and the entire school was surrounded by a huge chain link and barbwire fence.  Seven different times over my years at school there classes were postponed due to military uprisings (coup d’etat).  Once I even watched F-4s, F-5s strafe and bomb while 105s and 155 Howitzer’s pounded the city while I was at the school.  I don’t think kids shouldn’t have to learn about those things. No, my school wasn’t a prison, but we were safe and free. . .just not allowed to leave campus.

Tragic violence is sad. CNN and FOX News don’t cover Cambodian news, so let me tell you a bit which was in our news in the last week.

1) Four American soldiers were severely wounded defusing a landmine.  We already banned landmines. . .too bad more than 200 people get blown up every year.

2) Two men got in a fight with wood boards until one was hit in the head with an axe. Axes are still legal here.

3)  A drug addicted husband in NW Cambodia beat his wife nearly to death with an electrical wire because she refused to give him more money to buy drugs.  Electrical wire is also legal.

4) A group of 10 students at school in Northern Cambodia got in a fight and pulled out samurai swords and fought until police showed up. Samurai swords are illegal in Cambodia.

5) A man in Phnom Penh, after an angry fight, poured gasoline and lit another man’s house on fire.  Cigarette lighters and gasoline are legal in Cambodia.

6) A man and wife in Southern Cambodia, both 60 years old, were headed home when they were attacked by thieves with cleavers.  They were nearly killed with gashes in their necks, limbs and bodies and were evacuated to Vietnam for treatment. Cleavers for cooking are legal in Cambodia.

You know, we didn’t actually have any gun violence in the last week. Two months ago one of my staff was robbed and they beat his wife in the face with a rock repeatedly trying to kill her.  She survived even though she is severely traumatized.  Did you know it is impossible to make a stone illegal? Unless that stone was carved 100 years ago in the shape of the 10 commandments; then its illegal today in public places in America. There were dozens of other acts of violence, but it would bore you to mention them all.  I guess it’s good we didn’t have any gun violence last week.  Hmmm.

Well, I live in Cambodia.  I feel quite safe here compared to some other countries I have been too.  You see guns are illegal, so only authorities like police and military have them; along with the criminals.  Sometimes we don’t know who is who.

I want to invite you into my world so you can see my house in a gun-free world. You might need the design soon enough in America!  My world in Cambodia is a world without guns (at least it is illegal for me to have a gun here).  We have no protection from criminals and they are certainly not afraid of me and my smile, so we have to make protection around our house.  I don’t worry so much for my own safety but I worry for the safety of my kids and wife.

My gun-free house:

Welcome to my living room!  When you look out of my living room window, this is the view you see.  Steel bars on every window (we tried to make them look nice), a 15 foot wall with razor wire on the top of it is outside so we don’t have much of a view.  I was going to paint the wall with an Iowa farm scene so it would remind me of home!

DSC_7403 Home (small)

Now, look at my bedroom view. This is the view from the master suite on a higher floor.  Again, bars on every window to keep people out.

DSC_7402 Home (small)

Outside in our 20 foot x 30 foot ‘front yard’ made of concrete, I put a basketball hoop up for my son.  We have lost a few balls on the razor wire fencing!

DSC_7404 Home (small)

We have a beautiful home even though it is made of solid concrete (so bullets cannot penetrate, and has a solid concrete slab for a roof (to stop any potential mortars or other projectiles, and of course people from entering through the roof).  Do you see my house behind the gate?  Why is my gate so tall? It’s not really for decoration, but because we need to make it less attractive to get over the top of! My neighbor’s gate is shorter, so thieves will probably rob him first!

DSC_7405 Home (small)

Do you have a pet dog?  I have two . They are not really pets though.  I have had several dogs.  We name them after weapons just to be funny like “Bomb”, “Missile”, “Landmine” and “Soldier”.  My dogs are really big for only one reason; they scare the pajebers out of Cambodians (who are similar in size).  They are my security guards. This is them playing with my oldest son in the ‘backyard’ (again a really big wall, steel and razor wire).

DSC_7412 Home (small)

If all my fences, razor wire, 15 foot gate, steel grates, concrete barricades and dogs fail to defend me.  I have only one last line of defense.  (Shhhh. . . don’t tell, I think the blade is too long and may not be legal.)  I hope I never have to use it, because the thief will probably just shoot me first.

DSC_7401 Home (small)

Well, America.  Welcome to my world.  You know, in the past I have sure enjoyed visiting the US when I kids could run around freely. I am amazed that houses in America don’t have bars on them and you can walk across the grass to the neighbor’s yard. You can walk down sidewalks and play in public parks.  You can go shopping without being frisked. You know it is sad that as an American I have never been able to enjoy much of my inherent freedoms which I was born into because I have not lived in America.

In the Philippines every store has an armed guard with a shotgun, rifle or handgun protecting it.  You get searched going into every mall, store and every theater by armed security.  Before parking in a parking lot, they use lights and mirrors to scan under your car for bombs and check the inside of your car just to park. . . at a mall!  In the airport you’ll get searched a minimum of three times.

In Cambodia I am afraid of guys with guns, because they always get what they want. Traffic cops carry handguns. They collect ‘donations’ every day.  We have an elite unit of soldiers who carry AK-47’s and work in the night.  They scare me silly, especially on dark roads.  Every month the fire department (a unit of police in Cambodia) comes and asks about our fire extinguishers.  They always carry handguns with them and demand money.  I have to pay.  One time I stood up to their extortion and I thought, as did my wife, I was going to get shot.  Better just pay every month. There are as many as 30,000 current land disputes in Cambodia and it seems the guys who have the guns always win.  Rich people have armed body guards with them all the time. My neighbor sells cars and has to hire four armed soldiers every evening to escort him home. I have never seen him dare go outside his house or work.  My wife survived genocide in which they gave guns to 12-15 year old kids who took over Cambodia. They took away everyone else’s guns and then killed 3.1 million people including my wife’s Mom, Dad, five brothers and sisters, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Only one sister survived those kids with guns.  They are called the Khmer Rouge. My father was blown up with C4 put in a backpack surrounded by nails and steel. The military makes C4, but I can buy nails at any hardware store.

Well, in Cambodia we are going to have an election in a few months. Now this is a democratic country where we have free press and free elections. It won’t be a cliffhanger like Obama vs. Romney though.  In fact, we already know who will win: The guys with all the guns.

