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Old 04-20-2010, 08:44 PM
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Here is another extremely well writtten essay on the same topic:

Commonsense for Gun Control Advocates:
Why You Should Consider Owning a Gun

By Col. Buck Starr (ret)

My belief is that statistics prove that increased civilian firearms ownership decreases crime. Statistics, however, are subject to manipulation. You’ve got yours and I’ve got mine, and we’d both probably just reinforce our own views by citing them. So I prefer to try to sway your opinion with commonsense.

Ask yourself this: If a criminal suspects a potential home burglary target has a gun on the premises, is he more or less likely to rob or attack? As you’d expect, interviews with criminals show that he is less likely. This is why home invasions – in the US -- are less likely to occur at night when the owners are at home. Ask yourself if you think a criminal is more or less likely to target a house for robbery if the house has a burglar alarm sign. Or just a “Beware of the dog!” sign. The deterrence principle is the same, with the added reinforcement of the thought that if the intended victim is armed, grievous harm, perhaps death, to the criminal may result.

Is a criminal more or less likely to rob or attack a person on the street if he thinks that person may be armed? Surely you agree that given the choice between attacking a person who might be armed, and one who is almost certainly not, the criminal will choose the latter.

Perhaps you believe that the presence of a gun, either carried by a law-abiding citizen or in his or her home, in and of itself increases the likelihood of violence? Studies have shown this is a fallacy – it is demonstrably false -- but again, consider it from a common sense point of view: Think of yourself, a normal, law-abiding, family-loving, upstanding citizen. Do you honestly think a gun would make you, personally, a more violent person? Do you think you, personally, would ever be careless with a gun? If you answer in the affirmative to either question, of course you should absolutely stay away from guns, but for most citizens, for most gun owners, the opposite is true. We realize that a gun is a weighty responsibility, that its purpose is for defense only, and its very lethality makes us very, very careful. Do you go to sleep driving a car at 65 MPH?

But, you say, accidents happen. Yes, they do, and with automobiles the accident toll is indeed tragically high, but accidental death by firearm is one of the very lowest causes of accidental death. It comes after things like slipping in bathtubs and drowning in swimming pools. Then again, your real concern is probably the murder and mayhem of deliberate gun violence, right?

Do you realize that the murder and mayhem of deliberate gun violence is committed by criminals, not by people like you and me? Do you realize that criminals do not, by definition, obey the law so that even if civilian gun ownership were banned that criminals would have guns anyway? Illegal drugs have been illegal our entire lives, but they are still present in society, are they not? Do you realize if we were to ban the civilian ownership of guns, that only criminals would have guns? This is not simply a trite turn of phrase. It is true. Think of our cities today. Do you believe that people like you and me should not be able to defend ourselves against criminals? Or, perhaps you think that armed police should defend us from armed criminals because that is why we train and employ policemen?

A criminal is not going to attack policemen! He knows they are armed. He is going to attack someone like you or me, especially if he knows we are not armed, while doing his level best to steer clear of policemen. If unarmed and attacked, the very best we can hope for is that the police may catch this criminal who has attacked us long after the damage is done. Hopefully, you say -- although quite possibly not -- we will remain intact in body and soul, if not in property, to see justice served. That is, after all the very best we can hope for from the police doing their jobs conscientiously and with a great deal of good luck.

For many of us, though, that it is not enough. We believe we have the right and moral obligation to protect ourselves.

Further, consider: If all handguns could miraculously be made to disappear in a sudden “poof,” do you think violent crime would disappear? Has violent crime not been with us throughout human history? Do you believe that “might makes right,” that the weak should be at the mercy of the strong, especially if the strong are criminals? No, right? Don’t you think that a criminal, larger and more powerful than you or I, should be prevented from stealing our property or harming our person or our loved ones? If so, how will we prevent him? Call the police? Too late! Then again, perhaps you think it will not happen to you. Do you have fire insurance for your home because you think your house will burn down or because you know that it might? Maybe you are willing to live with the risk of criminal violence because it seems relatively slight to you. But would you therefore begrudge your neighbor fire insurance simply because you’ve decided to have none yourself?

It is legal to own a handgun in the US, and it is legal to carry them concealed, with training and a license, in most places. Get trained. Get a concealed carry license. Always remember that these rules are absolute: Treat every gun as if it were loaded. Never point a gun at something you are not willing to shoot. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.

If you think you are a psychologically stable, law-abiding, normal citizen of this country, consider getting a gun. Take responsibility for your own safety. Contribute to a safer, more peaceful, more just community.



Actually, "Col. Buck Starr (ret.)" is a pseudonym for a working stiff -- unretired --who on the internet goes by the handle “Onomea.” No need to Snopes this – I have it on excellent authority!

Last edited by Onomea; 04-20-2010 at 08:49 PM. Reason: font
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