Tritone keeps asking what you’d do in a given situation. I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d fight back with my mind, that’s what I’d do. Ha, you might say Tritone but its not as simple as us non-gun owners rolling over and “begging” for our lives or “whimpering” as we stare down the barrel of a gun or watch our loved ones be victimized. Let me explain it to you. It starts with sturdy double door locks on your doors, double pane windows, good for the environment and your energy bill and they make a big scene when broken, exterior lighting on motion sensors, a zoned home alarm system that allows the alarm to be set in the basement and first floor while you’re sleeping on the second floor, a mid to large size dog sleeping on the second floor with you, a baseball bat your wife or significant other can comfortably swing resting against the wall. Knowing your neighbors and being aware of their routine and them yours, being clued in to your neighborhood watch and neighborhood associations, paying attention to the crime bulletins they provide, checking the sexual offender registry on a periodic basis and keeping the landscaping from completely blocking the view from the street. I suppose I could surround my house with a fence, maybe chain link with razor wire on top, add a gate to the bottom of the driveway, video surveillance, “no trespassing” and “beware of dog” signs along with NRA and FOP stickers on my doors and windows with the alarm company’s. Thus far, these latter steps haven’t been necessary but they’re options. Oh but that doesn’t protect you when you leave the house, you scream. No it doesn’t but then again, I minimize my risk of being a victim by avoiding situations that increase said risk. That means no looking to score, visiting sketchy neighborhoods, being downtown at 3:00 a.m., being aware of my situation and surroundings, parking in well lit areas, walking briskly and as if I know where I am and where I’m going, crossing the street if the situation feels weird or ducking into a store, traveling with a group, grabbing a cab, if necessary, keeping my cell phone handy, maybe visible, with the state and city police phone numbers pre-programmed, not flashing wads of cash, being belligerent or disrespectful toward others, assessing situations and determining options, not driving aggressively and being a douche. Basically, carrying myself with confidence and respect and respecting others, and not causing confrontation. Does this guarantee that I won’t be a victim of a crime? No, but neither does wearing my seat belt and driving defensively guarantee I won’t die in a car wreck or having smoke detectors and fire extinguishers guarantee that I won’t die in a house fire, maybe one set by a serial arsonist. I do believe, however, that your carrying a gun, if you do indeed carry a gun, leads you to some level of complacency and as a result, a higher degree of risk. I don’t know what I would do in any given situation when faced with it just as I don’t believe you do either, armed or unarmed. What do you do, Tritone, sleep with a gun under your pillow because you leave your front door unlocked? Drive with a gun in your lap or waistband? What would you do when confronted with looking down the barrel of a gun?
To all you pro-gun folks, what do you think the insurance industry would think? Seriously, what if you had to provide and maintain proof of insurance with certain liability thresholds for coverage to purchase a gun in the event of an accidental shooting or you miss your intended perp and hit an innocent bystander. Or your kid gets a hold of your gun and shoots the neighbor kid because you didn’t lock your gun up or store it properly in your home or car. What if your unlocked gun is stolen and used in a murder. Should you be held liable, either criminally or civilly? Would you accept that kind of responsibility? Why not? You do for automobiles, right? The more responsibility you could show regarding your gun ownership, the less expensive your premiums. Younger gun owners would pay higher premiums than older gun owners. Go to the range frequently, take classes, own a gun safe or secure storage, etc. the less your insurance would be. Much like auto insurance. Are you for sensible gun control legislation? Background checks at gun shows? A national e-verify for criminal background and mental health checks? Limiting gun purchases to one gun per month? Limiting magazine/clip capacity? Why and why not?
So I decide to be smart, rather than ignorant, and not own a gun for my self protection. That doesn’t mean you’re not smart or are ignorant. Or taht I'm any more or less of a man or a woman. Just that I think you view your world as full of unmanageable risk requiring reaction whereas I view it as a world with risk, that if properly managed and risk avoided, can lead to a long, fulfilling and enjoyable life. Crime is down, particularly violent crime, gun sales are up, gun ownership is down (gun owners owning more guns per rather than more people buying guns) and CWP are up. But the decrease in crime may be just as contributable to the proliferation of cell phones, longer prison sentences for repeat violent offenders and better community policing methods and tactics. And illegal immigration is down, illegal immigrant arrests and deportations are up so I don’t know where this “reign of terror” comes from. I don’t live in a Grand Theft Auto world and if I did, I’d move. It’s a free country. And if I did decide to move, I’d be checking the crime stats for the state, city or town that I was thinking of moving to.
To most of you who visit and post on the forums and even to those that don’t, you know the forum is a reflection of our society and as such a certain percentage believes in and hopes for the breakdown of society and chaos and the End of Days, maybe as soon as 12/12/12, I think they call it the Rapture, so that they can ride it out and prove themselves holier than thou. The 700 Club has been discussing it since at least the early 80’s and the extreme fringe Christian right is partly responsible for the insanity by perpetrating the myth that we’re all just a breath away from being a victim of a crime.
If you’re a gun owner, I hope you never have to use it to defend your life or family and if you do, I hope you’re not the victim.
A proud non-gun owning American,
08/29/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont;