People's LIVES are in our hands.
We, as instructors, have a duty to hold OURSELVES to a higher standard. A VERY high standard. And we must hold ourselves accountable for every single piece of information we pass on.
We have a duty to dig deeper into the why and to learn from true masters of the craft.
We must CONSTANTLY challenge ourselves and improve.
We can never, ever accept or give the answer "because I said so".
We MUST treat our very own training as if ALL lives depend on it.
We can never grow lax or complacent.
When we speak or demonstrate, we are accepting the ultimate responsibility.
Passing on sub-par skills can cost a human being their LIFE!
ALWAYS keep learning and perfecting.
Sweat the small stuff.
Are legally openly carried guns at the polls really voter suppression? Or is the banning of personal protection the real voter suppression?
On Friday October 17th, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued a directive that banned voters from openly carrying any firearm at the polls. This ban was not only aimed at long guns, but otherwise legally carried pistols as well.
Her response to issuing this directive was "about protecting the vote for all Michigan citizens who want to exercise their right to vote in person on November 3, 2020".
She went on to cite a few key events publicized in Michigan throughout the pandemic. Often, media took these events (and still-shot pictures from those events) out of proportion, spinning a perfect anti-gun narrative that we see manifested in the response provided to the Michigan Supreme Court on October 26th, 2020.
I've taken a CPL Class, so that's good enough. Right? ... Wrong!
Warning, this post may make some people uncomfortable. That's a good thing.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news. It's NOT good enough. Having a mentality of "good enough" is dangerous when it comes to firearms and self-protection. You are worth more than "good enough", and your loved ones are worth more than "good enough".
What is Child Sexual Grooming? What are the signs? How do pretators use it?
According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, 90% of sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator. The vast majority have been groomed by an individual who is charismatic, trusted, and "normal". Thus making it very difficult to see them for what they are as they groom their next victim.
So, what is grooming?
I have a huge queston. Is our legislature really trying to make us powerless against violence? Have they stopped to think this all through?
As a woman and mother, I have had my fair share of "scary moments". Scary moments where I felt inadequately protected from harm. Moments where my heart leapt in my chest and my breath quickened. Moments where my brain raced as I tried to process twenty scenarios in my head. What could go wrong? Why do I feel this alarm? How am I going to prevent it? What if I can't prevent it? How will I defend myself and my kids? What will happen to my children if I fail?
Before I entered the realm of self-defense with a firearm, those last two questions left me feeling so powerless. Like the dream where you're fighting but your strikes are inefficient and light as a feather, always coming up short. I held so tightly to the false notion that someone would step in to save the day. Maybe there would be a police officer that would race to my rescue. Maybe everyone around me would race to my rescue and overthrow my attacker. Perhaps I'd suddenly have an enormous amount of strength and clarity and I'd be able to come up with some super heroic way to stop an attacker.
I know first-hand that these are fairy-tale endings.
No one is there to rescue you. Most people don't care and would rather pull out a phone and record it. I know that I don't suddenly think faster and solve problems like a scholar when I need those skills the most. I look back and question why I didn't do this or that. "Why didn't I see this coming, or that warning sign?". "Why wasn't I strong enough?" and "Why didn't I use that super-move that I learned in self-defense class five years prior?".
What I should have been asking myself all along was "Why was I never taught how to handle a firearm"? Why was I taught not to wear certain clothing instead of how to issue firm commands and how to lay unquestionable boundaries to protect myself? Why was I always taught to make everyone happy and always be "nice", even if being nice put me in serious danger?
There is a dangerous undertone here. For men and women. We are allowing people to sit in a room, with a pen and super-hero words, to remove our fundamental rights under the guise of protecting us. We have groups that want to manipulate "feelings" so they can falsely believe they are doing good deeds by attaching action verbs to tools. As though those tools can just act on conscious thought. As if by decree, they can transform people with ill intent into law-abiding citizens. Never once addressing the fact that JUSTICE comes AFTER the INJUSTICE of violence. If it comes at all.
Criminals DO NOT CARE what a law says. And if these awful acts committed by these individuals can be stopped with a single tool, why are we attempting to take those tools away? Why are we not pouring resources into EDUCATING people in regards to when and how to use them? It is not the tool that causes criminal violence. It is the person behind it. For our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, elderly, and our neighbors...why are we not using every option possible to teach them how to recognize and avoid imminent violence?
Instead, we allow people to manipulate a pen and write binding words that bar us from a tool that could save our lives. We indoctrinate children in schools to never speak of violence. To always be "nice". False solutions that create an enormous and dangerous storm.
When will we get to have the REAL talks about REAL solutions to REAL problems REAL people are facing? When will we stop accepting more laws that bind our rights and force us all to accept being powerless?
I will be attending the Second Amendment March on September 17th in Lansing. I will be telling my story, in hopes that it may inspire more to stand up. To empower more people to use their voices. There is so much more work to be done. I hope to see you there. I'd love to have you stand beside me as we raise our collective voices and demand that our rights to be free from violence are restored. If you can't make it, consider helping them fund it. This is an amazing group of human beings. This is the event where I had my life changing moment and it will always be close to my heart, reminding me of the fire that was ignited and the mission that I'm determined to succesfully see through. But THAT is another story.
Stay Safe and Stay Alert,
Christie Bass is a wife and mother of 3 children. She is a USCCA Firearms instructor and Training Counselor dedicated to empowering all human beings and helping them to realize just how valuable they truly are. She is adamant that we take all steps necessary to teach individuals how to keep themselves free from violence and believes human life holds the highest value.