Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gun Owner and (future) Mom Talks About Gun Paranoia

Let me preface this by explaining something. I'm a gun owner. I use guns. I kill large animals with them. I occasionally target practice for fun. I'm a pretty good shot with a rifle.

I got a BB gun when I was, what, 9? and we'd target practice in the yard several times a week. I took a hunter's safety course when I was 13, killed my first deer when I was 14. There were always guns in the house, my dad has had a concealed weapon's permit since I was a kid, and we always had a handgun in the car when we went on a road trip. I feel comfortable with a gun in my hands, and that's because I was taught from an early age that they are tools, but dangerous ones; to respect them, how to use them properly, how to clean them, etc., and plan to teach my own kid the same. And I won't even mention how many hours I've spent on FPS games.

So any of you who disagree with me can skip the "you're only AFRAID of guns because you don't understand them!" BS.

Yeah, I'm a gun owner, and I want better gun control in the US. Crazy, socialist things, like actual, effective, back ground checks, an effective ban on cock-extenders assault rifles and large ammo clips, and maybe even *gasp* monthly buy limits.

There's this video being passed around that's supposed to be a great example of how armed citizens could "stop a massacre".

1) This was two teenaged boys, one with a bat, one with a gun, trying to make some easy money. The second that someone shoots at them, they run away. Not even close to a "massacre". There's a huge, f**king chasm of difference between that and a suicidal, mentally ill loner with homicide on his mind, pockets full of ammo, and nothing to lose.

2) The "hero" starts out with a good shooting stance, two handed, steady, but it quickly dissolves to him shooting wildly from the hip, swinging the gun all over the place, barely even sighting in on the target before firing, all while other people run around the crowded room. I've seen kids playing laser tag who have better firing technique (which probably explains how he fired 7 or more times from a short distance and hit one guy twice and the other not at all). Compare it to the firing stance used by these police officers in much more stressful situations*.

3) The last shot is out the f**king front door as the the two kids are running away. It stopped being "self defense" after the second shot and turned into some kind of vigilante shooting spree. I'm not at all surprised this happened in Florida, where it's also apparently fine and dandy to kill teens to protect yourself from loud music.

And this, my friends, is the absolutely best case scenario for this sort of this, and it was mostly luck. It's luck that a stray bullet didn't injure someone, and luck that the criminal with the gun was a scared kid who turned and ran instead of ducking behind something and starting a firefight.

If I were there, I would much rather risk having my wallet stolen while waiting the five minutes for the police to arrive (you know, those people with guns who have extensive training in how to use them in public) than get hit by a stray bullet from Citizen Concealed cock-enhancer Carry over there.

And then we have the fact that these libertarian-types keeps saying, "more guns! If there were more guns, everyone safer! Because... guns!"

Except that the US already has a lot of guns. Lots, and lots of them. More per capita than any other "first world" country, and yet we still have the highest level of assault deaths per capita. How many more guns does it take, exactly, before we're all safe from these extremely rare events that are impossible to predict? Are the lives already lost because of gun ownership somehow worth less than those that might be saved during one of these vanishingly rare terrorist attacks?

Even if we ignore studies like this which thoroughly debunk this idea, how do these people reconcile the fact that, in every single other "first world" nation, fewer guns appears to correlate with LESS crime? Is the US just special?

*Look, I know police officers aren't perfect, but I trust them approximately a thousand times more than I do random Joe Schmoe on the street who's only experience with firearms outside a shooting range is in his over-active fantasy life.

1 comment:

K-Koira said...

Very much have to agree with you on most of these points. Guns aren't bad. But, there could definitely be better regulations on the sale of guns, especially those with large clips or assault rifles. And I would MUCH rather take chances with running and hiding than being stuck in the crossfire between some guy trying to play hero and someone set on killing as many people as possible.