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Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:03 PM

The self defense myth.

I spent some time today near Santa Monica pier with my family glancing around on a busy, cold, cloudy, Cali day. Not fearfully, i thought about mass shootings as I had throughout the day. I considered what would happen if a shooting started? What would people do? What if there was a "defender" with a concealed weapon? Worse yet what if there were several? In a populated area a firearm has much less of a defensive advantage then in a lightly populated, controlled scenario. It's hard to keep calm amidst a throng of panicking people. Which one is the shooter? Is that guy with the gun my friend or my enemy?

I live in the city but grew up in the country but not in an especially conservative area. I grew up with several rifles and a shotgun unlocked in my parents bedroom. Yes, this was foolish, but hardly unusual. My parents didn't lock their house until we moved out; it was just not considered necessary.

I now live in Portland OR, a relatively safe city. I have never once felt that my life was threatened in any situation. Even after a shooting left two dead a half block from our first home in a drug shooting, we didn't feel threatened. A dog gave us a relative assurance of an escape if someone broke in. And that was and is the plan: escape. The only experience I have had in Portland with a handgun is with a friend who decided to carry his handgun with him around the city. I was never quite sure what his reasoning was. As it ended his roommate accidentally shot him in the leg near his groin.

We are lucky. Their are of course cities with much higher violent crime rates and indeed these city's have likely more guns than my relatively safe little neighborhood. Many gun homicides are related to drugs and gangs.

And yet despite these circumstances I cannot imagine that a gun is a practical tool to carry around with you especially in the city. For example on that pier, escape is the best course of action. In the city and other areas woman and men carry mace for protection. I'm not suggesting that there are fee guns in cities for personal protection but it is just not something that is open or discussed for obvious reasons.

Now juxtapose the reality of the rural dweller. With much lower crime rates across the board where does the need for a concealed weapon come in much less a stock of assault rifles or a concealed weapon. In a dire situation couldn't you carry mace. Are you really safer with that loaded gun in your bedroom or less so? Consider that the FBI counted an average of 213 legitimate self defense homicides per year from 2005-10.

It all has it's root in authority. A gun is much more likely to be used against an acquaintance than a stranger. Why? The guy with the gun has the authority in a dispute. People who feel the need for a ccw are in essence self deputizing. A gun makes you lord over your domain, king of your castle, sheriff in these here parts. No one can tell you what to do. You are free to "stand your ground". If the govt comes to "take away your freedoms" your guns will be blazing. Carrying a hand gun is not about self defense but about belief defense and ego protection.

Consider this in another way, on a broader scale consider: the idea of protection from a tyrannical government. If proponents of this idea really considered the reality in the highly unlikely scenario that the government takes over, guns are not very effective against helicopters and jets. In fact if these people were really serious they would aim for SAMs, antitank weaponry, and automatic weaponry none of which is possibly and practical to get. The idea of any firearm owned today used against the military is like a child claiming his BB gun is an effective tool against bad guys. Perhaps I should say toy gun because at least a BB gun can take out an eye. These same people support the unending expansion of our military and bow to authorities such as police. The imaginary antagonist at the end of the barrel is not a police officer or a member of the military.

The real question here is WHO is the authority. Is he or she a republican or a democrat, a liberal or a conservative, black or white, good or bad. Do your BELIEFS need to be protected or not. It's not a rational thought process. We are not dealing with well thought out scenarios and countermeasures. We are dealing with fear and how we regain authority over it. And there you have it. At the very bottom of this you have the f word. Who do you Fear?

I'm not suggesting that a weapon is never about defense in a rural area and guns are never a practical tool for urban dwellers but we should consider that the firearm debate is not about self defense really. It's about authority and fear.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply The self defense myth. (Original post)
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 OP
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #1
hack89 Dec 2012 #2
davidn3600 Dec 2012 #3
hack89 Dec 2012 #4
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #6
melm00se Dec 2012 #5
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #13
hack89 Dec 2012 #14
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #15
jody Dec 2012 #7
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #9
jody Dec 2012 #10
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #11
jody Dec 2012 #12
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #16
jody Dec 2012 #17
jody Dec 2012 #18
gulliver Dec 2012 #8

Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:12 PM

1. Kick

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:18 PM

2. Why does someone have to die for it to be a successful self defense incident?

you forget three other possible outcomes:

1. Someone is shot but lives. 80% of gunshot victims survive.

2. Shots are fired but no one is hit.

3. No shots are fired - the sight of a gun is enough to deter an attacker.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:27 PM

3. Just fire the gun in the air and it will scare off 99% of burglers

Works a heck of a lot better than simply yelling, "im calling the cops." That won't work.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:30 PM

4. That is both dangerous and illegal as hell

how do you know where that bullet will land?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:45 PM

6. Happened here in July, 2011

A little girl outside shooting fireworks was killed by a stray bullet that had been shot into the air a few blocks away.

http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/crime/girl-hit-by-stray-bullet-remains-in-critical-condition

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:31 PM

5. what goes up must come down

but where and to what effect?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:21 AM

13. Whoosh. Nt

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:14 AM

14. I read and understood your OP

Last edited Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:47 AM - Edit history (1)

just think it is based on a flawed premise you set up by minimizing defensive gun uses and exaggerating the dangers.

