The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

With “Friends” Like These…

Posted by Bill Nance on July 15, 2009

A blogger calling himself “Dr. Omed” has a post encouraging stricter gun control on his blog that is frankly so wrong-headed I won’t even try to give a blow-by-blow rebuttal. I will try, however, to give some answers to his questions and poke holes in some of his assumptions about human beings.

First, here’s a sample of how he views human beings:

In my humble opinion, people who buy guns for self defense want to shoot people, want an excuse to shoot people, and want a gun handy to shoot the people should the proper occasion arise and the excuse provided. As recent events have demonstrated, the excuse threshold is lower for some than others. Most gun owners under most circumstances are Walter Mitty shooters and only dream of shooting someone.

…I bear the Mark of Cain the same as the assorted wingers I accused in my previous post. My point is that every human being on Earth has murder in their hearts, myself included. We are complicated creatures and we have a lot of things in our hearts, but murder is part of the mix. Anyone who denies this darkness in their hearts I personally would not trust within grabbing distance of a firearm.

Omed says he’s a gun owner. All I can say is I kind of wish he weren’t. Not that I think he shouldn’t be able to be one, I just think anyone with that view of guns would be best served not having one.

First, having murder in our hearts is a nice rhetorical flourish, but it doesn’t equate with the will, desire or practice of actually committing murder. People who do this are in a tiny minority measured in hundredths or thousandths of one percent.

Secondly, the idea that people who have guns for self-defense are just looking for an excuse to kill someone legally is so far from reality I can hardly begin to imagine where Omed is getting his information.

I don’t know if Omed carries his gun or not. But as someone who’s carried for many years I can assure you that the last thing on earth I want to do is shoot someone. Of course something I want to do even less is be victimized by a criminal.

Now I have some experience about what it’s like to shoot someone. Granted it’s second hand, but let me give you the juice in a nutshell: I have yet to meet a police officer who’s shot someone in the line of duty who doesn’t second-guess the shooting and wish there had been some way- any way, to avoid it, for the rest of their lives. These were totally righteous shootings. And the consequences to the shooter were life-changing.

Thanks, I really don’t want to have to live with having killed someone. BUT…I’d rather live with that than not live at all. And I think that’s where Omed gets it wrong.

Personally I think he’s been spending too much time on gun forums. It’s the internet and like all places where people can anonymously post, you get a large number of internet tough-guys, most of whom know nothing and when asked in person are actually a lot more tame than their internet postings.

He poses this question:

Now, I’ve already confessed that I find the death-dealing beauty of firearms seductive. I admitted I have murder in my heart. I’ve as much as said I’d like to shoot someone, give the right set of circumstances. Did I mention that I’m a Manic Depressive who drinks a bit?

The question you want to ask yourself is, do you want a person like me to be able to buy, with untracable cash in hand, a military grade assault rifle and all the ammo I can carry–as easily as I can buy a Mars Bar and a six pack at the corner Quikie Mart? Well, do ya–Punk?

That is my personal argument for stricter gun control.

Omed is clearly calling for a ban on private sales of firearms. I think this idea is as wrongheaded as one can get.

We need better criminal control, not better gun-control.  I’d like to see violent felons locked up for a very long time. Similarly I think people with such serious mental illnesses they are dangerous should be locked up, possibly forever.

But once you’ve served your time, I don’t think you should be walking around with a scarlet letter for the rest of your life. If you’re walking around you have paid your debt. The fact that we let violent felons go with relative slaps on the wrist or let them out on parole is the problem here, not the firearm or the “murder in our hearts.”

I don’t want ANY checks on firearms. I DO want to see a serious re-thinking of our criminal justice system. The idea that someone convicted of drug possession will be denied the fundamental human right of self defense long after they’ve served their sentence is obscene.

As the title says: with “friends” like Omed, gun owners don’t need any more enemies.

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