Fire Extinguishers and Sheep Dogs.

I had an interesting exchange with someone the other day about gun ownership.

In essence his argument boiled down to a contention that since he had never felt threatened and didn't frequent dangerous places,  he had never felt the need for a gun.

He was not an anti-gunner.  Didn't want to take anyone's away.

Heck, he even referred to the AWB as the "So called Assault Weapons Ban" so I didn't have to re-fight the 2nd amendment debate.

Of course I believe that people have every right to live their lives in a disarmed state.   

Anyway, the discussion harkened me back to a talk by one Lt. Col. David Grossman that I had to privilege to attend.

You may have heard of him.    If not, go read "On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs" right now.    I'll wait.

He opens his talk by taking a fire extinguisher off the wall and pointing out that firemen kick our butts when it comes to saving lives.    "How many children have died in school fires in the last 50 years?" He asks.   "zero".     "Now how many have died as the result of violence?"   "Many, many more."  (He sites the number).   

So why is it that we disarm teachers, disallow firearms near schools, and generally look at people like they are crazy if they suggest that schools need protection.  On the other hand, we would riot if a school didn't have a world class sprinkler system.

He makes a damn good point (If you ever get the chance to hear him,  just go..)

Anyway, this line of thinking lead me to this reply to the guy that had never felt the need to arm himself.

I honestly hope that his life never changes.    I hope that he makes it without every having violence visited upon him or his family, disarmed or not.

This is what I said.

I've never had a fire at my house.   I've never needed a fire extinguisher and have no reason to think that my house is likely to catch on fire.

Nonetheless,  I keep a fire extinguisher or two in my house.

Like winning the lottery,  I know that the odds of my house burning down tonight are vanishingly small.   If I thought otherwise, I'd do whatever it takes to make it safe.   My family depends on me to do that.   On the other hand I know that, somewhere in the US, the odds of someone's house burning tonight is almost 100%. 

So I have to think, and everyone "should" think, "Tonight just might be my night."   

Not "If"  but "When"

Now I'm not a professional firefighter and, of course, I'd rather let the fire department deal with a fire.    Given half a chance, I'll get my family to safety and dial 911.   After all, that's why I pay taxes and they are trained professionals.   Only a fool would would risk his life fighting a fire if the pros are available.

But what happens if I'm on my own.  What happens if it's up to me to get my family to safety?

What then?

If I'm on my own, at least I have a fire extinguisher and I know how to use it.

People with no fire fighting tools have, by their own choice,  more limited options.     They  may not be able to save themselves or their loved ones and simply have no choice but to rely  on the firemen to save them or their loved ones.   No doubt the firemen will come as soon as they can, but how many times have you read about people dying in their homes?    It happens all too frequently.  We see it on the news all the time.  We all shake our heads at the tragic event and silently thank God that it wasn't us.    All that is left is for the firemen to recover the bodies, fill out the paperwork and put it down to bad luck.

Imagine having to live with that.  I can tell you, as a Dad, being the sole survivor would be worse than dying.    Being the sole survivor because I believed that I didn't NEED a fire extinguisher would be worse than death. 

The truth is pretty simple.  

Just because you've never been in a fire, doesn't mean that a fire isn't in your future.   Just because you've never been attacked doesn't mean that the bad men will never come.

Being defenseless does not protect the lamb from the wolf now does it?

So I leave you with this

Do you own a fire extinguisher?

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