The Daily Barometer published an editorial entitled “Guns are Not Toys,” which is little more than anti gun propaganda. Quotes from that editorial and my response can be seen below.
According to FBI crime statistics, 67.5 percent of all murders were a result of firearms. In Oregon, 36 of 78 — or 46.5 percent — of murders were a result of firearms in 2010.
There is no such thing as a murder that is the “result of firearms.” Instead, murders are the result of a human making the conscious choice to take the life of another human. Murder existed long before the advent of gun powder, and can be committed with just about any tool. Indeed, the worst mass murders in US history have been committed with explosives and airliners.
We can’t imagine why anyone would actually need to own an AK-47 — or other superfluous firearm — aside from simply wanting it because they’re “cool.” There are reasons for having a gun, and “cool” is not one of them.
I beg to differ. Some guns are “cool” and just as individuals choose to own a “cool” car, or a “cool” computer, there is nothing wrong with owning a “cool” gun. More importantly, the Daily Barometer’s editors have absolutely no authority or right to tell the millions of law abiding American gun owners what reasons are acceptable or unacceptable for owning a gun.
Self-defense and hunting — the kind where you kill for the meat on the bone, not sport — are among the situations we find suitable for owning a weapon.
Self defense is indeed an excellent reason for gun ownership. However, again, the Daily Barometer’s editors have absolutely no authority or right to tell the millions of law abiding American gun owners what reasons are acceptable or unacceptable for owning a gun.
Fortunately, the FBI crime statistics also reported the United States has seen a 4 percent decrease in overall gun violence from 2009 to 2010. Even better, Oregon has seen a 12 percent decrease in overall gun violence.
Recently, and over the last decade in general, there has indeed been a nation-wide decrease in crime. At the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of concealed carry permit holders and other law-abiding gun ownership. The misguided ban on so-called assault weapons also expired during the last decade. Gun sales have also been quite high. Interestingly enough, in the UK where guns have been restricted to the point of a near-ban, crime is up dramatically.
So the question is, as crime rates go down, does the public still feel the need to own a gun for the number one reason, self protection?
Even if crime were to fall by 99.999%, such a statistic is of no value to a person who is being victimized at the moment.
Carrying my self defense pistol causes me essentially no detriment. Hopefully, I will never need that pistol, but if I do I will be happy to have carried it for years. Just as a reduction in the motor vehicle accident rate doesn’t mean that a person should stop wearing their seatbelt, it doesn’t follow that we should abandon an effective self defense tool when the crime rate goes down.
Just in case you do, we caution against frivolously pointing your weapon at anyone. According to ORS 166.190, anyone who, “with or without malice, purposely points or aims any loaded or empty pistol, gun, revolver or other firearm, at or toward any other person within range of the firearm, except in self-defense, shall be fined upon conviction.”
That is almost to ridiculous to warrant a response. Law abiding gun owners simply don’t engage in such behavior. The criminals who would do so are not going to obey a gun control law in the first place.