Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Guns!




I'm on a roll....my last several posts have pissed off a lot of people.  Now I'm really gonna stroke people out.  My topic today is GUNS!

It would be pretty easy to make the argument that the world would be better off if there were no guns at all.  (Hunters might disagree, but that's a topic for another day.)  No guns would mean fewer wars, robberies, accidental shootings, and ex-spouses offed by their former mates, all good things.  Some countries have even outlawed guns in the hands of private citizens, with varying degrees of success.

Fact is, though, in the USA there are already well over 300,000,000 guns in the public domain.  Fortunately most are in the hands of decent, law abiding citizens, but sadly more than a few are in the hands of some really bad people, hereafter referred to as "the Bad Guys".  What makes them "Bad Guys" is the fact that they disobey laws.

Guns are a major political issue.  One group wants to ban them entirely, one group wants virtually no restrictions at all, and another group is somewhere in the middle. 

Those who want to ban guns are IMO living in La-La-Land.  Even if a law was passed that said everyone must turn in their guns, only law abiding citizens would comply.  Bad Guys, by definition, disobey laws, and this is one they would surely disobey.  Guns are the tools of their trade, just like a hammer is to a carpenter, or a Word program is to a writer.  We will NEVER get rid of all guns in America.

The crux of the "ban-'em-all" argument is that the Constitution says only MILITIAS can be armed, not individual citizens.  To which I say, it's a moot point.  Those 300M genies are NOT going back in the bottle.

At the other extreme are the hard-core NRA types who say they will give up their guns only "when you pry them from my cold, dead hands", and I believe they're speaking literally.  They will (reluctantly?) agree that felons and the mentally insane shouldn't have guns, but not much more.  I'm always amazed by the power of the NRA.  (Full disclosure:  I'm not a member of the NRA.)

Unless you're one of the unlucky ones who lives in a high crime area, you've probably never been the victim of a violent crime, which might lead you to say people don't need guns.  The odds of being attacked are infinitesimal.  Not true.  You can be a victim anywhere.

Some examples:  I have a friend who was shot when he was caught in the middle of a botched robbery.  He walked in to a rather nice restaurant on Mockingbird Ave in Dallas, not far from the fashionable M Streets and Lakewood, at the wrong time.  (He recovered.)

My cousin and her husband were once the victims of a home invasion.  They lived in a comfortable neighborhood, but were run over by armed intruders who ruffed her up and pistol-whipped him so badly he needed brain surgery.  (Fortunately, he recovered, too.)

And this lady....


She was visiting friends at the high-end Shops of Legacy, the same neighborhood where K and I lived for three years, when she was abducted.  Now, five months later, she's still missing and presumed dead.  I've parked in the same garage she did, dined at the same restaurants, and walked along the same streets. *gulp!*

I think the middle-grounders are on the right track.  Some people definitely should not have guns, but others, those who know guns, all the safety rules, and the legal obligations of gun ownership, should be allowed to have them, and even carry them concealed.  Odds are they will never need to use them, but the odds are their house will never burn to the ground, either, but they still want the protection of fire insurance.

It's relatively easy to identify who the good guys are.  They agree to being fingerprinted and photographed, a very detailed 2-3 month long background check (by local, state, and national law enforcement), and take safety classes and pass proficiency tests with their firearms. 

These measures seem to work.  In the most recent year my gun-totin' state of Texas has records for, the number of crimes committed by over 500,000 licensed concealed handgun carriers was only .1897% of all crimes reported.

If you ask a concealed carrying gun owner why he carries, he will likely tell you there are too many Bad Guys, and not enough good guys (cops).  True.  Cops are almost always RE-active.  They show up AFTER a crime has occurred.  

A super efficient police force might take 4-5 minutes to respond to a call for help, but in many cities that might be 30 minutes or more.  In rural areas it might take an hour.  Most violent crimes are over in less than 2 minutes.  

Unless we're prepared for a DRAMATIC increase in taxes to support 5 times (?) as many cops as we have now (and good luck even finding 5 times as many potential cops!), enough to put one on every corner, we can't depend on the police to protect us.

The real answer to the "to have or not to have" guns issue is finding out how to get guns out of the hands of the Bad Guys, and that is an answer we may never find.  *sigh*  Figure that out, and everything else will fall into place.

