Word Cloud: GUNFIRE

Word Cloud Resized



Someone picks up a gun and points it,
At some famous face they think they know,
Then pulls the trigger —
The bullet nicks the heart of the world
And we all bleed.

Someone picks up a gun and points it,
At the head they live inside
Then pulls the trigger —
The world explodes
And we all sit in darkness.

Someone picks up a gun and points it,
At the person they once loved most,
Then pulls the trigger —
“I Love You” now has two meanings
And no one can tell which one.

Someone picks up a gun and points it,
Looks at faces of passing strangers
Then pulls the trigger —
For God, for Country, for Fame.

Someone picks up a gun and points it,
At some soldier-boy with a gun
Then pulls the trigger —
In nightmares sometimes they kill Hitler,
And sometimes the face is their own.

Someone picks up a gun and points it,
This time they’re looking at you
Then pulls the trigger —
Too late to stop the madness
All your chances just bled out.

21 years old
killed by a sniper bullet
October 1915

His last poem:

“When you see millions of the mouthless dead”

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you’ll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, ‘They are dead.’ Then add thereto,
‘Yet many a better one has died before.’
Then, scanning all the o’ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.


25 years old
killed by machine gun fire on November 4, 1918, one week before the Armistice –
his parents got the notice of his death on Armistice Day.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.

No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 
      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
      The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.


John Lennon
40 years old
shot four times in the archway of The Dakota, the NYC landmark building where he lived, on December 8, 1980. Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono. Pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital.

His last song, a rough cut recording made that night:

I Don’t Wanna Face It

Say, you’re looking for a place to go
Where nobody knows your name
You’re looking for oblivion
With one eye on the hall of fame

I don’t wanna face it, oh no
I don’t wanna face it, no no, no no
Well, I can ditch it out
But I just can’t take it

You’re looking for some peace and love
Leader of a big old band
You wanna save humanity
But it’s people that you just can’t stand

I don’t wanna face it, oh no
I don’t wanna face it, no no, no no
Well, I can sing for my supper
But I just can’t make it

Oh, sing

Well, say, you’re lookin’ for a world of truth
Trying to find a better way
The time has come to see yourself
But you always look the other way

I don’t wanna face it, oh no
I don’t wanna face it, no no, no no
Well I can see the promised land
And I know I can make it

Yeah, I don’t wanna face it
I don’t wanna face it, oh no
Face it
I don’t wanna face it, no

Face it
Face it babe
I’ll wait for you
My kick get half the size

A Highly Selective Chronology of Death by Firearms:

The 1500s

Gaspard II de Coligny
53 years old
French Huguenot leader. When Huguenot notables gathered in Paris for the wedding of Henry of Navarre, religious and political tensions were high. On August 22, 1572, Coligny wounded by gunfire in the street, but his would-be assassin escaped. Catholics feared Huguenot retaliation, and preemptively launched the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. The wounded Coligny was thrown out of the window of his house, and his body beheaded.

The 1800s 

Alexander Hamilton
49 years old
Co-author of The Federalist Papers, first US Secretary of the Treasury
Challenged by Aaron Burr to a duel because a newspaper reported Hamilton had called Burr “the most unfit and dangerous man of the community.” Hamilton refused to confirm or deny it. They met July 11, 1804. Hamilton missed, but Burr fatally shot him. He died July 12.

Spencer Perceval
49 years old
Only British Prime Minister to be assassinated. On the evening of May 11, 1812, as Perceval entered the lobby of the House of Commons, a man stepped forward, drew a pistol and shot him in the chest. The assassin was a merchant who believed he had been unjustly imprisoned in Russia and was entitled to compensation from the government, but all his petitions had been rejected.

Antonio José de Sucre
35 years old
One of Simón Bolívar’s generals fighting for Venezuelan independence, political leader in Bolivia and Peru, shot to death by assassins in an ambush while traveling from Bogota to Quito on June 4, 1830.

Abraham Lincoln
56 years old
16th US President. Six days after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, he was
shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth, April 14, 1865 and died April 15

Vincent Van Gogh
37 years old
Dutch painter, now widely regarded as one of the great artists. His paintings, even those done after an artistic breakthrough in Arles in 1888, were not appreciated until after his death. After years of anxiety and bouts of mental illness, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on July 29, 1890.

Carter Henry Harrison, Sr.
68 years old
Owner-Editor of the Chicago Times, elected Mayor of Chicago five times, Harrison was murdered in his home by a disgruntled office seeker, on October 28, 1893.

