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You can substitute “fit” for the “fat” part of Old Fat White Guy. Partial credit goes to my second divorce—as powerful an incentive to become more presentable as an executive post at Bain Capital. Of course, I’m about as likely to take a position at Bain as Bahati Prinsloo. I may not have “Doesn’t Play Well With Others” tattooed across my forehead but I’m not sure it would make that much difference. To avoid an inadvertent vow of chastity, I hit the gym and adopted a new social strategy (i.e. less jokes, more posing). Which kinda leads to the second explanation for my toned physique . . .

Firearms. Specifically, walking the talk.

I can’t very well tell armed self-defenders to STFU after a DGU (Defensive Gun Use) if I’m running my mouth like an AC unit in July and wheezing while walking to Wendy’s. Did you know Wendy’s french fries are now way better than McDonald’s? Neither did I.

Where was I? Oh right, guns . . .

I was lunching with my famous photog nephew and his peeps down in LC on Friday. Lib, laugh, love. Well, not so much laughter. And I definitely wasn’t feeling the love when George Zimmerman’s impending trial entered the conversation.

I reckon the Zimmerman verdict depends on the answer to a relatively simple question: did Zimmerman throw the first punch? Regardless of his inadvisable neighborhood watch surveillance, if Zimmerman physically initiated the conflict with Martin, he forfeited his right to legally justifiable homicide.

My position: no one knows. Let the jury sort it out.

The Big Apple twenty-somethings’ position: Zimmerman’s guilty. Just another ‘effing nutcase with a gun. One member of the group, an extraordinarily beautiful raven haired artist’s rep, had but a single point to add to the debate: “I’m glad I don’t live in Florida.”

The remark brought to mind the adage “A liberal is conservative who hasn’t been mugged.” My nephew gave credence to the analysis when he said “I’ve lived in New York City most of my life. I’ve never seen anyone flip and start attacking someone for no reason.”

English is a remarkably compact language. So much information in so few words. In this case none of it was very heartening. Not for those of us who read about—or have experienced—-random acts of violence. People who consider armed self-defense the best way to protect ourselves from its ravages.

Old people. On the day of my 53rd birthday, I’ve decided that there’s no getting around it: the older you are the more likely you are to carry a gun.

A post called Land of 10,000 gun carriers reveals that 1 in 40 Minnesota adults has a concealed carry permit (total population as of 2011 5,344,861). As we’ve discussed, there’s a big difference between having a permit and actually carrying a gun.

Be that as it may, here’s the bit that caught my editorial eye:

For decades, Minnesota police chiefs and sheriffs limited how many permits they issued, especially in the Twin Cities.

The Personal Protection Act of 2003 changed that. It added Minnesota to the “shall issue” majority, saying a permit should be issued to any resident 21 or older who pays a fee of up to $100, gets prescribed training and passes a background check.

Minnesotans queued up at an average rate of 10,000 a year, swelling the ranks of permit holders from 11,381 in 2002 to 50,777 by 2007. Wisconsin, which in November became one of the last states to pass a carry permit law, reached 100,000 permits in less than six months . . .

About 87 percent of Minnesota’s permit holders are men, and almost 70 percent are over 40, according to state data.

The stats aren’t exactly representational. The Gopher state’s concealed carry liberalization is only 9 years old. That’s not enough time for a generation to come of age under its provisions, or for the state’s concealed carry culture to gain widespread purchase.

We’ll see if the average age of a concealed carrier skews downwards over the next decade or two. Meanwhile, it’s not illogical to suggest that older folks are more amendable to exercising their Constitutional right to bear arms.

The turned to Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance Veep Andrew Rothman for an explanation.

Rothman said older folks can more easily afford guns, and are more security conscious.

“When you get to be in your 40s and 50s,” he said, “you begin to realize you’re not Godzilla and can’t run as fast as you once could.”

As Miss Prinsloo might say, ja nir (yes no).

I’m not so sure that discretionary income has anything to do with applying for a concealed carry permit. Guns aren’t that expensive. And while I consider any permit fee unconstitutional, $100 is hardly an onerous financial burden for anyone with a job. Or a relative with a job.

