Fired up.

An old story I remember reading about the very first gun invented goes something like this –

 

A Chinese monk, after mixing various powders and igniting their explosive properties in his bathroom turned laboratory, decided to fill a small tube with said powder, place a ball bearing near the opening, ignite, and promptly blow out a wall in his bathroom.

 

This is most definitely historically inaccurate, but a little humour is always good, no?

 

A gun is solely designed to kill. There is no other purpose for its invention. To suggest that a guns purpose is for fun (to me) sounds very absurd. Where is fun in putting little (and sometimes big) holes into inanimate objects?

 

That is not fun, that is a sense of great power. A very addictive sense of power.

 

To buy a gun you must acknowledge this unspoken agreement that, in purchasing it, you are saying yes you could kill. In practicing at target ranges (or other such areas that I hope are legal) you are tuning yourself as an adept killing machine.

 

Of course it’s not the tool that ultimately kills, but the operator. However, to own a gun and not respect its sole function is rather scary and very childish.  I would love to see on gun licence registration forms (which should be a global requirement) the question ‘do you feel you have the cognitive capacity to kill with this?’ I think the discussions about gun safety, and necessity of owning one, would increase significantly.

 

Guns are not bad. No object is bad. The properties and qualities placed upon it by us are what determine the bad from the good.

I want to fire a gun one day (I think). I want to know this sense of power. I doubt I will be okay with it, but for some possible future chance that I enjoy it, what would that say? 

 

 

 

 

E.

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3 thoughts on “Fired up.

  1. “A gun is solely designed to kill. There is no other purpose for its invention.”

    Not true. Many guns are designed to have the ability to kill, but the purpose is to not kill. That is how the vast majority of people use guns.

    The true purpose of a gun, proven by the fact that Americans use them over 2.5 million times a year in self defense, is to convince a would be rapist, murderer, robber, psychopath, or whatever to go somewhere else and leave you alone.

    Up to 400,000 lives a year are probably saved every year in America with a gun, and again, in almost every case the gunowner will not fire the gun let alone wound or kill the attacker.

    The real purpose of a gun, again proven by how people most often use them, is to give the intended victim an option to not be a victim, and to to do so without having to hurt or kill the attacker.

    See:

    Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (Northwestern)
Guns and Violence Symposium,
vol. 86, no. 1, 1995: 150.

    ARMED RESISTANCE TO CRIME: THE PREVALENCE AND NATURE OF SELF-DEFENSE WITH A GUN
    Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz
    http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/kleckandgertz1.htm

    “To suggest that a guns purpose is for fun (to me) sounds very absurd. Where is fun in putting little (and sometimes big) holes into inanimate objects?”

    Obviously you have never experienced the sense of accomplishment of putting little holes in a piece of paper at 600 yards in a high power rifle match, or shooting a perfect score with a handgun while qualifying to carry a concealed handgun.

    Target shooting is a big sport in the U.S. The vast majority of bullets manufactured every year end up only punching little holes in pieces of paper, or breaking clay “birds” on a trap or skeet range.

    “That is not fun, that is a sense of great power. A very addictive sense of power.”

    And you admit later in your post that you get this information from your imagination.

    “To buy a gun you must acknowledge this unspoken agreement that, in purchasing it, you are saying yes you could kill.”

    Read “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

    “In practicing at target ranges (or other such areas that I hope are legal) you are tuning yourself as an adept killing machine.”

    The majority of people cannot kill intentionally – see Grossman.

    “I want to fire a gun one day (I think).”

    You probably ought to. You might actually learn something that didn’t come from watching TV, or from your imagination.

    “…but for some possible future chance that I enjoy it, what would that say?”

    AR-15s and similar weapons are sometimes called “black guns.” Once you go black, you won’t go back. 🙂

    Who Needs An Assault Rifle?
    http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/who-needs-an-assault-rifle/

    lwk

    • Thoroughly good rebuttal! I wrote this as a broad commentary of my personal opinion, so for any following defense comments that in turn have comments about America, I use it because your argument feels American-centric judging by the data you presented (but I will try not to target countries for that’s not how I wrote the initial piece).

