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Rebecca Walker Benjamin [above] is the former News Manager now contributor for Alabama Media Group in Huntsville. Checking her work at connect.al.com, we learn that she’s a lifestyle reporter. Where’s your nearest farmers market? Find it on our interactive mapCheck out these photos of how Alabamians are staying cool as the temperatures riseMilitary tattoos: How common are they?. Like that. Which makes her post I want a gun, and I’m not sure how I got here remarkable on a number of different levels. Let’s start with the fact that Benjamin’s account of her “Road to Damascus” moment includes the usual pro-gun control arguments . . .

Just this last Christmas, us kids went out with him [Benjamin’s father] and shot empty plastic Coke bottles and aluminum cans off a tree stump. I never went hunting as a child, but that’s still a regular past time among my people in northeast Mississippi.

Guns are a way of life there, as they are in many parts of rural America.

But they’re also a way of death all across the U.S.

My response to “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” has always been, “But they sure do make it a lot easier.”

I understand what the “people kill people” folks are trying to say. But these death gadgets are too readily available. And we see report after report of mass shootings, domestic violence turned deadly, kids accidentally shooting their cousins, siblings or friends, and I can’t help but wish we just didn’t have guns.

So, while not unfamiliar with guns, Benjamin was pro-gun control. Judging from that last line, she might even have supported a total prohibition against civilian firearms ownership. Not for any specific, articulable reason – other than the idea that guns make death “too easy.” Clearly, the existence of tens of thousands of annual defensive gun uses and the role of privately-held firearms in deterring or combatting government tyranny weren’t on her gun-related radar.

This view of gun rights strikes me as typical of millions of Americans. They’re not virulently anti-gun. But they are anti-gun. They’re not insensitive to arguments about personal accountability. But they’ve never really thought it through. All they know is that firearms-related injury and death is “all too common” – thanks to constant, contextless media advocacy coverage. And, well, it’s sad. They’re also not the bravest people in the world.

When I lived on my own in Anniston, a veteran homicide detective there told me once that unless I’m comfortable knowing that if I pull a trigger I could end a life, a gun has no place in my house. When you hold a gun, you have to be confident, another officer told me. Without confidence and certainty, that gun can be taken from you and used against you.

I’m not comfortable with killing another human being. Yes, yes, I understand it might come down to me or them, and THEN what? (That was the counterpoint that just crossed your mind, right? Can you tell I’ve had this conversation many times?)  Well, honestly, then I’d probably hesitate. And that gun wouldn’t keep me safe while I reasoned through things, the good lieutenant said. And for better or for worse, I’m a reasoner.

So I didn’t buy a gun, even though my family members insisted that I arm myself while living in a faraway land with a much higher violent crime rate than my hometown. Instead, I slept with a softball bat beside my bed. I figured, I might accidentally shoot a loved one with a gun but if an intruder is physically close enough to me that I can bludgeon them with a softball bat, then that’s their own fault.

Yes, I see the flaws in that plan, too.

Antis don’t have guns because they’re not comfortable with the idea of using a gun for self-defense. Hunting, sure. Target shooting, maybe. Shooting someone in self-defense? Killing them? Shudder. Anyone who could do is no better than the person attacking them. They lack morality, a social conscience and/or self-control. They’re someone who shouldn’t have a gun. (Except, of course, the police.)

Because this “guns are too available, and not for me, thanks, and come to think of it not for you” demographic doesn’t feel personally comfortable with the concept of armed self-defense, they can’t understand, empathize or listen to gun owners who are ready, willing and able to use a firearm to defend themselves, their family or other innocent life against a lethal threat. Until, suddenly. . .

Somewhere along the line, maybe while picturing myself experiencing the horror of these latest victims of public, deranged gun violence just before they took their last peaceful breath,… something seems to have changed.

I don’t think more guns are the answer. I don’t think we’re safer if everyone walks around with a concealed weapon. I honestly think that’s a recipe for disaster—that there are too many cocksure, paranoid gun enthusiasts who care more about proving a point about preserving their freedoms than they do about protecting the lives of those around them.

I think that if everyone shoots, we all lose.

So I don’t want everyone else to have a gun.

But I think I want a gun.

Who are these cocksure, paranoid gun enthusiasts who aren’t bothered about protecting the lives of those around them? I haven’t met any, and I meet a lot of gun owners. OK, I’ve met a few gun owners who answer to one of those characteristics, but not all three. Anyway, none of them were gang-bangers, the population responsible for the vast majority of America’s “gun violence.”

My point? Conversion shmaversion. Benjamin remains a detached, dismissive anti-gun elitist – who wants a gun! Because a journalist – I’m a journalist! – was gunned down. Her decision to buy a gun is entirely selfish. Which is OK, to a point. More to the point, it makes perfect sense. People like Benjamin who are OK with denying Americans their gun rights care more about proving a point about “improving society” than they do about “allowing” those around them to protect themselves.

Is Benjamin’s newfound desire to tool-up a Pyrrhic victory? Will she become just another anti-gunner with a gun? I hope not. But her experience is instructive. It shows us that the best way to convert an anti – perhaps the only way – is to convince them that they need a gun. (Even if they don’t, much.) And then help them understand that the gun owners they would restrict are just like them, regardless of their education, color, sex, or geographic location. Yeah I know: good luck with that.

104 Responses to Roanoke Murder Triggers Firearms Freedom Fence Straddler’s Ballistic Conversion

  1. There are two types of anti gun people.

    The police and military should be the only ones with guns type.

    And the police and military and me should be the only ones with guns type.

    She merely moved from one group to the other.

    • Yes, yes. The “I can be trusted, but not you” demographic.

      Or the “I’m more important than you, but I won’t put it that way” demographic.

      • The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Once Ms. Benjamin does her research and meets others of like sentiment — and realizes how many of us keep and bear arms — she may change her song.

        • Correct, she does come from a family of gun owners, but being a gun owner and being a gun rights advocate are not necessarily mutually inclusive. Just because a family owns guns and goes hunting or plinking once in awhile, doesn’t mean they necessarily value or understand the essence of the 2nd Amendment or the concept of being armed for the purpose of self defense. There are plenty of Fudds in this country that exemplify this, and we all know that a Fudd can be just as detrimental to gun rights as a full blown anti.

      • Unfortunately, it’s a large demographic, closely related to the “freedom of my religion, not your weirdo cult”, “due process of law, but not for THAT guilty bastard”, and “your freedom of speech ends where my feelings begin” groups.

    • Actually I know a third type that thinks nobody should have guns, including the police and military. At least she’s internally consistent. She’s also bugfuck nuts.

  2. Wow. Nice attitude, I wonder when (if) she read this back to herself before posting she realized just exactly how that tone comes across. Obviously not.

  3. You don’t understand the 2A or the ethic it encapsulates, until you realize and approve of the fact that the right belongs to everyone.

