Wednesday, November 19, 2008

God + guns = somebody's guts

Right now, in Springfield, the city is considering ending the ban on concealed weapons in public parks. Good God.

As someone who frequents several of Springfield's parks, I am beyond astonished that anyone wants this so badly. What's next, guns at the Japanese Stroll Garden? Day care centers?

I've honestly never understood the mentality behind concealed weapons. The justification that's often used 100 percent of the time is, "I should be able to protect my family any way that I can." It's a testament to our times that this is seen as a solid defense; after all, is anyone really against personal and familial protection? And if they are, what kind of barbarians are they? I need to hide my piece in case one of these family haters gets in my face, yo!

But even beyond the idiotic semantics, how is a concealed weapon preferable to an exposed one? For one thing, it's harder to get to. Also, a concealed weapon gives the criminal no clue that you're armed, which invalidates the argument that hiding your piece makes you somehow more immune to crime.

On the other hand, people - even law-abiding family-type people - can get angry. And having a weapon in the heat of passion can, at best, complicate the situation. At worst, someone could get their eye shot out in a gruesome way.

Concealed weapons mainly fill two psychological urges:

1) "An armed society is a polite society." Another way to put this is, "An armed society is a fearful society." Essentially, we're supposed to assume everyone around us is packing heat in their jackets, and thus no one should try anything stupid. Of course, this fails to take into account that people often get angry for no reason, which all of the weapons training in the world won't stop from making the situation more dangerous once a gun is introduced.

Even if this picture weren't full of holes, a fear-based existence can only be maintained for long before society becomes a bleak shadow of itself. Personally, I'd fear the public a lot more if everyone carried rather than the odd nutball. I wrote last year about how easily a gunman's actions could devolve into a free-for-all firefight if an armed and panicking public were able to reply in kind.

Think of the people you know or have seen in schools, parks and malls. Every thug, Goth, punk, nerd, poseur, control freak, head case, Jesus freak, nervous wreck, teacher's pet, snob, spaz, hothead, hophead and armchair warrior. Now think of the police. Who would you rather trust with firearms?

Which brings us to the second psychological factor:

2) Dirty Harry/Death Wish fantasies. The Second Amendment protects a citizen's right to bear arms; it does not mean every person is a de facto police officer. The difference between a trained law-enforcement official and a concealed carrier is the difference between a state trooper and a teenage motorist. Sure, both can use the highways with impunity, but that doesn't give the 16-year-old the ability to pull over violators or engage in high-speed chases whenever he feels the need. And the state troopers aren't going to see that teenager as much of an asset as a vigilante. Cops generally don't.

Still, the vigilante scenario is alive and well among many law-abiding citizens, who are of course the ones who beg to pack hidden heat the most. Deep down (or perhaps not so deep down), they want to be the hero. They want to be able to say they kept the peace in the park. And to do that, they're eager to raise the potential danger factor in a policed area where firearms aren't currently allowed. And judging by the political leanings of much of the most vocal pro-gun crowd, they're the same ones who stump the most against protests, which often take place in parks or other public meeting grounds, because private property is off-limits to free speech due to the potential conflict and danger that such a risk poses. The law has decided that there are limits to freedom in that respect.

So if we can't exercise the First Amendment on private property, why should we allow unmitigated Second Amendment rights on public property?

In the gun nuts' zeal to protect their families, I suddenly feel a lot less safe in the park.


Nick said...

If I'm not mistaken, since the time Mike Foster became Governor, no gun crime in Louisiana has ever been committed by someone who owned a Concealed Handgun License.

Something to think about.

Ian McGibboney said...

So it keeps the crime rate the same while making the possibility of a public firefight much, much higher. Quite the argument for it.

My question to you is, how many of these licensed, trained, real Murrikans have prevented any crimes from happening? Have they served any purpose other than to make themselves feel better at the expense of public safety?

Nick said...

I remember the story in Baton Rouge of the old man with a cane who saved the life of a BR police officer a couple years ago.

There's one. One more than the amount of gun crimes committed by CHL owners in Louisiana over the last 20 years.

You know, there are some cases where homosexual males have molested boys under the age of 12, even then murdering the victim.

Should we ban ALL homosexuals from walking in city parks where children play? Of course not. That would be absurd and a violation of rights for those law-abiding homosexuals, and so would be taking away the right for someone who has a CHL to carry because the "potential" is there for something bad to happen.

Ian McGibboney said...

Old guy with a cane? What does that have to do with guns? And why are you only sticking with Louisiana?

Your gay parallel is ridiculous. A gun's only purpose is to kill or maim. Why should we tolerate any device like that in a supposed sanctuary? The holder's respective law record is immaterial, because we don't allow cars or crossbows in parks either. Why? Because they're dangerous in anyone's hands in that situation.

Zac Walker said...

what a shock, a liberal that's scared of guns.

Nick said...

The old guy with a cane had a CHL, and used his gun to shoot a criminal who was beating the shit out of a BR police officer. He stopped the criminal, which he likely could not have done without the gun due to his age and obvious trouble even walking.

