Sunday, May 17, 2009

"A rifle in one hand, a laptop in the other."

This (fairly even-handed) piece on the NRA Convention and gunbloggers has started making the rounds, and already the anti-freedom forces are using the comments to spew their old, tired anti-gun arguments. I've left a comment, but since the Christian Science Monitor doesn't necessarily publish them all, I'm going to throw it out here for your enjoyment.

I hardly know where to start in rebutting Ms. Gill's comments. Let's go in reverse order.

"...more intelligent scrutiny and stricter laws..."? There are over 20,000 gun laws in the US already, and they haven't solved the problem. Be intellectually honest--will yet more laws get you where you want to go? Criminals break the law--that's their job. They don't care if it's a law against robbery, rape or possessing a gun.

The Second Amendment was not meant to pass out guns to anyone. You have to buy them for yourself. (Note to the uninitiated--that comment is what the CSM called "snark".) If you look at the history of the Second, our new little country had just fought a long and expensive war to gain it's independence. The widespread ownership of firearms by private citizens and the attempted confiscation of them was one of the events that pushed the colonies from merely being angry and into outright rebellion. When the Constitution was being written, those who did the writing made %$@^ sure that just in case it had to happen again, it could. Uncomfortable as that seems to make a lot of folks these days, that's what the historical record shows. (And yes, I understand that there was also the issue of self-defense in a time when nearly the entire country was "frontier" and people were subject to attack by hostile wildlife and unhappy native inhabitants. But that part seemed to just be "understood" as being such a common need that it wasn't even necessary to discuss it.)

As to wise lifestyle, larger police forces and the like, we concealed carriers live that. We understand that a gun is not some sort of magic talisman that makes evil "go away". We understand that just because we carry it still isn't wise to venture into those "certain neighborhoods" we all know about. We also understand that there is no way to have a police presence of the size necessary to provide each of us with 24x7 security. We have simply chosen to provide as much of our own security as we can. As a group, we are statistically some of the most law-abiding citizens in the country. As a reward for that good behavior, you would like to make us less safe. Thank you, but no.

"People go off the deep end and shoot fellow workers or students with machine guns they should NEVER have access to." No, they don't. If I recall correctly, there hasn't been a single instance of a legally owned automatic weapon ever being used in a crime in the last several decades. In those rare instances where automatic weapons have been used in commission of a crime (the North Hollywood bank shootout comes to mind), those guns were illegal and owned illegally. (Something that supports my first point.) Now that we've disposed of that, let's actually look at mass shootings in the Land of Reality. Nearly always, the shooter is deeply disturbed for some reason. Nearly always, the shooting takes place in a "gun free zone"--an area where having guns is banned. (Oops, back to point one again.) Nearly always, the mass shooting ends when a Good Guy, be he a police officer or she an armed private citizen (Jeanne Assam, http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14817480/detail.html), steps in with their gun.

It would be wonderful if we could all live in that Utopian world where everyone followed the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, we don't. We live in this world, and this world has dangerous people who would do us harm. The police can't be everywhere all the time. Each of us must accept the burden of providing for our own safety and well-being. I have done so. Ms. Gill apparently hasn't.

Let's see if that one gets on the web site.

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