Saturday, July 5, 2008

Shooting A Hole In The Self-Defense Talking Point

I won't point out the tragedy that marred Independence Day.

I won't dwell on the fact that half of gun deaths are suicides.

But I would like to know is, how many of the people that bought these guns claimed they needed it for self-defense, but only ended up using them for something much more horrific.

And how in the world would having everyone carrying a gun reduce these tragedies?


  1. "I won't point out the tragedy that marred Independence Day."

    You just did.....

    "I won't dwell on the fact that half of gun deaths are suicides."

    Yes you will, and what's your point....

    "And how in the world would having everyone carrying a gun reduce these tragedies?"

    "everyone carrying a gun"????? Who wants that? I just want the legal right to protect myself from the thugs who illegally carry firearms. You fail to point out that the people who had firearms that day had them illegally.

    Just say it clear. You think all firearms should be illegal and the 2nd amendment should be rescinded.

  2. I say for the ones that don't want to carry a gun (lethal weapon) to carry a stun gun, taser, or pepper spray (non lethal weapons)

  3. I b'lieve in the Constitution and all the amendments (so far, anyway). Including the second. And the second means individual people have the right, not just when they're enrolled in a militia.

    I b'lieve we have a right to keep and bear arms as a collector, or for target practice, and as a hunter. But not only that. We also have the right of self-defense from thugs and criminals. But not only that. We also have the right to protect ourselves against unjustified armed invasion and against despotic unlawful rule imposed from within.

    In other words, people have the inherent right to hunt, and to armed self-defense as well as the right to insurrection and revolution.

    But people also have the right to personal safety, security for their families, and the right to a safe community, without becoming hostage to or collateral damage from some fool's fantastic notions or ideological extremis.

    These rights certainly can be, and sometimes are in conflict.

    How do we resolve the conflict? By understanding the other point of view, the other perspective. By understanding the other person. And by law, carefully crafted and equitably administered.

    Why in the world would the law abiding, honest person with a deeply loved family, living in a ghetto afflicted with the highest rates of unemployment, poverty, hopelessness, violent crime, and lack of effective public safety protection, strenuously oppose the proposal that anyone entering her community (even a stranger whose family does not live there) should have the right to carry a loaded and concealed weapon?

    Is it really necessary to explain this to anyone with a mind and a moment to think?

    There are thin walls in the ghetto, and literally thousands of people living, walking, working, playing within lethal range of any gun discharged for any reason within that neighborhood. If you lived there, with your children and family, would you want strangers, unfamiliar and fearful of the place where you live, to be allowed to come and go as they please, legally and lethally armed against their fears, nightmares, and suspicions?

    Can you understand and respect that person, and their need for safety as they clearly see it?

  4. Actually anony, I am not for making guns illegal. I personally own two shotguns and a small caliber rifle.

    What I am pointing out is the terrible truth that guns, especially handguns, can make it so very easy for someone, in a moment of high emotion or rage, to use the gun impulsively, and seriously harm, if not kill, someone.

    Some of the nicest people can snap without any warning, and if there is a gun nearby, loaded, and without any safety locks, or other such thing, can lead to something that they, and their victim(s) would be regretting forever.

  5. Texas requires that records be kept concerning the folks that are licensed to carry concealed firearms. Those statistics are available to the public. If you are really interested, you can see how often folks who are licensed "snap without any warning..." I think that you will find that the answer is almost never. Our licensed folks have a very low violent crime rate compared to the average for Texas and the average for the nation. Of course, it is possible that folks in Texas are just naturally more responsible than folks in Washington D. C. as an example. But I really doubt it.

  6. cbrtxus,

    If what you say is true, it would be a recent change. About seven or eight years ago, the NRA was successful in making those records private, as they did in so many other states.

  7. Some of the nicest people can snap without any warning

    Meaning County employees?

  8. "just want the legal right to protect myself from the thugs who illegally carry firearms."

    Anonymous, you talk as if your life is in imminent danger whenever you leave your house. The fact is, Wisconsin is one of the safer states around, and if you're that afraid, maybe you shouldn't leave your house.

  9. Dad,

    Meaning anyone, even Catholics.

