And another thing….


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I’ve been talking to some very smart, very thoughtful people lately who just happen to be gun owners.  And I have had to adjust some of my thinking a bit.

That’s good, though, right?   I complain so often about those who are closed minded.  I don’t want to think of myself as one of them.

Here is one thought, from my very reasonable, thoughtful nephew Jon.  He grew up with guns, and is totally comfortable with them. He’s a hunter. He comes from a rural setting and he pointed out that some of my anti-gun thinking stems from a lack of knowledge. I’m afraid of guns. He says that some of my fear comes from lack of education.  He’s right.

He also says that a big part of our issue in this country is attitude. We need to learn that guns must be respected. They have to be treated with great care.

I’m with him on that!

But the conversation also covered the desire of so many people to own guns in order to protect themselves.  As I said in my last post, I understand the impulse.  But there are facts that get in the way of that thinking.

I’ve already talked about the statistics, all of which show that owning a gun makes you less safe, not more safe.  That’s just a fact, but people who are afraid are moved more by feelings than by logic.

So I turn to these two questions for those who keep a gun by the bedside in case of an intruder:

  1. If we didn’t have so many guns in this country, would you still feel the need to own one? If you didn’t feel that every one out there was armed and dangerous, would you still need to protect yourself with a gun?
  2. What do you own that is worth more than a human life?  I mean, if it was me, and someone came in to rob me, I would hand them the laptop and the wallet and say “good luck.”  I don’t own anything that valuable.  I am also not above running like hell right out the back door.  I can’t imagine how it would feel to shoot at another human being, even one who was trying to find oxycontin in my house.  If I somehow managed to kill a human, I don’t think I’d ever be the same again.

I think that Americans watch way too many episodes of NCIS and Bluebloods and Homeland.  We have an image of inner city gang members and terrorists storming into our suburban neighborhoods.  The truth is, where I live at least, the most likely intruder would be a young man with a huge drug problem, looking for medicine or money.  If one of them came in my front door, I’d be scared out of my mind, and traumatized for sure.

But not as traumatized as I would be if I fired a gun and had to watch that man bleed to death on my kitchen floor.

I understand the desire to protect ourselves. I do.  But for me, the most compelling desire is to protect myself from become just another killer in a land where there are already too many.

 

19 thoughts on “And another thing….

  1. Exactly right. Here’s the cash (not much); here’s the silver (does anybody steal that any more?). The TV’s kind of old, but go for it.

    When I was a kid babysitting, I heard an intruder upstairs, near the kids. I picked up the poker from the fireplace, took two steps and realized that I didn’t want to kill whoever was up there. So I put down the poker and picked up the shovel, because I was quite sure I couldn’t kill anyone with that, but I could protect the kids. I knew I had to live with myself, whatever happened…

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  2. Whatever the answer is to gun control, I know it isn’t necessary for anyone to have submachine guns, drones equipped with ammunition or other rapid-fire weapons. If we must have toys, can we keep them as near to toys as possible???

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  3. This is the problem with the entire debate. NO ONE IS TAKING ANYONE’s GUNS! Just like no one is taking anyone’s cars or phones or homes or licenses to fish. Just because we regulate or register something has absolutely no correlation to it being taken away.

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  4. The highest risk a gun owner (or household containing a gun/rifle/etc.) runs is committing suicide or some other form of self injury due to inexperience, or from frank intent to cause self-harm. If Congress would authorize some common sense, non-industry funded research on some of the issues raised and statistics that are currently being bandied about, then we would know, with a more reasonable degree of certainty, how much “safer” anyone is, as opposed to how safe they “feel”, with a gun in the house. Anyone who wants to own a gun should be required (and are required, by some of the more enlightened states in this Union) to take some kind of firearm and/or hunting safety instructional course, regardless of their personal familiarity with guns/rifles etc., in order to prove their ability to operate safely among their fellow citizens when carrying and operating a deadly device. We license drivers, why not gun owners?

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    • Amen!!! And the CDC would dearly love to do those studies, but they are prevented from doing so by a law that prevent federal monies being spent studying gun violence. WTF???? The author of that original bill now wants it removed, so there is some hope!

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