An armed society is a polite society.Robert Heinlein
We are an ‘armed society’; I’ll let you be the judge of whether our conduct even approaches politeness. From my perspective, we could use a lot more of it.
Most people will never have cause to use a weapon in self-defense. When I tell someone that I’ve twice had cause to need a weapon, much more use it, most of the time the listener is shocked. Gunnuts (pro-gunners) as a rule are convinced they always need more and better weapons, most of which remain unfired in any setting other than the range where it becomes a matter of pride to have the coolest weapon with the best gizmos to go with it.
That is where the AR-15 is used, not as a self-defensive weapon. A self-defensive weapon is a pistol, or a shotgun. A woman would be better served with a can of pepper spray (also a weapon) as she is more likely to be killed with her own gun, statistically, than she is to use it.
Which is the another point that gunnuts fail to notice; that a ‘weapon’ is anything you can use against another person. That ‘self-defense’ is anything you might do to defend yourself. That, in fact, you cannot have a right to something that you cannot make yourself (if the converse is true, then I can definitely have a right to health care) which means you don’t have a right to firearms in any fashion beyond what the Constitution guarantees.
The worst offenders of the right to Self-Defense, places like Chicago and D.C., are what is held up as examples of commonality across the US. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most places (8 of the 10 cities on this list) in the US have very lax gun laws. We have LOTS of measures on the books, and almost none of them are actively enforced, even if they were effective. There is no mandate that someone demonstrate proficiency with a weapon before being sold one. There is no certification of sound mind required before someone can go and buy a handgun.
‘Anyone’ can go to virtually any gun show or private seller and purchase a weapon more lethal than any gun available at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. If that fact doesn’t scare you, then you aren’t a thinking person.
I’ve had arguments with gunnuts that think that Zimmerman was right to stalk Trayvon Martin, that think teachers should be mandatorily armed (as if weapons proficiency is a good skill in a teacher) that think not just semi-auto ‘mock-ups’ of military arms, but full auto military arms and weapons systems (like tanks) should be available for private purchase. They never seem to get the disconnect between a defensive action (removing a threat to you personally) and military actions, requiring the killing of multiple targets simultaneously, indiscriminate of the safety of onlookers, neighbors, people caught in the crossfire. That is a losing argument.
I’m on record saying “I’d accept that training and background checks should be mandatory, if those who want to ban guns would accept that the right to carry common weapons for defensive purposes is guaranteed.” but truthfully when I start having to argue with gunnuts about their weapons fetish I’m to the point where I simply endorse the reinstatement of the general draft. That is how we fix the problems in this country. Reconstitute the militia as intended in the Constitution. Two years of service, military or civil, with mandatory weapons training for all. Gets the kids off the streets, gets people work to do, gets the gunnuts were we can find them and disarm them before they hurt someone.
…or we can fall back on the first sentiment. Take your pick.
Editor’s note, 2020. I posted this image to Facebook about seven years ago, just about the time this article was published. This article didn’t have an image. Now it does.
It was midway between the Newtown shooting and whatever the next shooting that the national media covered that I posted this. Hell, there was probably a shooting that hour somewhere in the US, but I don’t remember which gun incident we were arguing about at the time. Pick one, I’m sure the victims will not care. One of my friends asked me if Texas really didn’t want its citizens to have health care or rather was this just another image designed to piss conservatives off? There was also a comment from InquizaJamesatribalist in there making his usual doom and gloom predictions if we dared to give up our guns.
I posted two links to the comments. One was These Are The 36 Countries That Have Better Healthcare Systems Than The US. The other was We don’t have a spending problem, we have a military spending problem. I had nothing more to say about Texas favoring the delivery of guns versus delivery of healthcare, seven years ago.
Today I can definitely say that Texas does not want its citizens to have health care. Texas has tried to deny the Wife, the Daughter and the Son access to necessary care. It has done this several times. Texas can’t deny me healthcare because I qualified for Medicare fifteen years ago now. The Wife qualified for Medicare last year. Both the Daughter and the Son only get care today because we make sure that they find access to care. Texas certainly doesn’t offer it to them. It still doesn’t seem to have trouble selling me assault rifles, not that I’ve tried to buy one, but plenty of other Texans have them and shouldn’t. We’ve had to disarm quite a number of them after they’ve gone on rampages in the last few years. Their victims would thank us, if they were still breathing.
…Why would we know by May 27, 2013? Those of you who went to the Facebook link might well be asking that question.