  10. Capper, the crime records involving persons licensed to carry concealed weapons in Texas have always been available. In fact, the law was changed to require that such records be readily available.

    The law was changed to prevent someone from getting a complete listing of the name and address of all persons who are licensed. The police can still do that of course.

    You can still find out if a particular person has a license by making a request to the Department of Public Safety. However, the licensee must be notified and the request becomes a matter of record.

    We did not want any criminal to be able to find out if a potential victim has a license by simply going to a web site anonymously.

    The NRA didn't change the law. The Texas State Rifle Association as well as other Texas based organization were mostly responsible. And, of course, without broad-based support among Texans, it would not happen.

  11. I'm sorry. I forgot to include the link to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    Here is a tinyurl version ot the above link.

    The folks who are licensed have a much lower crime rate than the average for Texas and the average for the United States.

  12. Sorry, that site has only the demographics. Here is the site that shows convictions of persons licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

    This is the TinyURL version.

    Check out the "snap rate" for CCL persons in Texas. :)

  13. cbrtxus

    Those stats in your last comment are only convictions. That would eliminate anyone that was not convicted by technicality, a suicide, being found not guilty by mental defect, etc. It also does not include cases that were charged, or the perp was never caught.

    Those stats do not convey the whole picture.

    But thank you for your input. I did learn something from the information you shared.

  14. Hello Capper, The stats do a pretty good job. You can look at licenses revolked too. To compare the record of CCL holders to the general public, you would have to keep the statistics using the same standard. I don't recall ever seeing a stat on the number of CCL holders or criminals that were found not guilty on a technicality. A mental defect would make it illegal for someone to even own a firearm let along be licensed to carry concealed so that would be moot. Being charged doesn't mean that someone was guilty of anything so you wouldn't count charges. You would only count convictions for CCL holders or criminals. That is the standard for crime records as best I understand it.

    Capper, I'm pretty sure that we don't agree about some things. I do appreciate the courtesy that you have shown me.

    Best regards

  15. cbrtxus-

    First, it is a pleasure to have a commenter make points rather than the usual name calling some people are prone to do, especially on such an emotionally charged topic as this. I hope to hear from you again.

    As to your last comment, it is distinctly possible for someone to qualify to have a CCL, and then develop a psychiatric disorder later. Do you know if Texas has a plan for reviews of CCLs, to make sure the licensee remains in a good place, emotionally.

    And even without the psychiatric disorder, there are situational moments of mental breakdown that are commonly known as "temporary insanity".

    And I think we both realize that just as some innocent people get convicted, some guilty people are acquitted.

    Take Care.

  16. Whenever someone throws up the smoke-screen of "gun deaths" you can be sure propaganda is in the air.

    Are other kinds of death less grievous?

    Let's take your example of gun deaths and suicide, and consider the example of Canada.

    The US has a much higher per-capita level of gun ownership than Canada does. Much higher. If the presence of guns caused suicide, then the US should have a much higher per-capita suicide rate. But Canada has a higher suicide rate than the US. Furthermore, guns don't figure very high in Canada suicide. The number one method is hanging. Perhaps you think Canada should introduce rope control? Do you think that would stop suicide?

    The truth is people bent on destroying themselves don't take pills or make weak attempts. They choose effective methods that are available. Guns. Rope. Asphyxiation. Falls.

  17. "How do we resolve the conflict? By understanding the other point of view, the other perspective. By understanding the other person. And by law, carefully crafted and equitably administered."

    Sorry but I have absolutely no desire to "understand" the Nazi point of view, or understand their perspective.

    As for your love of the state, consider that the police are often not very helpful and not that long ago were a part of the problem of race hatred in the South. The Civil Rights Movement had to contend with the cops being part of the Klan - or at least covering for them.

    I have seen cops ignore gay bashings, or even side with the bashers. You go ahead and love the state. I have a different perspective.

  18. Zendo Deb-

    Welcome. As for your suicide comment, you are correct in your statement that someone determined to kill themselves, will. But that does not excuse us from making it easier for them.

    As for understanding, well, knowledge is always the most powerful of weapons. But understanding does not in any way mean condoning. That is where your logic fails.

  19. ...someone determined to kill themselves, will.

    God damn. That's the funniest shit I've heard since Bush's last speech.