When it comes to understanding why people have a firearm for self defense, personal experience is often needed to really drive the point home. I've been in a situation where my gun saved my ass when three guys tried to rob me on the street, and I would equate it in a fundamental way to being sexually assaulted. Now understand, I don't mean to make a gross generalization, but what happens in that situation psychologically is you have control over your persons forcibly removed from you~ it, without a doubt, will leave you shaken. I was, even though I successfully defended myself (by the mere act of showing that I had a deadly weapon). Not every situation will end well, and not every situation will warrant having a weapon, but I don't want to imagine how I'd feel being in that situation without one.
I guess the real point I'm trying to make is the concept of carrying may leave many people uneasy, and I understand that completely~ but once you have been in a situation where you are rendered powerless (or the potential situation) you will absolutely understand why people feel the need to keep them. In a way its the same reason people wear seat-belts, drive cars with airbags, or take any other precautionary measure... It gives you some sort of leverage in an otherwise powerless situation, and while it will not definitively determine the outcome positively, it at least gives you a chance.
Personally, any issues I have with gun use are not about feeing uneasy. My question is regarding the statistically demonstrated lack of effectiveness (other than anecdotal stories) of escalating a violent situation with knives and firearms. It has published time and time again, studies of robberies of taxi driver and convenience stores and home invasions, that defending oneself with a firearm increases one's chance of death.
I'm not questioning the law here, nor the constitution, only what in other subjects of debates on this website, we require "evidence" for, not anecdote.
I cannot, nor will not, argue the statistics~ however, such as in most occasions, statistics don't represent the cause directly, but show the results of underlying factors. I am an anomaly as far as I know~ before ever purchasing a firearm, I got trained extensively in how to use multiple platforms through the military~ and I did extensive research on violence avoidance techniques, and also got trained in hand to hand combat.
It would seem to me that the results of those surveys are truly representative of reality~ but I don't think its right to generalize an inference that the mere fact of having a weapon is the cause. It is more likely that the people who brandish them don't have proper training in using them. That still leaves the problem of people dying, but it is the individuals responsibility to learn how to use the weapon properly. I would be curious to see a statistic involving death rates for police officers, who are extensively trained for those violent situations, and see how often a properly trained individual dies in such a conflict.
Yes, my situation is ultimately worthless due to its anecdotal nature, but that doesn't take from it a larger lesson. In my experience I was aware of what was happening before it happened~ I was prepared, and I had thought out my course of action in such a (hypothetical then) situation. They did have a firearm on them (which they used to rob another person the next day on the corner of my block) but because I was aware and prepared, I beat them to it. Would I have offered resistance if they brandished first? NO. I understand that presenting such a threat is a death-wish; often those who are robbing have little understanding or skill in using such a weapon, and fire once they panic or get scared. That doesn't mean, however, that having such a weapon is more of a danger than not~ its knowing how and when to use it that is the greatest tool.
I wonder, however, if the statistics showed that resisting rape was more likely to get you killed or injured, would you advocate not resisting forceful advances?
Btw, there are also statistics that show the opposite of what you assert as well. I am sourcing them now...
If you hunt around, you'll find there have been a few studies, through the years, looking at taxi drivers, convenience store owners and household rate of death associated to weapons being used to self defend or not... Of course one can always find contradictory evidence, even religious people present their own stats... But I think the point is, if you pay attention to whom does the studies, you get a pretty good idea of the study's bias.
I'm not against carrying arms and ownership, per se. But to say it's makes one feel safer, if in fact it increases the lethality of many situations, ... well... I just prefer honest discourse. What a couple of you are saying is that though guns may not actually 'really' make you safer, defending yourself to the death gives you a better feeling about yourself, which is really a very different human thought process. Personally, my death is only worth it if it's accompanied by the guilty party's death. The risk therefore lies in dying uselessly. Honour and pride do not exist once you're dead, and if the guilty party stays free, then the death is really a waste.
