May 17, 2009

A Response to Susan Gill

Glenn Reynolds linked to an article in the Christian Science Monitor about the growing prominence of gun-bloggers among the old media and how these sometimes cranky and contrary souls [We don't know anyone like that, do we?] are even forcing the hand of the NRA on occasion.

The very first comment on the article was from someone using the name Susan Gill. I'm sure you'll recognize someone you know in her reply:

My goodness, it's hard to know where to begin. In Seattle, there is an increase of gang shootings, often by teenagers, right out in the open on the University of Washington Ave., Alki Beach, Golden Gardens, the South end at bus stops, etc. Kids should NOT have guns. Nationally, we have people in the same families shooting one another. People go off the deep end and shoot fellow workers or students with machine guns they should NEVER have access to.

The logic is we all have the right to protect ourselves. But, maybe we need to be thinking through the best way TO protect ourselves. Some good ways are living a wise lifestyle, trying to be harmonious with all, listening to your intuitions, staying out of trouble spots, leading a good purposed meaningful life and providing opportunities for others to do the same.

This pressure and lobbying from the NRA has been escalating for years. I don't like it at all. I'm to the point I'm more opposed to the pressure than the availability of guns. Why not more pressure for a harmonious society? Why not more pressure to provide for larger police forces? Why not more regulated laws that oversee gun sales, and limit gun sales to the appropriate parties, those who are professionals in the service of protecting our cities and country? (I won't even try to talk about the "hunting" aspect. I cannot in a million years imagine shooting an animal!)

I simply cannot believe our Founding Fathers' intent with the 2nd Amendment was to indiscriminately pass out guns to anyone who wants one. There MUST be more intelligent scrutiny and stricter laws on who may carry a fire arm.

Let us for a moment look past her sincere ignorance and the fact that there have been precisely two murders documented with legally-owned machine guns since 1934, that children are already barred from purchasing all manner of firearms, that "harmonious living" never stopped a hardened criminal, and that criminals should not circumscribe your freedoms. We'll look past all that to focus on what all too many outside of her moonbeams-and-unicorns world view also misunderstand about what our nation is, and the role firearms were intended to play.

To her and others like her I would write:

Ms. Gill,

I'd like to direct you to The Federalist Papers and other documents written by our Founding Fathers. They did indeed mean for every law-abiding reasonable man be armed with small arms suitable for military use. They created the Second Amendment not to sanctify pheasant hunting or target shooting, but to make sure American civilians always had access to small arms for the defense of their communities and against tyrannies foreign and domestic.

They recognized the militia as the citizen, not the National Guard, and the contemporary use of the phrase "well-regulated" in their time meant "well-trained."

The Founders wanted America to be a nation where the citizenry itself was a well-trained deterrent to tyrants abroad and would-be tyrants at home, recognizing that blood needed to be shed from time to time for liberty to remain and free men to remain free.

What the media glibly calls "assault weapons" today are the very arms that most closely mirror what the founders would have regarded at the proper armament for a free American citizenry. Our Founding Fathers, Ms. Gill, were what you would regard as right-wing extremists.

They wanted us armed and well-trained with those arms, knowing that any government security force sufficiently large and powerful enough to protect us from any crime is large and powerful enough to strip us of our freedoms. There is, after all, a reason why totalitarian nations are known as "police states."

Our Founders were men of action, and require action from us. They do not expect us to shirk our duties and responsibilities, and would be ashamed of those of you who think so much of your own self-worth that you would put another person's life on the line to assure you safety.

If you truly love your nation and your God, procure a weapon, and learn how to use it to defend the one sacred life that your Father gave you to lead, and freedoms that our Founding Fathers hoped to enshrine on parchment three centuries ago.

Thank you for your time.

Bob Owens

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 17, 2009 05:37 PM

A good rebuttal. I would add that she needs to give out her address so that the thieves and rapists know where to find her. Easy prey. Sad thought. They would love it.

I will bet anyone that she would consider arming herself if she was raped or broken into or both even after she called 911 for help. She would probably just sue and sue and sue (unless she was dead). Then again I could see a 12 GA riot gun in her future if she smartens up. After the fact is always too late. I have lived past the half century mark only because I am willing to kill someone who wishes to harm me and mine. The alternative is not acceptable. This is moral and expected of all of us in this Country. And yes I served.

If you really believe that evil people do not exist, or if you think words will calm them, you don't live in the real world. Look at Iran.


Posted by: Marc Boyd at May 17, 2009 06:56 PM

Did she miss any firearm misconceptions? I'm pretty sure she covered 'em all. "Sincere ignorance," what a generous description. Good for you.

Posted by: DoorHold at May 17, 2009 07:04 PM

Well said, Bob. Thank you.

Posted by: Bill Smith at May 18, 2009 01:21 AM

"(I won't even try to talk about the "hunting" aspect. I cannot in a million years imagine shooting an animal!)"

1. I think of Robert A. Heinlein, "You have to be able to shoot your own dog." I have.

2. Just finished Ringo's "The Last Centurion." She has never been hungry. Famine would change her mind, kill her or both.