      Self defense still implies the act of neutralizing the threat. To convince this threat to back off/disengage the object, in this case a gun, would have to have the means to neutralize aka kill said threat. I think my comment of a guns purpose is to kill still stands even if the actual act of it is not carried out. The research was good, but slightly outdated as the last interview was almost 20 years ago and hard to reference to the times of now.

      I concede about target practicing. It’s not a sport I was ever exposed to so the thrill of such accomplishments does nothing for me, but must do a great deal to other people.

      The qualifying to carry a concealed weapon comment though brings back my argument of acknowledging a gun as a means to kill. What purpose is there to qualify for a concealed permit, if not to hone skills worthy of confidently neutralizing a threat at any given time. You certainly aren’t going to be target practicing in the middle of a residential area while concealing it. And when you do qualify you must admit that your firearm skills are high enough to warrant carrying a dangerous item, of which the ultimate purpose is to kill, on you at all times.

      I never said to have a gun means you must kill. I think what I should’ve wrote was to willingly purchase a gun without the threat of war (of which a lot of ‘On Killing’ data is based upon and not comparable to ordinary civilian ownership) means you must identify the fact that a guns purpose is to kill. I feel, looking at the lack of gun policy in America compared to New Zealand, the respect for such a dangerous item is severely lacking.

      • ” I think what I should’ve wrote was to willingly purchase a gun without the threat of war (of which a lot of ‘On Killing’ data is based upon and not comparable to ordinary civilian ownership)”

        I really do recommend reading “On Killing” by Grossman. Initially it is about killing in war, but eventally it is largely about killing anywhere – who can, and who cannot normally (and some things the military learned to short cirtuit that resistance to killing many have).

        Understanding what Grossman’s research found goes a long way to explaining why there are so many self defensive uses of guns, but so few dead crooks killed by them. Ultimately Grossman’s books is not just about war, and it totally contradicts most of our myths about war and killing. If it were not so, then I expect that a lot of gunowners would kill a lot more crooks. But they don’t.

        “…your argument feels American-centric …”

        It was mostly about our experience in America. Other countries where private firearms ownership is highly limited will not have the same experience. That is why, for example, the crime of home invasion in those countries is so much more common than in America. In America a criminal has a much higher chance of getting killed doing that (“home invasion” is breaking into a home you know is occupied because you are not afraid of the homeowner).

        “Self defense still implies the act of neutralizing the threat.”

        This is absolutely true. But most people prefer that the criminal just leave them alone. For them that is adquate “neutralization.”

        “I think my comment of a guns purpose is to kill still stands even if the actual act of it is not carried out.”

        Maybe it is semantics. Guns are inanimate objects that are in fact designed to kill. That fact is obvious. But guns don’t have purpose (at least as I use the word). People have purpose and the purpose a lot of people have in owning a gun is self defense. Most of the time they feel their purpose is satisfied if the aggressor goes away and leaves them alone.

        So I am making a distinction between design and purpose. Nuclear weapons were designed to kill millions in one shot, but the purpose was to prevent war (however horrifying the whole experience turned out to be for those growing up during the Cold War).

        “What purpose is there to qualify for a concealed permit, if not to hone skills worthy of confidently neutralizing a threat at any given time.”

        Again, a lot of people with concealed carry permits who actually end up pulling a gun in a self defense scenario do not actually shoot and kill anyone. Most often the threat neutralizes the attack and the aggressor goes somewhere else. The fact is that no one really knows if they can, or cannot pull the trigger in such a situation. If you haven’t killed then you don’t know if you can (no matter how much you beat your chest and shout out how bad a dude you are). A lot of people who have not killed simply don’t know that.

        I think that a lot of people purchase a gun for self protection and unfortunately many of them have not fully thought it out. Fortunately a lot of them won’t have to kill to protect themselves because the threat more often than not works without killing. It is not unheard of for people to go to a class to qualify for a concealed carry permit and have reality rubbed in their face and get up and leave without completing the class or getting the permit. If the instructor does his job right you will be faced with that reality.

        There is a quote, attributed to George Orwell that I think sums up part of the truth:

        “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

        Civilization and the peace and security that many have come to expect as a right depends on those who can kill, and will kill. That is a truth that not all are willing to face. And contrary to what many may believe, there is no test at the police academy that guarantees that ability either.

        regards,

        lwk

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