  4. The “that gun can be taken from you and used against you” argument seems very misogynistic, since it boils down to “women are too incompetent to use guns”. Has anyone who’s a male ever used on them? Or seen it backed up with hard evidence that females have a propensity for handing weapons to their attackers?

    • ” Or seen it backed up with hard evidence that females have a propensity for handing weapons to their attackers?”

      There is evidence, actual, bona fide, factual, peer reviewed evidence to the contrary (*). The data clearly show that anyresistance by a female to attack lowers the odds of injury, rape or death. Make that armed resistance and the odds of injury, rape or death decreases further.

      So, while the meme of “gun used by your attacker” persists, it is in direct contradiction of the actual data; far more women successfully defend themselves (and their children) with a firearm than have the gun taken away and used against them.

      Sadly, it does happen, though. And count on the MSM and the anti’s to latch onto those corner cases and sing about them high, loud and mighty from every roof top.

      (*) I had, at one time, the citations, but don’t right now. It’s easy to look up. I THINK one of the study’s came out of Colorado and was used as a counterpoint (then ignored) when Shannon, et al, were there proselytizing about ‘guns are evil’ or some such.

      In any case, the data is out there that shows “successful use of firearm” vs “getting it taken away.” The claim that the latter is the more likely case is blather rendered pseudo-legitimate by misrepresenting the data.

    • It also doesn’t jibe with the “guns make it easier to kill” remark. I am always amazed that Antis don’t get that this is a feature, not a bug. If you are faced with a larger stronger attacker, you want it to be “easier” to make up for the in-built disadvantage. Duh! Samuel Colt knew this a long time ago – why have so many forgotten?!

      • I agree with you, but not the way the anti gunners mean it. Of course they mean murder instead of kill, and I submit to them that the most difficult part of murder is psychological. Possession of a firearm adds only a modest degree of ease once the psychological barriers to murder are overcome.

  5. “Instead, I slept with a softball bat beside my bed.”

    It always astounds me when people say stuff like that. Because they think a gun is so evil, they grab another tool that is just as deadly. Yes, I spoke about the elephant in the room: A blunt instrument, knife, rock, and whatever is a deadly weapon. In the hands of someone who does not train constantly in how to use a baton or similar tool as a less than lethal weapon, these tools are almost always used in a way that would lead to a deadly outcome. I always hear this stupid argument where someone basically says they are unwilling to take a life with a firearm in self-defense, BUT they are willing to beat someone to death with a baseball bat. Somehow, they believe that if you beat someone over the head with a baseball bat that they will appear in the next episode of daily life with a cut-while-shaving sized Band-Aid on their scalp.

    • These people aren’t willing to actually use any weapon. They think that they can scare off an intruder by waving around a bat. But the odds are that the intruder will not be some thumb sucking liberal pajama boy. Odds are he’s going to be a bad ass alpha male. And if you confront such a man you’d better be willing to inflict a kind of violence most people aren’t capable of or he’s going to take that bat away and beat you with it. On the other hand, if you confront him with a firearm he will instantly be aware that he’s just been challenged to a fight to the death and he is at a distinct disadvantage. Hopefully the instinct of self preservation kicks in and he lives to fight another day. Just doesn’t happen that way with a baseball bat.

      • Excellent analysis. Any close-quarters weapon (knife, blunt object) is decidedly inferior to a gun in that it requires the defender to allow the attacker within striking distance before it can be applied. The attacker is granted the opportunity to hang-out just beyond striking distance until he has sized-up the defender. Once he concludes that the defender is not decisive or competent he waits for his opportunity to attack. If the attacker has a gun he doesn’t have to wait.
        The defender with a gun substantially reverses the dynamic. She can brandish before the attacker comes within striking distance. If he continues his approach she can fire when ready. He has little opportunity to assess her marksmanship before lead starts to fly. The attacker may have doubts about the defender’s decisiveness, competence or marksmanship. However, he can be certain that she has 5 – 10 lbs. of trigger-pull in her finger; and, that is enough to represent a lethal threat.

        • “God created man, Sam Colt made them equal.” Probably poorly quoted, but there it is. Too many of my anti-gun friends (yes, I have some) talk about the evils of a gun, but then mention that they would grab a bat or other blunt weapon if confronted by danger. Which brings me to my point- Why are these progressives, so sure that they are bringing equality, trying to return us to the times when might was the only law? They did a reconstruction of english kings of the early era (1000bc or so, don’t remember) using facial reconstruction technology, and found that to a one, they were all brutish brutally built people. Why? The strong ruled then. The advent of the personal firearm should have ended that- It made it so anyone, regardless of build, gender (or most disabilities) could defend themselves and others with the same lethality as a giant alpha male. One thing I learned in martial arts- If the opponent has 6″ and 50 lbs on you, you’re most likely going to lose.
          Why are these people, who call the right “anti-woman”, so against equality?

        • It really goes beyond that. Even if you decisively rush the intruder with you bat it’s not enough to hit him with it. If your choosing the bat as a less lethal weapon over a firearm then you are not likely to swing it with all of your might and he will know this. To effectively defend yourself from an alpha male who may or may not have certain performance enhancing chemicals coursing through his veins, you will have to hit him with that bat with an extreme amount of prejudice. You will need to mean to kill him and you will need to be unconcerned with any consequence you may face over his death. You cannot pull your punches. If you’re going to go that route you need to ask yourself if you’re mentally capable of mustering up the kind of violence it takes to brutally beat someone to death if necessary.

      • I knew a guy in the army, who joined after he was almost sent to prison for beating his wife and her lover (he caught them in bed) with an aluminium base-ball bat. We nick-named him PING!

    • Baseball bats are the home movie version of security theater. They allow people to indulge in the fantasy of self defense without killing the assailant. If you talk to these people about their home defense plan, you get one of two responses.
      1) I’ll brandish the bat and yell at the invader, and they will leave.
      2) I’ll beat the invader into submission if I have to, without killing them.

      All of this is based on some very bad assumptions.
      1) The invader will actually be scared of you and your bat.
      2) The invader won’t have his own gun / bat / knife and better skill at using it.
      3) You can beat somebody into submission with a bat without seriously injuring them.
      4) A defender who lacks the courage to use a gun has the courage to violently beat somebody with a bat.
      5) Encounters where the defender has a gun always end in a fatality.

      For these people, their entire knowledge of weapons and self defense comes from entertainment media. They believe that a solid hit with a gun is instantly fatal. They believe that well trained LEO’s can just shoot bad guys in the leg / shoulder and then cuff them while they moan in the street. They believe that people beaten with bats will fully recover after a couple of days in the hospital. They see it on TV all the time, so it must be true.

  6. She’ll drop money on a safe queen, never train, or even put rounds through it or just generally get a feel for it. If she lives in a **** hole area she’ll get burgled in six months and follow up with “I had a gun and still I’m a victim of crime”. Or worse she somehow has a gun on her during an active shooter situation and puts more people in danger. She’ll follow that up with the usual “Only cops should have guns”.