1900s to 1920s

Francisco I. Madero
39 years old
Mexican revolutionary and reformer, 33rd President of Mexico. “Arrested” during a military takeover, he was executed without trial on February 22, 1913, in Mexico City.

George I of Greece
67 years old
Danish prince, elected king at age 17 by the Greek National Assembly, which deposed the unpopular former king Otto. On March 18, 1913, just seven months short of his golden Jubilee, King George was shot in the heart by a man who claimed that the king
had refused to give him money.

Abraham González Casavantes
48 years old
Pancho Villa’s political mentor, Governor of state of Chihuahua, Mexico,
who forced to resign, and then shot to death March 7, 1913.

Archduke Ferdinand of Austria
50 years old
Heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, he and his wife, Sophie, were shot to death June 28, 1914, by a Black Hand assassin, after an attempt to bomb their vehicle failed. Their deaths caused Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia, which started World War I, in which 11 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians were killed.

Jean Jaurès
54 years old
Leader of the French Socialist Party. An outspoken antimilitarist, Jaurès was assassinated at the outbreak of World War I, July 31,1914, by a French  nationalist. Jaurès was to attend a conference of the International in August, to try to dissuade the belligerents from going ahead with the war. His assassin, not tried until after the war, was acquitted.

Karl Liebknecht
47 years old
German Socialist Democrat, co-founder of Spartakusbund (Spartacus League), Berlin underground socialist revolutionaries. Arrested during clashes with the provisional government, he and Spartacus League member Rosa Luxemburg were shot “while attempting to escape” by counterrevolutionary volunteers on January 15, 1919.

Kurt Eisner
51 years old
A leader of the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), he became the first prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the newly formed Bavarian Republic in 1918. On February 21, 1919, he was assassinated by a zealous reactionary student.

Emiliano Zapata
39 years old
Leader of the Mexican peasant revolution in Morelos. He attempted to recruit an opposition general to the cause, but on April 10, 1919, the general came to their arranged meeting with his men, who riddled Zapata’s body with bullets.

William Desmond Taylor
49 years old
Irish-born American director of 59 silent films between 1914 and 1922, featuring popular stars of the era including Mary Pickford, Wallace Reid, and his protégée, Mary Miles Minter, star of 1919 version of Anne of Green Gables. His body was found inside his bungalow on February 2, 1922. He had been shot in the back. The murder was never solved, in part because the Hollywood studios wanted the scandal suppressed.

Michael Collins
31 years old
Irish revolutionary leader. During the Irish Civil War on August 22, 1922, Michael Collins was the only fatality in an ambush by IRA members enraged by the Anglo-Irish treaty with Britain which Collins helped negotiate.

Kevin O’Higgins
35 years old
Irish Politician, Minister of Justice during the Irish Civil War. O’Higgins confirmed sentences of execution for 77 republican prisoners, including Rory O’Connor, the best man at his wedding, fearing prolonged civil conflict would give the British an excuse to break the treaty and take control from the newly formed Irish Free State. O’Higgins was shot to death by three IRA members in Dublin on his way to Mass on Sunday, July 10, 1927.

1930s to 1960s

Anton Cermak
59 years old
Bohemian-born Mayor of Chicago, “master builder” of Chicago’s Democratic Party.
Shot on February 15, 1933, while talking with president-elect Roosevelt, by an assassin trying to kill FDR. Roosevelt was unharmed, but Cermak died on March 6.

Federico García Lorca
38 years old
One of Spain’s greatest poets and dramatists, shot without trial by supporters of General Francisco Franco on August 19 or 20, 1936, in Granada, during the Spanish Civil War.

Ernst von Rath
29 years old
A minor Nazi diplomat, shot five times by a 17 year old Polish Jewish assassin, who wanted to avenge the wrongs done to his family and the Jewish people, in Paris on November 7, 1938.  The tragedy is his death became the pretext for Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,” a massive coordinated attack on Jewish synagogues and businesses throughout the Reich, during which 25,000 Jewish men were rounded up and later sent to concentration camps.

Mahatma Gandhi
78 years old
Preeminent Indian independence movement leader, Gandhi inspired countless civil rights and freedom movements across the world by his use of nonviolent civil disobedience and hunger strikes to overcome British opposition. A Hindu nationalist assassinated Gandhi January 30,1948, firing three bullets into his chest at point-blank range.

Patrice Lumumba
35 years old
Mouvement national congolais (MNC) leader, first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Congo. Deposed in a coup d’état, brutally beaten and tortured before being shot, probably on January 17, 1961. The CIA was almost certainly involved behind the scenes, and Belgian officers had command of the firing squads.