Why am I sticking to LA? Because that's the only statistic I've read/heard. Besides, here in LA, we're all a bunch of drunk, rowdy, racist southerners, so if our CHL holders have enough discipline to not commit gun crimes, then the liscenced "intellectuals" in the Northeast are probably even better.

Driving a half ton car on a walking track of a park, such as Girard Park, would be more dangerous than a licsenced, law abiding citizens carrying a concealed weapon that can fit in a small holster.

The percentage of CHL owners who commit gun crimes is minute much like the percentage of homosexuals who molest young boys. So again, we don't ban homosexuals in public places because less than 1% of them are worthless scum, so why should a different standard apply for CHL owners.

Ian McGibboney said...

Zac/Zac impostor: I'm not afraid of guns. I'm afraid of people who want to bring them anywhere they want and hide them.

Nick: One incident isn't going to make your case. And why must the weapons be concealed? Wouldn't a visible, holstered weapon make more of a statement to criminals?

Oh, and the reason I don't put stock in the law-abiding thing is that Timothy McVeigh was a law-abiding citizen up to the moment he bombed a government building and killed 168 people.

Nick said...

Did McVeigh have a CHL? I don't know if he did, but I'd be curious to know.

If one incident isn't going to make my case, then certainly fear of something to which you have no knowledge can't make yours.

As for as the argument of a visable weapon, hey, I'm all for that. I think we'd have less attacks on innocent citizens if every law-abiding citizen was able to walk around with a gun strapped visibily to their hip.

In fact, I believe, legally, you can walk down the street with a shotgun in your arms, as long as it's registered under your name. However, the common thought is that the police would be called, then they would likely harrass you to the point that you would almost be forced to put the gun back in your vehicle or home before continuing your stroll.

But I'm with you. I visible gun would be more likely to prevent a mugging on the carrier than having one that's concealed.

Nevertheless, CHL have been approved by numerous states, and it is a right that every stable, properly trained, non-felon U.S. citizen should have.

Nick said...

Though Wiki is hardly a solid bastion of undisputed facts on a subject, it is one of the few unbiased sources on the internet these days, so I would recomend a look at this:

You might be surprised at some of the statistical findings and requirements cited.

Also look at:

I haven't viewed all the stats yet, just from 2006, but I'd say your fears are much like the fears some have about gays being allowed in places with high child populations.

Ian McGibboney said...

What makes me afraid of concealed carriers is that, at least here, there is no need for it apart from that it makes extremely paranoid people feel better about themselves. And in doing so, it makes everybody else feel more afraid.

For me, this is a philosophical issue. I do not equate guns with safety, because the introduction of a firearm in any given situation automatically raises the risk of damage or death. And when I'm in the park, I am certainly not assured that some wannabe vigilante is hiding a deadly tool on their person. I don't care about their intent or their criminal record; I'm scared that this person feels so unsafe and insecure in their environs that they feel everyone around them is a threat to their life. There's an old saying, "When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Very apt, I think.

And my point about McVeigh wasn't that he had a CHL or not; it's that everyone's a "law-abiding citizen" until they commit a crime. McVeigh was a virtual posterboy for a licensed, law-abiding weapons pro. So when John Allen Muhammad, the D.C. sniper. They don't represent all carrier out there, but I'm infinitely more afraid of the next one than I am of some two-bit mugger.

Nick said...

The fact that you would refer to CHL carriers as "wannabe vigilanties" show again that you are ignorant about the CHL process, the statistics, and the kind of people who legally carry concealed weapons.

I don't have a CHL, yet. However, when my wife and I left town with the children for Gustav, I did take my shotgun with me.

Do I want to have to use my gun? No, unless I'm hunting, which I don't do (I prefer fishing).

Don't get me wrong, if an intruder breaks into our house, I wouldn't think twice about filling him with gun shot to protect my family. However, being that I am a caring human being, I'm sure I would live the rest of my life begging God to please forgive me and understand my desire to protect my family.

I don't want that burden. 99.9% of those who possess CH permits probably don't want that burden either. The last thing they want to do is to have to shoot someone.

But they carry in case an extreme dire situation occurs, much like the reason why I own guns. I hope I NEVER have to point a gun in the direction of another human being.

Zachary Walker said...

Let's get rid of guns! the mighty govmint will protect/nanny us!

Its the liberal way.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, I'm certainly not suggesting that no one be allowed to protect themselves, especially in their own homes. My grandfather kept loaded rifles in his house, and my dad has one of them (unloaded) next to his fireplace. I also don't question weapons for hunting or target-shooting.

What I do question is why people feel the need, not just to carry hidden weapons, but to carry them in populated public places, and to think that doing so somehow does not raise the odds that something dangerous might occur. You see this as protection from criminals. I see it as the possiblity that I might unintentionally set off someone who's probably a perfect person 99.9999 percent of the time, but in that ONE moment, might decide to blow my brains out.

