Fish in a Barrel

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Many leftist “progressives” are determined to disarm the populace. They can’t fathom why anyone might find this strange. Their hearts brim with concern for women, gays, people of color, and the poor! But their efforts, if successful, would leave these people more vulnerable to violence than they are right now, and probably more than anyone else.

Our self-appointed benefactors want us to depend on them. Keeping us from depending on ourselves for our own protection is naturally part of the plan. Citizens without recourse to effective self-defense are like fish in a barrel. The barrel may be easy to protect, but the fish are easy to kill.

Over a period of several months, when I was a teenager, I would hear heavy footsteps on the walkway outside my bedroom window. I never so much as caught a glimpse of who was out there. But something drew him back to my bedroom window time after time.

Then one evening I was home alone, sitting in the very den where I now write this essay. It had to be pretty obvious I was sitting there, at a well-lit desk. All at once, the window began to slide open. I ran down the hall to my mother’s bedside table, opened the drawer, and got out the .25 caliber pistol. Meanwhile, back in the den, the uninvited visitor was struggling to pry open the window all the way. I entered the room, picked up the phone, and loudly called the police.

Could I have fended off the prowler without a firearm? I’m glad I never had to find out.

Sounding bored — as if she didn’t believe me, or simply didn’t care — the dispatcher told me she would “send someone out.” The prowler had to hear my end of that conversation, but it did nothing to stop him from trying to get in. I flipped open the curtains, pointing the gun out into the darkness beyond the window. All I saw of him was his shadowy backside as he turned and fled.

About forty minutes later, a police cruiser rolled lazily by. It slowed very slightly in front of my house, then sped on. No one stopped. Nor did anyone from the police department even bother to call and find out if the issue had been successfully resolved — in short, whether I was alive or dead.

I don’t think I heard those footsteps during the next few nights after the near break-in. But a few days afterward, a young man was arrested only a couple of blocks from our house. He’d allegedly beaten his mother to death because she wouldn’t give him money for drugs. I do know I never heard the footsteps after that.

If the mother-murderer and the prowler were one and the same, could I have fended him off without a firearm? I’m glad I never had to find out. But without a gun, against a man big enough to murder a grown woman with his bare hands, a teenaged girl would have had less than a fighting chance.

A quarter century later, when my father suffered a heart attack, I moved back into my childhood home to help care for him. When he died, the house became mine. Though it is in an upper-middle-class neighborhood, there have been several break-ins on my street. Never have the police shown up until after the prowlers have fled. In every case, it has been the homeowner or a neighbor who has driven them away.

It warms my heart that progressives care so much about my safety. Are they right that I don’t need a gun because they’ll protect me themselves? I hope I never have to find out about that, either.




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Comments

Fred Mora

Lori,

I agree with your sentiment. I'd like to offer a couple of data points to brace it up against possible criticism:

1. According to Gallup, self-reported gun ownership is at a record high:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/Self-Reported-Gun-Ownership-Highest-1993.aspx

A nice 40% Democrat responders are saying they own a gun, whereas they were only 32% in 2010. This means that gun ownership (or admission thereof) among Obama voters grew by roughly a third -- a stunning vote of no-confidence for Comrade Hussein's policies from his own crowd.

Wondering about the bare shelves at your local gun store? Blame the Volvo-latte crowd.

2. Reuters tells us that background checks for firearm purchases were up 39% in 2012. I am sure the 2013 figure will be quite high as well.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/02/us-usa-guns-record-idUSBRE9010H020130102

3. According to the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, gun violence is at its lowest in decades. Of course, reading the New Orc Slimes, you'd swear the opposite is true. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fv9311.pdf

So there. High gun ownership rates correlates with lower gun violence, according to the very same Federal government that tries to claim otherwise.

Hope it'll help you rebuke lies in debates.

Visitor

Almost all crime is between people that know each other. Family, friends, etc. To use such a rare occasion to the contrary is very dishonest.

The main reason we have the second amendment is to overthrow the government violently. And the only way to that these days is to own F-22's and M1A1 tanks, and nuclear weapons.

Owning simple shotguns, and rifles, and handguns for protection against random stranger crime is a tired and illogical argument.It never ever happens. It is far more logical to argue for the right to own nuclear weapons to control our government. It would be far safer, and far more reasonable.

Robert

I started to reply to your idiocy point by point. But my perception is that you would not believe night is night. I personally have used my firearms twice to protect my personal safety. On at least one of those occasions I would have been killed without my firearm. I know of many other incidents of a similar nature. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of cases every year where law abiding citizens have used a firearm to prevent great bodily harm or death. For you to simply that that does not exist???? You are living on another planet. How clueless can you be?

Jon Harrison

Not only do I agree with you, but I'd like to read about the time you saved yourself from death. Send an article proposal to editorial!

Lori Heine

Visitor, I find your use of the word "dishonest" quite puzzling. It's dishonest to share one's own, personal experience? Really?

And why might that be? Because it points to a conclusion you'd rather I not make?

I also question how "rarely" the need for one to protect oneself from crime actually arises. You must not know very many women, gay people or people of color. Many of those I know have been in situations, at one time or another, when they were either glad they were armed or wish they were.

You must lead a very safe life. How nice for you.

Jon Harrison

Could not agree more. I certainly want sane, law-abiding people to have guns if they want them. Now, can you perhaps enlighten your readers as how we can, as a practical matter, keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people? Some will argue that law-abiding people armed can prevent the next Newtown. Obviously, however, there's no guarantee that armed individuals will be present every time a nut decides to strike. And while I accept that we cannot prevent every single massacre, mass killings are occurring far too frequently these days. So how do we keep guns out of the hands of crazies?

Lori Heine

In my opinion, the matter comes down to this: Do we, or do we not, have a fundamental right to protect ourselves from the violence others would do to us?

Those who have taken it upon themselves to protect us from ourselves are sure the answer is no. With all the condescension of Miss Susie on Romper Room, they peer into their magic mirrors and tell us what “we” need to do.

Part of our problem is that we are confused about how to deal with those outside the norm. We have utterly failed the mentally ill. We no longer make them wear caps with bells on them, to warn us when they’re coming so we can stay away, but how we treat them today is no less selfish and irresponsible.

It is dehumanizing to treat them as if they have no individual moral agency whatsoever. In our dealings with those who suffer from mental illness, we’ve become unmoored from any concept of individual choice. But that individual agency is a part of what makes us human. Indeed, even severely mentally ill people exhibit some sense of it.

Mass killers who carry out detailed and elaborate plots to liquidate large numbers of people obviously do possess complex reasoning skills, however fractured or skewed. If all they could do was bay at the moon, we’d have no need to worry about them.

As a society, we have lost nearly all understanding of individual moral agency. Without which, liberty is impossible. To disarm the entire populace simply to keep guns out of the hands of the insane would be a total surrender to insanity.

Technomad

How about locking up the crazy people like we did before the ill-thought-out deinstitutionalizations of the 1960s? Contrary to what some people think, _One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest_ is not a documentary. And far too many insane people are only all right if they take their meds, but can't be trusted to take their meds. Lock them up and throw away the key forever.

Lori Heine

Technomad, I quite agree that mentally ill people who are dangerous need to be separated from society so they can no longer harm others.

This matter goes back to individual moral agency. Some people who suffer from mental illness choose to harm other people -- but most do not. As individual moral agency is no longer a matter given any consideration by the powers-that-be, we are all treated more and more like sheep who have no differentiating characteristics. As those incapable of choosing, who must, instead, be herded.

Who gets to determine who's "crazy" and must be locked away? I presume the State will, in its infinite wisdom, take on that function. Will this eventually be used against anyone considered troublesome by government authorities -- as it was in the Soviet Union?

I regard it as further evidence of our dehumanization that we are not considered capable of making individual moral choices. That this capability is already considered beyond the power of anybody officially labeled "mentally ill" does not bode well for the rest of us.

"Crazy" people may be the canaries in the mine.

Geezer

Who gets to decide who the “crazy people” are? A psychiatrist (like Nidal Malik Hasan)? A lawyer (like Lois Lerner)? Secret Service agents (like the ones who visited Tom Francois)? An elected official (like His Glorious Magnificence)?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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