Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Dangers of "Professionalization"

Something started bugging me after a conversation with Bill. He mentioned a co-worker who is a part-time employee and part-time student. His co-worker made about $10,000.00 last year and needs to file his Federal taxes. He wants to go to H. R. Block. Bill told him about the 1040EZ form and how simple it is to complete. The co-worker still plans to go to H. R. Block because he feared he might mess it up.

Now, I'm going to sound like a crusty curmudgeon (can a woman be a curmudgeon?--maybe I should say a raddled harridan). Creeping professionalization bothers me because it can harm our gun rights and liberty in general. I've mentioned this attitude before when I said there are three things that most threaten our gun rights: population shift from rural to urban, media demonization of guns, and professionalization (only a professional can use a gun especially in personal defense).

Bill's co-worker's belief only a professional can complete a good tax return is an example of professionalization at work in another sphere of life. There are other examples. I have a co-worker, a male, who doesn't know how to change a tire. He relies on AAA. Another acquaintance had to call an electrician to change a fuse. These are radical examples, but indicative of where we are heading.

We used to be a self-reliant people. Life grew more complex and building codes came about because of issues with electrical wiring, plumbing, and similar technological advances. Professionalization leads to a spiral. From needing a professional to wire a house, we go to needing a professional to fix wires, to needing a professional to change a fuse.

Granted, there is a need for professionals. I don't want to wire a house. I suppose I could learn it, but I'd rather pay someone else to do it. If I have a cavity in a tooth, I don't want to fill it; I'll hire a dentist. But, I don't want to get to the point where I don't know how to change a fuse.

For gunnies, professionalization reduces our gun rights. Many of our fellow citizens believe only a police officer has the training to use a gun safely and effectively. They don't realize that most officers have suprisingly little training in gun use.

Law enforcement academies cover a great deal of information in relatively little time. Here is the curriculum for a 1300 hour course. There is not a lot of time for firearms training. Academies and courses might use a FATS (Firearm Training Simulator) or similar system once or twice during training. After graduation, an officer can get more training, but overall it is nothing that a civilian with a little cash and time couldn't gain for herself.

Thunder Ranch, SigArms Academy, and other schools make firearms training available to citizens. Many of our fellow civilians look on such schools with horror. They feel anyone who would attend such a place must be a Rambo-type who wants to kill.

It's a free country and they can believe what they want. But then they turn around and argue that civilians don't have enough training to protect themselves and others with a gun.

Anti-gunnies want us to rely on the police for protection. I have nothing against police, they do a fine job for the most part, but they aren't there when a crime happens (except for rare strokes of luck). Should you be involved in a crime it could take five minutes from the time you call (if you can) to the time an officer arrives (a very good response time). That means you are potentially confronting a thug for 300 seconds when he could injure or kill you in many fewer seconds.

So, there is an obvious need for civilians to protect themselves and a gun is the best tool for this purpose. People own guns for self-defense and anti-gunnies don't want us to train effectively. They complain about practical shooting, human-like targets, and similar forms of training. They fear that such training will actually cause us to shoot innocent people.

Gun-banners believe firearms have no good use in the hands of civilians. Therefore, they want a country with no realistic firearms training, no concealable pistols, no civilian sales of tactical equipment, etc. If they can convince us that only professionals can handle firearms, then we will lose our gun rights let alone our right to change fuses.

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