I Want My M16

Today, we’re going to be talking about guns.

Well, I am going to be talking about guns. I can’t speak to Evan’s convictions on the subject, other than that he favors the needler in Halo. I further understand that the word “Reporters” in our blog’s title may make my post seem like it is using journalism as a facade for promoting personal social and political views à la Fox News.

Your source for interchangeable blonde news anchors since 1996.

Despite this, the simple truth of the matter is that here at CWR, we do hold fairly strong views and don’t shy away from laying them out, be it calling out lousy comic book “artists” to demanding greater coverage of violence by the media. Granted, we have Fame/Shame Day here at CWR to more directly bash what we believe to be wrong with society and laud what we think is being done right, but the purpose of this post really isn’t either of those things. This is simply my own take on a current debate, submitted for your consideration.

Let’s get right to it.

I like guns.

And no, not in the obsessive way where I can tell you how many rounds a Beretta Px4 can hold, or why it’s important that the bullets from one hunting rifle travel marginally faster than those of another. I’ve never hunted anything bigger than a cockroach (which isn’t to say those weren’t some big roaches). I’ve never posted a photo of me and my gun on Facebook.

I don’t even own a gun.

So why do I like them? Why, in the face of all the recent atrocities committed with guns, would I voice any support for the alleged right to own a killing device?

I could spout all the old rhetoric and slogans of the gun-nuts.

If we take away guns, only bad guys will have them!”
Guns won this country’s independence!
“My right to  own a gun protects your right to complain about them!”

In addition to just being used-to-death, the simple truth of the matter is that all of those supposedly “tried-and-true” arguments have some holes in them.  There are countries out there with gun control laws more stringent than the US whose gun-related crimes are nevertheless low. Guns did help win this nation’s freedom, but so did the cannon and the battleship, neither of which could be found hanging above the average colonist’s mantle. And if we’re looking to face the facts, the same guns that supposedly protect my freedom could likewise take it away. Let the facts be faced, the gun owners of this nation are not some courageous bastion standing between me and an intrusive, all-powerful government.

So why support guns?

Because I like having a fighting chance.

Too often these debates get painted as black and white. Both sides point at each other and howl that a victory for their opponents would be on par with the rise of Cthulu.

I, for one, welcome our elder-god overlord…

Take it from any Black/Hispanic/Native American/Jewish/Etc. person living in the 1950s- access to firearms is not a guarantee of freedom, justice, and equality. And take it from someone who actually lived in a brutal dictatorship- a society without guns in no ways guarantees safety and security for you or those you care for. A gun is just a gun. It is not a magical freedom stick forged in angel tears and presented to you by the almighty. It is not an infernal, malicious, conscious beast that turns otherwise good people into psychopaths.

You’re thinking of board games

It is just a machine.

Cars kill people. Cars save people. Speaking for myself, I’d prefer to live in a world with cars. Dogs kill people. Dogs save people. I’d rather in a world with dogs. Hammers make good chairs. Hammers make lousy chairs, and I don’t care that it’s been years since I last used a hammer. For good or ill, I’d like to know that if I wanted to, I could walk into the garage and use one.

Same goes for guns.

They aren’t always safe. They aren’t always good. They don’t always protect me, but I nevertheless like to know that I can try to use them to do that.

It’s just something to consider.

This isn’t meant to offer all or even some of the answers- it’s just an alternate take on the situation I think wouldn’t kill us to discuss.

Think about it.

5 responses to “I Want My M16

  1. “If you are for gun control, then you are not against guns, because the guns will be needed to disarm people. So it’s not that you are anti-gun. You’ll need the police’s guns to take away other people’s guns. So you’re very Pro-Gun, you just believe that only the Government (which is, of course, so reliable, honest, moral and virtuous…) should be allowed to have guns. There is no such thing as gun control. There is only centralizing gun ownership in the hands of a small, political elite and their minions.”
    — Stefan Molyneux

    I think the above quote sums up my POV. I’d prefer a world without violence, and thereby without the need for weapons, but that will never be. But as of now the only solution on the table is using certain people’s guns to take away everyone else’s guns, and lets not forget WHOSE guns have killed more than any others, it’s undeniably the state. As it stands I’m pro-gun BECAUSE I’m anti violence, I don’t care if a citizen does the violence or if it’s the government. Both are unacceptable, and to blatantly use violence to stop future potential violence seems like burning down the house now so that you aren’t a victim of arson later.

  2. A gun IS just a machine. A harming machine. That only exists to do harm. Are there other devices we can say that about? Why should this machine be treated the same as every other machine if it’s in a unique category?

    • That implies that there is never a situation in which doing harm is acceptable. Surely if someone is trying to end your life you are justified in self-defense, and having a device that most efficiently does this is obviously preferred. It’s not like you can call the police (who themselves will just use guns, but somehow in a morally agreeable way?) the minute a man walks in your house with a gun intent on harming you and have any hope of help arriving in time. When seconds count the police are only minutes away.

      It’s no surprise that the idea of gun control was birthed largely from the white middle-class, oblivious of the plight of minorities and the poor living in places where the police have basically stopped trying to combat crime, and a bolt-action rifle isn’t going to empower you over a guy with a mac-10.

  3. All I stated was that a gun is a machine designed to do harm. I then questioned the validity of its comparison to other tools designed for purposes that are less a cause for debate. So it wasn’t my intention to imply that. I don’t have a problem with someone using a firearm in self-defense.

    I can’t say I’m really in touch with that environment, but maybe you have some insights: Wouldn’t it be much easier for criminals to acquire a “mac-10” for illicit purposes than it would for impoverished, innocent defenders to acquire one for self-defense? Your response looks to me like you are assuming everyone in poor areas can afford a firearm and ammunition.

    As to my actual stance on the matter, I can’t say I have an incredibly firm opinion one way or the other. My immediate preference is for better gun control, for sure. But I what I really want is to see a lot more studies done on the actual risk/reward of having a firearm in the home. I’d want to see some numbers on how often firearms purchased in the name of self-defense are used for self-defense, and how often for illicit purposes, suicide, or to threaten or harm intimates of the purchasing household.

    Whatever the specifics, I find it hard to ignore the tally of gun-related deaths in the States when compared to other developed nations. If nothing else it should serve as a rallying point for a push for properly conducted studies that will educate the public about the issue. Instead, the debate seems to be going the way of American politics to me: emotional appeals and rousing speeches and no real information about anything that could help with making a sensible decision.

  4. Pingback: The Cultural Revolution | Culture War Reporters

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