I am an American.  I own guns.  But I don’t live in a country which allows civilians to have guns.  Only those in the government can have guns. I think people shooting school children, or anyone for that matter, is bad.  I think AR-15s are bad, as well as landmines, mortars, F-16s, 155 Howitzers, 50 caliber sniper rifles, Glock 50s, AK-47’s, 100 round drum magazines and Uzis.  But what is far worse to me than removing those weapons is when one person can have them and I can’t.  It’s just not very safe for me.

The American Bill of Rights is something which has allowed Americas to not only stand for liberty, but to live in freedom.  Of those freedoms, the most valuable to me are: Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to bear arms. All three have been severely eroded in my lifetime and it is a shame I will probably never get to enjoy those freedoms like generations gone by.

America, welcome to my world!  A world without guns!

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78 Comments leave one →
  1. Lyn permalink
    January 17, 2013 9:12 pm

    Good illustration of your world. Humm. Now why do I keep coming to Cambodia?????? Oh yes, my family that lives behind those bars and works for the Kingdom of God in an unprotected world.

  2. Aimee permalink
    January 18, 2013 12:02 am

    Friend of John Vencer here. I agree completely with every word.

  3. January 18, 2013 2:05 am

    I agree, I came from the Philippines. Early in my teen years my dad as an Army had guns in the house. He knows how bad the out side world is(we live inside the military camp housing)but not so bad that anyone could just harass you or something but my elder brother has a handgun and so is my older sister. Because of the freedom of owning a gun no politician can force you to vote for him and his party,no police can harass you and a hold upper will think twice before robbing a bank due to most of the people have handguns then. And political rebels are up in the mountains because people in towns have guns. I was about to be given one(a hand gun) but Marcos declared martial law and all the guns has to be surrendered. Then everything changed after that,every politician who have won own an army who have guns and who owns guns themselves,the rich have guns so the manipulation of the people who don’t own a gun was that easy.The clamor to own a gun was thwarted and to answer the insecurity armed guards are placed in every places where people go like malls,schools, banks and home of the rich with armed security. Any sharp tools are considered deadly weapon, the negritos can only carry air rifle instead of a hunting rifle(as was it used to be). And yes people lives in an secured houses with thick walls and if you can afford a high fence with barbed wire on top. Also gun related violence is still common(cause criminals-some of them police or law enforcement). Now I am here in the US most is gun violence were caused by gangs and criminals. Once the right to own a gun is removed it will be like Mexico or the Philippines-people who owns guns have the say of the day.

  4. J. J. permalink
    January 18, 2013 3:06 am

    I think it’s hardly appropriate or statistically significant to compare a 3rd world country and it’s gun laws to a first world, highly developed, western country

    • January 18, 2013 7:13 am

      Why not? The Philippines operated from a US based constitution (written by Gen. Douglas MacArthur) for nearly 100 years. Just because they are more poor than the average American, doesn’t have anything to do with freedom.

      • January 18, 2013 2:20 pm

        Poor before but not anymore,and I lived there and it wasn’t all that bad as most people think. I was with a team UN that monitors agriculture during the 1970’s early years in college.UN monitorers found out that what they were shown was not as what other people have told them that Pilipinos are full of garbage collectors of wasted food and are always begging for food. They were brought outside of Manila where food is grown like vegetables and sorts,like in the ilokos region where I lived and food is plentiful. They showed be the pictures they got,where it shows people are undressed wearing G-strings.They saw a different Philippines,rich in natural resources like gold where it is richly mined but all goes to the US nothing is left for the people who owns the land just because of a treaty. It is a developing country not a third world country. We have photos early in the 1900s before world war 1 where they have ford model T and some other US made vehicles and modern buildings not only nipa huts as other uninformed bigots thinks Philippines was. I remember working for a missionary one time and it was the 80’s and had me make multiple copies of his Prayer letter and support raising. What struck me was in his letter he said there were no home phones available and the nearest phone was at the city’s post office(he has one in his house)when during that time I already have my own home phone. It was 1960s and we already have a phone in our house,what is he talking about?1985 I already have my first cellphone. And most striking again he said there that Philippines is still uncloth people showing some old photos of people in G-strings and topless ladies,when the fact is when the Spaniards came Filipinos are already wearing clothes and have their own Language,alphabet and form of government,they just called them “indios” just because they can’t speak Spanish. After that copying thing I told him to stop selling the Philippines just to raise money for your next Boracay vacation. In Baguio alone we have four Malls far better that what I saw here, and you might wonder why it is always full and where do the people get their money to spend, Filipinos are hardworkers and know where to spend their hard earnd money. Some times make use of google search before we conclude cause we might be letting others mock us of being uniformed.

      • January 18, 2013 6:09 pm

        Thanks Ed. I love the Philippines very much and that I why I have chosen to invest nearly my whole life living in the Philippines and Cambodia. I would definitely not call the Philippines poor and even Cambodia is catching up very quickly. In either country there are plenty of Lexus, shopping malls, high-rise apartment and luxury labeled everyone. On every single flight I have been on in and out of the Philippines there is never a seat free, because the people have money to fly! Again, I love the Philippines and Cambodia very much!

    • Burt Garwood permalink
      January 18, 2013 9:59 am

      J.J. – Are you kidding me? Just for your sake, let’s forget about all other countries outside of the United States of America and just take a simple walk back into America’s history: the prohibition days. In our “highly developed western country” (your words), the government banned alcohol. What happened? The bootleggers still made alcohol, carted alcohol and sold alcohol. And they used guns to do it. The bad guys still found a way and they still had guns.

    • January 18, 2013 10:45 am

      It’s very appropriate because when America bans guns from its citizens, life will be just like a third world nation. That is the point he was making in his blog. I work in Papua New Guinea which is a similar situation. Only the police, military, and criminals have guns. The criminals know they can break into any place and not meet any resistance. This is where Obama is leading America. Of course there is the little matter of why the 2nd amendment is even included in the bill of rights. Something about the public defending itself from a tyrannical leader. If you look throughout history, those leaders who disarmed the public also slaughtered them. Is that really what we want to see happen here in America? That is the America Obama is trying to create.