And, yes, I've encountered plenty of people in my life who would fit that description. And all of them are otherwise decent human beings who could get a permit if they didn't already have one. And those aren't the people I want armed in the park.

Barry Sotero said...

I see it as the possiblity that I might unintentionally set off someone who's probably a perfect person 99.9999 percent of the time, but in that ONE moment, might decide to blow my brains out.

Do you normally go through life scared of stuff that has a 0.00001% chance of killing you? Are you constantly watching the skies to ensure a rogue meteor doesn't land on you?

Whiny, scared-of-their-own-shadow twerps like you are the epitome of todays liberals.

Ian McGibboney said...

Yes, "Barry," liberals like us are twerps. That's why we're so afraid we want to bring hidden guns into parks -- oh, wait...

I'm not one-tenth as scared as these people pushing so hard for concealed weapons in parks. And considering I've been mugged and grew up in a low-income neighborhood, that's saying something. But I DO fear dying because some joker with a concealed weapon had a bad day - the odds of which, by the way, would skyrocket if you guys have your way and everyone gets to pack.

B. Hussein Sotero said...

Texas has pretty open gun laws, yet consistently ranks in the bottom half of the country for gun related deaths. Michigan eased up on their gun laws a few years ago, as did Florida, and neither saw a noticeable jump in gun related deaths.

In other words, you're a fucking pussy that is scared of his own shadow.

Ian McGibboney said...

BS - I like how you provide a balanced meal of worthwhile point and ridiculous personal attack. So when are you gonna bring Aldaynet back online?

Incidentally, if you're going to used tired old mockery of Barack Obama, at least spell the last name right. Soetoro.

Chris said...

If I die, I die.

Be it at the hands of someone with a gun, by someone driving their car into mine, or just by natural causes, I gotta die somehow, I guess.

Ian McGibboney said...

Chris, you don't by any chance carry when we play football, do you?

President HOPENCHANGE said...

What the fuck is aldaynet? Not only are you a whimpering pussy when it comes to the right of people to protect themselves, but you're apparently a gibbering moron as well.

Bravo young man, you do liberals justice. Maybe if you took less time trying to be the erudite blogger and spent a little more researching your positions people wouldn't come in and destroy your laughable beliefs with a simple sentence.

Ian McGibboney said...

If you're not Alday, you sure sound like him. But maybe you're one of the numerous other complete, condescending cowards that have come on this site and spouted personal abuse disguised as arguments over the years.

In that case, my apologies.

Michelle Obama's jock strap said...

Dude don't get all holier-than-thou when your ludicrous stances are exposed as paper thin.

Just reading your idiotic blog it's obvious you are nothing but an empty vassal that has been filled with liberal boilerplate by numerous poli-sci professors and one too many viewings of Keith Olbermann. Sure you type a lot of shit on screen but it's empty and hollow because you don't bother to research anything beyond whatever is juuuuust enough to prove your liberal bona fides.

Ian McGibboney said...

And you're here late at night typing endless scrawl to set this empty "vassal" straight. I write this blog. What's your excuse?

Jason said...

I'm surprised Michelle Obama's jock strap knows how to type. How can you type without fingers?

rhonda said...

wow. it must be really easy to be abusive and name-call when you don't have to stand by any of the dumb things that you say. you can say what you want about ian and his beliefs, but his name and likeness are right there. who are you? you're nobody, that's who.

"My muslim faith" said...

And you're here late at night typing endless scrawl to set this empty "vassal" straight. I write this blog. What's your excuse?

10:28 is "late at night"? And Ian, we've already established you don't "write" so much as regurgitate whatever liberal talking point you read that day.

and "Rhonda", do you honestly think Ian "writing" a blog read by maybe 10 people a day makes him "somebody"? I guess from that we can ascertain that you're probably someone with self worth issues...daddy/husband not pay enough attention to you?

Nick said...

Carrying while playing football...

I seem to recall football movie of some sort, where a defensive player, trying to help his team defend the goal-line, brandished a gun to the opposing runningback.

Maybe it was a TV show. I don't know.

Also reminds me of the first Naked Gun movie.

Anonymous said...

Wiki is unbiased? since when? E.G., printing Lott's comments without noting that statisticians laugh at his methods of collecting data?

There is unfortunately no real reliable records of incidents crimes committed by holders of CHLs (Texas being a partial exception). I keep hearing people claim that there are "no crimes" committed (such as above someone making such a claim about Louisiana CHL holders). What they are realy saying is you cannot prove otherwise- unless you have, for example, a front page story where someone has been convicted of murder while this discussion is ongoing (which happen here).

Ian McGibboney said...

My argument has never been that concealed-weapons carriers are as dangerous or more dangerous than criminals. Rather, I'm in favor of as few weapons as possible in public places. I don't care if it's a criminal or Captain America; guns add deadliness to situations that otherwise probably wouldn't be as perilous.

No one has yet shown me evidence (beyond isolated anecdotes) that allowing concealed carry in parks makes those areas safer. The parks I go to seem to be very safe, and even the crimes that do happen are not the kinds you solve with bullets.