Medgar Evers
37 years old
Civil Rights activist, worked on desegregating schools, voting rights and registration, economic opportunity, and access to public facilities. Shot in the back and killed by a member of anti-integration White Citizens’ Council on June 12, 1963. After two all-white juries failed to reach verdicts, his killer was finally convicted in 1994.

Ngô Đình Diệm
62 years old
Vietnamese President. In 1955, he deposed Bảo Đại and established the first Republic of Vietnam (RVN) in South Vietnam. After constant religious protests and non-violent resistances, Diệm was assassinated by an aide to the leader of Army of Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) during a coup d’état sanctioned by the US, on November 2, 1963. His death led to collapse of the first Republic, and increasing US involvement in Vietnam.

John F Kennedy
46 years old
35th US President, hit by sniper bullets fired at his open car in Dallas,Texas,  November 22, 1963. Pronounced dead 30 minutes later at the hospital. Mrs. Kennedy was in the car next to her husband, as well as Texas Governor Connally, who was wounded.

Malcolm X, aka Malik el-Shabazz
39 years old
Civil rights leader, Nation of Islam spokesman from 1952-64, when he repudiated its teaching, and embraced Sunni Islam.  Shot to death by three Nation of Islam members on February 21, 1965.

Martin Luther King Jr
39 years old
Civil rights leader, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), killed by a sniper’s bullet on April 4, 1968.

Robert F “Bobby” Kennedy
42 years old
US Attorney General (61-64), US Senator (D-NY 65-68), shot 3 times by a 24-year-old Palestinian because of his support of Israel, while campaigning for President in California, died June 6, 1968.

1970s to 1980s

René Schneider
56 years old
1970 Chilean presidential election, Allende won a plurality, but a congressional vote was required to declare a winner. General Schneider coined the Schneider Doctrine, insisting on the apolitical role of the military and a firm opposition to preventing Allende’s inauguration by means of a coup d’état. Schneider was assassinated on October 24, 1970.

Victor Jara
40 years old
Chilean theatre director, singer-songwriter, social justice activist. Established Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement. After Coup of September 11, 1973, Jara was arrested, interrogated under torture, and shot. His body was thrown in a Santiago street on September 15, 1973.

Ross McWhirter
50 years old
Co-founder with his brother of Guinness World Records. Conservative Party activist, advocated compulsory registration with local police for all Irish people in Britain. He was shot at close range in the head and chest outside his home with .357 Magnums by two IRA volunteers on November 27, 1975.

Jean de Broglie
55 years old
French politician, a negotiator on Évian Accords, giving Algeria independence from France. Death threats when he shifted his political allegiance from President Giscard to the Gaullists were never investigated, even though every senior Paris police official knew of of them prior to Jean de Broglie’s assassination on December 24, 1976.

Jürgen Ponto
53 years old
German banker, shot 5 times by members of Roter Morgen (Red Morning), a splinter group of the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction), far left terrorists, on July 30, 1977, as part of the “German Autumn,” a series of kidnappings, murders and hijackings attempting to force the release of imprisoned RAF members .

Leo Ryan
53 years old
As chair of California Assembly Committee on Prison Reform in 1970, he used a pseudonym to be arrested and see California’s prison system firsthand. Spent 10 days in Folson Prison. A US Congressman (D-CA), in 1978, Ryan went to investigate accusations against Jim Jones Peoples Temple in Guyana. He was shot to death, along with three journalists, by Peoples Temple members escorting his group on the plane to Jonestown, November 18, 1978. Over 900 Peoples Temple members also died that day in a mass suicide/murder ordered by Jim Jones.

Harvey Milk
48 years old
Gay Rights Activist, elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, one of first openly gay officials in the US. Shot in the chest by a former member of the Board of Supervisors using a .38 revolver, who also killed SF Mayor George Moscone, on November 27, 1978.

Alberto Fuentes Mohr —
51 years old
Member of Congress for Quetzaltenango, a founder of Guatemalan Social Democrat Party,
assassinated January 25,1979, for opposing military-dominated right-wing government.

Manuel Colom Argueta
46 years old
A founder of Frente Unido de la Revolución (FUR), Mayor of Guatemala City. March 22, 1979, Colom was shot 45 times, target of a carefully planned operation, using military resources, including helicopters.

Dorothy Stratten
20 years old
Model and Actress (They All Laughed), on August 14, 1980, she was shot to death by her jealous ex-husband before he turned the gun on himself

Marvin Gaye
44 years old
R&B singer/musician/songwriter (I Heard It Through the Grapevine,What’s Going On), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When he tried to intervene in an argument between his parents, he was shot twice by his father, once through the heart, on April 1, 1984.

