Many years ago when I was a news reporter in Northeast Ohio, there was a murder case that was the talk of the town.
This guy had shot his beautiful wife to death.
He said he’d heard a noise and assumed it was an intruder. He slipped into a closet with a gun. His wife sprang open the closet doors and he shot her. Sort of a “Burn After Reading,” reversed.
I don’t remember if the jury bought his story or if it got him out of the slam. I think I recall that he got a pretty sizable sentence. But I’ll tell you what. It’s a scenario that seems a hell of a lot more believable then some of the ones usually dreamt up by people to justify gun ownership.
I woke up this morning listening to a repeat of The Stephanie Miller Show. Gun control is of course hot right now as a topic. This fairly unintelligible caller was saying that he needed 31 bullets in his magazine versus ten because his jammies don’t have pockets, and so he’d need the extra bullets to further defend his home from intruders.
But this scenario seems to be so remote: A threatening person enters your home. You pick up a gun from your nightstand, and you successfully fire it into the person’s chest, ending his life and protecting your home. The police shake your hand and send you on your merry way and tell you what a good person you are.
It seems more likely to me that you’ll end up killing someone in your family or yourself and end up in jail or dead.
I mean, you think the guy on the phone this morning regularly takes his gun to a range? You think he’s had classes in gun safety, think he’s bothered to learn how to properly handle a firearm?
And, further: Do you think he has a fire extinguisher in his kitchen?
Well, I mean, come on. If your reason for keeping a firearm in your nightstand is that you have to defend your home, don’t you think you should be equally prepared to defend it from fire? And which of the five types of fire extinguisher does he own? And does he know whether to pick up his A, B, C, D, or K model depending on which sort of fire he’s got?
Does his family have an escape route in case of fire? Has he seen about installing a tougher deadbolt? Reinforced the windows? Locked down his sliding glass doors? Has he plugged unused electrical sockets? I mean, if you’re going to be the kind of guy who’s interested in defending his home and his family, then be that guy or stop with the bullshit nonsense.
There are at least 50 other things a person can do to protect his home. Again, when I was a news reporter, I had the opportunity to attend a self defense class for women. The things these broads learned, fellows, you do not want to know. For instance: Don’t kick him in the nuts. Grab and twist. Also: Shit yourself. And scratch the fuck out of him so you can get his DNA under your nails. It’s amazing the things a woman can do to ward off a rapist if she gets the training. Am wondering if the women in this gun freak’s life have had the training.
Be that guy or stop with the bullshit nonsense. The truth is that there are precious few reasons that a person needs to own a firearm. The most frequent ones you hear from these gun nuts are marginal at best to downright bizarre. I personally think the best reason is “to kill deer to bring to the Bonks to cook and eat.” I’m fond of that reason personally. And for sport generally, yeah, that’s a pretty good reason to own a firearm. Home defense? Marginal at best. Defense against a government gone out of control? Are you serious? Do you remember Waco at all?
Unfortunately, one other reason a guy might want a Glock with 31 shots is because he’s crazy and he has it in mind to kill a lot of people. This is a fact that even the most Second Amendment fundies have trouble facing. See O’Donnell, Lawrence vs. Trent Franks. They have trouble facing it because it is a bloody reality of their fundamentalism.
It is this rabid fundamentalism that leads gun defendors to invent unrealistic scenarios in their heads that will probably never come to pass. These unlikely scenarios sure are a weird thing upon which to build a nation’s public policy regarding firearms.