Explaining to a legal immigrant

Explaining to a legal immigrant

This is a discussion on Explaining to a legal immigrant within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; At work, a person from Vietnam was recently hired. The subject of firearm carry got brought up somehow in the conversation. He asked "Why would ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array cplguy's Avatar
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    Question Explaining to a legal immigrant

    At work, a person from Vietnam was recently hired. The subject of firearm carry got brought up somehow in the conversation. He asked "Why would a person want to be armed, the viet cong ruined my country, and I floated out to a patrol boat in hostile waters. Armed people cause wars."

    My response was, "Well, to answer your question, for protection of the home and family. Also protection of my own life. If I'm peaceably watching TV, and I hear a ram at my door and armed crack heads come barging in, at least I will have a fighting chance to defend my family. If I'm walking along at work and i come across a vicious dog that is intent on attack, I will be able to defend my life." Then we spent a hour and 15 min talking about various situations, and why it is a good idea to be armed all of the time.

    Anyhow, this isn't confronting anti-gunners, but people who have recently moved to the USA, and are still getting used to the idea that I could buy or sell any firearm I want without FFL involvement in any part of the transaction, (and the fact that non-government employees can be armed).

    How would you approach the situation?

    P.S.: He's still trying to adjust to the idea that we can criticize our political leaders without fear of imprisonment/torture. He left the site looking honestly afraid when I started on a tirade about the current democratic government because I was vocalizing my opinion about current events. When I asked him what he thought, he didn't say a word and borderline ran to get away from the heated political discussion.


  2. #2
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    Coming from a different culture, he probably has quite a bit of adjusting to do to absorb the 'rights' we here in the USA can enjoy.
    That's going to take a while, but I'd keep sharing with him.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplguy View Post
    He asked "Why would a person want to be armed, the viet cong ruined my country, and I floated out to a patrol boat in hostile waters. Armed people cause wars."
    Unarmed people weren't capable of withstanding the crimes perpetrated against them. Without being able to survive until help arrives, a person has no real security against violence.


    Quote Originally Posted by cplguy View Post
    Then we spent a hour and 15 min talking about various situations, and why it is a good idea to be armed all of the time.
    Each situation is so very different, but it comes down to being able to survive encounters until help can arrive. Against people who are likely armed, and certainly against multiple people, it can be very difficult (or near impossible) for the average person to survive a violent encounter. Being armed and reasonably trained to some level of competency helps to level the odds a bit. It's certainly no guarantee, but it's far better than being tossed into a swamp with gators without anything more than Speedo's and ear plugs.


    Quote Originally Posted by cplguy View Post
    Anyhow, this isn't confronting anti-gunners, but people who have recently moved to the USA, and are still getting used to the idea that I could buy or sell any firearm I want without FFL involvement in any part of the transaction, (and the fact that non-government employees can be armed).

    How would you approach the situation?
    That's a tough one. I've had many long and interesting discussions with some fairly knowledgeable friends and acquaintances about the subject. Basically, it comes to this: This is a nation formed by a collection of free citizens in free states, in which that freedom is the single most valuable asset each citizen has. It starts with one's sacred right to life and its basic pursuits, which includes protection of it against all threats. Can't be doing that only when the "king" or temporarily elected putzes authorizes a person to lift a finger in his/her own defense.

    Quote Originally Posted by cplguy View Post
    P.S.: He's still trying to adjust to the idea that we can criticize our political leaders without fear of imprisonment/torture.
    The difference between being a free citizen and a subject is stark. They are at polar opposites from one another. I don't doubt it was hard to help him understand the differences.


    Quote Originally Posted by cplguy View Post
    He left the site looking honestly afraid when I started on a tirade about the current democratic government because I was vocalizing my opinion about current events. When I asked him what he thought, he didn't say a word and borderline ran to get away from the heated political discussion.
    "Tirades" from people armed with firearms can be intimidating, for what they imply might be true. Caution, as he might now think poorly of you and the sort of person who would go armed. Unknown just how bad his previous experiences have been with armed people, but it's entirely likely those experiences showed him just how far armed people are willing to go, just how badly some can act, just what violence is possible when a person has every capability to enforce his/her threats upon others.

    Do you know for certain that he can distinguish between your spirited political views and your actual feelings about what you would or would not do to "enforce" those ideas? Seems to me he's seeing in you many of the same things he fears from "armed people" in general.

    Remember: he's a colleague at your place of work who now has some very eyes-wide-open feelings (and knowledge) about a person he knows is armed in this life, and he doesn't seem to yet have a solid understanding about the wisdom and reasonableness of that. Uncertain what risk there might be in his passing along his fears ... but it's a tough economy right now, in which it can be tough to find work. Something to think about, if that might be a risk for you, given how he left the conversation, particularly since he didn't seem to completely "get" your perspective on things.
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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    How would you approach the situation?
    If the Viet-cong disarm everyone expect their supporters than there will be no one to stand up to the tyranny.
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    Senior Member Array Rotorblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplguy View Post
    Armed people cause wars.
    Armed people don't cause wars.......stupid politicians cause war, the armed guys try to end them.

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Use your imagination... Here's a guy from a historically opressed society. He sees you ranting about your government, he knows you carry guns. He knows, from past experience that this is a bad mix... It isn't a bad mix here, but boy, it sure was bad back then and there.

    With no knowledge of our history, how our government works, our rights, or much else but that the money sure is good in the U.S.... He's probably terrified on some level...

    Imagine his conversation with his family or friends at home after work:

    "A wacko (you) at my job is saying bad things against the government, and he and some of his friends have guns... I think he is like the Viet Kong... he is maybe going to wage war against the government with his guns..."

    He is probably deathly afraid of the police, and probably his boss, and maybe his co-workers... (are they party men? (Spies for the government)).

    You know, you could probably take him a copy of the constitution... And he'd think it was some sort of manifesto... He might not even understand that it IS the law of the land. And, BTW, since he is not a citizen, those rights do not pertain to him... So he has some reason to be concerned if he gets into the "wrong crowd" they could deport him! (you and I know they wouldn't, but he is afraid they will, and he thinks that "eyes" are on him all the time.)

    He is, most likely, a resident alien... He does not have to know our history, laws, or much else... all he has to do is make money on his own and pay taxes.

    He "trusts" the regime (the government)... It may be corrupt for all he knows, but it can deny him his gravy train any time it wants to...

    If you want to help him understand, you best go about it slowly and gently... not by "ranting against the machine." See if there are some Community College courses for resident aliens about our country in you area.

    This might be ideal for him... Community college = Government approved education (probably at little or no cost)... failing that, call the college and see if there are any Vietnamese students that speak Tieng Viet, and would be willing to talk to him...

    Some of the nationalities that come to work and live in the U.S. stick to little communites of thier own, like Chinatown and Little Italy and so on, so they bring their own culture with them, and stay in it. It feels "safe" to them. They do not know what they are missing... but they are getting that paycheck.
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    Try to understand the culture he is from. Your conversation may have been a bit overwhelming to him. In certain parts of the world those who criticize their government suddenly disappear along with those around them. Take it slow and easy. When I was in high school back in the mid to late 1970s there was a guy from Viet Nam (the Viet Namese boatlift). Most could not pronounce his name so they asked if they could call him KP for his initials. He understood and agreed. I was seemd to be the only one in class who was able to pronounce his name and we became friends. His first name was Kwai. Wish we hadn't lost track after high school. My cousin was a helicopter mechanic in the Army during Viet Nam and had slides of the country. Kwai was a little surprised that he met someone who knew a little more about Viet Nam than what was shown on TV. Again take it slow and easy, let him absord our culture at his speed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    Take him to the range. He may enjoy it.
    "Confidence is food for the wise man but liquor for the fool"

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    Member Array giaodn's Avatar
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    And put up a picture of Ho Chi Minh for a target. He'll really enjoy it at that point.

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    I don't think there is much (if any) migration from Viet Nam to the US nowadays, and there hasn't been since the "boat people" era immediately following the collapse of the South Vietnamese Government. So, this man the OP works with has likely lived in the US for 30 years or so. That's plenty of time for him to have gained plenty of understanding of our ways and our culture---if he were interested and or capable of learning. That is also plenty of time for him to have acquired US Citizenship, the process for which requires acquisition of knowledge of our country.

    Perhaps he is a new arrival, or perhaps he is someone who simply was never able to adjust. However, peak post war migration to the US occurred in 1992 following changes in our law and Vietnamese law. I'd think someone living here 19 years has had plenty of time to adjust.

    Now, there is a flip side to the OP's argument. Guns in the hands of ordinary Vietnamese enabled their revolution against the South Vietnamese government. Whether we like it or not, or want to admit it or not, without the willing participation of a large segment of the South Vietnamese population the North could not have succeeded. Looked at from this point of view the OP could argue that guns in the hands of the people does what many 2a proponents advocate--provide an avenue for holding government responsible. His guy of course was on the losing side of history. It cuts both ways.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    About 685,000 Vietnamese have gained lawful permanent residence in the United States since 1990.

    Of the 1.1 million Vietnamese foreign born in the United States in 2006, 14.1 percent entered the country in 2000 or later, with 37.0 percent entering between 1990 and 1999, 30.1 percent between 1980 and 1989, 18.0 percent between 1970 and 1979, and the remaining 0.8 percent prior to 1970.

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    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  12. #12
    Member Array Pepsi's Avatar
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    well if u can tell him if the south Vietnamese army didnt have guns, then everybody would have been slaughtered along time ago, but those guns gave the south a fighting chance. and when we walk the streets in America, and we get in to small scale wars with people trying to take way from us, we also have a fighting chance.

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    Member Array HiPower9's Avatar
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    Interesting post. A friend of my family was a Vietnamese national who was drafted into the war before escaping to the US a few decades back. He is now a legal citizen and probably the most patriotic, freedom loving American that I know. I recently took him shooting and he is becoming one of us

    He expressed similar fears to me about his first year or two in the US. Sometimes it takes seeing the other side to truly appreciate what you have; I know he does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    About 685,000 Vietnamese have gained lawful permanent residence in the United States since 1990.

    Of the 1.1 million Vietnamese foreign born in the United States in 2006, 14.1 percent entered the country in 2000 or later, with 37.0 percent entering between 1990 and 1999, 30.1 percent between 1980 and 1989, 18.0 percent between 1970 and 1979, and the remaining 0.8 percent prior to 1970.

    Source
    Thanks for the information. That's an astounding number, approximately 140,000 since 2000. I wonder how many migrated here directly from VN and now many migrated here from some intermediate place where they may have found a more temporary post war asylum.

    Thanks for good info. Appreciate it.

  15. #15
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    A lot of immigrants who lived in countries where it is expected/normal for the government to act as one's mother, telling one what he can and cannot do (no explanation necessary), often have a bit of trouble adjusting to the "freedom" mindset we have here in this country.

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