When they kick in your front door, how you gonna come?
I once jokingly said to a friend that I think they should ban only men from owning guns. “That would even the score, don’t you think?”
He frowned and said that hardly seemed fair to him. I mulled that over and said, “You’re right. Gay men should be able to have guns, too. That would put second thoughts in the heads of gay-bashers.”
Okay, I have a sick sense of humor, but I thought of that entire exchange when reading Rad Geek’s assessment of gun control that he made after reading Condoleeza Rice point out that the right to own guns saved a lot of people’s lives in the tumultuous civil rights era.
I am divided on the gun control issue. On one hand, I see the validity of the standard liberal pro-gun control argument, which is that these things are dangerous and shouldn’t proliferate like they do. I’ve known people to be shot in anger, known people who fired off guns on accident, the whole nine yards. It’s unsettling, to say the least. And for that reason, I don’t keep guns in my house. I simply don’t trust human nature enough.
On the other hand, my opinion on having a gun in my own home would change immediately if I had good reason to fear that I am under attack and I need to protect myself. I’m not, of course. One of the most irritating things about a good number of gun lovers I know is that they often seem certain that the pigs will be kicking down their door any day. The gun culture as it is now is a manifestation of the paranoia of the privileged class—the last people who have cause to fear being rounded up as subversives are the ones most likely to have huge artilleries in their houses. The Klan is not threatening your average militia member.
I’m not in that sort of danger, but some people have reasons to be fearful, and I have to trust, as a freedom-loving sort, that other people are the best judges of their own situations. Call me pro-choice when it comes to guns, then.
But I will say this—from what I can tell, a shotgun really still is the best home defense weapon. Something to consider in the debate over just handguns.