Wednesday, 25 October 2017 16:25

Hand Me A Gun: A Response to Dr. Odozi Osuji's Gun Control

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The purpose of this essay is to narrate what happens when one is unarmed and to counteract the notion advanced by Dr. Osuji and other apologists that life  is safer when citizens are without  guns. See Dr. Odozi Osuji's essay in this forum entitled: "White Americans Like to Carry Guns Because They are A Fearful People. "   Americans of all races do not agree with Osuji and would strongly disagree with his logic.  We the law-abiding Nigerians would like to have the right to bear arms inserted in the Constitution of our country.

A few years ago as a young professor at one of Nigeria's newly established colleges, this writer was rudely awakened up at around 2:00 am when a group of robbers broke into my two-room dwelling place. They ransacked the whole place, scattering papers around and making away with my college diplomas and a few possessions I had brought with me, mostly baby's clothes.  I had just returned home after being in America to pursue an education. What pained me more than the stuff I lost was the abuse and intimidation. The robbers had weapons, and I had none.

While robbing me and putting my family in a great fear, the robbers ordered us to cover our heads. They lifted my three-month old child out of  the crib to look for money, Thinking that the robbers were taking the baby away for sacrifice, my maid raised her head up. For that, Lillian our baby nurse was hit with the flat of a machete.

We heard one of the robbers blaming me and saying: "This man was overseas enjoying while we are suffering here in the country". I was being blamed for getting an education and for the robbers' predicament, namely, for their choice of criminal career.  Was I to blame for being the victim or for going to America or for obtaining college degrees that included two doctorates and 2 Master's degrees? Did I force the hoodlums  to make a career out of armed robbery?

The game of blaming the victim has been going on forever. You blame me for carrying a gun to protect myself, and you also blame me for having no gun and being a victim of a gun carrier. Which way do I go?  Read  William Ryan's  Blaming The Victim(ISBN 9780394722269, July 12, 1976,  Mass Market paperback , published by Vintage).

Contrary to the opinions of proponents of gun-less  Nigeria, the right to carry guns ought  to be a topic of immense discussion. Killings have been going in Nigeria for the longest by gun-toting hoodlums who are determined to keep Buhari in power, including Fulani herdsmen, boko haram, armed robbers, and kidnappers. The right to carry firearms  to protect self and family should be enlarged in Nigeria as it is done in America  rather than be abridged or curtailed.

To enlarge is to increase, extend, broaden, widen, amplify, or made bigger. Why are there frequent reports of mugging, kidnapping, raping, and other violent crimes against Nigerians? Do not look any further than commonsense, if you are sincere. In Nigeria, crimes against persons and involving personal property are rampant, widespread, fecund, proliferating. rambling, or flourishing. Unarmed Nigerians are at the mercy of armed hoodlums. What does it mean? It means the good people are being maneuvered by the bad ones.

Why did a group of riff raffs choose to rob a man with a young family just returning from America to his nation in the middle of the night? It was just because I had no gun and was as naive as Dr. Osuji and the over educated gun control wiseacres who masquerade as messengers of patriotism, chauvinism, nationalism, or boastful and belligerent jingoism .

The issue of armed robbery is a clear case where one uses commonsense. You are more likely to be assaulted with a weapon if you are weaponless than if you had a gun.  Accept this fact and let's move forward.  Assume this writer is in his  garden minding his business with a fully loaded gun by his side when  Amadou, Buhari's  chief herdsman comes to graze his cows on this writer's bed of tomatoes, with the intention  to rape the writer's granddaughter and carry her away. If you think this writer would live to see his granddaughter taken away as a sex slave, keep thinking.

The aim of this essay is to advance reasons why this writer implicitly believes in and is wholeheartedly and comfortably in support of legislation that guarantees the rights of Nigerians  to bear arms. The right to bear arms is related to the issue of being a bona fide member of the Nigerian communities. The right to live freely implies the right to enjoy the benefits of citizenship, including safety and security in the community. One who has achieves security and safety in his country is said to have awesome greatness.

Dr. Osuji advocates the removal of guns from the people under the mistaken theory that (a) fearful persons carry guns to protect themselves; (b) fearless persons who do  not perceive threat all around do not carry guns for protection; and (c) loving people who have the sense of love and security do not carry guns to protect themselves.  One has the right to live in a fool's paradise so long as one does not intend to be a meddler or interloper into the other person's affair.