As for the fitness component, I can now run a LOT faster than I could in my 40’s. Personal transformation aside, I doubt thousands of OFWGs look in the mirror one day and say, “Wow. I need a gun.”

The key to the age of Minnesota’s concealed carry permit holders lies in the phrase “security conscious.” The plain truth is that older people have more to lose. Unlike my relative’s unmarried homies, they have a family to protect. A gun is insurance against those who would destroy their ability to provide for the ones they love.

In fact, one of the women in the group had an eight-month-old baby in tow. When the rest of her pack retired to the kitchen for zucchini bread and a less contentious conversation, she asked me a simple question. Holding her baby close, inhaling her infant’s heady fontanelle smell, she asked “Do you think we’d be safer with a gun?”

I couldn’t tell if she was being provocative.

“It’s not for me to decide,” I replied after the usual song and dance about buying an alarm system and locks and increasing situational awareness. “But you live in a country where you have a constitutional right to make that decision for yourself.”

That’s the crux of the Zimmerman case for both “sides” of the debate. Not whether or not Zimmerman should have followed Martin (he shouldn’t have). Not whether or not he should have shot Zimmerman. Whether or not he should have been armed.

The Zimmerman case is a litmus test for concealed carry. Those who condemn him out of hand or attribute racial motivations to the shooting are, by and large, people who don’t believe that American citizens should be able to carry a gun. Those who maintain an open mind think “there but for the grace of God go I.”

Lola and I stopped for ice cream on the way home. She wanted to try a new flavor (one we hadn’t bought from Gray’s before). She opted for chocolate. She didn’t like it. “It’s too dry.” We traded it for Oreo. No charge. That wasn’t a big hit either. Besides, she was tired and full.

As Lola had proven, America is still a country where people value freedom of choice. I don’t want anyone to carry a gun who doesn’t want to carry a gun. But I want those law-abiding citizens who do want to pack heat to be able to do so. To defend themselves and their loved ones the best way they can.

Good luck to us all.

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  1. Niggras should be fighting for there gun rights, because they were the original target of gun restrictions after the civil war. I wish the NRA would better reach out to our niggras, but instead they put out that “whites only” vibe. How can someone enjoy guns when the guy next to him is rambling on about obamacare and hispanics taking “his” job at Microsoft when he didn’t even graduate high school. If I wanted to hear that bs I would’ve gone to a health care convention or a job fair.

    • How can someone enjoy guns when the guy next to him is rambling on about obamacare and hispanics taking “his” job at Microsoft when he didn’t even graduate high school. If I wanted to hear that bs I would’ve gone to a health care convention or a job fair.

      I completely agree. I’m pretty sure that I have been unwillingly involved in more “edging away, wanting to leave” conversations at gun ranges, shops, and shows than I have everywhere else in my life combined. Since I’ve only owned guns and visited those places for ~10% of my life, that’s an unfortunate frequency of negative interaction.

      For the record, #2 on the list would probably be computer stores. Not sure what that means.

    • One more thing, I am not a racist. I am in fact a black gun owner. I just use the term “niggras” for dramatic effect.

      • I will take you at your word and second the “whites only” vibe from the NRA. They have ads for those cheesy decorative plates with pictures of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on them in American Rifleman. I’m not black, but I am not southern either. Those people (the southern “aristocracy”) are nothing but traitors.

        • Those people (the southern “aristocracy”) are nothing but traitors.

          Yea, damn them for actually adhering to the Constitution and thinking that the 10th Amendment which left all powers not specifically delegated to the Federal government to the states was actually valid.

          Oh, you are aware that the great Lincoln openly talked about how blacks are inferior to whites and that he only freed the slaves to hurt the South, right?

          The Confederates were true believers in the ideals of the Founding Fathers.

    • “I am glad I don’t live in Florida.” Same here. I live in Florida, was born and raised in New York City. I was fortunate to be one of those very few people who had legal use of firearms in NYC. It never ceases to amaze me though that most New Yorkers have an unwaveringly negative attitude towards guns-until personally victimized………..

      • Is it really that hard to believe? I have bleeding heart parts of the family that live in NYC. They are diehard union, they have 24hr opinion/propoganda machines from radio, TV and newspapers and they start them out young in the school system to be dependent on govt. and the police.

