Wilks Family (courtesy 625guns.com)

Underneath today’s Quote of the Day on the reason men own guns, TTAG reader uncommon sense had a major SMH moment. “What is appalling are gun grabbers who shirk their sacred duty to protect their spouse and children and from violent attackers,” he wrote. “I have no idea how such people can live with themselves.” Is that right? Do Americans who shun guns fail in their [stated] obligation to protect their loved ones and, perhaps, other innocent life?  Does the lack of gun ownership indicate a lack of moral fiber?

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103 Responses to Question of the Day: Are Non-Gun Owners “Shirking Their Responsibility”?

  1. The people who say “I’ll just call the police, their job is to help me”

    I wouldn’t call them immoral, just disillusioned that a cop will be able to drive to their house in time to save someone IF they even have time to call 911.

    • IMHO you’ve hit it right on the head. Most of those that are ‘anti’ make their judgments based on a flawed model of upbringing, groupthink, and perception.

      Simply put, they don’t know any better. They really do believe that the magic 911 device will teleport police to their doorstep to take away the bad man and rehabilitate him. Or that the ‘law’ itself (words on paper) will be enough to dissuade would-be evil doers to not commit their acts of violence for fear of the consequences (and, for sure, there is a subset of those bad men that this does dissuade {the more timid, fearful, or the rational that fear to lose their job, possessions, etc. as a result of being caught}, but not the truly depraved, indifferent, or simply EVIL creatures that when not currently incarcerated are on the hunt for their next victim).

      There are, however, the other group that damn well know that evil resides in the hearts of men, and yet still insist that you go unarmed, usually as a mode of profit for them, and, all the while going armed themselves or have their servants go armed for them. “Oh, but I’m important, serf”.

      • but, but, you mean your responsible for the outcome of your decisions? THATS NOT FAIR! *whining ensues

        Sigh, in this life, if you decide to get drunk, then trip and accidentally break your neck and die, well, it was your choice to make. You have to live(or die) with the choices you make, like it or not.

        • “Sigh, in this life, if you decide to get drunk, then trip and accidentally break your neck and die, well, it was your choice to make. You have to live(or die) with the choices you make, like it or not.”

          In a common sense world that would be true. We no longer live in that world. We live in a world where the owner of the property you tripped on has to defend themselves in a very expensive court case against the family of the deceased. This world is the reason insurance companies easily and regularly destroy the potential profitability of small businesses.

      • One can choose to scam the welfare system too. I see that as immoral. Or you can conceive children but not retain a job or even try to be a father to them. That is immoral. So if you choose not to bear arms to defend and protect your family or community for that matter, rather rely on other men and women to defend them for you, then you are irresponsible on another level from the man that fails to provide financial support to his family, or community for that matter.

      • Choosing to shirk one’s responsibilities is a choice one is free to make, yes.

        It is still a shirking of responsibilities.

        Nice try…

        If I CHOOSE to murder you, it’s still murder…

      • That’s not valid because your choice can affect others whom you have an obligation to defend.

        You’re not exclusively accountable for outcomes if that outcome injures someone else. You may have some remorse over it, but that’s not the same thing as suffering that injury yourself.

        Only if you internalize all of the injury resulting from your decisions and actions can you be completely accountable. You cannot do so, in the case of people whom you’re obligated to defend. So you are indeed shirking that responsibility.

  2. No –

    If you can choose to exercise a right, then it has to be OK to not excerise it as well. That is freedom, choosing what you want to do. ( even if that something might be incredibly stupid at times)

    What is not ok is failing to excerise your gun rights or preventing others from exercising theirs, and then complaining when bad things happen because only bad guys have guns.

    • +1

      In addition, people have only so much time and money. There are lots of things that would be helpful to protect my family. Lifeguard training, medical training, firefighting training, auto mechanic training, a sprinkler system for my house (or for that matter, a Halon fire suppression system), reinforced steel doors and frames for my house, etc etc

      People have to pick and choose because most of us are limited by both time and money. Most of the people who read this site consider armed defense very important, and something that should not be “outsourced” to law enforcement. But that’s not the only choice and certainly not the only moral choice.

      • Exactly. It’s a risk decision– I don’t know another person’s circumstances so I won’t criticize them for making an informed decision on their course of action. Perhaps they know they could never pull the trigger on another human being and understand just wielding a firearm has consequences if you’re not willing to use it. Perhaps they have folks in their home that really shouldn’t have access to firearms, even safes aren’t foolproof. Perhaps they have young kids who just will not obey (there are forcefully difficult kids…). There assessment of other risks leads them to invest their time/money towards addressing things they assess as higher risks in terms of likelihood and consequences.

        What I will object to is anyone insisting that what is right for them should work for others and forced on them as well.

      • The issue that comes up for me is child neglect.

        Parents have an obligation to care for and protect their children. They aren’t at liberty to allow young children to play in the street with traffic and no supervision.

        How should the courts deal with a case where home invaders killed or injured children in a house? It seems like a reasonable line of inquiry would be:
        – were the parents on notice that their home was relatively vulnerable to a home invasion?
        – were the parents on notice that they could not reasonably expect a prompt response from 911?
        – were the parents wealthy enough to afford food, shelter, medical care, education, clothing AND arms?
        – did the parents do as much as is feasible to armor-up their doors and windows?

        If the answers are Yes, Yes, Yes, and No, then don’t you reason your way to negligence leading to child endangerment and actual injury?

