Do You Second That Amendement?

I have never understood the interest people have in guns. I guess there is this romantic idea of guns, where you can topple evil doers (ala Ralphie’s dream in A Christmas Story) or the thought that guns were the things used by frontiersmen to conquer the wild outdoors. But to me guns are just….meh.

I always found the ways people justify their love for guns rather odd. Whenever I bring up the fact I am not into them to someone who does like guns, I always strange ‘reasons’ like:

  • Well my grandfather was in the military and like to collect them

  • I strictly use mine for target practice

  • I use if for protection (despite the fact there is a 1 in 80*10^60 chance you would need a gun to defend yourself, as per the NRA. Read this if you poo-poo these numbers.)

  • I like to hunt on the weekends


All of that may be true, but that is not enough to galvanize people so much to support the NRA. Collect guns? You can collect bottle caps or baseball cards instead. I used to be a teacher, I don’t collect math textbooks. Instead of a gun for target practice, why not use a laser gun with no bullets? And I think a simple one-shot rifle is good enough to hunt elk, quail, or whatever else you need to kill. But those alternatives don’t jive with many people.

I also find the entire mindset of hardcore gun owners rather perplexing:

  • Typically people prefer to be a part of a select crowd, like being a member to a special club. In other words, I would think gun owners would want tougher restrictions and allow fewer people in their clique. But nope, they want as many people to own guns as possible, making their ownership less exclusive.

  • I always thought religion, especially Christianity, was an institute that promoted peace (you can scoff, but that is the core belief of Christianity, although not always practiced). So how did all of this ‘God and Guns’ movement start? It is hard for me to imagine Jesus with an assault rifle.

Oh never mind. I can see it now.

  • One of the prevailing thoughts of anti-gun control activists is that these mass murderers are so motivated, they will get a hold of a gun anyway, why bother? I don’t believe even they subscribe to that notion. If they did, why lock your door, the burglar will just break in anyway? Why outlaw drugs to kids, if your son/daughter wants to get high, they will find crystal meth anyway? Why have preventative measures about acquiring nuclear weapons? If a country wants to bomb us so bad, they will find a way. Making anything less accessible will lessen the use of it. Sure, gun control doesn’t solve all the issues, but it helps. Look at other country’s murder rates and how it correlates to their gun laws. Heck, just look at ours state by state.Read this if you don’t believe me, especially point #8.

  • Another idea is that if we all armed ourselves, we can shoot the bad guys before they shoot us, neglecting the idea of others being hit by stray bullets. I think we all can agree that police officers are highly trained in firing guns. Here are some stats:

‘According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study evaluating the New York Police Department’s firearm training, between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate during gunfights was just 18 percent. When suspects did not return fire, police officers hit their targets 30 percent of the time.’Read this if you want more: So I guess it is hard to shoot a gun accurately.

Going back to my original thought: why do people defend gun ownership so aggressively? It can’t be just to collect, it can’t be just for target practice, it can’t be for just protection, it can’t be because the bad guys will just end up with guns, there has to be another reason. Hmmmm…..I really don’t know. Maybe just some people really really really really really like guns.

Maybe I believe all of this because, as stated earlier, I don’t care so much for guns. I don’t know, maybe that’s true. But I do know a few things:

  • Firearms were invented to kill things

  • Guns were invented to kill people

  • Small guns were invented to hide

  • Plastic guns were invented to get through metal detectors

  • Semi-automatic weapons were invented to kill a lot of people fast

  • Automatic weapons were invented to kill a lot of people faster

Oh, there is one more thing I know:

  • It is legal for a man to be on the ‘FBI Person of Interest’ list to buy a .223 caliber AR-type rifle and a Glock handgun. The NRA has put literally billions of dollars over the years to make this possible.

I know nothing I say on here will sway you; you either agree with me and are giving me a virtual high-five right now, or you are irate at this and want to yell some sense into me (if so, just relax and read the Panda article, it is sort of funny). So I know everything stated in here is somewhat in vain.

But just do me one favor…

Do this one simple thought experiment.

You are eating at a restaurant. A man walks in; looks normal and dressed casual but he is a stranger to you. He has a gun, non-concealed and perfectly legal, hanging off his belt. Do you feel more safe or less safe? And why?