Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Good Guy With A Gun Makes It All Better

The Conservative Dream:
Absolute Safety vouchsafed by ubiquitous firearms.
(The impossible quest to make Reality safer than God intended is the core appeal of fascism.)

The Key Question
If ever more guns make America safer,
why are we not already the safest country in the the world?

Please email your answer to:
If you do not have an answer, ask yourself, "Why not?"

What Second Amendment Evangelists Fail To Understand About Their Opposition

It is an incontrovertible fact that if every citizen carries a firearm, some of those citizens will use those firearms to successfully prevent deadly (or damaging) attack by malefactors.

However, setting aside "wishful thinking," it is also incontrovertibly true that if every citizen carries a firearm, there will be far more firearm deaths than there would have been if citizens were required to undergo rigorous training and careful gun registration as prerequisites to owning a firearm. 

Although it is grist for another mill, there are two different epistemologies in play: one statistical-and-scientific; the other anecdotal, with any favorable anecdotal outcome deemed sufficient reason to establish "A New Rule" even though anecdotes are almost always "exceptions to rules."

When Second Amendment Evangelists view the cartoon, "What might have happened on 9-11 if this were truly been The Land of The Free," they automatically believe -- as a faith-based obligation -- that every bullet fired "the good guys" will end up in the body of a terrorist, not the bodies of innocent passengers.

Even more to the point: anytime an evildoer "gets the drop" on "a good guy," it is overwhelmingly difficult for a good guy to "turn the tide."

"Wanting it so" (a desire conditioned by too many Super-Hero movies) has nothing to do with the factual Reality of increased carnage when everyone has access to a firearm.

If every airline passenger can "pack," then every terrorist would have a firearm and only a small percentage of citizens. 

Would you, for example, take a firearm on board a plane?

Didn't think so...

Would a terrorist take a firearm on board a plane?


Those who think ubiquitous firearms solve any of life's problems contribute to the problem - inflame the problem by magnitudes of deadliness

The possibility that well-armed citizens will perform acts of sudden, salvific heroicism once a thug with murderous intent "has already pulled his gun" is vanishingly remote. 

Such wishful thinking is the product of arrested development, the vestigial puerility of children playing "cowboys and Indians," "cops and robbers," "white hats and black."

Many more innocent Americans are killed by firearms "in the home" than the piddling number of Americans saved by domestic firearm heroics.

"The Number Of People Who Use Guns In Self Defense Is Negligible"

And when, at rare intervals, such heroics do occur, they frequently result in the death of property thieves who harbor no violent intent.

I know no one who has used a gun in self-defense, but I do know someone who was killed while robbing a grocery store. 

It is overwhelmingly likely that neither you -- nor anyone you know -- has successfully "defended themselves" with a firearm.

Americans refuse to heed "the numbers."

Americans Think Foreign Aid Consumes One Third Of GNP. 

This % Is Totally Hallucinated

If you ask every friend and associate until the day you die, the chances are virtually nil that you will come across someone (outside the military) who has repelled an aggressor with a firearm. 

The belief that Americans use firearms in self-defense is mostly Middle School fantasy conjured by essentially fearful people trapped in arrested development.

I am 68 years old and have friends "on both sides of the aisle." 

Yet I have never heard any of them say that a firearm saved their life.

I have never heard any of them say that they know someone who was saved by civilian use of a firearm.

And in those rare instances of "salvation-through-firearm," it remains over-archingly true that isolated anecdotes do not establish "general rules." 

On the other hand, I have heard several friends say that firearms were used by family members to kill themselves and also have a friend whose neighbor's boy accidentally killed a friend by putting a bullet in his head.

Whether by accident... sudden eruption of anger... or by psychological disease... firearms in the home exact a terrifyingly high toll  with correspondingly trivial benefit.

The belief that "individual heroes" will "save the day" is essentially self-ish, a subset of rugged individualism and the horrifying fear of living in All-American isolation.,

Yes, an occasional hero will "save the day."

Guns Save Lives

The Number Of People Who Use A Gun In Self-Defense Is Pretty Much Negligible

But choosing to arm an entire society only increases the cumulative carnage.

Gun Tweet In Wake Of Umpqua Slaughter

Opportunities for "gun-toting heroism" are vanishingly rare, and when they do present, they are likely to exacerbate the violence-in-progress. 

Consider the following case in point.

Armed Veteran Explains Why He Didn't Confront Oregon Snhooter With His "Good Guy" Gun

The human psyche prefers "clutching at straws" to admitting that many threatening situations are simply "outside our control."

Furthermore, attempts to "control the uncontrollable" -- either by enhanced "security measures" "taken in advance" or "taken while an aggressive act is unfolding" -- do not contribute to security and routinely become risk factors in themselves.

Too much of anything - even a good thing - is too much. 

Consider the flood of handguns in American homes, a deluge whose potential benefit pales alongside the actual number of American suicides and "domestic homicides" that would not have taken place except for the presence of handguns in the home.

The situation is analogous to the conservative desire to disenfranchise 11% of American voters in order to prevent several hundred cases of demonstrable voter fraud - a textbook illustration of "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face."

How Frequent Is Voter Fraud?
How Frequent Is Voter Suppression?

Voter I.D. Laws Could Disenfranchise 11% Of The Electorate

In the absence of firearms, most young people who attempt suicide do not succeed.

Keep in mind that the suicides I am focusing are not "potential threats" like an attack on your neighborhood school. 

Rather, they are "done deeds" - dependable statistics year in, year out.

Needless statistics year in, year out.

Lamentably, most Americans believe that "heroic last minute intervention" will prevent criminals from perpetrating carnage -- a highly unlikely outcome -- simultaneously ignoring the actual avalanche of carnage in American homes - carnage that would not take place if ready availability of handguns in the home did not facilitate suicide. 

States. In the United States, only motor vehicle crashes and cancer claim more lives among children 5–14 years old than do firearms.

For young Americans, 15-24, suicide (60% by firearm) is the third leading cause of death

There are over 40% more firearm suicides than firearm homicides in the United States.

Firearm injury and death charts for the U.S. (and the world) are available at the following University of Pennsylvania 

Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun OwnershipArthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH; et al, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 327, No. 7, August 13, 1992, pp. 467-472. Key Statistic: The presence of one or more guns in the home increases the risk of suicide in the home nearly five times.

"Gun Cartoons and Gun Violence Bibliography"

Americans Are 9 Times More Likely To Be Killed By A Policeman Than A Terrorist

The make-believe heroicism that afflicts Second Amendment Evangelists recalls the bizarre supposition that the violent overthrow of Saddam Hussein (Ronald Reagan's geopolitical ally) would "make the world safe for democracy."

"Bush's Toxic Legacy In Iraq"

"If An Abundance Of Guns Makes Us Safe, 
Why Isn't The United States The Safest Place In The World?"

I await your reply.

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