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.