An Armed Citizenry?

In the wake of the Aurora shootings, I was horrified to see a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post saying that because “gun control does not work,” we should instead “encourage the carrying of personal weapons.” In the author ‘s view

An armed citizenry would give pause to anyone intending to do mass damage, since he or she would know that there would likely be someone shooting back, rather than helpless people waiting to be slaughtered.

Right. Because “anyone intending to do mass damage” is thinking rationally, and carefully weighing the consequences.

My first reaction was that this person must be kidding, but I would be deluding myself if I didn’t acknowledge that there are people in this country who do believe that if only more of us were armed, fewer of us would be victims of gun violence.

The idea of living in a country like that terrifies me. I hate guns. I hate that they can accidentally take a life in an instant. I hate that they can take the anger of the heat of the moment to a point of no return. I don’t want guns in my house. I don’t want guns in my neighborhood restaurant. I don’t want to go to the movies and sit in a dark room full of people with guns in their purses and pockets.

When my kids were younger, I was that Mom who asked if there were any guns in the house before letting my children visit for a playdate. I even was that Mom who confiscated the plastic guns from the action figures. Maybe my concerns were irrational, but just last week a 4-year old boy fatally shot himself with a gun he found in an unlocked truck outside his house. I don’t know people get through that type of tragedy.

Doesn’t the Travyon Martin case show us how “an armed citizenry” can go horribly wrong?

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9 Responses to An Armed Citizenry?

  1. Miz says:

    I really try and stay away from chatting about this on public forums but this has me shaking my head…

  2. Personal responsibility goes a far way with owning a firearm. Just by the short glimpse I see of the case. 1. the car should've been locked. 2. the gun shouldn't have been loaded. 3. the Safety should've been on. There are so many thoughts of how did a 4 year old boy know to turn off the safety. I understand your point about the shootings and that the shooter wouldn't have even considered that there was another gun in the theatre. My argument usually goes, "if there was someone who had a great amount of personal responsibility, who had their pistol and had target practice and knew they could take out the shooter then why wouldn't I want another gun in that theatre. There are many "accidents" from cars killing people all year long and yet we are willing to take the risk of allowing almost anyone to drive a car. In the right hands, guns don't accidentally kill anyone. I don't own a gun, mostly because they are expensive, but from an extremely young age my dad taught us gun safety. Even shooting BB guns, he made us treat them like real guns because they can do damage. Again this is just my opinion, we are all entitled to one. Thanks for opening up the discussion.

    • Coco says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. I think the accident with the 4 year-old feeds my concerns that most people would be irresponsible gun owners — I don't mean that most people who own guns now are irresponsible, I mean that if we all carried guns like the Letter to the Editor suggested, I would be afraid that too many people would treat them recklessly.

  3. Gun sales in Colorado have sky rocketed since the shooting. I'd think the exact opposite would happen but…. yea.

  4. steena says:

    I really don't know about gun rights & stuff.. The whole shooting thing is awful. Usually right after a big shooting like that I feel nervous in large crowds.
    I'm not sure that the person's letter to the editor's suggestion is good, I mean, look at road rage.. People get easily ticked off! Half the people I follow on Twitter shouldn't have guns.
    Blah. Stupid world we live in.

  5. This is such a hot topic. Personal responsibility is huge in so many things and yet people are a bunch of idiots. Even on the simple things. I hate guns too.

  6. nhrunner says:

    I totally agree with you Coco. I also saw a similar comment and could not believe it. I hate guns and am not happy with those who defend them. We are living in two different worlds.

  7. SuperBabe says:

    The time that I have felt the safest is when we lived in Berlin (Germany). We knew the average John Doe couldn't get a gun (and yes, I know that there are always some who break the law), and it really made a difference. Here, anybody can get a gun… and it doesn't make me feel safe. I too feel uneasy in large crowds… or when I go swimming… I mean, who is to stop some psycho from going into the gym and shooting folks? There are really lots of crazy people here, so no, I don't think giving them the possibility to get guns easily is a good one. I hate guns and don't want any guns in my house. I have sort of made an effort to understand people who like them for shooting and stuff, but keep them in a locker at a shooting range or something; no need to have them in your house!!!

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