    • Donna Schilling permalink
      January 18, 2013 11:38 am

      And I lived in a gun-free country in Asia as well… two of them as a matter of fact. And not once did I ever feel unsafe walking anywhere I wanted, no matter the time of day or night. Comparing Cambodia to the U.S. is a very poor example of living in a gun-free country. I simply cannot imagine why you would expose your children to living in those conditions nor in that country… it is a free world and there are much safer places to live and make a living.

      • January 18, 2013 11:44 am

        I am only giving my personal perspective. Well, actually I am not in Cambodia making money. I work with orphans and poor people to help make their lives better. I am not getting rich doing this. I am guessing you are referring to the city-state Singapore in which even possession of a bullet can get you in jail for 1 year. I lived there too. I felt very safe. The government (one party) has been in power since its inception. Safe, but free? Of course, one city is easier to make into an “ideal world”.

    • jim permalink
      June 12, 2013 10:13 pm

      really,so you think that Mexico type violence will not come hto the states if all guns are confiscated?hint,it is already here,trying walking down a street in detroit,or compton,or any american city with”third world” violence.Sooner or later people will have to make a choice,guns or marshall law.It is that simple.

  5. January 18, 2013 8:14 am

    Great post, Steve. I’m the managing editor of thetruthaboutguns.com, the Internet’s largest gun blog (about 1.45 million unique readers per month). I’d like your permission to reprint this post on our site. Please email me.

    Thanks,
    Dan Zimmerman

  6. Burt Garwood permalink
    January 18, 2013 9:53 am

    Thanks Dan for seeing the truth in Steve’s blog. I grew up in the Philippines with Steve and I can assure you this is the harsh reality of a world without guns. Americans who haven’t lived in another country can’t even begin to understand or appreciate our right to bear arms. The sad reality is that violence will find other forms of expression if guns are banned. And the bad guys will still have guns. We have had friends die in the Philippines for this very reason. Thanks for wanting to share Steve’s story with the world.

  7. January 18, 2013 10:05 am

    Good article Steve. I hope you are doing well.

  8. January 18, 2013 10:53 am

    Please keep all comment “civil” and not attacking one side, or another or any people please. . . it saves me the time in editing and deleting. This is not an “attack” blog, just a perspective. Thanks!

  9. SteveW permalink
    January 18, 2013 11:04 am

    Thanks for your thoughts Steve

  10. Lisa permalink
    January 18, 2013 11:22 am

    Alan and I enjoyed that. Of course, we can relate, not to your tragedy, but to the truth behind your words. Much love. L & A Miller

    • January 18, 2013 11:27 am

      I think over the years we grow desensatized to our past. So many comments from friends like you and Alan today have brought many happy memories, but also the memory of the sound of a Howitzer cannon at 1:00am. That sound shakes my soul. I’ll never forget it. But we survived. . . on the outside. . . maybe still working on the inside a bit more. Thanks for reading and remembering with me today!

  11. January 18, 2013 11:26 am

    Lisa had me read this. What a great perspective! Thanks for your efforts over there.

  12. Offshoreoildude permalink
    January 18, 2013 11:28 am

    Why not try a country that is at the same standard of living as the USA? Australia/NZ/UK/Europe…. The reasons behind high crime in SE Asia are much more complex that having access to guns.

    • January 18, 2013 11:35 am

      It only my personal perspective. I haven’t lived in other countries and visited around 50. Violent crime is always complex. But I don’t think freedom needs to be a economic issue only for wealthy countries. “The reasons behind high crime in SE Asia are much more complex than having access to guns” I whole heartily agree. Equally, the solution to violent crime is way more complex than limiting freedom to guns (while some guys keep all the big guns and other’s can’t.) Thanks for commenting.

    • Gulgamesh permalink
      January 18, 2013 1:56 pm

      Do a quick Google search and you will find that every country you search had crime rates increase after gun bans. Some countries had gun violence increase as well.

      An example of what you will find:
      http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17847

    • Bryan permalink
      January 18, 2013 2:27 pm

      US 466 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens
      UK 2,034 per 100,000
      Australia 1,677 per 100,000
      South Africa 1,609 per 100,000
      Sweden 1,123 per 100,000
      Belgian 1,006 per 100,000
      Canada 935 per 100,000
      Finland 738 per 100,000
      Netherlands 676 per 100,000
      Luxembourg 565 per 100,000
      France 504 per 100,000
      In case you missed it the first time: US 466 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens

  13. January 18, 2013 11:28 am

    Thanks for the perspective

  14. Henry permalink
    January 18, 2013 12:14 pm

    I love the pictures…. I wish I could get more pictures of your house and how you make it secure . That is very interesting to me.

    • January 18, 2013 6:04 pm

      Hey Henry, you know in countries like Singapore and Israel all new homes have to be built with at least one safe room. A safe room is a internal room with no windows, with a solid inner-locking steel door and a small filtered vent for air. The rooms are solid concrete in walls, ceiling and floor about 20-30cm thick of concrete and reinforced steel. I would rather not put any more pictures of him home for the sake of my privacy. I hope you understand. Thanks

  15. January 18, 2013 1:54 pm

    Steve,

    This perspective makes me sad. Just a little. But thank you for writing it.

    I grew up in the Philippines also. And in Thailand. Saw those same coups, went to that same campus. I don’t ever recall not being allowed to leave the campus. I remember a week off as the People Power revolution threw out Marcos. Had the same teachers. Walked the same places at on Bataan and Corregidor. Visited the same bases of US military power.

    Obviously like all MKs our perceptions of times past are filtered and rinsed through a variety of lenses based on our experiences after those times. But oddly I don’t have the same recollection. I never felt unsafe in the Philippines, or in Thailand. Guns were a part of living in both those places, but I never felt like I needed one to be safe.

    I “get” Steve and Burt’s perspective. I get the story around the 2nd amendment and the need to vigilantly defend freedom and liberty. I get the need to oppose Barak Obama, because he’s not Republican. I get the need to see the erosion of “freedom of religion” as the erosion of the celebration of “my religion”. I get that these freedoms which define your “American-ness” are sacrosanct, if you see yourself as an American first and foremost.

    But I remember Steve’s Dad telling me that this Constitution was a living, breathing document. As someone who’s not a US citizen, at 16 that had a huge impact – and I dreamed, like many do I suspect of this place where freedom and liberty were held dear. I admit I idealized it quite a bit as a teenager and in my travels there since, that idealized dream has been diminished.