There are tens of millions of guns owners. There are tens of millions of reasons why people own guns.

I have a safe full of guns - they have nothing to do with fear. It has nothing to do with domination over others. My family and I enjoy competitive target shooting. When not in use the guns are locked up. I live in a very safe area so there is no need for a gun for self defense.

You are not advancing your cause by broad brush attempts to label people and minimize their concerns and interests. I refuse to go into that neat little box you have constructed for me. If you want my help in forging some meaningful gun control laws I would suggest that insulting me is not the best way to start.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:54 PM

15. That is not the point either. I'm not trying to insult anyone. Nor am I saying that guns don't

Have other functions. I'm also not suggesting that guns need to be controlled. I'm merely saying that to a certain segment of the population guns are not a self defense tool but a defense of their irrational beliefs. Defense of the ego.

It's a sociological and psychological premise that I think sheds light on the rw hysteria over their guns being taken away. It is not so much physical defense that is their ultimate goal but a defense of the unknown. Like I said, if they really considered what they are up against vs the military they would not "cling to guns". However this is not the authority they fantasize at the end of the barrel. In the other scenario, a government collapse, they envision having to protect themselves from those that are different or want to steal from them. This also is irrational because in desperate times people must and do work together more. In other words society adapts to changing demands. If their are less resources then we share to survive. This is diametrically opposed to the vision of self deputization. Here it's suggested that the people who concealed carry guns for self defense are not doing so for self defense (not to say that this never necessary) but as an extension of themselves as having authority over who they believe they are. They also imagine themselves as the hero which is also an imaginary self created construct.

Anyway...I really am not trying to piss people off. So I apologize for the misunderstanding. I think the op is clear but it's not direct.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 03:16 PM

7. Makes sense and ban spare tires at the same time. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 04:40 PM

9. Op is a sociological premise not an anti-gun position.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 04:44 PM

10. Say whut! An individual's right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is a "sociological premise"?

 

Would you want to stand up in any labor union group and say that?

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Response to jody (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:29 PM

11. Your twisting my words. I'm not suggesting anything about gun control at all. I'm just suggesting

There is an underlying motivation to some claims of SELF defense. It is really ego defense which is based on fear.

I also think you made a good point about increases in gun sales not increasing homicide rate. We can look at that in a number of ways. Societally however we need to understand how to best stop school shootings. I think we all agree on that.

Did you read my op?

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:46 PM

12. Flabbergasted I would give my life and all I own to prevent another Sandy Hook Tragedy and all

 

other mass murders.

IMO as I post in another thread, there are not one but two problems.

It's sad that no one has rejected or accepted that conjecture.

Still credible reports have not found that guns cause crime, see http://www.democraticunderground.com/117297122

As I posted elsewhere, Bloomburg and gun-creationists have their agenda and the jury of We the People is still out.

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Response to jody (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:22 PM

16. I've given your reply a lot of thought.

This is totally off topic and an extremely broad reply. We could spend hours hashing out these links and I'm really not an expert anyway. I really wanted to discuss the psychology and sociology of guns.

That said I understand people feel a need to protect themselves and I'm not going to pretend that I can discern a practical solution to our "self defense" issues.

I think that often political discussions are misguided. I think there are vast areas that the majority of citizens can agree on but public discourse is easily subjected to the whims of the elite on either side of a debate. Ultimately it comes down to mistrust, authority and ego.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:44 PM

17. Sorry if I've already called this to your attention. If not, please consider my thread below.

 

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:08 PM

18. If you're serious about discussing "the psychology and sociology of guns", please become a regular

 

participant in DU's Gun Control & RKBA (Group).

The regulars include a devils brew from both pro and anti RKBA.

You will find a few ass holes who only post insults and believe in ad hominem attacks.

Put them on Ignore when you read their first post and I believe you'll find the remainder to be a highly educated, articulate group that are extremely well informed about RKBA.

Please visit for a while and If I'm wrong, please send me a PM

jody

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 03:31 PM

8. I agree.

The "excessive weapon fad" and commercial market is driven by anxiety (fear). The lust for authority is just the obverse of the fear coin. I don't think the fear is anything other than garden variety "quiet desperation" that most people live with. A guy who is unemployed, or can't find a girlfriend, or feels stupid or outmatched by life is a great market target. That vulnerable guy will buy both the assault rifle and the pathetically irrational self-defense (or cool guy living on the edge...) fantasy content that goes with it.

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