    Good that she exercised her rights, but I have a feeling its just going to be for a follow up that “justifies” removing those rights from other folks. After all there is no real change here, just an attitude of “guns are bad and should be gone, but I’m special so I should have one”. Most antis have that attitude if only for collecting or bodyguards etc. Just that most don’t advertise it.

  7. “You don’t understand the 2A or the ethic it encapsulates, until you realize and approve of the fact that the right belongs to everyone.”

    You don’t understand the 2A or the ethic it encapsulates, until you realize that it’s not just about guns or the RTKABA.

    We fight liberal (D) bag bs on many fronts, and at many levels and it all leads to the same place if WE don’t make THEM lose. History has already provided too many examples to afford them the mantle of “ignorance”. That is to say, that they must be doing it on-purpose, and that is more insidious than all the little feints and jabs at gun-grabbing. Libtards are not entitled to play bigger minds/better ideas strangub_tion games at our expense and roll the dice when the ideas have already failed enough to show that they don’t work and we don’t need them. It needs to constantly be pointed out to them that they could be considered worthless, if they weren’t even more deleterious than that so they rank “POS” status.

  8. we have to encourage this type of 180 turn around. she is obviously starting to see what its like in the real world and realizes its not the naive,bubble wrapped, “he looks like a bad guy” world she has been lead to believe. every anti gun i have ever met lives in the exact same world she DID; gated, padded, safe community and then they think that qualifies them to judge everyone else’s safety needs. and even still their self centered arrogance still won’t let them admit when they realize that they might NEED a gun, that they are on par with everyone else they have been judging.

  9. Ok, so she has moved from only the cops should have guns group to the Bloomberg: only the cops and important people like me should have guns. The real test will occur over time and that is will she move from her Bloomberg viewpoint and if so does she follow her roots or does her every day exposure to her likely anti-gun work environment turn her shrill like Shannon. It would be interesting to see where she stands in a year or so.

    • Once the ball starts rolling it’s pretty hard to stop. Of course Bloomberg has a right-to-bear-cops; and, the right to give his daughter cops that she can bear. The aristocracy has always reserved its rights.
      Yet, it’s quit another thing for a street journalist to bear arms. While this woman is a card-carrying-member of the 4th Estate, she is by no means upper nobility. Once she gets used to the idea that there is utility in her bearing arms then she will start to think of her sister, mother, aunt, girl-friends. It won’t seem so far-fetched an idea for them to be armed.
      This is absolutely a step in the right direction. In fact, it would be a step in the right direction if just one member of a news crew carried concealed. In this VA case there were just 2 members of the crew; and both of them lost situational awareness while engaged in their professional activities. In a 3-member crew, the 3’rd guy could maintain situational awareness while the other two are reporting and filming.
      Obviously, in this situation, the TV station’s office was an obvious target. This guy stewed for 2 years before striking back. Generalizing, any business that can’t vet its employees for mental stability needs to anticipate the inevitability of firing someone. A small percentage of these fired employees are prone to retaliate sooner or later. So, any such business really ought to see to it that it has a couple of people at each location who are armed and trained to respond immediately. Had this guy started shooting-up the station office the results would have been far worse. That scenario could happen to any business.

  10. ‘So I don’t want everyone else to have a gun.

    But I think I want a gun.’

    The next step in you little introspection is to realize that you are no different than anyone else and other people think the same thing. Then ask yourself if there is a grand arbiter of who does or doesn’t get to have a gun, why would you be any more deserving than your neighbor? She may work around to seeing the light or she may just go through life a hypocrite.

    ‘Shooting someone in self-defense? Killing them? Shudder. Anyone who could do is no better than the person attacking them. They lack morality, a social conscience and/or self-control. They’re someone who shouldn’t have a gun. (Except, of course, the police.)’

    If you’re going by that logic you shouldn’t have a phone either. Why would calling 911 and having a cop come over and shoot the bad guy for you be any different than hiring an assassin to kill him?

    ‘Instead, I slept with a softball bat beside my bed.’

    Honey, if you’re too afraid to have a gun because you think you might hesitate and the bad guy might take it away and use it on you, what makes you think the bad guy won’t take away your bat and use it on you? Is being shot that much worse than being beat to death with a softball bat?

  11. Give her time. The titanic didn’t turn on a dime and neither does an anti’s thinking. She will hopefully meet some good folks who will clear up some misconceptions.

    • Exactly. This article is cool because it shows the muddled thinking of someone who has seen the light, but is still struggling to reconcile her new discoveries with old (unreasoned) beliefs. We should be welcoming her, pointing out the 4 rules and helping her to recognize what responsible gun ownership looks like in herself and others.

      I grew up in an anti-gun household that was really just anti-violence that was really just peace-loving like most folks seem to be. It took me time and introspection to unravel all of that, but my turning point was much the same.

      Taking a life is something I never hope to do, but helplessly watching someone gun down children would be infinitely worse and much harder to live with. Getting into guns and becoming proficient with them isn’t about some hero complex, it’s just simply taking a stand–that if I do find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time then I will be prepared and I will stand up to evil.

      The upshot is that such events are statistically exceptionally rare, so the practical day-to-day impact of becoming a gun guy is that I have one more fun, if expensive, hobby to enjoy. It’s great stress relief, too.

  12. It’s interesting how progressive types can’t even use reason, facts, and logic even when they come to a correct conclusion. Her desire for a gun is just as emotion-driven and illogical as her anti-gun stance was before it. She saw someone with a similar job killed in a very public way, and it scared her into wanting a gun. Never mind that those people weren’t killed because they were journalists, or that, as journalists go, a TV reporter is likely a much bigger target for psychos than a newpaper columnist.

    Still, I hope Ms. Benjamin gets a gun, gets some training, and becomes a confident, safe gun owner. If she does that, odds are that “guns for me, not for thee” attitude will eventually wither away.

    • “At least she said “gun enthusiasts” rather than “gun nuts”.”

      Her actual quote was:

      “cocksure, paranoid gun enthusiasts who care more about proving a point about preserving their freedoms than they do about protecting the lives of those around them.”

      A slightly nicer way of saying “gun nuts”.

  13. There’s lots of negative outcomes that could come from this, but then again it could always be the person who talks bad about “those gun owners” comes to realize one day that “wait a minute, I am one of “those gun owners.” The ones who almost never make the news because they’re too busy obeying the law, minding their own business, avoiding conflict whenever possible and just going about their lives normally except they have a gun.

    It’s not 100% the right direction, but it’s a step there that many do not take. Changing minds doesn’t happen overnight or in one piece typically. It’s a gradual process. If it does happen all at once, usually something very bad happened.

  14. Ah yes. For me but not for thee.

    The reason some one is a liberal/progressive is because they feel that other people need to be told how to live their lives, except for themselves, of course.

    They are the “elites” , after all.

  15. It’s very revealing that she calls herself a “reasoner” yet demonstrates repeatedly that reason never plays a part in any of her judgements. She may be leaning the other way but she doesn’t have the slightest clue why.

  16. I disagree strongly with the responses here. I started out as an anti-gun person from NY. I had the same attitude about “if we got rid of all the guns” utopia… until I had a stalker neighbor and bought my first gun in NV, and shot my first gun, and hung out with gun people who taught me about guns and about the independent mindset many POTG have. I think she is on the way toward becoming one of us and the is part of the journey… of course she may end up stopping at this part of her journey and never progress, but without knowing that I think we shouldn’t beat her down but encourage her and continue to lead by example.

      • Yep. Find the old, infamous Esquire article titled “The Case For Guns.” It makes exactly the case …

        Lots of folks are against the evil guns in the world until they find themselves victims or near so. Then they realize that they’re not so interested in being at some Bad Guy’s mercy, indeed they’re not so interested in even a fair fight. Also that they can be trusted to wield this particular power.

        My standing question, still unanswered, is how do they rationalize denying guns to the other folks who, for example, live in crappy neighborhoods, thus are at a different degree of risk from the get go?

        Really, any argument to keep guns from being use for bad purposes has to

        1) Show it will do so, unlike, say, the 23 executive orders (These being so effective – not, why would the hinted at “Congressional legislation” be effective? Fact is we don’t know and from the results so far, seem unlikely.)

        2) Account for the harm it will also do. You can’t ever do *one* thing. So let guns out there and bad people will get them sometimes. Keep guns away from people and good people will be denied a gun, when it matters, sometimes.

        3) Demonstrate that it won’t be abused. “Policing for profit” anyone?

        • “. . . how do they rationalize denying guns to the other folks who, for example, live in crappy neighborhoods, thus are at a different degree of risk from the get go?”

          I’m afraid that the real answer is deep-seated race-ism; or, more generally, other-ism. Consider an array of people:
          T is a thug who is apt to kill anyone who crosses his path;
          D is a drug user/dealer who is apt to cross T’s path and get killed; so, he arms up.
          S is a peaceful student who just wants to get to school safely; so, he too is tempted to arm-up though he isn’t 18
          M is a single mother who just wants to protect and feed her children; she is tempted to arm-up and she is 21

          None of these individuals are “my kind of people”; neither mine nor any Progressive. None of us has experience their lives and understands what it takes to survive. If a Progressive can’t empathize with Ms. M she won’t empathize with Master S either. Certainly not with D. The Progressive projects an image of herself upon T and imagines “what if he would just read my letter to the editor and turn-in his gun at the next buy-back?”

          I can empathize – easily with M; and with S. I can even – to a limited extent empathize with D.

          Is the Progressive mindset really empathizing with all of T’s victims? Is she really interested in today’s welfare of these vulnerable people? Or, are these victims simply “others” whose welfare can be dismissed for the greater good?

          The threads of racism underlying gun-control run so long and deep that it is irresponsible to ignore their lingering presence today, even among the Progressive elites. Weren’t the deletes always determined to disarm the “others” among them (whether their skin color be red, black or yellow)? (Excepting, significantly, the Republican party during the Reconstruction era.)

          For a Progressive, power belongs exclusively in the hands of the elite, and their military and police who execute the will of the elite. All others must be disempowered.

    • No offense Liljoe, but if somebody is really as cognitively damaged as the author is, I would never be around them and they have no clue what it is to be an American. The remnants of the British Loyalists is what inspires progressive statism and subjects like the author.

      You realized taking an individual stand against evil men is part of being a human, who happens to care about protecting the gift of life.

      Evil triumphs when good men do nothing, and the greatest evil is the indifference to your fellow man. The statism ideology is forged and nourished by continuing corruption based on that indifference.

    • I am not an appeaser to the mindset of the statist progressive.
      No offense Liljoe, but if somebody is really as cognitively damaged as the author is, I would never be around them and they have no clue what it is to be an American. The remnants of the British Loyalists is what inspires progressive statism and subjects like the author.

      You realized taking an individual stand against evil men is part of being a human, who happens to care about protecting the gift of life. Why should I be impressed with a person, who lives in a country that is based on individual liberty, and they never exercised personal responsibility because the willingly chose shunning those liberties.

      Evil triumphs when good men do nothing, and the greatest evil is the indifference to your fellow man. The statism ideology is forged and nourished by continuing corruption based on that indifference. The author’s ideology of good for me but not for thee is what the Second Amendment is the protection from.

  17. Guns aren’t just for self defense, they can have a dual purpose, like the softball bat that she stores beside her bed. I would be she didn’t buy the bat to use as self defense, probably had it from playing softball, and eventually recognized it could fulfill a self defense role

    The idea that she fears shooting someone but is apparently more than willing to club them with a bat, smacks of hypocritical. Maybe she considers the level of death with a bat as analog, vs the perceived digitalness of a gun. I would completely argue that if someone is in your home when they don’t belong, and there is a small girl with bat vs a small girl with a gun, one is a much larger deterrent, especially if your assailants are large framed or of the multiple variety, or of the highly motivated variety. Also no one says you have to shoot, just like no one says you have to swing the bat.

    I will say that if it’s me or them it will be them every…damn…time. Not because I’m some hard ass cowboy, metering out “justice”, but it is simply the principle that when someone violates the social and moral compact and chooses to bring harm to me or mine, I will not be a victim. They made their choice to break into my house or mug me on the street. Like the Crusader Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade said, “He chose poorly”.

    The point is buy a gun and go to the range to have fun, maybe even participate in some organized shooting sports. Become familiar with your gun as an extension of your will and see where that leads you. Buying a gun is not a ticket to murder someone.

  18. I have a liberal friend who is a military veteran and her thoughts run in the same vein.

    “my guns are locked up safe at home where they should be” – glad that you are 100% sure that no harm will come to you while you are out and about then.

    “I have no problem with a mandatory waiting period, proficiency check, registration, etc” – sure… and you apparently don’t mind that this will keep defensive weapons out of the hands of more of your fellow law abiding citizens… or that in 100% of cases mandatory registration eventually leads to some kind of confiscation.

    “I have no problem only having enough ammunition on hand for immediate defensive use and paying tax for ammunition” – okay, how do you know how much ammo for “defensive use” you really need? There are situations in which you might need to replenish your ammunition stores multiple times over the course of days/weeks/months during some kind of crisis and the local gun shop isn’t going to be open for business… not to mention that taxing ammunition just penalizes people for practicing, i.e., becoming more proficient with their weapons.

    Or my personal favorite of hers;

    “I’m a military veteran so I’m proven to be responsible, perhaps only vets and police should have semi-automatic firearms, people can still hunt/sport shoot with less lethal devices”. – Okay, disregarding the fact that there are millions of military vets with non combat MOS who probably have less training than MANY “sports” shooters you don’t seem to see that this is exactly the kind of thing that our country was worried about at its inception… a heavily armed military/police with heavy handed control over a more or less disarmed citizenry.