Indira Gandhi
67 years old
Third Prime Minister of India. Her harsh response to extremism by Sikh separatists led to her being shot over 30 times at point-blank range by two of her bodyguards who were Sikhs, October 31, 1984.

Olof Palme
59 years old
Swedish Social Democratic Prime Minister, critic of US and Soviet foreign policies, and opponent of South African apartheid. Walking home from a cinema with his wife, on February 28, 1986, Palme was fatally shot in the back at close range, and died on shortly after midnight, on February 29. His murder remains unsolved.

Dulcie September
52 years old
South African anti-apartheid political activist. March 29, 1988, she was shot five times outside the ANC’s Paris office. September was in the middle of investigating weapons trafficking between France and South Africa.

Judith Barsi
10 years old
Child actor (Punky Brewster, Growing Pains, Fatal Vision) After years of abuse and death threats, her father shot and killed Judith and her mother, then killed himself, on July 25, 1988.

Luis Carlos Galán
45 years old
Columbian politician, Nuevo Liberalismo group, opposed drug cartels, supported extradition treaty with US. Shot to death by drug cartel hitmen during public demonstration on August 18, 1989,while leading the polls in the Presidential election.

1990s to 2009

Kurt Cobain
27 years old
Singer, founder of the grunge band Nirvana. After failing to commit suicide by drug overdose, Cobain later put a shotgun in his mouth and killed himself on April 5, 1994.

Vladislav (“Vlad”) Listyev
38 years old
Popular Russian journalist/TV personality. Shortly after appointment as director of  ORT channel,  returning from his evening show Chas Pik, Listyev was shot on his apartment building stairs March 1, 1995. Valuables were left untouched, leading investigators to conclude that his murder was political or business-related assassination. Never solved.

23 years old
Mexican-American singer/songwriter, “Queen of Tejano Music” (Grammy winner for her album Como La Flor.)  Shot by former president of her fan club, who was hired to manage Selena’s boutiques. When confronted by Selena with evidence of missing funds, she pulled a gun, then shot the fleeing Selena in the back, severing an artery, on March 31, 1995.

Yitzhak Rabin
73 years old
Fifth Prime Minister of Israel. November 4, 1995, Rabin attended a mass rally at Kings of Israel Square (now Rabin Square) in Tel Aviv, for the Oslo Accords. Rally ended, Rabin walked down city hall steps to his car. An Orthodox Jew opposed to signing of the accords fired three shots with a semi-automatic pistol, hitting Rabin twice and killing him. The third shot wounded one of Rabin’s bodyguards.

Veronica Guerin
37 years old
Fearless Irish reporter received numerous death threats. After two failed attempts to kill her, she was shot six times waiting in her car at a traffic light on June 26, 1996. Hit ordered by drug lords. Within week of her murder, Irish Parliament enacted Proceeds of Crime Act/Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996. legalizing seizure of assets purchased with money obtained through crime, leading to formation of Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

Gianni Versace
50 years old
Famous Italian fashion designer built a fashion empire worth over 800 million dollars before he was shot to death outside his South Beach home in Miami by a spree killer on July 15, 1997.

Phil Hartman
49 years old
Canadian-American comedian (Saturday Night Live, News Radio). After argument with his wife, Hartman threatened to leave her if she started using drugs again, then went to bed. Drunk and high on cocaine, she shot him twice with a .38 caliber handgun in the head while he slept, on May 28, 1998.

Otakhon Latifi
62 years old
Noted Tajikistan journalist/politician, involved in peace process following bloody post-independence civil war, senior member in United Tajik Opposition. September 22, 1998, Latifi was shot at point blank range outside his apartment. Murder unsolved.

Galina Starovoytova
52 years old
Russian politician, worked to protect ethnic minorities and promote democratic reforms, gunned down in her apartment building entrance in St. Petersburg on November 20, 1998. Hitmen were arrested and convicted, but who ordered the hit was never discovered.

Jill Dando
37 years old
English journalist, presenter on BBC’s Crimewatch. April 26, 1999, fatally shot outside her London home. A suspected stalker was arrested and convicted of her murder, but conviction overturned on appeal when forensic evidence used against him was discredited. Case remains open.

Paco Stanley
56 years old
Mexican television entertainer, shot in head by three killers who fired more than 20 rounds into his parked car, also wounding another passenger and bystanders, June 7, 1999.

