I recently debated the issue of gun rights with a relative of mine who is decidedly anti gun. She has never fired a gun, and has no desire to do so. She is afraid of guns in and of themselves, rather than being concerned about the actions of criminals. I though I would post a particularly salient portion of the discussion, as I can best remember it:
Anti-Gun Relative: “You don’t need a gun, I don’t need a gun, and I support gun control laws. This isn’t the Wild West. We have police for a reason.”
Me: “Guns are valuable self defense tools, and are used by Americans every single minute out of the day to protect themselves from criminals. Given the fact that criminals won’t obey gun control laws, passing such laws will only serve to disarm the law abiding people who weren’t going to commit a crime in the first place. Gun control doesn’t work.”
Anti-Gun Relative: “If someone were to break in to my home, the alarm would go off, and the police would arrive within 5 minutes. The criminal will hear the alarm and be frightened away, while I hide in the bathroom.”
Me: “It is indeed possible that the criminal will be frightened by your alarm, but there are many cases where criminals choose to enter the home, and a citizen had to either defend themselves or suffer at the hands of the criminal. Given the fact that a home defense gun and training to effectively use it can be purchased for under $500, and will provide a lifetime of security, it seems prudent to own a gun for self defense purposes.”
Anti-Gun Relative: “I don’t know how to fire a gun, and I don’t care to learn. Even if someone broke in, I don’t think I would be able to shoot them. They would then take the gun from me, and shoot me.”
Me: “You certainly have a right to choose not to own a gun… However I have a right to own a gun, and I know how to use it in self defense if that need were to arise (which I hope it never does). Please respect my gun ownership rights. Just because you find guns to be scary, doesn’t mean that I do. Just because you would hesitate to shoot a home invader bent on harming you or your family doesn’t mean that I would. Just as it would be wrong for me to try to force you (through the legislative process) to own a gun, it would be wrong for you to try to take away my gun ownership rights.”
The conversation went on, with us agreeing to disagree for the time being, over some chocolate cake….