I’ve been posting comments to this pro gun page on Facebook. I know, poking the bear. But I just couldn’t sit by and watch meme after meme go by without at least commenting on one of them. Plus, I like guns. I think they are cool and fun to shoot. They are almost always a quality piece of equipment and designed with efficiency in mind. The one I chose to comment on was something to the effect that if more “sane” people had guns then the “crazy” people would have less opportunities to kill people.
Those of you who know me, know I like to both “poke the bear” and examine an issue from all sides in as much of an unbiased position as possible. I tend to overanalyze and give up on a conclusion, but I enjoy the experience nonetheless.
This particular meme got me going in a “highly illogical” sort of way. It brings up so many unanswered questions, and not the esoteric or existential ones. If more “sane” people were armed as the meme suggests, how could this lead to fewer “crazy” people shooting other people (who are presumably not crazy, because if they were, well then they aren’t worth saving of course) and this is where it just gets to me.
Now, I do not advocate for guns to be banned in the U.S. I don’t think that will prevent people from killing each other with guns and yes, it could lead to more innocent people being killed because they were obeying the law to begin with.
I also believe that since we live under an authoritative government and police force that drives God damn tanks down the road to chase people for speeding, we should be able to arm ourselves as well. Yes thats a little bit Tea Party, but it’s part of my belief in democracy. (more on that eh, sometime later)
So in order for me to agree with this meme would mean that I, 1) need to agree that anyone (whom society deems sane) can decide and be justified to kill another person if they think they are crazy (provided they are armed and shooting), 2) have to agree that only sane people are allowed to shoot crazy people, and 3) that shooting someone you thought was crazy somehow makes you the sane one.
I realize the meme is succinct in its presentation of the argument and there are ambiguous terms like “sane” and “crazy” being used. But that’s the point. People who live in fear need this level of murky definition because it allows them to more easily categorize their fears. They don’t want to think about how a person could be considered crazy, or why they think the person is crazy. All they know is, there’s this weird looking dude, he’s got a gun and he looks like he’s going to use it.
Questions I’d ask the creator of this meme
So how is it you feel justified in shooting someone who is simply enjoying their second amendment rights? Do “weird” people with guns scare you? If yes, would you feel more comfortable around a crazy person that did NOT have a gun? Gee, funny that.
At which point in an altercation do you decide when someone with a gun is crazy? Perhaps its the location and setting. Late at night, very few cameras, police are likely several minutes away, you’re alone. Do you presume everyone around you is crazy and armed? If so, do you then display your gun for everyone to see? What if someone else had a gun, and then assumed YOU were the crazy one? (oh right just look normal)
Then the shooting starts. Guess what? Crazy people don’t all wear uniforms of the same color or speak a foreign language. You may see other gun owners shooting their guns or displaying them, but how do you know THEY aren’t crazy? How can you be sure you’re not shooting the hero? What will other people think when they see you shoot the hero?
Right so it’s all just a giant cluster f*ck of a situation, which it was going to be with or without you having a gun. You don’t get to decide who’s crazy, just like those other crazy people don’t get to decide if you are and shoot first in a stand your ground self-defense.
The Big Question
How does this meme matchup with the demand that everyone be able to defend themselves with a gun? Completely mistrusting the public and then demanding they be armed is a sign of insanity.
You need a gun to protect yourself from the “crazy” people you’re claiming have a right to own a gun, because you want everyone to own a gun(to defend themselves of course it’s their right). You mistrust the public because of the crazy people you dont know of yet, and at the same time fight for their right to use guns to commit violent crimes against you.
Its a never ending self-defeating proposition meant to disguise the fact that some gun owners just want guns because they look cool and need to feel powerful, directly related to the expanding gap in economic equality. We all feel the need to be proud of something.
When you see someone carrying a gun, are they crazy or sane? Having your own gun doesn’t change the answer, and it doesn’t change the answer for the other person. All you can hope is that you’ve trained more than them and that shooting first doesn’t equate to murder.
Here it comes. There is none. Yeah, none. What you can do is mind your business. If you’re going to get mugged, get mugged. Throw your wallet in the bushes and run the other direction leaving them to either chase you or find the wallet. I’d say don’t carry cash, but frankly I’d rather have cash stolen than my credit or debit card. Take a cab. Call a friend. Don’t be a dumbass. Mind your business. Don’t mess with people and they’ll move on.
Of course it’s all easy to say. The other Thursday night this bar down the street was held up at gun point at 1:30 am. 3 guys walked in with machine guns and pistols and demanded everyone’s wallet and phone. They got away and the cops have no leads. So yes, sometimes being mugged or shot or robbed or kidnapped is completely unavoidable.
But compare that situation with one where a bar patron pulled their gun on the gunmen. 50/50 chance that the THREE gunmen would have ran (80/20?), but this also includes a chance that other people would have been hurt or killed in the crossfire – people who didn’t pull a gun, just wanted it to be over with, are now getting shot. Could the gunmen have walked in and just started shooting? Yep. So then having a gun to shoot them would have saved some lives right? Hard to say, no guarantees this “hero” could have hit them (who is this guy Rambo?) or that they wouldn’t have stuck around longer to take him out. (remember they are “crazy”)
We do know what did happen. No one pulled a gun on the gunmen, and not a shot was fired – but you’ll never hear a pro gun advocate site or page describe this situation, that is certainly repeated dozens of times a week all over America.
We’ve had due process in this country since before it’s inception. If you’re being shot at of course you should shoot back, but beware the role of the first shooter. You could be dead right.