I thought we'd have something more transparent and trustworthy in taking our own little poll and analyzing our own stats, but now I don't know. I tend to think we're going to see what we want to in these numbers just like we do in any other survey. And, speaking for myself, when I don't see what I want, I discount the whole thing as the product of someone's bias. I'm sure none of you do that.
My Column A is now without Tupac. As Weer'd suggested, stopping at the same traffic light in Vegas is pretty a flimsy connection. But, I have had a few dramatic events up close and personal. I'm convinced the gun made the difference.
I wondered about what Weer'd said: two people he knew killed themselves with guns. Now, I understand the guns didn't do it and I understand they could have used other means, but doesn't anyone see that the gun is so unforgiving as a means of taking one's life that its availability is a major factor? That's my idea anyway.
Bob's two Column A entries weren't all that dramatic and certainly shouldn't offset his Column C.
Although Thomas didn't provide details about his single Column A entry, even if it were an awful tragedy it would be hard to offset his Column C. His is one autobiography I'm looking forward to, as I mentioned before.
Conclusions not only from the Survey but for all the posts and comments:
1. Gun Bans or extreme gun control laws will never work and I do not support them. This is for two reasons: most gun owners won't stand for it and the criminals will continue to do their thing anyway. Yet, I do support some sort of registering and background checks, but they should be only enough to inhibit the criminals from acquiring guns easier than they can now.
2. Guns in the possession of people like Bob, Weer'd, Nomen (no survey ?) and Thomas pose no threat whatsoever and in fact increase the security of their immediate environs. But, I'm afraid that's not the case with all legal gun owners. I believe you guys have exaggerated in describing the exemplary responsible behaviour of the gun owners you know and you have downplayed the fact that in any large group of people you've got some unstable ones and some violent ones, some with anger management problems, etc. I think this is only human nature. The percentages are up for debate.
3. The fact that almost all guns are manufactured legally means that the ones in the hands of criminals are to some extent coming from the pool of legally owned guns, the number of which according to Bob S. is 65 million. Some people might want to increase that number to 100 or 200 million in order to arm not only the teachers in Texas but many more of the good guys. For me, this is wrong because the more you increase the one the more you increase the other. The percentages are up for debate.
4. The small percentage of crimes committed with guns compared to the huge numbers of guns out there, the famous 65 million, is not the point. The small number of murders is ONLY 20,000, we were told. Only? Every single one of them is serious. I think we've become numbed by the numbers. The point is, not that there's an acceptable small percentage of killings, but rather that the killings have nothing or next to nothing to do with you guys - see conclusions 1 and 2.
5. Firing weapons is one of the most thrilling and exhilarating things I've ever done. The fact that you guys, to a man, have tried in various ways to deny that makes me wonder what's up. I think it's defensive manoeuvring. Thomas said strapping on a gun was no different than attaching a flashlight to a utility belt and that there was no "exhilaration" at all involved in shooting. Yet, he said one hasn't lived until he has hunted his own steak. The latter statement sounds more believable to me.
6. Philosophically, I think Ghandi had it right and the gun enthusiasts have it wrong.
What's your opinion? What conclusions have you drawn from our little Survey or from our debates?