        How would you view this situation compared to parents who take their children hiking and camping in bear country?

        Maybe we ought to think more about this line of inquiry. Perhaps we might find a friendly State legislature that would entertain a child endangerment law that would heighten the liability to parents who neither armor-up their perimeter nor arm-up their final defense. Pass such a law in a rural State where parents are pretty generally armed. Then, move on to another State – let’s say AZ – where rural parents are armed but metro parents are not. Could the legislature shove this law down the throats of metro parents? What would they do? Armor-up their parameters or buy a gun?

        I think we ought to initiate a serious discussion of this issue.

        • You are an idiot. No, we don’t need any more laws empowering busy body government agencies with the ability to destroy families up to and including ripping children away from their parent.

          Knock, knock. CPS here, we are here to do a weapons check to make sure you are defending your premises. We can cite you and haul your kids away if you don’t have weapons at the ready to defend your selves, but we also might cite you if we think you have weapons kept in an unsafe manner. Yes, just what we need. NOT.

    • I understand what you are saying, but I have to say, not exactly.

      The right to choose cannot and does not change responsibility. However, the choice of no guns does not mean they are “shirking” the responsibility, though it most likely is the case. Assuming they still strive to protect their family, then they are severely limiting their ability.

      Sadly, modern society is so bent on caring only for themselves, in all walks of life, even the gun community. They may claim to care, but when it comes to action instead of words, they shrink away, cowards. Cowards, hardly defend themselves, much less others.

    • +1. Well said. It reflects my view on the issue quite accurately. Besides, the gun isn’t the only means available for protection.

    • In the dead-on perfect words of Ben Franklin: “Liberty is the right to choose. Freedom is the result of the right choice.”

    • Absolutely dead wrong. Just because a choice exists does not validate all of the options. Did you just get home from Libtard Land?

      I have the Right to do the right thing. I also have the Right to do the wrong thing. Just because there is a choice does not mean one or the other stopped being wrong or right.

    • I recall a young couple came into my shop a few years ago. The husband was perusing the handguns while his very pregnant wife stood by looking dubious. Smiling, I asked her what was on her mind (knowing well what the likely answer was).
      She replied that while she owned a gun already, she was thinking less of getting another and more of getting rid of what she had, citing her concern for the bundle of joy they were expecting.
      My reply to her was this: When a lioness realizes she is expecting a cub, does she have herself declawed? What would your child’s life be like if someone took you away from her? I let her chew on that for a moment and led her over to our selection of safes and lockboxes. Easy sale.

    • Wrong, because you’re also exercising (or not) that right on behalf of others. Guns don’t solve every problem, I understand, and some of the problems they can solve, can also be solved by other means.

      Nevertheless, ultimately there are some problems which for which a gun is the superior solution. By neglecting to exercise your right, in the context of a concurrent obligation to defend someone else, you’re shirking that responsibility and exporting the consequences to someone else.

      • I agree. The original understanding of the RKBA was that it was accompanied by a duty to defend the community and the governments instituted by that community so long as they were faithful to their charters, not tyrannies. The state had the power to compel able-bodied males to muster for that purpose. Without this traditional construction there would be no constitutional basis for the draft.

        Whether the original construction would have supported a requirement to take up arms in defense of a minor dependent I offer no insight. Nevertheless, today, we accept that the state can and will compel parents to maintain their minor children and protect them from harm. I think a parent could meet that expectation by either armoring-up his home or keeping a gun. I don’t think a parent could completely duck his responsibility by doing neither.

    • >> If you can choose to exercise a right, then it has to be OK to not excerise it as well. That is freedom, choosing what you want to do. ( even if that something might be incredibly stupid at times)

      I think you’re confusing legality with morality here. Is it legal? Yes, absolutely. Is it moral, though?

      Let’s take 1A as an example. You have a freedom to speak anything, which includes the freedom to not speak anything. When you see a guy being pickpocketed, you could shout out, or you could remain silent. Both are legal, but the former is clearly immoral.

  3. I don’t know. I’m of two minds.

    The 2A guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. At no point is there an obligation to do so. A person who elects not to keep arms is no different from one who does.

    Where they shirk their responsibility is when they demand that others not keep or bear arms.

    However, are they any different than the anti-vaxxers who put the most vulnerable at risk through their selfishness? Not really.

    • @Katy-“However, are they any different than the anti-vaxxers who put the most vulnerable at risk through their selfishness? Not really.”

      Give it a rest Maam. Medicine for profit tends not to draw the benevolent men that would honor their Hippocratic oath. The illegal third world immigration where these diseases are coming from is more dangerous than not being vaccinated. When it is good men in science who want to help, and get rich as a bonus then you can try and force a needle in people’ arms.
      A majority of the people that own firearms do so as a defense from all forms of evil and that includes the government and their lemming followers. The firearms and skills to use them are what citizens are meant to use against those forcing them to surrender their personal freedoms without a fight, and then citizens are expected to say thank you for the harm as it was for my own safety. In other words many of WE citizens don’t trust the government as their are numerous examples that they are not concerned with our well being. If someone were to try and force a needle in some people’s children they might want to wear a bullet-resistant helmet for the rest of their short existence on this mortal coil.

