Friday, March 29, 2019
The wages of fear
I keep seeing announcements for concealed carry permit classes being offered locally. Ads come up on the local sales and discussion page on a regular basis. There is also a vehicle running around that has ads on it. I must confess that every time I see the pickup with the wraps advertising such classes I have to fight the temptation to either (a) congratulate the guy on his ability to make a living off other people's stupidity; or (b) express surprise there are enough dudes running around with micro-dicks to support his entrepreneurial endeavors.
The local appeal for concealed carry kind of baffles me. This is a rural area where lots of people hunt. It's just kind of a given that most households are going to have what to urbanites qualifies as an arsenal: a deer rifle or two, a couple of different gauge shotguns, a varmint gun or two (you don't use a deer rifle to blow away the raccoons digging in the trash), maybe a handgun or two for plinking at beer cans. You know, this is not an area where evil-doers could casually pull off home invasions without worrying about having some pissed off old lady blowing them away. Gun ownership in general locally is no mystery.
Concealed carry, on the other hand. . . does anyone living in Baraga County actually need to carry a concealed weapon to go grocery shopping at Larry's? Or even go up to Houghton to hit the Evil Empire for cheap toilet paper and maybe indulge in lunch at the Suomi Restaurant? It's bizarre. The NRA and Faux News have done a really nice job of sowing fear.
The hard truth, the one most people aren't willing to believe, is that guns do not make you safer. When you see the totals for deaths from gunshots in this country, what's often missing from that statistic is the fact about two-thirds of the total are from accidents -- "Gun discharges in man's pocket" "Toddler shoots Mom" -- or suicides. Any time guns are easy to find, the suicide rate climbs. Also missing from the statistics is the fact that of the people who are homicide victims, something like 80 percent (4 out of 5) of the victims knew the person who shot them. You know, "Man shoots wife and kids;" "Disgruntled co-worker shoots boss."
Other uncomfortable facts include the reality that the more concealed carry permits a state issues, the higher the murder rate climbs. The easier you make it for anyone and everyone to exercise their right to carry a weapon, the more likely it is that people who shouldn't be allowed to use crayons unsupervised are going to end up with a gun in their hands. Ditto gun ownership in general. The states with the loosest gun laws and the highest percentage of gun ownership also have the highest death rates from guns, with one exception. Wyoming has more guns per capita than any other state but its gun death rate is fairly low. Then again, considering that Wyoming has more pronghorn than people, that's not surprising.
I've written about this before. Not sure what inspired me this morning other than a couple discussion threads in the RV-ing group I belong to on Facebook. Lots of people obsessing about protecting their stuff, including worrying about someone possibly stealing their nasty little dropkick dogs. I guess it's nice for the psychotic little ankle biters that their owners think someone would actually want to steal them, but if you think you need a Glock to protect your rat on a string, maybe you should think about getting a real dog that can protect itself. Shelters are full of pit bull mixes that no one is going to snatch because they're so cute. (No insult to pit bulls intended, but they do tend to scare people.)
My overall reaction to the discussion about people being willing to fire off multiple rounds in a campground or RV park to protect their stuff was, "Holy wah! What a great argument for boondocking!" No way would I want to be in an RV park when some moron several motorhomes or trailers away decided to shoot at someone because he or she saw someone carrying off a lawn chair. Just how many aluminum or fiberglas walls would a 9 mm bullet pass through before stopping in a person?
The stupid, it burns.