by Jason Stotts
Here’s an interesting article from Salon.com about a woman who was against guns, until she was stalked and had to start carrying a gun in order to protect her life.
I told [my boyfriend] a firearm in the house made me nauseous [sic.], that I feared the weapon would be turned on one of us, that there’d be an accident. I told him I believe in compassion and peace. I told him the very idea of a gun was a compromise of my principles.
[My boyfriend] sighed. “Which would you prefer, compromising your principles or getting abducted by Crazy Man?”
That’s when the old Theodore Roosevelt adage popped into my head — “Speak softly and carry a big stick” — and I finally got it. I can still be the compassionate, diplomatic, interfaith groovy gal I’ve always been; I’ll just be packing heat in case negotiations tank.
I find it interesting how many people are quick to say: guns aren’t necessary (for others), but I actually need protection. For example, judges, prosecutors, politicians, etc, all are able to legally carry weapons, but in many states a regular citizen cannot. (Does the 14th amendment come to mind for anyone else?)
But even just the average liberal (and don’t take this to mean that I’m a Republican) is quick to say that guns are unnecessary and they they kill more innocent people than evil ones. The facts (2009 FBI Crime Statistics), however, show that when gun ownership increases, violent crime decreases. Furthermore, liberals argue that guns in the home lead to accidental deaths, especially those of children. Again, though, reality asserts itself. As we can see from the 2010 Statistical Abstract of the US Census Buereau in 2005 only 789 people in the US died of an accidental discharge of a firearm, in 2006 it was only 642. Compare that to some of the other things I left in the graphic, like deaths due to cars (45,343/45,316), drowning (3,582/3,579), the flu (1,812/849), tuberculosis(!) (648/652), or complications from professional medical care (2,653/2,521). Think about that, a medical professional is 3.61 more likely to accidentally kill you than you are to die from an accidental discharge of a firearm.
I think it’s time that we come to realize that while guns can be dangerous, what keeps you safe if not avoiding them, but knowing how to safely use them. Furthermore, I think the whole debate over whether firearms are killing children in droves should just be over, reality says that it’s just not the case. A gun in the home is much more likely to keep you safe than it is to harm someone you don’t intend it to and a gun kept safely is nearly no danger at all.
Guns are tools, just like any other. Sure, we need to be safe with them because they can kill, but sometimes killing is not only necessary, but morally obligatory. If your life were in danger, wouldn’t you wish you had a gun? If your family’s life is in danger, wouldn’t you wish you had a gun? The fact is that guns can keep us safe from those that would wish us harm and for those of us who value life, this is something that we desire.