CLW has some thoughts on where we’ll end up if everybody was packing heat.
Please, any of the pro-gun people, tell me where this leads. What does their ideal world look like? Is everyone walking around with a sidearm? Does every office, store, school, and home have weapons aplenty? Do we no longer need professional police because we’re all responsible for our own safety and security? Are we all just an “oops, I forgot my turn signal” away from a bullet in the head? Does the “drunk uncle” skit on Saturday Night Live turn tragic thousands of times a night? Really, what does the world look like if we’re all heavily armed? Is that a world you want to live in?
And take this whole line of argument to it’s logical conclusion. Nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people. So we should arm every country, every state, with nuclear weapons. Not just the seven or so of the 160+ countries that have them today, but arm them all. Every one, from Iceland to Chile, from Morocco to the Maldives, from Kenya to Kuwait, from Samoa to Somalia, and yes, North Korea and Iran. Arm them all. That way, no one will mess with any of them, we’ll all be safer. Makes sense?
No, of course it doesn’t. And why? Because almost all of those countries aren’t capable of handling them in a way that makes the rest of us feel safe. They don’t have thousands of professionals who know what they are doing around them, managing them carefully, keeping up on training, guarding them carefully, and with rigorous civilian and political safeguards controlling their use. Just like what we ask for and demand from a good police force and military.
I know having a gun makes all you testosterone-hungry people feel like real macho people when you fire them, and I know you think you’ll keep yourself and your family safe. But the odds are far better that someone will hurt or kill someone you love by accident than you’ll ever save yourself from an assailant. Study after study has shown that even trained pros have a difficult time responding properly in these kind of events. The average Joe (or Jane) doesn’t have a chance.
So please, think this through. Be careful what you wish for… It’s a nightmare.
What’s more, there isn’t any way we have come up with to protect ourselves from the clumsy and the stupid. Just about every day you can come across a story where someone shot a neighbor or even someone in their family by accident; they dropped the gun, they heard a noise. Some are even farcical and karmic; they shoot themselves literally in the foot or other precious body parts.
No amount of gun safety and training can make up for the Darwinian instinct to do the dumbest thing possible while handling something lethal.