Friday, March 16, 2007
Guns and Gun Rights—Revisited
References: 2nd Amendment, and “Guns don’t shoot people, people shoot the guns.”
Now that we have a DC court decision recognizing the right of citizens to have and use guns in self-defense, we gun owners have a new protection line. This is welcome, but I am certain that this line of defense will be under massive attack just as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
So now I could live in DC with my small arsenal, and make use of it if the occasion arises. I already have that right here in Virginia, and even the right of concealed carry. It is also true that I can wear a gun visibly while on the street, except in a few locales, such as in the vicinity of a school, in restaurants where the owner has banned the practice, and in certain public buildings. Given that this is about how it should be, what may we do with these rights?
First, I am a strong advocate of gun safety, of keeping guns safe from accidental use by children and others, and of training owners in the use and safety practices they should know and abide by.
But I do have a few other practices I believe in as well, that are not for the newbie gun owner, nor for the family man with children.
Since I am elderly, and afraid of being defenseless when accosted in my home or on the street, I believe in being armed or having a weapon nearby virtually all the time.
A weapon is useless unless it is loaded and ready to shoot in seconds. My weapons are loaded and on safety.
A small caliber weapon is not useful for protection, although it just might scare some thugs away by its very presence. I have noted that in 1998 over three million crimes were thwarted by the victim producing a weapon, at which point the criminals ran. (The Seven Myths of Gun Control by Richard Poe, 2001)
What is needed, however, is something larger than a .32 – a 357, .38, 9 mm, or .45 would be far preferable. I have found the 9mm automatic to be just right for me, and it has considerable knockdown power and number of rounds available (13). I can handle it without discomfort, and I can shoot it reasonably accurately out to about 75-100 feet. (All bets are off after that!)
Then too, my carry weapon is also a 9mm, but smaller, shorter, and holds a few rounds less. This gun is accurate out to 50 feet for me, but my groups are rather wide at that range—about 9 or 10 inches—which is fine by me.
Do not even think about firing a warning shot. You will have lost the advantage by that, and stand to be hit yourself by your adversary. Do not shoot to wound in an arm or leg. You will probably miss, and again hand the initiative over to him. So if you decide to shoot, and that is a difficult decision, shoot at the bulk of the man you are aiming at.
If you keep guns around and intend to use them for defense, you must become totally informed about the laws in your locality and about the proclivities of the prosecutors as well, since many of them bring suit against the gun user on trivial charges, possibly to burnish their political image with the Left. This is a long and involved story that you should be aware of before the fact. It makes it hazardous to use a gun even in the most legal manner.
But, if you need to use your gun in a serious life or death situation, you have little choice.