People who carry a gun are different from people who don’t carry a gun. They’re prepared to defend their life, the lives of their loved ones or innocent life with lethal force. Make that better prepared. I reckon most people will fight for their life and the lives of their loved ones with whatever tools are available, should the need arise. Most, but not all. Some people have one defense in a life-or-death situation: passivity. The question is, why would either of these non-gun carrying groups want to disarm people who are prepared for a violent worst-case scenario? Let’s have a look at an example . . .
There are an estimated 270 million guns in America. That’s a staggering and somewhat unsettling statistic, but by virtue of those numbers it stands to reason that not everyone who owns a gun in this country is a fetishistic, hyper-aggressive paranoiac convinced it’s only a matter of time before that gun is the only thing that stops him from becoming a human entree for Leatherface’s Grandpa Sawyer or a ball-gagged rape toy in a sadist’s dungeon somewhere. There are plenty of people who own guns for sport, for enjoyment, or, yes, on the infinitesimal chance that in the largely civilized United States, circa 2014, they’ll have to defend themselves against a direct, violent threat.
I get the impression Joseph Nizzari isn’t one of those people.
That’s the lead from Chez Pazienza’s article for thedailybanter.com called How Paranoid Do You Have To Be To Think You Need a Gun in the Shower? The famously-fired CNN producer (for slagging-off NBC in The Huffington Post) was responding to a TTAG article Why You Need to Home Carry… Even In the Shower by Joseph Nizzari.
Pazienza’s take-down begins on an odd note, stating that “not everyone who owns a gun in this country is a fetishistic, hyper-aggressive paranoiac.” Normally, anti-gunners paint all civilian firearms owners with the same broad brush. No carve outs. If they exempt any class of gun owners from their ad hominem attacks, it’s hunters. Not people who own guns for fun or armed self-defense.
So why did Pazienza create a loophole in the opening salvo of his vitriolic condemnation of Nizzari’s pro-home carry polemic? The answer is buried in the piece, well after Pazienza rips Nizzari a new one for being a fetishistic, hyper-aggressive paranoiac. And a lousy husband (“That Glock 23 will keep you warm in bed at night and you can even stick your dick down the barrel of it when you’re feeling extra lonely”).
Here’s where I once again go ahead and remind everyone that I own a gun. When I decided to make the cross-country drive alone from Florida to California, I availed myself of one of my ex-Navy SEAL father’s handguns — a Sig Compact .45 — and made the transfer legal. I did that because it was going to be me out on the road by myself for days and, yes, you never know what can happen. But I also knew almost beyond a doubt that I would never have to use it, nor would I want to. I still feel that way: Sure I have it, but it’s not like I’m ever going to need the thing because I live in an apartment near Studio City and don’t have a damn thing anybody would really want (other than, ironically, the gun). Yes, bad things can happen and random violence is possible, but statistically it’s incredibly unlikely, certainly to the point where I would feel the need to make sure I had my gun on me at all times.
Pazienza is the son of a Navy SEAL? (Later or alternatively a Miami police officer.) No wonder the writer can’t condemn armed self-defense outright. In fact, Pazienza is familiar with firearms and keeps one for self-defense. Mind you, not “at all times“. Because “it’s not like I’m ever going to need the thing.” Even though “bad things can happen.” A single word springs to mind: hypocrite. And one biblical passage: “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
If you truly do believe that you’re always in danger then, sure, it makes sense to carry a gun with you when you sleep, eat, shower, play with your kids, have sex, and so on. But what would possibly make you believe that you’re always in danger? What misfiring synapses would make you think so irrationally? In his piece, Joseph Nizzari quotes someone who said, “Carrying a gun is not supposed to be comfortable; it’s supposed to be comforting.” What the hell is the matter with you if being able to kill someone in an instant while inside your home is “comforting” to you?
I dunno Chad, ask your Dad. Specifically, ask your father if he believes that his being ready to defeat America’s deadly enemies helped make it possible for Americans – you in particular – to enjoy peace, prosperity and, most important of all, individual liberty. Does he believe that America is always in danger? Does he find the existence of an American cadre of trained killers comforting?
Mr. Nizzari is doing for his family what your father did for his country. Yes, there are differences in scope and scale. But both men are/were motivated by the same thing: love. They are/were prepared to defend the things they love. In fact, one wonders if Mr. Panzienza has ever faced a lethal threat – however low the odds of it happening. To paraphrase the old adage, a gun control advocate is an anti who hasn’t been mugged.
It appears that Mr. Panzienza is a father; a fact that surely played a role in his decision to keep a SIG in his crib. And yet . . . at the risk of playing amateur psychologist, one wonders if his dietbribe [sic] is an attempt to resolve some deep-seated anger issues towards his father. Viewed in that context, what are we to make of Panzienza’s closing paragraph?
But maybe it really isn’t about comfort anyway. Maybe that’s just the bullshit story you tell yourself when your gun is so all-important to you that it’s almost literally a part of your body. Maybe it’s really about something else: power. The sense that you’re the baddest bad-ass in the land, ready to stop any threat, no matter how fearsome in your own imagination. That you’re locked, loaded, and ready to go down, as Nizzari says, in “a pile of empty brass” if necessary. If you think this way, you know what that makes you? Yeah, the last person on earth who should be armed.
Panzienza’s conclusion might echo the old man’s thought on the subject: “most people aren’t trained enough to carry a gun.” Or not. Who knows? One thing we know for sure: it isn’t the passive people who work to limit (i.e. remove) our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. It’s people like Panzienza who want to take away our guns while keeping their own. Usually in the form of armed police or bodyguards. But not always.