Friday, August 3, 2012

The Good Thing About Guns

After every deadly shooting there are calls for more gun regulations. “Guns kill people,” they say. “Get rid of guns.” Those who disagree quote the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms. While it is certainly true that we have the right to bear arms (and I’m totally in favor of protecting our Second Amendment rights), there is also another argument that we need to be making: Guns are good.

How so? 

Consider a world without any guns at all. There will always be those who try to take from others and hurt them. In a world without guns, whoever has more physical strength will win in any confrontation. Women, children, the elderly – all are at risk and need someone strong to protect them. If you aren't physically strong, you are vulnerable. If a confrontation occurs, you had better hope there is someone on your side who has some serious muscle or you could get hurt or killed. 

On the other hand, in a world with guns, a young woman or an elderly man or a teenager with a gun can protect themselves. The good thing about guns is that they level the playing field so that brute force can't always win. 

You see, there will always be something that can be used to hurt or kill others. Knives, chains, baseball bats, even bare hands can be weapons. The advantage that a gun gives is the ability to kill at a distance rather than needing to use brute force up close. No physical strength is needed to kill with a gun.  

Does this give an advantage to criminals? Yes, it can in some cases. But it gives the same abilities to those in danger. A 250 lb. man vs. a 100 lb. teen girl is a really uneven match without guns, but give guns to both and the man's advantage disappears. The girl now has a fighting chance where she would not have without a gun. She is now just as able to come out on top as he is. Thus, guns protect those without superior strength from being always vulnerable to those who would harm them. 

Obviously, there are differences in how well people can use guns, but this is simply a matter of mastering a simple skill, not an inherent difference in capability. When a potential victim has a gun and knows how to use it properly, they can become the physical equal of their attacker. In some cases, they may have superior force (either due to superior firepower or superior skill). Thus, those who were once vulnerable to those stronger than themselves are now empowered to protect themselves and those they love – all due to being armed. 

The problem isn’t that we have too many guns. The problem is that there are too few in the hands of good people. If only the criminals have guns, then they can run wild at will knowing that no one can stop them. They know their intended targets cannot fight back. In a place where guns are carried by many of the citizens, a criminal must think long and hard before trying to harm someone. And if he tries anything, there will likely be someone there to stop him.  

Most (if not all) of the deadly shooting sprees in the last several years bear this out – they occurred in gun-free zones. Schools, colleges, a theater – all places where the criminals know no one will be armed. Making it against the law to have guns in those places didn’t prevent violence. It invited it. The people inside gun-free zones are like sitting ducks. They might as well label such gun-free zones as “kill zones.” All it takes is one crazy with a gun to cause horrific violence and loss of life in such places because unarmed people are vulnerable to superior force. 

The answer to violence isn't to get rid of guns. If we could push a button and make all guns and the ability to manufacture them magically disappear from the planet, it would be a bad idea. That would just return us to the Dark Ages when any strong man could take whatever he wanted from the weak. The real answer is to train good people to use guns properly. Then, they can defend themselves and those who are threatened.

The world is a better place with guns...IF good people will wield them properly.

Linked up with WLWW and NOBH.

3 comments:

  1. I agree. While I don't believe that all police or all military are bad, they do have to follow orders and if for any reason their orders involve unjust action against innocent people, being armed is the last stand they can make as we all know are legal system could never work fast enought to give a person or family back their dignity in the sight of the public. Guns really are good against any form of tryranny...from one person to a group.

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  2. Very well said.

    One of the problems I have run into with some people is simply a lack of information. Most people, even children, understand that guns can be used to kill. I choose to educate my children about how to handle guns safely and the responsiblity that comes with choosing to own firearms. I choose to point out not only the harm that can result from improper use, but the good that can come when used correctly.

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