Live By The Gun; Die By The Gun

David Frum’s newest CNN column is a must read. (I know, I know, I post a lot of Frum here.) At its core, the column breaks down the mythology the NRA has created: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” That might work in Spaghetti Western morality tales, but real life is much more complicated:

In LaPierre’s mind, the world is divided between law-abiding citizens and dangerous criminals. Citizens and criminals form two separate and discrete categories. The criminals pose a threat; if the citizens do not go armed against the threat, they will be victimized by the threat…

…Now let’s take a look at the real world of American gun ownership. The following incident occurred in August:

“A man was shot in the face 9 p.m. Friday in an altercation with a neighbor over barking dogs on Atlas Street,” Troy Police said.

“Police arrested David George Keats, 73, of Troy [Michigan] and charged him with attempted murder in the incident,” according to a media release from the Troy Police Department.

“According to police, witnesses stated that the altercation began when Keats let his three dogs outside and the dogs began to bark. According to the media release, Keats’ 52-year-old next door neighbor yelled at the dogs to be quiet and kicked the fence. Keats then ran up to the victim, yelled, ‘Don’t tell my dogs to shut up,’ and began shooting at the victim.

“One bullet hit the man in the face, piercing both cheeks, and four more shots were fired at the victim as he was running away,” according to the report…

…Now that so many Americans carry weapons when they go out of the home, shooting incidents can occur anywhere, including very commonly the road. Another recent incident: In Pensacola, Florida, in October a man in a Jeep Cherokee cut off another car. A roadway confrontation followed, the two cars stopped, and the Jeep owner emerged to shoot the other driver in the knee. He was arrested this past week.

In these cases, and thousands like them each and every year, it is not so clear who is the “good guy” exercising responsible self-protection and who is the “bad guy” who can only be deterred by an armed citizen.

In the real world, an abundance of guns increases the chance that a minor altercation turns into a deadly one. Here’s another perfect example where an argument over basketball teams turned bad:

Easy access to guns, hotheaded young men, and a stupid argument. Where are the “good guys and bad guys” in all of that? Without a gun, even if it became violent, a few punches would have been thrown, nothing more. Easy access to guns make the world worse.

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10 Responses to Live By The Gun; Die By The Gun

  1. Brian says:


    …sorry, guess I’m dyslexic today 😛

  2. Brian says:

    I’ve owned guns my whole life. I recently purchased a 9mm hand gun. I bought it to shoot at the range and protect my wife and myself if someone managed to get by our house alarm and the dogs…god forbid. It took me a whopping 10 minutes to buy that gun. It came with three 17 round clips. I walked out with it and enough ammunition to do the kind of damage we keep seeing in the news. At the time of purchase I SOULD have had to:

    1) Prove I have no history of mental illness
    2) Pass some kind of firearms safety course/test
    3) Register with the state/federal government as a firearm owner
    4) Apply for and receive a permit to own the weapon
    5) Pay an annual fee for the right to own/license the weapon and help finance the level of regulation the industry actually needs
    6) Wait for a period of several days at the VERY least. Time to cool off if I’m buying it in anger in response to some perceived wrong against me…

    We have to do most this to own/operate a car. But the NRA and gun owning extremists out there think it’s somehow trampling on their rights when they’re asked to do the same to own a tool who’s only purpose is to disseminate death.

    Oh, and look…some wack job just set a fire so he could lure in some firefighters and kill them. I assume the NRA will wait a few days and make an “important statement” about how firefighters should now be armed…

    • I would have no problem with those measures either. That’s the difference our worldview makes. We don’t fear the government turning into the Fourth Reich. The gun nuts do. The mythology they’ve created for themselves is the reason every small gun control measure is treated as pure tyranny. Its also why the NRA can’t budge an inch. They’ve spent so much time demonizing the opposition that their followers actually believe it, and will revolt if any concessions are made.

      Its really the main problem of the right-wing in general. If you make your opponent seem like the Antichrist, how can you negotiate in good faith with them? Your base will only look at you as a sell-out, or a RINO (Republican in Name Only). They’ve boxed themselves in, and its completely their fault.

  3. Although I agree that there needs to be a more stringent background check etc to purchase a gun I don’t know if you could say these people wouldn’t have been deemed “sane” when they purchased them. There has to be a annual or biannual psychological evaluation for gun holders as to see if they are ok.

    My point is with the neighbor, he could had been ok when he bought it years ago. So unless you advocate banning all guns (which I know you don’t) I don’t think you can say these incidents wouldn’t have happened.

    • To me, this post is more about breaking down the mythology of ‘good guys and bad guys’ than trying to stop each and every specific crime.

      The NRA has offered up this falsehood about crime, that there is a ‘law abiding class’ and ‘criminal class’. That’s just not true, and that’s what I am trying to dispel.

      By the way, I was looking at your site yesterday and it says you have over 700 followers! I never noticed that. That’s just really impressive. How long have you been at this?

      • Thanks! We started the blog the last week of August. We’ve been really blessed with the feedback and support.

        Our goal is to get more views each month and to gain new followers. So far so good.

        I personally enjoy looking at the globe on the Stat area and looking at all the highlighted countries we’ve gotten views from.

      • August of this year?!? And you have 700 followers? That is just insane. How did you do it? I felt like I was doing good with 65 considering I started in September. Wow.

      • I think you are doing well. I wouldn’t be discouraged. I still feel like I can do better. I think it may have been August 23rd of this year. I’m not 100% certain. Feels like I’ve been at this longer.

        65 followers through just via WordPress and/or email followers is great. Our number includes followers from Twitter and other social media. So it is misleading. It’s not like we get 700 views a day. I wish lol I wouldn’t get too hung up about the number of followers. i would focus on increasing your weekly view average as well as your monthly view average. You should go back and see which articles attracted the most amount of views in the past however days that way you know what your followers are most interested in.

        My advice to you is to really start using social media to help advertise your blog. I know you are new at this but it really does help. Check out how I tweeted my blogs so you can understand what I meant by in using hashtags (#reatalk etc.)

        If you need any help I’ll be happy to help. just let me know.

        Other piece of advice, I try to talk about different topics. The blog itself is primarily about politics and such, but I try to write about other subjects each week. Politics can get a bit dry sometimes.

        Setup a Google+ account. it helps get your posts uploaded faster on the search engine and there are quite a bit of people who use it.

        Comment on people’s blogs often enough, because some viewers that go on there will then click on your picture and be directed to your blog.

        My last piece of advice (this is starting to feel like I’m writing an essay lol) is to try to engage via Twitter. Try commenting at certain events. You will attract more people.

        Hope this helps!

      • That does help. Thanks again. You’ve been a great ‘blogosphere friend!’ I hope your holidays are wonderful.

      • Thanks! Hope your holidays are wonderful as well.

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