Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Little Common Sense?

Ok, I’m going to make a call to Common Sense.


Why is it, whenever there’s a problem, we seem to choose the most difficult solution to implement, with the smallest payoff?

We’re handing over our nail-clippers, and now anything liquid at the gate to the plane, when let’s face it, if a terrorist group really wants to hijack a plane, they’re going to do it. Unless everybody is completely strip searched, X-Rayed and put through a battery of tests before a plane takes off…it’s just not going to be foolproof, and bombs will keep finding their way onto planes.

Now the problem with the simple solution is that the inmates are in charge of the nuthouse.

“A pilot with a gun means a gun on a plane. It could be taken from him and used against him.”

This makes absolutely no sense. What they’re basically saying is:

“In the hands of a terrorist, a gun is a completely unbeatable, lethal weapon. In the hands of a trained, authorized pilot, it’s nothing but a liability.”

It makes no sense. In their hands, it’s a doomsday weapon. In ours, it’s a big liability that’s going to get us killed.

Basically, guns have gotten a bad rap. The common way of thinking is “Guns are evil and we’d be better off without them.”

Here’s the thing, though. Guns aren’t evil, they’re just a tool. Knives, cars and powertools aren’t considered evil, yet in the wrong hands, they’re just as lethal as any gun.

It’s the same reason gun-bans are useless. The thinking is “Ban guns = Less people have guns = less gun crime.”

But here’s the thing that was inexplicably missed: Criminals Don’t Obey The Law. It’s kinda their job description

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.

Criminals love gun bans. Why? Because it means the only gun involved in a crime is theirs. Think about this, if someone is out on the streets looking to rape or murder you, do you think they care that the gun their carrying is a crime as well? No they don’t.

Here’s something to think about:

Here in South Carolina, we have a ‘concealed carry’ law. This means that any private citizen can go and take a week-long course, and if they pass, they are issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Why is this a good thing?

Because in states with a concealed carry law, every potential murderer, rapist of mugger has to ask themselves a question. “Is this victim armed?”

In states where concealed carry is illegal, a mugger sizes up a potential victim, and the most he has to worry about is pepper spray, (in fact, in some states it is also illegal to carry those). Without wanting to seem sexist, a female victim may have taken a few self defense classes, but I don’t think it would do them much good.

Here’s the thing, I’m 6”1 and weigh 260lbs. If you’re 5”5 and weigh 120lbs, you’re not going to be much of a challenge. All I have to do is grab you and lie on top of you until you tire yourself out. Knowing where my pressure points are isn’t going to help you if I can knock you out with a single punch to the back of your head.

It’s also definitely not going to help if I push a gun in your face.

(As I’ve said in a previous post, if you’re a female and want to defend yourself, here’s the best tip I can give you…run like hell while screaming at the top of your lungs.)

The best thing about the Concealed Carry law is that it protects everyone. I’m not legally able to carry a gun yet, but the criminals don’t know that. If I see someone walking towards me in a threatening manner, I’ll just casually reach inside my jacket and hold my hand in there until the guy’s walked past.

If you want proof of this, New York City and Washington DC have very strict gun control laws, and they’re the gun-murder capitals of the USA. London has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and it’s been made completely illegal to own a handgun in the UK for almost two decades.

(Which is another big point to make, Since banning guns in the UK, the murder rate hasn’t dropped, it’s just changed from shootings to stabbins)

Other states, such as South Carolina have far more lax gun control laws…and have far fewer murders per capita than those states with restrictive gun laws.

Of course, there are plenty of arguments against guns.

Accidents are a big argument. However, more people die in car accidents every day than people die in gun accidents in a whole year.

The solution to gun accidents is education, not a ban. One of the best ideas I ever heard was when a Police Chief took a class of kids to a firing range, gave a gun safety talk, and the finale was the Police Chief shooting a watermelon with a .45 caliber weapon. The gun, of course, almost vaporized the melon, and the police chief said “That’s the damage a gun can do. Imagine if that was a friends head. If you see a gun, don’t touch it or play with it.”

A very showy example that will stick in a kids head without scaring them, and teaching them a very good lesson.

My solution is to get kids used to and educated about guns as soon as possible. If you have an 8 year old who wants to see your gun, let them, as long as it’s under your supervision. Why? Because a gun that a kid knows they can look at or even shoot your gun (as long as they ask you and you’re with them), is far less likely to sneak a look at that mysterious gun you never let them anywhere near. It also gets gun safety into their head early.

Take any kid and put them in a room with two identical toys, tell them they can play with one a much as they want to, but they can’t play with the other one…see which one they make a bee-line for.

Remove the mystery, remove the fascination. Just make sure the gun is locked away in a safe place when you’re not around. (This is elementary, you wouldn’t leave a power drill plugged in and turned on, on the floor with a 5 year old…so don’t do the same with a weapon.)

