Reader SM writes . . .
I am not a US citizen, but would love to become one some day. I grew up in a place (India) where guns aren’t easily accessible and I did not think about owning them for a long time. I was always told to stay away from trouble and I would be OK.
I grew up thinking that the world is fair and if I don’t harm anyone, I wouldn’t be harmed. That worked out great for a while until the day that it didn’t, and I quickly realized that there are physically bigger people who do not always have the nicest of intentions.
I have been to the range many times, thought about buying a gun, but never went through with it. All of that changed when the Sandy Hook shooting happened. Since then, I bought a Beretta PX4 Storm and follow TTAG religiously. I try to remember the many points that the authors here make in countering the anti-gun people I encounter every now and then.
We all know how important guns are historically in this nation and the rights conferred by the Constitution, but I want to touch on a few points about guns, free speech and social justice in modern society.
I believe the Second Amendment is a hedge on the other amendments including the First, but think the necessity of collecting that bet is slim. Free speech has certain limitations, like you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater when there is none.
Similarly, you can’t shoot into a crowd of people in a theater either. But, they both can happen. Hence, if one person shoots some people in a theater, the potential solutions run the gamut from complete abolition of civilian firearms to restrictions on types of guns that I can use in my own home.
Extend this logic to the ‘fire in a theater’ scenario. Do we now say that I can’t yell “fire” to alert my family when my own house is on burning? Does that sound absurd? Welcome to the gun club (feel free to talk about it).
Being in southern Louisiana for the last seven years of my life has had its ups and down. Baton Rouge had so much crime that I thought about moving to other states. But I soon realized that safety starts with personal responsibility and I wasn’t doing my part in ensuring that.
So, I tooled up, but it took a long time because I was afraid of my interpretation of federal and state gun laws and the ATF ignoring my requests for information.
While having a gun isn’t a 100% guarantee, it gives a 5’7 160 pound guy a chance against a 230 pound thug. Speaking of chances, I find it contradictory that a lot of anti-gun folks I encountered believe there is gross injustice done to the underrepresented and the so-called helpless.
They strive to achieve their perception of balance through socialist policies, yet fail to see how good guys with guns help out in a situation involving bad guys with guns, especially in a “gun-free” zone where people are always vulnerable.
Guns level the playing field in dealing with unlawful and unwarranted use of force against someone with decisive and lethal force. This could be against an 80-year-old grandpa, a 16-year-old lesbian or a minority in the ‘wrong’ neighborhood. In short, guns enforce societal equality.
Not being a US citizen and born in India, where there’s practically no private gun ownership, I could add another perspective. None of the people of Indian decent that I know own a gun. Some of them are students, some work on temporary visas and some are US citizens. Most of them are easily intimidated because of their inherent fear of not being able to defend themselves and their families.
The solution is so obvious, yet they can’t bring themselves to own a gun and it’s a shame. They truly believe that the police will arrive in time to rescue them and try to avoid thinking about those situations. As a good friend of mine likes to say, “They all can hope, but, I carry a Colt.”
Another rhetorical point often floated by anti-gunners is that people tend to escalate a situation when they have a gun. They fail to realize, again, that a gun is not the “one ring to rule them all,” something that compels a person to use it. Take away the gun and insert a knife or baseball bat. The individual still has to make the decision to either use force or not.
Guns only make it easier and that’s not a bad thing. Unlike a baseball bat or a knife whose effectiveness primarily depends on the wielder’s ability to swing it or be a CQB specialist, a gun evens a situation in its ability to rapidly deploy and dish out effective lethality.
Unlike the image portrayed by anti-gunners, someone who makes the decision to buy a gun or carry one on their person, isn’t looking for trouble. They are being prepared for it. They’re very happy to be left alone and not be troubled by a mugger and silently hope that the bulge on the side might be a deterrent.
Finally, I don’t support background checks as a matter of principle that if the government or LEOs can’t guarantee my safety – and the courts hold that view – my right to survival should not be infringed by anyone. I also believe that felons who have paid their debt to society should have their gun rights restored.
I understand that there is a minority of people who are closer to savages than people, but if we trust someone enough to release them back into society, they should also have the right to defend themselves. If not, then they should never be out of a prison.