By GRW - Senior Staff Comments (0)
A Look Inside the Mind of a Gun Control Nut
Liberals like to call pro-gun people "Gun Nuts". Since my opinion is that not wanting to own a firearm and get trained in its use to protect one's self and one's family, and wanting to remove that right from law-abiding citizens is a more "nutty" state of mind, my response is to refer to the gun grabbers as Gun Control Nuts.
When a Gun Control Nut talks about proposing any particular piece of gun control legislation, they will usually recite some statistic or reference a news story indicating a number of deaths by guns to use as the rationale for their anti-gun fervor. For instance, recently I was told, "14 teenagers and 3 teachers were murdered in Florida with an AR-15 assault weapon. A few months ago, 58 people were murdered in Las Vegas with an AR-15. 49 were killed with a type of AR-15 in an Orlando nightclub. 20 tiny elementary school children and six teachers were killed in Newtown with an AR-15. Do you think this is okay? That we should continue to do nothing?"
Well, of course we shouldn't do nothing. Obviously something needs to be done.
I particularly enjoy watching the vein bulge on their collective foreheads when I tell them what I know we must do:
We should arm ourselves!
Firearms Save Lives as Well as Take Lives
By now, most people have heard the phrase, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Well, it's true more often than not. Of course, the average US citizen rarely hears about a robbery or mass murder being stopped by a law-abiding gun owner, mostly because it just doesn't often make for sensationalist news headlines, which is what the mainstream media seems to be looking for to attract an audience; that, and the last thing our far-left leaning media would like you to hear is something good about gun owners.
Actually, the media sometimes adds to the chaos by sensationalizing the crimes and making the perps into pseudo-celebrities with 24-7 news coverage of a particularly grisly shooting spree. Occasionally, they may even inspire more violence by revealing how some lunatic was able to pull off a high casualty rampage. Consider that the item pictured below never existed until USA Today came up with the graphic, inspiring some mechanically minded soul to fabricate it:
And, the bigger statistic that one never hears because it's near impossible to quantify is how many crimes are avoided simply by someone producing and displaying a gun at the right time and place, without a shot being fired. "What's that, no one shot, not even the perp? And no crime? We don't want to present that as news", they would say. "That's not news at all."
But of course they would be wrong. It would be huge news if an accurate statistic were available.
Consider this: Millions of Americans legally carry firearms every day, and most would cite self-defense as their primary reason. These guns sometimes are used for self-defense, and any discussions about firearms legislation must recognize the lives saved by legal gun owners as well as the lives lost to gun violence.
As previously stated, the number of defensive gun uses is a very controversial figure, prone to misrepresentation and impossible to accurately determine. But one study conducted by the The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council was left to conclude that "Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence". They announced that almost all of their national survey estimates indicated that defensive gun uses by crime victims (make that would-be crime victims) are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals during the same time period.
Another study makes an estimate, granted though it may be that this is not completely verifiable, that there are 1,029,615 DGU's, or Defensive Uses of Guns, each year for "self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere", meaning not in the line of work for police work, military service or security guard work. They then concluded that there were an estimated 162,000 cases per year where someone "almost certainly would have been killed" if they had not had a gun for protection.
And again, these numbers are estimates. But consider how many DGU's may never be reported. Some people may be traumatized by the event and not wish to relive it by giving testimony to the police. Some people may want to avoid harassment by police that they consider to be against private gun ownership. And some may just be people who feel persecuted by or are wanted by the police, or may simply have not gotten around the registering their guns in an area where gun registration is mandatory. Or they may not want to have their weapon confiscated to be used as evidence. I hear that there's a lot of those last two going around in Connecticut lately.
The Genie's Not Going Back In The Bottle
This, it seems to me, is the crux of the argument for the gun control crowd, and the most obvious flaw in their rationale: Guns are bad, and we must protect ourselves from them -- by legislating them away.
I've got news for you, liberals.
The genie is out of the bottle, the cat is out of the bag, and the hinges on Pandora's Box are broken. Guns were invented long ago, and they have spread to every corner of the globe, even, or perhaps especially, the gun-free zones. If we could somehow magically make them all go away, only that would actually end gun violence. But we can't. They're here to stay, and we need to deal with that.
Legislating away gun rights does nothing but embolden the criminals, who will have guns anyway. Scumbags do not avoid gun-free zones because someone put up a sign; in fact, they're attracted to those places. The bad guy thinks, "Great, no one there will have a gun to protect himself from me, so I can go in there and do whatever I want."
Not A Gun Nut, I'm a Freedom Nut
In the near future I may be, and fully expect to be, accused by liberals of being a "gun nut". I assure you, I'm not anything of the kind, any more than a guy who wants to make a hole is a "drill nut", or a guy who wants to build a house is a "hammer nut". I am, I suppose, what you could more accurately call a "freedom nut", or even a "not wanting to get murdered by a scumbag" nut. A gun is a tool, nothing more. But it's a very important tool; it's the tool by which our freedom can be secured, by which the Second Amendment guarantees the rights mentioned in the other nine amendments.
I'm not a gun rights advocate because of a love of guns per se, I'm a gun rights advocate because I love having rights, and at times guns are the most effective means of protecting my rights, whether it be the right to keep on breathing if I'm physically attacked, or whether it be to protect myself from an aggressive government who may want to take any of my other rights away.
It is our right to self-defense, as defined in the Constitution of the United States of America, that makes me a proud supporter of responsible gun ownership and the Second Amendment. Guns can be used for good purposes, and the Second Amendment is the one amendment that guarantees all of the others.
We would consider it unprofessional and irresponsible for a public safety researcher to study only the negative effects of bicycle accidents without also considering the positive health effects of the exercise bicycle users get. If public safety researchers wish to remain credible and be perceived as unbiased by the general public as well as with millions of gun rights supporters, they should endeavor to describe the very real benefits of legal and responsible gun ownership in addition to the harms caused by criminal gun usage. Government statistics that discuss only gun crimes without mentioning the use of guns to stop crimes are at the very least incomplete, and possibly intentionally disingenuous.
I support rational public policy based on objective research, but also tempered with a sympathetic understanding of individual rights, including the right of basic self-defense. If we are going to engage in gun violence research, and I believe that this is a necessary thing to do and that it will bear out some the arguments toward responsible gun ownership put forth in this article, then let’s do it the right way, by recognizing both the potential positives and negatives of civilian firearm ownership.
And lastly, let me say it again and add to it:
We should arm ourselves!
We should know how to use the damned things and store them safely!
And, we should fight for the rights of others who want to do the same!