Digna Ochoa
37 years old
Mexican Civil Rights Lawyer. Investigating list targeting activists, she was abducted and raped by alleged state police officers. Allegations never investigated. Her body found on October 19, 2001, with a note warning others at the human rights law centre. First ruled a homicide, then changed to suicide. Autopsy report showed .22 caliber bullet passed through skull from left to right at downward angle. Ochoa was right-handed.

Francisco Ortiz Franco
50 years old
Mexican Journalist, co-founder of  Zeta, a weekly magazine covering organized crime and government corruption. While writing series on drug trafficking, on June 22, 2004, he was shot to death by masked gunmen in a drive-by shooting witnessed by his young children.

Tara Singh Hayer
62 years old
Punjab Indian-born Canadian publisher of  Indo-Canadian Times, spoke against violence of Sikh separatist movement.October, 1995, he gave affidavit concerning Air India Flight 182 bombing. Only other witness killed in January, 1996. Hayer shot to death, execution-style, in the garage of his home November 18, 1998. His death made his statement inadmissible as evidence in court. The bombing suspects were eventually acquitted.

Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya
48 years old
Russian Journalist, Human Rights Activist, born in NYC. After at least nine other assassination attempts, she was shot to death by a contract killer October 7, 2006.

Iccho Itoh
61 years old
Mayor of Nagasaki, Japan. Born two weeks before atomic bomb dropped in WWII, he spoke before International Court of Justice in the Hague in 1995, denouncing use of nuclear weapons as a violation of international law. April 2007, campaigning for re-election, shot twice in the back at point-blank range at his campaign office by gang member. Iccho Itoh died April 18, 2007.

Benazir Bhutto
54 years old
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, shot to death at a Pakistan Peoples Party rally on December 27, 2007

George Tiller
67 years old
Medical Director of Women’s Health Care Services in Wichita, KS., firebombed in 1986. Tiller was shot in both arms by an anti-abortion extremist in 1993. On May 31, 2009, Tiller was fatally shot through the eye by another anti-abortion extremist while ushering at Sunday morning services at his church.

Someone picks up a gun…..

Hand Gun clipart


Poem Gunfire by Nona Blyth Cloud, December 2015

Charles Sorley poem: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176865

Wilfred Owen poem: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176831

John Lennon song: http://oldies.about.com/od/oldieshistory/f/lastlennonsong.htm

Lists of the dead



Word Cloud Photo by Larry Cloud

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
This entry was posted in Abraham Lincoln, Art, FDR, Holocaust, Nazis, Poetry, Politics, Religion, Terrorism, United States, War, Word Cloud, World History, World War I and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Word Cloud: GUNFIRE

  1. Aridog says:

    You do not know, and cannot know, what “gunfire” is until you’ve faced it. You have a choice, face it and move forward, or run away…the latter guarantees your end. It really sucks.

    The “gun” is not the problem, the people are the problem. Get that right and the rest resolves itself.

    I’ll never give up what guns I have just in case there are fools out there who’d harm me. And there are just such fools. War sucks and local terrorists suck more. Been to war, prefer peace. What inspires these wanna be Walter Mitty’s?

  2. Aridog,
    If you had been to war and liked it, I would be worried about you. I have often thought that Patton was probably totally ill suited for being a peacetime officer, and it may have been a blessing to all of us that he died of the injuries he received in that auto wreck.

    I have a Model 1894 Remington 30-30 lever action carbine. I took it away from a guy who shoved the muzzle of it up my nose in a dark motel room. I would have been justified in killing him, but instead told him to point that thing someplace else. Then took it away from him and kept it as a souvenir. When I got it into the light where I could see what I was doing, I discovered it was fully loaded and had a round in the chamber, with the hammer cocked. A couple of our blogger friends, including Yankee Farmer, have seen it when they visited.

    I am concerned about the scofflaws. One of our young female deputies was shot twice in the face night before last. She is the luckiest woman on earth today, because neither rifle round penetrated bone. The other woman he shot was not so lucky and is still in hospital. Well trained and disciplined Sheriff’s deputies arrested the guy without having to shoot or even injure him, despite the fact he was heavily armed. This is the same department where our own Celtic Lassie, Brandi, was an officer. The deputy who was shot, Jenna Markland, was a couple of years behind her in high school.

  3. Aridog says:

    Chuck Stanley … I think you might be just the guy to ask a question I have. My reaction when under fire or merely threatened is to annihilate the opposition regardless of how. That sensation lasts for a few minutes after the fight, then settles down and I return to civilized behavior and would rather just constrain my enemy than kill him. While the sensation lasts I’d easily just shoot a down man until dead and that bothers me. I’ve never mentioned this before because I felt it was an aberrant condition. Still do. It’s a momentary loss of “control” I don’t like, although it’d not lead to just blasting away, but nearly so. I’ve thought about it and I doubt it is fear, just pure hate. Momentary though it is, it is there. What do you think?