    So yeah, there are plenty of liberal, gun owners who still hate guns and still have the opinion that those of us who own weapons we “shouldn’t own” are mouth breathing cavemen, or better yet “ammosexuals” as they like to sneeringly call us.

    • Excellent post
      ““I’m a military veteran so I’m proven to be responsible, perhaps only vets and police should have semi-automatic firearms, people can still hunt/sport shoot with less lethal devices”

      The real question is when did military veterans just like cops become dishonorable liars who can’t honor a simple oath to protect the Constitution, which is the people. Service men and women used to have honor and integrity just like the police, but now they are just useful tools of the state.

      • They think that the 2nd Amendment is open to interpretation, or that it needs to go… not the 14th though, keep importing those gun-control fanatics from south of the border.

      • Army vet friend of mine thinks “Well-regulated Militia” is the NG and that civilians should not have AR15s. And he’s from AZ. Some people are just dumb.

    • And, know something else? If told to by someone she recognized as “being in charge” she’d happily confiscate every weapon you owned. Her loyalty is to the state and not to you or the constitution. I’ve encountered people like her before. They have a well ordered view of reality that rests just below the surface of civility. At the top of the heap is loyalty and obedience to authority. At the bottom of the heap are private citizens like us. The constitution, and their oath to protect it, is just too abstract to be given serious consideration when they’re being given commands by people they define as being in charge. Civil rights, the 2nd amendment, even common civility go right out the window when they have their duty defined by someone in charge. Just take a look at the Katrina gun-confiscation videos.

  19. I appreciate that she admits it. Bloomberg, president Obama and the mda lady ‘want’ guns to protect them but they just have armed guards and then explain to people that nobody needs a gun.

    She’s being really upfront about how she feels about the presence of a gun being a positive thing for her and even if she’s not willing to preach about it she’s describing her feelings about that openly to everyone.

    Coming from someone who was and maybe still is anti makes this 1,000 times more effective.

  20. “I might accidentally shoot a loved one with a gun”

    The true cause of the disease of the liberal progressive is shown by that statement.

    The statist can’t trust themselves to be armed, because they are emotional mental midgets.

    • It’s probably in the same vein that they believe that a gun in the house automatically increases your chances of being shot. Of course, that just demonstrates a lack of ability to understand context and statistics.

  21. Yeah, you guys get it.

    “So I don’t want everyone else to have a gun.

    But I think I want a gun.”

    I think the pivot is: “So, who, like you, is important enough, and responsible enough to also have a gun which they hope they never have to use in earnest?”

    Then there’s this: “I honestly think … that there are too many cocksure, paranoid gun enthusiasts who care more about proving a point about preserving their freedoms than they do about protecting the lives of those around them.”

    Maybe try: “Wow, really? Who do you hang around with, because that’s the exact opposite of the gun owners that I see?”

    The transition here is from “gun culture” to “thug culture.” “Gun culture” as people who legally concealed-carry and etc. know and practice it is sober, measured and responsible. Even the fun of hitting the “giggle switch” is tempered and bounded. Yeah, I shot model rockets as a kid. And it’s a rush seeing the thing woosh into the sky on a column of flames. And yeah, that rush doesn’t justify horseplay – that rush is the payoff for being meticulous and safe. Grown-ups behave that way.

    People swaggering about with guns as macho-enhancers, perhaps spraying bullets around neighborhoods are *exactly* what Ms. Lifestyle-reporter is uncomfortable with. Me, I’m appalled. These things are deadly. What ever happened to cruising the strip showing off in your customized El-Camino?

    I don’t thing citizen gun rights folks can go to the “thug culture” place ourselves. There’s too much baggage. Racist. Down on poor people. Cultural dominance. Blah, blah, blah. BUT, the difference is in behavior. Maybe let the anti-gun folks go there… “But, but, what about the single mom in a bad neighborhood who just wants to defend herself and her kids?” Answer: “Exactly. She’s not the problem, and neither are we. Who are these other people who are the problem – how do we sort them from us? Maybe predation. If you want, add negligence as in shooting unsafely, to make some kind of point. Maybe menacing, pointing guns at people, or flashing a gun to make a point. We have laws for those … and they’re about behavior, consequences and intent, not the gun … or the bat involved.”

    • To me, the whole baseball bat thing just goes back to the “guns kill people way more deader” fallacy people live under.
      “Depressed skull fracture dead” and “multiple gsw dead” are the same dead.

      • Yeah, there’s that one too. One poke at the reasoning at a time.

        There’s a reason informed discussions of assault talk about “assault with a deadly weapon”, “endangering” and “intent to kill or harm” as a factor. Not guns. Deadly things, of which there are many. Not dangerous because it’s sitting there, but dangerous because dangerously used. Not threatened by someone merely having a baseball bat, but by how they intend to use it. Or try to. One point of guns for citizens is when a bad actor comes along with gun, bat, or simply evil intent, the civilized person has a better chance of not getting mangled, with a better tool at hand.

        If people will use things wisely and well, we should want them to have the most effective tools possible. Removing guns from people in the end means you don’t trust people to use this capability wisely or well. It’s a pretty grim view of humanity to think that most people won’t use a capability well, or opt out if they’re not up to it – that we have to decide for them.

  22. Did you invite her to have a podcast or article or even a discussion here? That would be an opportunity to learn.

  23. Violence has the tendency to be violent, and it’s generally a bloody affair. If the other guy’s not leaking then you’re doing it wrong, and against a malefactor almost guaranteed to be larger, stronger, and have more friends at the ready than her, the gun as a force multiplier and express ventilator makes sense.

    But it’s something only those who are comfortable killing another person can do, so there we go: guns are barbaric and icky, so she’d rather swing a bat at someone like a cultured caveman. Silly child: you’d better swing that thing to kill if you have to use it! Be confident when you do, or they may use it against you!

    There’s so much stupid in that article I can taste it.

    • “There’s so much stupid in that article I can taste it.”

      She’s young. It goes with the territory of youth.

      (And yes, youth certainly is wasted on those young whipper-snappers!)

      By crackey! 🙂

  24. Would TTAG please stop using the term “gun violence”? That’s right up there with “assault rifle”.

    • TTAG is a business, that has to succeed in a time of emotional mob justice and political correctness, which means gun violence is the only accepted vernacular because bringing attention to who commit the most violence in our society is racist.

  25. Hey, it’s a start. Rebecca will want to practice, probably, and will meet other shooters and be introduced to the real gun culture, and it could go pretty well from there.

  26. She might be on the “road to Damascus” but I think she’s missed the come to JESUS moment. All I see is “only me and my ilk can be trusted with those vile,evil smelly guns” not you right-wing hillbilly Christian white hicks…

    • “not you right-wing hillbilly Christian white hicks…”

      You mean WE Redneck Americans, from the Hinterland, who have had our Come To Jesus moment in regards to the intentions of the statist ideology.

    • “…right-wing hillbilly Christian white hicks…”
      You know you’re talking about my own people, right? I think some of them prefer “country” or “redneck” before “hillbilly” or “hick” though.