    But never destroyed. I think America is far more than it’s “freedoms” – it is, like any place, a reflection and the summation of its people. A bitterly divided, myopic, fearful and somewhat scary people at times, but still one of the most open, warm and sharing, deliberate, considered, and vital people of the many places I have travelled and lived in.

    In my opinion, this gun issue isn’t about the right to “bare arms” or even to maintain a “well regulated militia” – it’s just part of a conversation about the culture and the society that you wish to be a part of. From the perspective of someone who lives in New Zealand, where firearms are regulated, where violence does occur, and where we struggle with many of the same media and societal issues as the USA – it is stunning to think that that conversation cannot get past the current black/white framing of the issue.

    Thank you for sharing your perspective Steve. You’re always welcome to stay if you’re ever down this end of the globe.

    Tim

    • January 18, 2013 3:12 pm

      Thanks for sharing Tim. This is my world and a world which I have chosen to live in and obviously my prospective. I have always wanted to visit New Zealand! Hope to see you sometime!

  16. Bryan permalink
    January 18, 2013 2:16 pm

    Offshoreoildude, UK you say?
    2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 subjects compared to 466 per 100,000 citizens here in the US

  17. January 18, 2013 10:59 pm

    It was very similar to that when we lived in Jordon, bars on the windows, a safe room, checking for bombs under the car every morning yes the world can be a scary place. I guess we can’t all live on an island like Steve, sigh. Is it true that in New Zealand that you cannot listen to the radio in your car because of your “distracted driver” laws? I too have wanted to visit there but I’m afraid I’d be arrested.

    • January 19, 2013 9:23 am

      One of my college professors said, “we live in a FREE society…but only free on a grey strip (road) and in your home. But you still have to pay the government and follow all their rules. Just don’t leave the grey strip or your home or you will lose your freedom.” Ha ha I believe his name was Moritz. I thought it was funny and a little true. But I am not in favor of anarchy!

    • January 19, 2013 11:27 am

      Hi Julie,

      Here in NZ, if you’re arrested while dressed as a Hobbit or an Elf, you’ll usually get let off with a smile. If you’re an Orc or Goblin, you’re usually sent to jail without trial. The police don’t bother with Wizards or Trolls…

      :)

      The only “distracted driver” law we in NZ have is that is illegal to make “use of hand-held mobile phones and other telecommunications devices, such as Blackberry devices and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), while driving (including using these devices to text or email)”

      http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rules/road-user-amendment-2009-qa.html#1

      There is not a ban on listening to the radio – but some critics of the law say, the distraction that comes from changing radio stations, talking to passengers, turning to deal with children, whilst driving – can all contribute to car accidents.

      Please do come visit, you will have to drive on the left hand side of the road though. :)

      Tim

  18. Princess permalink
    January 19, 2013 1:03 am

    This blog has been posted in my friend’s Facebook today. I understand what you are trying to share. Here’s my humble comments:

    I, am an Indonesian, now living in America. I used to live in a gun-control country too, Indonesia; with steel wires around the house, metal fences around the house, & dogs as house guard, and where the military people and criminals are the only ones who carry and owns guns… as my normal lifestyle.

    Being “used to” has given me and the Indonesians, the “sense of normality” to live in a prison-like-house, and not to own a gun, but as much as we are helpless in our own sanctuary, our house, we may rely on our kitchen cooking utensils and housewares as “weapon”, such as knives, wood beam, or machete. Although, we will do this first “your life is precious, don’t fight, but give anything asked” policy.

    Being “used to” also has given me, a woman gender in Indonesia, and the softer side of the femininity, the “no gun in the house policy”. While in contrary, my husband, an American, thinks that it is the right of the people to own a gun to PROTECT the family. We have 5 children, no picket fences, no wires, no dogs, and (yes) no gun in the house.

    Culture, (as in upbringing too), and maturity of a country (Indonesia’s independence is just 65 years, compare to America that is 200 years), and past life experienced, has everything to do with the perspective and choice we will make now; as a free being or as a free citizen, or simply as a person (husband/wife, father/mother) who wants to PROTECT their own lives and their family lives!

    • January 19, 2013 9:17 am

      Thank you so much for sharing. I appreciate your perspective. Life is indeed sacred!!

  19. Sarah Gordon Vose permalink
    January 19, 2013 3:45 am

    Thanks, Steve. Your Dad was my choir teacher at Faith Academy in the late ’80’s. I agree with your perspective. I also believe that the gospel, when embraced, brings the solution, guns or no guns, to violence.

  20. ganymede permalink
    January 19, 2013 7:01 am

    Hi Steve, I read all this stuff, much of it babytalk, cherrypicked info. No one is trying to take away the guns of Americans. We just want them better regulated – there’s no need for guns that can fire 30 bullets in 5-10 seconds, etc. America has more gun deaths than any other advanced, supposedly civilized country. One of the commentators has the audacity to come up with figures that the US has less violent crime than Finland and Canada. C’mon, you’re being used as a tool by the rightwing, and I don’t usually use this term, fascists. who represent the NRA and the arms makers (merchants of war). The way things are going there will soon be a half billion guns and people will be walking down the streets of New York with AK-47’s etc. We’re not a garrison state, yet. Steve, either you’re a plant or jusy a very naive guy with very little understanding of history. Who created the Khmer Rouge. The Vietnamese/Cambodian episode was another sordid chapter in America’s disastrous foreign policy of the last 50 years. Get some facts and commonsense man. You sound like a decent guy. Most advanced countries have much stricter gun laws than the US and the people there are no less free!

