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Gun Control

On Thanksgiving Day 2006, a man broke into my hotel room and put a gun to my face. My friend and I had stopped at the Red Roof Inn in Victorville, California on our way to Las Vegas. I stepped outside to make a phone call. When I returned, a man followed me into the room. Three times I told him that he was in the wrong room. He shut the door, locked the deadbolt, put a gun to my face and said, “Be quiet, this will be over soon.”
I did not panic, I asked him, “Do you want money? We have money?” I was very willing to give the gunman our thousand dollars and send him on his way.
He ignored my offer of money and repeated, “Be quiet, this will be over soon.” That life flashing before your eye’s thing is real. When he did not want my money, I knew I was in trouble. I saw every outcome. I had to get out of there. I tried to run for the door. Three times he stopped me from leaving by flinging me across the room. I am a big girl and pretty tough, but this guy threw me like a rag doll. My friend who was trying to call 911 was thrown on the floor and stayed crumpled up on the ground. The gunman was big, like a football player. I knew I could not overpower him. My next idea was to scream hoping to stun him. I can scream like a banshee. I screamed as loud as I could, but no one outside of the room heard me. It stunned him for an instant, but when he gathered his composure, he was very irritated, he pushed the gun into my nose and told me to, “Be Quiet.”
As I was staring down the barrel of the gun, I was surprised how small it was. The man’s hand engulfed most of it. I remembered reading that a man holding a gun with an extended arm near this target, has little protection because you can bump their gun faster than they can react.
I quickly turned and moved back towards the gunman. The gun was no longer in my face. I grabbed the gun with both hands and wrestled to get it out of his hand. After a struggle, he got the gun free. I thought he was going to shoot me. Instead, he ran out the door and got into his SUV. Despite my friend screaming to stay inside I went outside, called 911, and tried to get his license plate number.
When the police came, they were not helpful. I was driving a BMW convertible, they liked my car, and they wanted to know more about my car. Then they asked me questions to see if I was involved with drugs or prostitution. When they finally let me tell them what happened. They did not believe me. One of the officers said, “That is a very nice story.” They were suspicious of me. Having just wrestled with a gunman for my life, I was not very patient with their disbelief. I snarled at them to look at the hotel’s security camera video.
About ten minutes later the police came back a bit shaken. One of the police was pale with big eyes. They treated me differently after that. They told me because I had followed the car into the parking lot, they knew which car it was, and they got a partial license plate. They said from the time the car pulled into the parking lot until it pulled out was only four minutes. Then they said, “You are lucky to be alive.”
I grew up with guns in the house. I was not frightened by the mere sight of a gun. I knew the small gun, was a 22. It probably would not have killed me, unless it hit me in the head or the heart. I could tell he didn’t know how to use a gun. I decided that fighting him gave me a better chance of survival than to submit to whatever he had planned for me. If I had not had knowledge of guns, this might have turned out much differently.
I have often wondered if this happened to me be because of my bad Karma or did it happened to me because I was able to take care of myself and him choosing me was his bad Karma. Either way, I was so happy to be alive.
The Second Amendment says a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a nation. This statement does not say from who or what we are protecting the nation, just that it is our right. Some people say since we have a military, we no longer need to have arms. I strongly disagree. It is a very simple fact that has been proven time after time that those who can protect themselves have a much better chance of survival.
I was living in Hollywood when the 1992 LA Riots happened. After the riots had started, Police Chief Daryl Gates announced on live television that he would not be doing anything about the rioters. There was no logical reason for this announcement since California had an abundance of police and military resources. The first twenty-four hours were a free-for-all, much like Nero letting the city burn. Finally, the governor and mayor stepped in and got help.
We decided to leave town. We got out just before rioters torched our neighborhood. As we left our house, the radio said Melrose and Vermont, only four blocks away was being looted and burned.
We drove to the gas station at Santa Monica Blvd. and Vermont, two blocks from the riots. There were at least a hundred people in the gas station parking lot and thousands of people lining the streets. (I did not see one African American) They were just waiting, I not sure why. Maybe a signal that it was time to riot. We were the gas station’s final customers. I watched as the owner locked up his store for the last time. I looked around and knew nothing would be that same after that day.
