Thursday, November 18

Gun Safety?

Wayne posts on the horror that seems almost to have become a part of our daily lives. Everyone has a story about violent home invasions or car hijackings. Im very happy to hear that Wayne’s friend is going to make it, and I think he made the right decision when he took on the robbers to stop them finding out his wife was in the house.

The gun issue is another kettle of fish however. First of I'm what can probable be described as pro-gun. If a person wishes to own a gun I believe he should be able to own whatever and as many as he wants. Legal gun owners dont commit the crime, and much more powerful weapons are freely available to criminals. In fact, the military and the police are in many cases the primary source for illegal firearms. Last time I checked R5 and AK47 assault rifles weren’t available to the gun owning public. I also enjoy gun sports, from target shooting to hunting.

That said, I made a decision not to own a gun for self defense. I thought about it for a long time, but I decided in the end that it would be liability and not an asset for our situation.

I live in an urban area, and a gun can be useful in two ways. Firstly I can carry it with me wherever I go. However, I cant take it with me into many of the buildings I go into, and leaving it in the car would be criminally negligent. Also, If I get jumped by muggers, chances are they'll overpower me before I can draw the gun, or if Im hijacked I might make the mistake of reaching for the gun and get my head blown off. I know people who carry their pistols with them quite happily. I wouldn’t be comfortable.

The second option is for home defense. You’re stuck at home, you know there are people in the house and you cant defend yourself. This is a 50-50 kind of situation for me. Even if Wayne’s friends wife had been able to come out of the room guns blazing, her husband would still in all likelihood have been shot. If the robbers had been wounded, they might have started shooting everyone in sight. If his friend had had a pistol on him the robbers in all likelihood would have been able to overpower him and take it away because they had the element of surprise.

A Gun does not make you safe. It only gives you the ability to fight back more effectively. I believe its much more important to be prepared mentally. You have to decide what your going to do before you end up in these kind of situations. You'll still probably do the first stupid thing that comes into your head, but maybe you'll get it right.

If I were in Wayne’s friend’s situation I would have had my panic button in my hand with my finger on the button. I make it a point to go out with every guest in my house. If I get even slightly suspicious the button gets pressed, and thanks for stopping by you guys were great. Paranoid? Yes I am. But guys packing serious heat show up in less than 3 minutes give or take, and I like that.

That said, its always going to be your decision and I agree with Wayne that we should be able to decide what is best for ourselves.

p.s I just want to clarify that I think Waynes friend did everything he should have. My point is only that there are other things you can do to pepare for these kind of situations than by getting a gun.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as people are surrounded by a gun owning population they will always feel the need to have one themselves. But, it has to stop somewhere. There are too many lunatics out there with guns and permits to carry them. 5 people died in Wisconsin fighting over rights to a tree stand...

22 November 2004 at 14:41  
Blogger Richard said...

Sadly South Africa will not be in that position for a long time. Guns were smuggled in by the ANC during the struggle and criminals now use a large percentage of those guns. Parts of the apartheid government also supplied the IFP and other paramilitary forces with large caches of illegal weapons that are still in circulation. Large parts of Africa (some very close to us) are in complete chaos and military grade weapons are easily attainable by even the most incompetent criminal syndicates.

Legal gun ownership is really inconsequential in these circumstances, but it is an easy target for government officials incapable of addressing the real problems and for a ruling party still unsure of their rule and afraid of some mythical boer uprising.

24 November 2004 at 11:52  
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25 October 2005 at 09:40  
Anonymous security said...

Very useful Richard, I can use what you've got here on Gun Safety? as well as your other stuff for the research we're doing for child safety. Cheers, Anny.

21 November 2005 at 02:37  

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