Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Carrying a gun to defend yourself

From TPM, it's the latest shooting incident. (Well, almost certainly not, huh? After all, it's been four days already.)
A man arrested for accidentally shooting a woman at a Washington state movie theater on Friday reportedly told police that he was armed because he feared mass shootings. ...

Gallion's firearm discharged during the film, striking a 40-year-old woman sitting in front of him in the shoulder. She was sent to a nearby hospital and was in stable condition as of Saturday.

The Seattle Times reported that Gallion’s explanations for how exactly the gun went off varied significantly. His father, Donald Gallion, told police that his son said the gun had fallen from his pocket and gone off. But Gallion himself told the arresting officer that another movie attendee had reached for his crotch, causing him to accidentally fire the weapon. He then told a different officer at the police station that a man had been bothering him and that the gun accidentally went off during their altercation, according to the newspaper.

What's noteworthy about this? Well, nothing, really. It happens all the time.

But this is what the gun nuts in the Republican Party want. They want everyone in a movie theater or a restaurant or even a church to be carrying a gun, in the irrational fear of mass shootings, terrorism, or... I don't know, alien abduction?

At least a few of those fearful idiots will also be drunk or bored or angry or depressed or just careless. And when the rest of them hear a gunshot, what then? Heck, what if it is the mass shooting they've all been made to fear?

The thing about gun fights at point-blank range is that you need to be the first person to pull the trigger, not the second. So you'll have all of these people with their steel courage, pulling their Precious and pointing it at all of the other hysterical people who are pointing guns at them. How are they going to tell which one's the 'bad guy with a gun'?

Heck, maybe the initial gunshot was just a stupid accident, like this one. They happen all the time. But when you desperately fear mass shootings, and you've got a gun to 'protect yourself,' are you really going to wait until the stranger across the room shoots you before using that gun on him?

Maybe you will. Maybe you're exceptional. And maybe you're never drunk or bored or angry or depressed or careless. But remember, the NRA wants everyone in that theater to be carrying a gun. Is everyone going to be perfect?

This is the insanity of ordinary citizens carrying deadly weapons everywhere they go. It's bad enough that the police have them. The police do, after all, shoot people by accident (or the wrong people deliberately), leave their guns in bathrooms, and do the same sorts of dumb things we all do, despite all their training. Well, they're human.

The NRA pushes irrational fear because the NRA works for gun and ammo manufacturers who make money from irrational fear. Republican politicians push irrational fear, because that gets them votes from the ignorant, the gullible, and the easily scared. None of them are doing it for you.

Are you really going to feel safer when everyone around you is carrying a gun? I've known people I wouldn't trust with sharp scissors. Typically, though, they were the people most eager to get a concealed-carry permit.

Personally, I fear idiots with guns far more than I fear criminals with guns - mostly because there are a lot more idiots than criminals in America. And when every idiot has a gun, the criminals will have absolutely no problem getting them, as well. Heck, we're pretty much there already.


Eugene Harris said...

The fear of irrational is being irrational.

WCG said...