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Guns [Sep. 19th, 2003|02:10 am]
[mood |bitchybitchy]
[music |[ceiling fan going whirr whirr whirr...]]

Yet another case of a comment that got out of control. This time, someone suggested (upon reflection, I'm guessing that it was somewhat in jest) to nux_vomica that, instead of getting a gun for self-protection, she instead find a Big Guy with Scary Tattoos and Lots of Money to take care escort her around.

This was my response:

miskatonic01 writes:

Handguns are not a good thing. 90% of the time they are used on a person you are having a relationship with or someone you know.

Ah yes. Lies, damned lies, and statistics:

  • 72% of murders are committed by acquaintances.
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, for 2000. Acquaintance homicides: 4726. Stranger homicides: 1892.
  • 60% of rapes are committed by people the victim knows.
    Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  • 70-80% of child abductions are by family members.
    NISMART-2, page 6; 33k stranger abductions v. 113 family abuctions.

My point being: yes, people often need to use guns against people they know. And often for all the right reasons. Think about it even more simply: don't you spend 90% of your time around people you know? (Hopefully you've selected them a bit better than randomly, but...)

Even the smallest hand guns can kill. A .22 will go right through a bullet proff vest.

Offhand, this sounds like bullshit (or at least, a partial truth). A high-power cartridge in a .22 rifle might indeed be able to make it through some bullet-proof vests. A .22 pistol, on the other hand, is not much of a threat to someone in a bullet-proof vest:

[bullet-proof vest] is a misnomer since such protective vests are of little or no protective value against rifles regardless of the type, style, materials or caliber of the rifle ammo or even against handgun ammo fired from a rifle. These vests have proven to be fully protective against handgun ammo fired from handguns, again, regardless of type, style, materials or caliber of the handgun ammo. Almost any ammunition can penetrate such a vest when fired from a rifle, even handgun ammo. The exception is the common .22 caliber LR, which can usually be stopped by these vests even when fired from a rifle.

See also that there are a variety of different resistence levels specified, of which the 0.22 is the minimum handgun bullet that must be stopped: http://www.ncjrs.org/txtfiles1/nij/189633.txt (search for heading “Armor Classifications for Ballistic-Resistant Armor”).

Back to miskatonic01:

So here is the best solution. Get a boyfriend that is huge you will not need either number 1 or 2. If he does tatoo work that takes care of number 3. If said huge tatoo artist is also loaded and wants to be a sugar daddy that takes care of number 4 and 5+.

And here is where you completely go off the deep end. Maybe she wants to protect herself, feel confident in herself and in tools she makes available to herself. Or would you really prefer women to be delicate little flowers, requiring the protection of Big Strong Men at all times? Heck, why don't we require that they be in the company of a male relative every time they're in public? And make 'em wear a robe, so they won't excite the lust of men? Sounds like it'd work great!

Guns are, and hopefully will continue to be, a great equalizer. Even if she has a Big Dumb Guy handy, a little punk with a gun can take out the BDG. Now you have delicate flower facing punk with a gun. Who's going to win that one?

There are valid reasons to be concerned about gun ownership. It's a huge responsibility, and it has the potential to have huge liability as well. baconmonkey points out the very real danger of Devin getting his little hands on it.

It would be nice if everyone were so civilized and sane and rational and polite and altruistic that we didn't need guns. Sadly, such will never happen: civilization is not natural, and if everyone else played by the rules, one person could take over the world (with, dunno, maybe a pair of boxcutters or something). It's an unstable equilibrium at best. (And, at the moment, we're nowhere near it.)

Me personally? I don't own a gun: I don't want that level of responsibility. (But then, I am a Big Dumb Guy, and have been mistaken for security staff at shows before, so maybe it doesn't apply in quite the same way).

I have many friends who do own guns. Some of them own many guns. A few of them have kids in the same house with the guns. And I have very little worry about this situation: they're responsible gun-owners, they keep the guns locked up, and they train their children in gun safety very very early.

Summary: I found miskatonic01's post to be offensive (1) by playing into every stereotype about women needing men to protect them; and (2) by parroting baseless and irrelevant statistics to claim that guns are bad. Guns are tools; they are, in themselves, ethically neutral.


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: deliriumdreams
2003-09-19 11:14 am (UTC)
And yes, boys and girls, Jettdelirium DOES have huge-ass spiked-boots. I lust after her boots.

I also agree with Jett in that women need to be able to take care of themselves. First, if you walk like to you mean business, you don't get accosted on the street. No matter how bad of an area you are in. And I've walked in bad parts of several major cities late at night. Alone. As far as being accosted by someone you know... First, pick your friends/boyfriends carefully. (I know, I'm a hypocrit, I haven't always done this in the past) Second, if it WERE to happen, a smart, self-confident girl can get herself out of most messes. Use some creativity. One time when I had been drinking and a particular guy wouldn't take no for an answer, I said the alcohol was going to make me sick. It's AMAZING how fast he got his ass up. And then I was gone. No violence needed. And I got an apology the next day. Not that I was stupid enough to ever hang out with him again. I've started rambling, my point being, violence is rarely the solution. When it IS the solution, don't be afraid to use it. You never need a gun or a Big Dumb Guy for it.

I'll get off my soap box now.
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