Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"Gun Crimes"

Some anti-gun (or gun ambivalent) people assume that since I despise victim disarmament "laws" with every cell of my body and every spark of my synapses, I have never lost a friend to a gun-wielding attacker. They would be wrong.

My best friend from my teen years was killed by a gunshot to his abdomen when he was 24 years old. The shooter was only charged with manslaughter and I don't know what ever happened in that case. I didn't care because nothing would have brought my friend back. That doesn't mean I would associate with his killer in any way (being a firm believer in the power of shunning), but revenge ("punishment") accomplishes nothing. Could a gun have saved my friend's life? I don't know since only the killer knows what really transpired in those fatal moments. If the killer's story is true, then a gun would not have saved my friend. If the killer is lying, then it was a fatal mistake for my friend to be unarmed. I would not have denied him the tools to have a chance at changing the outcome.

A few years later another very good friend was murdered by an ex-boyfriend whom she had gotten a restraining order against. That "paper shield" didn't work too well. She was working for a lawyer, and he was advising her on how to deal with the stalker, who kept walking away from the mental health facility where he was supposedly living. I wonder if her boss advised her to get a gun and learn how to use it. If not, he didn't do all he could have done. If I had been around her during this time, I certainly would have helped her in that way. Would it have saved her life? I don't know. The killer pulled up beside her at a traffic light and shot her in the head. I don't know if she ever knew he was there. Situational awareness is so important.

(I had another friend who was shot by a mugger, but survived. Once again, his situational awareness was nonexistent and allowed the attacker to grab him from behind before he was detected. A gun in my friend's hand would probably have changed nothing.)

The point is that my dead friends would be just as dead had they been killed by fists, knives, bricks, or poison. Why do hoplophobes focus on the gun instead of the violation of the ZAP? To deny others the most effective tools for self-defense ever invented because bad people sometimes use the same tools is positively retarded. Give everyone the chance to choose the tools they prefer, without bowing to the desires of the Rulers and freelance aggressors. Helping the most vulnerable among us helps us all.