Can We Please Have A Conversation About Guns?

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago

That’s the plea, of course, when gun control advocates wax on concerning their views about how to save the world, one gun at a time.  The articles written with this meme are too numerous to cite, but one recent commentary stands out as particularly bad.  The author inveighs at the end:

Perhaps now is a good time for a reminder that the flood of guns onto our streets and in our homes is a hazard to all of us. Our cultural tolerance of ubiquitous guns is killing us. If nothing else, perhaps one memorial we might offer for the memory of Kassandra Perkins is to begin to talk about guns in our culture, and what we can do to change things.

Exactly how there is a “flood” of guns on the street we don’t learn, and why it’s a hazard to us all isn’t explained.  I handle my firearms in a safe manner, as do most of the owners I know.  Furthermore, in spite of the sweeping net they wish to cast for all gun owners, I have never even once felt the urge to shoot any loved ones.  If the author or her commenters have felt this urge, they shouldn’t purchase a gun, and I support their right not to purchase a gun.  As I’ve said before, “Crime is a moral decision, value judgment and social and cultural phenomenon.  It isn’t related to the existence of guns, and if guns weren’t available, they will use hammers.  Gun control laws cannot raise children to believe in values.”

But while there isn’t time to address all of the awful arguments in this commentary, the comments are most interesting, and a few different types seem to appear.  First, there is the argument from ignorance.  Ann Olivier says “nobody needs an AK 4(7) for self defense. They should be outlawed.”  Of course, Ann knows no such thing.  She doesn’t know anything about what response to a home invasion is required of the homeowner in order to stay alive.

Don’t forget that I have documented 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-man home invasions all over the country that could have been stopped with weapons and high capacity magazines.  Perhaps the most remarkable case came with Mr. Stephen Bayezes.  In order to survive the attack by three home invaders, he emptied a 30-round magazine and then had to retreat to his bedroom and grab another.  Mr. Bayezes needed a rifle and high capacity magazine, and it’s likely that in order to survive, Ann would too.

Analogous to the argument from ignorance is the argument from fantasy.  Tom Blackburn has this silly daydream.

He is sitting at a table in the bar when a gunman, armed to the teeth, starts shooting up the place. Our hero turns over his table and reaches for his own gun. Unfortunately, the table leg catches in the hem on his pants, and he can’t get his weapon out of his pocket. The gunman sprays his part of the room and our hero notices the table is not stopping the bullets. He rolls to his right, freeing up his pistol, which goes off, shooting a hole in his pants. Suddenly he is deafened by a fusillade fired by another armed self-defender, which attracts the gunman’s attention to his side of the room. He rolls further to his right to a spot behind the end of the bar, pulls himself up on one knee and draws a bead on the gunman. He fires just as a police officer, responding to the shots, steps in the way and wounds the officer. His fellow cops put down heavy fire on our self-defending citizen, hitting him in several places, while the gunman makes his escape.

Tom ends his fantasy with the notion that this gun owner “saw the light” and advocated “sensible” gun control policies, but the general thrust of the story has already been set.

While we don’t know the color of the sky in Tom’s world, we do know that it isn’t the same as the real one.  In Tom’s world, the police aren’t really ten to fifteen minutes away, there are right around the corner ready to respond to his every whim.  They are concerned most about his safety rather than their own, and thus they won’t wait on the SWAT team to arrive.  They will charge ahead into gun fire to save Tom.

And in Tom’s world, the NYC police department doesn’t discharge 84 rounds at a single shooter, missing with 70 of them.  The police are perfect shots, and they perfectly respond to all situations regardless of the level of stress.

In Tom’s world, those who carry firearms are just goobers who cannot tie their shoes correctly, much less be trusted to defend their own lives with a firearm.  In Tom’s world, they would much rather leave the shooter alone, duck behind chairs and pray that the shooter doesn’t aim for them than have some law abiding citizen respond to stop the carnage.  Tom would rather risk your life and the lives of your loved ones than allow you to carry a weapon to stop the death.  Tom doesn’t care about you.

It’s difficult to respond to this sort of pathology because it is based on irrational fear, bigotry and fantasy.  But rest assured, it is indeed based on fantasy.  The facts show that shootings are best stopped by individuals carrying weapons than by the police.  Tom is unaware that the Supreme Court has decidedly ruled that police are under no obligation to assist you or even to stop crimes during their commission.  They are obligated to respond once the crimes have been committed (past tense).

Another observation is that while this publication is ostensibly a Christian publication, it’s remarkable how few Christians have developed a consistently and holistically Christian world and life view.  The gospel becomes social work, soteriology becomes bettering mankind by laws and regulations (ironically, a distinctly Islamic view), and Christ was a passive doormat upon whom people could walk.  These things aren’t true, and a good starting point for understanding what the second amendment is about can be found in my own Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense.

Finally, back to the meme of the article, I’ve seen this same appeal almost every day for the last year.  And I’ve written on guns for just as long, as have most of the gun bloggers in my own blogging community.  Lisa Fullam, the author, wants to have “the conversation about guns.”  Lisa has apparently been absent for the last year.  We’ve been having this conversation, again, and again, and again, and again.  It isn’t that we’re not having it.  We disagree, and what Lisa and her ilk want is for us to agree with them.  And their real complaint isn’t that we’re not having the conversation, but that second amendment advocates are winning it.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On December 11, 2012 at 11:19 am, PawPaw said:

    We’ve been having this conversation for over 40 years. We’re winning it in the state legislatures, we’re winning it in the public opinion, we’re winning it in the Courts. The antis can’t win because they have no facts. We’ve been compiling facts for those 40 years, watching trends and celebrating freedom while the antis spread fear and misinformation. They don’t want a conversation, they want confiscation, and they’re not sure how to spell it.

  2. On December 11, 2012 at 11:37 am, Jean said:

    Who pens these crazy “turn the cheek articles”? Reasonable people can look at an issue and walk away with different perspectives. If you choose to go through life with out ability to defend yourself and your family, that’s your choice. Don’t take away mine. The Bob Costas‘s of the world are removed from the day to day realities of this country. They live in upscale neighbors, protected by distance, well paid suburban police forces, and high priced security systems. They are removed from the sound of police helicopters, the wail of sirens and routine weekend gunfire. Therefore, they have no need for self protection. Amongst the carnage of our urban areas, where the body count of young Americans far exceeds that of RC East, there are families trying to survive. Don’t take away their right to protect themselves.

  3. On December 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm, Ron Nord said:

    In the last year that such numbers were available 8,775 deaths were caused by firearms. About 50% were deaths caused by police officers killing miscreants and suicides. The other 50% the demographics were over 70 by one race, blacks and was connected to narcotic and the balance by hispanics and whites, the whites were less than 10%. What we are talking about is about 4,200 murders nationwide out of a population of over 300 million. Car accidents caused over 32,000, drowning in a swimming pool was even more. You have to know by now that most murders are in the the Cities that are Democrat and have strict gun control, this year it was Chicago that had the most murdered, on one hot Saturday night 37 people were shot and 6 died, all black and narcotics driven. Washington DC another Democrat misled town has been the murder capital of the world 76% of the time in the last 30 years, strict gun control and most murders by blacks with narcotics as primary reason.

    The Democrats are control freaks, it really isn’t about the 2nd Amendment its about complete control like in the 1930’s Germany and Russia. The Democrats are not to be trusted anymore, Harry Truman was the last good Democrats and we don’t have any more like that. Why do the Democrat/Communist want us disarmed, does it really have to be explained to you at this point in time?

  4. On December 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm, Bella Hunter said:

    You and Guns: A Conversation by Isabella Hunter, read it.

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You are currently reading "Can We Please Have A Conversation About Guns?", entry #9510 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns,Second Amendment and was published December 10th, 2012 by Herschel Smith.

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