Thursday, January 19, 2006

Degrees of Scumbaggery

You can't turn on your TV here in California without seeing an ad depicting cigarette manufacturers as sadists or criminals or worse.

Yet, somehow, I never see any ads depicting handgun manufacturers the same way. I'd rather be a victim of secondhand smoke than secondhand bullets, wouldn't you?

I've said it before and I will say it again, and I will say it to anyone who'll listen:

There is no reason for any law-abiding citizen to own a handgun.

They're not for hunting, right? I mean, even those who are sick enough to consider killing an animal "sport" aren't twisted enough to walk up to a deer, pull out a handgun and say, "Hey, Bambi, say hello to my little friend."

If you are not in the police or army or some other well-regulated militia, handguns have one purpose: crime. They're sensational for crime.

Handguns are, by their nature, designed to be concealed. Law-abiding citizens do not conceal weapons.

If you are the kind of person who wants to protect your home by keeping a gun in the house -- in other words, an idiot who wants to guarantee that the next "who gets the last pork chop" argument turns deadly -- then you should want the biggest, scariest gun in the world. You should want a giant shotgun or rifle, so that when a prowler comes in your home you can come down the stairs with your big giant gun and scare him into submission. Why keep secrets at that point? Why walk in appearing not to have a gun... and then whip one out? To see the priceless look on the prowler's face?

But back to the evil businessmen. If you are in the business of making guns that won't hold fingerprints and won't set off metal detectors and can be loaded with cop-killer bullets that can't be traced, I think you're probably a worse guy than the one who designed Joe Camel.


Boski93 said...

I agree, but the reason is the NRA people vote. They may be wacko, but they show up on election day.

This is a group that if you even look at the 2nd amendment wrong, they are sending letters to their representatives.

Your "who gets the last pork chop" reminds me of a joke I had heard from Bobcat Goldthwait. That if he was ever to committ suicide he would break into a home of an NRA member, steal their gun and then shoot themselves with it. Then see them try to talk their way out of that.

cosmic shambles said...

I love your blog, but I have to disagree with you big time on this one. Law-abiding citizens SHOULD be the one's with handguns. In fact, the law-abiding citizens are exactly the kind of people I WANT to own hand guns, rather than non-law-abiding citizens. What is the threat of a law-abiding citizen with a hand gun? Based on your argument the criminals and government get the guns (the guns are not going away), and the law-abiding citizen is the only one left without protection. Does this seem logical?

You say there is no-purpose for a law-abiding citizen to own a handgun? How about as a theft or crime deterrant. Do you think criminals with guns would be as likely to commit crimes if they knew that their targets were armed? Of course not.

It sounds cliche', but it holds true... "Guns don't kill... people kill".

I won't get into the whole second amendment thing here, but you obviously have a little more trust and faith in our elected representatives than I do.

By the way... I am not a gun owner or NRA member.

Michael Markowitz said...

The last thing I want to do is disagree with anyone who loves my blog, since you are clearly a very intelligent and sensible person... however...

The Second Amendment contains a phrase that gun owners seem to forget: "a well-regulated militia." There is no Constitutional guarantee of any individual's right to own any gun. It only guarantees that Congress can't make any law that interferes with the states' rights to organize militias.

THAT is why this battle is always fought in legislatures and never in the courts. The NRA won't take gun control laws to the Supreme Court because they know they'll lose. As Justice Douglas said, "A powerful lobby dins into the ears of our citizenry that these gun purchases are constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendment....There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police."

As for home protection, I did address that specifically in the post. Read it again. I said that if people want to protect their homes they should, by logic, want big, scary guns, not small, sneaky guns.

As for the "what if only criminals had guns" argument, most people don't own guns now. A criminal walks into a home now, he's got a fairly great chance he's walking into a gunless house. If there were no guns at all, criminals would NEVER carry guns, because guns only add years to their sentences if caught. He only needs to pack a gun if he feels there's a fairly good chance there WILL be a gun in the house.

Personally, if I were to wake up and find a prowler in the house, if feigning sleep and wetting myself did't work, I would volunteer to help him carry stuff to his car. The LAST thing I would do is try to turn my house into a blazing zone of crossfire.

Anyway, the last time armed criminals and armed citizenry met also happened to be the last time the divorce rate was low, churchgoing was high, there was no rap music or videogames, and good old fashioned family values were everywhere.

It was Tombstone, Arizona, and it was Hell on Earth.

It's not that I'm anti-handgun because I have so much faith in elected representatives. I'm anti-handgun because I have so little faith in people. I don't trust any of them to own or operate bullet propulsion devices.

But I promise you, I will not be addressing this topic again in the near future, because the LAST thing I want to do is anger nice folks like yourself.

No, wait... the last thing I want to do is piss off gun owners!

cosmic shambles said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cosmic shambles said...

Keep in mind that it is impossible to rid society of guns. If the all of the arms in the world disappeared tomorrow I would be a happy man, but that is not going to happen. So based on this fact of life, it is important to figure out how to regulate gun ownership.

I'm not sure about your town, but here in Baltimore (the most violent city in America) criminals "pack guns" not because of fears that homeowners may be armed, but because it is the easiest way to commit the crime. As a potential victim I would prefer to have a handgun nearby rather than chancing my life on "feigning sleep" or bargaining with my attacker. I would not require a big nasty gun, just a handgun that I have been trained to use safely and properly.

"There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police." Wow, that is a scary thought considering that police officers are largely under-educated people who choose the profession in an attempt to gain power or authority in a society where they would otherwise be near the bottom of the food chain. I could site numerous examples of police corruption but I think we can agree that these guys ain't exactly rocket surgeons. Once again, your faith in our so-called "public servants" is remarkable.

If you believe that an extended sentence will prevent the use of hand guns in crimes, think again. It is no more a deterrent than the death penelty is a deterrent.

Much like the abortion issue, this one is not likely to be resolved any time soon. It is simply too divisive, and this is a good thing! I will let the experts argue over the stats and figures, and in the meantime be thankful that law-abiding citizens are still allowed to own guns.

By the way I love your tech articles and insights on popular culture.