I just got in and spent 20 minutes reading some of the posts and comments. Thanks JadeGold for keeping it going. Turning the blog over to you was one of my better ideas lately.
Before the jet lag crushes me, I just wanted to try and describe some of my experiences as they related to the gun discussions. I think writing the blog and focusing on the gun argument has given me a distorted view of America. What I saw in Toms River and Brick and Seaside New Jersey, which were the places I circled around in for two weeks, was a total absence of guns. I'm sure it would have been different in Virginia and Louisiana, but what I witnessed at the homes and neighborhoods of four or five relatives was absolute suburban tranquility, Jersey Shore style.
I asked three different people what the crime's like, do they worry about break-ins and home invasions. Each one said just about the same thing. "Well, no, not really. I lock the front door at night. There's not much crime like that around here." One said that there was some kind of incident down the block last year but they didn't know what really happened.
If you're not familiar with those cities, you can drive 15 minutes and find a black neighborhood where they sell dope on the street corner and where you see what must be crack houses. You can drive an hour in several different directions and find yourself in a full-fledged ghetto.
So, what does it all mean? I'm still pondering it, but I have a strong suspicion that it relates to some discussions we've had before, which may just be at the very heart of the gun control theory.
Unless a person lives in a particularly bad area, or unless his work makes him a target for violence, he does not need a gun. Over the course of his entire lifetime, the chances that the gun will be misused are much greater than the chances that it will be needed defensively.