Skip to comments.Are You 'Right' To Own A Gun?
Posted on 08/03/2006 7:03:58 AM PDT by steve-b
WASHINGTON - We're going through one of those phases where people are reading the news and talking about buying guns.
As someone who's blogged for years under the pseudonym "Armed Liberal," you'd think that I'd clearly approve. And part of me does, in no small measure because it reflects a shift in the consensus away from "helpless citizen" toward "citizen with the intent to be more self-reliant."
And, to be honest, I see this issue largely as one of attitude. I've said in the past that the largest impact of gun ownership is symbolic, like a Sikh's knives. Owning a gun and the attitudes that come with it symbolize the notion that, first and foremost, we are adults who have the freedom to be entrusted with dangerous tools.
But gun ownership is not entirely symbolic, and there's the rub.
While I believe that everyone should have the right to own a gun (with the obvious exceptions of the criminal and the insane), that doesn't mean everyone should choose to own a gun.
That's because while I believe in rights, I also believe in responsibilities and I don't think they can be separated. You want rights? Great. You have to take a good helping of responsibilities to go with them.
So let me take a moment and talk to the people who are reading the news and thinking of heading to the gun store.
First, go sleep on it. Owning a gun is an immense responsibility (one that too many people take far too lightly). If you own a gun, you are responsible for it 24/7/365; are you really prepared for that?
A gun is not a magic talisman that will make your problems go away by possessing it or brandishing it. While I'll acknowledge that many confrontations do end when the bad guy sees a gun, I'll suggest that assuming that will apply in your case is cargo-cult thinking at its worst.
So simply owning a gun doesn't by itself make you a whole lot safer; famed firearms instructor Jeff Cooper said that "owning a gun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a piano makes you a musician."
So you have to adopt a set of behaviors and habits.
Some are about the security of the gun keeping it from being stolen, or from letting children have access to it. Buy a gun safe. Use it religiously. I had one firearm stolen from me 20 years ago, and it still weighs on me today.
Some of it is about self-knowledge. There's a little bit of crazy in all of us. Is yours fully under control? Are you sure? Would your friends all agree? What if the answer to that question isn't an immediate and obvious "Huh? Of course it is"?
And if you aren't 100 percent sure that five of your closest friends would answer the same way, think hard before you head to the gun store. Self-restraint is not a habit our modern life cultivates, but it is one that is simply mandatory for people who possess dangerous tools.
Some of it is about committing to some basic level of competence in order to make the gun a useful tool. There are classes you can and should take almost anywhere. They range from the big-time schools, like Gunsite (www.gunsite.com), Insight (www.insightstraining.com) and Thunder Ranch (www.thunderranchinc.com). To local instructors like Mike Dalton (www.isishootists.com/training.htm) in Los Angeles, NRA classes or other private classes at ranges throughout the area you live.
While it may seem cumbersome to think about all this, the demands really aren't that high. The gun is dangerous and valuable, so secure it. It can make bad attitudes and bad behavior deadly make sure yours are well under control.
And finally, remember that owning a gun isn't nearly the same thing as being able to use one safely and effectively, so learn how to use it. If you can't comfortably go that far, please don't buy a gun. It's that simple.
If you can comfortably go that far, welcome to the community.
Personally, I need to get to the range this weekend....
Our Bill of Rights contains the Second Amendment which was established for a reason -- to allow the people to arm to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. Now we ask, why are libs so against the population being LEGALLY armed?? Just read the second amendment, compare that to the agenda of the left...and your question is answered.
I didn't know there was such a thing as an armed liberal.
Isn't an armed liberal the Government?
One who got mugged?
Good advice. Corollary to the way I feel about voting...
"I had one firearm stolen from me 20 years ago, and it still weighs on me today."
I might still be pissed about having it stolen but it wouldn't weigh on me.
And having children....
Anyone can procreate but it doesn't mean they will be decent parents.
Good article, but I wish the Left would apply the same logic to the 1st. Too many weasel abusing their free speech without thought to the consequence [hi Bill Keller]
A collective, sure, but I've never heard a liberal argue that an individual has a right to own a firearm.
Good post but if you own one, get two and quite a bit of ammo.
Practice with them and clean them regulary. Handle them til you feel comfortable with them.
An "armed liberal" is someone who would be willing to give up his firearm in the event of an alleged "civil emergency".
As I am sure you know, they almost always argue the "well regulated malitia" phrase as a "right" for the Government to possess firearms. It makes no sense to include such a provision in a collection of rights reserved to individuals but liberals, progressives or whatever they are calling themselves these days never make much sense and don't much care what the founders had to say anyway.
1. The terrain was so mountainous that it would be difficult to transport guns, tanks, etc.
2. In Switzerland every adult man is required to own a gun and be proficient in its use.
The Swiss are crack shots, and there are many social events in which target practice and competition are the main activities. An armed populace is hard to subdue.
Actually, resistance to tyranny is a collateral benefit of the 2nd Amendment's enumeration of a natural right to self-defense. Specifically, Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution defines the missions of the militia as follows..."to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions." Maybe I'm a bit picky, but I think it's important to remember that detail.
While I know you're just joshing, I also want to put more emphasis on the character assets that give a sane man the courage to kill another human. Please note I've written, character assets, because it takes a very special man or woman to mentally prepare for the act of killing.
Now, here is the rub. While I am still mentally prepared to shoot some SOB for putting my family in imminent danger, I am no longer certain I have the physical assets necessary to employ my favorite method of self-defense, which is a rock or 2x4 to the temple, which naturally leads to having to pull the trigger, and that scares me.
How about it TP? Should guys our age turn the keys over to the youngsters?
They'd better. Or ELSE!
"that would SO depend on the gun. a 1911, or a snub nosed .38, i might still be irritated. but if it was something special.. a pre-war lever action, an original springfield trap door, an enfield no4mk1T.. it would still weigh on me."
Somehow I think your use of the word "weigh" and the authors have different meanings.
I think he's laid in bed at night imagining all the people his terrible vicious firarm has killed since he was so irresponsible as to let someone else steal it.
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