Taking aim at fear with a .22-caliber

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Frohickey, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Taking aim at fear with a .22-caliber

    The afternoon of the day I was attacked, I drove into the nearest town and bought a gun. In the report I had already filed with the police, I described the stranger who broke into the house while I was taking a shower. "Go away," I screamed. He told me to shut up.

    After a kicking, howling struggle, which took us from the bedroom to the living room, he ran off. He was gone, but I felt panicky and powerless. I had seen into the heart of reality and been permanently changed. What kind of fool would be nonviolent in a violent world? I laughed at my old liberalism, my empty prating about the evils of violence and the value of human life. The man who attacked me didn't have those scruples, and I had lost mine in a heartbeat. If I hadn't fought back violently, I believe I would have been raped, and I might have been killed.

    I picked out a heavy target pistol, a single-action West German .22-caliber with a long barrel and a wooden handle; the moment I held it, I started to feel better. I showed my driver's license, signed my name and began to have what would be months of fantasies about what I would do to the stranger if he returned. I would blow his head off. He would plead with me - as I had pleaded - and I would wipe out his pleas with a .22 long. I understood the healing power of revenge.

    Before the attack, I thought it couldn't happen to me. Afterward, I lived in fear, suspecting all strangers, double-checking the locks and refusing to go out after dark.

    Every afternoon, I walked down to the local dump and set up cans for target practice. At first my marksmanship was as crazy as I felt, but I slowly found the shooting position - a Kojak-style two-handed grip - that worked best. I began to hit the mark. I conjured up the image of my attacker. Then I blew him away. For a moment, I felt safe and powerful, but by the time I cleaned the gun an hour later, the fear came flooding back. I moved from the house where it had happened. I moved again. When I told friends about the gun, some argued. I lost some friends. I kept the gun.

    An estimated 17 million women in the United States own guns, according to Caitlin Kelly's new book, "Blown Away: American Women and Guns" (Pocket Books). Women are the fastest growing group of sport hunters; teenage trap shooting has quadrupled nationwide since 2001, and 4-H clubs have added shooting to knot-tying and animal husbandry.

    But a study in the magazine Women & Guns shows that more than 80 percent of women who own handguns keep them out of a concern for personal safety. Statistics show a dramatic drop in crime almost everywhere, but women are still at an unacceptable risk. More than a third of women in this country will be violently assaulted, raped or robbed. Three women are killed every day, 90 percent of them by their male partners.

    "Guns kill, but guns protect," says one gun owner in Kelly's fascinating, balanced book, whose interviewees range from preppy students to seasoned police officers. "They're an enormous equalizer between the weak and the vicious."

    Guns have an ugly, tragic side. In the wrong hands, they have caused countless unnecessary deaths, and they have shattered families and communities. The massacre at Columbine could not have happened without guns. Fifty percent of gun deaths are suicides. In the absence of guns, people don't get shot. It's as simple as that. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees us the right to bear arms, but these arms have become objects of intense political contention between those who favor stricter gun controls and those who favor more personal freedom.

    After I got married again and had children, I got rid of my bullets and gave away the gun. Although I would kill to protect my kids, it felt dangerous to have a gun in the same house with them. They were so precious; it was so deadly. By that time, I had also moved to Manhattan, where most apartments are protected by deadbolts and chains.

    I read wheelchair-user and former Marine Andre Dubus' electrifying essay in "Meditations From a Movable Chair" (Vintage, 1999) about why he had given up his gun. "I gave up answers that are made of steel that fire lead," he wrote, "and I decided to sit in a wheelchair on the frighteningly invisible palm of God." On good days, I understand that. On bad days, when I am alone in the country or when my doorbell rings late at night, I wish I had a gun again.

    =====

    Wow. A major media columnist that had an epiphany :eek:
    I wonder how long before she will be fired from her job by her boss.
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #2
    While I disagree with her conclusions, I see no reason that she should lose her job. That would be grossly unfair.

    The issue of her having a handgun in Manhattan is moot, anyway. You're not going to be allowed to have one, unless you're a political bigshot or you're quite rich and buddies with the politicos. IOW, it wasn't her decision to get rid of the handgun. The Sullivan law and the New York system took care of that.

    Regardless, she had logical reasons, and that's all that matters.

    'Rat
     
  3. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    #3
    Three years ago, my uncle was at our family farm, alone, shooting his guns. He taught me how to shoot. When he didn't come home on time his mother, and two sisters (one was my mom) went to the farm to get him.

    They found him dead, shot in the chest at point blank with a 44 mag. the police and coroner (family friend) ruled out suicide, but we never suspected that anyway. I have always assumed that foulplay was involved. The "official' story is that he was trying to play hotshot, and the gun went off. I never bought it, he seemed to smart for that.

    Anyway, my mom, aunt, and grandmother found their little brother and son in laying in the truck bed, feet dangling, with a pool of blood surrounding him. Of course, I had to sell all of my guns. I had two 38's, a 9, a 30.06, a 22 rifle, and a 22 pistol.

    My mom doesn't know it, but I kept the 22 rifle. I took the money and put it into a roth IRA, and it just sits there much like the guns did. I rarely shot, and I haven't fired a gun since that day.

    BUT, I think guns are important. The 2nd amendment gives us the right not just to bear arms, but to KEEP them. To bear is to hold, to keep is to own. So while some people talk about the violence from guns, think about this. If guns were outlawed I'd still have my uncle, but it would only be a matter of time before something far worse happened to all of us. Every nation that takes guns away from the citizens soon begins genocide.

    How many uncles, mothers, fathers, brothers, daughters, and cousins have to die before I think we should outlaw guns? As many as it takes to keep our government from owning all of them. There are more firearms in private ownership in America than are owned by the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined. Let's keep it that way.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    Great Britain has begun genocide???? I hadn't hear that before just now. :eek:
     
  5. bella macrumors member

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    #5
    We have this rediculous "gun registry" our gov't has tried to implement - they have spent about 2 billion and its still not fully implace or enforced. It's a rediculous scandle.

    Just because a person registers their guns doesn't mean that that particular gun will never be stolen and used for crime. In fact a list of all guns people have registered, and owners adresses are available to the public. Whats keeping a criminal from breaking into a home and stealing these guns to commit a crime? That piece of paper isn't going to stop a crime from happening. You won't find street gangs who are buying them outta the trunks of cars registering their guns. Why should people who are responsible and have had them for generations, used them for hunting, have to register or not be allowed to own them eventually.

    I'll never give mine up.
     
  6. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    #6
    Sorry, I'm generalizing again. How's this. Many nations follow anti-gun policy with genocide.

    Ottoman Tukey (1915-1917) 1 million dead
    Soviet Union (1929-1945) 20 million dead
    Nazi Germany/Europe (1933-1945) 20 million dead
    China [nationalist] (1927-1949) 10 million dead
    China [red] (1949-1976) 20-35 million dead
    Guatemala (1960-1981) 150,000 dead
    Uganda (1971-1979) 300,000 dead
    Cambodia (1975-1979) 2 million dead
    Rwanda (1994) 800,000 dead

    GRAND TOTAL: In 90 years, a stadium shy of 85,000,000 million people killed in genocide just after "gun control laws" were passed in their countries. That's about 9 million a year average (with an obvious concentration in the 30's and 40's).
    Most of these were so called "political enemies".

    USA (1960-present) 1 million dead in violent acts and accidents
    GRAND TOTAL: in ~45 years that's about 25,000 year.

    So, it's obviously not a perfect correlation, but I bet in a statistical study the R-square would be above .5, and probably closer to .75. Britain is an exception, not the rule.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    Much better... A professor of mine once told me not to make absolute statements (unless it is unquestionable) because it makes people spend time looking for the exceptions to your point rather than listening to it. ;)
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    "once" told you? how can you be sure it was only once? maybe the professor mentioned it twice.
     
  9. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #9
    I think the right to bear arms stops when you step in to public domain... you can keep as many guns in your house as you want for sports or self-defense but don't take any time to restaurnts, movie theatres... etc. Also, americas who say they need a automatic rifle or SMG "self-defense" is deluded. Also, gun locks and child-safe gun control devices should be mandatory on all guns and not optional. best compromise i can think off to appease the gun lovers and te gun-haters.
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    Nope, he absolutely positively 100% mentioned it once and only once. I think. :D
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    All dogs are four-legged creatures, but not all four-legged creatures are dogs.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    carbonmotion, that sounds nice, but you're gonna have to guarantee me that I'll never, ever, ever meet with two or three very-hostile young and healthy hoodlums who not only would take my money, but do grievous bodily harm to my precious-to-me body.

    Can you offer that guarantee as 100%? You know you cannot, and your idea is facile but thoughtless...

    Note that I as a holder of a Concealed Handgun License have proven that I have as clean a track record in life as your local policeman or even his chief. Can your local politicians--who write gun laws--meet that standard? :D I have been tested as to knowledge of the law concerning the use of deadly force in self defense. I have been tested as to my competency with a handgun. So, what's your problem?

    All my firearms not ready to hand are kept in my gunsafe. It weighs 800 pounds, empty, and has extremely secure locks.

