The National Rifle Association proclaims on a regular basis that if more people carried guns, the world would be a safer place. That seems to be working so well in Syria and Iraq that I’m inclined to agree. What could possibly go wrong with arming more people who seem to take offence or fright at the slightest thing? Seems like a no-brainer. As in brains scattered over the sidewalk.
We’ll ignore the fact — shall we — that the more guns that are available; the more people get shot with guns. I agree, of course, that guns don’t kill people, idiots with guns kill people. Let’s hope they never invent the truly automatic weapon…
Personally I’ve never felt very safe around guns. I remember the first time I was in Arizona in the little town just outside the Petrified Forest. I had arrived in the evening and booked a room in a local motel with the plan to visit the desert the next day. We went to a bar across the street to get a bite to eat. Before we were served we heard this conversation by two guys sitting at the bar about six feet away.
Guy 1: I heard that Bill was pretty pissed at you.
Guy 2: I don’t give a crap about Bill.
Guy 1: You should. He’s looking for you.
Guy 2: (pulling back his jacket to reveal a holster and an enormous revolver): I hope he finds me.
We went back to our motel room and ordered pizza.
Another time I was in Mexico City during the Chiapas uprising. A couple of suburban shopping malls had been bombed (no one injured) and the city was on high alert. There were guys with guns everywhere. Some were in uniform; some were not. My most frightening moment was when I say a couple of young guys (they looked about 13) running up stairs, holding shotguns, with their fingers on the triggers. One trip and the city would have become a shooting range.
People with guns are not safe — they are accidents waiting to happen. It doesn’t even take a malicious thought. An accidental discharge or a moment of surprise or anger and bang!
Fortunately most people are not as trigger happy as they think they are. I recall the case of the American Sniper (the guy who they made the movie about). He took a buddy into a shooting range to help him with his PTSD. Didn’t work too well (leave the psych treatment to experts, folks). The guy shot him and another instructor and then walked out of the shooting range, stole a car and drove away. Not one of those NRA card carriers even got off a shot.
A nice optimistic thought to end on.
And that’s ten minutes.