      • Hi Rebecca! Welcome to TTAG. Hope you stick around and add to the conversation.

        As a Northerner, I always saw “hillbillies” as more Appalachian-dwelling types and “rednecks” closer to rural Southerners. Just minor nuances, I suppose.

        • You 3 really missed the point of my sarcasm-that’s what SHE would say. I claim Christian,old,fat and white-the hillbilly thing not so much…

  27. She say’s she’s a “reasoner” yet completely avoids all facts, data, and education and makes her case around pure emotion.

  28. “So I don’t want everyone else to have a gun. But I think I want a gun.”

    Fairly typical elitist mindset. Sort of like Barack Obama,, Michael Bloomberg, Bill DeBlasio, Rahm Emmanuel, and every other anti-gun leftist politician who has armed bodyguards.

  29. Yes, yes, I understand it might come down to me or them, and THEN what?

    Then shut up and die quietly, because your screaming may wake up the neighbors.

  30. A squeeky ignorant young woman’s emotional rant. It’s like listening to a mentally ill person seated in a delusion.

    Too easy to acquire? Firearms are more difficult for a lawful person to acquire than any other consumer item. As for being a tool of death? There is an element of death with a firearm, but she is presenting the misuse as common when in fact misuse is uncommon.

    She is deserving of a written rebuke. Or maybe go to work for Rolling Stone.

    • “A squeeky … rant.”

      I’m not a fan of name calling, whoever it is, though I do slip up occasionally, mostly for attempted comic effect. Really, as a once and possibly future “bitter clinger” I’ve had recent experience with name calling, and on this particular issue. To be plain, given that snide, condescending, “othering” jab at people he does not know, there is nothing this President can say on gun control that I will trust.

      Reading the whole of the author’s piece, the name-calling slight isn’t of a piece with the rest of it. She seems to me to be stuck on that very dilemma. “Gun owners are this caricature, but I, a reasonable and balanced person find myself wanting a gun. Well, maybe it ain’t everybody who has a gun who’s such a mess.”

      I’m more “good for her.” I’d be a lot happier if people would state their puzzles, which are necessarily ill-formed. Hey, if all the thinking was done and air-tight, it wouldn’t be a puzzle any more, would it? From the author’s article, I’m getting more or less: “I thought one thing. Now I think this other thing. They’re not compatible. What’s up with that?”

  31. Maybe if you asked her why she thinks gun owners are all idiots? Is she sexist? Racist? What? What is it?

    Maybe if she can see the inherent hypocrisy in her anti-gun-owner statements she could make the full jump.

    I know this sounds mean, but I’m just being blunt.

  32. Morality? If your life is not worth your fighting for it, why should anybody else? If you can’t bring yourself to spend the effort, pain, and anguish to save yourself, what makes it worth anybody else’s time and effort (and risk!!) to save you? Your sympathy for those who are being victimized is laudable (at least in the abstract), but if one of those people is being killed right in front of you you’re not going to be much help, are you? So, what good are you to anybody else? Bottom line question. What makes your assailant’s life worth more than yours…to you?

  33. …that there are too many cocksure, paranoid gun enthusiasts who care more about proving a point about preserving their freedoms than they do about protecting the lives of those around them.

    I don’t see “paranoid gun enthusiasts” committing all/any of these crimes. Can we get back to reality please? Try Gang bangers, hood rats, drug users/dealers/runners, violent criminals.

    But no – thanks for putting 2A supporters in the same boat. Thanks a lot – we appreciate it.

  34. Hi, guys.

    Rebecca Walker Benjamin here. (Yes, THAT Rebecca Walker Benjamin.)

    Wanted to stop by and say hi. I see you’ve all been chatting about me. 🙂

    A few things to share:

    1) Regardless what I’ve been reading this morning, I’m not anti-gun. Just pro-responsible gun ownership. I hope we can all agree on that. When I say I don’t want everyone else to have a gun, the “else” I’m referring to is those who are not educated, safe and responsible. I don’t trust them with a firearm. I can’t control whether they have one. But I don’t have to like it.

    2) Every man in my family has multiple guns. (Actually, several of the women, too–my mammaw kept a shotgun in her closet until she died in 2012. She carried it to the door with her when strangers knocked.) Most of the men I’m talking about keep a gun with or near them at all times. When I say every man, I mean my own husband. He has two handguns (plus a sweet antique .22 with a pearl handle that belonged to his grandmother) in our house. But I’ve never used them, been to a range with them, etc. Therefore, I don’t consider them mine.

    3) I appreciate the passion with which you all comment on this issue. I think gun safety and personal responsibility are important conversations. I am glad to see them happening. Please understand though, that passion has led you to jump to some conclusions about me, when we aren’t even necessarily in opposition. Maybe I bring a set of concerns to the table that you don’t share, but that doesn’t make us enemies. For the most part, I think you guys are good people. Several gun owners have reached out to me personally in the last 24 hours offering to help me learn more about guns and gun safety. That speaks volumes.

    4) As I told Robert in response to his email, my column was intended to be a genuine, honest unpacking of my consideration of whether purchasing and using a firearm is something I’m prepared for. You all fault me for sharing these thoughts, I guess, because you defensive about it. But I think there are many more people out there like me, who are unsure of how they feel about owning a gun personally but aren’t completely ruling out the possibility. I wanted to open up the conversation about it so that those people know they’re not alone, and that it’s OK to be considering it, even if you have conflicted feelings on the matter. You guys act like those conflicting feelings I’m having mean that I’m trying to take away your guns. Maybe it’s my fault for opening up so honestly that you responded in that way, but this was more about sharing introspection than attacking anyone.

    Thanks for reading. Oh, and man, it really makes me look silly that Robert pulled my Facebook profile picture for this. But it’s worth noting that even though I took that photo one random Friday afternoon at work, I’m sitting in front of the First Amendment. I believe in the Bill of Rights like all of y’all. Please don’t make me into an enemy.

    I’m open to chatting about these issues rationally, calmly. Shoot me an email and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

    Hope you all have a nice Friday!

    • crap I accidently ctrl-r’d and lost my paragraphs, so this is going to be a shorter response, dammit.

      Rebecca,

      Hi! Hope you read this. It’s good to see you responding here, and I think it’s good to see the thoughts of someone who isn’t as much a gun person as we. I think yours are a lot more in line with much of the country that doesn’t have a dog in the race, and are of the non-committal bloc that see how violence is publicized and glorified every day and will think “Gosh this seems bad, why aren’t we doing more about it?” so that when easy ‘solutions’ like more background checks and more restrictions are offered up, it doesn’t seem a bad idea because, well it doesn’t affect me, does it? Asserting that guns are ‘too available’ is an enticing siren song that’s all too easy to fall for. unfortunately the ‘solutions’ they offer would do nothing to fix that.

