Without his personal firearm he would leave country

The new firearms bill was written by ignorant people who obviously have no respect and concern for the well being of foreign residents of Costa Rica. I’ve been here for 10 years, but it only took me 10 days to figure that the police are woefully understaffed, underpaid, and completely disinterested in protecting me and my home from criminals, (especially after dark if there’s a good soccer match on TV). The only security I have here is that which I provide for myself in the form of sturdy security bars, an ear splitting alarm system, a big, loud dog (who’s secretly a cupcake), and a gun.

Only five days ago, I fired a warning shot out my window/into the ground to dissuade an exceptionally stupid and aggressive burglar who shined his flashlight right in my bedroom window at 2 a.m., then walked across my well lit patio and started rattling the security gate that protects my front door! Wanna-be burglars have entered my property at least one or two times per month over the last decade. Do the math!

Beyond the obvious security issues, it seems that our fearless leaders in San Jose are just not capable of non compartmentalized thinking or any kind of foresight! This law, if passed as written, will only serve to provide one more reason for some prospective expat retirees and would-be residents to look elsewhere for a place to settle. At a time when our economy is wheezing along on fumes, every little loss hurts. How can legislators and the president not understand this?

And how can they believe that this law will make anybody safer? It’s not law abiding expat residents who are attacking, robbing and shooting people! (I often wonder if lawmakers harbor an unspoken tolerance of small time criminals because they’re poor, and an animosity towards ME because I’m “rich”!) The inconvenient truth of the matter is that this law will only make a criminal out of me and many other expat residents who, like me I’m sure, will not surrender their guns even if they do become illegal.

I love my home in Manuel Antonio. The vast majority of my many Tico neighbors are honest, friendly, hard working people who smile at me much more often than my neighbors did back in San Francisco. But most of my neighbors are relatively poor, even by Tico standards, and that means there are a few bad apples in the barrel, the “neighborhood property redistribution technicians.” As much as I want to stay here for the rest of my days, if I couldn’t have a gun to protect myself, I’d leave.

And lest anybody think I’m some kind of paranoid, gun hugging, crazy-gringo cowboy, please understand this: I would NEVER shoot a burglar, even if he was inside my home, unless he threatened me physically. I’m not going to appoint myself judge, jury and executioner in defense of my cell phone or my laptop. But if I’m attacked in my own home, all bets are off and I will most definitely use deadly force to protect my life. I pray to God that a tragedy like that will never befall me. Or you.

Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio

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