As we drove off, I noticed one store had painted signs on its walls, the two-foot-high letters said, “Latino Owned, Latino Ran.” The store’s employees surrounded the building armed with whatever makeshift weapons they could find, lead pipes, garden tools, baseball bats and sticks. These men were scared. One older man, probably the owner had a shotgun.
When we came back the stores at Santa Monica and Vermont were just piles of burnt rubble, concrete, and twisted metal. The only store standing was the store that had been protected by the oddly armed employees.
The media was extremely critical of the business owners in Korean Town for arming themselves and protecting their homes and businesses. If a person is not allowed to defend themselves, from a mob that is trying to destroy you, your family and everything you own, while the police idly do nothing, we simply are not free people.
My father is Native American; I spent much of my childhood on an Indian Reservation. The reservation is a step back in time. It is a rough environment. To survive, you must actively protect yourself and your family. The fatality rate is high, 25% of the children die before they reach age twenty-one.
My family shoots rattlesnakes. There are not enough predators to control their population. My grandmother had an entire soup can filled with rattlers from snakes that she had personally killed. At Campo, a nearby reservation, one two-young-old child has been bitten by rattlesnakes twice.
My family shoots at the mountain lions to teach them to be afraid of people. That may seem cruel, but they love the mountain lions. They are sacred, but if the mountain lions lose their fear of humans and get too aggressive, they have to be killed.
The reservation has poachers who shoot at the wild animals; cattle rustlers who try to steal the cows, illegal aliens who hide on the rez after crossing the border, squatters attempting to live off the land—usually with no concept of fire safety. The biggest threats are the meth cookers/dealers who try to use the canyon as their place of business. They always bring trouble. After cooking drugs, they dump what is leftover on our land, they wear hazardous material suits when they do this. It contaminates the water table. The nearest Sherriff’s station is an hour away. The Sheriffs are afraid to come to the rez and do not like being involved in tribal affairs. The solution to all these problems is the same; start out with a warning shot, if that does not work, call your cousins for backup. As far as I know, no one has ever been killed or even shot, but guns have kept dangerous elements off the tribe’s land. To tell these people who live in such a dangerous environment to give up their weapons because the military will protect them is a cruel joke.
Gunman opening fire on a crowd is one of the most terrifying of crimes. My friend Edie Price and her two roommates—one active-duty military, were at the Aurora Theater when the gunman opened fire on the audience. They were not injured. The man shot at people until he ran out of ammo, then sat down and waited for the police.
If a small percent of the moviegoers had been carrying weapons, maybe just the active-duty military, there is a good chance most of the deaths and injuries would not have happened.
Usually, people who shoot into crowds have no previous criminal records, so they would have no trouble getting guns. Whenever there is a shooting, you hear more in the news about making guns illegal. They never talk about why someone decides to go on a killing spree. There have been guns since the beginning of this county. People going crazy and shooting their fellows is a relatively new thing. There a solution.
Virtually every massacre has a drug connection. The shooters were using psychotropic drugs (anti-depressants). James Holmes, the Aurora shooter was mixing Vicodin with other pharmaceuticals. The Columbine shooters were popping Ritalin. Name a school-shooting there is an associated drug. One of the side effects of anti-depressants is the urge to commit suicide or kill other people.
The drug manufacturers by law must warn people about the side effects of these drugs, but they do so in the most devious way. Typically, during TV commercials, while showing beautiful pictures, a lady with a soft and calming voice says, “Tell your doctor if you are having violent thoughts while taking ________.” No matter how beautifully marketed, hundreds have been killed by gunman under the influence of these drugs.
The solution is not to ban weapons. That will turn us into a nation of sheep, so incapable of defending ourselves that men armed with box cutters, the most ridiculous of weapons, could hijack four of our planes, and cause the biggest disaster In U.S. History.
Instead of banning guns, let’s make a law that if someone is taking drugs which we know makes them want to kill people, (per the drugs own labeling) they cannot have guns. It would be easy to implement.
The rest of us would not lose our rights and means of protection because of the acts of few.
I very much agree with our Founding Father and the Second Amendment that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of the Free State.
Written by Julia Tanno.
May be reposted.  Please include name of author

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