Winds of change
I’ve been steering clear of posting anything about the recent events on my blog, until now. I’ve been sticking to debates on Facebook and in person. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can stay away any longer. Here’s a few random tidbits I’ve been trudging through.
I’m pro 2nd amendment, and living in NY where most people are on the other side of the fence makes this a bit difficult. Most of the time I speak to people about the recent events at Sandy Hook, I get a Piers Morgan type of response, saying that I’m insensitive or some sort of monster because I happen to believe that the only thing that will stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.
Let’s stop and think about that statement for a minute. I recently had someone tell me that there was a study done showing that an armed citizen is more likely to kill the wrong person or hurt more people rather than saving anyone, if the were allowed to carry firearms in public. Sure, if the person carrying is untrained in using it, and only knows what he saw on TV, then it’s entirely possible he could shoot the wrong person or miss. On the other hand, with proper instruction, which I believe we ALL should have (I learned about guns and shooting in the Boy Scouts, and have the merit badges to prove it), it’s actually been proven that carry laws have saved lives. I can go on and on citing sources, but to be honest, I really don’t want to enable anyone’s apathy further by doing all of the research for them. Look it up and be proactive, don’t just be lazy and close the page and write it off.
Anyways, let’s say you don’t believe in gun ownership for self defense or home defense. Now, let’s say someone breaks into your house to rob/kill/rape you, or a combination of the three. Who is the first person you call? SOMEONE WITH GUNS! If you had a neighbor who has guns, and he saw what was happening, came by, and ended the situation before any harm could befall you or your family, would you thank him OR would you demand that he turn in his firearms and/or sue him? Believe it or not, I do know people who would choose the latter.
Another person recently told me that because they live in a “nice” neighborhood and pay high taxes for it, they don’t have to fear such invasions or violence. This is a surprisingly popular misconception, and I’m not sure where people get it. I grew up in a “nice” neighborhood, which was about a mile from gangland. We were pretty much on the border, and I have news for you folks, you’re NOT safe. I know people don’t want to believe that, but it’s true. Shitty things happen to people everywhere. When I was a kid, I’d been jumped, robbed, and beaten on more than one occasion. My car was broken into and ransacked on FUCKING CHRISTMAS one year. On another occasion, I was out by the street getting into my car when a car pulled onto the street like a maniac. They slammed on the brakes, dumped someone out the door, and sped off. The beaten guy who was dumped got up and limped away, refusing help.
My point there is that living in a nice neighborhood doesn’t make you safe, it makes you deluded from reality. It provides an illusion. The woman who was in the news recently in Atlanta would have most likely been raped and/or killed along with her kids if she thought the same way. Instead, she was armed, had some training, and protected her family from the invader who sought to do them harm.
Now consider this. When shit happened in NYC, what did they do in Penn Station? Did they make it a gun free zone? No, they filled it with armed police AND armed military. When people hijacked planes, did they make planes gun free zones? No, they filled more planes with armed air marshalls, armed pilots, and trained them in self defense and combat. Now someone goes and attacks the most precious things we’ll ever have in life, our children, and instead of protecting them we’re making them better targets?! How is this logical? A friend of mine, and fellow blogger, posted an interesting article about the media’s role in this type of thinking which is well worth a read. I’m not gonna reiterate any of those points here, since it’d be completely half assed in comparison, so go read that now….I’ll wait.
I think a big part of the problem here is that people either don’t understand our culture, or don’t understand the world. Other countries, believe it or not, have tons of violent crime. We’re not even in the top ten. Look it up, don’t just go by the spun Piers Morgan version, who only focuses on how many gun homicides per capita there are in UK vs America, without stating that the vast majority of such killings are either police shooting criminals, or criminals shooting criminals. Many others are people defending themselves. What he also won’t tell you, is that the violent crime rate in the UK is TRIPLE that of the US per capita. This means that if you went to London, you are three times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than you would be if you were in NYC. I wonder why Piers, when confronted with this statement, quickly changes the subject. After all, guns are used in crimes that don’t end up in homicide. Being raped at gunpoint, or robbed at gunpoint, would be considered a violent crime.
This is all coming to a head now that NY is passing an “assault weapon” ban. This not only affects sales of firearms, but OWNED firearms as well. This means that if you own a firearm that is considered an “assault rifle”, you will be considered in possession of contraband. This law also means that these weapons must be turned in, lest they be confiscated causing you to face criminal charges. It also bans magazines with an ammo capacity of 11 or more rounds. No grandfathering. If you own one, you gotta give it up. The word of the day, kids, is unconstitutional.
This ban is ridiculous and useless on many levels. First of all, believe it or not, the VAST majority or gun related violence, including all mass shootings, are committed with handguns, not rifles. Assault rifles represent less than 5% of gun related crime in the US, and most of those are rifles purchased illegally. Legally obtained rifles like this count for less than 1%. Second, an argument is always made by gun control advocates that “if a ban meant that even one child could be spared, then it’s worth it”. Well, food for thought. According to the FBI, guns are used in self defense and/or to prevent violent crime 2.5 million times a year in the US. So if we ban certain types of guns and confiscate them and, just for argument’s sake, ten people are unable to protect themselves with said firearms and it results in the death of a child, isn’t that child’s life worth it as well? Don’t think that can happen? Check out people during the L.A. riots who had “assault rifles” and sat on their roofs protecting themselves and their property from looters.
Seriously, I could go on and on with statistics and examples, but the fact of the matter is that gun control laws do NOT lower crime rates. Look at more rural areas where most people have firearms and the availability of such weapons is high. Not a lot of school shootings there. Look at Aurora, where the movie theater shooting happened. The theater targeted was one of 7 theaters near the shooter’s home, and was the only theater that was labeled a gun free zone and didn’t allow concealed or open carry. Look at Maryland around the year 2000, who proudly stated that they had the strictest gun laws in the US. According to the FBI, they were #1 in robberies, and #4 in violent crime and murder.
“Gun control has not worked in Washington D.C. The only people who have guns
are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder
rates. It’s quicker to pull your Smith & Wesson than to dial 911 if you’re being
robbed.” – Lt. Lowell Duckett, Special Assistant to DC Police Chief; President, Black Police Caucus, The
Washington Post, March 22, 1996
If you’re still reading all this, please do me a favor. Consider, for a moment, that my information is incorrect. Pretend I’m lying in order to sway you to my opinion. Go out there and fact check. Do your own research. Form your own informed opinion on the subject, because to me, that’s the most important message I could convey to someone. You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to even like me, but if you choose a side or form an opinion, don’t just blindly follow. Be your own person, and don’t buy the bullshit of others. Open your eyes to the reality of the world around you and change your perspective. Entertain possible and even impossible alternative views on the world and its issues. You’ll be better off.