    • The anti-vaxxer analogy breaks down a bit when you consider the arithmetic of both situations. For a vaccine to provide true “herd immunity”, you need pretty high vaccination rates (as high as 90%+ for some diseases). Armed citizens, however, can provide significant crime reduction in relatively small numbers. Look at falling crime rates in places with higher numbers of concealed carriers, and then consider that even in those places, “high” participation still means that less than 10% of the population is carrying.

      A virus doesn’t think about whether you might be immune before trying to infect you. A criminal most certainly does consider whether you might be armed, and it doesn’t take that many people being actually armed to put that thought into his shitty little criminal brain. In other words, there is no “deterrent effect” with vaccines, but there certainly is with a potentially armed citizenry.

      • Well said. Critical thinking is lost on some folks, and as much as WE try to say that facts will enlighten somebody, WE realize that they are limited from natural ability. That is why I as a Christian have to believe in Evolution, or accept that God can be cruel sometimes, which is impossible. Some folks you just can’t teach to fish.

        • Isaiah 13:9

          Behold, the day of the LORD is coming,
          Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
          To make the land a desolation;
          And He will exterminate its sinners from it.

          For a visual, I highly recommend the last 5 minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark 🙂

      • It isn’t a perfect analogy, but I think the underlying premise still holds. There is a level that you need to reach before herd immunity truly protects the whole. As you point out, for vaccines, the number in the 90+ percentile, however some level of that herd immunity will exist even among smaller vaccinated populations. I think what we see with gun ownership is a similar effect. Current CC rates in the 10% have a deterrent effect, but how much more effective would it be if the number rose to 25 or 50%. Looking at the home, I would guess that a trend line for ownership would correlate to reduced crime there.

        Viruses may not specifically select their targets, but it is the host’s immunity that deters the infection. Criminals may be a little more selective, but without open carry while in public are they really able to determine who is and isn’t armed? When entering the home, they have even fewer indications. However, it is the host’s gun ownership that deters the assault.

        Additionally, the FUD used to justify disarmament is no different than the FUD alleging that vaccines: a) cause autism; b) lead to government tracking; or c) that it is a moneymaking grab that provides dubious health benefits. In both cases, science backs up facts. You will see a reduction in crime with increased ownership and CC; you will see a reduction in infection with the use of vaccines. Anybody asserting otherwise is either disingenuous or a fool.

        Still, in both cases, I grant that exceptions will exist (thus getting back to herd immunity). Some segment of the population will lack the understanding or ability to train with a firearm or are subject to draconian laws or cultural beliefs that make ownership or safe usage a non-starter. Some segment of the population cannot safely be vaccinated. It is their protection that the selfishness of the non-gun owner/vaxxer leaves me in the crossfire of obligation and right.

      • The analogy holds because responsibilities, like rights, are binary. You either have it or you don’t. We can quibble about requisite percentages for deterrent effect and herd immunity all day. Such quantitative debates are as irrelevant to the matter of one’s responsibility for the armed (or vaccinated) defense of another, as are quantitative debates over magazine limits to the matter of one’s right to keep and bear arms.

      • Islam actually has this distinction when it comes to obligations (“fard”), so much so that they have specific terminology for it. Some things, every person must do for themselves, such as prayers or paying zakat – these are called individual responsibilities, or fard al-ayn. Other obligations are collective – fard al-kifaya- such as the obligation to wage jihad of the sword (defensive only, or offensive as well, depending on madhab) – what this means is that so long as there are enough people doing it already, an individual Muslim does not have an obligation to join them; but if there aren’t enough people, then all of the remaining people become responsible until such time that enough of them do it.

  4. Yes, they are shirking their responsibility for their own (and their family’s) self-defense. Anyone who wants to be able to call a cop to come save them is not only irresponsible, but a coward. If you are an adult physically capable of self-defense with a firearm, and your life is not worth YOUR efforts to defend, why should anyone else be required to put their life on the line to protect you?

    I fully agree with Jeffrey Snyder’s 1993 treatise on this subject – “A Nation of Cowards”.
    http://jim.com/cowards.htm

  5. I don’t believe there is a duty to defend oneself or others per se, the two more fall under rational self interest and compassion respectively.

    That said, those who refuse to make use of all appropriate tools to ensure their security are fools, and those who would not likewise use such tools to defend the people they care for are cowards.

  6. Before my first 6 month deployment (1982) as a young 3rd class Petty Officer, my wife and I bought a .38 Colt Diamondback so she and our newborn son would have some protection while I was gone. That was the only gun in our house until about 3 years ago. We pulled it out occasionally and went to the range together, but generally it was unloaded and put away out of sight. Certainly not ready for immediate action. We were, well I now hate to admit it, completely ignorant of the social and political ways of the world. We went about our lives and never gave any thought to what “could” happen. So I think, for many people, it’s more a blissful ignorance than anything else.

  7. I agree with Scrubula, not shirking responsibility, simply uninformed and disillusioned. When the media talks, some people listen, but all it takes is one epiphanic experience of lack of police, or simply to realise that they are not omnipresent beings, to wake them up from that delusion.

  8. Mr T’s character on the “A team ” had a line ~”Don’t suffer no fools ”
    I agree……I shall not suffer due to fools.
    Carry on….

  9. “Does the lack of gun ownership indicate a lack of moral fiber?”
    Yes, if the lack of ownership is based upon an irrational fear of guns.
    Yes, if the lack of ownership is based upon the delusion that it will never happen to them.
    No, if the lack of ownership is based upon a moral decision that they are not suited to be POTG and they have an alternate plan for defense; Yes if they don’t.

