My sister-in-law is one of my good — no, great…no, best friends. She’s one of those people with whom I can disagree, with whom I can have a terrific argument, full of facts and emotion and emotional facts, and at the end of it all, we just keep on being friends. About politics. About religion. About society. About Trump. We disagree about many, many things. But above all, we respect each other. If you don’t have a friend like this, you should get one.
We had an interesting series of conversations recently. She’s anti-gun. Really anti-gun. For all the reasons I could list, but I won’t, because you’ve heard them all before. I took her shooting and she hated it.
Recently I was helping her work on her car when I noticed a collapsible ASP baton, the kind police carry, and the kind our home state frowns upon. Like, it’s a felony, lose your job, no really, frown upon.
Not wanting to be especially judgey, I mentioned that she might want to be careful with it, because of the 5-0 and the traffic stops and stufflikethat.
She was shocked, amazed, even stunned, that merely possessing such a thing was illegal. Yes, I explained, because there is no NBA (National Baton Association) to litigate on behalf of lawful baton owners, using the Second Amendment of the baton bill of rights.
Imagine how much she lost her shite when I told her, as opposed to the baton, it would only be a misdemeanor if she were caught with a pistol and no CCW permit.
She explained, not to my surprise, how many of her girlfriends routinely carried self-defense objects outlawed in our peculiar state. Brass knuckles. Baseball bats. Pointy things. Martial-arts-trained hands and feet (ha ha, not illegal…yet). Because, why not? Why wouldn’t an independent, single woman, who works and lives in a major city, coming and going at all hours, carry some means of self-defense? Why wouldn’t a feminist shuck off the burden of reliance on some…man…to come and save them? The future is female! (Well, actually, it might be.)
But a gun? Oh, hell no.
Why not, I asked? If you’re clearly not of the turn-the-other-cheek variety, if you’re clearly in favor of self-defense — armed or otherwise — if you clearly value your own life and self-worth, why not carry the best? Why half-ass around with a stick that’s sure to get you arrested, and that’s probably useless against a chemically altered or bigger dude, never mind two of them? (And by the way, if he wasn’t going to hurt you before you pulled a stick on him, he sure is afterwards.)
If there comes the dreaded bump in the night, you’d call a cop, right? A cop with a gun? Is there any other kind? And you don’t trust cops, so….
So why don’t you own a gun?
Because it could be turned against you? Anything can be turned against you.
Because guns are used in crimes? Damn right they are, for good reason.
Because guns are evil instruments of murder? Yawn.
Because you don’t want to hurt someone? Explain that baton to me again, please.
Unless you’ve got a tendency towards self-harm, or live with someone who does, Unless you’ve got an uncontrolled temper, why don’t you own a gun? Why doesn’t everyone?
I didn’t “win” the argument, but I didn’t expect to. I respect anyone who doesn’t want the responsibility of owning or carrying a gun. It’s hard. It’s dangerous. It’s a buzz kill. Maybe you don’t trust yourself, or someone else you live with. That’s okay with me. You be you.
But to value all of the right things, for all o f the right reasons, and go 90% of the way to self-reliance, only to stop…this is something that I just can’t understand.