      Folks around here, for good reason, tend to get a bit twitchy when someone throws around the terms ‘common-sense’ or ‘reasonable’ or ‘gun violence’. Those who wish to rule have been wanting to take weapons away from those they wish to rule over since before history was recorded, and it continues to this day. In this country, it’s been happening aggressively since 1934, and many of us are fed up. If it looks like we’re being overly defensive, it’s because we have good reason to be.

      It’s fine to want there to be no guns. Certainly in a perfect world, where people would all settle their differences amicably, and there was no hate or poverty or mental illness or class dichotomy, there would literally be no need for them. Thinking this could be reality in our lifetime however is about as realistic as wishing for a unicorn to ride to work. Reality is sometimes uncomfortable, and by your published musings, I am assured that you know that quite well. So long as there are bad people, there will be a need to be able to level the playing field. We don’t all go to work because we like our job, we do it because we have to. We don’t all go around armed because we like it, we do it because we want to be prepared for the worst.

      It looks like you are someone who is becoming aware of some of the more uncomfortable realities of the world. In that, we’ve got your back. Self-defense is often choosing between bad and worse, and in that moment, deciding not to choose is choosing to lose. Mental preparedness comes before physical preparedness, and you’ll find that if you’re sincere, that people of the gun will generously help with both.

      • Hey, Sian. Thanks for the response. I’ve been aware of the uncomfortable realities for a while. Just dealing more now with the reality of “What can I do about it?”
        And the whole intention behind writing this was about mental preparedness. It’s a process.

    • Rebecca, I’d like to thank you for popping in, but more so for being polite about it! Generally around here, we don’t get much courtesy from people who have differences of opinion, and frankly, we’re a fairly echo-chamberish internet forum; we have rudeness problems of our own.

      All too often, people claim they want to start a dialogue, but start by denouncing the people they want to have a dialogue with. While I’m a little uncomfortable with the phrase “cocksure, paranoid gun enthusiasts”, on the whole you’ve been remarkably genial. So thanks again!

    • Thank you for your reply to this thread. I appreciated your original remarks and took them in the spirit in which you describe them here.

      “. . those who are not educated, safe and responsible.” It’s very hard for Antis who grew up outside the gun culture to imagine gun owners who ARE educated, safe and responsible. I wouldn’t say that I exactly grew up in the gun culture. Guns were around but no one paid any special attention to them; e.g., more so than would be paid to a spoon, fork or a knife. To us (children of my place and time) a simple stick match was a far more significant source of danger; if struck in a barn the entire building including its hay and livestock would be lost. Accordingly, we learned to take care of dangerous things from childhood.

      I began educating myself to arms at about the age I began elementary school, perhaps around 7 – 9. While there were people around me to ask, I don’t remember seeking instruction. I simply started fiddling around with them – no one (father, grandfather or justice of the peace) paid any attention to me. It was obvious to me that careless behavior would result in a 1″ hole in anything or anyone in front of the (shot-)gun when it discharged. TV cowboy shows demonstrated that the person struck by the bullet fell down and never got up. Having no wish to inflict such arm on any relative, friend or neighbor, responsibility came naturally to me.

      As an adult, I am no more afraid of guns than I am of cars, machinery or domesticated dogs; all equally capable of inflicting death. You seem to be on the borderline between the gun culture and the culture that abhors guns. I encourage you to take the leap. Learning to operate a gun safely is not that hard to do with instruction. (I did so successfully without instruction as a child.) It’s far easier than learning to drive. (I began shooting at 13, 2 years before learning to drive.) Like most people who take the leap you will find that the fear dissipates quickly.

      You will learn something. Thereupon, you will be able to make a constructive contribution to your readers who are either uninformed or Antis (usually both.)

    • Hi Rebecca –

      If you do elect to carry a weapon, PLEASE seriously consider carrying your weapon on your person and not in your purse.

      Recall the young woman recently fatally shot by her toddler in Walmart.

      Your weapon stolen by a purse snatcher as another example.

      Women (and men) have been known to walk off from their purse (or men doing the same with their briefcase) as yet another.

      Yes, being a woman your wardrobe options for concealed carry are much more limited. One of our writers here is Sara Tipton. I’m sure she would be happy to offer her insight on concealed carry.

      • Thanks! I got this advice resoundingly yesterday. After reflection I think that was my panic-brain reaction. Oncr i revisited it i realized that wasnt the safest idea.

        And thanks for the tip about Sara Tipton! I definitely should get in touch with her.

        • “If you do elect to carry a weapon, PLEASE seriously consider carrying your weapon on your person and not in your purse.”

          Well, yes (usually) but not always. Example. One day my boss surprised the absolute hell out of me by facing down an overly aggressive street bum. Turns out she always carried a Glock concealed in a false bottom of her purse. It’s not always practical for women to body carry a weapon but this in no way means a woman (all 5ft 3in and 110 pounds of her in this case) can’t be ready to defend herself.

          Oh, and Rebecca, stick around we’re not really as gender specific as we may seem.

    • So, Hi Rebecca.

      Thanks for coming. And thanks for what I took to be an honest article about wrestling with a pile of choices with consequences. Do find the Esquire piece if you can – it’s right in line with where you are right now.

      In RE: TTAG, you’ll see a lot of reasoning, responsibility, and trying to look at what really happens in the comments hereabouts. You’ll also see, if you sample over time, a rising frustration. People get a tad testy when they are demonized, attacked and ignored repeatedly. So, here we go again, with “Something must be done!” set Phasers to “Demagoguery” and turn it up to 11. But whatever you do don’t answer a single damn question, make a data-based argument, or address a concern directly. “Let’s ban all the guns!” for the children. OK, how would that help? Prove it.

      Borrowing a bit from MarkfromPA (perhaps significant, I am also “from PA”: I did a lot of my kidhood in the rural mountains of PA):

      ““. . those who are not educated, safe and responsible.” It’s very hard for Antis who grew up outside the gun culture to imagine gun owners who ARE educated, safe and responsible.”

      Where I grew up sounds a lot like where Mark grew up in re: guns. They were just yet another dangerous thing in the world.

      Interesting to me, the rate of gun violence, and “casualness” of it rose over time, more or less in synch with demographic changes. City folks moving to reside in the “country” and the development of the region as a through-route and staging area for drug trafficking serving metro areas to North and East.

      None of the old school folks would wave a gun around to “show off.” Indeed doing so would get you soundly shunned as a bonehead, although the actual language was a tad more colloquial and colorful. Anybody who got stupidly shot would be likewise shunned, even if it wasn’t “their fault.”

      “Accordingly, we learned to take care of dangerous things from childhood.”

      The idea that individuals cannot on their own, and indeed will not unless required, learn to “take care of dangerous things” remains foreign to me.

      Seriously, “What did you think would happen?” is perhaps the ultimate dismissal, where the line between the quick and dead is pretty fine. The world is in some ways The Darwin Awards.