Conversely, I'm pretty comfortable with the notion that less violent self defence makes it a whole lot easier on criminals. My stance, comparatively with rape, is that you must make it NOT worthwhile for the perp, no matter the outcome. A criminal with a killing history is not the same human as without the killing history.
Was that confusing? sorry :)
"Honour and pride do not exist once you're dead"
Not to you they don't, but the only way you live on beyond your death is in the memories of the people that knew you. What kind of person do you want to be remembered as? I will be remembered as the fucker who went out kicking, swinging, biting, snarling, and doing everything in my power to take something back from the person who decided to take something of mine that wasn't his - if I am to be killed by another that is. That is who I am, I understand not everyone is that way.
For real? Aside from the one special interest we share, I think this group of people is as diverse as the rest of the world . . .
Personally, I own multiple firearms: handguns, rifles, and shotguns. I also keep many other weapon systems available, and at no time carry less than a certain number of items that are weaponized (although you may not realize it) on my person at any given time. I am also an instructor of several different martial systems, and teach combatives, rifle, and pistol marksmanship among other things in the military. And with all the training and preperation I do, I still may get my come-up-its in the back of the head or get a mortar dropped on me one day, or die in an aircraft crash, or some other crazy thing. However, if I get the chance to fight back, I am fighting for my life with everything I have and I will be prepared.
I can kill you with my body, my belt, your belt, my shirt, your shirt, a knife, a stick, your glasses, a pen, my glasses, the list goes on (you can kill someone with almost anything when you are motivated and know what you are doing). Bottom line is: if I want to kill you, I'm going to. I will learn your pattern of life, collect as much information as I can, create a plan, and do the deed. It would actually be much more advantageous for me if no one were allowed to own guns: what are the odds that your combative skills, attributes and knowledge are equal to or superior to mine? Not likely for the vast majority of the population . . .
Sure, a gun makes killing easier, but yet I have never killed anyone with any of my personal weapons and don't have any plans to do so, despite my moments of indignation while carrying. I do carry a gun with me everywhere I go (EXCEPT when I go out drinking - alcohol and guns are a bad mix), and if you decide you want to have a bad day, I'll be more than happy to oblige. But after carrying for 3 years, I have never once had to draw my gun in public - but have had cause to think about it. I have never had a negligent discharge or accidental discharge with my personal weapons or work weapon systems for that matter. Don't do dumb shit with a gun . . .
I am a big fan of public gun ownership. I view the 2nd amendment "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state . . ." portion as a preamble, which was common in writing at the time. Also, when you take into account what the people who wrote that wrote in other letters to each other, there is little argument in my mind as to what their intent was. Do I think that justifies a person having a pintle-towed ZPU-4 in his backyard? Not really . . . although it would be a pretty big target for anyone to find.
I wish no one any harm who doesn't wish it to me, and am a very polite person. I carry concealed, and precious few people that meet me on a daily basis have any clue what I am carrying and what I am capable of doing to them, with or without a gun. I like it that way . . .
And on the "assault weapons" thing: that stems from the term "assault rifle" which is a military term defining the weapon system by its function (a rifle used to conduct an "assault", i.e. assaulting a building, fighting position, etc), and assault rifles are by definition selective fire (semi-auto to auto or burst) weapons. There are NO civilian assault rifles or weapons, as no civilian versions of weapon systems are selective fire.
2 cents given . . .
I got my combatives training January this year, Level 1! Whoo! I rather like the way you stated what you did~ it made many points that I haven't gotten to yet.. However, I would somewhat call out the assault rifle issue, as far as civilians, I own an AR 15 (would like to get a FN p90 soon as well) and while they aren't true assault rifles, I guess (at least in my mind) I see a difference because they can't be used for hunting, or any other sport, except for target shooting; plus, at least in my state, they can be fully automatic with proper licensing.
I especially appreciate your post because it perfectly makes the point that merely owning a firearm isn't a danger, its owning one and not knowing how and when to use it that is most dangerous.