It's been a few weeks since the tragedy in Tuscon reignited several debates. One of them was the gun debate and in all of the swirl of dialog, a question arose in my head.
What you are afraid of?
I am asking this question specifically to the gun rights folks that migrated to this blog from Kevin's site. After the Tuscon shooting, gun sales skyrocketed. Many gun rights proponents told me this was due to fear of a new wave of gun control yet the only thing that I have seen being seriously considered is a ban on the high capacity clips that are similar to what Loughner used. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with that but I'd like to see tighter controls on the mentally ill being able to purchase guns before that sort of ban.
I'm still lost, though. Was there another reason why people rushed out to buy a gun? I think so but I'll get to that in a moment. I get the fact that people should be able to own guns and use them for hunting, sport, and target practice. I even get the collectible side of it...I'm the world's biggest pack rat with comic books, CDs, and DVDs, books...so I get the obsessive need to collect.
But what I don't get is the ridiculous notion that an AR-15 is for home protection. Or a Glock with a high capacity clip is used to protect oneself on the street. Again, if it's just because they are cool and you want one, fine. I'm that way with stuff too. But don't give me the BS about protection. And that goes for just about every situation regarding protection.
In some situations, I can see it. I have a friend who lives in Chicago who got mugged a few times and bought a gun. She has since been nearly mugged three times and her gun has been an effective deterrent. Women protecting themselves....I get it...no problem. But I had someone tell me the other day that if Abe Lincoln had a gun, he would've been able to turn around and shoot John Wilkes Booth. He was serious but I just laughed at him. Where would he have kept it for easy access? In his hat?
Then it all dawned on me. In their continued adolescent power fantasy, people who (over) use the line of protection think they are living their lives in an episode of 24. Or in the film Die Hard where John McLane duct tapes guns to his back and tricks the bad guys. This is complete fiction. It NEVER happens like this. Yet these folks thinks that it does and that's a big problem. They are so afraid of...something...in their lives that they primarily reside in a world of fantasy (Ayn Rand) in which they are Campbell's archetypal hero...shooting their way to security.
I've always been a huge action film and TV fan. I love 24, the Die Hard films, and have been obsessed for over 20 years with HK action flicks (Chow with two guns=Mega) but I know that they are complete fantasies and have no resemblance to real life. The same person who told me that if Abe Lincoln had a gun, he would've been able to defend himself said the same thing of Gabby Giffords. This mentality is so silly that it's hard to even comment. She would've had no time to react and the one guy that was there with a gun didn't even draw it because was uncertain as to who the gunmen was during the incident.
This is how the real world works, folks. So, if you just like guns because they are cool to collect or you have a legitimate reason to defend yourself, fine. Fess up. If neither are true, however, I ask again.
What are you afraid of?