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If I only had a gun

Note: The following was written in response to 20/20's anti-gun special "If I only had a gun"


The ABC piece opens with a simulated school shooting. 


Armed students are "tested" against a "shooter" in the classroom to see how they'd do, but the scenario shown is totally unrealistic. (The "shooter" used for this demonstration is obviously a highly-trained marksman with tactical experience.  He bursts into a room full of 20 people, seems to know exactly which student is armed, and "takes him out" with beautifully placed head and chest shots within seconds…) 


After a few of these exercises (different students, same basic result) the show implies that unless you can perform at the same level as the shooter they have shown, having a gun will do you absolutely no good. (Video clip here


Even if their demonstration wasn't a farce, their claim would still be laughable. 


Have all the murderers who’ve attacked schools, malls and churches possessed the skills of ABC's shooter? If not, then the show's assertion is demonstrably false. (That is, the untrained murderers have had no problem “shooting people" despite their "ordinary skills" with a gun.) If these criminals can hit their targets, it is dishonest to suggest their victims can't do the same. 


This takes me to the next point. ABC (obviously) makes no mention of how many times every year law-abiding citizens DO use guns effectively to protect themselves. Ask those people (or, ask anyone for that matter) what they’d prefer in a life and death situation: Taking shelter under a desk with a gun or taking shelter under a desk with nothing.


Finally, there is no mention of how many of the fleeing students were struck in the exercise. If none, then clearly the highly-trained shooter used for this demonstration wasn’t trying to hit any of the others. If some were struck, why weren’t those casualties mentioned? Either way, it demonstrates the dishonesty of the piece. 


ABC showed something more akin to a professional strike where the exact targets are known in advance and are “taken out” with military precision… In this type of a situation, yes it would be very tough to effectively defend yourself…but only an idiot would argue you’d have a better chance WITHOUT a weapon.


Next, they go for the “children and guns” angle, showing a bunch of kids handling guns in an unsafe way. If their message was “owners must be responsible with how they store their guns” then that would be good. But that doesn’t seem to be what they were aiming for. 


Instead, it was just another step toward vilifying gun ownership. (In their first example, you were made to feel stupid for thinking a gun could help protect you. Now, if that didn’t convince you that you shouldn’t own a gun, it’s time to show that you’re putting children at risk.)


Everyone agrees it's a tragedy when a child accidentally shoots himself or another child. But it is also a tragedy when children are killed by other causes…and as it turns out; guns are among the LEAST likely causes of accidental death. 


Put another way, does the media ever make people who own swimming pools look like irresponsible / dangerous members of society? (A child is far more likely to drown than to die from a firearms accident.) How about those who own automobiles? Accidental deaths by automobile FAR outnumber those caused by firearms. Should responsible car owners be demonized for the sins of irresponsible or dangerous drivers? Of course not. But this isn’t about intellectual consistency – it’s about furthering an agenda. So….


Still not convinced that people who own guns must be knuckle-dragging Neanderthals? Well, let’s hear from a 10-year old little boy who lives in an out of control “gun infested” neighborhood.


Have him tell his story while you show gang members firing illegally acquired weapons into the air. Talk about the kids in that area who know somebody who was killed by gun crime. Talk about anything, but don’t mention that what you’re showing your audience has absolutely NOTHING to do with lawful gun ownership or lawful use of guns. …instead, use emotional imagery to connect the scenes of crime to the gun. Demonize guns and, by extension, demonize the nearly 100 million good Americans who own them. (Reference this video clip if you think I'm exaggerating.) 


Fortunately, this type of propaganda no longer goes unanswered. Thanks to the internet, anyone who wants a counter view can easily find it in an instant. More importantly, they can easily look up the data that undermines much of what the anti-second amendment crowd puts forward. 


But in the end, a lot of this boils down to common sense. Cowards rarely commit mass murder in a police station. They rarely do it at a gun show or a shooting range. In fact, these murderers seem to prefer “gun free zones” where they know their victims will be unarmed. And therein lies the common sense: When good people are disarmed, bad people can (and will) do whatever they want. Nothing in history proves otherwise…rather, history stands as irrefutable proof of this fact. 


If you think a ruthless murderer with access to a few hundred unarmed victims is bad, do some research into what this type of person can do when they’ve got access to an entire nation of defenseless victims. (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, etc provide excellent examples. They disarmed their victims and then slaughtered them by the millions.) …You might just discover why our Founders gave us the right to keep and bear arms in the first place.


For more information (facts that you'll NEVER hear from ABC or NBC or CBS etc.) check out this page:  


Joe Plummer 4.11.09
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