Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Non gun owners. People who do not at least currently own or possess a firearm. Is it their decision whether to be armed or not? Yep. Should we force them to buy arms? Nope. Should they? In most cases yes.
Owning a firearm has certain advantages, & also certain responsibilities. Ultimately a firearm equals the playing field between the physical strong & weak. A certain amount of skill is involved in using a firearm but not so much as to be a hindrance to learning its proper use. Compare that to fencing, or archery & you'll understand that learning to use a firearm for self defense is relatively easy.
But you must be careful when you won a firearm. Always making sure your barrel isn't pointing at anything you don't want to shoot. Always identifying your target & what lies beyond it. Always securing your firearm when it's not in your direct control.
The benefits: I could wax on for hours about the joys of laying on my belly trying to judge the stinging wind in my face as I aim my rifle at an 18 inch circle around 600 yards distant, as I'm sure some could tell you of the joys of shooting bowling pin matches, or 1,00 yard competitions, & still other will tell you of the morning they shot two birds that rose out of the same covey, or that 400 steps they took to the deer they shot without using a rest.
But instead I will focus on one, perhaps the main benefit of owning a firearm - freedom.
Am I saying that just buy owning or possessing a firearm that will guarantee your freedom? Nope. Not in a long shot. But having a firearm coupled with knowledge & determination will preserve your freedom where knowledge & determination alone may not be enough.
There are many kinds of freedom. The one that will concern us is not the freedom to travel, or the freedom to speak, but the freedom to live. More specifically the freedom to live despite another’s efforts to deprive you of that freedom.
A man that's 6'2'' & weighs 200lbs may not be too worried that a man that's 6'1" & weighs 185 lbs might break into his house in the middle of the night, or try to mug him in the parking lot as he leaves the mall. But if that 6'1" man has a knife, or a club, then things change. & if he has a gun the physical advantage of our 6'2" man is negated. Likewise the same 6'1" man may not be threatening to the first man if both are unarmed, but instead of our 6'2" man let's substitute a 5'4" 105lb woman. Things get a little different. However, if that 5'4" woman has a pistol & knows how & when to use it, then the man could be 7' tall & it wouldn't change the outcome - the woman preserves her freedom.
It has always struck me as insane that most proponents of civilian disarmament are the ones who could have benefited the most from being armed. Women are the prime example. While a lot of anti-gun women rant about firearms in domestic violence situations lead to dead women, they rarely mention the times when a woman has used a firearm to stop her 'ex' from beating her up, or raping her. I firmly believe that if every other counseling session for battered women included a trip to the range then perhaps a lot of abusive men would realize the error of their ways, or at least not be able to cause any more harm.
To a somewhat lesser (or possibly just different) extent a lot of Jewish organizations & leaders are for civilian disarmament. I find this sad because if the Jews of Nazi Germany had access to arms, then Hitler wouldn't have been as successful in his attempt at genocide. In fact, Germany passed laws specifically forbidding Jews from having weapons before the cattle cars rolled into position. Yet even though they could have benefited from owning arms & one could argue that they suffered as a consequence of being denied arms, a lot of prominent Jewish people wish us all to be disarmed. As was said once when asked to explain this," These individuals must have some sort of gas chamber mentality". Crude yes? But accurate.
So individuals can benefit from owning arms for protection against criminal off the street & criminal in office as well. But there's another benefit to society in general:
When a segment of the population is armed it is logical to conclude that violent confrontational crime will not be as prominent. The logic is simply this: if you were a criminal, would you want to rob someone directly when they may be armed, or would you prefer to break into a car when nobody's looking? But what about rapists? They have to confront a person to accomplish their ends, so gun ownership probably wouldn't affect them right? Wrong. Have you ever heard that no matter how difficult it is to testify against a rapist to prevent him from raping again? Well testimony from a victim is not a guarantee that he'll be convicted. A number of things can make a jury or judge find him innocent, & occasionally the wrong man will be on trial. But if every had the mindset that if a person is going to rape you there's no guarantee they won't kill you when or before they're done so complying accomplishes nothing & resisting may save your life then we come across a benefit of owning arms in addition to the deterrent effect: if a man attacks you & you shoot him in the upper right shoulder, ID'ing him is much more simplified. For this same reason if women are for some inexcusable reason unarmed they should claw, bite, and do anything they can to leave a permanent mark on their assailant. But even if the assailant is not killed by a woman using a pistol to defend herself, it makes identification easier & therefore conviction easier. So the benefits are not just to yourself but to society as a whole. Even if he is not caught after you shoot him, chances are he won't be in any condition to attack anyone else for a while, & there's a good chance he die from his injury if he doesn't seek medical attention. So he either ends up dead & not a threat to you or any other women, or he ends up in the hospital with a bunch of doctors & policemen asking him to explain again how he got the gunshot wound in his shoulder.

There are places where self defense is for all practical purposes illegal. DC, NYC & Chicago come to mind as the most hideous examples. If you live in one of these places you have my sympathy. Hopefully things will change. But if you cannot move then I would heartily recommend breaking any laws that interfere with your Right to self defense. True, you may wind up in trouble with an unjust & corrupt legal system, but the alternative could be the loss of your life.
So individuals who own guns make it safer for those who do not in a few ways. Some have even gone so far as to say that those who don't own guns are leaching off the security provided by those that do. Technically that's correct but to me it doesn't matter. If someone is truly uncomfortable with firearms & absolutely doesn't want to own or posses one then I won't belittle them for it. & I don't mind them enjoying the benefits that are created by those that do own & possess firearms. I would just ask they would respect my Right to be armed as I respect their Right to be defenseless. After all, they are beneficiaries of my Rights, & we all would be considerably less safe if they were not respected.

& I would recommend anyone who has not participated in some form of target shooting to give it a try. There are many different varieties of target shooting, from informal plinking at tin cans to trap shooting to 1,000 yard bench rest competitions to dressing up like cowboys or mountain men while shooting black powder guns. You might just like it.

No comments: