I am not a US citizen (but, would love to become one day). I grew up in a place (India) where guns are not 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 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. That all changed when the Sandy Hook shooting happened. Since then, I bought a Beretta PX4 storm and follow TTAG religiously and 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. 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 against 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 cannot 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 abolishment of guns to restriction 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 cannot yell “fire” to alert my family when my own house is on fire? Does that sound absurd? Welcome to the gun club (you are free to talk about it).
Being in Southern Louisiana for the last 7 years of my life has 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 really long time just because I was afraid of my interpretation of federal and state gun laws and the ATF ignoring my request for information.
While having a gun is not a 100% guarantee, it gives a 5’7 160lb guy a chance against a 230lb 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 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 a ‘wrong’ neighborhood. In short, guns enforce societal equality.
Not being a US citizen and born in India with practically no private gun ownership, I could add another perspective. All the people of Indian decent that I know of do not own a gun. Some of them are students, some work on a temporary visa and some are US citizens. Most of them are easily intimidated because of their inherent fear of not being able to defend for themself and their family. It is so obvious, yet they cannot bring themselves to owning a gun and it’s a shame. They truly believe that the cops will arrive in time to rescue them and try to avoid thinking of those situations. As a good friend of mine says, “they all can hope, but, I carry a Colt”.
Another rhetorical point often floated by anti-guns is how people 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 a gun and insert a knife/baseball bat. The individual still has to make the decision to either use force or not. Guns only make it easy 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 CQC specialist, a gun evens out a situation in its ability to rapidly deploy and dish out effective lethality.
When someone makes the decision to buy a gun or carry one on their person, they are not looking for trouble. They are being prepared for it. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that most of those people would in fact be very happy if they are left alone and not be troubled by a mugger and silently hopes that the big bulge on the side will be a deterrent rather than hope to be in a confrontation to kill a perp.
Finally, I do not support background checks as a matter of principle that if the government or LEOs cannot guarantee my safety – and the courts hold that view – my right to survival should not be infringed by anyone. This is also why I am against the so-called non-qualified people clause attributed to felons. I understand that there are people who are closer to savages than people, but if we trust them enough to release them back into society, they should also be able to defend themselves. If not, then they should never be out of a prison.