Wednesday, November 21, 2007

“Guns are Good for Only One Thing”

Do you get ESPECIALLY tired of hearing that old scare line? I sure do. Of all the phrases and mottoes fostered by the anti-gun idjits, this is perhaps the shortest, handiest, and most frequently parroted. Their natural extension is, of course, “Guns are only good for killing people!”

Most of us, you and I, would have a ready rebuttal. We think about all the NON-people-killing uses to which we've put various firearms. Plinking with a .22 after a picnic, target shooting with the scouts or 4-H club, three generations of one family busting clay birds or calling waterfowl, the sharp clear air on a deer hunt morning. The joy of handling a particularly historic antique arm.

Let's be honest here. Take into account all the purely sporting firearms you know, fowling pieces, rifles for small game and large, FUN pinking guns, long range target rifles, the kid's first .22, the stinky black powder guns. Now, set ALL those aside, and stipulate that they will never, ever be misused, and you find that there are still a huge number of firearms designed for anti-personnel use. The short barrel shotgun, so favored for home defense, the police- and military-type handguns and “sniper rifles.” Any small, lightweight handgun specially suited for concealed carry. Each of these WAS designed for use against human beings. There may in fact be some fragment of truth to the statement that, “Guns are good only for killing.” Not precisely, no. Most of those guns are good because they are CAPABLE of killing. There is a LOT of value in deterrence and in simply making the option available to a possible victim of violent crime.

Jeff Cooper once wrote about being asked the “only good for killing people” question. His response was something like, “Unfortunately there are some very bad men who need be killed, when they attack us. And isn't it grand that we're fortunate enough to have such good implements with which to deal with them?”

For the vast majority of us, these arms will have fulfilled their purpose if they simply are available for emergency use. Much the same can be said for the vast majority of fire extinguishers, personal flotation devices, seat belts, parachutes, and smoke alarms in everyday use around the world. These are for unexpected emergencies, and as with the defensive sidearm, are of absolutely no use unless already at hand when the situation arises.

"But guns are too dangerous to even have around!"

Another favorite. The implication seems to be, if there's a gun on hand, someone will probably get shot. Well, no. Having a gun around gives one AN OPTION not otherwise available, but it will take no action of its own accord.

Consider a very efficient and businesslike firearm, say, a .45 automatic. It doesn't matter. I take that .45, insert a loaded magazine, chamber a round, and apply the safety. Or, wait, leave the safety off. I put the pistol on a table in a secure room, walk out and lock the door. Guess what? That type gun, having been used by men to kill other men for 95 years, designed specifically for battle, will set there and do absolutely nothing. It can remain in position until the table rots away. Until the entire building crumbles and falls down. The pistol will not fire, will not attack anyone or anything, unless and until someone messes with it. With any quality firearm, there is NO hazard if no human is involved. The most efficiently designed tool, carefully crafted and ready for immediate use, has no innate will, no independent spirit, and will not function unless directed in some manner by a human. The hammer will not drive a nail, the scalpel will not perform surgery, the chain saw will not cut wood, and the pistol will not fire, without some person's participation.

May we always utilize our tools in a proper manner.


lainy said...

Couldn't agree with you more. You said it all, and quite nicely. There are those ignorant people who think otherwise, but they believe what they want and I doubt their minds could be changed.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wonderful bride. *Hugs* to you both.

Matt G said...

A fine companion piece to the prior one; they dovetail perfectly.

jimbob86 said...

You cannot give a rational explanation of our argument like that to the Hoplophobes. They live in a world ruled by emotion, not logic and physics. You may as well try to teach a frog Algebra. Nothing matters in that emotional la-la land except how they feel about a particular thing at a given moment in time. Frogs and Algebra, I tell ya.......

Dad29 said...

I tell you you're wrong.

The damn hammer HIT MY THUMB!!


You just don't understand...

jimbob86 said...

If guns are only for killing people, then something's wrong with mine. In my vast collection, exactly ZERO firearms have suceeded in their nefarious mission. That is...... don't think......... they WOULDN'T!!! Would they?!?!? sneak out in the dead of night..... without me? Naaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.....

Old NFO said...

Oh NOW you've done it... Rational thought in the GUN debate, why that is NOT allowed... :-)

Thanks for an insightful peice that points out many of the fallicies of the anti-gunners points.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Eloquently put, sir.

And a lovely photo of your M1911. That's the new Colt piece, isn't it? Very nice.


LabRat said...

The line of argument that always totally baffles me is "guns are really dangerous!".... used an excuse for why the speaker has never even touched a gun in their life and never will.

Um, what? There are a lot of really dangerous things in the world. That's why part of parenting is teaching kids to, say, use a sharp knife or operate a power tool safely, with the general recognition that even if they never need it, they should know how to cope with it if they encounter it.

Guns are really common in North America. The plan is... hope you, and especially your children, never have to deal with one, even to move it and store it somewhere safe?

The mind, it boggles. Helplessness as a plan.

JPG said...

'Tweaker - -

No, actually I can't take credit for anything about that image, other than saving it to a file. The loverly 1911 belongs to the father of a friend and fellow blogger. She took the photo herself and sent it along while trying to get an idea of how old the piece is. I seem to recall that the serial number places it at 1913, second year of production. The original photos were of such excellent quality that it appears that the old pistola wears about 90% of its original finish - - A true treasure to any collector of Colts or US militaria.

This particular pistol was the final inspiration for me to purchase the new production 1911. I used this image because of the neutral background.


Anonymous said...

Very well written sir. It brought to mind a website that I stumbled upon earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in the event of a fire, the round in the chamber will cook off, firing the weapon without human intervention.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Some folks will just never get it. They've got their mind made up and have blinders on.

Kaerius said...

Well, like many tools, it can be devastating in the wrong hands, not everyone will use firearms responsibly, so there should be SOME control. That's not to say there should be an out and out ban, just that background checks are in order before issuing any firearms.

The main drawback with easily accessible firearms ISN'T that career criminals get ahold of them, they do that anyway. No the main problem is crimes of passion, where fatalities are much more likely with access to firearms. That's the main difference between places with rigid gun control, and without it, do note that I consider this the biggest pro-gun control reason and that it doesn't really matter what type of firearms for this, a minor one is that with less rigid gun control there's more guns around, so more end up in the wrong hands through theft, burglary, etc, and not just from smuggling.

An interesting thing to note is that the country where the largest percentage of the population has firearms is Switzerland, and death by firearms is a fraction compared to for example the USA(in relation to population), there's mandatory military training there(though obviously some people are exempt) and all who have gone through it are required to have a firearm at home. Switzerland has no standing army(the only swiss regiment is the swiss guard, in the vatican, armed with halberds...)

Assrot said...

A most excellent piece of writing sir. I completely agree with eveyrthing you had to say. I wish I could write like that. No I'm not trying to kiss your behind.

This post was very well said. I wish everyone thought of guns that way. If only we could get the anti-gunners to see the light.

Are you still pissed off at me? Am I still banned from commenting here? Is it possible that I could be forgiven for my poorly worded previous diatribe that angered you so?