  4. wordcloud9 says:

    While I have not been to war, I have had a knife held to my throat by a man who threatened to kill me. Women do experience violence, and often we are at a real disadvantage. I still wouldn’t want to own a gun – and the statistics bear me out – it would be far more likely that the gun would be used against me or stolen than that I could defend myself with it.

  5. Aridog says:

    wordcloud9 … you choice to be sans gun is valid, and personal to you. I can respect that belief, even if I disagree on your other assertions. If you ever change you mind be sure you take adequate training, plus. Some of the toughest fighters I’ve known were armed women and can use a gun equal to any man. The trick is know when to do so and when NOT to do so…even if in uniform.

    BTW…if you’ve read much of what I’ve said before, you know I am NOT an advocate of “open carry”…I consider it provocative and tending to lead to the scenario you describe of being killed by your own gun. I mean its just hanging out there for Gawd and everyone to notice…and grab from behind if they choose. I might carry open in the boonies of Montana, around no people, but never in even a small town let alone a city. Even in the boonies, a gun is my v-e-r-y last resort. Always. I like animals better than most people.

  6. Aridog says:

    WordCloud9 …no question that women also experience violence. Might I suggest an extensive course and member ship in a Tae Kwon Do club, or Isshin-Ryu Karate, even Hapkido (the technique seen in the Billy Jack movies). They emphasize leveraged defense, as well as direct offense when necessary…with little if any emphasis on any weapon.

    I got a fair amount of “official” (school) criticism for introducing my daughter, when a kid and teen ager, to Tae Kwon Do as a defense against the racism she faced. My answer was always the same…stop the “Chink” and “Gook” racism in your venue and she’ll not harm a soul. She’s still no one to mess with, even in her 40’s. And she still is a beautiful Irish-Yankee/Korean mix woman that I adore beyond words.

  7. Aridog,
    That is a normal reaction. At that moment it is more fight than flight. I suspect testosterone has something to do with it, and it is instinctive. After a moment, things become rational again. My own reaction is to think before doing anything. A very wise flight instructor once said, “If things go to hell in the cockpit, whatever you did last, undo it. If that doesn’t work, wind the clock.” Winding the clock is a metaphor for stopping to think before acting.

    I had many conversations with our Lassie about shooting. I might add, that after Yankee Farmer looked at some of her targets, his reaction was, “I sure as hell don’t want her shooting at ME.” Although she was a scary accurate shot, she concluded it would be a lot easier to use deadly force to save someone else, or a helpless animal, than it would be to shoot in self defense. She was like you, in that she thought open carry was stupid and provocative. A way of carrying a chip on the shoulder, daring anyone to knock it off.

    In summary, your reaction is normal, but if one has weapons at hand, that reaction must be trained out of you for your own safety and that of others. Training and discipline is key. It was discipline and training at our Sheriff’s Department that kept the guy who shot Deputy Jenna Markland alive, and arrested without injury. I am sure every officer on the scene wanted to off his sorry ass, but they did what was right, not what instinct dictated.

  8. I think I mentioned this before, but Brandi had been taking Wing Chun Kung Fu lessons. Grabbing one of her wrists, for example, was a Very Bad Idea. We watched the movie, Enough, with Jennifer Lopez. That intrigued her about Krav Maga. Then I discovered one of the small handful of certified and accredited Krav Maga training centers in the US is only a few miles from where we live. She was planning on signing up this fall, but it was not to be.

    Incidentally, Jennifer Lopez is a skilled Krav Maga practitioner herself.

  9. wordcloud9 says:

    I did take some basic mixed-martial defense classes, but didn’t keep them up – they were a gritted-teeth experience for me, and triggered bad memories instead of helping.

    I tend to hyper-vigilism in any setting that is risky, and avoid them as much as possible. That this has changed my life is unquestionable, but I refuse to become a more violent person in response to the violence that is out there.

  10. Speaking of vigilance. Being a pilot taught me situational awareness early on. Kept me from ending up in a smoking hole in the ground more than once.

    Later in life, my line of work demanded that I be aware of my surroundings at all times. That rubbed off. When Brandi and I went out to eat, it was always a contest to see who got the seat with the back to the wall. Being younger and faster, she usually won that race, but the trade off was that she had to watch my back.