        That is, until something happens and they find it all a lie and the only way to feel safe again is to it yourself.

        Crime is relatively low in most parts of NYC. Stuff happens, most contained in a few areas or foreign groups.

        It is a fantasy bubble until that bubble gets popped.

        • And if you live in Manhattan (outside of Harlem), it’s pretty safe. In many situations, the cops are actually just seconds away. It’s a rather unique situation that results from extreme population density, high concentrations of wealth and a desire to protect the tourist industry. Also, even the fairly wealthy tend to live in small, rental apartments not exactly suitable for storing a large armory.

          So far a lot of Manhattanites (and wannabees in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, etc.), not owning a gun is a fairly rational decision, or at least it can easily seem so. I just wish those people (i.e. my friends and co-workers) would realize that NYC is a tiny little artificial island that is pretty much unlike the rest of America, that one-size does not fit all, and that devolution to local authorities is a good thing.

  2. Happy 53rd! Had mine earlier this year.
    Had my fitness epiphany in 2003 – Welcome to the club!
    Had my Second Amendment re-awakening in 2010 after a 20+ year hiatus capped off by my first PA LCF (License to Carry Firearms) in December 2010. Re-awakening was preceded by the Philadelphia area news along with the 2008 prez election results and when my son’s middle school vice-principal was arrested for molesting a student and I learned that he had an LCF permit that was revoked upon his arrest. The vice-principal arrest awakened me to the idea that I could get one too, nothing else.
    Always had a locked and loaded revolver in the house in those 20+ years, but the extent of my personal and familty security control outside the house then was limited to situational awareness. Now I exercise my 2nd Amendment right (i.e. carry) when I feel it is situationally necessary (i.e. a few times a month, maybe).
    Thanks for your forum from a MAFWG (Middle Aged [not Old]) Fit White Guy.

  3. I lived in FL from 1974 to 1997. The best parts of FL are the places near the Myakka river. I spent my youth gazing at those brackish waters, wandering the woods filled with scrub pine and palmetto bushes. To me that is the real FL.

  4. I am more “security conscious” in the sense that, after a “nearly but not quite dead” illness, I know I cannot compete with any physically fit youth. I cannot run away, and I wouldn’t any way because my wife is completely disabled. I cannot knife fight, although I know how, because my hand speed is gone. I have only one effective tool since I am forced to stand and fight. That wasn’t the case when I was in my 20’s. I didn’t even carry a knife back then. Must have something to do with age–my 21 year old phsically fit, tall and strong son doesn’t carry a knife or other weapon either.

  5. There’s a nephew I’d never see, or talk to, or help. Sorry, I know many people have this “family is everything” attitude going on, and while I agree that the biological need to protect and “love” those that share one’s own genetic material is an undeniable inherent motivator, idiots are still idiots. Tools are still tools. Just because someone is family does not exonerate them from being morally bankrupt, anti-truth drones.

    I wouldn’t be able to be around family I don’t respect, and nothing earns less respect than the kind of thinking this nephew and his braindead lemming friends show. Tell him to grow up and muster together some rational thought, then he’d be worth the time to visit.

    • This is really a more introspective post designed to provoke thoughtful discussion. Put away the OFWG hateful intolerance until the next post.

      • I’m in my 20s, 150 pounds, and white on one side. But thanks for being a bigot.

        And if by intolerant you mean intolerant of destructive fools who would see me and my loved ones in mortal peril rather than armed due to their own ignorance, than yes, I’m very intolerant of those people.

        You seem to be confusing “thoughtful discussion” with “discussions that please me.” I apologize if a discussion that brings to debate exactly how far our loyalty and tolerance of our own bloodline should go is too much for you.

        But fine, I yield. Let’s return to discussions that preach to our choir, tread the same ground ad nauseum, assume the antis actually pay attention to rational arguments, and put forth the same thesis again and again.

        • Again, this is a more introspective post, not really the best spot for knee-jerk invective that anyone who doesn’t share your views is an “idiot” and a “tool”.

  6. Could be that young people still think they are “bullet-proof”, that nothing can hurt them. Of course, if you ask them, they will tell you that isn’t true, but the way they live their lives (carelessly) shows that it is true. As we get older, we become very conscious of how mortal we are, and we become more careful.

