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Josh Gideon is a firearms trainer in central Ohio who has a different approach to personal defense than most trainers. Rather than a military or law enforcement background, Josh’s skills come from working in the executive protection industry. I’ve been saying for awhile now that what a bodyguard does is closer to what we armed civilians do versus being a SWAT cop or a infantryman in Iraq. Nothing against those people who put themselves in harm’s way for a living, but their job is not my job, and what they know does not translate well into how I live my life.
He’s also the host of the “No Soft Targets” podcast, and on the July 12 episode, he talks with Mark James, an experienced professional bodyguard with a successful career in big business before protective services. His views on what type of threats he and his clients face are particularly interesting to people like myself who are concerned with keeping our families safe in an unsafe world, and his beliefs regarding “assault rifles” were particularly insightful.
“If you really want to talk about violence mitigation, the AR-15 would not the place to start the discussion. That’s why, for me, I don’t talk about gun control, I talk about violence mitigation. We focus too much on the crisis, and not on the moments leading up to the crisis. Monsters always start out as gremlins, and you can’t legislate against criminal intent.”
Keep in mind this podcast was recorded before the massacre in Nice, France. Instead, it was recorded as the horror in Orlando was still weighing heavily on our minds. Mark and Josh make a living keeping people safe from violence, and yet banning “assault rifles” is the furthest thing from their minds. Instead, they focus on keeping themselves and their clients safe by understanding that a potential attacker needs three things in order to succeed:
- Does the potential criminal have a suitable target for the attack?
- Is the criminal motivated enough to commit an attack?
- Are there enough capable people guarding the target to prevent the attack?
None of these factors would affecting by a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” If a person wants to commit mass murder in the name of their twisted god or to satisfy the voices in their head, they will do so, and sometimes, they will go to great lengths to put their plan into effect. Motive, means, and opportunity are talked about in that order because that’s the required order to commit a crime. Mere possession of one possible means of committing a criminal act in no way implies that the motivation will follow. To put this more simply, guns don’t kill people, people do.
By focusing on the weapon used in the Orlando massacre rather than the motivation or the opportunity, Democrats wasted an opportunity to appear strong on national defense, and in doing so, handed the issue of homeland security on a platter to Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton had already decided that the National Rifle Association was her enemy before the attack in Orlando, and so she focused on the rifle used by murderer, not the motivation of the murderer or the opportunity presented by a “gun free” zone. There is little political gain for Democrats to concentrate on the motivation or opportunity for another mass casualty event, and so their ire instead turns to the nation’s oldest civil rights association, the National Rifle Association. The Democrats have chosen to make one insignificant part of terrorism their national security issue of choice, and by doing so, they will make the entire country less safe if their plans are allowed to be put into action.