  11. Aridog says:

    wordcloud9 … it is a very common misconception (augmented by Hollywood) that martial arts are “violence”…they are, in the most part a means to NOT escalate violence. Yes, you have available harsh moves, if necessary, but they are always the last resort, at least in my experience…the first option is always to use leverage to stop an attack, on you or anyone else you elect to defend. People tend to be less aggressive if flat on their back on the ground. Their motion toward you and their own body weight assist you in this maneuver. Of course, you must see “it coming” , or react to” touch” immediately, to be effective. Myself, I am not a huggy guy…3 feet is my “cordial” distance.

    The first thing I taught Kim was a “leg sweep” to drop the antagonist to the ground. Then how to “flip” a “reacher.” I later taught her elbow tactics to encourage the antagonist not to get up. Last things I taught were the short punch up close that can’t be seen coming…but only for a last resort. That wild swinging “karate chop” is mostly for the movies, unless you are a “Master.” She practiced that short punch on my stomach regularly (like when coming home through the front door) until it became just too painful… from age 8 to 13 or so …. at that point it is appropriate to the face of an antagonist. Not necessary if the dude is on the ground already. Amazing how the racial taunts diminished when she let it be known she’d not take them…and she was also given space on stairwells where once that was a favorite spot for punks.

    When I was learning Tae Kwon Do I collected so many bruises I looked to be all brown, green and blue (from the offensive phases and the sudden defensive phases)…and finally learned how to break a fall from a sweep or flip. It takes time …. and practice. But it is NOT violence per se…it is almost passive defense. Done right, you shouldn’t need to throw a punch at all. You just stop the aggression, most of the time. That’s the object, is it not?

  12. wordcloud9 says:

    My goal is to avoid the confrontation, not piss off somebody bigger and stronger than I am who can outrun me.

    I also don’t go into woods looking for bears.

  13. Aridog says:

    wordcloud9 … we certainly agree on “bears” in the woods. A very bad idea. I’ve had some close calls in places like Montana….oddly more with the “cuddly” looking black bears who seem easily “surprised” versus “Griz” who isn’t unless a mother bear with cubs on a “trail.” City folks (I am one, but experienced due to wander-lust?) somehow “think” that “trails” are man made, when in my time most have been well used animal tracks and if you’re on one you are in their domain not yours. If confronted, get the heck off that “trail” and reduce any perceived threat to the animal…including cougars. They’re cats…if it’s moving it’s food….and they habituate “trails” for that very reason.

    Among other things, bears have quirky temperaments and can get aggressive for apparently no reason. I really need to learn more about that feature. I just know now that if I approach a bear accidentally, go the other way, calmly. A moose can also be unpredictable, charming as they are otherwise…leave them alone.

    Otherwise I agree with you…don’t look to hack anyone off. Anyone. If words go south, just walk away if possible or temper your own words. An example of my attitude is the fact I quit hunting after my sojourn in Asia simply because I no longer wanted to shoot anything, and still don’t…although I still eat meats, I’ll let husbandry do that task. Dr. Temple Grandin wrote an excellent book on humane husbandry, such as it is today. Self defense is another matter, also influenced by my time overseas. The latter is of course influenced by where you live…urban versus country side…in my experience.

    My only point is that I find so many people who think martial arts are all aggressive due to Hollywood portrayals, when in fact they are primarily defensive for those days someone big, stronger, and faster than you does get irritated or just acts out for no good reason.

    Interesting to me is how we say the same things, but differently. Most times, don’t look for trouble and it won’t find. For me, even a casual glance at a stranger is always accompanied by a smile…if not reciprocated, just glance away and move on.

    Had the world more people like you there’d be little need for self defense actions.

  14. Aridog says:

    Dang it! “…it won’t find” was supposed to be “…it won’t find you, or me.”

  15. wordcloud9 says:

    Aridog –

    My husband grew up in small-town Texas and hunted and fished with his father. My grandfather also hunted as a youngster, and told wonderful bedtime stories which even as a child I knew must be a little embellished. Both of them had long ceased to hunt by the time I knew them – both kind, smart, funny and honorable men. So I have great respect for the true traditions of those who honor what they kill, and never leave a wounded animal to a slow and painful death.

    I have no respect for the thrill-kill hunters, and utter contempt for those whose prey is their own kind.

    It is madness to me that firearms are not under similar restrictions as those of automobile ownership, with licenses for users who have passed tests of skill and knowledge of the laws which apply.

  16. Aridog says:

    wordcloud9 … I agree with your concepts and share your concerns, even the ones about licensing. However, I just do NOT trust our bureaucrats to be fair in administering regulation….so I’ve really got no answer.

