Americans are not the most trusting people in the world according to those who’ve studied the topic.
I think this is part of the reason why, when one of those untrustworthy bastards breaks into our home, we, as a nation, feel so collectively giddy blowing their brains out and foisting our tattered copy of the constitution, second amendment highlighted, into the air with our right hand while suppressing a raging boner with the left.
Hell, we’re also just a violent people, having fought a revolution for national independence fewer than a handful of generations ago.
Here are my replies to several arguments IN FAVOR of the proliferation of guns in the United States:
Restricting ownership of guns is wrong because…”I like to hunt!”
Ok, look, I’ll be honest here, I have never hunted and the idea of shooting defenseless animals for fun sounds positively psychotic. Having said this, if I was force to kill an animal, and was allowed to choose which, I would choose a human being. This, indeed, makes me positively psychotic, thus negating my first criticism.
The whole “hunting” pass time seems to share more in common with hobbies civilized people have abandoned. Consider that, in the Middle Ages, witches and warlocks were “hunted” and killed as a kind of communal cleansing for the neighborhood — just good stress relieving fun. Same with black people pre- (and post-) Civil War, and with gay people until recently and on and on.
So, clearly, the smartest of the rednecks got the magnificient idea that, since humans were going out of style as things which can be stalked and murdered for stress-relief, animals would have to do.
In my mind, this is the clearest logic explaining why most “hunting” people enjoy hunting. They like to stalk and kill stuff for the power rush, and can’t do it that much to people anymore so whatthehell.
Restricting gun ownership is wrong because…”I hunt and eat what I kill”
No you don’t, you jackass.
Restricting gun ownership is wrong because…”I need to protect my family”
Yea, ok, I can see eye-to-eye with people on this. I really would like to kill anyone who tried to enter my house to hurt me or my family — I’d feel deeply hurt and cheated if I wasn’t allowed to kill that person.
Besides, what if an intruder is armed? Then you would need a gun just to have a fighting chance…
So, I do think that this is the best case that can be made.
Now, as a criminologist, I find this argument obscene and nauseating in its logic. Your likelihood of being victimized by a home-intruding armed robber (in even the worst areas) is virtually zero. In upper-income areas, the probability is zero. Literally generations of families in this country have lived and died without ever experiencing any kind of violent break-in; you are probably a member of one of these families.
There were only 716 burglaries in 2009. 716. In a country of over 310,000,000. Do the math.
Here’s all the statistics you could ever want on the matter if you don’t believe me: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/property_crime/burglary.html
Oh, and by the way, this kind of crime is also following a steady rate of decline.
Yet, the notion that it’s RATIONAL to buy guns to protect oneself is only found to be fully stupid upon recognition of the rate at which children are killed by firearms — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/child-gun-deaths-newtown_n_2347920.html
The number of people killed by guns is so far beyond the number of people who should be worried, RIGHT NOW, about someone breaking into their house tonight and raping their wife and dog.
So, as Joe Twelvepack, the “protect ma’ home” argument really resonates. As a thinking person, it does not.
Having said this, I expect to own numerous guns in the future because I watch tons of CSI and I’m scared shitless.
Restricting gun ownership is wrong because…”I need to protect myself from a potentially tyrannical government”
I’m heartened by this argument. It’s a little bit like watching a down syndrome boy gallop, for the first time in a long stifled life, muscularly into an open daisy field. Before being fully consumed by a flock of owls, whom the boy attempted to befriend. An allegory for life, I say.
In other words, the argument sounds good — governments cannot always be trusted and power corrupts. This is true, I suppose. Yet, it’s funny because the whole point is how BAD the government is. But if you follow this to its conclusion, you see the argument makes no sense.
So it’s the United States Government VS. You (and your stupid family or whatever).
UNITED STATES — DRONES, NUCLEAR BOMBS, TANKS, STEALTH AIRCRAFT, SATELLITE-GUIDED MISSILES
YOU — a pistol, and an AR-15.
Get my point? If the US government really did turn on us, we’d be fucked.
And you would be too with your goddamn dinky semi-auto rifles. Get over yourself and take a bath for chrissakes.
Restricting gun ownership is wrong because…”It’s my right!”
This is ridiculous. This is not an argument. It is also not an argument to say ” But it’s in the Constitution!” This would be like me trying to argue that I was owed a new plasma-screen TV by Best Buy because “It’s written in my journal!!” Just because something is written down somewhere on a piece of paper, doesn’t mean what’s written is actually a good idea.
I’m inclined to think much of our constitution is quite good, but this gun control thing is tricky…