  10. I think I’m going to side on the side of ‘no’. Although not totally though. Anymore than anyone who’s not an EMT or doesn’t keep a functional fully stocked ambulance is shirking from that social responsibility to help those in need of medical aid. Some of us just aren’t right to fill that hole in society. And that’s okay. As long as there’s enough people that do.

    Of course… that said I think anti’s are actually far worse than people who don’t step up to help out their fellow citizen. They’re trying to limit or even revoke an ESSENTIAL liberty. That shouldn’t even remotely be tolerated in society. Anyone that would take or inhibit liberty for any deserves neither, at BEST. I’d rather see them physically removed from America myself… but I’m kind of an extremist in that.

    • Err, screwed that up a bit in my phrasing and spelling. Meant to say that NOT keeping medical supplies doesn’t mean you’re shirking their responsibly.

  11. “Does the lack of gun ownership indicate a lack of moral fiber?”
    Possibly, but it certainly indicates a lack of understanding of your patriotic duty. That the militia is of the people and that each abled body man (and women these days) of proper age should be well armed and trained in the use of arms, and ready to muster upon request.
    There once, not so long ago, was a time in this country where every father taught every son, and some daughters, firearm safety and how to shoot. I think this is mandatory before coming of age. And anyone who fails to do so should lose their citizenship rights.

  12. Insofar as they are relying on the rest of us to protect them, yes. Self-protection is part of self-ownership.

    But if they believe no such protection is needed, they’re not shirking, they’re just gambling… with their lives.

  13. If you choose not to defend yourself that is your choice, if you choose not to defend your family then you are morally negligent.

  14. We need the non gun owners. It is they who prove the need for gun ownership, at the sacrifice of themselves and those close to them. Gun free zones, home invasions, terrorist attacks, its cold and callous but if we had everyone taking responsibility for their own defense and the rates of crime dropped, we would go a generation or two of relative peace and security, and eventually people would soften, they would start to assume that because many of the violent plagues of the past were reduced or gone that the rights used to secure this were obsolete. Just look at vaccines. We eradicate childhood diseases, and now its been long enough that there are people bringing them back because they don’t make the connection between vaccines eradicating certain illnesses and those illnesses being gone.

    • If they believe they are entitled to an opinion on politics the answer is yes. I have friends that aren’t allowed(by the rest of us) to discuss politics when we hang out because they don’t vote. Those of us who actually participate shouldn’t have our conversations and debates sullied or diluted by those who refuse to participate in the first place.

      • Your position is not valid if they believe (and have a logical reason to) that their vote is not going to affect the process in any manner that they consider important, or that the process doesn’t provide them a way to give such a vote that would. It’s also invalid if they believe that voting in the current system legitimizes it, and they specifically don’t want to lend it any legitimacy because they consider it broken or invalid.

  15. We live in a(n ostensibly) free society. Each one of us is responsible for our own safety, just as each one of us is responsible for our own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. – Benjamin Franklin, 1755

  16. So, to put it in other words, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to not have a gun?

    • No. A gun has no intelligence, will, honor, integrity, commitment to freedom, the willingness to die to be free, the willingness to sacrifice ones life for their family, friends, community or country.

      Without these qualities in the people of a culture or society,; a gun won’t keep a people free.

      • I think you missed my point compare it to the original quote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” not having a gun when you need one means all the things you mentioned only matter to an opponent who actually cares about those things and when they don’t give a s*** about them not having a gun is the same as doing nothing. I mean an armed opponent intent on taking the life and liberty of others.

        Don’t you just love how the Internet forces you to say the same thing 3 different ways to be understood. That was sarcasm. It means I really don’t love it.

  17. Way to alienate some fence sitters…let’s accuse them of being irresponsible for not taking a position on a topic they have little information about or interest in. Instead, how about we author an article on how gun ownership helps develop a sense of civic and personal responsibility, with citations from prior eras of American society.

    Give the interested fence sitters, who do read what you have to say (directly or otherwise), something positive to think about and possibly act on. Instead of, what we have here, giving the other side the headline “gun nuts call non-gun owners irresponsible, immoral.”

  18. They have the right to do what they want.
    Some folks want to ignore bad things. Some folks never have had bad experiences. Some folks live where bad things rarely happen. To them I say, “Wait til the power goes out for a week, your neighbors will be less trustworthy than the felons I know.”
    Some folks are so anti violence that they would close hospitals because we don’t want anyone to ever be sick.

    Not embracing the security of your loved ones is another thing all together. Yet I can’t call child protective services because someone feeds their kids non nutritious foods.

    I also know people who plan to run over to their armed neighbor’s house if stuff goes down. Really? Do they pay your utilities?

    I think we have to live together. I have my choices and opinions. I’m not here to judge. I do take it as my responsibility to take care of the weak or helpless blood kin or not.

  19. It was established long ago that it is my wife’s responsibility to protect herself.
    We don’t have any kids.

  20. If you are a parent, you have a sacred duty to protect your children, period. We see that when every parent with even the slightest moral fiber and an IQ above room temperature makes their home “child safe” — they block stairs, lock cabinets with chemicals, remove sharp and heavy objects, cover electric outlets, etc. This is self-evident.

    Similarly, no parent (in their right mind) would let their child play in traffic, walk up to aggressive dogs, leave a child alone with a known pedophile, or send a child into a wild area with venomous snakes or animals that attack. Those are crimes called child neglect or endangerment. If a parent is supposed to actively protect their child from those dangers, why is a parent not obligated to protect their children from the danger of violent attackers? The obvious answer is that they are obligated to protect their children from violent attackers. But a parent who is unarmed is utterly impotent to stop a violent attacker — especially if the attacker is armed or there are multiple attackers.

    To better understand this, we need look no further than Dr. Petit in Connecticut to see what happens when a father is unarmed and violent criminals come calling. Two monsters raped his 11 year-old daughter and his wife before setting both of them and his 17 year-old daughter on fire and killing them.

    • Just…wow. That’s not any sense at all, common or otherwise.

      What it is: uncommonly arrogant; uncommonly righteous; uncommonly offensive.

      Even as a gun owner, as a concealed carrier, it boggles my mind that not only are you blaming the victims, but dancing on their graves singing that they lacked moral fiber.

      That’s one of the ugliest comments I’ve ever read here, and that is saying something. You lose the internet today.

      • What was arrogant? Are you claiming that parents have no duty to protect their children?

        There is no doubt that a violent attacker is responsible for his/her actions. Nevertheless, a parent is ultimately responsible for the well-being of their children. Depending on strangers — whether violent criminals or faceless and distant police officers — to act honorably and protect our children is WRONG.

      • Life has inherent risks, we are ignorant of some, some we chose to prepare for, and for others we decide to roll the dice. It is not callous to point out real life examples when people have decided to gamble that it won’t happen to their family and have subsequently lost everything. Most places in America you can have gun in the home and in many you can have one in your car without a license. In Texas, you don’t need a CHL to do either.
        It is fair to judge that people are being irrational by not owning a life saving tool, when they willfully decide to own toxic chemicals more statically deadly to their children.

    • @Commonsense–Well said. “If you are a parent, you have a sacred duty to protect your children, period.”
      This is the statement that is the difference between being fathers/mothers vs. people with kids. Parents will sacrifice their lives for their children and that means protecting them in a world full of violence. 10,000 years later in human history and some people have forgotten the natural instinct of guarding themselves from the monsters lurking outside the cave, because those people tend to invite their own death inside.

  21. I can’t say what anyone elses responsibility is. See, I have this uncanny ability to do what the anti’s can’t: leave people the hell alone and mind my own business.

  22. Firearms have been safe and reasonably cheap tools for protecting your loved ones for at least a couple hundred years. Guns should be as ubiquitous as fire extinguishers, because they serve the same purpose protecting life and property. Firearms are a more effective tool between the two because a displayed fire extinguisher won’t prevent a fire from starting like a displayed gun deters crime or can end an criminal act in progress without being used.
    When you outsource the totality of your family’s personal defense to State employees expect sub-optimal outcomes. Restricting personal gun ownership is like outlawing home fire extinguishers and expecting the Fire Department to handle every home incident. We would have overworked, disgruntled firefighters arriving 30 minutes late after the houses have burned down.

  23. Does the lack of gun ownership indicate a lack of moral fiber?

    No, but it may indicate a lack of brain power.

    • It reflects a different assessment of risks in terms of likelihood and consequences of being attacked versus the reasonableness, risks and costs of arming oneself.

      That could include limited resources and other risks they view as higher in likelihood and consequences, or the presence of individuals in their how who can not be around firearms and act responsibly. Be it do to disposition, immaturity or psychological issues.

  24. I think it’s a moral duty yes.

    If your idea of first line defense is calling the state, prepare to be let down. Calling a man with a gun because you won’t own one could be called cowardice.

    Even If you don’t have a duty to be armed, it’s certainly your right. And it’s reasonably cheap and effective.

  25. The answer is simple: let’s remember the scene from American Sniper at the dinner table: “There are three kinds of people in this world: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs….”.

    I prefer (for my safety) not to have sheep armed outside open war: they are too prone to be under-trained, over-“amped”, and fearful/cowardly. they’ll shoot to wrong people and the wrong times. And weapon safety and security from the average “sheeple”? Fagitaboutit!

    I am NOT saying they don’t have the right but I am saying I’d refer they not exercise it unless they are serious about it. This ain’t no pT police dram they are living in with me.

    • >> “There are three kinds of people in this world: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

      Every time anyone talks about “kinds of people”, you should watch out. This particular one is one of the most disgusting ones perpetrated, because not only it condescendingly labels the majority as “sheep”, but it also segregates a class of supermanish “sheepdogs” who, on account of their importance, are special in many ways.

      A good illustration of where that mentality ultimately leads can be seen in the common attitude of police officers (who typically believe themselves to be “sheepdogs”) when dealing with the “sheep”. After all, if a sheepdog gets to go home safely, surely it’s worth a sheep’s life, or even several? There are plenty of sheep and so few sheepdogs, so sacrificing one sheep for the sake of protecting the rest is perfectly justifiable.

      Humans aren’t “sheep” or “sheepdogs”. Humans are humans. All created equal and endowed with the same rights and freedoms, which they choose to exercise in different ways.

  26. At some point you have to ask yourself, “Am I engaging in the same sort of behavior of making moral judgments that so annoys me when the anti-gun crowd does it about me?”

    • Is wanting the 2nd amendment stricken from the Constitution immoral while other men and women swear an oath to and die to protect it?
      The 2nd amendment only works in practice.

      • As unpopular as the idea may be, I would say no, it is not immoral to oppose the Second Amendment based on the choice of another to swear an oath to defend it. However, I would consider it immoral in the case where someone had also sworn to defend the Constitution themselves, such as a significant number of members of Congress. In that case it could be considered treason. None of us alive are signatory to the Constitution, therefore our allegiance should be considered voluntary. An oath however makes it in essence a contract.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Treason

        • Aren’t you essentially saying that Congress cannot initiate any Constitutional amendments? That sounds ridiculous, given that the procedure for such amendments specifically involves Congress…

  27. The legislators in most states had left things in such a sad state that homeowners were left with unknown and often absurd financial risk merely for saving their own lives, using a gun: People in such states were not shirking. They were being rational. Fortunately that is changing. Pennsylvania provides a positive example. In any state Castle Doctrine, Stand Your Ground, and a Bar against civil suits by injured perpetrators and their families…will make a very good start in rendering armed self-defense a reasonable course of action.

    As to getting the free-riders, the shirkers, to stop milking the taxpayer-funded dial-a-cop system, we should do what the Coast Guard and Mountain Rescue units have begun to do: I suggest we charge people the cost of the services rendered from the moment a 911 call is made IF the calling location is the caller’s residence and it shows no evidence of attempts at crime alerts and defense (alarms, firearms, dogs). Second and third call fees should be assessed at a higher rate if no remedial action has been taken.

  28. There was a famous sermon delivered in Philadelphia in the mid-18th century, which if I were less senile I could probably remember. That sermon addressed this very issue along with Quaker pacifism. The preacher made the point that our lives were given us by God and to stand idly by and allow somebody else to extinguish them was a sin against God. Equally that our private property while ostensibly purchased with money was at root purchased with the time we spend in labor, or segments of our limited God given lives. Again to not defend what we have legitimately built up and our lives and those of our families he considered a grave sin and insult to God, with which I happen to personally agree. It is not a matter of wanting such a circumstance, given where I live if I want to be a vigilante I am sure taking the long way round to get there. It is more rightly a matter of being prepared mentally and physically to justly defend what is yours; that whole entire Gadsden Flag and all.

  29. Absolutely. It may be the Constitutional right for a Progressive to make himself a defenseless victim, but humanity has long established that it is the duty of men to protect their family.

  30. Guns are like tattoos, people who own them don’t judge those who don’t.

    If someone chooses to not own a firearm, I’ll accept that decision if it is one of them evaluating their risk. If they don’t think they need one, then who am I to judge their decision? I’m not responsible for them, or their family. If they run into a situation where they need a gun and don’t have one, I’ll feel for them if the outcome is negative, but I won’t waste my breath chastising them over their wrong decision. I’ll chalk it up to a “could have been a DGU” statistic.

    A few posts up, someone stated we shouldn’t be using the same moral yardstick the antis use against us. I agree with that. Freedom is exercising your rights. Freedom is also choosing not to exercise your rights.

    Where I take exception is when someone tells me that I can’t exercise my rights.

  31. Is “violent armed attackers” the only threat to one’s family? Do you have health insurance? Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen? Are teaching your children self-reliance by letting them walk or ride their bikes to school and be unscheduled after? (Or are you driving your kids everywhere and programming their every minute, dangerously shearing them of any agency whatsoever?) Are you feeding your family properly and encouraging them to get exercise? Do you have a fire plan? The average American family faces so many more likely threats than “violent armed attack” that obsessing about that one smells of starting with the solution you want and working back to find a problem that fits it. Every time you put your children in the car you’re putting them at way more peril than someone who goes to bed at night without a gun immediately to hand. You want to think about keeping your family safe? How about that gun? Is it lying around where any child or burglar can get it?

    • Is “violent armed attackers” the only threat to one’s family?
      No
      Do you have health insurance?
      Yes, as do most Americans.
      Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?
      Yes
      Are teaching your children self-reliance by letting them walk or ride their bikes to school and be unscheduled after?
      (Or are you driving your kids everywhere and programming their every minute, dangerously shearing them of any agency whatsoever?)
      No kids.
      Are you feeding your family properly and encouraging them to get exercise?
      Sure.
      Do you have a fire plan?
      Sure.
      The average American family faces so many more likely threats than “violent armed attack” that obsessing about that one smells of starting with the solution you want and working back to find a problem that fits it.
      No it doesn’t. Home invasions and burglaries happen. A home invasion happened a mile from my house a few months ago and I live in a great neighborhood. Many Americans don’t.
      Every time you put your children in the car you’re putting them at way more peril than someone who goes to bed at night without a gun immediately to hand.
      Yes, cars are much more dangerous the guns. I drive defensively and keep my car in good repair. I carry more than the state mandated car insurance.Yet despite all that I have been rear ended several times and it has never been my fault.
      You want to think about keeping your family safe? How about that gun? Is it lying around where any child or burglar can get it?
      All firearms are secure on person and off. The kitchen knives are in plain sight but no stabbings yet.
      I brush my teeth every day too. You seem to think gun owning Americans are incapable of basic adult responsibilities. What exactly is your point?

  32. No.

    There are both risks and benefits to gun ownership. Everyone is entitled to make their own risk-benefit analysis based on their own personal values and situation.

    I have looked at the research and concluded that as long as we carefully observe weapon safety and training protocols, my family and I are safer with guns than we would be without them.