    The concept of gunlocks for child safety is all well and good until the child reaches the age of hacksaw and/or screwdriver. Better to gunproof the kid; you absolutely cannot kidproof a gun. It's easy to gunproof a kid. You just take the romance and thrill out of the issue by pointing out it's not a toy, and when he's physically large enough you'll take him out so he can shoot it. Since a 1911 is too large and too heavy for a four-year-old, he readily loses interest. (Stay away from mouseguns like the North American Arms mini-revolvers, of course. :D) Once a gun is of no interest, there's no problem. Common sense says it doesn't end with just one lesson, and one ALWAYS does pay attention to security.

    I have no objections whatsoever to serious penalties for parental negligence.

    'Rat
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    well, *I* thought it was funny
     
  14. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #14
    not only that, gun control has led to the atomic bomb, aids, and killer bees!
    Australia has pretty strict laws AND they have those giant frogs!
    England has the laws which led to their lousy food.

    nor, I guess, does the 95% of Native Americans who lost their lives count in our great westward expansion. Strangely enough, the native Americans had guns. So it was not a genocide!

    (learn more please)
    http://www.iearn.org/hgp/aeti/aeti-1997/native-americans.html


     
  15. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #15
    Why do we not count our genocide of Native Americans?
     
  16. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #16
    Because, ummm, well, aaaaa, emmm, errrr...
     
  17. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    #17
    Rat, I totally agree with you about gunproofing a kid. When I was a kid, my dad and uncles taught me how to A) respect a weapon B) treat a weapon and C)how to handle a weapon properly.

    It was sooooo beneficial. My dad has about 30 guns in his house and cars (all concealed, of course), and I was never once tempted to "show off" or seem cool in front of the other kids by playing with them. My dad bought a bunch of spoiled turkeys and let me shoot them with pistols, shotguns, and rifles. I saw what a gun will do to flesh (it ain't pretty). I understood that they really can hurt people.

    Also, I had to take a class in town, and took another at conservation camp. However, most kids don't have the benefit of such parenting. I know the neighbor kids didn't. They all thought guns were "awesome". Education, experience, and most of all, awareness are all that can make guns safer.... but accidents will happen, and most likely in the hands of uneducated, inexperienced, unaware idiots.
     
  18. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #18
    Ok... time for a real world of politics. You, be a die-hard pro-seconder will always see things the NRA way which you will believe with all you heart to be the absolute moral right. The anti-second amendment activists will see things their way as the absolute truth as well. Both side are deluded as on issues as these there are no absolute moral truths just various interprations of reality. So, to make both sides happy, you have to agree to settle somewhere in the middle. You get laws that give you some actions but also restricts others...

    I agree with you that gun control may be the sole root of the problem of the high crime rates in america, however the public domain belongs to everyone not only to you or people who believe that same things as you do. Thus, you have to respect the wishes of other [fellow] citizens who don't feel comfortable allowing anyone with a clean record to carry a concealed weapon in public. While you may be as responsible as a police officer with your concealed handgun, you can not expect others (with a clean record) to have the same level or responsibility or emotional control. Someone can have a very abrahsive personality but still easily maintain a good civil record. For public defense you have the combined option of carrying the following, 1) carry a Taser 2) carry a cell phone with 911 on speed dial and 3) carry a mace can. There are many many more non-lethal takedown weapons available that can be used to defend oneself without endangering the lives of your fellow citizens. Also, if you think that I'm some liberal tree-hugger who's never held a gun, then you are only partially correct. I am moderate liberal, and I like to hug trees... however I own a bolt-action HOWA M1500 chambered for 270 win. that I take to the range to practice my sharpshooting (i don't hunt). When its in the car, it's always locked in my case and never loaded.

    I personally would avoid killing people as much as possible even if they are the aggressors who break in to my house. Since we live in a civilized society not war-torn yugoslavia we shouldn't resort to the kill-on-sight tactics so engrained in the minds of those living under a hospice of extreme fear, uncertainty, and paranoia. Yes! I have the skill to grab my Glock 34 (9x19) and nail the f*cker twice in the chest. However, doing so would circumvent the laws of this nation which should be respected; instead do the following 1) call the cops on speed dial or use your security system's panick button. 2) defend youself with a tazer, mace or tranq gun 3) lock yourself in a panic room or some such or run away... Let the cops and the criminal justice system run its course. Don't just devalue life to a point where you can just point, squeeze and kill someone (no matter what kind of social-economic background) without considering the value of their life.
     
  19. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #19
    Sorry I'm going to contiune my rant here... I don't have a problem with people who uses certain guns for home defense or sports or recreation.

    Yet, there are "willing and responsible" people out there who wants defend their homes with Ak47s, M16s, MP5s, M82 Barrets, or Black Arrow M93. From what? The Government?
     
