First off, I have treasured friends on both sides of the gun debate, and both groups get very angry when you start giving them views from the other side.
This article is NOT to debate with anyone, not to convince you I am right, because I may NOT be right. This is instead, me kind of talking myself through what my opinion of this debate is…I hope no one is offended, because, I respect both sides and feel they both have merit. That said…how I see this debate.
Full disclosure, I own guns…not a lot, but those I own are single shot, high quality firearms. I also own a variety of custom knives. That said, here’s my thoughts on this ongoing controversy.
People often ask “Why does anyone need a gun which has the capability to shoot at a high rate of speed, a number of bullets from a clip or magazine?”
It’s not for hunting, not for target practice, it’s for one man or woman, being able to take out, or intimidate, large numbers of people when that person is outnumbered and facing large numbers of people who would do them or their loved ones harm. The Korean store owners, during riots, protected their businesses from looting and destruction, by using semi-automatic, possibly automatic firearms.
Self defence against an enraged mob or group that wants to drag you out of your car or house, rape you, rob you, kill you, is a legitimate reason to have a weapon that evens the odds. Make no mistake, if the economy tanks, if the power grid goes down, mobs could start going on raids, emboldened by the chaotic conditions.
Now, the Second Amendment talks about a militia. For that reason, they were contemplating citizens to have and maintain weapons that could be used in a military situation, and I believe, if it were transposed to today, they would be referring to military grade weapons.
Thanksgiving day, I cut a portion of my ring finger off with a large, extremely large knife made in Germany (Solingen) while cutting an onion. It was not the onion’s fault, not the cutting board’s fault, and certainly, not the knife’s fault. It was an
error in judgement of my own, and I take full blame for it. The knife, without me, would have laid there, not hurting anyone.
The guns I have are stored in the house, and since I have no children, putting them in a safe place is much easier.
I have never in 60 years, pointed a loaded weapon at anyone. I was taught if you ever draw your gun, you should be ready to use it. My father, a Navy World War II veteran, was a very good shot, and he made it clear to me that guns, even BB guns are very dangerous, never “play” with them, drop them with a bullet in the chamber off safety, etc..
MY guns, are safe. They do not hurt anyone because I tend to be a rational person, and if push comes to shove, I have the skills to handle hand to hand combat, knife to knife combat (in spite of my Thanksgiving accident, I actually am trained with the knife).
But, if a person is psychotic, bent on killing, even a fork, even a kitchen knife could be a deadly weapon. Now, of course “nutty people” should not have weapons, but I personally have known some paranoid schizophrenics who can, when called for, appear extremely rational and logical, especially if they feel they have to “play the part” in a social setting.
Cars are deadly weapons. Not to argue statistics, they kill as many people as guns do yearly, and the stats demonstrate that most people killed with firearms (statistically) are folks who commit suicide. Of course, some of those people who commit suicide unfortunately, take other people out before they kill themselves.
If severe gun control goes into effect, we may see the same thing nationally, that we see in DC where gun control is very strict, but is one of the most dangerous geographical regions in the USA. So, “gun control” is not the answer. Furthermore,
I can assure you that criminals will get guns on the black market, will rob sporting goods stores, or even, appropriate weapons from the military through “dark channels”. Yeah, you would make it a bit harder, but the effect would be that honest people who need a gun for self protection, would find it almost impossible to get guns, whereas the very people who would victimize them, would obtain whatever guns they want.
Our “epidemic” if you want to call it that, really is not the mere presence of guns, it is the seething rage of young men who, for various reasons, instead of smashing their hand on a wall, pull a trigger and slaughter innocent, unarmed people.
But, the most scary aspect of all this is the person who says “What do YOU NEED that gun for?” or says “No one NEEDS a semi-automatic gun”.
When people think they are the arbiter, the judge and jury of what you NEED, this is headed toward a horrible, tyrannical situation. Why would one NEED a nice large house when a smaller one will do. Why would one NEED a new car, when an old but working one would do. Why would one NEED a new shirt , pair of jeans, or guitar.
We are, like it or not, a society that’s economy is driven by purchases of goods and services. In my whole life, the “keeping up with the Joneses” phenomenon has driven a lot of purchasing which in turn, has kept people employed. I am NOT saying that that mindset is good, far from it, but good or not, it is intimately tied with the engine of our economy.
I have some decent guitars, but if I got the money to buy a new Les Paul, and someone told me “You don’t NEED that…”, well, knowing the old Pyrate, you can imagine what I would do and say. It would involve telling them to mind their own business and STFU.
Guns have been part of the landscape of the USA since 1776 and before.
I am NOT pro-NRA. I think they are assholes, having dealt with them in some attempts to oppose legislation years ago. I certainly am not a fan of that weasel Wayne LaPierre.
So, the question is NOT, do guns CAUSE the violence or we would have seen more mass murderers when guns were even easier to obtain, without a background check.
No, the problem is young adult men, who have perhaps played too many first person shooters, who have watched too many movies in which the hero goes on a mass murdering spree against the “bad guys”. We create heroes in popular media who use their gun to solve their problems. It is more dramatic than someone talking through conflict.
When you have someone like Boehner telling his elder colleague, Harry Reid, “go fuck yourself” http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/01/07/boehner_explains_why_he_told_reid_to_go_fuck_himself.html
I think there is a deeper issue in America…a rage that is like an immature child that screams and hits things when it doesn’t get its way.
Now, let’s say that the young lady who was raped by a mob of men, beaten with iron rods, who died, or the young lady in Ohio who “allegedly” (for the legal eagles)
was raped and abused by several men, had a handgun and were able to retrieve it and use it, could it be possible that the outcome would be different ?
I know, here in the South, one way to calm down a would be burglar, is for them to hear a 12 gauge shotgun being racked…and, if racking a shotgun prevents a possible murder, I think that is a good thing.
I know that I want my wife to have a concealed carry permit and weapon for her purse because she is , like me, on the highways driving a lot in her job. Since I have been in martial arts for many years, taught the arts, I have instructed her in hand to hand defence, but, when the other person may force her car off the road and approach her with a knife or tire iron or bat, I want my wife coming back home safely…and if she must terminate a threat with extreme prejudice, then so be it.
Mass murderers can use homemade bombs, poison in water, neurotoxic gas…there are many ways to kill large numbers of people, and banning guns, may just divert them to this.
So, if you ban guns or severely restrict their sale, you may generally decrease the ability of law abiding people to get them, but criminals don’t follow the law, and they will get them, one way or another.
Just my perspective.