    But I don’t judge someone who comes to the conclusion that their family’s risk of having a tragic accident with a gun is greater than their likelihood of ever needing to use on in self defense, especially if they have other means of self defense to draw upon. I don’t know all of the ins and outs of their particular situations, for all I know they’re correct in that assessment.

    And in all honesty, our reasons for owning guns have more to do with liking guns than with the small chance that we will ever personally need to use them to defend ourselves.

    I also firmly believe that a right is only a right if it’s a choice. If it’s not a choice it’s an obligation, not a right.

  33. I don’t know about lack of moral fiber. My 40year old son has decided to not have any icky guns in his home BECAUSE he has 3 young daughters and it would be “unsafe”…DESPITE being ex-military police,works as a spy at DoD and is a general bad-azz. And his gnarly wife is into krav maga and brazilian whatever they call it. And they have cops next door. I don’t bitch anymore even when riots occurred in nearby Baltimore. I hope and pray they are OK but you can’t fix STUPID…or liberal idiocy. Quite the opposite in grampa’s home-I will fight to the death to protect my family…

      • I forgot to state that the Navy considers technological interns as a potential terrorist and military target by our enemies.

      • And he speaks Arabic too. He’d
        probably disown me if he knew I talk about him anonymously on the internet. He also thinks ghetto crime would cease if drugs were legalized LOL-thugs gotta’ make $. It is what it is Tom…and he ain’t no intern.

  34. As a statistician I find the preoccupation with home invasions among some “people of the gun” to be disturbing.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2003-2007

    According to the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports, 430 burglary-related homicides occurred between 2003 and 2007 on average annually. This number translates to less than 1% of all homicides during that period.

    Between 2003 and 2007, approximately 2.1 million household burglaries were reported to the FBI each year on average.

    Household burglaries ending in homicide made up 0.004% of all burglaries during that period.

    There are on average 86 home invasion homicides a year. People’s ability to accurately asses risk is terrible. I bet there are a bunch of people driving around not wearing a seat belt with one hand on the wheel and one hand on a triple cheeseburger. Car accidents and coronary heart disease are literately thousands and thousands of times more likely to kill you than a random criminal act!

    • The FBI’s figure is implausibly low. I wonder if they excluded home invaders killed by home owners.

      I have a vague impression that home owners kill more than 86 home invaders per year based on reports I see on blogs scraped from the internet.

      In America, 40+% of homes have a gun; in many such homes, the gun is accessible and ready/near-ready for use. So, it’s not implausible for home owners to kill more invaders than vice versa.

      Under these circumstances, it’s not clear whether the FBI’s low number proves that guns in the home have rendered fear of home-invaders over-blown; or, whether homeowners are unnecessarily concerned with home invaders.

      I respect statisticians. I don’t have a lot of blind confidence in statistics or the conclusions drawn from the statistics.

    • Hmmm…. then as a statistician, you should know that risk, or probability of an event occurring, is not the only relevant factor in decision making. There’s also reward. The product of the two is the expected value. That EV is the starting point for decision making.

      Let’s play a game. Flip a (fair) coin, call it in the air. If it lands as you called it, I give you a dollar. How much would you pay to play this game? Well, that’s up to you, your aversion to risk, and your assessment of risk. What I can say for a fact is that this game has an expected value of 50 cents: (50% probability of winning)($1 reward) = 50 cents. Anything can happen on one coin toss, of course, but long run the heads and tails will even out. So paying anything less than 50 cents to play will, over time, guarantee you’ll come out ahead financially.

      So what dies this have to do with home invasions? This: people’s preparation decisions are based not only on the risk of an occurrence, but on the product of that risk AND the reward. (Risk and reward in stats are judgment/value-free, and don’t imply “good” or “bad”, just probability and outcomes.) The reward is not dying in abhome invasion. What’s the expected value?

      Well, there is admittedly a very low probability of occurrence, however the value of not dying is pretty high. Some might say infinite. Given that, any probability applied to such a high reward would still yield a very high expected value, perhaps incalculable; one worthy of intense preparation and not to be derided as an obsession.

      Anyway, I wish I’d responded earlier so you might have seen this. It’s a great conversation to have and deserves much more attention. Thanks.

      • You could apply the same exact calculation to, say, the risk of being killed by a meteor – after all, the value is also “infinite”. But you don’t see many people walking under armored umbrellas on the streets; and if someone did that, I’m pretty sure that most people here would dismiss it right away as an obsession.

        • Pssst…..large amounts of tax revenue (well, Chinese loan proceeds, anyway) are spent by NASA to track meteors and asteroids. A 2013 asteroid impact in Russia injured some 1,000 people.

          In fact, astronomer Phil Plait has calculated that any person’s lifetime odds of being killed by an asteroid impact are about 1 in 700,000. Maybe precautions are in order.

          Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean armored umbrellas, as you blithely suggest, but could take other forms, like awareness tracking efforts and evacuation of projected points of impact.

          Once again, sounds like a reasonable response to a viable risk, not an obsessive compulsion to phantom menaces.

        • My point is that the amount of effort (and money) spent on any such protective measures has to be proportionate to the risk, and that obviously puts a real value on human life – it’s not “effectively infinite”, otherwise we’d [try to] spend infinite amount of resources on it.

          Furthermore, there are many other different risks, and limited resources that can be allocated to dealing with them. You might deem it more prudent to buy a gun and practice regularly. Others might deem it more prudent to spend that same money on better health insurance. Depending on where you live, what your background is, and many other factors, either strategy might be a winning one.

