I wrote this comment in response to a stat-dependent Boston.com editorial recommending House Bill 4102. It also contained this challenge: “I would love to hear from gun advocates a good reason why anyone, other than traffickers, would need to purchase more than one in a month’s time.”
You asked for a reason why someone would want to buy more than one gun a month. Others have pointed out that it is their right to do so. Commentators have said that, as consumers and legal gun owners, they simply want to exercise that right in response to sales and other personal preferences. There’s another, more practical reason: self defense.
Most home invasions are not the stereotypical “bump in the night” burglary, where a homeowner only needs a single, easily accessible (for them) weapon. Most home invasions are fast, violent, daylight assaults.
IF a person is going to use a firearm to stop a home invasion, the best place to have it is on them. For adults with children, that’s not really an option, from both a safety and psychological point of view. It’s also not the most comfortable of accoutrements. And I’m sure you’d consider it a sign of paranoia. But just because you’re paranoid . . .
Anyway, to defend against a home invasion with a gun, you need to have a gun. It has to be nearby. Home defense experts recommend a quick access gun safe in most major areas of the home. Hence multiple guns.
Then there’s the fact that a small, concealed carry gun is not an ideal home defense gun. If a threat could strike anywhere (e.g. stalker, sexual deviant), you need one gun for each environment: home and away.
So why not spread out the purchases over a few months or more?
Here’s the problem: when someone who doesn’t own any guns feels the need to own a gun, they usually do so in response to a specific, credible, immediate threat. So they need a gun NOW. Or, as I’ve tried to argue, they need multiple guns. This new law wold make that impossible.
Again, I understand the “gun nuts are paranoid” defense against this personal defense argument. As you seem to love stats, I’m sure you could make a case that more people are killed through good guns gone bad than gun owners than home owners killed by home invaders because they only had one gun.
No matter what the numbers say, Americans have the right to armed self-defense. Even in Massachusetts. So if we have that right, we should also have the right to do it effectively. (Don’t get me started on the types of restricted weapons and weapon systems in The Bay State.) Restricting gun buyers to one gun a month may seem like a sensible move, but it will have deadly unintended consequences. Which are worthy of your reasoned consideration.