A fellow blogger I follow (oops! redundant) is a chap by the handle of Grumpy Old Ken. Ken is a delightful guy who has very eloquent way of waxing on about life. We don't always see eye to eye (Imagine that from a fundamentalist Christian and an agnostic), but he does have a wise and entertaining way about him. However, there is one of his oft-made points I'm going to take exception to.
Ken has a thing about the gun violence in America. Not surprising, considering a) the amount of gun violence in the USA, and b) the fact that he lives in a very gun controlled nation. That also is not a surprise- the constant danger of Northern Ireland, several years of liberal rule, I get that. But sometimes Ken paints a picture of America as a gun-crazed society where we go about shooting injuns every morning from the porch. (Okay, that's an exaggeration.) And he made a comment on his last post about perspective presidential candidate Rick Perry, that I have to pull the big knob on.
"And Rick Perry sounds 'one hell of a guy.' Evidently he slips on his shoulder holster containing his Ruger .380 with laser sights and loaded with hollow-point bullets before he goes out jogging in the morning. Oh, and he's thinking of running for President. 'Texans elect folks like me' he once said and his wife told him 'It was his duty to save America.' (There were at least five people killed in five separate shootings in America in July.) What a mentality! "
Honestly, I don't care if someone, ESPECIALLY a man in his position, carries a weapon. If he has the means to carry a really nice one, so be it. The problem in America is not, repeat NOT, law abiding citizens carrying heat. The problem in America has the following elements:
1. Laws are enacted to make sure that purchasers of weapons are both trained and FBI background checked. Lack of enforcement and loopholes like gun shows allow many to skirt this.
2. The government, far more irresponsible than the people, allowing assault weapons to be sold to Mexican cartels "in order to track them down." Whatta load!)
3. Assault weapons IMHO are not really necessary for the general public. Do I want an assault weapons ban? Yes, but not until this next thing is cleared up.
4. Weapons being sold by gun shows, pawn shops, and Wal-marts. Really? Why not just pass them out to the bad guys? Let's limit sales to certain SELECT retailers, maybe then the FBI can keep up with the background checks.
But, according to Ken, a man carrying a personal protection piece carries the stigma of "what a mentality," especially given that we might elect this man president. I'm sorry, Ken but SO WHAT?
Here's a little tidbit on the state of gun ownership and its effects in Jolly Ol', courtesy wikipedia:
The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world, and did so even before strict gun control legislation came into force. The overall homicide rate is also low. In England and Wales (the most populous part of the United Kingdom) the rate is below the EU average, about four times lower than that of the United States but on almost the same level as in Canada. Its police officers do not routinely carry a firearm.
However, depriving citizens of means of self-defense is not without a cost: the low rate in homicides is offset by a massive rate of other violent crime. For example, comparing London and New York, cities of very similar population and demographics, the rate of assaults and robberies is over six times as high, and 7 or 10 times nationwide (depending on statistic used).
And speaking of which, how about those sad four days of rioting, in which one guy gets shot by the police, and 1,600 reprobates take it upon themselves to go all Clockwork Orange everywhere? I'll bet those three Muslim brothers at their car wash would still be alive if they had something to offer four carloads of worthless gutterscum other than pleasant smiles.
At the end of the post, I'm guessing Ken's going to dismiss me as a gun toting lunatic typical of the colonials. (Probably not; he's a decent sort, I'm just using a flair for the dramatic). And over here, Bobby G.'s gonna bust on me for the assault-weapons ban thing I mentioned. (But at least I know he's not going to come over here and pepper the front door (are ya, Bob? Bob...? BOB???) I don't own a gun, for one simple reason- I couldn't hit the wastebasket at my feet with a rubber band, and the world is a much safer place if I'm not carrying. But I thank God some law abiding people do, like the off duty deputy who tagged that holdup artist a couple of days ago. Frankly, I don't know that I would own a convenience store that operated 24/7 if I didn't have a weapons system trained on the space near the cash register, armed to fire at the touch of a remote. I'm a law abiding tax paying working man, and if it comes down to me or some lazy POS never-had-a-job-in-his-life that needs his next fix, I'm going for me. And I don't think it's nuts to feel that way.