Question of the Day: Does Owning Guns Make You More Law-Abiding?

I used to be a speed demon. I lost my license in two different countries, on two separate occasions. Since returning stateside some eight years ago, I haven’t received a single citation. That’s not a coincidence. Living in the UK, I could no more own a gun than find a decent cup of clam chowder. The last time I lived in the Ocean State (circa 1857), I wasn’t into guns. Nowadays, I do (own guns) and I don’t (break laws). I don’t speed. Or jaywalk. Or smoke dope. Firearms have made me into a law-abiding citizen. Or brought the law-abiding citizen out of me. Or coincided with a general drop in testosterone levels. How about you? And yes, I listen to NPR. A guy’s gotta live some part of his life on the edge . . .


  1. avatar TTACer says:

    No, gun ownership has turned me into a homicidal maniac, constantly terrorizing my fellow motorists with road-rage. Just as the Indianapolis Star predicted.

  2. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Owning guns, and the legal risk of losing that right if I really screw up, makes me acutely aware of the legality of everything I do. So does (obviously) my education and career.

    Deterrence in general is an effective way to control or modify the behavior of functional adults with proper mental functioning. This excludes addicts, psychopaths, the delusional, and those with significant Axis II personality disorders. These types are either out of touch with reality, unable to plan ahead or unwilling to defer or deny themselves gratification. Prescriptive laws have little power to change their behavior.

  3. avatar Dan Baum says:

    I’ll go further: Carrying a gun has made me more careful about everything. I don’t leave my credit card on store counters anymore. I don’t leave my sunglasses on restaurant tables. I’m a better driver. In general, I’m more with it when I’m carrying the gun. It’s an effect I hadn’t anticipated.

  4. avatar Jerry says:

    I’ll agree with all of you. Part of that is getting older and more mature, too. My professional license, my driver’s license, my concealed carry license, my reputation in the community. My life is so comfortable that I will not do anything to risk changing it!

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Since I became a legal gun owner, I’ve given up speeding, jaywalking, armed robbery, arson, shoplifting, parking in spaces reserved for the handicapped, bad language, kicking the cat, hanging out with Randy Weaver, loud farts and double-dipping. I also became a vegan, gave most of my income to charity, and the Dalai Lama is my new pen pal. I may be the single most boring man on the face of the earth. Well, second most boring, after Mikeb.

  6. avatar ihatetrees says:

    I don’t speed.

    Does that mean you don’t break speed limits or you drive with the flow of traffic?

    I’m down with being a careful, non-emotional, defensive driver. But there are times, in traffic, when obeying speed limits is more hazardous than not.

  7. avatar John Fritz says:

    Maybe somewhat. I would be no less law abiding if I were to divest myself of all my firearms tomorrow. But I’m pretty buttoned-down to begin with. Thanks to the USAF many years ago.

    I am damn careful with my guns, however.

  8. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I’m EXTRA careful whenever I have any of my guns with me, so I guess this certainly makes me pay more attention to everything I do while armed.

  9. avatar Patriot Henry says:

    “And yes, I listen to NPR. A guy’s gotta live some part of his life on the edge . . .”

    Doesn’t the soft spoken vapid git-prop get under your skin? The last time I happened to tune into NPR they were advocating banning the use of farm equipment in California in order to meet a wholly arbitrary standard of air pollution on certain days in which it’s now “illegal” to have a housefire in your house. There was no context or opposing view and of course not a mention of what logical consequence would happen as a result of prohibiting 20-40 days of farm equipment use in one of our nation’s most significant farming areas.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      On this sample, a couple of libloons (kudos to JadeGold) were talking about the backwardness of conservatives who seek a return to the framers’ principles. As you say, no opposing views. Which is also true for many of the reports on Fox—especially at Fox and Friends. Still, I like to hear all points of view. And if you think NPR is an excellent way to raise your blood pressure, have you listened to “LEFT” on Sirius? Magic!

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