Yes, accidents happen, but accidents happen with any ‘dangerous’ machinery. This is the one thing that gets me particularly mad. A child gets hold of a weapon and shoots themselves or a friend. Then people blame the gun, instead of the parents who didn’t lock it away and keep it safe and out of their child’s hands. If a 5 year old got into a car and drove it through a house, people wouldn’t blame the car. They’d blame the parents for leaving a child unattended in a running car.

The other big one is the ‘Crime of Passion’. A man and wife have a big argument, and the wife picks up the gun and shoots her husband. Sure, this is tragic, but she could also have got a knife and stabbed him, or killed him in any number of ways.

In short, for a gun to kill someone in this situation, someone has to pick it up, point it and pull the trigger. If they’re mad enough to shoot someone, they’re mad enough to club them with a baseball bat or stab them with a knife.

The good that guns cause far outweigh their negatives.

For example, one of the most common arguments I hear about banning guns is “If someone’s breaking into your house, call a cop!” This is usually delivered with a smug expression and the manner of someone laying down an ace.

I admit, this makes sense… if cops had unlimited man-power and faster than light travel.

Think of it this way, you’re home alone and in bed when you hear the front door being kicked down. Even if you can get to your phone and call the police before the intruder gets to you, the cops are still at least 5-10 minutes away if you’re lucky.

With a gun, you’re protected. It’s that simple. It’s not a nice thought, but if I hear my door being kicked down in the middle of the night, I can get our rifle, load it and have it ready in less than 30 seconds. Then I’d just shout a challenge and point my gun at the doorway. If an intruder wants into my room, he has to walk through a couple of bullets.

The other problem is what the police will actually react to. There are hundreds of horror stories were women have been home alone and seen a strange car parked outside their house or heard a prowler…Then they’ve called the police, and been told that they can’t act until he ‘does something’. Unfortunately, by the time he does something, it’s always too late.

This isn’t a stab at the police, it’s just real life. The police simply don’t have the man power to investigate every strange noise or unusual character people see. 9 times out of 10 the strange car outside the house is a normal person who’s stopped to check their map or something…and you can’t arrest someone for standing on a public sidewalk, just because it happens to be outside the house of someone who’s a little jumpy.

Now we come to escalation. “If the criminals know you’re armed, they’ll be armed as well, meaning more of them will carry guns.”

It seems common sense. If people carry pepper spray, criminals will carry knives to get the advantage back. So the people start carrying guns, which causes the criminals to carry guns as well.

However, the reasoning is fatally flawed. It basically says “If I don’t defend myself, people won’t attack me.”

The less armed you are, the less armed a criminal has to be to overpower you. The problem is, they’re still going to make sure that they can overpower you, and they’re not following the law.

Here’s the thing. If a woman is carrying a gun, and a rapist has a gun, it’s a fair fight and both have equal chances of ‘winning’. If neither has a gun, the rapist has the advantage.

Put me in front of any average sized woman and tell us to have a fight. I know that in 99% of cases I’ll win. However, put a gun in both our hands and say fight…and I’m going to shit my pants.

So even if the escalation theory is true, ask yourself a question. If a guy kills or rapes you by using a knife or even his fists…do you feel any better because he didn’t have a gun?

Now imagine you’re walking alone and a guy wearing a baseball cap and hood starts towards you. You put your hand into your purse or jacket and close your hand around the grip of your handgun. Now you know if he tries to grab you or demands cash, you can pull your gun and tell him to back the fuck up.

Wouldn’t you feel safer?

So after all this, what’s my point?

My point is the 9/11 hijackers managed to crash three planes into national landmarks armed only with box-cutters. The way things are, if a terrorist can get onto a plane with a 3 inch pocket knife he has a good chance of being able to take control of the plane.

If the 9/11 pilots had been given side arms and trained how to use them, the Twin Towers would still be standing and thousands of families wouldn’t have lost loved ones.

Put yourself in the place of a terrorist. Right now, all they have to worry about is getting through security. Considering they’re willing to blow themselves up, do you think being arrested before they get on the planes is a big deal to them?

No, and once they get on the plane with their weapon, they’re in control.

Now imagine you’re that terrorist, and you know that once you get on the plane, both pilots are armed and you might have an armed air-marshal to deal with. First, to even things up, you have to get a gun on a plane, which is a LOT harder to hide than a razor blade…and you know to take control of the plane you have to get through a small door with not one, but two guns trained on it.

Going off topic for a second, I had another idea to make planes safer. Install knockout gas canisters in the passenger cabin. If trouble starts, flood the cabin with the gas and sort it out on the ground.

It would be perfectly safe and make perfect sense…which means it will never happen.

Why? Because the same bleeding heart’s who are trying to stop the X-Ray technology that allows security to check for hidden weapons under your clothes would complain it infringed on their human rights.

In the end, it all boils down to this:

Refusing to use the same weapons as your enemies does not make you any safer…it just makes you stupid.


OzzyC said...

I agree with everything I read... of course it got a bit long-winded, so I skim-read part of it. Unfortunately though, common sense recommendations are wasted on the people you're trying to educate.

MC Etcher said...

How about... we teach our pilots karate?

You don't run out of ammo, and no one can take it from you.