Dear CRPA Members and Friends:
California gun owners are under siege from anti-self-defense politicians peddling feel-good-do-nothing laws. The Newsom anti-gun-owner initiative is just the latest example. I hope I can help fight back with CRPA, and I hope you all will stand with me in that effort!
All my life I’ve had a profound appreciation for the freedoms that America offers. That includes the right to keep and bear arms. I have a unique perspective on this, given my experience with Eastern cultures and my law enforcement experience. I respect the fact that the Founders of this country strongly believed in, and many people over the years have died for, our freedoms. I’ve risked my own life countless times deploying for these principals. And that includes the freedom to choose to own a firearm to defend yourself or your family.
Lately, the culture in America has reached a point where people are far too willing to naively surrender our hard fought freedoms in the name of some un-achievable, politically-correct social utopia. It’s a big mistake, and if it’s not stopped, America will suffer greatly. To the extent that my experiences and celebrity can help more people to realize the importance of individual self-reliance and the individual right to keep and bear arms, I will do everything I can do. At this point in my life, and at this time in our history, that’s become my motivation. Future generations depend on us to defend our heritage. That’s why I want to stand with the CRPA.
When I was a child my father bought me a .22 caliber rifle, and he taught me how to shoot and hunt while I was growing up in Michigan. We had a lot of woods to hunt and play in. There wasn’t much else to do. I shot and practiced a lot. It was a way of life. I got no formal training then, but I just kept shooting and shooting and I got better and better.
I was overseas in the late 60s and early 70s through my dojo in Japan where I was teaching the martial arts. Although I never considered myself to be all that exceptional, for some reason many people saw me as a great fighter and a great shot. Some folks recruited me to do some work for America and its allies. I was happy to help. My tactical firearms skills really developed at that point. I got a lot of experience, and I also got a renewed appreciation for the American way of life.
Then I was down in Louisiana, roughly 30 years ago, doing a film. There was a legendary sheriff there named Harry Lee. Sheriff Lee had heard that I was a good shot. We were kidding around one day and he said he wanted to make a bet with me on how good a shot I was. So we went out to the range where he had a hostage target scenario set up. There was just a little piece of the bad guy’s face peeking out from behind a picture of a hostage set out about 35 yards. I took three shots with my Colt .45. They thought I missed at first, then the spotter said; “Hell no, all three hit the bad guy right in the eye!”
Thank God I shot well that day, because that’s when Sheriff Lee pulled me aside and, first, asked to take the bet off the table (I obliged!). Second, he invited me to join his Department. He brought me on as a deputy in Jefferson Parish, and he became like a father to me, and one of my closest friends. Since then I’ve stayed involved in policing, working for several different law enforcement agencies, because I love to help people. We’re not just getting the bad guys. We’re helping old ladies, helping weak people, protecting innocent people. We might help a kid get a cat out of a tree, might pull somebody out of a fire, might find a lost child. And it’s all real. The movies are make believe. Fun for sure, and rewarding in lots of other ways, but there’s nothing I love more than really helping real people. It’s karmic, even spiritual in a way.
Gun laws don’t help the cop on the street. In fact, the stricter the gun laws become the more crime we see, because the armed criminals are emboldened when they know civilians are unarmed. The armed civilian is a help to police departments, and a deterrent to criminals. That view is shared by most rank and file law enforcement officers. Sometimes it makes the job a little tricky, but overall it’s a benefit to police. Cops can usually tell the good guys with guns from the bad guys pretty easily.
I’ve lived all over Asia; the Philippines, Japan, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Tibet. I lived in Japan from my early youth until I was in my thirties. Those countries have very, very strict gun laws. Normal people simply can’t have guns to protect their homes and their families. The cultures in those countries do not emphasize the individual or individual rights like we do, and that has a lot to do with their refusal to allow individuals to have guns. But despite their strict laws, these countries still have a large armed criminal element. All the bad guys, all the criminals, all the thugs, still have guns. Criminals will always be able to get guns and ammo on the black market. No law will stop that.
Politicians are not being honest about guns or gun laws. From a technical, tactical, and logical perspective, California gun laws are moronic and counterproductive–even dangerous. And those laws impact us all personally. I have to have Chuck Michel’s law firm as my gun lawyers to constantly advise me on what’s legal and what’s not legal. Think about that! I have 30 plus years of experience with firearms, extensive law enforcement training and experience, and combat experience. I train others law enforcement officers. I could qualify as an expert in court on firearms. But in California the laws are so complicated and confusing that I have to consult a lawyer to try and figure out which guns are legal and which aren’t. Because the laws are not logical, they are not technically accurate, they don’t make sense. And to make it worse, they are always changing.
People have the right to protect themselves and their belongings, and the right to choose a gun for that purpose. Out of the hundreds of burglaries, armed robberies, and other crimes that I’ve responded to over the years, not once have we ever arrived while the bad guys are still there. It’s like the saying goes: When seconds count, police are only minutes away. By the time we get there, somebody may have already been killed, or raped, or robbed, or beaten up. But the politicians are making it so difficult to simply buy a gun for home protection that it’s too much effort for some people.
Good people should not be misled to believe they have something to be ashamed of for wanting to exercise the rights guaranteed to them by the most precious document that we have as Americans, our Constitution. There are good reasons why our forefathers recognized that inherent right. I’m proud to do what I can to protect and defend it.
Firearms played a big role in many of my films, and I hope that those films were mostly technically accurate where firearms were used. I pushed for that. Although my proficiency with firearms is well known within the film industry, it never seemed to get out to the fans as much as my martial arts abilities and experience with and appreciation of Eastern philosophies did. Maybe through my involvement with CRPA, you can help me get the word out as we come together to fight back against infringements on our rights. Please join me, and CRPA, as we give it our best shot.