    • January 19, 2013 7:53 am

      ganymede, maybe I am just naive as you say. I didn’t “cherrypick” or “babytalk”, I just stated my personal experience and perspective. My view is not an NRA view (I’m not a member, don’t plan on being a member, and I don’t even know what their view is). My point is pretty clear. If one person has the guns that shoots 30 bullets in 5-10 second (which I would rather no one have), then you can’t let some guys have them (including police) and not other guys. That’s freedom to me, and better security. I was sad when back in the 80’s police departments started using terminology like “we are outgunned by criminals, so we need bigger guns.” Now all the firepower that out there is so much bigger and more people die, its not safer. Regulation is fine with me, as long as it is not used as a tool to target people and limit their freedoms (which as we can see a simple example from the newspaper who identified every house with handgun permits), that “regulation” brought less freedom to those gun owners. Regulations on ammo, regulations on style of grips or what accessories can be attached, are not making people more free or safer, because all of those things will be allowed by other people (“authorities” and such). So, even to the new NY law my antique WWII Soviet rifle is now illegal there. It takes about 5 seconds to fire one bullet. It is so heavy I can’t imagine how anyone carried it around. But it can attach a bayonet, therefore according to their new law it is an “assault rifle”. That’s ridiculous. I have used it for feral hog hunting.
      I’m not going to even bother with the Khmer Rouge history comment. I know more of Cambodian history then you could every possibly know; and I teach it too. I’ve written books on it. The Americans had very little to do with the Khmer Rouge. The biggest culprit was Cambodian’s internal politics and culture themselves along with China and the mixture of Cold War.
      I’ll add one last thing. I recently took a course for hunters safety. I didn’t need to take it. I was legal without it. However, the information I learned was very valuable on gun safety and wildlife management. I would highly recommend that every gun owner take gun safety courses (or even teach them in schools to the kids).

      • MartyH permalink
        June 12, 2013 6:35 pm

        You are right: “you can’t let some guys have them (including police) and not other guys.”

        I love your overall perspective.

      • June 12, 2013 8:31 pm

        Thanks for reading!

  21. Dean Schreiber permalink
    January 19, 2013 7:40 am

    Amazing perspective Steve. Thanks so much for sharing> –Dean Schreiber –Sagamore Hills, Summit County, Ohio

  22. Rick permalink
    January 20, 2013 2:48 am

    I also live in a country with no guns, Spain, (well hardly any outside of the few that allowed for hunting) and conversely we don’t need to take any of the safety precautions that you do in Cambodia. I can walk around my city at 3 am with no problems and feel perfectly safe. Almost all houses have absolutely no security features beyond a lock, and/or a wall. There is very little gun crime. I grew up in West Texas around guns, and never felt unsafe there. However, even in high school, guns were often pulled out at parties over disagreements, and I knew at least two kids who were shot (thankfully not killed). I lived most of my adult life in Dallas, where while gun crime and violence are extremely common, I always felt pretty safe, even after having my car broken into numerous times, and living in high crime areas. I worry about one day returning to the US where my kids will almost certainly face the reality of gun violence.

    I own an old shotgun that my grandfather gave me and support the second amendment, but also support stronger background checks, and banning certain types of weapons.

    Absolutely no one in the US government or really anyone involved in the debate is saying that we should “take away all the guns.” This has become a red herring of sorts to avoid the real issue, which is that maybe, just maybe we should entertain the idea that certain weapons should not be available to the public. Especially ones that kill rapidly and exist to create the greatest amount of damage. Wether we have this national discussion now, or not, we will have it. In 20-30 years the technology that will be available will be breathtaking. The military is already developing rifles that can shoot around walls. It is not difficult to imagine the types of guns and weapons that will be available.

    Once again, no one is arguing that people shouldn’t be able to have a gun for sport or self defense. They are simply arguing that maybe having one that can kill 30 people in 30 seconds is not the most beneficial thing for our nation.

    Also, that maybe we should allow the ATF to do its job and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

    • January 20, 2013 6:04 am

      Hi Rick! I pretty much agree with you. I don’t think anyone needs guns that can kill in seconds! Including the police!
      I think though that many people do not trust that ‘no one is saying to ban guns’. This is just step one. Many, like me, don’t trust the government on this issue.
      Thanks for your perspective and comments. I hope to visit Spain one day!

      • Rick permalink
        January 20, 2013 9:38 pm

        Steve. I think it is fine for people to be concerned about the government, and any governmental intervention in our life. I don’t trust the politicians on either side of the political divide. However, right now in the states, the debate simply won’t move forward at all, because the default position to any and every concern about the gun issue, is the charge that “you want to take away my guns.” However, to ban guns, there would have to be a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Changing the Constitution is next to impossible and I just don’t see it happening.

        So how can people be balanced defenders of the 2nd Amendment while also earnestly listening to the majority of Americans who simply just want some level of gun control, and for the NRA to stop blocking local and national law enforcement from doing their job (while at the same time hypocritically criticizing law enforcement for not enforcing the laws).? You seem to very much be on the right track.

        Another question I have, is really why the NRA is so powerful. They only have 4 million members. Just 1% of the country, yet they have so much power. Where do they get their power? I think people really need to explore the connection between the gun industry and the NRA to see if profit is driving the issue more than a legitimate concern for the nation. I am not saying it is, just that something seems to be our of proportion.

        Come to Spain one day, it is a great country!!

