By  Dennis Brislawn

What Heroes? I am talking about neighbors of ours who are quiet but who have our back. They quietly prepare and once in a while step up, do something inspiring, then fade into the background.  They’re there, but they don’t make a big deal out of it.

Do we hear much about gun owners who actually SAVE lives? Those neighbors who put themselves in harm’s way to protect themselves or others? Remember the hue and cry about rapes, murders, beatings going uninterrupted while bystanders did nothing? People are afraid… of getting hurt, of getting in trouble, of getting “blamed”.

I understand fear. I am or have been afraid of lots of things. Parachuting out of perfectly good jet planes for one. Got the training, did it anyway, got the wings. Am I afraid of gun owners?  No… just those who are negligent or criminal, but not “gun owners” any more than “drivers”.  I try to be vigilant about who is around me and what’s going on as much as I can.

Back to neighbors.  Have you heard much about the Oregon man who witnessed and intervened in the mall shooting?  From the reports I read, he held back for safety reasons… and when the shooter’s gun jammed and he saw the armed citizen he took his own life.  If this account is a correct one, our neighbor stood up and made sound decisions… that helped mitigate the tragedy.

I read a story where a guy held forth that he wants to “feel safe” and that he is “in fear” knowing that citizens, his neighbors, are walking around with firearms legally concealed on their person.  Frankly, from a vantage point of history I am more concerned about governments with guns than private citizens with them.   I do agree that in these times that those of us who take gun ownership seriously, who believe in being responsible citizens and honoring the spirit, intent, and letter of the Second Amendment, can do more than try to out-reason those on the “other side” of the issue.

What more?

Let’s try firm, inspired leadership.  Resolve.  This year I plan to step up my game in terms of teaching about gun law, emphasizing personal responsibility and accountability, and refining my self-defense training.  I intend to be ready and able to be that neighbor who can be counted on to have your back.

What do you think gun owners should do?  For me, it would be nice to know that you, my neighbor, are doing your part to have my back, too.  Heroes are good neighbors who can be counted on when things are darkest.

About the author 

Dennis Brislawn

Dennis is a partner in Northwest Gun Law Group.

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