I grew up with guns, so I see them a little differently than many people who haven’t. I see them as an opportunity to live, not a chance to die. When it comes to self-protection, they have ultimate stopping power.
No, I’m not some illiterate redneck. I don’t have a confederate flag anywhere. (In fact, let me go off on a tangent for a moment here, to tell you that flying one is actually illegal, since it’s a defeated enemy flag). I don’t have a pickup truck with a gun rack. I don’t chew tobacco. But I DO believe in survival.
Yes, I am only part of 12% of all women who own guns, and I realize I’m an anomaly. But you knew that anyway, didn’t you?
All my life, I’ve heard the arguments for and against gun ownership. Thankfully, since the criminals still have easy access to guns, the rest of us do, too.
“As long as they’re legal, they’ll be accessible to criminals”? Yup! Heard that one! And the answer is… the crooks will still have guns, long after they’ve been made illegal for the rest of us. We live in a country where guns are readily available. Making them illegal will only cripple those of us who try to live legally.
The NRA-ILA claims that the number of legal gun owners is at an all time high, while crime is at an all-time low. (To see the complete article, go to http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=126)
“Americans use firearms to defend themselves from criminals at least 764,000 times a year,” states James Ruoco of justfacts.com.
Also according to Ruoco, “Florida adopted a right-to-carry law in 1987. When the law went into effect, the Dade County Police began a program to record all arrest and non arrest incidents involving concealed carry licensees. Between September of 1987 and August of 1992, Dade County recorded 4 crimes committed by licensees with firearms. None of these crimes resulted in an injury. The record-keeping program was abandoned in 1992 because there were not enough incidents to justify tracking them.”
Of course there is, and will continue to be, controversy. As Steven Levitt writes in Freakonomics (a must-read), “How can intelligent people view the world so differently? Because a gun raises a complex set of issues that change according to one factor: whose hand happens to be holding the gun.”
And I’m happy that the government has some restrictions which have been imposed on the gun owner, such as the 3-day waiting period (it’s a way to give someone time to cool down and reduces Crimes of Passion committed with guns).
However, as Levitt points out, “On a per capita basis, Switzerland has more firearms than just about any other country, and yet it is one of the safest places in the world. In other words, guns do not cause crime.”