Some might say, "two wrongs don't make a right".  Just say "NO" to guns.  Others will say it's human nature to want to protect yourself, and the more you tell people they CAN'T do something, the more they'll want to do it.  

Bottom line:  Guns are here, now.  People already have them.  Many people will carry them concealed for protection.  I would rather see them reasonably regulated and made legally available to those who are vetted and properly trained, than have them purchased with no restrictions from a guy named Rocko in a back alley somewhere.

S


14 comments:

  1. Sane people need to learn the power of semantics and call for "Gun Regulation" not "Gun Control." Kind of like calling for "Pro-choice" instead of "Pro- abortion."

    Few people are calling for turning in all the guns, just an attempt to regulate their use and the ability to keep them out of the hands of the bad guys.

    Yes, I know bad guys will always get guns, but maybe less bad guys will get less guns. Banks will always be robbed, so should we make it legal to rob banks? And Yes, guns don't kill people, people kill people, but guns do increase the efficiency of people killing people by several fold.

    Enjoy the stones that will be hurled at you by both sides of your well thought out reasonable position.

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    1. Thanks Big Joe. I have my riot helmet and shield out and ready. :)

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  2. I have no issue with people wanting guns; in fact, I've thought of buying one and taking it to the firing range for practice. You're right about "bad guys" always having guns, but I see no reason why assault rifles are permitted with the capability of mowing down hundreds of people in a few minutes. These have been outlawed before and they should be outlawed again. I'm disturbed by how many people are currently being shot or killed by guns accidentally. Recently, a young couple was shot at a WalMart when their three year old daughter reached into Mommy's purse and pulled out a loaded gun. We also need to improve our "mental" care in this country because budget cuts are putting questionable people out on the streets. These people are waving guns in hope that cops will shoot them---suicide by cop. This is a tragedy, and traumatic for cops.

    I detest the NRA for turning guns into a political issue, but solving this problem is well above my pay grade.

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  3. Toying with the third rail today, eh?

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  4. This reminds me of an article I read a while back that said my good ole home state is the number one place in the - can't remember if it's nation or world - for silencer sales. Those would be for the bad guys, right?

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    1. Silencers are in vogue now, but I can't figure out why.

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  5. There are no practical solutions to this issue. You can regulate guns but you can go through all the background checks put your gun in a safety box in your closet and then someone breaks in when you're not around, steals the gun, and files off the serial number and sells it on the black market.

    I will say people carrying guns does not make me feel safer. One time in the grocery store some dude in camouflage was carrying a handgun and needless to say I felt a lot more nervous. And giving them to everyone would make me feel even less safe than that. Do I want that jerk who cut me off on the highway to have a gun? Or does he want me to have a gun? All guns do is escalate the problem.

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    1. You say people carrying guns does not make you feel safer. I think they carry to make THEM feel safer. And giving them to everyone? NO WAY! And I suspect that those prone to road rage already have had problems with the law and couldn't pass the background check.

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  6. The solution is obvious. Let everyone have all the guns they want. Just ban ammunition.

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  7. Sorry, can't live up to rant expectations....I've owned guns for near 60 years, hunted most of my life, served in military in a combat zone. I understand most gun control arguments from all but the far distant right, all of it makes sense. Yes, countries with stricter gun laws have fewer deaths, yes, the guns that are out there already will be hard to get out of circulation, on and on. On a sidebar, a seminar on how the 2nd amendment got so weird is a subject of interest.

    What disturbs me is the logical conclusion.....that we will just go on from here, tolerating the school shootings, the gun accidents at home, it's just a fact of life.

    If it only makes a tiny dent in gun deaths, maybe something like banning assault weapons is a start. Maybe it'll take decades, longer. Maybe our great-great-great grandkids will see fewer deaths. Maybe small steps is all that is available to us. So let's take them.

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  8. I keep hearing about all these "responsible" gun owners, the "good guys" who leave a gun in their unlocked car. Or somewhere in their house, under the bed or in the night stand. Or they have it around when they get drunk and into a fight with their spouse. Or, like Stephen mentioned, carry it into a Walmart where the three-year-old pulls it out of the purse and kills the mother.

    You can own a gun in Germany, for example. The test to get the license for owning a gun is supposedly tougher than the SATs. That eliminate a whole bunch of people...

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    1. Sounds like they are good guys only because they don't yet qualify as bad guys. But responsible? Hardly.

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