Hi, I’m Paul Furlong, a home owner in Atenas, Costa Rica. Now with sixteen years in the same Barrio and part of my community. Sad to say, crime has risen with a falling economy, and suddenly become an issue in Atenas. Two years ago, there was a rash of armed robbery’s in our little town. If you believe the numbers, in late July and early August, about ten days; there were some twenty such robberies. I suspect this is an inflated number but even if it’s half, that’s a lot of robbin’ goin’ on. People looked out from under their umbrellas and thought about selling.
Then a strange thing happened. On a bus to Atenas, three armed men tried to rob the people. An OIJ agent happened to be on board and told them to stop. Shots were exchanged, a bad guy died, another wounded and a third thoughtfully surrendered. Days after, four armed men tried to rob my neighbor. My wife and I heard them kick in his door. I went to investigate. A bad guy had a gun to my friend’s head. I shot him. When it was over there was one dead and another wounded and two more to take him away. No good guys were hurt. Again, that was two years ago and up till now, no armed home invasions. Bravery had nothing to do with it. Both the OIJ agent and I did what we trained for. I can train you, too.
“The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail…. the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation.” Jeff Cooper
Re-Published from AtenasToday.com
Women, Violence, Guns & the Hoochie Coochie Factor
Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long
—-Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice
In The Teachings of Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda relates a scene in which he asks Don Juan the question; (paraphrased,) “If a man is in a tree over there and has a gun pointed at me, I’m in his crosshairs, and he pulls the trigger, how is leading the Spiritual life of a warrior going to help me?”
“This is easy Carlito, you just wouldn’t be there.”
And so it is. Can you picture the Dali Lama with an AK47 on his lap? Me either. Some people just don’t need guns. Maybe needing a gun has to do with how clean you keep your karma; or how clean it was on your birthday. Great Generals rode into battle with backs straight, heads up and a serene calmness about them. They directed fire without a moment’s concern for the lead zipping past them from all directions. All possibility of mishap removed, they knew their own life and death was out of their hands. Some of us still wonder.
The kind of protection a person chooses is quite personal, almost like a deodorant commercial. Those of us in the bilges may require something stronger. If the best of us weren’t always limited by what the worst of us might do, maybe picking a gun would be as simple as choosing a deodorant. Unfortunately there’s a growing hysteria about the word “gun” that ends conversations, causes women to look heavenward and men to stare at their feet until the moment passes. So this is me, having a stab at rationality. Yes, I know I’m about to get into trouble.
This essay comes in parts; later we’ll try to assemble them like a Lego set. Speaking of Legos, let’s start with the basic assumption that men and women were designed to stick together; we should be friends. Gaby asks God to accompany me when I leave on my motorcycle; I sit with my back to the wall facing the door when we eat at a restaurant. We don’t discuss the roles we play; we just care and protect each other however we can. Simply put, there is nothing one of us wouldn’t do to protect the other. Anyone reading this last sentence might want to pause right here. Here’s the question: could we live with ourselves if we chose not to save a family member out of principle? Here’s one for women: are you willing to let your husband take a beating and die for you because you won’t let him keep a gun in the house? Sisters, we need to talk.
Is it some kind of style that’s turned everyone so weak at heart? Frontier women worked as hard as their men. They were respected and honored, and when attacked, they fought savagely to protect their families. They used guns because guns made them equal. What’s so hard to understand about this? With violent crime on the rise, can we trust psychiatrists to fix all the nuts before they get to us? Suppose they weren’t nuts? What if they just want you and your stuff for as long as they can get away with it? Could it be conscience, and not sanity, that separates us from these monsters?
A rape spree in Orlando back in the ’70s got women up in arms. A quiet sort of Toontown, the rate of violent attack on women suddenly shot above the national average. Women began to buy guns in unprecedented numbers. Worried gun store owners got together with police and put together a program to teach women to defend themselves. Suddenly men who’d forced their way into women’s homes were getting shot. The rape rate then plummeted below the national average for years after that. When a woman successfully saves her life and her honor with a gun, she also stands up for other women in her community.