    That said, no one, bar none, is more “hinky” around pistol carriers, those who obviously have no training or knowledge, than I am. I am downright aggressive on the subject if it occurs near me. It IS a must, or no purchase or license to carry. Period. In my state, for pistol or revolvers, that minimum standard is required for “carry.” When I taught my daughter (at age 39) to shoot, it was 12 hours NRA instruction, then a year at the range, side by side, to be sure she knew what she was doing…and more importantly, what and when not to act or react.

    I still must go back to the “martial arts” and their purpose. They really are preferable. They are usually wholly misunderstood…they ARE defensive 90%+ of the time. I “carry” every day, but even under extreme circumstance I’ll go with Tae Kwon Do or Hapkido anytime versus gun violence as defense. Only if someone is shooting right at me, too far away to reach, would I consider use of a firearm. Period. And I’ve never had to do so…usually can “reach” whomever. As I said earlier, I never want to shoot anything ever again. Had enough.

    As for hunters…if they actually eat what they hunt and shoot, okay by me…”trophy” hunters are scum IMO. I’ve mentioned before that hapless soul who proudly showed me his prize “Cinnamon Bear” he’d shot and had mounted full size (about 4.0 feet tall or less standing on hind legs)….I had to tell him he’d shot a 6 month, or less, old baby black bear color morph…nothing more. And the meat-head didn’t even eat it.

  17. wordcloud9 says:

    My criteria for regulation would be based on the actual purpose of the weapon when it was designed.
    If it was designed as a hunting-for-food weapon, or to fire one shot at a time, at least I can see that’s a place to start the discussion..

    But I do not believe that weapons designed for war, for maximum kills in the least amount of time, belong in the hands of civilians. I also do not see the need for a civilian to own more than 3 or 4 weapons, unless that person is a collector of antique weaponry which is not intended for use.

    I do see that the really problematic weapons to regulate would be the ones that can be converted from single-shot to multiple shots.

    While I understand your concern about bureaucrats administering regulations fairly, I am far more concerned about people getting shot and killed by angry persons who should never have been allowed near a firearm of any kind.

    If a bureaucrat is unfair, that’s fixable, but you can’t bring back the dead.

  18. Aridog says:

    You do realize you’ve described the basic weapon that won the American Revolution, right? Single shot hunting rifles and muskets.

    Weapons are not the problem…although I’d agree that 30 round Assault Rifles step over the line of reasonable in most instances. Like why? Whose Army you gonna fight? You need 30 shots for personal self defense you’re doing something wrong. I don’t own one, but my collection far exceeds your list…and the biggest are double barreled shotguns designed solely for target (Trap) shooting….5 shot automatics are also frequently used for that sport (the ones with gas actuated reloading) and designed for it…much easier on the shoulder and smaller frames. I skip those because I am lazy and don’t like the cleaning chores they entail….but at 6 foot/195 lbs or so, the big doubles are fine…even if 400 rounds or so on some weekends can leave a bunch of bruising 🙂

    The real problem, one I can never understand, is that feverish mindset of those people who can mindlessly just slaughter totally innocent people, anywhere for any reason, by almost any means. We must cure that aberrant mindset first or other “weapons” will be devised…as they already have been done. I fear a hidden bomb more than any firearm. Our limb injuries & losses in the ME these days seem to bear out that fear.

    That said, I am not certain we can ever cure evil in some people. Mores the pity.

  19. Aridog says:

    Most endeavors by man involve an at least semi-positive objective. Just what was the “objective” of the San Bernadino shooters? Or Paris? Hell, anywhere? On this point, I agree with you…you cannot bring back the dead.

    A hard fisted USMC Vet I know, with some PTSD, has a saying: “You cannot recover a bullet once fired” and it is true…and it influenced his thinking ever-after Vietnam….he could see what I did…not everyone was an enemy, but pushed by enemy dictators….the 3 man rule, etc. Guys I know who served in early Special Forces in Laos 1959+ or so joked that on any given morning you could wake up alone with the “troops” you were “advising” gone home to bed momma, harvest rice, whatever…we’ve all herd of “war seasons”…and that is what is meant. Befuddling to Yanks at times….but I presume sensible in their culture. One thing made it possible…we did NOT use the 3rd made cadre system with guns at the backs of our allies.
    We really did so some things right.

    I’ve been shot at and I could shoot back, like it or not. That seems at least more equitable…even if still fundamentally insane. Just slaughtering unarmed and unaware innocents is beyond my comprehension. Why? Just simply, why?

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