I have quite a few friends, people that I respect and admire, who are not on the same page as me when it comes to guns. Often times they will ask me, what would it take for me to concede on my position? What would I consider a reasonable restriction on the availability of arms? These questions, these discussions, they come from a good place. They come from a concern for their loved ones, for their community, for our shared world. They also come from a place of wanting to understand better why I hold my position, as extreme as it might seem to some.
I welcome this. If your deeply held beliefs cannot stand up to the rigor of intelligent debate or if the act of having them questioned causes a defensive reaction I would suggest deeper introspection may be needed.
There are many practical answers. I can list several of the times a “good guy with a gun” has saved lives. Some people do not believe these exist. Our social circles often influence the media we consume. Out here in pro gun land every time a firearm is used successfully or responsibly we see it shared by all those pro gun pages and and our shooting friends. I suggest we all get out of our echo chambers a little. I follow plenty of media looking for the counter points to my beliefs. For those who are not often exposed to these here are just a few relevant links:
- Single Officer Active Shooter Events
- Lake Hefner Shooter
- Rockledge Auto Shooting
- TX Church Killer Kills 26 Stopped By Neighbor With AR15
- Notice The NYT Focuses On The Shooters Gun, Not The Armed NRA Instructors
- Firing Into Crowded Nightclub, Lyman SC
- Armed Uber Driver in Chicago
- San Antonio Movie Theater Stopped by Off Duty Sheriff Deputy
- Luzerne PA Bar Shooter Admits He Would Have Shot More People Had Armed Customer Not Shot Him
- Texas Gun Owner With Revolver Saves Officer
There’s A LOT more. No, seriously, like tons.
This doesn’t include the Defensive Gun Use (DGU) that will never make it into stats. The guy that gets held at gunpoint and arrested with no shots fired? The rapist that runs away when a firearm is pulled on him and never gets reported? Those statistics will be nowhere to be found. But that’s not my focus here. I just want to get that out of the way and perhaps educate some of the readers I may have here that might otherwise not be exposed to some of those.
Let us put all that aside, because to me if I use this argument then if the counter is “well if we remove ALL guns you wont need to shoot people who are shooting other people because no one can shoot anyone.” Frankly, if I rely on this “good guy with a gun” argument then the “no gun eliminates need for good guy” is a pretty strong response. Personally I would love to be secure in knowing I would never have to force violence on another person.
Alas, that’s not reality though either.
- Illegal Guns In Australia
- It’s An Island FFS!
- Gun Laws Didnt Stop The Paris Attacks
- Or The Charlie Hebdo Attacks
- Mumbia Attacks, Terrorists Took Boats Into The Country With AK’s
- Strict Laws In Norway and 77 dead
Again, sadly, there’s plenty more. Not even counting mass knife killings like this one that took 19 in Japan.
So, Guns exist. They can be made, they can be smuggled into countries with strict laws, and we frankly have way too many in the US for you to reasonably put that genie back in the bottle. So long as guns exist I intend to own one. If the choice is between armed and unarmed I see no logical reason to be unarmed.
But lets dive deeper. In the ideal world of those who would disarm whole populations do we leave the government armed?
Lets looks at the Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership’s Genocide Chart. Here come the eye rolls. Now I sound like some dude in a bunker with a tin foil hat. I get it. We have grown up in the safest, most prosperous, most egalitarian time and place in the history of mankind. If we cant see outside our own lives, our own country, our own experiences then it becomes very easy to see this not as a new and rare event but as just the way things are.
I will remind you we are not much past 70 years since my bloodline was nearly wiped from this earth in Nazi ovens. And not 50 years past the lynchings that America wishes to pretend is ancient history. I’m not particularly confident that somehow the last generation of human beings have somehow transcended and become exemplary animals. I am not full of trust that groups whether they be organized as mobs or as governments will never again come door to door to bring violence upon those they fear or despise. I intend to stay armed.
At the core there is my belief that the weak, the disenfranchised, the outnumbered and unpopular should be able to defend themselves against the strong, the bold, the legion.
Further if you will allow me a personal belief it is that fear drives some of mankind’s most undesirable traits. I am not afraid. I’m not ready to turn over my civil liberties to protect me from some specter of the “immigrant horde” , I’m not terrified that my neighbors may have a different racial or cultural background than I do. I’m not scared of opposing views, I’m not particularly bothered even that people don’t agree with me on things I hold dear. I would wish that more people where unafraid, and that comes not from an outside source. Not from changing cultural norms or institutions but from personal responsibility , personal liberty, and the ability to defend that liberty. I don’t intend to outsource my responsibility to the lowest bidder.
If you start at that place as a first principle you will find yourself better understanding my position when we start talking about what gun laws I would find reasonable, or why I would choose to own the tools I choose.
Evil exists, plan accordingly.