If you mess with me, I will mess with you. While ruffling my feathers and rubbing me the wrong way, Dr. Osuji seems to reason that if I carry a gun,  I am likely to discharge the bullets into an enemy. He further infers that because I am a fearful man, I am apt to carry a gun to banish  terror.  I disagree for the simple reason that fear  is a common denominator. It is the commonest and extremely  powerful  emotion humans share with other human beings.

Fear powers a range of human behavior, including the fight and flee action . Indeed, fear is at the nucleus  of human survival instinct.  Fear keeps mankind out of harm's way until man figures  out how to minimize the dangers involved in what man is about to do

We spend billions of research dollars before launching a spaceship towards the moon .Isn't survival (self-preservation) regarded as worthwhile goal? We spend billions to deter aggression. As we are discussing this, President Trump is sending  troops and warships equipped with weapons to North Korean borders  just in case.  Deterrence is a war strategy.  Like a gun, deterrence means "don't do it or I'll fire."

That's why I must buy a gun, procure the  gun license and practice shooting at the range, all in the attempt to prolong  my days on earth  in order to live and let live. Just in case. Just in case  is a preemption, prevention, restriction, limitation, or dissuasion, rather encouraging aggression

To carry guns is to safeguard personal freedom. To choose freedom  is not violence. It is an expression of liberty. Americans carry guns to maintain national liberty from foreign domination as well as  to control lawless others, Carrying guns, for most Americans,  is an inalienable right that must not be bridged.

What greater right solidifies citizenship status than the right to bear arms? To own a gun is to achieve greatness, and to be great is to be fortified.  An armed man is somebody rather than nobody. An unarmed man is a nonentity. He is banza, unknown, mediocrity, nobody, insignificant, or nothing.

A man is great when he's  armed in self-defense. For William Shakespeare, greatness is the ability to stand tall in the face of aggression. Shakespeare advises: "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." {Twelfth Nights}

When one feels  free and secured as a true citizen of Nigeria or immigrant of the United States of America, one cannot take that freedom for granted. Because there is nothing free about freedom, one must realize that that freedom must be guarded enviably and protected forcefully Ownership of guns is a way to ensure that freedom is not lost. Freedom is a badge of honor, respectability, and greatness. That  right to  achieve greatness ought to be embedded or enshrined in the Constitution of any nation that truly advances or advocates inalienable rights in a  democracy. A man armed with a gun is expressing inalienable  right.

A right is inalienable if it is absolutely essential, unchallenged, incontrovertible, indisputable, or unassailable. It is heard in the battle cry: "Give me freedom or give me death." Removal of guns is an abridgment of one's right to protect oneself. To be a citizen without guns is to be no citizen at all or to be in state of homelessness. We are not meant to be vagabonds, are we? I must carry a gun as personal expression.  That's why I must buy a gun, obtain  the  gun license and practice shooting at the range, all for the purpose of prolonging my days on earth , to live and to let live.

I disagree with anyone who comes  around attempting  to convince me that fearful  persons perceive threat all around them  and, therefore, carry guns to protect themselves.  I do disagree because I live among disagreeable persons in a world that is becoming increasingly militant, dangerous and disagreeable.

We live in a world that is dis-likable and cantankerous, defined as being  irritable, crabby, argumentative, complaining , unreasonable, or belligerent. Belligerence may lead a certain trigger-happy  man or woman  to Walmart's  department store,  show a  driver's license and  purchase a gun to rid himself of the "devil that made  me do it." To do it is to use a gun on me or someone else as a target.

Do we need someone  to convince us that we live in a world that  is becoming increasingly ugly and that one needs to walk circumspectly in order to live and be safe.  One who proceeds circumspectly does so, not haphazardly. He does things cautiously, suspiciously, watchfully, charily, cagily, vigilantly, or carefully.  It is increasingly necessary to protect  myself with a gun. Guns do not kill per se. People kill. Therefore, people need to protect themselves  against potential killers.

Finally, we ought to stop saying that it is the good fearful  person who carries guns to protect himself. That's a lie. It is the bad, fearless and  criminally-minded  man, who in the first place carries a gun to bolster confidence in order to intimidate, terrorize, frighten, or coerce others. We congratulate Dr.Odozi Osuji on his courage to tackle some of those thorny, foul-tasting issues in our society, but we find his position on gun control distasteful and unacceptable.

Let the Nigerians For The Right to Bear Arms raise their voices and be heard!

By Dr, James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.