[quote author=“CDarrow”]Let’s face facts: Those who own guns like them because they’re fun, plain and simple.
But that’s not the basis for our right to keep and bear them. The fact that we have a right to defend ourselves and guns are by far the most effective means by which to do so is the issue when it comes to the civil liberties issue. The idea that the government should have a great deal of control over such a fundamental right should scare the shite out of most people, but we’re a nation that doesn’t really value freedom—only the show of veneration of it. I’m not sure it’s really a new thing, but it’s wuite clear that most Americans much prefer a sense of security (which is more often than not just an illusion in reality) over freedom.
[quote author=“CDarrow”]You can hold in your hand a small piece of metal with almost incomprehensible killing power. That’s an addictive and compelling feeling.
I’m afraid there seems to be something to that, though I’d also say you’ve rather overstated the matter (on both counts). It also seems to be much more “in play” so to speak, the less familiar a given individual is with firearms and individual tactics. If you see what a gun does firsthand this appeal falls flat—at least that’s my own experience (IMO Clint Eastwood of all people did a fantastic job illustrating this in “The Unforgiven”).
[quote author=“CDarrow”]Gun defenders will always point out the fact that target shooting is a (normally) safe use of a gun. But guns are designed for killing, no amount of rationalization will ever change that.
Target .22s are rather poorly designed for tactical use. .25s and air rifles even less so. .22s and air rifles are, however, effective (and economically friendly) for hunting small game and target shooting.
But I’m not sure why so many people think the tactical function of guns needs to be rationalized. Self defense is a very fundamental right. If your ability to defend your own life is subject to the approval of the government, that’s pretty damn invasive. It’s odd that so many people seem to have such a difficult time with that.
[quote author=“CDarrow”]Some may also point out that hunting is a valid reason for owning guns. I am a gun owner, but I am not a hunter, I get no pleasure from the idea of killing something. And none of us, NONE of us need to hunt for subsistence unless we have some eskimos with Internet connections in their igloos reading this.
Herd management is necessary regardless of subsistence needs, and I think shelters and other organizations that provide food for the poor and homeless would be pretty quick to disagree how useless hunting is for subsistence.
[quote author=“CDarrow”]I like my Ruger 1022 rifle and Smith&Wesson; 9 mm pistol. But I keep them locked and unloaded, because I recognize that they are lethal weapons.
I keep some of my firearms “at the ready” in the extremely unlikely case that I might need to defend myself and my wife from an assailant. The risk of keeping a gun (or guns) loaded and ready is nearly nonexistent for those who have even a passing familiarity with them and have the sense to observe the basic (rather intuitive) safety rules. So the “risk” (which is nearly nonexistent) is outweighed by the potential benefit (which is highly unlikely).
[quote author=“CDarrow”]And I will probably get rid of them when I start a family, because too many children do find ways to get to their parents’ guns with results such as we see almost daily on the news. I won’t be a part of that.
I understand that, but his perception that kids are the victims of “daily” gun accidents seems odd to me. It’s simply not true, and there’s no reason to think it is unless you listen to the rather fantastical propaganda of anti-gun organizations (who as I pointed out before have to take quite a bit of “artistic license” to come up with the stats they have on “kids and guns”).
That aside, I think the best way to “gun-proof” a kid is to have him shoot one of a respectable caliber (9mm at least) at a young age. It’s very easy to do this safely (help the kid hold the weapon until he’s safely set and ready to fire it, and only load one round). Once a young’n has experienced firing a gun he’ll have no doubts what-so-ever that it’s not a toy (recoil makes quite an impression).
This is the same behavioral pattern we expect of kids in all sorts of other areas (like mowing the lawn and other “adult” type activities they quickly become less fascinated and enamored with given experience), guns are no different. Closely supervised experience satisfies curiosity and let’s a kid know, very clearly, that a gun (or a power tool) is potentially dangerous.
That said, I certainly wouldn’t presume the role of any given parent. I have no kids of my own, so I can’t even say how I’d handle the situation with much confidence (my understanding is that theories of parenting tend to be drastically altered with actual experience, much like kids’ attitudes about doing “adult” things). I just know familiarity with guns seems to be the most effective means of “gun-proofing” kids based upon my personal experience as a kid, and a pretty large body of secondhand data.