The myth of the myths

In the comments to another post, commenter RWC pointed out this knee-slapping article at the NYT entitled The Myth of the Hero Gunslinger. Full of so much PSH that, if covered on the evening news, would increase the stock price of Depends undergarments ten fold, this article tries to whitewash years of increased gun ownership without the correlating rise in death by firearm that they want claim should happen.

The comments are just full of face-palming moments with people confusing ‘anecdote’ for ‘well researched data’ and hilarious instances of hypocrisy. If every has guns, we’d turn into the Wild, Wild West, but oh they had strict gun control back in the same Wild, Wild West that we don’t want to turn into. Except for the gun control part. That’s cool.

Funny that many of the comments I read through clearly indicated that the people reading and writing these tiny rants against the United States are not actual citizens of said states. You get to hear how much better it is in Shitcanistan where they’re not worried about an accidental discharge forcing them to spend 8 months on a waiting list for the ER and how stringent their gun control laws are which their citizens are very proud of, even while bleeding to death after a vicious knife attack that seems to be on the rise. But don’t worry, their constables will simply forget to write that down and viola! Reported Crime Rates are at an all time low.

However, there are a few distinct points I want to make here that I’m pulling from my recent comment.

One is that there is a theme running through the dozens of comments I read (out of hundreds) and that is that people who support gun control do not trust anyone else. It’s a problem that spans left and right politically – people are not to be trusted to do the right thing and therefore the state must intervene so that people are put on the path to righteousness. I enjoy the mental gymnastics required to say “We cannot be trusted to govern ourselves” and yet believe that someone else who is just as flawed in their humanity as we are (if not more for wanting to be a politician) is somehow better to run our lives for us.

Regardless, these people truly believe that we are all Choss or Loughners, just miliseconds away from snapping and going on a killing rampage simply because we have a gun. They’re ok with complete strangers at the walk in clinic prescribing them medication that could kill them, other drivers who may be impaired or simply not paying attention to operate mult-ton pieces of metal at high velocities within inches of themselves and their families, and even dangerous psychopaths eating next to them in a restaurant while holding edged weaponry.

I don’t think the Myth of the Hero Gunslinger holds a candle to the Myth of the Gun Wielding Lunatic Who Could Snap at Any Second. We gun owners agree wholeheartedly that a gun isn’t a talisman and will not ward off danger or protect you with a magical shield. Gun fearing statists however seem to uniformly agree that any gun in any situation will make things worse unless said gun is in the hands of a State Sanctioned Officer.

The other item I’d like to bring up is something my token anti, Ubu52, has brought up before and that is this comment about the SHOT Show

If anyone noticed, there was a gun show in Las Vegas -- all of the attendees complaining about any limits on gun "rights." Yet, they meekly left their firearms at home (required by the show) and walked around looking at guns with the firing pins removed. All I can think of is that industry that makes these weapons is really terrified of them. Why else ban loaded guns at a gun show of all places?

I’ve been to a few home shows. None of the power tools on display were plugged in. The nailguns were nowhere near a compressor. This isn’t because the home improvement industry believes their wares are so dangerous that they’re afraid of them, it’s because the danger from a tool comes when you use it.

Chance’s recent article on a holster for pocket carry came with this nugget of wisdom

"This would clear out a slot in the holster drawer and reduce the number of times I handled a loaded firearm."

Emphasis mine. Firearms have an inherent danger just like a table saw or pneumatic nailer. That danger comes when you are actively handling them. In my holster, I do not actively engage the firearm, thus reducing the risk of a negligent discharge. When I’m not cutting wood at home, I remove the table saw’s plug from the outlet for the same reason.

At a gun show, there will be literally thousands of people actively handling firearms. The will be picking them up, testing the triggers, trying out the safeties, observing the sights, and seeing how the gun feels in their hands. Each and ever interaction with a firearm / power saw / Dremel can result in injury if appropriate safety precautions are not taken. Asking people to not bring in live firearms when there’s a showroom floor of thousands of guns that are assumed to be inoperable isn’t an infringement on rights or hypocrisy, it makes sense.

Now, in the real world where people carry a weapon for self defense, they may find themselves surrounded by thousands of other people. The big difference, and the one that seems to elude those who suffer from a distinct inability to think logically and therefore support gun control, is that there is an infinitesimally smaller chance of having to handle a firearm. Add into the fact that the gun owner is also not going to be  assuming any gun he encounters has been disabled, and the dynamic changes for the better.

We have decades of evidence that restrictions on guns does nothing to lower crime, and for a bunch of people who claim to have all the facts, they sure don’t pay attention to the ones that run afoul of their belief system.

posted by by Robb Allen @
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