    • March 18, 2013 1:29 pm

      Thank you Steve for this interesting perspective.
      Rick, here’s the basic simplification of the complex gun issue for you: The gun regulations you say you support don’t work. In every country that has tried them it always follows the same formula. First it’s registration and licensing. When that doesn’t solve the problem, it moves to limitations and other restrictions like “safe storage” laws. When that doesn’t work, the argument moves to more restrictions, more limits, and more stringent “safe storage” laws. After that fails to solve the problem, the only thing left is to take away the few guns still in private hands. Nowhere has that ever resulted in reductions in violent crime, but once you get there, there is no going back. In the US, serious violent crime is largely isolated to small pockets of large cities. Most of those cities have strict gun laws, but the laws don’t help. They blame “lax laws” in neighboring states, but the problem is the criminals, not the guns or the gun owners. Show me a gun law that actually reduces crime, saves lives, and makes society safer, and I’ll discuss it with you. Until then, all we ask is that you leave us alone. We’re not the problem. We’re not killing people or robbing people or hurting people. We’re just enjoying our freedom and keeping our families safe. (Guns are used defensively at least 5 times more frequently than they are used offensively in the US.) You simply dismissing the previous poster’s statistics is rather closed-minded. I wish the commentor had included the source of their statistics.
      Guns are very simple machines. They are not complicated or difficult to make. There is no real difference between an “evil” gun that can “kill 30 people in 30 seconds” and a typical “good” hunting or sporting rifle. The difference between a low-capacity magazine and a high-capacity magazine is just the length of the box and the spring inside. It’s no more complicated than a PEZ dispenser. There are over 200 million guns in the US and only an infinitesimally small percentage of them are ever used for criminal purposes. Someone seriously intent on preying on others is going to be prepared to do that – whether with a gun, a knife, a machete, or a bottle of gasoline and a lighter.
      The bottom line is that we understand the Constitution of the United States to protect our fundamental right to arms. We see creeping restrictions, limitations, and prohibitions (even the “limited, common sense” proposals) as infringements on those rights. We reject them and we refuse to comply. Are you going to hunt us down and kill us for that? All we want is to be left alone and have our rights respected. We have our guns for defensive purposes only. But we will defend our rights as we understand them.
      So you have a choice: You can either leave us alone and focus your efforts on solving the actual problems – poverty, hopelessness, and cultural corruption, or you can go after me and my fellow responsible gun owners who aren’t hurting anyone, but who are not going to simply lay down and have our constitutionally enumerated rights trampled upon. Are you willing to kill me or send me to prison because I have a magazine that holds one too many bullets, or because I have a rifle that looks scary to you? Because that’s what you’re ultimately talking about.
      Gun control doesn’t work. Attacking and restricting responsible gun owners doesn’t reduce crime. Violating the Constitution does not promote freedom.
      If you really want to implement these idiotic, useless, counterproductive laws, you must first change the Constitution – which is only difficult if the majority of Americans do not agree with the change – and then your laws can be seriously considered.
      As to the power of the NRA, it comes from the 80 to 90 million gun owners who agree with them. Simply put, there are many times more of us who passionately care about defending our rights than there are of those who passionately support infringing on our rights. We’ve demonstrated that repeatedly in elections around this country. The firearms industry is not a massive wealth machine like oil companies, drug companies, and IT companies. It is a few solid companies and a bunch of small, mom & pop businesses. Both the NRA and the firearms industry are dependent upon, and guided by, average Joe gun owners who donate to the cause and buy the products – and who would abandon them in a heartbeat if they capitulated on our rights. Just leave us alone. We’re not the problem, and restricting us is not the solution.

  23. Jane permalink
    January 20, 2013 5:24 am

    Awesome. Hope this goes viral. Every American and politician needs to read this.

  24. Rhonda Brown permalink
    January 20, 2013 8:44 am

    Outlawing guns will not stop violence. I live in OKC where Tim McVeigh’s weapon of choice was fertlizer in a Ryder Rental truck. I enjoyed your article, Steve. I remember the People Power revolution…my first year at Faith. We lived through some interesting times in Manila. I have great memories of life in the PI. God bless your ministry. Rhonda B.

  25. Larry Nelson permalink
    January 20, 2013 3:49 pm

    Greetings Steve, Always liked your visits to Yuba City.. I am now living in Fresno. company moved me here.. This is one of the cities you mentioned that you wished you were packing.
    I am always locked and loaded just because it is a tough gang city..Loved all the blog..but love your work much better:). would love to visit and stomp in the jungle visiting with the gospel.
    I too have traveled to many foreign countries..Phillippines at least 20 times..always loved it. Singapore was VERY clean..but very dirty at night..That was weird and in 76, so things may have changed. I evacuated the embassy in Siagon in 75 via helps. I was in a helo squadron back then. But as you state The Rouge was internal and chinese supplied.
    I pray you are in health and prosper…cause I know you use it to rescue the poor and little people!
    God Bless
    Larry

    • January 20, 2013 3:59 pm

      One night we left Yosemite and looked for a hotel in Fresno. It was scary! I am not sure what area of town we were in, but in later years we just bypass Fresno!
      Singapore is a garden paradise nowadays! Very nice!

  26. Jason permalink
    January 20, 2013 10:18 pm

    Very accurate and well-steted! We live in the same fear of guns and violence in Mexico because we, the non elite, are not allowed to have them.

  27. January 20, 2013 11:01 pm

    Thank you, Steve, for telling it like it is.
    I grew up for three years in PNG as a child. We discovered the same truths you have about supposedly “disarmed” countries. The only people who have guns are those who refuse to obey the laws. Once, some of the teens from our hostel were accosted by a masked “rascal” (robber) on the road just across the pasture from our home. He tried to rape one of the girls. The guys knocked the gun from his hand and jumped him, and pummeled him to pieces. Susie came home bawling, with cuts on her arms and legs from scrambling over the barbed-wire fence. There was a ski mask on the table that she’d ripped off his face. When the police made an examination of the man’s homemade zip gun, they discovered that it would have gone off.

    Something people don’t understand is that even if all of the “real” mass-manufactured weapons are confiscated by a tyrannical government, people will still make their own. And they work just as well, sometimes better, than the genuine article. Think of the Khyber Pass and Danao City armories. How many millions of working copies of common service weapons have been produced and marketed from those two main illicit gun trade centers of the world? We may never know.

    Under Obama’s proposed restrictions, millions upon millions of Americans would become criminals, overnight. Where does he plan to imprison us? FEMA camps, Red Dawn style, or what?

    I am not happy with the current turn of events but if any UN soldiers, foreigners or even local cops or Feds come beating down our doors I will unleash hell on them if I can manage it. Those three years spent in PNG weren’t for nothing. I enjoyed my time there, but only because I was a small child, ignorant of what freedoms we didn’t have. I would never want to live there now.

    Safety in a third world country is an illusion. It is nonexistent, really.

    I wish more people all over the world would post things like this, and drown the blogosphere with their laments for America’s greatness. Perhaps more of the ignorant half of our population would come to realize their mistakes.

    Thanks again,
    PMZ

    • January 21, 2013 5:18 am

      Thanks so much for sharing. Several people from PNG have said exactly what you have too.

  28. January 21, 2013 12:27 am

    Thanks for a great blog post, Steve! Very thought provoking to hear your experiences.

    I struggle with this issue, based upon my experience. I was born in Canada, now live in the USA (and a naturalized American citizen). I have been a victim of violence in the past (in places where weapons were prohibited and I had no way to defend myself) and I’ve successfully used weapons to safeguard myself and my loved ones. And as much as it would be wonderful to live in a world where nobody needed guns, the reality is that we humans have been finding ways to kill one another since long before the invention of gunpowder, and will continue to do so when today’s guns seems as archaic as the muskets of the 1700s.