Posted by: Richard Roark at May 18, 2009 10:26 AM

Egad! People like this drive me bonkers.

How fortunate for Susan to live in her protected bubble of moonlight and unicorns...I, on the other hand, am not so fortunate.

I, like Susan, don't go looking for trouble, try to be "harmonious" and "listen" to my "intuitions". Heck, I even judge myself to be "leading a good purposed meaningful life" though I suspect my yardstick is different from hers.

I am a law-abiding citizen and when I went to college, I followed the rules and went without personal protection, despite my own father's pleas to the contrary.

Afterall, we had security doors and pepper spray and rape whistles. Of course, it wasn't long before an older male classmate disabused me of the notion that this was protection. All you need is somebody else to hold open that door, pepper spray must be in hand and ready to deploy, and your rape whistle can be shoved down your throat.

None of those things are going to protect you against the guy who comes to "borrow notes" with an ulterior motive of getting a bit more.

All I had to protect myself was my voice and my fists. It turned out, thankfully, that this was sufficient in my case. But, if Susan thinks that I am content to go this route ever again, she's dead wrong.

I will not apologize for the necessity I feel to protect my life, liberty, and the control of my own body. Susan, some guys don't take "no" for an answer and, having been cornered before, I'd prefer to have cold steel in hand and worry about my aim rather than whether or not I'll be able to identify my attacker in a line up (assuming I survive).

But, Susan will never understand. I've tried arguing this with people who you would think would be receptive, to no avail.

For example, I once encountered a hunter who was flabbergasted and appalled that I owned a handgun. I, a woman! His outrage absolutely astonished me. I was sure that I was just misunderstanding him, but no.

This hunter really believed that his right to hunt and bond with his buddies was what the founders intended. He didn't care about me protecting myself from my would-be rapist. I had no business having a weapon, in this guy's opionion. And, he's a father. Scariest conversation I've ever had in my life.

My point is this: well-reasoned arguments don't get very far with some people for whom emotion is all.

I don't dispute the hunter's right to drink beer and sit in a tree stand each fall, nor do I insist that folks like Susan gear-up.

Yet, my refusal to ever be victimized again paints me not as a good citizen exercising her rights, but as part of the problem. A trouble-maker looking to gun people down. I don't wish violence upon anyone, but I'm not going to sit around and just hope for the best either.

I'm pragmatic, not stupid.

Hell, even the Disney Princesses had villains that they had to face. If Susan thinks she's living in an even better fairy tale...well, I hope she never discovers otherwise.

In the meantime, I'm still living in the real world.

Posted by: Phoenix at May 18, 2009 11:35 AM

The number of guns recovered from crime scenes in New York City dropped by 13 percent from last year. The number of people shot to death dropped from 347 in 2007 to 292 in 2008.

Posted by: Gramps at May 18, 2009 04:08 PM

The Anti-gun folks have but one dream.
They wish that guns and all things that can be used as weapon,could be somehow,magically un-invented.
Just like the clock can not be turned back or an egg cannot be un-broken;Knives,clubs,rocks and guns can not be un-invented.
Now,lets talk about true gun control; Breath,Relax,Aim & Squeeze.

Posted by: firefirefire at May 19, 2009 05:02 AM

Good rebuttal Bob.

Phoenix, I'd actually dispute his right to sit and drink beer while armed with a deadly weapon before I'd dispute your right to self defense. It's illegal to drink and drive, the same should apply to rifles. Impaired judgment can lead to lots of accidents when using a firearm, not being aware of what is behind your target (bullets in people's homes or passing cars), improper identification of the target (dead/injured buddies, livestock, animals you're not licensed to shoot), and numerous other accidents.

Posted by: Scott at May 19, 2009 10:30 AM

The primary reason why the Left wants us all disarmed is to totally dominate us politically. That's why Obonga wants the Senate to ratify that treaty with the U.N., the one with the provision that calls for the complete disarming of our entire population. I'm a former Leftist, so I know how a lot of these people REALLY think, when none of you are within earshot: an armed population is infinitely more difficult to subdue. This is a power grab of major proportions.

We have this 2nd Amendment right because the Founders intended it as a buffer against tyranny. All of you, get Stephen P. Halbrook's book, "The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms."

This is about way more than just having guns for protections and for hunting. It's about the defense of our liberties vs. the Marxists' desire to sweep them all away for good.

Be alert. Be vigilant.

Posted by: Fred at May 19, 2009 11:24 AM

A good example of what happens when you loose gun rights is Australia. They had an immediate increase in crime, particularly home invasion. Violence markedly increased. It was the criminal that had the gun. The only thing increased cops does is to have more of them bothering us trying to get to work by giving out tickets. They are most definitley not an answer to increased crime.

Posted by: DAVID at May 19, 2009 12:39 PM
Why not more pressure to provide for larger police forces?

With more guns, perhaps?

Posted by: Pablo at May 21, 2009 12:03 AM