  20. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #20
    "Thus, you have to respect the wishes of other [fellow] citizens who don't feel comfortable allowing anyone with a clean record to carry a concealed weapon in public."

    No. There is no constitutional or legal right to feel comfortable. I have no onus upon me to worry about others' fears of what might happen.

    If my weapon is concealed, how do you know if I'm "toting"? If you don't know, how would any licensing make any difference? Do gang-bangers apply for licenses? :)

    Where does the Second Amendment refer to self-defense? Have you ever read the preamble to the Bill of Rights? If not, I suggest you do so. Any Constitutional protection of my right to self-defense derives from the 14th Amendment. Remember the FBI investigations and prosecutions shown in the movie "Mississippi Burning"? The reasons and authority? The courts have decided that I have a civil right to live. The courts have also held that the police have no obligation to actively protect that right--and in their absence, they cannot. Between court decisions and physical realities, who is responsible for my safety except me, myself and I?

    "1) carry a Taser 2) carry a cell phone with 911 on speed dial and 3) carry a mace can."

    Suggestions 1 and 3 require closer proximity than I care for. Tasers are not legal in many states. Mace sounds good, but don't bet your life on it; ask a cop. (Many who are high on a speed-type drug are unaffected by even a high-capsicum pepper spray.) At my wife's home, cell phones don't work because of distance from a tower. At our other home, the admitted SO response time is 20 to 30 minutes "if all the gates are open".

    "Since we live in a civilized society not war-torn yugoslavia we shouldn't resort to the kill-on-sight tactics so engrained in the minds of those living under a hospice of extreme fear, uncertainty, and paranoia."

    I certainly agree with the fundamental premise. So far, among my CHL friends or acquaintances, I've yet to see any evidence of fear or paranoia. Uncertainty? I know some preachers and politicians who have certainty. Few economists, however. :D

    "Don't just devalue life to a point where you can...kill someone..without considering the value of their life."

    One who would offer grievous bodily harm or death to me has devalued their own life, their own humanity. We're not talkin' a mutually agreed-upon schoolyard or bar fight here. Reaction, not initiating action, under the long-established "reasonable and prudent person" doctrine.

    The .270 is a great cartridge. I used to load with the old-days surplus 4831, with the 130-grain bullet. Didn't even need powder scales. Fill the case, scrape across the case mouth, and seat the bullet. The compressed load gave some 100 ft/sec less than factory. I still have the dies, but no .270 at the moment...

    :), 'Rat
     
  21. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #21
    Guns are like a fad diet

    Sadly, carrying a gun or having one in your home is *NOT* the way to end the problem of violence in our society.

    It is like all those commercials you see on TV and in the Newspaper for losing weight. People want quick solutions -- in the end they usually end up more unhealthy. Real solutions take time, energy, and money. This is true for both weight loss and violence.
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #22
    "Real solutions take time, energy, and money."

    Amen.

    Does knowing that fire-proof houses are becoming available mean that you will drop your insurance before having one? Does knowing that an armistice is only a few weeks' worth of time and effort away mean you turn your back on the enemy?

    I'm fully aware that many problems have only long-term solutions. A reduction in the size of the problem still means that some amount of problem exists. And we have no choice but to live in the present as it exists.

    'Rat
     
  23. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #23
    Except getting rid of many of the guns is *part* of the solution. And as my analogy goes, when you use the fad diet you end up more unhealthy; when you possess the gun you (or someone close to you) often ends up dead or severly injured.
     
  24. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #24
    Rat, If someone is on speed or on crack, you won't be able to stop them at anyting less then close range with most guns short of .45s and .50s. Tazer works universally well among durged and non-druged people and tranq guns as well. I can sort of understand carry a gun if if you live out in the country but but in a city? You realize garentee you can account for the landing location of every bullet that you fire and so while I can be fairly certain that each bullet I fire will hit it's mark, I can not garentee that. One shot may go wild and produce a net resultent that I was not going for. Since cities have populations so closely clustered together, stray bullets can easily main. Now one or two people carrying a gun is no big deal, but a city full of people carrying guns? That would create some unfortunate incidents.
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #25
    That Reality Check just Keeps on Bouncing...

    To "normal" people (i.e. us Europeans :rolleyes: ) these gun threads just seem to be insane. NOBODY here (except a few gangstas who seem to like shooting each other) carries, or wants to carry, a gun. The police are for the most part unarmed, and so are the criminals. As far as I can see, the likelihood of somebody getting shot is considerably lower if nobody has a gun. This revolutionary concept may come as a shock to some of you (YOU know who you are! :cool: ) but it does make sense. Kinda. Maybe you should try it. :rolleyes:
     

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