Sunday, December 16, 2012

Musings on Mass Shootings, Part 2: Self-defense

On anther conversation on FB, a friend, proud gun-owner, said she owns an assault weapon and "doesn't wish to kill anyone." 


The only purpose of a gun is to kill.

If you own a gun, you do so because you plan on using it at some point. And, by design, the reason you use a gun is because you want to kill someone. (If you plan on using a gun to shoot empty cans in an abandoned field, then go buy a Nerf gun. If you own a real gun to shoot cans, then you're too stupid to be trusted with a real gun.)

She did, further down the thread, say she had the gun for protection; she felt safer when she was in the house  alone because of the gun. If you're using the gun "for protection," you are planning on killing someone. You are planning on killing the intruder who's coming in to attack you.

That's not a problem. (If someone is breaking into your house to attack you, yeah, you get to kill them to stop them from killing you first. I'm okay with that.)

But please own up to it.

Oh, and, also? Please do plan on doing it.

If you do not actually want to kill that intruder coming into your house to attack you, then you don't understand how guns work. Guns are for killing, not for scaring. If you point the gun at the intruder and think that is going to be enough to make him go, "Good golly! Well, gee-wilikers, ma'am, I'm ever so sorry to have bothered you. I'll show myself out, if you don't mind."

If you're pointing a gun at someone, you have just given that person permission to shoot you dead first, and given hir a really, really good reason to do so quickly.

I still want to scream at the woman I saw on the news decades ago, when there was a serial rapist in the area where I lived (so I wasted part of my day watching the local news -- hey, I was in college, I didn't know any better. I thought I could actually get information from watching the local news). This woman was so proud of herself, because she was prepared for that rapist, by golly!

"I have a gun right here in my purse! And if that rapist tries to come after me, well, I'll just shoot him in the kneecaps!"

(It was a good thing this was way back when we had the old, fat TVs, because when I started throwing stuff at it, it didn't tip over, like a flatscreen would have.)

Really, woman? REALLY??

Because the dude's just going to stand there while you fish your gun out of your purse, take off the safety, and aim at HIS KNEECAPS.

If this is the way you think guns work, this is the way you think they can be used, you are too stupid to have a real gun. Give it back. And who thought you were capable enough to handle a real gun in the first place??

(Yes, I know, this was ONE person I happened to see on a newscast, and they probably looked for the stupidest clip out of all the people they interviewed. Yes, it is possible that she is the only person in the world who is THIS clueless and thoughtless about guns and how they work. If you think that, I wish I could overestimate humanity the way you do.)

We don't like to admit that we want to kill another person. That just sounds so... mean. And many of us do not think we would be capable of killing another person, even if our life, or the life of a loved one, were in danger. Then there's those of us who don't think we'd ever be able to shoot a gun accurately enough to kill that person coming into my house to hurt me or my child (even if I wanted to do so).

I get that you want to protect your house and your loved ones.

What I don't get is that, with all the brains and ingenuity and entrepreneurship in this country (or all the brains and ingenuity and entrepreneurship that we're always bragging about having in this country), we have not been able to come up with something better than a handgun or an assault weapon.

I don't mean "better" as in "making more people more dead more fast." I mean "better" as in "accomplishing the goal in a safer, more efficient manner with as few side effects or problems as possible."

What about stun guns? Can we develop stun guns to be an effective way to stop an intruder in your home?

What about tranquilizer guns? Like elephant-grade tranquilizer guns?

Why can't we find something that will stop the Bad Guy quickly, is easy to use, and won't cause irreparable DEATH if your kid gets a hold of it and takes it to school, or takes it out to show his friends how cool it is so they'll let him into the Cool Kids Club?

I am honestly asking. Those of you who want to have a gun in the home to defend your home, does it have to be something that will KILL the guy? Or do you just want to stop him, to save yourself and your family?

Me, personally, I don't want to learn how to shoot a gun. I don't know if I have what it takes to pull the trigger, and I don't know if I have what it takes to hit the target. Yes, it is highly likely that in the panic and adrenaline of the moment, if I or my son were in immediate, intense danger I would be able to pull the trigger, but I doubt I would have any accuracy if my state of mind and mood were that affected. However, I can totally see myself shooting tranquilizer darts all over the flippin' place.

I bet there are several people who do not want guns, but who would be open to non-lethal alternatives.

So why don't we want to come up with any? Where is the Steve Jobs of personal defense?

Are these things out there, and I just haven't heard about them because nobody talks about them? Do elephant-grade tranquilizer drugs have more restrictions on them than semi-automatic weapons? And if so, have we seriously not ever stopped to question that and perhaps suggest we flip those???

I know stun guns and elephant-grade tranquilizer are not 100% safe. I don't have any facts or information on side effects and other information, but something tells me guns are significantly more lethal than stun guns and tranquilizers (even elephant-grade ones -- and by the way, ever heard of hyperbole? We don't necessarily need elephant-grade tranquilizers. Lion-grade or alligator-grade would probably work just fine). Please don't tell me my argument is stupid because there are possible side effects to heavy-duty tranquilizers and/or extremely high voltages of stun guns (or repeated exposure to high voltages of stub guns). How do those numbers compare to the number of people who die from being shot?

So, seriously, honestly. Why do we never talk about OTHER self-defense options?

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