    All of this debate about magazine capacity and banning some kinds of weapons because they look scary loses a couple of important facts, I think. Most important is that the vast majority of violence with guns in the United States is caused by criminals killing other criminals, and (by definition) criminals won’t obey gun laws. There’s nothing intrinsically more deadly about so-called “assault weapons” than any other guns, and even higher capacity magazines are of little import because reloading a modern gun takes just a second or two even for a relatively untrained person. The “3-4 shots per second” weapons are, by and large, military automatic rifles (not semi automatic versions available to civilians) and are already highly controlled. So, although assault weapons bans and the like satisfy the human urge to “do something” and to “feel safer”, it’s hard to argue that “feeling safe” and “being safe” are always the same thing.

    I think most gun owners I know would say that the issue isn’t being opposed to “reasonable gun laws” – its the perception that we already have that and what’s being proposes now is “unreasonable gun laws” that restrict the freedom of gun owners without actually doing a thing to make anybody safer. I also think it’s challenging that those would want to, effectively, have a conversation about the costs and benefits of gun ownership in America don’t for the most part want to admit that there ARE benefits that come from being able to effectively repel armed criminals. How much of a benefit is in dispute, but even the Clinton administration (trying to justify their assault weapons ban) came up with a number of lives saved by armed citizens and police that was many times higher than the number killed by gun violence.

    Would it be nice to live in a world without violence? Absolutely. But that’s never happened in human history, and there doesn’t seem to be much reason that disarming law abiding citizens (but not military, police, or criminals) would get us there in this instance.

    • January 21, 2013 5:19 am

      I am sorry you were a victim. The trauma takes a long time to recover from, if ever. Thanks so much for sharing.

  29. January 21, 2013 3:06 am

    You have very good points but my Reply simply goes out to your wife. I’m sorry for your loss! I grew-up without my family because my mother choose to stay away from them. The hurt from that is so small compared to yours. I can’t imagine the pain you have suffered and my heart really goes out to you.

    • January 21, 2013 5:24 am

      Thank you. That is very kind. You are the first person to say something about our losses from violence. I’ll tell my wife.
      Many people have wondered why we would live in this place, assuming a high paying job keeps us here. What keeps us here is doing our best, as victims of violence, to love others who are victims too…we care for 150 orphans and other victimized children so that they can have a better future.

  30. January 21, 2013 11:48 am

    I am not necessarily against owning guns but I am against the spirit of fear. You say in your bio, “I love to write and inspire people to do more for Christ, so I hope this blog can be an inspiration for others.” I just don’t get it how the words in this article are inspirational towards the freedom the Bible presents to us.

    • January 21, 2013 1:29 pm

      I am also against the spirit of fear. I can tell you that I do not live in a spirit of fear, but I am also not naive to think that taking away some people’s guns while others (government) keeps theirs, is going to make anyone safer. I would content that it would make you less-safe, and in a situation where you will fear more. The US nowadays seems to be trying to make itself a “god-free” country, so in this regard the issue at hand it is not God’s given freedoms (which I personally uphold as the standard), but rather our constitutional freedoms given by our American forefathers. I hate all violence and as you read, my family has been the victim of far more violent crime that most. (Additionally, I should point out that all the people who killed my father and my wife’s family are still free and we have even met some of them. There never was any justice.) I wish there were no guns at all, but guns in any country in the world are as common as coke-cola. So, to me the issue is equality to ensure my freedom and protection. Trusting someone else’s guns doesn’t make you free. I personally put my trust in God, but so did my Dad, right up until the bomb went off. He did not live in fear and in fact the final sermon he gave was titled “Do not fear man”. Yet, we live in an evil world and therefore personal protection is unfortunately necessary.

      Did you know that the Apostle Peter carried a sword and obviously was prepared to use it? In Matthew 25:51-52 it says, “With that, one of Jesus’ companions [Peter] reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
      ‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’”

      Jesus didn’t want Peter using his sword for various reasons, but Jesus then healed the ear of the man whose ear he cut off. I have spent the last 20 years of my life in Cambodia following the model of Jesus to bring healing to this nation which has seen so much killing and death. I personally care for more than 150 children who are orphans and children at risk to give them the same opportunities for freedom that I have been given by my parents and my country.

      I believe that we need to speak out, as our government was intended to be a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” (A. Lincoln). Our government was established with built-in checks and balances so that all laws would require the executive, legislative and judicial branches to confirm them. Executive orders and backroom politics is not what our constitution dictates. I think we should speak out when we see our freedoms infringed on and that is the purpose of this specific blog article.

      I thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope this clarifies my perspective on guns and freedom.

  31. greathobbsie permalink
    January 21, 2013 11:53 pm

    Thanks Steve, I really enjoyed this post. – Daniel Hobbs

    • Anna Whittle permalink
      January 22, 2013 9:14 am

      Hi, you commented a while ago to one of my posts about the definition of an assault weapon. What I do not understand in all this talk about taking away our rights, is why does nobody mention the fact that WE ALREADY HAD A BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS! It was not the precursor of the evil empire taking away our rights under the second amendment.

      Our system of government is set up on the 3 branches, giving no one person or persons the power to ban all guns. The government is set up by the people for the people. The people are speaking Steve, we want this to change.

      Did you know we have no director of the ATF? We haven’t since 2006. Did you know law enforcement is prevented from enforcing many gun laws by an amendment put into a spending bill by a NRA member?

      The people are demanding change and to limit access to weapons of mass destruction, and murder, which these guns amount to is not going to turn the USA into a Hitler Germany, or a Cambodia.

      • January 22, 2013 10:12 pm

        Dear Anna, thanks so much for commenting. I actually think we are pretty much singing the same tune. The point of my blog is that when one person has big guns (ie assault rifles, grenades, machine guns, large ammo clips, access to unlimited ammo) and another person doesn’t (ie law abiding citizens), it will not only NOT stop violence, it limits freedom. The second amendment is there for a purpose and executive orders are not the will of the people, represented through the proper balance of power (executive, legislative and judicial branches), but simply the political will of one man. That not how America is run and that is not freedom.
        If the people actually trusted that the ban would only apply to assault weapons (as you correctly stated was previously in place), I am sure most law abiding citizens would surrender their guns and agree. I think there is little trust because there have been so many moves to limit ammo, types of weapons, background checks and how the gun owners information is used. Therefore, I think they only course of action is freedom. If the executive, legislative and judicial branches agree on changes to laws and the 2nd amendment, then together they represent the will of the people.
        The people have spoken. Like you we all say ‘enough violence’. Look at my family…we have more dead victims of violence than living! I want an end to violence. But, the way in which the nation must act, we do not agree. That is why in a free America we can speak in dialogue to find a common path. For me, if the citizens are expected to give up assault rifles or have any limits to the Bill of Rights, then everyone, including all government authorities and police must submit to the same standard, otherwise there will be intimidation and loss of freedom.
        This is my opinion based on my experience. I respect yours too, and honestly I don’t think we are that far apart. Thanks again for taking the time to read my view and comment. Blessings to you!