Many of my Defensive Pistol Class students are women. Most had to overcome their fear of guns and judgment by their peers. Why would they bother? A greater fear perhaps, of losing a loved one, a home invasion; or being beaten and raped. Some women arrive at my class really angry. The stories they tell are terrible, the notes between the lines are horrific. It’s not just the women; their men who couldn’t save them…what about them?! I’m at a loss for words here, it seems self-serving to suggest people learn to defend themselves, after all, I teach that stuff, but the hysteria and phobic rush to make guns completely disappear leaves only good people without guns. What’s wrong with a 98 pound woman being able to stop a 250 pound man with rape on his mind? Police don’t stop crimes against women; women do, one at a time and word spreads fast. There’s no support group in the room when he busts in, no mental health expert or pepper spray salesman with his guarantee still wet from the press. Women’s organizations haven’t stopped attacks from happening; guns have; women’s groups seem to be attacking the guns, what’s with that, sisters?
Having a gun with no training is not unlike a mail order bride; the propensity for trouble is high. I could surely be wrong about the bride but a gun in untrained hands is dangerous. The press makes a big deal of every sordid incident, but you can’t get on the radio if you’ve successfully defended yourself. Just think of the millions of guns in the hands of civilians who haven’t shot anyone today. In trained hands, a gun is martial art without all that silly jumping, kicking and grunting. A Pistolero should see beauty in everyday things, he’ll be confident within himself and humble in his dealings. He’s not looking for trouble; he merely recognizes the possibility.
The Hoochie Coochie Factor? Who knows how a pithy sweet & sour blend works behind closed doors? I was surprised that in roughly 40% of domestic violence cases, men were the victims. Remember when we were kids? We boys beat hell out of each other, but it was you girls who really hurt us; you know, a look, a laugh… As the snug blanket of civilization enveloped us, an unspoken deal was struck. It was this: I won’t use my powers against you if you don’t use yours against me. Love, peace and safety fly out the window when these lines are crossed. It just takes a look, an infidelity from either side; blood alcohol cocktails on long rainy nights or a vivid imagination to spark immature emotions. Somehow the knife, gun or bathtub edge gets blamed for the damage. Immaturity may be a curse like stupidity or bad teeth that randomly strike good and bad families alike. Are we to allow trailer court trash to shape the way we defend ourselves?
Whichever gender, if there’s quarreling, guns should not be in the mix. Neither should clubs, knives, poisons, hammers, screw drivers, cars, trucks, bleach, or restraining orders, (no surer way to make that headstrong man pay a visit). Long term domestic violence is an implied agreement i.e.; some kind of sadomasochistic arrangement is in play, though not always voluntary. This is beyond our reach here, but certainly there must be fifty ways to leave your lover.
In the world of firearms, a handgun is something a soldier will use if his main weapon fails. One does not go sailing in his life preserver; he carries it in case the ship goes down. A pistol has the balance of power and control for the average man or woman to save their lives. Hairy men with clubs will make much ado over their choice of pistols, but women are my best students and shoot better on average than the men in my classes. A gun is far easier to learn than driving a car and much less dangerous in qualified hands. A gun won’t do anything stupid unless you tell it to; and it will end a fight without breaking a nail… or a neck, or a will or a heart.
Now look what we’ve done, our logos are stuck together like a fork in the road. If we believe in good over evil, read our history, and understand basic home economics; it’s easy to see how a gun might be handy.
Mystics, however, tell us that good and evil are only illusions, they say there’s only one power, only one prayer; that is to be closer to Him, the Spirit, by whatever name, and to live, unarmed without fear, under God’s good golden umbrella.
Each of these views is a personal choice; not a vote, not a critic’ of other people’s choices. This needs to be a discussion, not children sticking their tongues out at each other. Find me, talk to me. Reason comes in many flavors, we should sample as many as we can.
 Psychiatrists: too often the people who issue the drugs that cause school shootings, Batman massacres’ and suicides. Google it, do the research. An armed society is a polite society, when people are held accountable by their intended victims, pharmaceutical abuse will likely taper off.