Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Jonny Carries

Our friend Linoge 'splains why he needs a gun:
At 165-170 pounds at 6’2?, I am a relatively skinny individual who could manage to bench press a bit more than my own weight when I was in perfect shape (or, at least, as perfect shape as I have ever been). However, when I was in that peak condition, I was spending upwards of an hour a day in a gym with men sometimes twice my mass, who were moving weights upwards of three to four times greater than I could even attempt – sure, these guys were Marines, but in this day of MMA, protein shakes, and whatever-the-hell else out there, muscle-bound monsters who can bench-press entire garages are no longer the circus side-show act they once were.

I must stifle a chuckle here. 330 pound Marines benching between 500-700 pounds? I think Linoge has been spending a bit too much time with the Xbox. There's more:
And do you really think someone like me is going to be able to put up much of a fight against someone like them in an unarmed confrontation? Sure, I know a little (tremendously rusty) karate, but unless you are Bruce Lee, going fisticuffs with a man twice your mass, and all of it muscle, is a recipe for a world of hurt. Sure, I might be able to run away – might – but what if he has friends, or I am in an unfamiliar area, or there is nowhere to run to?
Wax on, wax off.
And so I procure and utilize equipment that should, when employed properly and with the appropriate training, aid me in successfully resolving a situation I hope never to encounter… just like I keep fire extinguishers everywhere in the house there is open flame or fuels; just like I wear a seatbelt every time I am in any vehicle, even those with airbags; just like I keep stores of dried and canned foods in the basement (which, given the average Tennesseean’s response to snow, may actually be used this year); just like I am CPR-qualified and keep first-aid kits scattered around the house; just like I keep backups and copies of all essential documents and data; just like I have health insurance, and life insurance, and car insurance, and homeowner’s insurance… I sincerely hope I am able to make it through life without ever having to use or rely on any of those tools, or the countless other preventative ones I have (well, aside from life insurance – that one is kind of hard to avoid), but each and every one of them was secured and is maintained with the knowledge that shit happens, at extraordinarily bad times, and if you do not already have those tools available to you, by the time you need them it is already far too late.
Linoge engages in some sloppy sleight-of-hand here.  Note that he attempts to pretend that a firearm can never be used offensively when, in fact, guns are solely offensive weapons.  Second, Linoge demands we believe the introduction of a gun will always resolve a dicey situation; never does he admit a gun can often escalate what may be an innocuous encounter into something more dangerous and deadly.  He goes to mae specious claims about being trained but, in fact, he isn't.  Nor is a gun anything like health insurance or smoke alarms--misuse of either isn't going to result in someone else's death.

In reality, the reason Jonny carries is because he believes a gun buys him respect.  It has nothing to do with self-defense.


  1. Please, please, Dr. Guy, analyze me, too. I'm a hair under 6'6", 270 pounds, and only carry concealed, so I couldn't possibly be trying to gain respect (hard to respect what you don't know is there, huh?). I'm also not 20 any more, and may have possibly lost a step or two and a couple of muscles that I once had. I'm sure my decision to carry couldn't possibly be because I realize that unarmed I'm no match for an armed thug or 2-3 or more unarmed thugs regardless of size disparity.

  2. Colin, How many armed thugs have you had the pleasure of fending off with your gun? How about the home invasion crowd, have they been bothering you? Tell us why you personally need a gun.

  3. I live outside a crime-ridden depressed steel town, and I travel frequently into Philly, so there's definitely the potential for violence in my neighborhood (if you remember the Coatesville arsonists a couple years back--that's our area).
    The specific instance that spurred me into concealed carry was when my brother was robbed at gunpoint in his apartment (we got our permits together then). It turns out that the police eventually caught the crook as part of a MURDER investigation. That he didn't also shoot my brother and his roommates is only by the grace of God, because the police were certainly not there to save them!

    I also buckle up while driving (never had a serious accident), keep fire extinguishers around my house (never had a house fire either), and have flood insurance on my home (never been flooded--seeing the pattern here?). Having been carrying for the last six years now, it is as natural as grabbing my wallet, cell phone and keys. I frequently forget that I even have it with me, and it's only the presence of victim disarmament zones or trips to the Peoples' Republik of Maryland to see my folks that really make me consider it presence at all. In short, it's no skin off my back to carry it, and I'd rather have it and not need it than the other way around.

    Remember, the difference between us is that I'm not trying to force you to carry a gun on a daily or even to own one. Yet you would force me to go unarmed if you had your way, or at the very least make me feel like a social outcast or criminal every time I had to jump through flaming hoops to weed out your so-called 10%.

  4. Colin, Thanks for your answer. That incident with your brother is pretty close to home, I'll admit that. There's no need to bring fire extinguishers and seat belts into it, your explanation of why you carry is sufficient.

    Your description of the difference between us is a bit over-simplistic, though. You see, your personal decision to carry a gun does not only affect you, it affects everyone around you. Innocent people are shot every day by people just like you, the ones who make a mistake, or have an accident, the ones who misuse the gun with the best of intentions. And let's not forget the ones who crack, the concealed carry guys who turn bad for one reason or another. Plus, your being a gun owner provides a source for thieves or unqualified persons to obtain their guns.

    So, it's not so simple as you're minding your own business and I'm trying to interfere.

  5. It is that simple though, Mike. My decision to carry a gun affects no one around me unless that individual means me or my family harm. I resent the comparison to "people like me" causing harm, accidentally or intentionally, through the misuse of their firearms. When I act like a criminal, treat me like a criminal. Until that moment, do me the courtesy of treating me like an adult and the responsible citizen that I am.

  6. Colin, You're talking in black and white terms which just don't apply in this situation.

    On one extreme you have folks who "act like a criminal." On the other you have "an adult and the responsible citizen."

    There are many possibilities in between.

    I believe you when you say you're at the good end of the spectrum, for whatever it's worth.

  7. I appreciate you saying that, Mike. However, the problem arises when you want to trample on my natural right to self-defense, which is also a Constitutionally protected individual right, because of the actions of a relatively small group of criminals. We afford everyone their 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, which I'm sure has let more than a few violent criminals walk free due to procedural or technical errors on the part of the police and courts, but the rights of our citizens as a whole are more important than a few bad apples that slip through the cracks. You enjoy that protection of the 4th Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures much like I enjoy the protection of the 2nd when I, and millions of others like me, choose to carry a gun for self-defense.

  8. Additionally, those shades of gray in the middle don't really matter. You're either a felon, and treated with the same loss of rights as all felons, or you're not. You can't be "almost a felon" or "half a felon."

  9. Colin, Please remember that among your black and white classification you've got more that "a few bad apples" in your group. Many people have committed felonious acts but have never been caught. Many others have committed violent misdemeanors and been convicted but depending on their State or the circumstances, it's not a disqualifier.

    You've got the other types which I outlined in the Famous 10% post. The estimate of 10% is probably very low, but whatever it really is, you can't sluff it off by calling it "a few bad apples."

    I'm afraid your constitutionally-protected, natural human right to self-defense has to be inconvenienced a bit in order to achieve a great good.

  10. Actually, seeing as there's 80 million gun owners in the US, and there aren't 8 million gun crimes each year, I'd say your 10% number is way too high, by about 3,000% to be exact.