  7. The Big Apple twenty-somethings’ position: Zimmerman’s guilty.

    Maybe. Also maybe: NYC metrosexuals are addlepated lemmings.

  8. I want to know how all the writers on here have access to incredible hottie pics at all times. Is there a website that delivers incredible pics 24/7? Or does The Revered Leader spend his time doing the “research” to find these women?

  9. Regardless of his inadvisable neighborhood watch surveillance, if Zimmerman physically initiated the conflict with Martin, he forfeited his right to legally justifiable homicide.

    Legally, this is incorrect.

    If Zimmerman did in fact assault Martin first, and Martin then got the upper hand and continued to beat Zimmerman to the point Zimmerman feared for his life, Zimmerman can then defend himself using deadly force.

    It’s in the law.

    • According to the text of the law quoted below by Mike I am incorrect. Good thing I don’t charge for legal advice.

  10. “I thought about my readerships’ opinions about Zimmerman and guns. They were based almost entirely on their personal experience, rather than rational thought.”

    it seems that would be correct after reading this thread.

  11. Actually, your assertion about his ability to use deadly force is incorrect in Florida.

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    So, even if(and it doesn’t seem to be the case) GZ started a physical altercation, if he quit fighting or was rendered defenseless(like having someone sit on his chest and beat the snot out of him) he still has the right to lethal self-defense. In other words, even if you start a fight you still don’t have to let someone beat you to death.

    • Am I correct in thinking that I can start an altercation as long as it is not a felony, feel that I am losing that altercation AND am in fear for my life, then use deadly force to protect myself…legally in FL.?

      Is this correct?

      • Yes. It’s just as the statute reads. If you start a fight and give up or are no longer a threat and your opponent continues the fight, you have the right to defend yourself.

        Nobody has to sacrifice their right to self defense, and nobody has the right to beat you to death.

    • “In other words, even if you start a fight you still don’t have to let someone beat you to death.”

      And you shouldn’t either. The ramification of the GZ – TM will be hesitation and second guessing by victims, giving people who use crime to live an advantage.

      • taking this further, I can attempt to steal your watch/ wallet/ cel phone(worth under felony amount). You fight back, I kill you. I am not guilty of murder?

        • Good luck skating on those charges. Sans witnesses, you’d be in the same situation that George Zimmerman is in, that it would be your word alone saying, “Hey, I tried to get away, but he wouldn’t let me,” only you wouldn’t have the benefit of having just gotten off the phone with 911, being a member of neighborhood watch, etc.

          Also, if you’re trying to steal watch/wallet/cell phone, it’s likely not your first time, and there will be some record of that. Then the prosecutor can say “he decided not to waste his time talking, and just shot Mr. X in cold blood to steal his stuff,” and then it’s his “likely scenario” against your word.

  12. [picking of nits]

    “The Gopher state’s concealed carry liberalization is only *9 years old.”

    [/picking of nits]

  13. Cost in both money and time IS a big issue. Minnesota requires training which is anywhere from $50-250. But this training is almost always 4-6 hours (time = money). Then one must travel all the way to the county’s single sheriff’s office in person during work week business hours which requires time off from work for most (time = money). And most counties charge the maximum dollar amount of $100 for a new permit even though they should only be charging the actual amount to administer the permits, which by their own published accounting numbers is usually far less than $100 over the 5-year duration of the permit.

    So without even investing in a gun and carry equipment, one has to plan on spending $150-350 plus near a day for the class, plus a few hours or more off of work. I know many individuals who have taken the class, but who find it too inconvenient to follow through on the in-person application bit.

    Permitting in MN is indeed considerably in favor of those with disposable income and time and a flexible work schedule.

  14. The weapon, manufactured by Cocoa, Fla.-based Kel-Tec CNC, is a well-known device and not uncommon for police and private ownership, according to Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk, a Sirius XM radio show. “The particular model is a popular one for concealed carry,” he says. “It’s a simple firearm, there is nothing unusual about it. This would be a gun any police officer would carry for personal protection.” A concealed carry permit allows a person to carry a gun or other weapon in a covered manner, either on his person or elsewhere, like in his glove compartment.

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