Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Firearms: Prosthetics for Defective Courage?

Back in March I wondered why guns were considered so manly. After all, anyone from a little child to an old woman can aim and fire, and with any luck, kill, so what's with all the machismo? And yes, I have fired a short barreled 44 Magnum and a .45 Magnum, at random times, and other than maybe a little tingling, I can't say it was all that brutal.

Anyway, here's my update to that oh so profound and inspiring post:

The Violence Policy Center began an ongoing research project to identify and tally killings in five separate categories, beginning in May 2007 to the present by individuals with concealed handgun permits. As the result of a massive campaign led by the gun lobby, almost all states maintain a veil of secrecy around those who have been issued permits to carry concealed handguns. Therefore, the VPC is forced to rely primarily on news accounts for reports of killings by concealed handgun permit holders and subsequent legal proceedings.

Concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least nine law enforcement officers and 98 private citizens (including 12 shooters who killed themselves after an attack) since May 2007

I don't get it. Why do guns make for a manly man? With the exception of Dirty Harry, I don't see it. At least Dirty Harry made "good" use of his gun and tried to right wrongs by pursuing wrongdoers. Whether or not his actions were justified is another issue for another time.

However, firearms - pistols, self-loading assault rifles, shotguns, etc - were created in order to protect and defend us from danger...in other words, from what we fear.

Firepower allow us to feign self-confidence, and mask terror in bravado, sometimes desensitizing ourselves to what we fear. So many times, the weapons we stockpile are useless in the face of what we really fear, our own mortality. The truth is everyone of us is more fragile, limited, helpless, and dependent than we would like to admit. That in this great big world, all it takes is one small hiccup from nature, and in less than one millisecond, we could all evaporate as if we never existed.

I'll even go as far as to say, it would have been far manlier, if Dirty Harry carried a knife, brass knuckles, or the most manly of all, relied on his bare knuckles, rather than carry such a user-friendly, metal contraption that shoots deadly projectiles, so easy to use, even Paris Hilton could take over, and just might, if she thought that by doing so, she would attract more followers.

NRA "from my cold dead hands" gun owners, so quick to label gun-control liberals as sissies, must wear these "bravado" masks to cover up the trembling men of fear that they really are underneath. Gun ownership, in this country is more often a sign of cowardice than bravery, as they are an easy way to assuage fear for people too frightened to face the world without a a prosthetic device that allows them to remain erect and stand "strong".

Unless your address is 123 Front Line Blvd, Brutal Warzone, Planet Earth, 45678, it's hard to understand why a big, strong, courageous, manly man needs to stockpile pistols, self-loading assault rifles, and shotguns, for any other reason than he's a big ol' sissy, afraid of his own shadow, or perhaps, he is compensating for something lacking in size or potency.

Since when is brute strength, virility, honor, chivalry, bravery, and/or any other manly qualities, required to operate most firearms? Any grandma with enough strength and coordination to operate an old-fashioned can opener, more than likely, can pull a trigger. Shouldn't big strong, courageous manly men, living in a civilized society, be able to function without the protection of so many powerful artificial devices of courage?

Former President George W. Bush would definitely disagree, as "a federal judge blocked a last-minute rule enacted by President George W. Bush allowing visitors to national parks to carry concealed weapons."


Luke,  11:06  

Obviously you've never handled a gun.

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