  35. Do Americans who shun guns fail in their [stated] obligation to protect their loved ones and, perhaps, other innocent life? It does not help, but I am not sure all people feel they have an obligation to protect their loved ones as they may be trusting our wonderful government to protect them. Silly souls.
    Does the lack of gun ownership indicate a lack of moral fiber? It may indicate a lack of survival instinct.
    I will say people who shun guns are good evolution in action candidates.

  36. Individual freedoms are the responsibility of free citizens.

    Leftists are not free citizens.

    So, no, they’re not shirking their responsibilities. They’re being the pathetic slaves they were born to be.

  37. Freedom to choose does not negate the moral consequences of the choice. Freedom is specifically valued because it permits morality in choice. I can only be good because I have the option to be evil. The idea of a society of liberty is that the law allows you all freedom to be good or evil up to the point where you act on your evil in such a way as to limit the choices of your neighbor.

    Given that: Yes. All men are created equal. Those who choose LEO or military work are not a warrior class nor more expendable nor more qualified to assume the moral burden of killing, because there are no castes in the human species–not as God and nature made us, anyway. Violence is the dirty work of maintaining peace in any society. In a free society, if you are not willing to assume the burden, yet still insist that your neighbor (the cop) does it for you, you are guilty of choosing to have other people do your dirty work. This is not outsourcing your plumbing to a plumber. This is the great moral obligation of self-government: I am willing to govern myself and assume the spiritual burden of government, in exchange for my liberty.

    Certainly someone may opt not to be a cop or military, or may opt not to keep guns in his house with his children if he thinks he can’t keep them safe. Those are practical choices. But to the extent that he is unwilling to be armed and participatory in the enforcement of law and the protection of himself and his neighbor, yet expects his neighbor to get bloody or go into harm’s way for him, he is guilty of a moral debt.

  38. It’s not the guns, stupid. 🙂 Sorry couldn’t help myself. Owning or not owning a gun means nothing. But not having a plan or even any thought whatsoever about what you’re going to do if something terrible happens to you feels like some nonzero amount of negligence in my mind. I wouldn’t say that all those people lack moral fiber, though. We all battle with our demons. Pride. Thoughtlessness. And all the others.

    Still. There’s definitely some cowardly asses out there who are to stubborn to admit they are wrong no matter how the truth is presented to them.

  39. Most of the Treasonous and Seditious Anti Gun Types that I know would sell their mother too escape a SHTF Scenarios, especially if it meant so called peace for them!
    Nanny state and Me generation do not prepare our youth too use intestinal fortitude when making decisions! Just go with the flow!
    Answer is yes

  40. “Responsibility” is a word that connotes a moral obligation, so the answer is pretty clearly, “Yes.” Indeed, they are even shirking a social duty they are morally obliged to act on. This raises the issue, discussed at length by our Founders and other philosophers before them, of one’s moral obligation to one’s society, including family, friends, neighbors, and community generally. There are 2 sides to this (at least), the first side being the possible obligation to act to protect the society generally, and others living in it, particularly those who may be unable (through no fault of their own) to protect themselves. The idea is that, since you are a member of the society, you receive benefits from that status, and thereby incur an obligation towards the society in reciprocation. If the society protects YOU, then surely YOU, as part of that society, are obligated to protect IT, or others within it. This was encoded long ago in the old biblical injunction to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you would want someone else in the society to come to YOUR aid in an emergency, then surely you are equally obligated to come to THEIR aid in an emergency, right? It’s only fair.

    The second side is related to the immorality of expecting someone else, say a policeman, to risk his life to save yours, especially if you are not sufficiently invested in your own life to try and protect yourself. Liberals typically say that the policeman, or military person, has voluntarily accepted that obligation when (s)he chose such an occupation. But that is really a “cop out.” It still leaves open the issue of whether it is moral for someone who is (or could be) capable of protecting himself, to willingly abrogate that obligation and intentionally leave it to someone else.

    Liberals commonly resort to this argument in other areas, to justify things like “seatbelt and helmet laws.” The independent person says, “If I don’t wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle, and I get injured, no one is hurt but me. So I have a right to do that.” The liberal counter-argument goes, “If you don’t wear a helmet (or a seatbelt), then you are being irresponsible because you are expecting me (or at least the society of which I am a tax-paying part) to pay for your, possibly very extensive, medical expenses. This is unfair and irresponsible of you. Therefore, we are within our rights to pass laws requiring you to buy and wear a seatbelt or helmet, and to punish you if you don’t.” This is basically a socialistic argument that places the society’s benefit ahead of individual rights, something contrary to our national philosophy. However, the important point here, is to recognize that it is a common liberal argument that necessarily assumes that each member of the society has an obligation to act for the benefit of the society, even against their own wishes, and do everything possible to prevent becoming a burden on the society.

    The EXACT same argument can be made with an equal, or even greater, justification, for passing laws that would REQUIRE everyone capable of buying a gun and carrying it in public to do so, in order to avoid becoming a burden on the society. It also has the added effect of actually benefitting the society even further, because, unlike wearing a helmet, which can only help protect YOU, such a gun law would ALSO help to protect all those around you in public, and is therefore even better for the whole society. So it is even MORE morally justifiable than the common seatbelt and helmet laws with which Liberals are so infatuated.

    Ain’t philosophy wonderful?!!

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