  32. tim hyde permalink
    January 23, 2013 8:48 am

    steve, that was one of the best articles about guns that i have read! for those of you who do not know i am steves brother. i grew up with him sharing all of the same experiences in the philiipines and sharing in the same loss of our father. i am an avid hunter and land owner. i use my guns (multiple) to provide food for my family and for protection in our home. i agree with my brother about the high capacity weapons…we dont need them. for what…some city wanna -be to go blow 50 rounds in 5 sec so he can feel good? is it his right ? yes…but is it one of the guns we can do away with …sure! take up skeet shooting…:-) need a bigger calliber…join the military. i own two rifles a shotgun and two handguns and will probably get a couple more. both myself and my wife are good shots. i use my skill for hunting…i want her trained so that she can take care of herself if i am not around. one of the best laws that was passed a couple years ago in texas (where i live) was the castle law. this law stated that we no longer had to wait for the criminal to be in our house comming after us before we could protect ourselves…now they just had to be on the property. there have been many instances of burglers being shot through the door! crime rate went down…why…now the criminals had something to fear! yes there is a happy medium to all situations like this…and no..i dont think they will be able to change our rights….but on a lighter note…and to quote many of the texans that i know…you can have my guns when they pry them from my cold dead hands.

    • January 23, 2013 9:55 am

      You know this blog has gone viral when my brother not only reads it, but comments on it!

  33. Doug Roberson permalink
    January 24, 2013 4:28 am

    Steve, great blog. I completely agree. You cannot legislate against CRAZY! Next, we will need to limit the amount of diesel fuel and fertilizer any one person can buy to avoid truck bombings. In my opinion, it comes down to a simple point… We live in a fallen world with fallen people. People do bad things to people. It is not the guns, the fertilizer / diesel, the knife, the rock, or any other object that a person uses to harm another that is at fault. It is that person. Please don’t take away my AMERICAN RIGHT to own firearms.

  34. January 24, 2013 10:34 pm

    Why not move out of Cambodia and back to the USA if you don’t feel safe in other countries ?
    And I agree , the Right to Keep and Bear Arms should never be taken away from Americans.

    • January 24, 2013 11:05 pm

      I don’t live in fear, just always need to be in a state of caution. The reason I am in Cambodia is for helping others. I care for around 150 orphans and children from difficult backgrounds as well as community work. I am here trying to make sure the kids have a much better future.
      Thanks for commenting!

  35. January 24, 2013 11:08 pm

    If your an American , why not do that kind of work here ?

    • January 25, 2013 12:42 pm

      The need is bigger here and my wife is Cambodian, so I a apart of both worlds! Thanks. US Americans, no matter where we live, have to pay taxes though! So I still pay taxes and vote!

    • burt garwood permalink
      February 2, 2013 2:36 am

      JT, it seems like you just want to antagonize Steve. He is married to a Cambodian and runs an orphanage for 150 kids. This goes for anyone else trying to antagonize or belittle Steve for giving his life to live and serve in Cambodia…KNOCK IT OFF!
      If you want to debate gun control, that’s fine. But stop antagonizing a good man who is caring for orphaned children. I got your back Steve! Keep up the good work!

  36. Audrey permalink
    April 24, 2013 9:39 am

    I’ve never lived abroad, so I can’t say that I understand that life, but I do understand documentaries and such that I have watched over my 49 years of life. I think that most Americans can’t relate to your situation, they have lived a sheltered life, one in which government officials can be ousted from office, one where even though a person is rich and powerful there are still consequences for actions taken. At least that use to be the case, now we see wealthy movie/sport stars as well as singers and politicians getting away with criminal behavior. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Those of us who have led sedate lives won’t know what those like you know, most people in America think we don’t need guns, if guns were gone, they’d be no death by gun welding maniacs, they are wrong. Just because a law abiding citizen doesn’t own/have a gun, doesn’t mean that a criminal who has connections won’t have one, and even if they don’t they still have knives/clubs/bats, even just bulk muscles that can overpower the weak, and how will the law abiding citizen now protect their family? Like you are doing, building the larger fence, putting more locks/bars on to keep the bad guys out. We were robbed a few months ago, a building that housed tools we had some 400 or more feet from our house was robbed, a locked door kicked in. We put on pad locks, and nailed doors that faced away from the house shut, set up obstacles to block entrances, put alarms on doors/windows, but that is relatively mild compared to what you are going thru . Yet we, who are still supposedly free are letting our rights be taken away from us, many think that the government is their friend, one who would never turn on them. I’m pretty sure the Jews before WWII thought the same of their government, as has many more citizens before and after have of their governments. When I was young I couldn’t understand why countries had bombs, they were deadly, they’d kill millions of people, why? As I grew older I realized the truth, everyone has to have the same thing, if not, one is more empowered, especially if it is bad, it can shift the balance of good and evil. As far as the barbed wire fences you were talking about, and the iron bars, my dad summed it up years ago with this, if a rogue (British English old-fashioned a man who is dishonest and has a bad character) wanted in your house, you can’t stop him, he’ll find a way in. So now we come to the rub, what can we do, what must we do as American citizens to keep this kind of thing from happening in America?

    • April 25, 2013 10:38 am

      Thanks for your perspective. It is sad to see safety and security be such a problem now a days. My Grandmother in Iowa never took her car keys out of the car the entire time she owned the car, she never locked her door, she didn’t even have keys around her house, much less a security system. Now, everyone has to be careful, even in Iowa.

  37. kev permalink
    June 12, 2013 6:41 pm

    Hey Steve, I wonder how many machine guns your grandmother and her neighbors had back then? Mind asking her…?

    • June 12, 2013 8:33 pm

      I did. . she is 101 this year. Her brother, had over 10,000 guns in rural northern Iowa. He never locked his door, but his guns were locked in walk-in safe in the living room.

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