Scott Adams is the man behind (or next to) Dilbert, the socially awkward engineer chronicled in the comic strip of the same name. Last week, in a blog post, Adams declared his supports legal gun ownership. The cartoonist empathized with the problems unarmed women face concerning sexual violence . . .
I can’t imagine being a woman living among men. It sounds horrible. For starters, there’s a stat that 20% of women in college will be sexually assaulted. Apparently it is dangerous for women to be around men … in general.
Contrast that with being a guy. When I encounter a dangerous situation, my first thought is to feel sorry for my future attacker. I’m smallish, so I calculate that once I get him down I’ll have to finish the job so he doesn’t get up again. I feel sorry for my would-be attacker even before I kill him in my imagination…..
If I were a woman, I would feel like a victim, or potential victim, 24-hours a day. I guess people can get used to anything, but I’m glad that isn’t on my list of things to worry about.
My question for the men: Do you ever feel in physical danger from other people?
My question for women: How often are you afraid of danger (from men) during a normal day?
The comic artist delivers his conclusion forthwith:
On a related topic, I favor legal gun ownership as a psychological defense against the health stress caused by the bullies, sexual offenders, and psychos living among us. I acknowledge the trade-offs and risks of legal gun ownership and regret every unnecessary gun casualty. But on the plus side, I never want to feel afraid of anyone whose address I can find. That country doesn’t work for me.
I wonder what the rate of bullying is in England compared to America. If we don’t know that difference, and why, then the math of gun control is not yet complete. Bullying ruins lives too. I’m not saying that should be the single biggest factor in gun control, but without that data, how can you form a complete opinion?
In the (predictably) active comments section that followed this post, Adams doubled down, stating: “I would say guns keep small people safe, regardless of gender.”
Adams’ pro-gun polemic represents something of an evolution on the issue. Previously, Adams suggested he was okay with “common sense” gun control measures, such as holding gun owners financially liable for the actions of those who use their firearms to commit a crime. Some of his comics suggest something less than a full-throated endorsement of the second amendment.
While it’s cool that Adams is now more than somewhat supportive of the right to keep and bear arms, what’s with the all the talk about feelings? Shouldn’t gun ownership be based on rational thought? Well . . .
Feelings played an important role in my decision to buy my first handgun. Turning Jeff Cooper’s admonition on its head, when I went in the gun store, I had a sense that owning a piano would make me a bit of a musician. Firearms training quickly disabused me of such thoughts. But without them I might not have bought a gun in the first place.
Perhaps getting good people on board with gun ownership is more important than making sure they’ve got everything right. We all have to start somewhere. If I hadn’t made a decision based on a half-considered feeling ten years ago, I’d just be another low-information voter on the subject. Scott Adams, if you’re interested in telling us more of your thoughts and experiences with firearms — and perhaps joining us at the range — our contact info is over in the right margin. Welcome!
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.