Villains or heroes?

Why conceal carry? Based on my reading of the comments I’ve received here and here, there seem to be two primary explanations: because you have a right to, and in order to respond to protect oneself and the innocent should there be a crisis (requiring deadly force).

#1 is, in my opinion, stretching the constitution, but we can leave that up to the courts.

#2 is an interesting one because it seems to be built on this idea that people who carry are self-appointed protectors of the innocent and vulnerable. Kind of like this guy:

Clark-Kent-Superman

So, if you see yourself as a Clark Kent who, on account of being armed, can act heroically (and more heroically then those who are walking around unarmed, which is an additional burden of proof for gun advocates), I can understand how you might see social value in the opportunity to walk around with a gun.

But are guns more frequently transforming average citizens into heroes or villains?

When I hear from gun advocates, I don’t think superman. I think Bladerunner:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 09.29.52

I think Sailor:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 09.50.43

I think Rodriguez:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 09.47.14

I think Zimmerman:

zimmerman Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 09.34.12

Sure, it is usually easy to come up with a few extreme examples of gun holders with good intentions who became villains. There are also accounts of armed citizens decreasing the length and death toll of incidents of mass shootings. Of course, the role of armed citizens in putting down perpetrators of mass shootings assumes a continuation of our current lax firearm regulations which are a factor in the prevalence of mass shootings.

Dramatic stories aside, however, at the end of the day we should ask if  average citizens, the innocent and vulnerable people folks are claiming their guns will help protect, are better or worse off because of our poor gun regulations.

The statistics suggest that America is a violent country.

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5 Responses to Villains or heroes?

  1. John says:

    #1 is, in my opinion, stretching the constitution, but we can leave that up to the courts.
    the courts already ruled in many cases; one especially State v. Rosenthal, 75 Vt. 295 (1903)

    #2 is an interesting one because it seems to be built on this idea that people who carry are self-appointed protectors of the innocent and vulnerable. Kind of like this guy:
    except people who conceal carry don’t go out looking for trouble/people to save. What’s wrong with self protection?

  2. Chris says:

    Andrea –

    Are you not aware that 49 States allow some form of concealed carry? Are you not aware that for those states that recently enacted concealed carry legislation there has been some rather singificant reductions in violent crime, or is this just an inconvenient truth?

    You start your diatribe by talking about concealed carry, and you then switch to showing
    4 examples of criminal mis-use of firearms – all of which are being or have been prosecuted – when really none of them had anything to do with concealed carry. Correct?

    By the most ridiculous conservative estimates, firearms are used over 100,000 times a year for self-defense, and a significant portion of those indicents the firearm was only displayed, it was not actually fired. In more realistic estimates, that number is closer to 1.5 million uses for self-defense per year, and higher estimates put that number closer to 2.5 million.

    As to whether concealed carry of a firearm it is a right or not: The constitutionality of concealed carry has never been placed before the Supreme Court – but I note that 49 states seem to think it is both constitutional. The question of whether or not it is an individual right or a collective right HAS been resolved however (it is an individual right), and the Supreme Court has also ruled that outright bans are not constitutional. Please look up Washington DC vs Heller, then refer to MacDonald vs Chicago, and then please stop suggesting that “we can leave that up to the courts”.

    In the above message you state: “…the role of armed citizens in putting down perpetrators of mass shootings assumes a continuation of our current lax firearm regulations which are a factor in the prevalence of mass shootings.”

    Andrea: There is no law that you can pass that will stop or prevent the perpetrators of mass shootings, and any number of laws were broken with things like Columbine or Sandy Hook. Crimnals are called criminals because they do not adhere to the law. Even if you passed a law that said “no more guns at all” – criminals would still have them or have access to them. Further, it is simply not logicial to think that passing laws against heinous acts will have any meaning to individuals who are intent on doing their evil deeds – and who then plan to commit suicide.

    Are you not aware that illegal drugs that are brought into this country is measured in hundreds of metric tons? Criminals smuggle these drugs in, they can just as easily smuggle in firearms and ammunition, and I logically conclude that criminals will ALWAYS have firearms.

    I see however that you now lament “poor gun regulations”.

    If you can manage to set aside your emotions, I would be willing to discuss such things further.

    If so: May I respectfully and politely ask what “poor gun regulations” you are referring to?

    Sincerely,
    Chris

  3. Josh says:

    People conceal carry for self defense and defense of their family if they’re with them. In fact if you actually talked to a few, you’d realize that they are the first to avoid confrontation. They don’t have a superman complex. Millions of people conceal carry in this country every day without incident. The examples you bring up are statistically insignificant. It may also be worth pointing out that most uses of self defense with a gun never get reported because all it takes is the person to show the gun and trouble is averted. I hope you know that you are responsible for your own safety in this country. The courts have ruled that the police have no duty to protect. It is therefore your moral obligation to protect yourself and your family.

  4. Chris says:

    Andrea –

    You started a thread on “Guns and Demcracy”, you then continued that thread with “Trusting my fellow human beings”, “The logic of Gun Control” and then finally “Villans or heroes”.

    With a number of folks now commenting and engaging you politely with perspectives different than your own, you respond by starting a completely new thread about “Rethinking death”?

    I am disappointed but not terribly surprised. When raw emotions are removed from the equation, which I admit is a difficult thing to do: Facts, statistics, logic, the rule of law and the most basic acknowledgment that evil exists in this world make very compelling arguments for the support of 2nd Amendment Rights.

    I do understand from your previous writing that you apparently have every intention of allowing your children to attend a gun/hunting safety course when they get older – and that they are apparently eager to go hunting with their grandfather. This tells me that you are not completely anti-gun, which is encouraging – Education is everything.

    To wrap this up, I think you want something called “reasonable restrictions” – which in fact already exist with things like the Gun Control Act of 1934, or the National Firearms Act of 1968 or the Brady Bill. Should you care to look, you will discover that we do NOT aggressively prosecute the laws we have right now, yet in the wake of something like Newtown/Sandy Hook (which I contend is an event for which NO LAW could have prevented), there is a rush for even more laws just so we can say “we did something”, when in fact this newly proposed legislation will likely do nothing more but encumber millions of law-abiding men and women with further questionable laws, and we can then have even more laws that are not aggresively prosecuted.

    Have a nice day,
    Chris

    • Andrea Voyer says:

      Chris,
      I am not a single issue blogger. My post, rethinking death, is not about guns and gun control. Although I have read all the thoughtful comments on this and other related posts, and they have given me plenty to think about, I don’t have another post in the works on the subject right now. When I come back to this subject, I will mention guns specifically or tag the post as related to guns.

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