      And accordingly we learned, perhaps as a base intuition, that “dangerous things” could make your life bigger, broader, longer, and more interesting … if handled successfully. Most dangerous things aren’t *only* dangerous. Also, don’t be around idiots who can’t handle dangerous things. And that “things” are “potentially dangerous.” What makes things dangerous in fact is silly people being silly.

  35. crap I accidently ctrl-r’d and lost my paragraphs, so this is going to be a shorter response, dammit.

    Rebecca,

    Hi! It’s good to see you responding here, and I think it’s good to see the thoughts of someone who isn’t as much a gun person as we. I think yours are a lot more in line with much of the country that doesn’t have a dog in the race, and are of the non-committal bloc that see how violence is publicized and glorified every day and will think “Gosh this seems bad, why aren’t we doing more about it?” so that when easy ‘solutions’ like more background checks and more restrictions are offered up, it doesn’t seem a bad idea because, well it doesn’t affect me, does it? Asserting that guns are ‘too available’ is an enticing siren song that’s all too easy to fall for. unfortunately the ‘solutions’ they offer would do nothing to fix that.

    Folks around here, for good reason, tend to get a bit twitchy when someone throws around the terms ‘common-sense’ or ‘reasonable’ or ‘gun violence’. Those who wish to rule have been wanting to take weapons away from those they wish to rule over since before history was recorded, and it continues to this day. In this country, it’s been happening aggressively since 1934, and many of us are fed up. If it looks like we’re being overly defensive, it’s because we have good reason to be.

    It’s fine to want there to be no guns. Certainly in a perfect world, where people would all settle their differences amicably, and there was no hate or poverty or mental illness or class dichotomy, there would literally be no need for them. Thinking this could be reality in our lifetime however is about as realistic as wishing for a unicorn to ride to work. Reality is sometimes uncomfortable, and by your published musings, I am assured that you know that quite well. So long as there are bad people, there will be a need to be able to level the playing field. We don’t all go to work because we like our job, we do it because we have to. We don’t all go around armed because we like it, we do it because we want to be prepared for the worst.

    It looks like you are someone who is becoming aware of some of the more uncomfortable realities of the world. In that, we’ve got your back. Self-defense is often choosing between bad and worse, and in that moment, deciding not to choose is choosing to lose. Mental preparedness comes before physical preparedness, and you’ll find that if you’re sincere, that people of the gun will generously help with both.

  36. Rebecca, further to these thoughts you should bear in mind the classes of people to be dis-armed in the order that they could most easily be disarmed. It will turn your head.
    The military is most easily disarmed. The commander in chief with the acquiescence of Congress simply orders it so. Indeed, this has already been done and done with virtually complete success (see Ft. Hood, Chattanooga, etc.).

    The police are next most easily disarmed. Those who remain willing to perform the job will remain employed.

    American civilians will be a tougher nut to crack. Some will be disarmed; but plenty won’t.

    Ultimately, criminals won’t be disarmed. This is the case even in Japan.

    And so, in a quest for Utopia, think about the final stages of the program. Peaceable people will be at the mercy of the criminals.

    In America, it will not unfold in any such sequence. It cannot; such a sequence is antithetical to our entire culture.

    Our military will continue to be trained to arms and probably remain an up-or-out profession. As such, the population of civilian veterans will exceed the soldiers on active duty. A cadre of pissed-off vets resentful of their treatment by the VA. Will the active duty infantrymen be both willing and able to gun down their fathers and uncles in a battle of wills?

    Our police will continue to be trained and armed. They will not go toe-to-toe with armed criminals. Nor will they be both willing and able to gun down their brothers, fathers and uncles in a battle of wills.

    Consult gunpolicy.org’s data on small arms inventory in the hands of US police, military and civilians:
    – police 1.15 million
    – military 2.7 million
    – civilians 300 million
    If only 1/10 of those civilian arms were brought to bear against government confiscation the outcome would be devastating in loss-of-life. Ultimately, it wouldn’t much matter whether gun owners or government prevailed. The loss of blood – American blood on both sides – would make current death rates pale in insignificance.

    Given that criminals would be the last to be disarmed, and that the path to substantially-complete disarmament will be paved in blood, it is simply out-of-the-question to imagine reaching a state of dis-armed Utopia in America.

    Any significant improvement in the loss of life by guns in America will come through:
    – mental health services that spare the mentally ill from suffering leading to suicide (a win-win proposition)
    – incarceration of prohibited persons who keep and bear arms (irrespective of the moment of acquisition)
    – a change in culture in the subset of the population composed of young Black males

    Over a significant period of time (decades) all these methods could be applied with some significant promise of success. None of them WILL be undertaken as long as the Antis and the ambivalent concentrate on curbing gun ownership by OFWGs or a futile focus on the moment of the point-of-sale. Prohibition of sale has never been effective, witness alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition.

  37. If she is sincere in her conclusion about a gun purchase and seeks some training along with other gun newbies, I think there is hope for her to come around. She’ll figure out those paranoid gun enthusiasts are pretty much regular people.

  38. Hi Rebecca, I’m glad you gave us your opinion piece, and a shame so many have denounced those opinions! You seem like an honest person, so I hope some honest answers will be welcome.

    Firstly, that philosophical stumbling block – can I take another person’s life? This is an uncomfortable thing to consider.
    But if you are faced with an armed robber or an intruder willing to take your life, well, isn’t your life worth preserving? And the means by which it could best be preserved is a firearm of some sort. A baseball bat in the hands of a small female is an invitation to have it taken back and used on you. If you did connect, the injuries may well be horrifying. It is still a deadly weapon.

    On the taking of life, the 6th Commandment (we should live by them all) was mistranslated as “Kill” when the ancient Hebrew was “Murder”. We are morally justified in killing our attacker, to save our life, or that of a loved one (or even somebody we despise). All philosophers from Gandhi to the Dalai Lama agree on this. It is one of nature’s first principals. So your conscience would be clear.

    But with power comes responsibility. Everyone considering acquiring a firearm should get instruction, and follow the rules of firearms ownership to the letter. And at all times avoid conflict as much as humanly possible. Be grateful if the need for armed protection never arises. But the one time it happens, there is no substitute for having a weapon at hand.

    And in the event of armed conflict, there will be much time spent with lawyers and the justice system, so there are many reasons for being as careful as possible.

    Awareness is half the battle. I despair when I see so many young people with their noses buried in their cell phones, completely oblivious to their surroundings or any nearby predators. It is a big and sometimes bad world, and you sound as though you are willing to take the next step towards adulthood. I wish you all the best.

  39. “that gun wouldn’t keep me safe while I reasoned through things, the good lieutenant said”

    That’s why you reason through it in advance! They call us paranoid when we do this, but there’s a reason; to discourage preparedness and maintain this as an excuse.

    Be prepared, not just by having the gun. Be mentally prepared by having reasoned it already. A lack of reasoning is the foundation for the anti-gun movement. IT’s no surprise that they advocate education in all things, except this… They prefer ignorance in this… For a reason; facts prove they’re wrong and they don’t want you finding those facts by turning on your brain and thinking.

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